If you want to be the envy of your neighborhood with a perfectly manicured lawn, you have come to the right place. All gardening homeowners know that keeping their lawn, flower beds, and walkways tidy is no easy feat. Nothing ruins curb appeal like overgrown edges!
To keep the grass from overflowing you will need a lawn edger. Unfortunately, the motorized options are heavy, require gas or extension cords, and they’re expensive. To avoid all that, we suggest using a manual edger. As long as your tool is durable and effective, tidying your yard won’t be a problem.
Like most things, you can find this tool online. If you don’t know what to look for, however, you can end up wasting your money.
We will share the finer points of the manual lawn edger including its durability, foot ledges, handles, and effectiveness. We have also shared some helpful tidbits in the buyer’s guide. Keep reading for all you need to know about this handy yard tool.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2021
|Best Overall||AMES 2917200 Saw-Tooth Border Edger||
|Best Value||Yard Butler EDGE-180 Step Edger||
|Premium Choice||Truper 32100 Rotary Lawn Edger||
|Garden Weasel Edge Chopper||
|Bully Tools 92251 Round Lawn Edger||
The 10 Best Manual Lawn Edgers
1. AMES Saw-Tooth Border Edger – Best Overall
If you want to tidy up your lawn with no muss and no fuss, we recommend the AMES 2917200 Saw-Tooth Border Edger as our first choice. This is a 39-inch tool that has a comfortable T-grip handle. It gives you greater control over your edges, plus it’s comfortable keeping your hands and wrists from tiring. Weighing 13.6 ounces, you will also find this a lightweight yet durable option.
The AMES edger can create straight or curved cuts around your walkways, gardens, flower beds, etc. The clean cuts are due to the arched design with a saw tooth blade. This tool cuts through grass and other tougher materials quickly and easily. It can also be used on sod and clay.
Made with a steel handle and a 4.5-inch blade, the wide footplate evenly distributes your weight for a consistent cut depth every time. The teeth on the blade are a bit more difficult to sharpen, but you won’t have to worry about that for a long time. With no assembly required, this is our favorite manual lawn edger pick.
2. Yard Butler EDGE-180 Step Edger – Best Value
Just because you are on a budget doesn’t mean you can be the envy of your neighbors. For a more cost-efficient option, we like the Yard Butler EDGE-180 Step Edger. This is a 37-inch tool that features a 9-inch wide blade that can cut through grass, clay, and go around all your garden beds and pavement. The extra-long handle also keeps you from having to bend and strain your back.
This tool makes clean and consistent edges thanks to the center step plate. The T-handle is also cushioned and provides greater control. The whole tool is powder-coated steel and resists rust and corrosion. You also have a saw-tooth blade to help rip through tough grass and roots.
The Yard Butler’s long handle is designed to center your weight directly over the blade making this option not only easy to use but also requires less force on your part. As it is also affordable, this is almost our favorite option. What keeps it out of the first-place spot, however, is the weight. At 4.5 pounds, it’s heavier than our top choice. Other than that, this is our favorite manual lawn edger for the money.
3. Truper 32100 Rotary Lawn Edger – Premium Choice
If you want to take your yard’s appearance to the next level, the Truper 32100 Rotary Lawn Edger is a great option. At 48 inches, this dual-wheeled tool is a rotary edger as the name implies. It features an American Ash handle that is lacquered for long-lasting performance, plus you can clean the whole thing with a garden hose, and spray it with silicone to extend its life.
The Truper is clear-coated gray steel. The heavy-duty D-grip makes it easy to use, effective, and precise. It also has steel collars to help it cut through thick and tough ground material. Unfortunately, this is an edger that works better around pavement such as walkways and driveways.
Weighing 3.83 pounds, the tool is easy to push and create consistently deep grooves in your grass or soil. As this is a premium option, however, it is also more expensive than our other top picks. If you have a lot of walkways, a concrete patio, and other similar attractions on your property, this is a good tool to choose.
