How to Use an Edger


You mowed the lawn and weeded your flower garden, but they just doesn’t have that polished, professionally manicured look. What do you do? Grab an edger!

There are many varieties of lawn edgers on the market. Some are manual and some are gas or electric powered. No matter what type of edger you use, all have one thing in common: They define landscaping and the edges of your lawn.

Things You'll Need

  • Edger
  • Leaf blower or broom

Use an Edger

Determine the area or areas that need to be edged. Some people save the worst for last; some save the easiest for last.

Prepare your edger. If your edger is electric, plug it in. If your edger is gas powered, gas it up. If you are using a manual edger, make sure the blade is fairly sharp so it can move freely in and out of sod. Ideally, the blade of your manual edger should be stainless steel and rust and weather resistant. Retro edgers have a disc blade, reminiscent of a pizza cutter, but with a much longer handle. You may have seen them, but not known what they were.

Choose the right edger and blade or end. If you have a large area that needs to be edged, you might want to opt for a gas or electric edger. If you need to work off some calories or just like doing things the old-fashioned way, a manual edger may be the way to go. If your edger comes with interchangeable ends, choose the end that fits the area you want to edge.

Begin edging. If the edger is gas or electric, hold the handle to guide the rotating blade end between the sod and the area that needs to be edged. Some people walk forward while edging, some walk backwards. Choose the direction that is easiest for you. Walk slowly and with measured steps. If you are using a manual edger with a foot pad, place your foot on the foot pad while holding the handle upright. With your heel slightly back, step forward, moving the handle to follow this motion. This is akin to walking forward. This motion will place a slice in the ground between the area you want edged and the sod—commonly called edging. This motion will also “cut” any long grass that is lying over your border, cement or landscaping. After you have made one complete slice, simultaneously lift the edger while keeping your foot on the foot pad. Move the edger ahead 1 blade length. Repeat the walking motion until you are finished with the area that needs edging.

When you are finished using the edger, make sure you have removed any sod or grass from the blade. Clean the area you just edged by either using a leaf blower or broom to remove any unsightly grass or sod particles.

Tips & Warnings

  • To get a more sharply defined look, tilt the blade of the edger while you move. This will “cut” your grass a little shorter and make edges even more pronounced.
  • Wear safety glasses when edging or using a leaf blower; they may save your sight. Be careful when handling edger blades; they are sharp.

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