I used this $49 garden tool — and my yard has never looked neater

Burgon & Ball half moon lawn edger
(Image credit: Burgon & Ball)

I’m not a neat freak when it comes to my lawn — my passion is with planting and this is where I dedicate most of my time in my yard. However, I do like to see a clear divide between the lawn and flower beds, without having long spikes of grass merging the two divides. 

Once my grass has been mown, it always looks much neater if the edges are given a trim. It’s the one finishing touch that adds the final flourish to mowing your lawn and leaves me with a certain level of satisfaction. But my manual lawn edger of old had seen better days, and I was stuck with a plastic handle that had cracked and had come away from its fixing. With a broken handle that was impossible to fix, despite a few attempts with heavy-duty tape, it was disbanded and sent to the graveyard of broken garden tools. 

However, this allowed me to look for a sturdier lawn edger, and I was impressed with the build quality of Burgon & Ball’s Half Moon Lawn Edger, which I put to the test to discover if it was up to the task.

Ames Saw-Tooth Border Edger: $37 @ Amazon

Ames Saw-Tooth Border Edger: $37 @ Amazon
While the Burgon & Ball Half Moon Lawn Edger is not available for sale in the U.S., this Ames Edger is similar with a strong steel handle, serrated blade that easily cuts through grass and a built-in footplate. 

It's a sturdy tool

Burgon & Ball half moon lawn edger

(Image credit: Future)

Rather than opting for a tool that wouldn’t stand the test of time, I was looking for a lawn edger that was sturdy and robust. So, with past experience in mind, I wanted to avoid using a lawn edger with a plastic handle that could snap around the screw fixing. Burgon & Ball’s offering is constructed with a long hardwood shaft and handle, with no sections that can come apart.

It also has a sturdy stainless steel cutting blade, which is rust resistant — a plus when using any yard tool as moisture is impossible to avoid. However, one way of ensuring you take the best care of your tools is to clean them down after each use and store them in a dry tool shed or garage. This will help extend their life and reduce the likelihood of rust. 

The blade is serrated

The serrated edge of Burgon & Ball's lawn edger

(Image credit: Future)

I’d never used a lawn edger with a serrated blade before, which Burgon & Ball says is designed to “slice effortlessly through ground for a sharply-defined lawn edge.” It certainly worked well and had no problem cutting through moist turf, although when I used it after a dry spell, the soil was much tougher to cut through and I needed to put a lot more strength into using the tool.

For ease of use, I'd recommended using the edging tool when the soil is moist, rather than during a dry period. 

Ease of use 

Burgon & Ball lawn edger being used in yard

(Image credit: Future)

The lawn edger is easy to use and intuitive — you won’t need to read any instructions before edging your lawn for the first time. Despite not having an ergonomically shaped handle grip, it is comfortable to hold and measures 11 inches across. I also found the length of the lawn edger — 37 inches — to be ideal. Despite only being 5-foot 4-inches, I didn’t find it too long, while if you are on the tall side, I think it is perfectly manageable without having an extendable handle.  

Although I am right handed and automatically place my right foot on the edging tool, it is equally balanced for using either your left or right foot, although I wouldn't recommend using both feet at the same time unless you've got excellent balance!

Why a manual lawn edger is best for me 

I have a long narrow yard which is divided into rooms to create separate areas and break up the space. Part of this includes three areas that all need mowing and edging. Although it may seem like a long task to edge all the lawn, without using a power edger or string trimmer, I find it easier to use a manual tool than getting caught up with an electrical cable, or making sure a tool is charged.

It also gives you more precision. Personally, I find string trimmers are better when the grass is very long and unruly, while a manual tool gives you greater control over the depth and angle of cut and is ideal to use with shaping the edging after a mow.

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Camilla Sharman
Staff Writer, Homes

Camilla Sharman has worked in publishing and marketing for over 30 years and has covered a wide range of sectors within the business and consumer industries both as a feature, content, and freelance writer.  

As a business journalist, Camilla has researched articles for many different sectors from the jewellery industry to finance and tech, charities, and the arts. Whatever she’s covered, she enjoys delving deep and learning the ins and out of different topics, then conveying her research within engaging content that informs the reader. In her spare time, when she’s not in her kitchen experimenting with a new recipe, you’ll find her keeping fit at the gym. In the pool, stretching at a yoga class, or on a spin bike, exercise is her escape time. She also loves the great outdoors and if she’s not pottering about in her garden, she’ll be jumping on her bike for a gentle cycle ride.