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The Lawn Guide
Lawn Edgers
Mow Master Professional Lawn Edgers
photo courtesy of Mow Master

What Are Lawn Edgers

A lawn edger is an engine powered machine which has a vertical spinning metal blade which is used to trim the edges of lawns and pathways. A lawn edger is responsible for producing those beautiful trimmed lines along the edges of the turf.

While some people, including contractors will use a whipper snipper to trim edges, the results can often be messy, and can never compete with the perfect trimming of a lawn edging machine. There simply is no other method to obtain a beautiful lawn's edging like a blade lawn edger can.


What Should A Lawn Edger Be Used For

Lawn edgers can be used for the following purposes:

  • To cut and trim overgrowing lawns along pathways
  • To cut and trim overgrowing lawns around garden beds
  • To give our lawns a beautiful and professional finish

If we grow soft ground covers which creep over onto lawns or pathways, then a lawn edger can be used in much the same way on these soft low lying plants as they are used on lawns.

Just be sure not to try and trim any type of plants with a woody stem which could damage the edger or cause personal injury, or plants that have strappy leaves which will become entangled into the blade mechanism. The soft leaf plants we are talking about are plants like Dichondra.


Lawn Edger Types

There are two main types of lawn edgers to choose from, and the one for each person to choose will be entirely up to them, with considerations such as preference for one type over another, as well as pricing coming into consideration.


Single Wheel Edgers
These lawn edgers will be like those manufactured and sold by Atom Lawn Edgers. They have a single wheel, a very light engine, and are very easy to manoeuvre. I can't give a review on these types of lawn edgers as I have not used one. However, from discussions with professional contractors who do use these edger types, these good men and women are very happy with their use, productivity and functionality.


Multi Wheel Edgers
These lawn edgers generally have three or more wheels and stand up on their own, which is in contrast to the Single Wheel Edgers. Due to their multiple wheel configuration they are very stable when edging along pathways and garden beds. However, for tighter circles the lawn edger will need to be lifted up at the back end so the edger is balancing on it's front wheel only. While this balancing may sound difficult, it is not, perhaps a little practice and caution would be necessary for the novice. Multi wheel edgers also have bigger engines and weigh more than single wheel edgers.While there are lots of cheap Chinese versions of these machines, we believe homeowners would do best to purchase a quality better quality brand.


Professional Multi Wheel Edger
These lawn edgers are far more solid than similar domestic models. they have pneumatic tyres, ball bearing wheels, and a standard 4hp engine which is powerful enough to rip through overgrown grass with ease. While these machines are probably not economical enough for the homeowner to justify, many professional contractors couldn't do their work without one.


Height Adjustment and Depth of Cut

All lawn edger machines will have a height adjustment mechanism which adjusts the depth of cut. As the blade of the edger begins to wear down, it will be necessary to lower the blade to get the same depth of cut.

The depth along garden beds needs to be deep enough to trim away overgrowing turf and give a clean finish. Garden beds will need to be trimmed at a lower depth than along pathways - often 4 - 8 cm dependent on garden bed structure and thatch build up of the lawn.

Pathways only need to be trimmed just enough to give a clean finish and cut away overgrowing lawn. A depth of around 1 cm is usually sufficient to do this.


Be sure to also see our article on Lawn Edger Safety


How Deep Should Lawn Edges Be Cut

This is another area of lawn edger use which does come with experience, and is easy enough to get used to the right feel of how deep our lawn edging cuts need to be.

Along pathways - the depth should be very shallow, somewhere around a centimetre deep is more than an adequate depth to get a clean crisp finish.

Along garden beds - the depth of lawn edger cut will always be a little deeper along garden beds where the garden meets the lawn. This is because many garden beds will have a slight trench at this same area, so that the edge of the turf is often exposed down past its thatch layer. The best way to edge along garden beds then is to go just deep enough so that a sharp edge on the lawn can be distinguished all the way past the thatch layer of the turf. This gives a beautiful lawn and garden edge.





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