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View Full Version : Is an edger really worth it vs. my string trimmer? Pro's check in:


driver5
08-05-2008, 10:59 PM
Ive been doing this for years, and I honestly think that Im a pro at cutting in and maintaining an edge. I use a reverse 45 degree angle ( using my string trimmer )

Ive got a shinny combo unit and Im thinking about buying the edger attachment. Is it really worth having one? Is it any better than using my string trimmer?

Toss em at me: all the pro's n con's and everthing inbetween.

freshprince94
08-05-2008, 11:04 PM
I use only edgers. Down south, the grass looks bad if edged with a weedeater.

PROS: Leaves a nice, clean cut with no scalp spots, cuts through overgrown edges, edges faster than trimmer, less line used, doesn't hack up plants or other objects near
CONS: Extra $, walk back to trailer to get machine, need a high powered edger for overgrown edges

I use a Stihl KM 90 R with the straight shaft edger, never a trimmer. It has plenty of power (28.4 cc).

mississippiturf
08-05-2008, 11:05 PM
I know you'll get different opinions on this topic, as I've seen in previous posts, but I like to use a walk-behind edger for the first cut on a curb, sidewalk, or drive way and use the string trimmer after its been "trenched" out. It always seems to me that the first initial cut using a trimmer takes a bit longer and throws up a lot more debris.

Genlandscape
08-05-2008, 11:07 PM
We use my line trimmers about 75% of the time. One week out of each month every lawn gets "recut" with a fresh edger balde. We have very sandy soil here, and with the rains the edges tend to wash in so we clean them out once a month. In my opinion the trimmer line leaves a cleaner edge than the blade.

driver5
08-05-2008, 11:11 PM
does anyone have photos that compare the two. That would be great to show on this site. ( show a photo of edges with a string trimmer, and then show an edge with the edger).


How can you use the edger on an overgrown " ( driveway, sidewalk, or what ever) when you can't even see where the edge is? wouldnt you damage the blade ?

VAMower
08-05-2008, 11:17 PM
Was use them a lot at the beginning of the year. Along side walks and drive ways because the dirt has grown over the edge. We use a spade to find the edge and then cut along it. We might touch them up once during the year with an edger but use line trimmers the rest of the year.

Not to get too far off the subject but, how do you like the combo?

RhettMan
08-05-2008, 11:36 PM
i've used a straight split shaft echo 230 for 3 years now, no problems except one broken throttle trigger. Im solo, so i take good care of my trimmer, many would say not to get a split shaft (im think some are just old battle axes "we'll thats not how we've always done it")

Like i said though I love the trimmer and with it I can use:

*Bump String head- Trim and Edge
*Edger Attachment- great for over grown edges
*Hedge Trimmer Attachment- reaches way up compared to a dedicated hedge trimmer.

The edger is nice to have when its spring and the grass and dirt have washed and compacted over the edge of concrete, or when you get a new customer that hasnt had there concrete edged in years. Like other have said, I use the edger to "re-rut" the edge so i will have a slot to run the string line.

My two cents

FinerCutslawnCare
08-05-2008, 11:38 PM
I think u can go a heck of alot faster when having a straight edger compared to having to worry about scalping the grass!

driver5
08-05-2008, 11:42 PM
Was use them a lot at the beginning of the year. Along side walks and drive ways because the dirt has grown over the edge. We use a spade to find the edge and then cut along it. We might touch them up once during the year with an edger but use line trimmers the rest of the year.

Not to get too far off the subject but, how do you like the combo?


The combo is great ! I mostly use the pole saw and mainly the hedge trimmer. It can go into any angle. I also have a dedicated hedhe trimmer. I have found that i use the combo more than I do it.

Its expensive at first.. but its well worth it.

p.s. I didnt buy the string trimmer attachment only because I feared that all the bumping would weaken the joint.

speaking of string trimmers.. I cam across a brand new 260 the other day for 360 bucks.. Im going to put it up for long long term storage. so one day when one of my older 260's die, I will have one fresh of the showroom floor! ( I may go buy one more )

for those of you reading that dont know.. the 260 has been discontinued. Now you can get a 261 with a nice catalytic converter... awesome!!!
So,if you come across any "old" 260's, you'd better scoup it up.


gnite

ojpent
08-05-2008, 11:47 PM
I would go with a walk behind edger rather than a attachment for the split shaft. I have a split shaft edger and it cut well if the over growth is min., but with heavier grow the w/b edger is the way to go..

