There are many types of lawn edging tools available, and each type is designed to accomplish a specific task. This article discusses the different categories of lawn edging tools, so you can decide which one will work best for your needs.
Style of lawn edging tools
Edgers have spikes or knives (depending on the type of edger) that cut into the soil and create a sharp edge along a row of grass. You can use edgers to tackle big jobs, such as cutting back excess growth around flower beds or mowing borders, as well as small tasks, such as outlining a sidewalk or driveway.
- Edger advantages
An edger creates the crispest edge of all lawn edging tools because it cuts through the soil, creating a scar that grass will not grow over easily.
If you have areas where grass and weeds grow over hard surfaces such as concrete sidewalks or driveways, an edger is your best option. If you use a spacer to confine the edger, it also can create an attractive edge along flower beds and other grassy areas.
- Edger disadvantages
Because edgers cut through soil, this type of edge tends to collect grass clippings and can look messy if you are not diligent about cleaning it up. If you have a job that is particularly dirty, such as edging around a pool or walkway in town, an edger can be frustrating to use since it produces so much waste.
When using an edger to edge along sidewalks and driveways, you also need to think about your lawn mower blade. If you use the kind of edger that has a sharp blade, you will need to make sure that your mower can handle such a tough cutting edge.
A nipper (also called trimming shears) is used to create an even edge along grassy areas. Some models also can be used for weed control and pruning jobs. In most cases, a nipper can be used for the same tasks as an edger and vice versa.
- Nipper advantages
This type of lawn edger is small and lightweight, which makes it convenient for working in tight areas or on a slope. Also, because they are manual, there is no need for an electric engine or other motorized device to power them.
If you are trimming grass and have little or no edging to do, this type of edger is an inexpensive option.
- Nipper disadvantages
These lawn edging tools work better for cutting grass than tougher weeds and plants. Also, they can be used only for the straight edge of a flower bed border if you use a spacer to guide the shears.
If you have weeds and grasses growing over hard surfaces, such as concrete or brick walkways, an edger will be a better choice than a nipper for cutting grass along these areas. A nipper will not cut through soil but instead uses blades to push back vegetation that is growing next to solid surfaces.
Wooden Log Edging
This type of edging is referred to as a wooden log edger. These tools are used for creating the edge of borders where you want an attractive wood-featured border.
- Wooden Log Edger advantages
These lawn edging tools are a good choice if you plan to use your garden area for both planting and entertaining. Guests will enjoy walking or sitting on the wooden logs and will be impressed by your attention to detail.
- Wooden Log Edger disadvantages
Because this type of border typically is used with wooden furniture, you need to plan carefully so that the log pieces are not too close together or too far apart. Also, you need a lot of wood for creating the border.
Recycled Plastic Lawn Edging
This type of edging is usually made with a long piece of rope that can be wrapped around the perimeter of any area where you want a border.
- Rope Edging advantages
If you don't want to create flower beds or borders, but you do like the look of an edge separating your grass from sidewalks and driveways, a rope edger is the perfect compromise. This type of lawn edging also can be effective for delineating the edge between grass and flower beds if you are careful to keep it in line.
- Rope Edging disadvantages
To make this type of landscaping tool look attractive, you need to spend time curving and tying each end of the rope. You also must make sure that the rope is long enough to complete all of your edging, or you will need several pieces.
Landscaping Fabric Edging
This product is a fabric that is rolled out on the ground to provide the edge of flower beds and borders.
If you are creating a border for your grass or just want to line a sidewalk or driveway, this type of lawn edging can be pretty easy to use. You simply unroll it and push it into the ground along the area you want to edge or border.
This type of lawn edging does not look very attractive and is hard to keep straight. If you use this product, make sure that you are prepared to replace it every few years because it will deteriorate just as a mulch material would.
Rubber Landscaping Edging
This type of lawn edging is used for both flower beds and borders.
These strong, flexible edging tools are ideal if you want to have a natural-looking border with grass poking up between the rubber tabs. Rubber landscaping edging also can be used around trees and shrubs because adding mulch will help the edging blend in and keep it from moving.
The rubber tabs will break if you roll a lawn mower or heavy wheeled equipment over them, so they are not as effective around driveways and roadways as other types of lawn edging products. However, this type of border does look nice around recreational facilities such as tennis courts.
Garden Stakes Lawn Edging
This type of lawn edging is similar to rope, but it has much sharper points that puncture through the grass and into the soil. These points then can be secured in place with stakes. If you are creating a flower bed with grass around it, the stakes should be closer together than if you are creating flower beds without grass.
You can create very masculine borders using this type of lawn edging. Gardeners also like these tools because they can use them to mark out their work areas in any shape or size that they want.
Like other forms of lawn edging, garden stakes are not very attractive. Lawn and garden experts also say that you have to be careful with this type of product because it is easy to over-puncture the grass or flower bed with the points on these lawn edging tools.
