How to Edge with a Whipper Snipper

Written By:
Scott Carroll
Published On:
September 1, 2023

Whipper snippers are versatile gardening tools common in home gardener’s toolsheds. Many Australian gardeners use them to keep their lawns neat and trimmed. 

These amazing string trimmers are commonly used for cutting grass and other vegetation in areas where mowers and other tools cannot reach easily or safely. They are easy to use and store and can be adapted to most Australian home gardens. Most professional-grade whipper snippers are designed to handle thick overgrowth. At the same time, retail versions are usually sufficient for edging along flower beds, driveways, sidewalks, and other areas around the home. Few things improve curb appeal than a well-manicured lawn, and an edged and maintained lawn is a huge part of the overall package.

Why is lawn edging important?

Several components are involved with lawn care and maintenance, including watering, fertilising, and mowing. But edging is also a critical part of the lawn-care puzzle. Benefits of lawn edging with a high-quality whipper snipper, as highlighted by our skilled lawn care experts, include the following:

  • Gives your landscape a professional and clean appearance
  • Adds to the value and increases curb appeal
  • Adds value to your existing landscape so you spend less money
  • Saves time on future mowing and lawn maintenance
  • Provides a clean barrier to keep grass and weeds out of flower beds
  • Keeps sidewalks and driveways clean and neat-looking
  • Complements the house and sets it apart from the lawn and landscape
  • Reduces hiding places for pests and helps prevent diseases

Is an edger better than a whipper snipper?

Whether it is best to use a line trimmer or a whipper snipper is a common question our landscape and garden experts are asked. An edger might be a worthwhile investment for professional-grade work where large areas are tended to regularly. 

However, a standard whipper snipper can meet most Australian homeowners’ lawn care needs. The average-sized lawn should easily be handled by a whipper snipper. Whether that is a corded, battery, fuel-powered tool, or something a little bigger than a standard whipper snipper, it will be up to you and your personal needs and gardening goals.

If an edger seems like it’s the right choice for you, see our guide on the best lawn edger in Australia!

How to use a whipper snipper to do edges

Using a whipper snipper to edge your lawn and garden beds can be a great way to maintain your landscape, boost curb appeal, and keep your Australian property looking its best. In our experience, this is the best way to do your edges:

  1. Safety first
  2. Preparing the area
  3. Setting up the whipper snipper
  4. Edging the lawn 
  5. Cleaning and disposing of clippings

1. Safety first

The first step to ensure your edging project goes as smoothly as possible is to keep safety first and foremost in mind. Be sure to pick up any obstacles or debris that could get in the way of your whipper snipper. Ensure you have the right personal protection equipment by wearing gloves, a hat, glasses and long sleeve shirt and pants. Always take a few minutes to inspect your equipment for damage or obvious issues before you start any yard work.

2. Preparing the area 

Once your equipment is all ready, it is time to prep your lawn. You will want to ensure you have recently mowed, as this will reduce the amount of grass your whipper snipper has to contend with. This is a good time to make note of any obstacles you will have to work around, such as hardscape items or tree stumps and other things in the landscape.

3. Setting up the whipper snipper

Consider speed, angle, line type, and holding position when edging. Each of these factors can impact how the edging looks and the finished results for your edging work. A degree of trial and error is involved, and you can work with different settings and approaches to see what works best for you and your specific lawn edging needs. Knowing how to put on the whipper snipper cord, how to handle the tool, and what to do to maintain your equipment can all impact the results you get.

4. Edging the lawn

Not every lawn or garden bed has nice and easy borders. If you start to edge for the first time, it can take several tries before things look the way you want. Our experts recommend establishing where you want your edges to be and continually going over them each time you mow your lawn. Over time, the edging will become cleaner and crisper and look more like the way you want.

5. Cleaning and disposing of clippings

Cleaning up your clippings is a straightforward process. There are two basic options you can choose. One is to gather and bag the clippings and dispose of them. If you live in an area with lawn debris pickup, you should be able to have the clippings disposed of that way. The other option is to use the clippings in your compost pile to break down and help make rich soil that you can use in your gardens and flower beds later.

Beyond the basics: advanced edging strategies

Our experts have a handy tip if you need some help with straight edges and keeping a fine line with your edging. Place a board or other sturdy straight edge on the ground as a cutting guide. This is very handy for those learning to use a whipper snipper properly.

For curves, our pros suggest using a rubber hose or other flexible item to map out the path you need to take. You can also get whipper snippers with specially designed handles and heads to deal with curved areas of your beds and borders.

You can also make edging flower beds easier by keeping a space between your plants and the grass edge. This will keep you from hitting the plants while trying to keep the grass at bay. It also makes the beds look neat and clean.

Key takeaways

Whipper snippers, commonly used in Australia, are versatile gardening tools for edging lawns and reaching tricky spots. They use a spinning line wire for precise cutting and can be electric or fuel-powered. Benefits of using whipper snippers include enhanced lawn appearance, increased property value, and reduced maintenance time. They also prevent weed growth in flower beds and minimise pest hideouts. While professionals might opt for edgers for extensive tasks, whipper snippers suffice for most homeowners. For effective use:

  • Prioritise safety: Wear protective gear and inspect equipment.
  • Preparation: Mow the lawn and identify obstacles.
  • Setup: Adjust the whipper snipper’s speed, angle, and line type.
  • Edging: Regularly edge for clean borders.
  • Cleanup: Dispose of clippings by bagging or composting.

Use boards for straight edges and rubber hoses for curves for advanced techniques. Keeping a gap between plants and grass edges ensures neatness and safety. If you think you’re ready to roll with your whipper snipper, check out our reviews on the best battery whipper snipper and best petrol whipper snipper in the Australian market!


How do you hold a whipper snipper for edging?

A whipper snipper is a versatile tool that can be used in several ways. For most edging work, you will want to hold the whipper snipper so the cutting lines are running vertically and can be run parallel to the sidewalk, driveway, flower bed, or other object you are edging around.

How often should I edge my lawn?

There is no set frequency for edging the lawn. You will want to run your whipper snipper along the edging often enough to keep it clean and neat and to keep grass tendrils from growing past the edge mark.

Can I use my whipper snipper on wet grass?

Using your whipper snipper on dry grass is generally believed to be best. Our experts explain that wet grass can clump and clog the cutter head more easily. If you can’t work on dry grass, try to avoid cutting right after the rain to give the grass a chance to dry off at least a little.