dura to the max
08-06-2008, 12:04 AM
i do 50/50 depends on the shape of it, the amount of edging, how many extra steps it takes to swap machines, where on the property it is, which guy i have w/ me, and last but not least how i feel that day

cbegap
08-06-2008, 12:08 AM
I use a stick edger every cut. The first time around takes more time than I would like, but I'm not going to buy a walk-behind edger. After the first time, it's as fast as you can walk. The real thing I think makes the deal is not filling in the little trench with grass or dirt after you edge. Looks super sharp if you blow it out. I would buy as big a stick edger as you can find. I made the mistake of buying the smallest Echo. It has a full plastic guard instead of the half metal guard. It was always getting clogged with dirt. It was so worthless that I decide I would cut the back off the plastic guard to look like the metal ones regardless if it screwed up something. What a HUGE difference. It works 100% better. Like a completely different machine. The best method I have for 1st time edging is running the edger down to the concrete and "feeling" along for the edge. then I take the string trimmer and trim back to my vertical cut. This breaks up the sod strip so you can blow it off more easily.

Cons: Extra trip to the trailer. Another thing to buy. Blades seem like they are made of butter (but last longer than line).

Pros: Perfect line every time. Doesn't eat yards of line, reducing the number of times you have to refill trimmer head.

Ronniecoleman
08-06-2008, 12:26 AM
Warm season grasses a stick edger.

Cool season a trimmer to edge works fine.

MJS
08-06-2008, 12:29 AM
I have both an edger and string trimmers, and I have to say that the only time I really use the edger is for the initial cleanup on an overgrown sidewalk/driveway. Otherwise, the trimmers work fine for the kind of grass I'm edging.

Big C
08-06-2008, 12:31 AM
I use my edger on all my lawns all the time, it just looks more professional and is quicker than using a trimmer....IMO

PLS-Tx
08-06-2008, 12:34 AM
I use my edger on all my lawns all the time, it just looks more professional and is quicker than using a trimmer....IMO

Same with us, looks much much better.

driver5
08-06-2008, 04:44 PM
the only thing thats got me on the ropes is " how do you find the edge of the drive way or walk way with heavy over growth" ? without damaging the blade?

dumb question, but.. ive never used one before.

IA_James
08-06-2008, 04:51 PM
You have to "feel" for it. GENTLY lower it, and work your way towards the edge until you find it. If you're careful, you can do it easily without undue wear on the blade, or damage to the concrete. That being said, the edger blade is a wear item, just like trimmer line. You'll have to replace them every so often. If the cost of a WB vs. stick is an issue, shop around for a used one. I scored an older Craftsman with a Tecumseh engine on it for $20. New blade, air filter, and a little monkeying with the carb and I was an edgin fool!

driver5
08-06-2008, 05:00 PM
Ive got a shindy combo unit, and I found a new edger attachment for 130.00. was just thinking about it.. and if its worth it to have it in my arsenal.

RhettMan
08-06-2008, 05:50 PM
Ive got a shindy combo unit, and I found a new edger attachment for 130.00. was just thinking about it.. and if its worth it to have it in my arsenal.


A bit of thought, there is nothing like a first impression of a person, likewise a customer's first perception of their lawn-person's work.

You want to make a very good first impression on a yard, and the blade edger is almost always used by ANY PROFESSIONAL LAWN-PERSON the first time on the job.

Im from texas,where you can make razor edges with string timmers if they are already "cut", However a string trimmer will not do justice to heavily over grown san augustine runners.

Its 130, get it.

It will add more than that amount in value to your customers over time.

david shumaker
08-06-2008, 06:43 PM
I use the stick edger on new accounts when first putting in the cut and once in awhile to clean up edges. Use my trimmer mostly. Most of the time I don't even take the edger with me. I have very few sidewalks anyway and the trimmer works better on driveways. I think the edger looks better.

MowHouston
08-06-2008, 07:14 PM
Right now I only use a trimmer but I have been heavily contemplating an edger. Especially for new customers.

"Shaping" new edges on a new customer's lawn sure is a pain with St Augustine and people arent lying when they say trimming with runners is difficult. You have all that thick root structure at the curb, not to mention flapping your line across the concrete. I know it takes me forever to get a new edge going and I run through a lot more line that I would like to. But thats why I charge extra for overgrown stuff.

freshprince94
08-06-2008, 07:23 PM
You have to "feel" for it. GENTLY lower it, and work your way towards the edge until you find it. If you're careful, you can do it easily without undue wear on the blade, or damage to the concrete. That being said, the edger blade is a wear item, just like trimmer line. You'll have to replace them every so often. If the cost of a WB vs. stick is an issue, shop around for a used one. I scored an older Craftsman with a Tecumseh engine on it for $20. New blade, air filter, and a little monkeying with the carb and I was an edgin fool!

Well said. And edger blades aren't that expensive, only $1 or 2 bucks from my dealer.

Hawg City Lawns
08-06-2008, 07:25 PM
well ive had both and im going to have to say i like the walkbehind edger the best, i dont think it wheres out blades as fast as a stick those dang lil blades are f****** expensive

IA_James
08-06-2008, 07:50 PM
Well said. And edger blades aren't that expensive, only $1 or 2 bucks from my dealer.


