Pros and Cons of an Edger vs Trimmer for Your Lawn

Affiliate Disclaimer: My content may contain links to products I use and love. As an Amazon Associate and participant in various other affiliate programs, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you from qualifying purchases. I only recommend products I personally vetted!

Maintaining a lush, green, well-manicured lawn is no easy task, but there are some tools you should have in your lawn care arsenal to help make your job easier. 

You probably already own a lawn mower, whether a cordless model or corded model, but mowers with sharp blades and powerful motors are only designed to cut a grass surface to an even height. 

But, if you want to trim around flower beds, and driveways, eliminate weeds, create clean and crisp boundary lines or cut grass in hard-to-reach spots that a lawnmower can’t reach, you need a lawn edger and trimmer.

There are however pros and cons of an edge vs trimmer for your lawn, where one tool may prove handier than the other in certain situations. 

Edger vs Trimmer for your lawn

Edgers vs. String Trimmers – Pros and Cons 

It’s easy to confuse an electric edger and a cordless trimmer, given that they serve similar purposes – making your lawn look a little tidier.

But the biggest difference between a lawn edger and an electric trimmer is that the former is used to create neat boundaries in your lawn and the latter to cut and trim grass in areas that can’t be accessed with a lawnmower. 

Pros and Cons of a Lawn Edger 

Pros:

  • Creates an aesthetically pleasing finish to your lawn
  • Keeps grass and paving separate  
  • Minimizes the onset of weeds 
  • Manual and motorized options are available 

Cons:

  • Using a manual edger is a daunting task 
  • Motor-powered edgers are a bit more expensive than manual edgers 

 Pros and Cons of a String Trimmer 

Pros:

  • Provides a finished look in your yard when used with a lawn mower 
  • Gets into hard-to-reach areas and around obstacles
  • Lightweight and compact, making them easy to use and store

Cons:

  • Gas-powered trimmers can be noisy and be noisy 
  • Cordless trimmers need to be recharged often 

Here is an informative video discussing the difference between an edge and a trimmer:

Edger vs. String Trimmer - Which One is Better for Edging

What is a Lawn Edger? 

The two words edger and trimmer are often used interchangeably, and even though both perform the function of cutting grass and weeds, they are designed for different purposes.

An edger is the right tool if you appreciate the beauty of neat lines in your yard, and delineations between grass and other surfaces, like your driveway or between garden beds.

The process of lawn edging is often overlooked by homeowners but when done right greatly improves the appearance of your entire landscape by creating distinct borders between each garden feature. 

Edgers can be used in lawns and gardens to tidy edges between the lawn and driveway, walkway, patio, or street or plant beds. 

lawn edger

Parts of a Lawn Edger 

A lawn edger looks similar to a string trimmer and features a long handle with a vertical spinning blade, blade guard, and housing at the bottom. 

The blade guards are designed to protect the blade and prevent dirt and debris from spewing toward you.

Some lawn edger models come with carbon precision ground blades, making this range of tools a great choice for tough grass. 

What is a Lawn Edger Used For? 

As the name suggests, lawn edgers create clean edges and perfect edges and are available in gas, corded and cordless electric models.

Lawn mowers, mini-mowers, and robotic lawnmowers reduce the thickness of the grass but can’t create sharp borders, crisp lines, and clean lines. 

Lawn edgers basically sharpen up the overall aesthetic by creating straighter lines, smoother curves, and immaculate borders next to garden features such as flower beds, areas of bark, patios, paths, paving, or driveways.

Types of Lawn Edgers 

There are roughly 40 different types of lawn edgers including chemical lawn edging tools, lawn edging barriers, and powered motorized edgers. 

For this article, however, I’ll focus on the 2 most common, effective, and easy-to-use lawn edgers:

  • Gasoline-powered lawn edgers
  • Electric-powered lawn edgers. 

Gasoline-powered lawn edgers offer extreme power than their electric counterparts and are an ideal choice for creating excellent line definition in sprawling yards. 

