How To Edge Grass With String Trimmer?

Written By James
Updated March 17, 2022 by James

How To Edge Grass With String Trimmer?

Our Ultimate Guide To Using a String Trimmer For Edging

String trimmers are an essential tool for lawn maintenance and care, they are also known as weed whackers and are best used for edging the border of your lawn where it meets patios and other ends. 

To edge grass well with a string trimmer, the shaft should be placed on top of your shoulder for precise movement. You should further turn the trimmer on its side so that the string is spinning away from you when cutting blades of grass.

Down below we have further listed a step by step guide to edging grass with a string trimmer, tips for using your string trimmer to edge grass and how they match up to edge trimmer tools.

Why Use a String Trimmer To Edge Grass?

String trimmers come as both two-cycle and four-cycle trimmers, you can also find them with curved and shaped shafts. These tools are best used for trimming grass in tight spots like by a fence or specific plants. 

They can further be used for trimming edges and borders on driveways 

Our Step By Step Guide To Edging Grass With a String Trimmer

To get the most out of your string trimmer you need to know how to use it and manoeuvre it properly, so to help you out we've put together a step by step guide below. 


  1. Before using your string trimmer to edge your lawn it's important to mow your lawn first to ensure it is all an even length, otherwise, the edges will look too short. 
  2. Now it's time to use the string trimmer to cut down the edges of your lawn but not edge them yet. Holding the trimmer steady, start on the left edge with your trimmer and trim the longer grass blades that the mower could not reach, repeat on the right side.
  3. As a beginner, don't skip the step of marking out your edging, you can use tape or rope for this, if the edges of your mowed grass meet concrete or a pavement however then just simply follow that line, remove any rocks and hazards at this point too.

How To Use It  

  1. Now we can start edging with the trimmer, take the tool and place it at a 90-degree angle for edging, this will be so as the string spins top to bottom and the top guard is facing upwards. 
  2. Practice moving the trimmer side to side evenly before turning the trimmer on then lower down the spin line until the edging position is just barely touching the grass.
  3. Always start a path for edging in the opposite direction as to what your spinner is spinning in, switching the side that you are standing on will edging will make debris fly in the other direction. 
  4. As you slowly edge the lawn, spend time edging carefully and allow the weight of the trimmer to cut the tall grass rather than trying to move your arms too much. Go back over any areas which need more attention. 
  5. When moving along it's a good idea to shovel up any soil debris too to see your path. Take a leaf blower to blow out any debris and leaves to make your edging neater.

What Type Of Cuts Can I Make When Edging?

Once you know how to keep your trimmer steady you can start to vary the cuts that you are making, we've listed some different cuts to try out below. 

  • Tapering - Tapering is an excellent cut to try if you want to make your lawn's edges look more blended. It can simply be achieved by holding the spinner of the trimmer at a slight angle when cutting.
  • Scything - This essentially means bringing your trimmer in and out of the grass in a U like motion, when you overlap them this helps them to blend.
  • Screeding - To get rid of weeds stuck in paths or grass growth you can simply try screeding, hold the tool at an angle so as the string can glance on the ground then cut the base of the weed. When screeding you have to ensure that your getting the angle right.

Tips For Trimming With a String Trimmer

Now we know exactly how to use a string trimmer for edging we can move on to some tips and tricks for getting the tidiest edge on your lawn. 

  • Shoulder mount the trimmer - The should-mount edging technique allows you to have stability over your trimmer and keep it cutting at a 90-degree angle. To do this technique, ensure that you're holding the shaft in your hand while your arm is in an upward position near your shoulder. 
  • Always go slow - The key to an accurate cut with a string trimmer is that you should trim at a slow speed, this will keep you balanced and comfortable. With a gas string trimmer in particular you want to ensure that the engine is not too close to your head to avoid burns and noise.
  • Keep safe of debris - When using a trimmer you should try to keep the debris flying away from you, when edging, this is very important since the weed guard will be lying at an angle, rather than protecting you horizontally. If your trimmer rotates clockwise you want to make sure you are standing anti-clockwise too, wear safety glasses while working this out. 
  • Try an electric trimmer - Electric trimmers and gas-engine trimmers work relatively the same, but the advantage of electric types is that they are better for the environment and do have much less noise during use.
  • Practice makes perfect - Do not be disheartened if you can't get the hang of making straight lines with your trimmer, to begin with, practice does make perfect and once you learn your technique you will be a pro at neat edging!

String Trimmers Or Edge Trimmers - Which Is Better?

If you've been looking into buying and using a string trimmer, you might have come across an edge trimmer too and wondered if they work the same and what's the difference in their usage. 

We've discussed how both differ below. 

Lawn Edgers 

Lawn edgers are typically used to create and shape boundary lines, with a vertical spinning blade they sharpen these lines between gardens and flower beds and can be manual or motor powered.

These tools are nicer to hold for long periods but are not as accurate as a trimmer.

String Trimmers 

As we already know, string trimmers are best for maintaining edges as well as taking out weeds in the grass. They are best for getting into hard to reach areas and come in and electric and both gas forms. 

The difference between both tools is that one is used for shaping while the other one is used for maintaining.

Frequently Asked Questions About Edging Grass With a String Trimmer 

Can you edge with a curved shaft trimmer? 

Curved shaft trimmers are excellent for trimming edges in comparison to straight edge trimmers, just make sure to keep it at a 90-degree angle when cutting and move left to right.

How do you hold a string trimmer? 

The best way to hold a trimmer is by balancing it on your shoulder and steadying it with your other hand.

What is an edger wheel?

An edger wheel is what's attached to your trimmer to increase your accuracy, and get into tight spaces when trimming.

Should you use a two-stroke trimmer or a four-stroke trimmer for edging?

When possible, a four-stroke trimmer is much better than a two-stroke trimmer for edging, this is because they have better fuel consumption and are eco-friendly when it comes to performance.

Final Words 

To conclude, to edge grass with a strimmer you need to make sure you are using the shoulder technique to keep the trimmer cuts balanced and accurate, for beginners we suggest marking the edging out with rope too to stay in line. 

Always ensure you are wearing safety equipment when functioning one of these power tools and hold the trimmer attachment at a 90-degree angle. Ensure you mow your lawn down beforehand to make an even cut across the garden.

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My father, and his father before him, and his father; for the past 3 generations, my family have always been into gardening. The green fingers is a gift passed down to me and I thoroughly enjoy it! I also have worked in the manufacturing department for Bosch and DeWalt so I like to think I know a thing or two about tools and such!
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