Lawn Trimmers and Edgers: What is the Difference?

What is a string trimmer and what is a lawn edger? By now, you might already know that string trimmers are also called lawn trimmers. So, we have lawn trimmers and edgers: What are the differences? These two lawn tools are often confused. Many folks think that a lawn edger is used to trim up around the edges. But it is actually a  lawn trimmer that does that job. It is like thinking of a construction worker as able to paint, do roof work, and also lay tile. While the guy can likely do all those tasks, he is probably very good at just one specific job. Lawn tools are mainly meant for one job as well. Let’s break them down to simplify.

Edgers and string trimmers are tools to get at the hard to reach grass areas. They clean up what a mower misses. That is a simple definition of their jobs, but we will go deeper. I don’t want you buying one tool and not realizing what it is really made to do.


 What is a Lawn Edger?

what is a lawn edgerAn edger is meant to make neater the grass that hangs over a driveway or other hard surface. It does the same thing for plant beds. The edger blade cuts a tiny gap between the turf and the area that you want free of any grass. It does this with a spinning vertical motion. The blade makes a neat cut so driveways don’t have that scraggly looking grass hanging over on it. It is like what a barber does with your haircut. Hair hanging over your ears is not a good look. So the barber uses clippers to separate your hair from your ears. That separation is needed for proper ascetics on your head. An edger does the same thing with you lawn. I love barber analogies!


What is a String Trimmer or Lawn Trimmer?

string trimmerNow on to string trimmers. A string trimmer does not use a blade. At the cutting end of this lawn tool is a rotating head with a couple pieces of plastic cord hanging out. The head moves in a horizontal motion when used as intended. The spinning pieces of cord chop down weeds and grass that your mowing couldn’t reach. Those areas are usually hillsides, ditches, and tight areas around trees and structures.


Both Tools Need Precautions!

Both lawn trimmers and edgers are dangerous if you don’t use proper precautions. They can sling debris up and hit your body, face, and possibly your eyes. Wearing pants is advisable when using these tools to shape up your yard. The use of safety glasses is mandatory! You only have two eyes and there is no way to control where the debris from a trimmer or edger is going to go. You can be careful when using this type equipment to minimize the wild debris danger. Going at a steady pace is safer than being in a hurry. Even so, safety glasses should never be left behind. Your eyes are too important.


Differences between Lawn Trimmers and Edgers

While there are big differences in edgers and string trimmers, there is a way to get by with one tool. An edger can’t really be used to whack weeds, but a weed whacking trimmer can be used as an edger if you know how. Turning the string trimmer sideways so that the cord spins in a vertical motion like an edger blade, lets you use a trimmer as an edger. It doesn’t do as great a job as an edger generally. However it can work well enough for many folks. It just takes practice. I can substitute a string trimmer for an edger and make the turf look just about as good as with an actual edger. But I am an old pro! Practice makes perfect you know.

I hope that clears up the distinction between lawn trimmers and edgers. You no know that both have specific jobs. Use them accordingly, but if you can only buy one…get the string trimmer. It is more versatile.

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1 Comment
  1. Reply
    Wis September 6, 2016 at 12:43 pm

    Thank you!
    Awesome clarification…

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