On the downside, they are noisier than electric edgers and do require a fair bit of maintenance, which includes sharpening dull blades. 

Electric lawn edgers can be either corded models or cordless models, and there are advantages and disadvantages to each power source. 

Corded lawn edgers aren’t a popular choice, given that the electric power cord can easily get tangled in obstacles in your yard. 

How to Use an Electric and Gas-Powered Edger? 

  1. Before you use a lawn edger, it’s a good practice to mow your lawn to the appropriate height, which is typically 2 1/2 inches tall.
  2. Next, scope out the project and plan where to start edging and from what areas. Always wear safety glasses and ear protection when operating power tools. 
  3. Go over the area where you want to create an outline and cut grass to create the border. 

2 Best Lawn Edgers 

Greenworks 12 Amp Electric Corded Edger – Best Corded Lawn Edger 

Greenworks 12 Amp Electric Corded Edger

The Greenworks corded lawn edger is in a league of its own for several reasons, starting with its integrated 7.5″ double-edged blade.

This blade is built tough and to resist wear so you can rest assured the Greenworks lawn edger will serve you well for years to come. 

The Greenworks lawn edger is powered by a 12-amp motor and features a spring-assisted front wheel, which provides a variable blade depth.

In terms of comfort, the Greenworks electric corded lawn edger doesn’t disappoint with its adjustable auxiliary handle. It comes with a cord lock, which prevents accidental disconnection of the power cord. 

Greenworks 12 Amp Electric Corded Edger 27032
1,806 Reviews
Greenworks 12 Amp Electric Corded Edger 27032
  • 12 Amp motor delivers powerful edging capabilities
  • 7.5" double edged blade provides robust edging capabilities and longer wear
  • Spring assist front wheel provides variable blade depth

Affiliate links and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on: 2023-01-30


DEWALT Electric Cordless Lawn Edger – Best Cordless Lawn Edger 

DEWALT Electric Cordless Lawn Edger

The DEWALT electric cordless lawn edger is perhaps the best lawn edging tool in its segment. This cordless tool can accept additional tool pieces (sold separately) and is equipped with a 7-1/2 in. hardened steel blade, which offers a 2-1/2 in. adjustable blade depth. 

The DEWALT cordless lawn edger features a large guide wheel, making it easy to create lines in and around your lawn and garden.

To top things off, the DEWALT cordless lawn edger comes with a variable speed trigger, allowing you to control the speed and runtime. 

DEWALT 60V MAX Cordless Lawn Edger Kit, FLEXVOLT Battery &...
178 Reviews
DEWALT 60V MAX Cordless Lawn Edger Kit, FLEXVOLT Battery &...
  • HIGH VERSATILITY AND PRODUCTIVITY: DEWALT Universal Attachment capability to accept additional tool pieces
  • DURABILITY AND EFFICIENCY with 7-1/2 in. hardened steel blade and up to 2-1/2 in. adjustable blade depth
  • EASE OF MOVEMENT with large guide wheel for mobility while edging

Affiliate links and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on: 2023-01-30


What is a Lawn Trimmer? 

A lawn trimmer, also dubbed as a string trimmer. weed eater or weed whacker is a piece of gardening and landscaping equipment that is used to cut grass, weeds, and small shrubs. 

A string trimmer with a high-performance motor is sometimes preferable to a lawn mower for small size yards

A weed-trimming tool allows you to cut grass in areas where your mower can’t reach. It is also an ideal lawn care tool for manicuring around, fences, poles, and tree trunks and for keeping the edges of your lawn and garden, and/or driveway neat and tidy. 

As mentioned earlier, an edger and trimmer look similar to each other, but there’s one distinct difference – the cutting mechanism. 

lawn trimmer

Parts of a String Trimmer 

A lawn edger uses a blade to perform its task and a string trimmer cuts through grass and weeds with a stiff string. 

The propulsion system spins the nylon line at high speeds to cut grass and weeds with ease. Using the principle of centrifugal force, the wire becomes stiffer the faster it spins, making it easier to cut through tough lawn and garden debris. 

