Grass Trimmer cutting grass edge

What exactly is the difference between edging and strimming your lawn? How do these two tools differ, and can a string trimmer (grass trimmer) be used as an edging tool?

First up, let’s look at these two different gardening devices and their purpose.

What is a Lawn Edger?

An edging tool is designed to help you maintain the edges along the boundary of your lawn. Once you’ve mown, you’ll be left with some straggly stray blades of grass that you just can’t get to with a lawnmower.

This tool uses a vertical spinning blade that neatens and cuts off those overhanging bits of grass and really tidies up the appearance of your lawn and beds.

You’ll find both manual and motorised versions on the market and whilst the motorised edges are more expensive, they’re going to save you plenty of time, particularly if you have a large area to cover.

Can I trim my lawn using an edger?

The simple answer is no. The vertical blade of an edger is going to get in the way, or at worst, damage the grass in those little spots you need to get to with a lawn trimmer. Your lawn edging tool has one use – edging!

What is a Grass Trimmer (String Trimmer)?

Grass Trimmer cutting grass

The trimmer has a different use. Once you’ve cut down your grass, there are going to be little areas around trees, garden walls, and other obstacles that your lawnmower can’t effectively reach.

These are great for getting rid of those stinging nettles that grow around tree trunks or get right up close to your garden bench or heavy stone statue.

The lawn trimmer has a horizontal string that rotates at high-speed and can cut weeds or grass right down to the level of your lawn. The string makes it flexible and perfect for difficult to reach places.

String trimmers are powered both by electric or petrol. If electric, ideally you’re going to want to invest in a cordless, battery-powered grass trimmer to give you the freedom to walk around your garden.

Electric trimmers tend to be smaller and lighter, whilst the petrol versions are heavier but usually have a strap to help your full body take the weight of the machine. If your surface area is large, then your petrol tank will allow you to spend longer working on the final touches of your garden. They also pack more power than electric versions.

Can I edge my lawn using a trimmer?

Trimmers are a little more flexible than edgers as you can move them around to cut sideways into difficult areas and the strings are flexible, rather than the ridged edging tool blade. So, can you edge with a trimmer? Yes, let’s take a look how…

How to edge your garden with a trimmer:

A summer garden scene

By now we’ve established that the trimmer works with a horizontal flexible string – not ideal for edging vertically, but it can be done.

  1. Pop on some safety glasses as we don’t want debris flying upwards towards your face.
  2. Hold the trimmer at a 90-degree angle so that the spinning string is now top to bottom or vertical.
  3. Lower the string along your boundary edge and slowly make contact with the stray grass, moving the trimmer back and forth along the line.

It may take some time to get used to it but you can effectively create beautiful edges by using your trimmer. Or invest in both tools… the choice is yours!

Why not take a look at our range of trimmers and find out what works best for you and your garden space? We’ve got a wide range, so you’ll find the perfect trimmer for you:

After all, a grass trimmer can tidy up the edging of your lawn, but an edger can’t! So, grass trimmers win this battle.