Abstract The effect of grain boundary edges on grain growth kinetics has been considered by an extension of Beck's treatment of primary grain growth. It is found that the effect of edges is important only for very small grain sizes. The effect of edge particles on grain growth stagnation is treated by a method analogous to Zener's treatment. It is shown that grain growth is completely suppressed at a critical volume fraction of particles. Finally, two-dimensional grain growth is considered and the results compared with recent results obtained by computer simulation.