Best edging tools to sharpen up your lawn

Here’s how to keep lawn edges looking sharp all year round.

Best lawn edging tools

by Natalie Corner |
Updated on

The best edging tools are a classic garden tool that are traditionally used as the summer draws to a close for a final tidy before the cold weather kicks in, but they can be useful year-round when you're keeping your outdoor space spic and span. After you’ve selected the best lawn mower to achieve a great-looking lawn, Garden News and Garden Answers editor Geoff Hodge has the best tips when it comes to keeping edges looking sharp.

Of course, regular mowing using an electric or petrol lawn mower is the key to a lovely lawn, but nothing lets down that perfectly manicured, verdant look faster than scruffy edges.

Best edging tools at a glance:

• Best value edging shears: Amtech Long Handled Lawn Edging Shears - Buy now on Amazon UK
• Best overall (Editor’s pick): Darlac Telescopic Edging Shear - Buy now on Amazon UK
• Best long-handled edging shears: Fiskars Long Handles Edging Shears - Buy now on Amazon UK

Geoff explains why using edging tools will achieve that perfect finish, “This helps prevent grasses growing into surrounding borders. And edging tools like long-handled shears allow you to get the job done quickly and easily – without having to get down on your hands and knees – providing they are long enough to stop you stooping.”

With that in mind, we take a look at what to consider when buying the best edging tools to keep your lawn looking crisp and fresh, as well as some helpful tips on different styles of edging to transform your garden quickly with relatively little effort, taking your plot from so-so to sensational.

Best edging tools

Best value edging shears

Geoff says: “One of the cheapest shears I tested, but they still performed brilliantly, cutting the grass easily and giving a quality finish. The blades are made from carbon steel with a non-stick coating. The working height is 92cm (36¼in), they weigh 1.49kg (52½oz) – average among all those on test – and the soft, cushion foam grips provided maximum comfort.”

Customer review: "As I have arthritis in my back these are easier to use as I don’t have to bend down."

Pros

  • Sharp
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Possibly too lightweight

Best overall (Editor’s pick)

Geoff says: “The telescopic handles are infinitely adjustable from 67-108cm (26½-42½in) to achieve a perfect cutting/working height to avoid back pain. Lightweight aluminium handles ensured this was the lightest pair tested (1.23kg/43oz) and the plastic grips were comfortable in the hands. The only shears with wavy-edged blades, which help to grip the grass.”

Customer review: “These are absolutely brilliant. Nice and lightweight, and really easy to extend or shorten the handles. They've made trimming the lawn edges really quick and easy to do, and are far less 'brutal' than a strimmer. Less noisy too so good for neighbour relations!’

Pros

  • Adjustable
  • Sharp
  • Robust

Cons

  • Curve blade makes it harder to sharpen

Best long-handled edging shears

Fiskars Long Handled Edging Shears
Price: $95.11

Geoff says: "These have a cutting height of 99cm (39in), the coated handles have comfy SoftGrip plastic grips, and the weight is 1.67kg (59oz), still light enough to use without any additional strain. The blades are made from corrosion-resistant, heat-treated carbon steel. As the handles touch at the bottom, the plastic bumpers absorbed most of any vibration in use."

Customer review: "I am 6’ tall and these shears are excellent. All other shorter length shears cause back pain. My wife is only 5’6” and she also prefers this longer length. The cutting edge is sharp but obviously will require regular sharpening at the end of each season. Delivery was earlier than expected. Would definitely recommend it."

Pros

  • Plastic bumpers absorb vibration
  • Longer length blade
  • Left and right-handed

Cons

  • Some customers report the blade pivot nut loosening may not include the washer to fix the nut

Best easy glide edging shears

Geoff says: "The tubular steel handles provide good strength, give a working height of 94cm (37in) and the weight is 1.42kg (50oz). The C50 carbon steel blades should provide a long-lasting sharpness, are lacquered for rust resistance and produce a good quality cut and edging. Large, but comfortable, soft plastic grips."

Customer review: "Had our old shears sharpened; they were blunt before but after sharpening, they would not cut. They were very good quality and gave good service for 26 years. Chose a new pair by Spear & Jackson as the name signifies quality. No guarantee information is available but when they arrived, we could see they have a 10yr warranty. There’s no written guarantee or receipt. I used them on the day of delivery and they’re brilliant. They cut our lawn edges really well and easily too. Am very pleased with them. No maintenance information so I’ve cleaned them with a baby wipe and rubbed the blades with a little 3-in-1 oil."

