Should you use a line trimmer to edge a lawn?

There are many time saving secrets professional lawn mowing crews use to get a property completed in as short of time as possible, but are there any downsides to doing it? With more speed, you may think quality would suffer. But maybe quality doesn’t suffer bad enough to necessitate the purchase of an edger and the need to spend more time edging with it. That is the question present on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum.

A lawn care business owner wrote “In the past I have always used a trimmer held at a angle to do my lawn edging. I was looking at an edger the other day and it seems like a nice idea. What does everyone use? A trimmer revved high with a thick line or an edger with a blade?”

One lawn care business owner responded by saying “I think the edger does a better, more professional looking job. I have two of them. One is electric that I have had for years that I bought for home use and the other was part of a combo set that has a line trimmer, edger, hedge trimmer, blower, tiller.
Both have wheels.

The edger does take longer but the customers seem to like the extra effort. The electric is a little easier to handle (I have an inverter, 1,000 watt on my truck that works well for small jobs even though I have to spend more time running the cord and re-stowing after. Also, my combo unit has a curved shaft. If I get another edger in the future, it will be a straight shaft one. I think the design was more ergonomic.”

A second business owner wrote “for the longest time I didn’t own an edger. I had always used a trimmer. It makes things go a lot quicker. I can edge everything and trim as I go. With an edger you would have to start the machine, edge everything then go back to the truck, get the trimmer, start it and then trim everything. I figure, kill two birds with one stone.

This year I did break down though and finally buy a stick edger but, it hasn’t been off the trailer in 6 months. Sometimes if I get a bad clean up I’ll use it the 1st time I visit but more than anything I find, the only time I am starting it is to make sure the carb doesn’t get gummed up.

Edging with the trimmer is kind of an artform, once you get the technique down (provided you can walk & chew gum) it’s fast & accurate. Plus the trimmer is already in your hand & running. One tool, 2 jobs. I tell my employees, once around the house trimming & edging, once with a blower… Done.

Then you are off to the next lawn. I don’t see this policy as rushing a job at all. It’s a matter of working efficiency & productivity. My father ran his own lawn care business for many years and he always called things like this ‘economy of motion.’ If you can do something while your already there, just get it done & move on.

As I was building my business, I worked alone for a while. The 20-30 (or more+++) extra steps per property adds up in time & fatigue when you are doing 12-15 stops a day solo. You can’t afford to waste time and energy. In fact, as you look for ways to grow your business, you will find you need to conserve energy & effort in order to be profitable and gain an edge on your competitors. Economy of motion is the secret to efficiency and success in this business.”

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