How to edge a lawn without an edger is important to find out because not all of us have an electronic lawn edger lying around our toolshed. Honestly, there isn’t even any need for an edger after you read through this guide.

How to Edge a Lawn Without an Edger

With simple and common household tools like a shovel or lawn shears, you can get very neat lawn edges just by manual edging. This guide will discuss several ways to edge a lawn without an edger nearby.

What Are Some Ways to Edge a Lawn Without an Edger?

Some ways to edge a lawn without an edger include using DIY lawn edgers such as a shovel or shears. Electric tools like a string trimmer or a reciprocating saw can also be used to edge the boundary of your turf. Manual edgers or a utility knife will work too.

As we can see, there are a lot of possible methods to try in case of a lawn edger’s absence.

1. Bring Your Shovel Out

Any shovel with a square edge can edge the lawn no matter how wide or lean its shape is. This method is convenient because who doesn’t have a shovel in their garage these days? You can remove large pieces of turf at a time with the help of a shovel and finish the task shortly.

  • Start by clearly outlining the edge of your lawn using two sticks and a string. On both ends of one side of the lawn, bury the wooden sticks two inches deep within the soil. Connect both of these using the string and see that the string is tied straight and taut. This string is now the outline along which you will edge the lawn.
  • What to do if the lawn edges are curved or wavy instead of straight? In this case, you will need multiple sticks and strings, which can be cumbersome. Instead, go for spray paint by spraying it along the edges of the lawn and try to make this outline as straight as possible. An ideal lawn edge should be at a safe distance of one to two inches from the garden beds and fence posts.
  • Put the sharp edge of your shovel along the line that you have marked while keeping the rest of the shovel at an angle of 90 degrees to the surface of the lawn.
  • Holding the handle of the shovel firmly with your hand, push the shovel down hard into the soil with your foot. Push hard enough that the shovel’s edge digs at least two inches deep within the soil. Digging the shovel deeper than this is not recommended because there is a risk of damaging sprinkler heads and utility lines running closer to the surface.
  • Now, push down on the handle of the shovel, after which the shovel will push the grass and soil up.
  • Carry on doing this all along your marked boundary repeatedly using the method mentioned above. Once done with this, use the same shovel to remove the pushed-up grass from the lawn. After cleaning the dirt, grass, and soil, you will see a neat line edging your lawn.

2. Half Moon Edger Works Like a Shovel

This tool has a half-moon-shaped blade attached to a wooden handle. You can put pressure on either side by digging them into the ground. This shape is designed to help dig through rough patches of soil easily using a rocking motion.

Half Moon Edger Works Like a Shovel

This very rare tool is not really found lying at home, so you might have to purchase it. See if any of your friends have this at home and can lend it to you for a day. After you have marked a boundary at the edge of the lawn, place the half-moon edger along this boundary and dig it in, then move to the adjacent spot and repeat this process along the boundary.

This might take longer than the other methods we discussed, but you will surely have a neat and clean edge. The cleanup will also take a while because all the material you take out must be manually cleaned up.

3. Maintain Edges Using a Reciprocating Saw

A reciprocating saw is a multiuse tool that can be used for lawn edging if an electric edger is not available. You might be asking, “Aren’t these machines used in the construction industry?” The answer is that they can cut through anything, and you can utilize this property of theirs in your lawn as well.

Install the reciprocating saw’s blade when turned off and disconnected from the power supply. These saws come with various blades, and you need to choose one about two to three inches longer than the thickness of the grass blades. Bring an extension cable that is long enough to carry the saw all over the lawn if there is no power socket in your lawn.

Hold the saw with both hands so that the dominant hand holds the handle while the nondominant hand supports the machine behind the chuck surrounding the blade. This machine works like a gun, and you will have to pull a trigger for the blade to start cutting along the edge of the lawn.

4. Go for a Lawn Trimmer

A lawn trimmer, also known as a weed whacker, rips weeds from the ground through a vibrating string or rotation blades. You can also use it instead of an edger to line your lawn properly, which is why it is the most important multipurpose tool in your inventory.