I think mine charges $3, but those suckers are about 1/4" thick. Good stuff.:)

SNAPPER MAN
08-06-2008, 08:53 PM
I use both. Where there is alot of edging I always use my stick edger because it is faster than with a trimmer, but on a small residential I usually just use the trimmer to save a trip back to the trailer. I'm trying to make myself use the edger more but I just get lazy and use my trimmer. Once you get proficient with a trimmer it is very easy to make very straight, crisp edges.

delphied
08-06-2008, 09:13 PM
the only thing thats got me on the ropes is " how do you find the edge of the drive way or walk way with heavy over growth" ? without damaging the blade?

dumb question, but.. ive never used one before.

You cant really damage the blade. They are rugged but wear out fast. I use the Shinny combo for my stick edger. I also have a Scag walk behind edger that I probably will never use again since after you learn to use a stick edger, you learn how to cut in a new edge with it.

H&H Lawn Service
08-06-2008, 09:26 PM
I recently had the same question and ended up buying an Echo Stick Edger. I used the edger to clean everything up and then the past few weeks I can go back over them with the string trimmer. My Dad and I have commented several times it was well worth the money!

MileHigh
08-06-2008, 09:36 PM
I couldn't even imagine trying to edge my properties with a string?...Iv'e tried..looks just horrible in comparison to BLADE EDGER.

Cmon guys, it's what it's made for.

Pretty soon there will be guys saying that there trimmer cuts nicer and faster than there mower, and all you need is about 24 inches of line on each side of the head, run fast and steady and you wont need a mower either....so instead of mow, edge, trim, blow, it'll be just trim...cause they'll start using the trimmer to blow the sidewalks too! (I do that sometimes though)

Zartmans Lawn Service
08-06-2008, 09:59 PM
Have you ever heard if Edgits?? They replace the gaurd on your weed eater and work great after the initial edge is established. We changed all of our weed eaters over to them and edge the beds every week. Just as fast as trimming and you haye an edger and weed eater in one.

thartz
08-06-2008, 10:24 PM
We stick edge the curbs and string edge the beds . Nothing beats a stick edge on a hard surface . It looks much more refined without torn blades of grass .

ed2hess
08-06-2008, 10:36 PM
I use both. Where there is alot of edging I always use my stick edger because it is faster than with a trimmer, but on a small residential I usually just use the trimmer to save a trip back to the trailer. I'm trying to make myself use the edger more but I just get lazy and use my trimmer. Once you get proficient with a trimmer it is very easy to make very straight, crisp edges.

Actually the edger takes longer on big properties I did a time study on one HOA that has about a mile of edging. And it makes no sense to have to haul 5 edgers and 5 trimmers for our crews. I watched Brinkman on a large property and he used his edger and ended up about 1000 yards from the trailer then he walked back got the trimmer and then ended up again 1000 yards from the trailer. That didnt' save him much time. And our edges are just as nice as his. As up also indicate it is easier to use the trimmer to edge and I know since I am a pretty old guy.

shepoutside
08-06-2008, 10:50 PM
We stick edge once a month, or as needed. line the rest of the time. Some of my staff perfer the stick edger, to line trimming. Have both on all trucks.

Genlandscape
08-06-2008, 10:52 PM
If you truly know ho to use your line trimmer, you can do just about anything with it; trim, edge, mow, and even blow off small areas. Oregon edger blades are avail. online for about $.50 a piece. I buy 1 box of 100 per year (for three machines) and pay $80.00 plus shipping. Just be sure they have the right arbor hole for your edger. This thread appears to be another ford/ chevy issue. I think it comes down to what you are comfortable using, and what gives you the best results. I would definitely consider investing in an edger.

MileHigh
08-06-2008, 10:53 PM
Actually the edger takes longer on big properties I did a time study on one HOA that has about a mile of edging. And it makes no sense to have to haul 5 edgers and 5 trimmers for our crews. I watched Brinkman on a large property and he used his edger and ended up about 1000 yards from the trailer then he walked back got the trimmer and then ended up again 1000 yards from the trailer. That didnt' save him much time. And our edges are just as nice as his. As up also indicate it is easier to use the trimmer to edge and I know since I am a pretty old guy.

I dont know what kinda edges you have down there in texas, but by no means is it easier to edge with a trimmer over an edger....what happens when you screw up?...burn the lawn?..not a biggie right?..wrong. I can't remember the last time I messed up using a blade edger. Most of the time I edge at full walking speed with only one my right hand on the edger..

Why would you need to haul around 5 edgers?..When will you have 5 dudes edging at the same time?...Who watches employees from Brinkman walk over 2000 yards?...

