Lawn edgers - quick question

I’m just wrapping up testing of a batch of dedicated lawn edgers - the type that uses a fixed steel blade, not nylon line trimmers.

How important is it that they be able to neatly trim lawn that does not have a hard surface alongside like pavers or concrete, eg a flower bed that just has a gap between it and the lawn ? If you can share with us how much of your lawn has hard/soft edges that would also be useful. Thank you !

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I use a steel blade lawn edger, the one I am currently using is Ozito dual action. It is very good, but not as neat as I hoped, maybe the user not the product though. I have soft and hard areas to trim the soft areas are the least tidy after I have finished. Umm, next time maybe

I have a Ryobi, and though most of my edging is from concrete paths, I do have several sections, about 20m, where i need to use it from on the grass.
It is definitely more difficult without the hard surface, but that’s hard to avoid.
I’ll be interested to see what your test says about the Ryobi edger, if it was one you tested.

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Great I look forward to your test results as I want to buy one and the range is rather small.

I have a very large garden with long edges of Kikuyu lawn bordering garden beds. The steel bladed Atom petrol powered edger does a good job where the garden is about the same level as the lawn and a reasonable job against gravel paths but where the lawn is well above adjacent levels the edger is inadequate. Extra long blades that are available would help but then would cut to deeply for other uses.

Hi valtiree,

for the situation you describe where the lawn is at a significantly different level, an edger with separate adjustment for the various wheels would be the only ‘ideal’ solution. Unfortunately, edgers of this type tend to be more expensive 4-stroke models, and the adjustments can be a fiddly, time-consuming affair.

I’m in a similar situation to valtiree.

I’m on an acre of land and have a lot of garden beds. There are hard edges on both sides of the concrete drive (about 12 metres each side). I use a manual Cyclone Rotary Turf Edger for these edges as it only takes a couple of minutes.

The remaining beds have a spade edge and the total distance would be at least several hundred metres (as there is a grass mowing strip between boundary fences and adjacent garden beds). I have used a manual tool called the Bulldog Lawn Shears 90-degree in the past which does a really good job and makes the garden and lawn look great. However, it can take several hours to do, if I do the lot as I have to cut and then remove the grass runners (I’ve got kikuyu for grass) by hand.

Lately have ended up just spraying the edges with glyphosate – much faster, even if the edges aren’t as neat.

Did look at a power edger a couple of weeks ago. The Atom lawn edgers – was recommended by the salesman at store where I get my ride-on, shredder etc serviced. He also mentioned that it is used by local council – which has a mixture of hard surfaces and lawn/garden bed edges.

I’ve seen the Atom lawn edgers in use on youtube for lawn/garden bed edges ( - about 4 seconds into video as well as 23 & 46 seconds ).

It appears to be able to cope where the lawn is at a different level as there is only one wheel (which you keep on the lawn). In fact, the scene at the 46 second mark looks very similar to my place.

The price difference between 2 and 4 stroke appears to be ~$200.00 ( I would be prepared to pay the difference in price as I prefer 4 stroke and all my other small machinery is 4 stroke - so no worries re mixing oil and petrol.

Hope that your test includes these edgers.

Hi Peter,

you’ll be happy to hear that we do indeed have some 4-stroke models in our current test, to be reported soon.

PeterG, I bought my Atom edger second hand over three years ago and use it frequently over long distances. It works very well and has given no trouble. After seeing the video you referred to I will fit the longer blades I have and see how it goes where the lawn is above adjoining surfaces.

Hi valtiree,

hope you don’t mind if I ask a few questions as I’d like to get the opinion of someone in the same situation as I am and who is actually using the Atom edger.

can you tell me which model of the Atom edger you have - the available models are listed on

like you, my lawn is Kikuyu - i assume that the blades can cut thru the runners with ease? How do you deal with the runners that have traveled underground and popped up in the garden bed, some distance from the edge. Do you remove the cut runners after you have run the edger over them, or just leave them (I ask because the other day, when I was doing the edging with the hand shears, I disturbed a baby brown snake in the spade edge, between lawn and garden bed, under some runners - abit of a scare!!)

finally, you do have any problems with keeping the edger’s blade close enough to the lawn edge to cut the grass and provide a sharp edge, without continually cutting into the soil under the turf.

would really appreciate your comments.

cheers Peter

My Atom is model 410 which looks like which looks like the 435 but it has a 31cc 2 stroke engine.

There is no problem cutting the Kikuyu runners within reach which I then tidy away by rake or hand; short runners do not survive as they have not formed effective roots. Those that are too deep and appear remote from the lawn are dealt with manually or by glyphosate - which works very well on Kikuyu, killing the visible portion as well as the buried root leading to it. Conversely, I am surprised how sharp a line can be made using glyphosate only as an edge control.

Provided the edging is done fairly regularly it is not hard to follow the edge line from last time. If the edger veers too far into the lawn Kikuyu re-establishes itself fairly quickly.

I’ve been lucky enough not to come across a snake but now have to be wary of hopper ants following anaphalaxis after the latest sting.

Good luck

Hi valtiree,

thanks for your response.

I’m going to see what the reviews are on the Choice testing, but I think that I’ll be buying one of these edgers as doing the lawn edging is about my least favorite gardening job. It’s OK for the 1st hundred or so metres, but then it gets a bit boring.

thanks again for your answers

cheers Peter

Here are the results for our lawn edger review (member content). If you have follow up questions, please feel free to post them to this thread.

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