4. Garden Weasel Edge Chopper
The Garden Weasel Edger Chopper is a good option for neatening-up around flower beds, lawn edges, etc. At 3 pounds and 38 inches, it’s made of a durable welded steel construction. It also has a carbon steel blade that can cut through difficult earth like clay and sod. You can use this tool to break up ice in the winter months, as well.
To reduce back pain, the Garden Weasel features an ergonomic T-handle so you won’t have to consistently bend over. There is a wide, center step footplate to give you increased leverage and an even cut depth. Be that as it may, this tool will require more force than other options. What’s more, it doesn’t have a saw-tooth blade so cutting through roots or denser ground is more difficult.
Keep in mind, this tool is weather and rust-resistant. It has a 7-inch wide blade that can be used as a small shovel, as well. If you don’t mind a bit more of a workout, this is a good middle of the road model for you to pick up to keep your yard neat and tidy.
5. Bully Tools 92251 Round Lawn Edger
If you want a commercial-grade edger, the Bully Tools 92251 Round Lawn Edger might be for you. Made of steel, this pick has an extra-thick 12-gauge blade that is 5 inches wide. Keep in mind, this is a bit smaller than average, so you may need to make more cuts with this model. On the other hand, it is a rounded edger so getting around flower beds, vegetable gardens, and other narrow or curved areas is easy.
The Bully also has a T-handle that is padded with foam for your comfort. What’s important to note, though, is the padding can slip and turn while you use it. Besides that, you have two wider than average foot steps to give you extra leverage and force. This will come in handy to cut through difficult earth as this model also doesn’t have a saw-tooth blade.
Made in the USA, you can do a lot with this versatile tool. Unfortunately, a downside of the edger is the fiberglass handle. While it won’t break immediately, it’s not as durable as some other steel options. Lastly, it’s approximately 38 inches and weighs a decent 3.6 pounds.
6. Kwik Edge Tool K003 Garden Edger
If you need a tool to maintain your edges, the Kwik Edge Tool K003 Garden Edger is a double-sided pick that will help keep everything tidy. This model has vertical and horizontal blades that keep invading grass from overflowing onto your walkways and flowerbeds. You can use it around driveways, footpaths, vegetable gardens, coy ponds, and much more.
One thing to note about this option, as mentioned, is it’s for maintaining the edges not creating them. You will need a separate tool to initially cut through the earth to make the divide. This also means the tool is not up to cutting through roots, clay, sod, and other dense materials. That being said, the curved design directs grass and soil back in the direction it needs to be.
The Kwik tool weighs 2.4 pounds and has a durable wooden handle. One feature that makes it a little more difficult to use, however, is the shorter handle. You will have to bend to use this option. You also want to note that you can’t use it with wet soil. Not only is it not effective under those circumstances, but it will also rust. If you need a smaller tool for maintaining your edges, though, this is a good way to go.
7. Fiskars 98936935 Steel Edger
The Fiskars 98936935 Steel Edger is a 38.5-inch tool that has an extended reach to keep you from having to bend as you work. It weighs a comfortable 2.2 pounds that keeps it from putting a strain on your back and arms. It can be used to edge around walkways, flowerbeds, gardens, etc.
The Fiskars has a 4-inch blade depth. Unfortunately, though the blade is sharp, it’s not a good candidate for cutting through tough earth. This model also doesn’t have a saw-tooth blade that would aid in getting through thick grass and roots. Additionally, the T-handle is not comfortable, plus it doesn’t allow you to get a lot of leverage.
Another downside of this tool is the footplate that is too narrow to allow for accurate force. Not only will this cause your depth to be off from edge to edge, but it will also be uncomfortable on your foot after extended use. To add insult to injury, the plastic handle is not as durable as it should be. To give some credit, however, this is a good tool if you have small garden plots with soft soil. In other words, it’s good for light jobs.
8. Radius Garden 22611 Root Slayer Edger
Our eighth pick is the Radius Garden 22611 Root Slayer Edger. This is a lawn tool that is designed with a half-moon style blade with an inverted V for cutting through roots and other difficult materials such as clay and packed dirt. The sides of the blade have specially designed teeth that also allow you to use it as a hatchet or saw on exceptionally hard earth.