Pros

  • Sturdy handles
  • Razor-sharp

Cons

  • Need a handle bumper

Best half-moon edging irons

Best half-moon edging iron for strength

The carbon steel used makes the blade heavier and stronger, which is better for heavy soil so keep that in mind when choosing the right tool for your garden needs. This Bulldog Edging Knife provides good, clean separation and a tidy finish, with no worry of a flimsy handle thanks to the inch-thick solid handle.

Customer review: "Getting this product was like receiving an order through a time warp. A solid inch-and-a-half thick varnished ash handle perfectly fitted to a thick, heavy, welded steel blade. It feels rock-solid and quite capable of lasting a hundred years. I'm not joking. I've used it extensively already to dig flowerbeds out of an old lawn and it's a joy to use and handle. Look at some of the far-eastern competition you can buy for half the price - plastic shafts, spindly little necks, no weight in them - how long will they last? Buy this and your children's children will be using it long after you're gone. Superb."

Pros

  • Robust
  • Will last a lifetime
  • Solid varnished handle

Cons

  • Thick blade may need sharpening

Best bespoke edging tool

A bespoke edging tool makes trimming your lawn edges easier, and the mirror-polished stainless-steel blades are resistant to rusting and easier to clean. The ridged edges make for a quicker, easier cut and less back-breaking work due to the large T-bar-shaped handle large enough for your hands to fit comfortably.

Customer review: "As is always the case with this manufacturer (Sheffield-based since 1730) this tool is superb. It cuts well and the wider-than-usual handle is very comfortable to hold. With any garden tool of this nature you get what you pay for and what may seem like an expensive price is actually well worth the outlay when longevity and build-quality is taken into account. If you want an excellent half-moon-bladed turf slicer then look no further than this which I recommend 100 per cent."

Pros

  • Serrated edge makes cutting easy
  • Thick stainless steel neck

Cons

  • Wood quality

Best battery-powered edge trimmers

Best budget corded strimmer

This corded electric grass trimmer and edger from Flymo is best for smaller gardens as it needs to be near a power source to work, but thanks to its lightweight style any edging job will be done quickly and with ease. The telescopic handle is easy to adjust meaning you won’t be stooping to reach your lawn, and you can simply convert from trim to edge by twisting the cutting head depending to trim difficult to access places. There’s also a plant guard to protect trees and plants and a unique wheel for easy edging.

Customer review: “I have had a similar Flymo for many years (10+) and it worked solidly and consistently until very recently. When it finally gave up I researched, as I always do, many of the products on offer. I look at cost, ease of use, features, weight and comfort. I finally settled on this model, a Flymo again, and I haven't been disappointed. It was delivered promptly and has worked seamlessly. It is easy to handle and the auto feed works well. The only downside is that I would like a longer electric cable, my last one was a little short too, but this is a small thing and did not impact my 5 star rating. I am very pleased.”

Pros

  • Quiet
  • Soft grip handle

Cons

  • Smaller cutting blade

Best cordless strimmer with adjustable cutting width

This high-performance cordless motor strimmer has an adjustable cutting width of 25 or 30cm, giving you great versatility when it comes to grass and weed cutting, and has EasyEdge too for added border precision. With a telescoping boom and adjustable pommel handle, it's designed to provide comfort for any user height so everyone can pitch in with the garden chores.

Customer review: “Have been using One+ from Ryobi for a few years now and have never let me down. I thought I would purchase this strimmer and see how long the battery lasts. I bought 2 6ah batteries to use with it. Battery came out of box and onto strimmer without charging and worked like a charm. No loss of power at all. Manager to get into all the awkward places my previous petrol strimmer couldn't. Easy to adjust to suit your needs and adjustable boom for either out of reach places or just in case you are extremely tall. Either way I can honestly say it's a great purchase. Highly recommended. Remember that this is unit only and no battery or charger. If you don't already own a One+ system you will need to buy both to use it.”

Pros

  • EasyEdge precision trimming
  • Light and easy to manage
  • Quiet

Cons

  • Not ideal for overgrown grass

Best cordless strimmer for ergonomics

Kärcher 18V Battery-Powered Grass Trimmer
Price: $253.78

The Kärcher 18V cordless grass trimmer also comes with a telescoping boom like the Ryobi but has the bonus of having a two-handle design for a correct working position, and a rotating trimmer head so even the most hard-to-reach areas can be tackled with ease. Simply adjust the handle length at the touch of a button for back-friendly work.