Types of lawn edging tools
Lawn Edging Barrier
The type of lawn edging barrier that most landscapers use is the grass or masonry barrier. This type of edging can be used in areas where you want to create a border between two different types of ground cover. Due to their hard surface, they do not hold up well under intense foot traffic and therefore are limited as to how far they can extend from the hard surface of a house.
The benefit of a lawn edging barrier is that it offers a firm and impenetrable border between grass and mulch, or grass and flowerbeds. They can also be used in conjunction with masonry walls, which makes them ideal for landscapers who want to make sure that the edges of their flower or grass beds are well defined.
Traditional Manual Tools
A manual lawn edging tool is a long thin blade that you use to press into the soil in order to make hard lines. This type of lawn edging tool is very similar to what landscapers are using when they create flower bed borders. The main difference is that the manual lawn edging tool has a more exaggerated blade, which makes it easier to cut through mulch or sod.
The manual lawn edging tools are great for landscapers who have low-maintenance flower beds. They can be used with any type of flower bed as long as there will not be too much foot traffic that will cause the soil to be kicked up. The major benefit of this type is that it is not very expensive, and can be stored with ease when not in use.
Electric Lawn Edging Tools
Electric lawn edging tools are very similar to a manual lawn edging tool, but instead have an electric motor that is operated by a power cord. The motor makes it easier for the landscaper to create crisp lines and edges on their flower or grass beds. Electric lawn edging tools come in all different sizes, from small handheld models to large professional models that are more heavy-duty.
The main benefit of this type of lawn edging tool is that an electric motor makes it easier for the professional landscapers to create a very precise and hard line, which they could not do with a manual lawn edging tool in the same amount of time.
Chemical Lawn Edging Tools
Chemical lawn edging tools are used by professionals who need a fast and easy way to create borders between grass and mulch or flowerbeds. The tool has a chemical that is heated up by the power of electricity, which then turns into vapor and travels through small tubes out to the blade on the tool.
The product then hardens and makes a line on the ground. This type of lawn edging requires very little skill, and is used by landscapers who are in a hurry to get their job done.
Chemical lawn edging tools can be used with any type of mulch or flowerbed, as long as there will not be too much foot traffic that creates ruts and other irregularities in the ground.
Gasoline Lawn Edging Tools
Gasoline lawn edging tools are used by professionals who need to create a lot of different lines at once. The gasoline lawn edging tool is filled with gas, and then used in the same way as an electric model.
The difference between this type of lawn edging tool and a chemical one is that it takes longer for the line to be created, and that the tool is limited to how many lines it can create before it needs to be filled up with gas again.
The benefit of using this type of lawn edging tool is that you can run over the same line multiple times in order to make sure that it is properly defined.
Gasoline lawn edging tools are generally used by professionals in the lawn-maintenance industry who know how to properly use them. If you are a professional who wants to buy one of these tools, it is important that you take proper safety measures when filling the tank and using the tool.
- Plastic: this is a common and popular material for the handles. As with all plastics they have the advantage of being light, but also very tough.
- Metal: this is used in manual edging tools as it is easy to sharpen and sturdy enough to create a hard line in the soil. The disadvantage is that it will rust if left outside.
- Wood: this is a rare and interesting material. Whilst popular for garden stakes, the wood will not be strong enough to cut through soil with ease.
- Stainless steel: this can be used in any of the above forms of lawn edging tool, but it does come at a high price point.
- Rubber: this material is very common in handles of smaller, handheld models as they need to be comfortable when being held for long periods.
Is there such a thing as an automatic lawn edging tool?
No, this is not an actual type of lawn edging tool. It is a term that has come about due to the popularity of electrical powered lawn tools.
What is the best lawn edging tool?
This depends on your individual needs and preferences. If you are looking for something small and lightweight, then a smaller handheld model will be best suited to your needs.
However, if you need something that is going to last for years and be able to make very harsh lines through tough soil, then a more professional model is better suited for your needs.
Does gasoline lawn edging burn?
Gasoline is commonly used in chemical lawn edging tools but it can combust if mishandled or left unattended. The best protection against fire is to store the cans as far away from the work area as possible, and take regular breaks so that you will be alert in case of any fires.
When should I use a chemical lawn edging tool?
If you are looking for a very defined line with no grass for several weeks, this is the best tool to use. However, if you have plants or grass that you want to protect from being accidentally removed during the process, it may be better to use an alternative form of lawn edging tool.
Lawn edging tools can be a daunting task to landscape a lawn. The most important thing to do is to ensure that whatever you choose will work with your lifestyle and your needs. Many of these tools, such as spikes or the string trimmer method are considered temporary, and merely serve just as a guide until you have time or passion to do more permanent edging.
However, if you are looking for a quick fix that will allow you to get your yard work done quickly, then any of the above methods might be right up your alley!