Made of powder-coated steel, the blade is effective for edging around various parts of your yard, but it can come up short on tougher materials after some use. The blade tends to dull quickly, and it’s difficult to sharpen. What’s more, the 4.8-pound tool seems to be heavier than stated making it harder to use. This, coupled with the O-ring handle, makes it difficult to get a lot of leverage. On a brighter note, the handle is durable and made of resin-encased carbon steel.
Another point to consider with the Radius edger is the narrow footplate. Again, not only does this prevent you from getting the necessary force to cut through thick material, but it also creates uneven depths. As a last note, this option is more expensive than others.
9. Kenyon 49045 All-Steel Edger
The Kenyon 49045 All-Steel Edger is our second to last tool pick for edging your lawn. This is a dual option you can use either as an edger or a trencher. It is an extra-long 45 inches in length, but it weighs a heavy 12 pounds making it back-breaking to use if you are not used to the weight.
The blade on the Kenyon is 8.25 inches wide and 10 inches in length. Due to the larger size, it’s not the best option for smaller and more delicate areas such as small gardens or flower beds. Unfortunately, it is also not as effective for larger jobs as the blade is not as sharp as it should be. Despite the claims, you will have trouble cutting through roots, thick grass, sod, and clay. Additionally, it doesn’t have a saw-tooth blade that would be helpful on larger jobs.
One of the biggest drawbacks of this tool is the durability. The T-handle is uncomfortable and too tall for proper force if you are on the shorter side. The foot ledge, while long at 1.25 inches, can also be hard to use. Overall, this tool will require a lot of body strength to be effective.
10. Corona LG 3684 Edge Master
Our final pick is the Corona LG 3684 Edge Master. This tool is 5.8 inches in length with a 3-inch blade that is ribbed to help it cut through roots, grass, and other materials. What’s more, the blade is self-sharpening. Unfortunately, the ribbed heat-treated, high carbon steel doesn’t perform as effectively as we would like. The indented sections are too wide to be useful and instead creates uneven cuts.
In general, the Corona is not a durable option. The shaft is known to break easily, plus the T-handle doesn’t allow you to apply the needed leverage to make easy edges. To be fair, the handle has a comfort gel lining that is easy on the hands, but it’s moot when the tool is not effective.
Although it has a shorter handle, this option weighs a heavy 4.64 pounds, and many customers surmise that it probably weighs more. There is also a gripped foot ledge that is meant to be slip-resistant, but it actually makes it easier to trip especially if you are wearing treaded shoes (which is likely while working in the garden). On a final note, the self-sharpening feature doesn’t seem to be effective as the blade is dull straight from the packaging. Unfortunately, this is our least recommended option for a manual lawn edger.
As you can see from the reviews above, different lawn edgers offer different outcomes depending on your lawn. Interestingly enough, this fairly simple tool comes with a lot of questions, variations in use, and different features. If you are new to this tool (or edging your lawn in general), you may be scratching your head regarding some of the finer points.
To help you get to the “gold star lawn owner” status, we have provided some additional details below to help you find the right tool for your needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
As we mentioned, this basic tool comes with more questions than you would think. Knowing the answers to these questions is what will take your yard from decent looking to immaculate. Take a look below and see which questions you already know, and which answers take you by surprise.
Why is an edger important?
An edger is important for a couple of reasons. The first is aesthetics. Have you ever looked closely at a beautifully manicured lawn? The detail that might not jump out at you right away, but still makes a huge difference, is the sharp and defined divide between the various areas of the lawn. For example, the grass and the driveway or the grass and flower beds. This defined line keeps everything tidy and neat.
The second important reason is future damage. Grass can be a monster when it’s not kept in check. Even if you use an edging material like vinyl or plastic, grass can still grow through it choking your flowers and other gardens. Not only that, but it can also grow under pavement causing it to bubble, sink, and crack over time.
What is the difference between an edger and a trencher?
This is another common question we hear often. The short answer is depth. A trencher creates much deeper canals in the earth while the edger creates more shallow cuts. For example, trenchers are used for planting fields, laying electrical wires, or installing a sprinkler system.
