The 5 Best Tools for Edging Garden Beds

It’s very satisfying to make and keep the edges of your garden beds and lawns neat and clean. Well-defined bed edging not only makes your landscaping look like it was done by a professional, but it also stops weeds from growing and keeps the mulch in the beds.

But what’s the best way to edge garden beds and achieve those perfect lines? While you could certainly use a basic spade, there are quite a few specialized tools made specifically for lawn and bed edging that will make the job easier

In this article, we’ll compare the most common edging tool options to help you determine the best bed edging tools for your needs and budget.

Top 5 Bed Edging Tools

1. Half-Moon Edgers

The crescent-shaped half-moon edger is designed specifically for garden bed edging. To make a clean cut, the blade’s angle cuts through dirt and grass roots. When you press the blade vertically into the ground and pull it toward you, the two handles give you leverage and control.

I like half-moon edgers for most small to medium sized home garden beds. They provide more power and a sharper cut than a spade. Most models have a blade length of 8-10 inches. If you need to edge heavily overgrown areas or have garden beds that are very wide, choose blades that are 12 to 18 inches long.

2. Vertical Edgers

Vertical edgers take the half-moon design but rotate it 90 degrees. Instead of slicing horizontally the V-shaped blade cuts down vertically into the soil. Vertical edging action is easier on your body utilizing your arm strength rather than needing to bend over.

Look for vertical edgers with a solid metal blade, strong step bar, and solid rivets attaching the handle. Bulb planting vertical edgers feature notches in the blade to allow you to plant spring flowering bulbs in the same motion as edging.

3. Step Edgers

Step edgers integrate not just a vertical cutting blade but a horizontal foot platform as well. You simply step down on the foot bar to press the “step” and blade into the soil in one smooth motion. The foot bar provides added power and control.

Step edgers are ideal for longer expanses of edging. Models like the Step ‘N Edge have wheels so you can roll the edger along as you work. Some even have two blades to cut both sides of the bed or walkway simultaneously.

4. Electric Edgers

Electric and gas-powered string trimmers quickly convert into edgers with the addition of a dedicated edging guide wheel attachment. The spinning trimmer line slices through grass and soil, cutting a crisp edge along beds.

Power edgers allow you to edge lengthy landscapes efficiently. Look for compatible attachments like curb guards to prevent damaging sprinklers and other fixtures while edging. Wear protective eye wear when using power trimmers and edgers.

5. Lawn Edger Guide Tools

Edger guides provide you with a straight edge to run along when using manual tools like spades for edging. They ensure you cut a perfectly straight line. Some edger guides anchor into the soil while others simply provide a visual guide to follow.

Metal edger guides with sharp cutting blades that anchor into the ground provide the most accuracy. But even simple straight wood planks work well as visual edging guides. Use lengths of 1×2 or 2×2 lumber.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Garden Bed Edgers

Keep these factors in mind when selecting the best edging tools for your lawn and garden beds:

  • Bed size – Larger gardens and expansive edging projects warrant more heavy duty, high leverage tools.

  • Edging frequency – Occasional touchups allow for basic tools like spades. Frequent edging calls for specialized edgers.

  • User height and strength – Look for ergonomic tools sized for your height. Step tools provide more leverage.

  • Body mobility – Vertical edgers are ideal for those with back issues. Wheeled edgers are easiest physically.

  • Edging precision – Edger guides or anchors ensure straight lines. Freehand edging takes more skill.

  • Budget – Inexpensive spades vs high-end power/step edgers. Prioritize key features like blade strength.

No matter which option you choose, always look for quality construction and materials when selecting garden bed edging tools. Spending a little more for a durable steel bladed tool will reward you with better cutting action and much longer lifespan compared to cheaper light-weight models.

Proper protective gloves, eye wear, and closed toe sturdy footwear are a must when using any type of edged tool. Take care not to strike underground pipes or wires. Now go out and carve some beautiful straight garden bed edges!

Edging Technique Tips

Perfectly edged beds require the right tool but technique matters too. Follow these tips:

  • Edge after rain when soil is slightly moist but not muddy

  • Remove weeds along edges first so they don’t impede clean cuts

  • Use edger guides or garden hose for straight lines

  • Cut vertically down first, then slide tool towards you horizontally

  • Remove turf clumps as you work to leave clean soil lines

  • Refill edges with fresh mulch up to height of cut once finished

  • Edge around the base of trees and shrubs for visual definition

  • Edge once in spring and again in fall for best definition all year

What’s your favorite go-to tool for edging garden beds and lawns? Share your recommendations and edging tips in the comments!

CLEAN EDGES using ONE simple tool / Edge Beds like a PRO


What do professionals use for edging?

Tip: A popular go-to for professional landscapers, plastic is one of the most budget-friendly landscape edging options.

What is best to use for garden edging?

Metal Edging Metal makes for durable and sleek garden edging ideas that work well in modern and contemporary gardens. It is easy to install and relatively low maintenance, creating a clean and defined edge around lawns, flower beds or borders.

What is the cheapest way to edge your garden?

Plastic Edging Plastic isn’t glamorous, but it is inexpensive and lasts for many years. It comes in long rolls which require you to dig a trench in which to sink the edge. The rolls can be unwieldy to handle, so enlist a helper for easier installation.

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