If you're a serious lawn care aficionado, mowing the grass is only part of the job. For those final touches that make the yard perfect, you might need a powered hedge trimmer or edger. Use our buying guide to make the best choice based on your needs.

Give Your Yard the Pro Touch

Instead of trimming by hand, use a powered hedge trimmer or string trimmer to get a neat, professional-looking appearance. You'll be able to get perfect clean lines, giving your yard the tidy look it deserves. The perfect tool is out there waiting for you.

Hedge Trimmers & Edgers

Each tool serves a different function, but both are important for giving your yard a clean, sharp look. 

Man in white shirt and blue ballcap using a hedge trimmer

Hedge Trimmers

For maintaining formal hedges, creating uniform pruning lines, or just having all-around clean cuts, a powered hedge trimmer is the tool for the task. dual reciprocating blades allow the trimmer to cut cleanly in either direction from either side of the plant without shredding it. Blade sizes range from 6 inches for an electric detail trimmer to 28 in. for heavy-duty cutting, and most blades cut branches up to 3/8 in. (larger trimmers can cut as large as 1 1/4 in.).

A hand guard is provided for safety. Weight and balance are important because you'll be holding it at chest height or higher, and using it with arms extended at times.

SHOP HEDGE TRIMMERS
Man shown from the waist down using an edger on grass, house in background

Lawn Edgers

Get a clean line between lawn and sidewalk or mulched beds with a power string trimmer once you've finished mowing, especially if your landscape design demands it. Some creeping grasses need edging more than others to maintain a perfectly manicured lawn.

A vertical rotating blade cuts the grass cleanly where sidewalks or planting beds adjoin the lawn. Larger gas trimmers can convert to a small-scale trenching tool. Upscale tools also have adjustable angles for straight or angled edges. Blades range from 7 to 9 in. and will need sharpening or replacing occasionally.

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Power

Hedge trimmers and edgers are powered by either electricity or gasoline. Base your decision on how much portability, cutting capacity, and power you need.

  • Assortment of lawn power equipment displayed on a lawn

    Electric Models

    These models are lighter, quieter, and vibrate less than their gas counterparts. An electric motor drives the blades, so there's no need to mix fuel or refill. Smaller yards are especially good candidates for electric trimmers and edgers. There are two options: corded or rechargeable/battery-operated.

    SHOP ELECTRIC MODELS
  • Lime green string trimmer with outdoor extension cord plugged in

    Corded Models

    Going corded provides constant power as long as you have access to an electrical outlet. However, the attached cord limits mobility, so it may not be the best option for a lawn with plenty of trees. Look for a cord retention system to prevent the cord from being accidentally unplugged during use.

    SHOP CORDED MODELS
  • Blue hedge trimmer shown with battery and charger

    Rechargeable/Battery-Operated Models

    Also known as cordless, these hedge trimmers and edgers are good alternatives for smaller areas or jobs. They're limited by their run time and may not be able to cut larger shrubs as well as a gas-powered model, but they're great for mobility.

    SHOP BATTERY-OPERATED MODELS
  • Orange, grey and black hedge trimmer

    Gas Models

    These use a 2-cycle engine, requiring the user to mix oil and gasoline beforehand. Mobility and work output are greatly increased, but the extra power tends to translate to them being louder and heavier than electric models.

    SHOP GAS MODELS

Safety!

Wear protective clothing to keep you safe from flying debris. Safety glasses (link needed) and hearing protection (link needed) are also advised.

Prepare the area before edging or trimming. Remove loose debris, such as sticks and rocks, so they don't get caught in machinery.

When choosing an extension cord, remember that if the gauge of the cord is too small, the motor won't perform well. Always buy a cord rated for outdoor use. (link needed for outdoor use extension cords)

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