Go for a Lawn Trimmer

  • String trimmers stir up a lot of debris in the form of dirt and cut grass pieces as they work. You must wear a proper protective face mask, eye goggles, a full-sleeved shirt, and gloves.
  • To start edging, flip the trimmer so its vibrating line or blades are perpendicular to the ground. This way, the blades or the line will dig straight into the ground around the lawn’s periphery.
  • Push the start button or pull the starting cord to get to work. The trimmer with the starting cord might need to be pulled multiple times before it starts up.
  • Move the trimmer three to four inches above the ground along your designated edge. Keep your hand steady as the rotating blades cut through the grass and soil.
  • Remove the pulled-out grass and soil to see the neat and thin edge the weed whacker has created.

Take note that it doesn’t matter whether you edge a lawn before or after mowing. Advocates of mowing grass after edging the lawn have the added benefit that you get a neater finish afterward. Besides that, you can carry out mowing at your convenience and personal preference.

5. Lawn Mowers Also Maintain Edges

If you are handy with a lawn mower, you can also maneuver it to maintain the perfect edge for your lawn. It helps if you have a small, sleek mower to reach the edges better. A lawn mower only works well with an irregularly bordered yard. If yours has straight edges and is rectangular or square-shaped, your mower will have a good finish.

Adjust the mower’s setting so the blade is kept at the lowest possible setting. This would help ensure that at least one inch of the yard gets edges. While keeping your mower in a straight line, move along the edge of the lawn slowly.

The result might be disappointing because a lawn mower will never give you the neat finish that a good edger would. You can use additional instruments afterward, like a shovel, to improve the final result.

6. Edging Shears Make Great Edges

Lawn or edging shears seem like a weird tool to create the perfect lawn edges, but trust us, they work just as well. If you need to learn how to identify this tool, look for one with a pair of blades resting at 90 degrees to its handle. Once your lawn edge has been well defined, you must walk along it while snipping grass using these shears.

Edging Shears Make Great Edges

This method, of course, does not dig into the ground unless you manually push the blade-like ends of the shears within the edge line. There are more advisable methods if you have a lot of ground to cover. This will take a long time and might not be worth the effort.

7. Manual Edgers Are Just as Good

You might also know of manual lawn edgers as rotary edgers instead. Unfortunately, these do not have blades built at their ends, so they cannot cut neat edges into the turf. However, if the edge has already been made around the periphery of the lawn, then a manual lawn edger will help maintain it perfectly.

Just like electric edgers, manual ones have a long handle pushed via a handle from the person behind. As with all manual tools, the only drawback is that you will have to expend more energy and time compared to an electric tool.

8. Use a Utility Knife

A utility knife is often used to cut through sod, and more or less all turf owners own one. Again, this would be a very labor-intensive and time-consuming endeavor, but you can also use this knife to create the edges of your turf.

Use a Utility Knife

Prepping beforehand makes a great difference in getting perfectly straight lines while edging the lawn. The best way is to purchase bright-colored grass paint and use a straight ruler to mark the edge of the lawn using it. Then take whatever tool you have decided to use for edging and follow this line, keeping your hand as steady as possible. You will be surprised at yourself by just how perfect the result will come out to be.

Frequently Asked Question

– What Is the Simplest Way to Edge My Lawn?

The simplest way to edge your lawn is by using an electric edging tool. This machine has a long stick with a handle at the end to which a blade is attached, with its cutting edge digging vertically into the ground.

All you need to do is walk along the edge of your lawn, holding this electric lawn edger in front of you like a push-type lawn mower. Using an upside-down turned string trimmer is also an easy and convenient way of edging any lawn or turf.


To sum everything up, a lawn electric edger is not an absolute necessity in your garden, and there are a lot of DIY tools and tricks you can employ instead. Here is a brief summary of edging a lawn perfectly without an edger.

  • It is possible to use only a shovel’s wide edge to cut through a lawn’s edge. A shovel always produces a beautiful result, but it will take a lot of time.
  • You can also use other manual tools like lawn shears for this purpose, but you might have a hard time if the lawn is big.
  • When rotated at 180 degrees, a string trimmer enables you to edge a yard perfectly in a short amount of time.
  • A reciprocating saw, a common tool in the construction industry, is quite effective at making lawn edges.
  • You will see that using a half-moon edger gives good results but takes a long time to finish a lawn.

So if your electric edger is not working properly or you had lent it to someone and now they refuse to give it back, look around your tool shed to see if any of the tools mentioned above are present. There are so many different ways of edging a lawn, and you may find one of these methods more effective.

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