Photo of Manual lawn Edger

Do Manual Lawn Edgers Work?

When you first dip your toes into the fascinating world of home gardening, the fun and the awe at the possibilities usually overrides everything else. As you move towards more complex projects, though, seeing the “supplies list” can be daunting.

And for all the fun of gardening and grabbing the soil with your own hands, sometimes you will need to invest in a gardening tool that saves you time and effort.

Lawn edgers present a common dilemma, as there are many different types and mechanisms available.

So do manual lawn edgers work? The answer is yes. A lot of it will depend on the type you get, and the quality of the model you choose. A lawn edger can simplify your garden maintenance a lot.

This will leave you with more time to devote to the other fun parts of the hobby.

What Are Manual Lawn Edgers?

A manual lawn edger is a sturdy, slightly pointed gardening tool used to create sharp, neat edges around your lawn. You can technically do this manually, or with the help of a small shovel and weed eater.

However, a lawn edger will save you a lot of time, allowing you to leave clean lines around a flower bed. It can also help you take to get rid of the overgrown patches that often grow next to your driveways and sidewalks.

Unlike a gas-fueled string trimmer, however, manual lawn edgers are safe and free of carbon emissions!

What Types of Manual Lawn Edgers Are There?

There are two main types of manual lawn edgers around. They both have their perks, so it will be up to you to decide which one will serve you best!

Step edgers

Step edgers are the simplest type of manual edgers. They consist of a wide, moon-shaped shaft, held together by a long handle.

At first glance, the steel shaft can make you confuse these tools with an oddly flat shovel. This is because the top of the shaft is usually a little thicker and very flat.

This is meant to let you step directly on it to push the edger through the grass.

Step edgers are easy to use for beginners, as they rely on a pretty basic move to cut along grass and weeds. Once you master it, it will also allow you to give the most precise finishing touches.

Rotary edgers

Rotary edgers are a little bit more complex than their step counterparts, to the point that they can look similar to string trimmers.

They have a similarly shaped handle, but instead of rapidly moving strings, a rotary edger will have a dual wheelset with protruding blades.

The idea here is that you should be able to roll a rotary edger alongside the desired edge of your lawn, creating a clear and fast divide.

When compared with step edgers, rotary manual edgers allow you to cover longer paths with less sweat. However, if your turf is thick or there are many rocks in the soil, they may get stuck.

What to Look For in a Manual Lawn Edger?

image of a man using a manual lawn edger in his garden


Gardening tools don’t have to be fancy to be durable. However, we understand it can be a bit hard to judge the quality of an unfamiliar product when shopping online.

To identify what makes an edger super, we have looked through a few dozens of edger reviews.

If you are shopping for a step edger, your priority is to find something that will make your muscle work less intense. For example, the Radius Garden 206 is an ergonomically designed step model.

It is made from a stainless steel shaft and a resin encased shaft, which keeps it sturdy and balanced – your wrists will thank you later!

If you are still getting started with gardening work, and need something manageable and light, try the Garden Weasel Edge Chopper instead.

This model has a slightly longer handle and a very flat, straight shaft. This will make it easier to carry and push.

Conversely, if you want a manual rotary edger, you won’t have to worry much about lightness, as most models nowadays include a wooden handle.

Instead, you will want a rust-resistant model like the AMES Dual Wheel Edger. This provides easy traction, which keeps the wheels from jamming.

Final Thoughts

Manual lawn edgers work great to simplify landscaping tasks. If you want to expand your flowerbed or experiment with an odd lawn design, these tools will allow you to draw visible shapes around your grass.

Don’t forget to give your tools as much love as your plants! Learn how to clean your garden tools properly here.

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