A lawn edger education.

Using a lawn mower is the first tool that a new lawn care business owner learns about. Next is using a line trimmer to keep the areas you can’t mow, trimmed back. Other tools like hedge trimmers and pole saws then come into play. Lastly it seems the lawn edger is the least used tool in the start ups. This doesn’t have to be the case. You can give your lawns a professional looking edge, even if you are new by using an edger. Let’s look into how from this discussion on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum.

One lawn care business owner wrote “I am a beginner in the lawn care business. The only experience I have with using edgers is the one time I used one of those old manual stick edgers, and the twist ‘n turn type electric/cordless string trimmers that convert to an edger. I have never used a real edger on my own property as I had no need for anything more.

Now I that I am trying to improve the look of the lawns I take care of, I need to learn the proper method and use the proper equipment. I essentially know NOTHING about gas edgers, so I could really use help.

  • Are different types of edgers for different tasks?
  • If they all do the same thing, are they only used along sidewalks and driveways, or do you use them for cutting fresh edges along flowerbeds too?
  • What is better, straight shaft or curved?
  • Engine power, is this a huge concern?

I bought a straight shaft trimmer that accepts gearbox accessories. The edger attachment is $180. That’s a LOT of money for a small chunk of metal, but it’s half to a third of the cost of some of the dedicated edgers I have seen so I’m going to have to wait to learn a bit more before I decide whether I buy the attachment or just buy a stand alone edger.

Currently I am having a hard enough time using my line trimmer as a trimmer, let alone try to use it as a bed edger. I have found it’s a delicate process to use a line trimmer as an edger. One little movement the wrong way and the lawn gets butchered.

I know that you can use a shovel to edge mulch beds, I did experiment with that last year. I was able to do about 200 feet of it. That took a long while though. That’s why I am asking if edgers were also used for beds. I always assumed they were only used for along concrete edges - I dunno though.

I see that there are wheeled edgers as well as the trimmer type. I assume that’s what a stick edger is? I don’t know what the purpose of the wheeled one is.”

A second lawn care business owner said “as far as using a string trimmer to edge it is hard until you get used to it. Also it seems that most accounts I have that had a previous gardener who used just a line trimmer, the line of the grass or where they edged with the line seems to cause an erosion effect along the edge line and it takes a while for that to grow back.

In my personal opinion I think using a blade is cleaner especially if it’s the first time to be edged. After you establish the line to me it looks more clean and consistent with a blade than with a line. I have used a blade edger to create a line along a flower bed however it is a little tough because there is no guide line like a cement curb or bender board but it can be done. Where I live everyone here has side walks so we edge a lot.

I have a combo unit that I bought about a year ago it comes with the line trimmer and the edger attachment for about $400. You can also get other attachment for it. After about a year it is getting a little flimsy where you hook them together. There is now a little play in the connection more so in the edger attachment. The little nut doesn’t really tighten up the shaft that much and it puts a lot of pressure on the little pin so it sort of makes the hole the pin goes into a little bigger than it should be. If this is all you use keep in mind that there is a lot of use on a single unit if you have a good number of accounts you better have a back up trimmer.

The walk behind edgers are good for straight lines and are better on your back over a long distance. We use them especially on sidewalks and at bigger areas like the parks in town we service.

If you are on a tight budget go with the two in one combo units. I would say if you can afford it go with a combo deal where the connector uses a bolt to hold it together, not a pin and a wing nut. That never really tightens. If you get a cheaper model, I would suggest that when you transport it, break it down and you will save that hole where the pin goes from a lot of unwanted stress.

The solid shaft trimmer and edger are the best and tend to be the most expensive. If you have a solid shaft unit, you would probably only use your split shaft unit for maybe the hedge trimmer attachment and the pole saw. It could also be used for a back up to the solid shaft unit.”

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