What is a String Trimmer Used For? 

A string trimmer is a versatile tool that comes in extremely handy for performing several lawn maintenance tasks including trimming and edging your lawn. 

Even though cordless trimmers and gas-powered string trimmers can be ordered in different shapes and sizes based on the propulsion system, the working principles remain the same. 

String trimmers can be used for small and large jobs, and are much easier to handle than lawnmowers. 

If you have overgrown grass in your lawn (interlink to overgrown grass article), it is recommended that you use a string trimmer to cut the excess grass height before using a mower to achieve an even cut. 

The robust string of an electric string trimmer or cordless string trimmer and corded trimmers can cut through a wide variety of materials, and more string comes out of the spool as it wears away. 

You can also manually advance the string if the trimmer you buy didn’t come with an AFS (automatic feed spool system). 

Speaking of the string, it is available in many weights and designs, where the heavier lines are more suitable for heavy-duty tasks. 

string trimmer

Types of String Trimmers 

There are 3 types of string trimmers:

  • Gas-powered string trimmers, 
  • Corded electric string trimmers, 
  • Cordless electric-powered trimmers.

Gas string trimmers generally have two-cycle engines and are often more powerful that cordless or corded weed whackers. 

They are a great choice for large lawns and some models come with a four-cycle engine, which allows them to run quieter and more smoothly. 

On the flip side, gas trimmers are heavier than 2-cycle gas trimmers but on a brighter note do not require you to mix oil and gas. 

Both corded and cordless electric lawn trimmers are lightweight compared to gas trimmers and are considered best for small to medium size yards. 

How to Use a Lawn Trimmer? 

  1. Before using a weed whacker, make sure you’re wearing safety gloves, eyewear, and long clothing. Adding to this, clear any major obstructions such as rocks and debris out of the way. 
  2. Since manufacturer instructions vary, read the owner’s manual that came with your model for proper use.
  3. If you’re going to be tackling longer grass and weeds, power on the string trimmer, and work the tool in a U-shape until the grass is at your desired level and/or the weeds are eliminated. 
  4. Remember, the trimmer line can wear out or break down over time, so you’ll need to replace the string after a period of use. 
lawn trimmer

2 Best Trimmers 

Worx String Trimmer

Worx String Trimmer

The Worx string grass and edge trimmer is a multifaceted tool that can be converted from a string trimmer to an in-line wheeled edger and a mini-mower. 

It features a proprietary command feed system, which continuously feeds the line, so you won’t have to pause your work. 

The Power Share battery of the Worx string trimmer is compatible with over 75 20V, 40V, and 80V power tools from the Worx lineup. 

The motor of the Worx string trimmer runs at 7600 revolutions per minute, making it easy to cut through tough grass and weeds. 

This Worx tool offers 7 handle adjustments and 6 rotating trimmer head settings to choose from and is fitted with 2 rubberized wheels for straighter edging and mowing. 

Deal
Worx WG170.2 20V Power Share GT Revolution 12' Cordless String...
8,017 Reviews
Worx WG170.2 20V Power Share GT Revolution 12" Cordless String...
  • [3-TOOLS-IN-1] Easily transforms from a precision string trimmer, into a powerful in-line wheeled edger, into a nimble mini-mower
  • [AUTOMATIC FRESH LINE] Proprietary Command Feed tech lets you add more line as needed, just by pushing a button, so you don’t have to stop and can get the job done quicker
  • [SAME BATTERY, EXPANDABLE POWER] The same battery powers over 75 plus 20V, 40V, and 80V lifestyle, garden, and power tools in the Power Share family

Affiliate links and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on: 2023-01-30


Black + Decker String Trimmer 

Black + Decker String Trimmer 

The Black + Decker string trimmer features an automatic spool system, which eliminates bumping and provides hassle-free line feeding. 

It comes with a 6.5 amp motor complete with a Powerdrive transmission for optimal performance.

Furthermore, the Black + Decker trimmer/edger combo boasts a lightweight design and comes with a cord retention system that prevents accidental power cord disconnection. 