While depth is the main difference, another variance is trenchers are typically motorized while many people are still happy to use a manual edger. Although you can still find manual trenchers, they require a lot of backbreaking labor and usually require work animals.
Can an edger be used as a trencher?
While the answer to this is typically no (unless you want to spend a considerable amount of time digging) technically creating an edge around your lawn is, in fact, creating a trench; albeit a shallow one.
Besides that, there are a few other circumstances where you could use an edger as a trencher. Anytime you need a shallow trench dug, an edger can be used. Some homeowners like to bury outdoor Christmas decoration wiring, or you may need a short irrigation system for a coy pond. Either way, if shallow and short will suffice, an edger can be used. Keep in mind, most people who substitute one for the other are typically using an electric edger.
Are there different types of manual edgers?
Yes, there are technically three types of manual edgers. They are all different and can be used for different purposes.
Which type of edger do I need?
This is not the easiest question to answer, and it depends largely on your lawn. In general, if your yard has a lot of different aspects like a flower bed, vegetable garden, coy pond, walkway, patio, and driveway, you will be better off with a standard blade. The same is true if you have harder earth. Clay, thick roots, and other like materials call for a standard blade.
On the other hand, if you’re only concerned about edging your driveway and sidewalk, you will likely be good with a rotary edger. Even if you throw in a garden, a rotary will work well if you have light soil. As mentioned, you can use this tool to aerate the soil or dig a drainage ditch if need be.
Small herb gardens that are a few feet in diameter is one instance where a hand edger would be okay. While these smaller tools can cut through some thicker soils, you will exert a lot of energy making it happen.
How to Pick Out A Good Tool
With the most commonly asked questions answered, there are still some other details to pay attention to before you pick out a manual edger. These are broken down into two categories; size and construction.
Size plays a big role in how well the edger will work and how much energy you will have to use. There are a few things that will determine the right size for you.
Construction and Durability
For the most part, manual edger blades are made of either steel, carbon steel, or 12 to 15-gauge steel. They are all strong and durable, so the overall choice is yours. Price is usually the deciding factor.
That being said, the more important aspects of the construction is not the blade, but the other features of the tool.
We hope we have shed some light on manual lawn edgers, and how to pick out the best one for your needs. We know how difficult it can be to navigate the online world of tools, so our reviews have hopefully given you some food for thought.
In our opinion, the best manual lawn edger you can get delivered to your front door is the AMES 2917200 Saw-Tooth Border Edger. This is a lightweight, durable tool that will make tidying up your yard easy and stress-free. From your walkways to flower beds, this handy edger is up to the job.
If you want something easy on your wallet and back, we suggest going with the Yard Butler EDGE-180 Step Edger. Although it’s a bit heavier, the saw-tooth blade cuts through the hardest earth and makes your lawn the envy of all your neighbors.
Pete has been working in the trades since high school, where he first developed a passion for woodworking. Over the years, he has developed a keen interest in a wide variety of DIY projects around the home. Fascinated by all sort of tools, Pete loves reading and writing about all the latest gadgets and accessories that hit the market. His other interests include astronomy, hiking, and fishing.
As the founder of House Grail, David’s primary goal is to help consumers make educated decisions about DIY projects at home, in the garage, and in the garden.
- 1 A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2021
- 2 The 10 Best Manual Lawn Edgers
- 2.1 1. AMES Saw-Tooth Border Edger – Best Overall
- 2.2 2. Yard Butler EDGE-180 Step Edger – Best Value
- 2.3 3. Truper 32100 Rotary Lawn Edger – Premium Choice
- 2.4 4. Garden Weasel Edge Chopper
- 2.5 5. Bully Tools 92251 Round Lawn Edger
- 2.6 6. Kwik Edge Tool K003 Garden Edger
- 2.7 7. Fiskars 98936935 Steel Edger
- 2.8 8. Radius Garden 22611 Root Slayer Edger
- 2.9 9. Kenyon 49045 All-Steel Edger
- 2.10 10. Corona LG 3684 Edge Master
- 3 Buyer’s Guide
- 4 Conclusion