String Trimmer vs Edger

There is actually quite a lot of confusion as to the difference between a string trimmer and a lawn edger. The reason for this stems from the fact that many string trimmers are described as having edging capability. And, to a certain degree they do, but what they do not have is the ability to produce the same results as a lawn edger.

Let’s look at this string trimmer vs lawn edger debate in more detail.

What is a String Trimmer?

We are all familiar with the string trimmer, also known as a weed wacker or weed eater. In simple terms it is a tool with a motorized, spinning nylon string on the end of a shaft. It’s main purpose is to cut back weeds or grass in uneven terrain.

Trimmers are either electric, both corded and cordless, or gas powered. Since the introduction of the small and lightweight lithium ion battery most domestic machines are the battery powered cordless weed eater. The gas powered versions are larger and more powerful and are used in more rugged terrain than is found in the average backyard.

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String trimmers are frequently used to cut back grass on the edge of lawns that have become somewhat overgrown. They do not create a lawn edge, but they are useful for tidying up untidy growth on an existing lawn edge. In order to achieve this many of the cordless weed eaters have a rotating head which rotates the nylon blade from a horizontal position to a vertical one, enabling the cutting of grass on the lawn edge to be more straightforward.

What is a Lawn Edger?

A lawn edger is a tool used to cut a the lawn edge cleanly. The edger actually cuts through both the grass and the turf to create a very clean line.

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There are two types of edger, a manual edger and a powered edger. The manual edger is a simple semi-circular shaped spade that you use to cut through the turf on the edge of your lawn section by section. Getting a clean line is very much down to the skill of the worker.

The more recent lawn edger is a powered machine consisting of a rotating metal blade next to a guiding wheel on the end of a shaft. The wheel keeps the blade stable and in line with the edge of the lawn, while the blade spins and cuts through the turf creating that lovely lawn edge we all prefer.

Most lawn edgers are electric powered, although the more powerful gas models are still available. And power is a factor. If the edger is not powerful enough it will struggle to deliver the clean cut through the turf that you are looking for.

The Differences

Hopefully, you understand the differences already.

The lawn edger is used to create a clean edge to a lawn. This trims back untidy grass, but also cuts through the turf giving a neat, straight edge. In short, it actually creates the lawn edge for you.

The trimmer on the other hand cuts organic material back and not the turf itself. It is used to cut the grass that overhangs the lawn edge, but is no use in creating a neat edge in the first instance.

Which Tool Should You Use?

We recommend owning and using both. As has been noted, they really do different jobs. You can purchase a good quality tool of each kind for less that $100 each. Not a high cost to doing the job right.

If you need to create a neat edge on your lawn then there really is no other tool that will do the job as well as a powered lawn edger. The sharp blade cuts through the turf to create that straight edge that is so pleasing to the eye.

Every gardener should own a weed eater. They are essential in almost all gardens, perfect for clearing up weeds in areas of your garden that your mower would struggle and dealing with annoying weeds in other areas.

Summing Up

A lawn edger is a relatively specialized tool designed to create a clean neat edge to your garden lawn. No other tool does this job as well and certainly not the string trimmer.

A string trimmer on the other hand is a far more versatile tool that can cut back grass and weeds in any number of awkward locations, including on a lawn edge.

Far from being rivals these two tools actually complement each other and once seen in that light it makes sense to own one of each.

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