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Edge Your Landscape with a Power Lawn Edger

A power lawn edger creates a professional, sharp edge around sidewalks, driveways, gardens and other landscape features.

power edger

Tools & Materials

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Selecting a Power Lawn Edger

Select a power lawn edger that will best handle the type of work you'll be doing.

Electric-powered edgers are easy to start and don't require as much maintenance as gas-powered models. Cordless edgers offer easy mobility for smaller jobs. Corded edgers offer unlimited run time and require a suitable extension cord. Follow the edger manufacturer's instructions for selecting compatible extension cords. See Power Cord Safety Tips.

Gas-powered edgers provide power for large jobs and prolonged use. Models with 2-cycle engines run on a gasoline / oil mixture. Edgers with 4-cycle engines are usually larger and have more power. They don't require you to mix gasoline and oil. Gasoline lawn edgers crank with a pull-start. Some models have a built-in electric starter, while others can crank with the use of an optional, powered starting device that you purchase separately.

Power lawn edgers cut using either a blade, a cutting wheel or, in the case of a string trimmer / edger device, a monofilament line.

The blade on a power lawn edger can throw objects. Make sure the safety guards are in place and that everyone stands back when the edger is running. Be especially sure that children and pets aren’t near the work area. Keep the blade from making contact with concrete, asphalt, rocks or utility lines, such as landscape lighting wires.

Features and Specifications

Some features to look for on a power lawn edger include:

  • A handle-mounted depth control for added convenience
  • A curb wheel that adjusts for stability when edging along raised curbs or beds
  • A bevel adjustment to change the angle of the cut and give an angled edge to beds and gardens
  • An electric start feature on some gas-powered models to offer easy cranking
Good to Know

Some power lawn edgers include a trenching blade that makes burying electrical lines or sprinkler lines much easier. If equipped, follow the manufacturer’s directions for installing and using the trenching blade.

Power Lawn Edger Operation

Edging doesn't have to be done weekly – every other week is typically enough. These steps outline using a gas-powered lawn edger. Modify them as needed for an electric-powered model. All edgers work similarly, depending on options, but follow the operating instructions for your specific model.

Step 1

Position the lawn edger near your starting point. To get an even cut, run the wheels of the edger on the concrete (or other smooth surface) side of your edging project whenever possible. Where there is no hard surface, you can run the wheels on grass or planting beds.

Step 2

Set the depth control at "Start" or at the shallowest setting (follow the manufacturer’s directions).

  • Clay or hard-packed soil requires a shallow setting.
  • For longer turf or thick, warm-weather grasses, start with a shallow setting and repeat with a deeper setting. This can help slow or stop regrowth in the grass roots.
  • If you need to edge along a raised curb or bed and the lawn edger includes a curb wheel, turn off the machine and lower the curb wheel so it makes contact with the curb.

Before making any adjustments to a power lawn edger, first turn off the engine. Make the adjustment, then restart the engine and resume cutting.  Always follow the device manufacturer's operating, maintenance and safety instructions, including instructions on safety gear.

Step 3

Start the edger according to the manufacturer's directions. On some edgers, you have to squeeze the blade control while starting the engine and to keep it running.

Step 4

Slowly cut into the grass and work along the path, moving the machine back and forth.

  • Keep the blade close to, but not touching, any concrete, curb or patio you're edging along.
  • If the edger has a bevel adjustment, you can trim the lawn edge at an angle (bevel edging).

Step 5

After cutting a line, adjust to a deeper setting, and go over the edge again. Move slowly, letting the machine do the work.

Step 6

To stop the machine, release the blade control handle or press the "Stop" button, depending on the model. Manufacturers of some gas-powered models instruct you to let the engine idle to cool down before turning it off.

Power Lawn Edger Care and Maintenance

Before storing your edger, make sure you let it cool off. Use a brush to remove any clippings and debris. Don't spray the unit with water or other cleaners, as these may damage it. Store your lawn edger somewhere dry and out of reach of children, pets and possible damage.

Maintenance is an important part of keeping your lawn edger cutting, so check your owner’s manual for the maintenance schedule. Typical items include:

  • Checking the condition of the line, blade or cutting wheel before every use. Replace as needed.
  • Checking and cleaning, re-oiling or replacing the air filter as indicated.

Additional maintenance items for gas-powered edgers include:

  • Filling the fuel tank and checking the oil (4-cycle engine) before every use.
  • Changing the oil (4-cycle engine) as indicated.
  • Cleaning the spark plug arrestor as indicated.
  • Checking the spark plug condition and verifying the gap as indicated.