String Trimmer Vs Edger – Which One Is Better?

Updated July 19th, 2022
String Trimmer Vs Edger

The main differences between the string trimmer vs edger include their types, primary function, affordability, variety, and versatility. The string trimmer and lawn edger are used for lawn care or gardening. The lawn edger defines the lines of your lawn boundary and cuts its edges. The string trimmer, on the other hand, maintains your lawn boundaries.

Usually, one may do the job of both tools, but the overall result won’t be as effective or professional-looking. Before we go into the details of the differences and similarities between lawn edgers and string trimmers, let’s first look at a brief overview.

String Trimmers Overview

String trimmers are lightweight power tools that are designed to trim grass or remove weeds in areas that are tough to reach with other gardening equipment. A string trimmer is also referred to as a weed eater or weed wacker. String trimmers utilize a malleable monofilament nylon line which runs at an extremely high speed for cutting long grass.

Usually, people use a string trimmer to cut grass growing on rocky or steep terrains. String trimmers come in a variety of types and shaft designs. String trimmers come with either a horizontally rotating head or a vertically-placed one.

Between both, the more common design is the horizontally-placed head. Certain models of string trimmers come with some attachments which take care of your lawn edges. This means that your string trimmer can also double as a lawn edger. All you need to do is detach the string from the head and replace it with the attachment blade.

Lawn Edgers Overview

Lawn edgers primarily create easily distinguishable boundaries between the lawn and other sections of your outdoor space. We’re talking about sections such as your pavement, flowerbed, driveway, etc. A lawn edger can also be used to create a boundary between greens on a golf course or a boundary between sand traps.

Its function is important because it ensures your lawn doesn’t look overgrown, which enhances its aesthetic appeal. It also makes it easier and quicker to trim. Safe to say, the primary function of a lawn edger is a fine complement to that of the string trimmer. Similar to the string trimmer, a lawn edger comes in a variety of types. Each of these types also has its varieties as well.

Their Similarities and Differences

Man trims the grass with a string trimmer


When it comes to types, both pieces of equipment are similar and different. Types of trimmers include gas-powered string trimmers and electric-powered string trimmers. On the other hand, types of lawn edgers include motorized and manual edgers.


Both the lawn edger and string trimmer have options with varying prices. However, to get the more affordable one of the two, we compared a range of prices for both pieces of equipment. The conclusion on this is that the lawn edger is generally more affordable to purchase than the string trimmer. If a low budget forces you to choose one between the two, you should tilt towards the lawn edger.


When it comes to gardening or lawn equipment generally, both the edgers and trimmers are more versatile than the lawn mower. They are both able to work in smaller crevices and around trees. Their shapes and designs are similar. Their compact build also enables them to work in places that are too not wide enough for a lawn mower.

However, the difference here is that the string trimmer is slightly more versatile because it can be used to work on intricate shrubs and garden beds. Something that the lawn edger is not equipped to do.


Lawn Edgers

Both the edger and the trimmer come in varieties. The edger comes in manual and motorized forms. The manual edgers are further categorized into hand shears, spade-based, and roller-based edgers.

The motorized edgers include the multi-wheeled purpose-designed and single-wheeled purpose-designed. Motorized edgers can either be gas-powered edgers or electric lawn edgers. The electric-powered lawn edger requires either a battery pack or electricity to function.

The manual edger is cheaper and requires more effort to use. The spade tools are spades fitted with a long handle, and it’s used as a vertical spinning blade. The roller-based edger comes with a roller wheel that you’ll have to push along a surface that’s next to the edge you intend to cut.

Hand shears vary in configuration and length. Some of them are designed for ground-level use, while others are fitted with long handles to enable you to use them while standing. Their length is usually adjustable.


The gas-powered string trimmer is further categorized into two-stroke models and four-stroke models. While the two-stroke trimmers run on both gas and oil, the four-stroke trimmers run on gas exclusively. Gas-powered trimmers are heavy-duty trimmers because they can work for longer, can cover more ground, and do the job quicker. However, the emission of gas fumes is an environmental pollutant.

The electric-powered trimmers are known to be cost-effective and eco-friendly. However, they have less power and cover less ground. Electric-powered string trimmers are further categorized into cordless string trimmers and corded electric string trimmers. The latter requires you to plug into a power outlet before you can use it. This makes it less portable and inconvenient to use, especially if you’re trimming a large lawn.

In terms of its shaft design, the trimmer also comes in curved and straight shaft designs. The trimmers with straight shafts are used to trim under decks, around trees, and on big yards or lawns. It’s better suited for taller people and more comfortable to use. Trimmers with curved shafts are better suited for smaller lawns and trimming grass around flowers.

To Sum Up

Both pieces of equipment can alternate with each other, but the efficiency and precision of their work will be below par. Certain things may make it suitable to purchase one of the two. For instance, the edger is your go-to equipment if you want perfect boundaries and clean edges, and a tidy and pristine lawn. The trimmer should be your go-to tool if your yard has several hard-to-reach spots that prove difficult for a lawn mower. It is also ideal for you if there are delicate shrubs and plants, weeds, and grass often growing on your pavement and driveway.

Trimmer pros include being compact, being available in various options (battery-powered string trimmers, curved shaft trimmers, etc), weed removal, and making it easy to maintain boundary lines. Trimmer cons include being noisy, cordless trimmers require frequent charging, the nylon line spins at dangerous speeds, and can constitute a hazard if the user is without protective gear.

Edger pros include precision, eliminating overhanging grass, being affordable, defining boundary lines, and having a wide variety (the electric edger, gas-powered edger, and the manual lawn edger). Edger cons include the motorized edgers being more expensive than manual edgers and time-consuming.

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