Deal
BLACK+DECKER String Trimmer with Auto Feed, Electric, 6.5-Amp,...
12,268 Reviews
BLACK+DECKER String Trimmer with Auto Feed, Electric, 6.5-Amp,...
  • Automatic Feed Spool (AFS) technology of the edger/trimmer eliminates bumping for hassle-free line feeding that helps you work without interruptions
  • The 6.5 amp motor and POWERDRIVE Transmission of the grass cutter provide maximum performance when trimming through the toughest weeds, grass, and overgrowth
  • 2-in-1 trimmer/edger with wheeled edge guide - just rotate to convert from lawn trimmer to wheeled edger

Affiliate links and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on: 2023-01-30


See also my guide on the Best Commercial Weed Eaters


When to Use an Edger? 

An edger can be used to trim grass at the edge of your lawn and to create neat boundaries between flower beds, walkways, and driveways. 

Edgers are used for purely aesthetic purposes and work well to eliminate scraggly grass overhanging the driveway, resulting in a neat line dividing lawn and concrete. 

When to Use a Lawn Trimmer? 

A trimmer is basically a sleek version of a mower and is used to trim grass in areas that are hard to reach.

This tool is also ideal for trimming overgrown grass before running your lawnmower. By using both a string trimmer and lawnmower, it’s much easier to keep your lawn in shape. 


FAQs

Q. Can I Use a String Trimmer as an Edger? 

A. You can use a string trimmer as an edger, but I prefer to use two different tools for each task. However, if you’re looking to save money by buying two separate tools, check out my article on the best lawn trimmer and edger combos

That said, here’s how to use your lawn trimmer as an edger. 

  • Hold your weed whacker at a 90-degree angle so that the line spins in a top to bottom direction.
  • Lower the trimmer until the spinning string is in contact with soil and grass along the edge of your walkway or driveway
  • Make sure the line is spinning away from you to avoid flying debris from hitting you

Q. What is the Best Way to Edge Your Lawn? 

A. You can edge your lawn with manual or automated tools. But before getting started, it’s important to decide on the shape of the lawn, because altering the shape of your lawn can dramatically change the look and feel of your turf. 

Next, mark out the lines to follow by using a string stretched between two cane for straight lines. If you’re creating circles tie a string to a stake in the ground at the center point and walk around it. 

After you’ve created the edges, make sure you maintain them by trimming regularly owing to grass growth. 

The best time to edge a lawn is in the spring, as this is the time when the grass is growing steadily, and the soil is soft enough to cut into. 

You can also edge your lawn without an edger by using a clean, sharp, straight spade, but going this route will have you break a sweat. 

Q. What is the Difference Between a Lawn Edger and a Weed Whacker? 

A. A lawn edger and weed whacker are two different tools and are designed to perform different tasks. A weed whacker can both trim tall grass and cut weeds, and a lawn edger cuts overgrown grass to create boundary lines. 

A lawn edger is fitted with a steel blade whereas a weed whacker with a tough nylon string. 

Q. Is an Electric or Gas-Powered String Trimmer Better for Edging?

A. Electric and gas-powered string trimmers are good for edging, but gas-powered models tend to be more powerful than most electric models. 

However, gas-powered models require maintenance and are noisier than electric string trimmers. 

Q. Should you Use an Edger Before Mowing?

A. Some people prefer to edge first while others mow the lawn before edging. Edging first has some benefits if you have a well-manicured lawn that is mowed regularly.

The nice line created by the edger will be perfect for the mower to finish along, ensuring that you get the right grass height. But go with whatever gives you the best results. 


Final Thoughts 

Edgers and string trimmers are two separate tools to help you keep your lawn neat and tidy. You can use a lawn trimmer as an edger, but it probably won’t provide you with the desirable results. 

You can even edge a lawn without an edger but it will take a while to get the job done. There are several different edgers and trimmers available and even trimmer and edger combos, which save you from buying and storing two different tools.