How to Edge Using Your String Trimmer

What You'll Need
String trimmer
Extra string
Extension cord
Lawn rake

The string trimmer has become one of the favorite yard maintenance tools of homeowners, because of its versatility, low purchase price, low maintenance, and ease of use. One use of this tool that may not be as well known is that of edging. The average homeowner typically will limit the use of this tool to trimming lawns in areas their mowers are not able to reach. Others have discovered the clean, straight-edge look they can get by using the trimmer to edge lawns, driveways, sidewalks and flower beds. Using the string trimmer for edging, however, does require a different skill than is required for its use as a trimmer. If you'd like to know more about how to use it for this purpose, here are a few tips:

Tip 1 – Use Safety

Before you begin your edging, be sure you are wearing protective clothing, and eye wear such as goggles or sunglasses. Flying debris flung into the air by the high powered spinning string can sting if it strikes your bare skin. It can also cause injury to an  eye if your eye were to be struck with a small object such as a stone, a splinter of wood, a plant stem, or even an insect.

Tip 2 – Prepare Your Area

Remove debris from the area where you'll be working. Remove small objects that can be flung at you by the trimmer's string. Be sure pets and children are kept away from the potentially damaging string of the trimmer. Even though children may not be close enough to the trimmer to be struck by the string, they can be injured by flying debris.

Tip 3 – Prepare Your Trimmer

Be sure you have enough power to finish your edging. If your trimmer were to run out of power before your job is done, you'll be left with an unfinished edge and will need to wait until you get more power before you finish. For a electric powered trimmer you'll need an extension cord long enough to reach the farthest point of your edging. Before buying a new extension cord for the trimmer, check the locations of outside receptacles on your house, then measure the distance from each to the farthest edge it will reach. This will tell you the length of extension cord you'll need. If your trimmer is gas operated, check its gas tank and fill it before beginning to edge. Be sure the battery is charged if your trimmer operates from a battery.

Tip 4 – Operating Your Trimmer

When you are ready to start edging, begin at the left end of the edge you'll be working on. Start your trimmer and rotate it so that its string spins vertically and strikes the grass at a 45 degree angle. (straight up and down).

Tip 5 – Clean Up

Part of your job of edging will include cleaning up any grass or weeds remaining on your sidewalk, lawn, or flower bed. This will be light weight material you can clean up with a lawn rake or broom if the clippings are scattered on a lawn or sidewalk.