Basic guide to cutting lawn edges

perfect tips for beginners

Inspirations / How to

17/09/2019

Estimated reading time 5 minutes

Every beautiful garden needs a well-kept lawn. And lawn care is all about attention to detail. So what details make the difference? The edges.

You need to cut the edges of your lawn to prevent the grass encroaching onto other spaces, such as flower beds. In this way, you clearly separate the green lawn from the rest of the garden. Plants and flowers will look and grow better, while pavements and paths will be cleaner and safe from cracks. Besides, you will also find yourself having to cut grass where the lawnmower can't reach: along the garden perimeter, at the base of walls, fences, pavements and paths, as well as around hedges, trees, flower beds and the vegetable patch.

So, how can you keep the edges of your lawn under control? What are the best cutting techniques to use? Read on as we reveal all in the following paragraphs.

Cutting lawn edges: spade or brushcutter?

To keep the edges of your lawn under control, you can use a spade before or after mowing to shave off small slices of turf and earth. Make vertical (not slanting) cuts with the spade while holding a wooden plank up against the edge as a guide, so as to define the edge along the wall, flowerbed, pavement or around the trees. It is admittedly quite a labour-intensive job, but you don’t need to trim the edges with a spade every time you mow the lawn: once it’s done, simply cut back the grass every so often, the ideal tool for this purpose being a brushcutter.

The brushcutter is an invaluable gardening aid because it not only trims lawn edges, but also cuts grass in small or narrow spaces where lawnmowers cannot access, however compact and manoeuvrable. But which is the best brushcutter to use?

Which brushcutter to use for cutting lawn edges

There are many brushcutters on the market, but they can be classified into three main categories: corded electric brushcutters, battery-operated electric brushcutters and petrol-engine brushcutters.

For keeping household lawn edges under control, corded electric brushcutters, battery-powered brushcutters and lightweight petrol-engine brushcutters all do a great job. Among the various electric brushcutter models in its catalogue, Efco recommends the 8061 with 600 W power output, 105 mm diameter universal Tap & Go head and 1.65 mm line.

In the battery-powered brushcutter range, the new Efco DSi 30 is equipped with a 2.5 Ah battery, battery charger, 103 mm Load & Go head and 2 mm line. With the 5 Ah battery, you get up to an hour’s operating time between charges.

Among the petrol engine brushcutters, one excellent solution for cutting lawn edges is the STARK 2500 TR lightweight brushcutter with 800 W two-stroke engine, 105 mm Tap & Go head and 2 mm line.

Prepare to cut your lawn edges

Before starting to cut the edge of your lawn, check that the work area is clear: stones, small objects and litter fragments can be projected a long distance from the brushcutter. Also, make sure that people and animals are kept at a minimum distance of 15 m.

Ensure that line head safety guard is mounted and that the line is not too long, as the engine could be put under stress and damaged. This is not a problem with the guard fitted, because its line-cutting blade automatically shortens the line to the optimum length.

Make sure the handles are dry and clean. Hold the brushcutter on your right side using both hands: the right hand on the shaft or rear handle, and the left hand on the front handle (this grip also applies to left-handed users). The front handle is adjustable: find the height that suits you best.

In addition, to balance the brushcutter and constantly keep it at the correct height from the ground, you can attach an adjustable strap, such as the Efco single harness with or without snap hook.

Tips and tricks for cutting lawn edges

At this point you are ready to start cutting lawn edges, remembering to keep in a stable position, with your feet firmly planted on the ground.

  • Trim the lawn edge by tilting the brushcutter head towards the edge, but without pushing right up against the soil: it’s the tip of the line that does the cutting.
  • To cut the lawn edge at the base of obstacles, such as walls or fences, slowly bringing the brushcutter head close to the obstacle: it’s a procedure that uses up more line and can occasionally also break it.
  • To cut around the foot of trees, walk around them in a clockwise direction, carefully moving the inclined line head towards the tree. A brushcutter is better than a spade because you avoid hitting roots, although the rotating line can damage small shrubs or trunks with delicate bark. To reduce this risk, keep the line to a maximum length of 10-12 cm and reduce the engine speed. You can still protect trees by wrapping a flexible plastic panel around the trunk, for example.
  • To cut grass that you can’t reach with a lawnmower, hold the cutting head parallel to the ground and walk forward while sweeping the cutting head through an arc: your body should do the swinging rather than your arms, which need to keep the brushcutter stationary and at a constant height.
  • Don't rush, even if the brushcutter does its job quickly: work with precision, taking the necessary time so that you avoid having to backtrack and make another pass, which would produce an uneven result in any case.
  • If you are cutting the edge of the lawn next to a pavement or driveway, walk on the pavement or driveway rather than on the grass, otherwise you will find yourself cutting the lawn instead of the edge.

Have you run out of line for your brushcutter? With Efco universal heads, reloading takes just a few seconds. Read the blog article about how to change brushcutter line easily and quickly.

Did you know that brushcutters only work better and with less effort when you use a line appropriate for the tool’s power rating and the type of work you are doing, like the one supplied with Efco models? You can find more information in this article about choosing brushcutter line.

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