When you pour a concrete slab or foundation, you will want to use a concrete edger to create flat and straight edges that will help you achieve a professional-looking finish on the cement. With a little practice, you will get the hang of using the tool within a few minutes and be able to create professional-looking edges on your concrete slab or foundation.
Step 1 - Wait Until the Cement is Almost Dry
Before you begin to edge the concrete slab, you should wait until it starts to dry and harden. When you start edging, the cement should be slightly firm but still pliable and able to be worked with the edger. Touch the cement with your fingers to test. If the consistency is still runny or watery, you'll need to wait a little longer before you can start edging.
Step 2 - Align the Concrete Edger
Carefully insert the blade of the concrete edger in between the cement and wooden form that was used to create the slab. The flat part of the concrete edger should be on the top of the cement slab itself. When inserting the edger blade, do so slowly and try not to push the cement inward.
Step 3 - Don't Apply too Much Pressure
When pressing down on the concrete edger be careful not to apply too much pressure. While you do want to apply enough pressure in order to flatten and straighten the corner edge, you don't want to apply so much pressure you will actually depress or squish the cement slab. It may take you a few seconds to determine how much pressure you'll need to apply to the slab, but you should get the hang of it very quickly.
Step 4 - Edge With Long Strokes
Begin to slowly glide the concrete edger over the surface of the concrete slab while making sure the blade stays wedged between the slab and the form. Don't get in a rush, and push the edger slowly along the top of the slab while ensuring the flat part of the edger stays level with the top of the cement.
When pushing or pulling the edger, use long strokes rather than short choppy ones. If possible, start at one end of the slab and continue all the way to the other end without stopping. This will result in much cleaner edges when you remove the concrete forms.
Step 6 - Occasionally Rinse the Blade
If you have to stop edging the concrete slab for some reason, place the edger in the bucket of water. When you return, make sure to rinse the edger thoroughly and wipe away any cement that may have clung to the edger.
(Tip—If while you're edging the concrete slab, the cement becomes too firm, splash a handful or two of water in the area where the slab is starting to dry out and then quickly pass your edger over that spot.)