The LTR 18-25 is also the lightest cordless grass trimmer on our list making it even easier to manoeuvre at just 1.6kg.

Again, it's worth keeping in mind that this is the bare unit so batteries and a charger will need to be bought separately. It also takes 5-6 hours to charge, which is important to note so you don't jump the gun and take it off charge too early for larger jobs.

Customer review: "Works well. I particularly like the LED screen on the battery telling me exactly how much run time I have left."

Pros

  • Auto feeder
  • Battery power display

Cons

  • Slow charging

Best cordless trimmer for battery power

Another cordless strimmer option from Bosch, the UniversalGrassCut has a long-lasting battery that you can swap between other Bosch products, saving you money if you tend to favour the brand for your DIY gear. The adjustable, ergonomic design provides a comfortable grip and height which is ideal for uninterrupted trimming. It doesn’t need any manual adjustments or bumping, thanks to the IntelliFEED feature that automatically feeds the spool line to full cutting width. And when you’re switching between the lawn and edges, simply use the foot pedal to twist or lower the handles for edging or tilt function without stopping.

Customer review: “Bought to use at my allotment, and it didn't disappoint on the first outing - managed to strim away fairly thick weeds like cowslips with 6-8mm diameter stems and long grass, 2-3ft/1m high. Thicker/woody weeds it couldn't do, but wasn't expecting it to. The battery was great to do the whole thing, probably spent 20-30 minutes at least with it on virtually the whole time.

"Auto feed on it works very well and I didn't have to stop at all in use to pull out the extra cord. Great that it folds down and makes it easy to carry, that was an unexpected bonus which makes it great for my walk to the allotment, lightweight too. Bought a battery strimmer as I really didn't want a petrol one. Borrowed heavier petrol ones, and for what this does, it is an ideal substitute - this will easily cope with the medium size garden I have and the edging.”

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Foot pedal switch
  • Long battery life
  • Folds down for easy carry

Cons

  • Not great for thick, tall grass

FAQs: Best edging tools

What features to consider when buying lawn edging tools:

Handles: Aluminium handles are lighter than steel, making them easier to use for a prolonged time

Blade length: Longer blades make it easier and quicker to create an even edge

Soft grips: Soft, contoured rubber hand grips make for more comfortable use

Wavy-edge blade: These help trap grass leaves, preventing them from sliding along the blade. This ensures a more uniform finish

Tensioner: Allows you to adjust the gap between the blades, so they don’t start getting clogged up, bending the grass instead of cutting it

What are the best edging tools for my lawn?

Geoff Hodge explains, that maintaining your lawn’s lovely clean edges can be time-consuming, so choose an option that’s quick and easy.

Close up of a pair of shears trimming the edge of a garden

Edging shears

While you could scrabble around on your hands and knees with a pair of hand shears, save yourself all that agony by using long-handled edging shears. As with edging irons, handle height is important to prevent bending and stooping. Those with telescopic handles allow you to adjust the length of the handles to match the height, allowing you to share the job.

Or, try long-handled, trigger-operated ‘multi’ shears. These have an integral mechanism that operates the blades with a simple pull on the trigger. With their rotating head, you can use them to edge the lawn, as well as cut the grass in other areas, especially around or under obstacles.

Garden equipment. Woman mowing the grass with a trimmer

Powered trimmer

For optimum speed and ease, go for a powered line trimmer. Most have an edging facility, usually engaged by rotating the cutting head through 90 degrees. Some also include an edging guide or even detachable wheels to ensure you keep the cutter head close to and along the line of the lawn’s edge.

While mains electricity-powered trimmers are absolutely perfect, if the lawn is miles away from the mains supply, or you’re worried about cutting or damaging the cable, lithium-ion battery trimmers are a handy option. Most batteries give 30-45 minutes of continuous use before you need to recharge them and can be fully recharged in as little as an hour. You don’t need to fully recharge Lithium-ion batteries before use.

The output of the motor, measured in volts (V), is an indication of how powerful it is; higher outputs cut more easily, especially on long and/or wet grass. The amp hour (Ah) rating refers to the amount of charge the battery holds and affects how long it will run before it needs recharging.

