Lawn Edger Vs. Trimmer: Basic Differences and Comparison

For every well-curated and decorated lawn you see, there is a lot of hard work that goes on behind the scenes. Indeed, it is not easy to maintain a lawn, especially if you don’t have the right tools at your disposal.

Lawn Edgers and Trimmers are some of the common tools you have probably heard of. They are both essential tools designed to help you with landscaping, but they have quite a few differences.

This article will compare these two tools and discuss the differences between edger vs. trimmer.

Lawn Edger: A Brief Overview

lawn edger

Before delving more into the differences and a comparative study of the two tools, let us guide you through the details of each tool, to understand them better.

Edge trimmer or lawn edger is a garden tool used to curate and landscape your lawn. More specifically, its job is to create boundaries or edges within the lawn.

As the name suggests, it allows you to define edges within your lawn and create distinctions around pathways, sidewalks, and other edges.

The lawn edger essentially creates a distinct separation within the lawn, wherever you want it.

Lawn Edgers can be of a few types. They can be manual or motorized. Again, manual lawn edgers can be spade-based, roller-based, etc. Motorized lawn edgers can be single or multi-wheel purpose designed.

Trimmer: A Brief Overview

lawn trimmer

Trimmer, also commonly known as string trimmer or line trimmer, is another popular landscaping tool. Sling trimmers are widely used to cut the grass close to certain obstacles, such as trees, homes, walkways, pillars, etc.

Trimmers use a spinning line in their mechanism to cut the grass. The question may arise; why should I use a trimmer if I can just use my bigger lawnmower to chop off the grass?

Well, large mowers are great for landscaping large areas, but they aren’t so great at giving that finishing touch. You can’t use the larger mowers to prune the edges, the nooks, and crannies.

As a result, your lawn may end up looking unfinished.

The string trimmer allows you to reach the difficult to reach areas and be more flexible overall while maintaining your lawn. String trimmers come in different variants too, namely gas trimmer or electric trimmer.

There are key advantages to each type.

Differences Between Edger And Trimmer

edger vs. trimmer

From what we know so far, it may seem to you that edgers and trimmers are quite similar devices that fulfill a similar purpose; mowing the lawn.

That answer is, however, a bit generalized.

There are quite a few areas where these two tools are similar and other areas where they differ.

Here are some areas of comparison between lawn edgers and string trimmers, marked by similarities and differences.

  • Design Perspective

At first sight, lawn edgers and string trimmers actually look surprisingly similar. They are both about five feet in length.

They are elongated in shape with intricate machinery and handling peripherals attached.

The differences start with the mechanism. While they both essentially cut grass, edgers do so by using a vertical spinning blade.

The edger itself, be it motorized or manual, cut through the grass using the motorized spinning blade.

On the other hand, string trimmers have a string or line made out of flexible non-filament. There is a horizontal rotating head attached to the end, which is different from that of an edger.

Generally, though, edgers and trimmers both look pretty similar from the get go and are of similar size as well.

You have to be aware of the key differences in mechanism to spot the exact differences and identify which is which.

  • Different Purposes

This is where the similarities and differences both get much more stark. As you already know by now, an edger and a trimmer are both garden or lawn landscaping tools.

But they can’t be built for the same purpose, right?

While edgers and string trimmers are both used commonly to groom the difficult to reach parts of the lawn, they do different things in a different way.

If what you are intending to do is create a boundary in your lawn or define the borders or edges connecting the lawn to a sidewalk, building, or even asphalt, then what you need is an edger.

An edger is designed to cut the edges of the lawn. This assumes that there are no clearly defined borders on the lawn already.

The edger allows you to mark those borders or boundaries.

The edger also comes in very handy when you are gardening. Ideally, you want to separate the plant beds from the rest of the lawn for aesthetic and practical purposes.

A lawn edger helps you achieve just that!

On the flip side, we have the string trimmer. It may appear quite similar to the edger. What it excels at is maintaining the boundaries or borders you created using the edger.