While you can buy most battery-powered trimmers complete with a battery and charger, many are also sold on their own, so keep this in mind when ordering online. This can be a great way to save money by sharing the battery and charger with other battery-powered tools within the company’s range.

landscaping - plastic lawn edging in the garden

Install lawn edging

Do away with having to use edging tools at all, by using lawn edging. This needs to be a type that sits at the same height of the lawn or lies flat on it, and doesn’t stand proud above it. A flat edge also allows you to run your lawnmower right up to and along the edge. Various designs are available including those made from heavy-duty plastic or metal. Plastic is the cheaper option, but metals tend to be more robust and longer-lasting

Modern Gardens writer Jules Barton-Beck shares the best tips on lawn edging using paving or gravel. The trick is to match the edging to the style and/or colour of your existing garden theme, patio, or paving slab tones, so the end result appears seamless.

Best flexible lawn edging

Garden edging is a simple way to ensure your lawn borders are tidy. This 22.5m Flexible Garden Edging from Primrose allows you to cut grass right up to your borders for a neat finish. This listing is for five 80cm lengths of EcoGrid with pins for installation.

Pros

  • Strong and Flexible
  • Easy to install

Cons

  • None

Best budget lawn edging

In addition to edging grass, Bosmere Garden Care Lawn Edging can be used to contain mulch, gravel and bark. This affordable option, if placed correctly, allows your lawn mower to pass over it. It's green so should blend into your landscaping beautifully.

Pros

  • Low-cost solution
  • Versatile

Cons

  • Tricky to use on curves

Best high-end lawn edging

This Swift Edge Garden Edging Brown is made from extruded aircraft-grade aluminium so it's a long-lasting solution to dividing grass, soil, mulch, gravel and more.

Pros

  • Easy to install, even on corners
  • Long-lasting

Cons

  • Not many reviews

How to edge your lawn with pavers

1. Use bamboo canes and twine stretched taut between them to mark a border around your lawn. You may be surprised to find how wobbly the edges of your lawn have become.

2. Create a shallow trench by digging out the turf with a spade, the same width as the pavers, down to the same depth as the paver plus a centimetre.

3. Add a 1cm layer of sand to the trench and firm it down so it’s solid and level.

4. Lay the edging pavers snugly next to each other. If the pavers need to be cut to fit at any joins, do this in the least noticeable place.

5. Using a wooden or rubber mallet and a spirit level, tap all over each paver to position it in place, making sure it’s level with the next one.

6. If needed, fill any gaps left between the pavers and lawn with soil – the grass will soon grow back.

Gravel belt between lawn and sidewalk in a park

Do you edge before or after mowing the lawn?

GardeningExpress expert Chris Bonnet, explains, “Edging should be the final step of your mowing routine, giving your lawn a tidy and trimmed finish. For smaller lawns, a simple pair of long-handled edging shears will do the job - just cut away any grass that is starting to grow over the edge.”

What is the best way to trim the edges of my lawn?

When it comes to getting the edges crisp Chris shares, “If you have a large amount of land then using shears may be too time-consuming, so it’s more practical to opt for an electric grass trimmer that will make maintaining the land much easier. It’s also advised to re-cut the edges every spring and that can easily be done with a half-moon edging tool or a sharp, straight spade.

“Start edging by following the curve of the lawn or use rope, wooden plank or a garden hose as a cutting guide. Create a groove in the land by pushing the edging tool down into the soil, pulling the blade back and forth slightly and removing the excess turf once the groove is complete.

“If you want a more defined edge, then you may consider adding paving stones or metal edging - the installation process can be timely and relatively expensive, but it provides a stronger, cleaner finish and can reduce maintenance time. However you choose to edge your lawn, the most important things to keep in mind are ease of mowing and trimming the grass edge, and safety for all garden users.”

How to edge your lawn with gravel

This technique is a bit different as you’ll need to create a trench, install vertical lawn edging and then fill it with gravel. Flexible lawn edging is ideal for creating curves as it comes in a reel but, if left out in the sun, it becomes much more malleable and can work just as well to create straight lines, you just need a bit of patience and some persistence.

At the edge of the lawn, dig a trench to the same height as the edging and to the width you want. Fix the edging to both sides of the trench using the pins provided. Leave overnight to let the edging settle into place, and adjust the height if necessary the following morning. Line with garden membrane to help prevent weeds, then pour in gravel up to the rim of the edging.

What to read next:

Best electric lawnmower to make cutting grass straightforward

Best DIY tools for your garden projects

Artificial grass for an effort-free flawless lawn

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Natalie Corner is the Commercial Content Editor across the Specialist Portfolio for Bauer Media and is slowly learning how to care for her plant babies. When she's not soaking up the three days of sunshine in the great British outdoors, she's testing out the latest BBQ products.

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