String trimmers are highly mobile and can reach the grass in difficult places. That makes it absolutely ideal for the job of garden maintenance.

The difference that sets it apart from edgers is that trimmers are made out of flexible non-filament lines.

This allows you to reach the nooks and crannies of your lawn, including the edges around the sidewalk, your house, trees, etc.

As you can probably tell, the key difference in functionality between edger and trimmer is that an edger creates the boundaries; the trimmer attempts to maintain those boundaries.

  • Price and Other Factors

Once you take into account the design, purpose, and functionalities, the majority of the differences are already accounted for.

But even still, there are intangible factors that do account for some key differentiating points.

Firstly, edgers can come in different varieties. They can be motorized or manual. The manual lawn edgers work in a similar way to spades. They are obviously cheaper, but also more difficult to use.

Especially if your lawn is on the bigger side, it could be very difficult to maintain and prune the edges with a manually operated edger.

Motorized edgers are usually the better option if you can shell out the money. On the flip side, we can find a wide variety of string trimmers too, from gas-powered to electrical.

The cordless electric string trimmers are usually the best option for convenience and maneuverability, but they cost more too.

As for differences in price, the kind of edger or trimmer you plan to buy will determine how much you have to spend.

The baseline edge and trimmer cost about the same, around the fifty dollar mark. So price differences are negligible.

Considering intangibles, there are more similarities than dissimilarities. You can buy both of these tools from any outdoor lifestyle or gardening retailer, and they will cost roughly the same.

An edger and a trimmer are also pretty similar to operate. They both have grab handles and the functional end, which cuts the grass, allowing you to reach tricky areas.

Now, watch this video for better understanding their differences.

Trimmer Vs. Edger: Which One To Buy?

By now, we have already glossed over the key characteristics of edgers and trimmers, compared and differentiated their key features.

Then comes the difficult and perhaps confusing part; which one should you get? Should you get both? Let’s find out.

While it is true that both of these tools are made for defining and curating your lawn, they are not always alternatives. In fact, they work well in conjunction.

Having both a lawn edger and a string trimmer allows you a lot of flexibility in your gardening work. You can define the new edges, boundaries and create lines using the edger. And after that, you can maintain those borders by using the trimmer.

In that sense, they work as complementary tools. If you have both, it means that you can maintain your lawn with maximum flexibility.

That being said, your budget may not permit you to purchase both of these tools. In that case, what should you do?

In case you can only get one, we would recommend you to buy a string trimmer. What the edger accomplishes is defining the edges or boundaries perfectly.

While the trimmer is designed to primarily cut grass in hard-to-reach places and maintain the lines or borders created by the edger, with some adjustments, it can be used as the edger.

As a string trimmer can accomplish its own specialized role and serve as a makeshift edger, we recommend you pick a string trimmer with your desired features.

However, buying both an edger and a trimmer for designated purposes is still the most ideal case.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is an edger better than a trimmer?

Yes, edger is better than a trimmer when you need great edge in less time and effort. But if you need to trim around your lawn where your mower can’t reach, a trimmer will work better.

Can I use a trimmer as an edger?

Yes, you can use a trimmer as an edger to have a great landscape look. But you won’t get the same satisfaction of using an edger.

Do you really need an edger?

When you need to give your yard a new look adding new features, an edger is a must-have tool. It gives your yard a clean and well-defined line at the grass edges.

How much does an edger cost?

An electric edger will cost you less than $100 but a gas edger will cost you $200+.

How can I edge my lawn without an edger?

Mow your lawn very low to the ground and install permanent lawn edging made of rubber or steel. Alternatively, you can make trench first then lay down some lawn edging pavers too.

Final Thoughts

Gardening and landscaping are arduous tasks. Having the right tools can boost your efficiency several fold.

Properly doing the job of landscaping by trimming and defining can make your lawn look a lot better.

The differences and similarities and the choice between edger vs. trimmer can be quite challenging for a lot of people.

We hope this article will guide you through all the necessary information, identify what is what, and make the right choice for your needs.

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