I don't see why people have such a hard time thinking that a tool that is not made for something can outperform the right tool?

As a matter of fact...because of this thread..I will never even attempt to edge again with a trimmer...it's just dumb...and looks like CRAP!!

lifetree
08-06-2008, 10:55 PM
... In my opinion the trimmer line leaves a cleaner edge than the blade.

I have to agree with this !!

driver5
08-06-2008, 11:59 PM
I have to agree with this !!

Ive been mowing for over 15 years and Ive never used a stick edger. But let me tell you.. I can make a razor edge with a string trimmer. The key is to be on the grass side while walking, and have the trimmer in a 45 degree angle ( i call it a reverse 45 degree angle) Its what my golf course buddies taught me. Its very impressive. This of course after you've cut your edge in. So, I believe I will invest in the edger attachment so that I can cut in new areas.And the follow up with my technique..

thanks for all your responses and advice. this site has taught me plenty. I'm very appreciative.

dura to the max
08-07-2008, 12:54 AM
i do both depending on many of the factors mentioned here. imo just as good of a job can be done w/ either peice of equipment w/ practice. i do think the stick edger is faster, but on small residentials i can edge and trim while i'm in that portion of the property and save some time and steps (it counts when its 105). a blade leaves less room for error however, so i utilize both techniques depending on all the above mentioned and the condition of the edge.

JimLewis
08-07-2008, 05:25 AM
I am sure this depends on how good you are with a trimmer and what area of the country you live in.

But like others have said, I find trimmers are best for soft edges but I can never get as good and clean of an edge on hard edges as I can with a real blade. If you can, though, more power to ya.

ALC-GregH
08-08-2008, 11:30 AM
Jim, put a Edgit on your trimmer and you will stop using you edger! It's that good and that easy.

Big C
08-08-2008, 03:38 PM
I dont know what kinda edges you have down there in texas, but by no means is it easier to edge with a trimmer over an edger....what happens when you screw up?...burn the lawn?..not a biggie right?..wrong. I can't remember the last time I messed up using a blade edger. Most of the time I edge at full walking speed with only one my right hand on the edger..

Why would you need to haul around 5 edgers?..When will you have 5 dudes edging at the same time?...Who watches employees from Brinkman walk over 2000 yards?...

I don't see why people have such a hard time thinking that a tool that is not made for something can outperform the right tool?

As a matter of fact...because of this thread..I will never even attempt to edge again with a trimmer...it's just dumb...and looks like CRAP!!

Thank-you...well said!!

freshprince94
08-08-2008, 03:57 PM
I dont know what kinda edges you have down there in texas, but by no means is it easier to edge with a trimmer over an edger....what happens when you screw up?...burn the lawn?..not a biggie right?..wrong. I can't remember the last time I messed up using a blade edger. Most of the time I edge at full walking speed with only one my right hand on the edger..

Why would you need to haul around 5 edgers?..When will you have 5 dudes edging at the same time?...Who watches employees from Brinkman walk over 2000 yards?...

I don't see why people have such a hard time thinking that a tool that is not made for something can outperform the right tool?

As a matter of fact...because of this thread..I will never even attempt to edge again with a trimmer...it's just dumb...and looks like CRAP!!

Exactly my feelings.

driver5
03-13-2009, 04:42 PM
After buying and using my edger, I have found that following up with my stick ( string trimmer ) is best.

I call it the golf course cut. When using the stick, i walk normally with the trimmer and turn the head of the trimmer upside down and with a 45 degree angle. Your cutting the angle away from the curb. Doing this slows the appearance of grass growing over a curb.

If you only use the edger, then its only cutting a straight line up and down on the grass. So the grass will be growing over the curb within a couple days. But if you put a reverse 45 on it, you will leave with a crisper appearance and the grass will stay away from the edge until the next time you mow again. It makes life so much easier.

so, Edge first and after that only when needed... but always use the stick on a reverse 45.

Trader Rick
03-14-2009, 12:50 AM
If you have large properties with a lot of curb, walks and drives a dedicated stick edger is the only way to go. We have some properties with literly miles of edging, no way to edge with a string trimmer and keep up with a edger.

dishboy
03-14-2009, 09:21 AM
does anyone have photos that compare the two. That would be great to show on this site. ( show a photo of edges with a string trimmer, and then show an edge with the edger).


How can you use the edger on an overgrown " ( driveway, sidewalk, or what ever) when you can't even see where the edge is? wouldnt you damage the blade ?

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=261351

kaferhaus
03-14-2009, 09:39 AM
Wow 5 pages on a thread about NOT using the right tool for the job.

I would have expected the alledged pro's here would all be in agreement that you use the right tool for the job.

I don't care how good you think you are, you'll never cut a clean straight line with a trimmer that even closely compares with a edger.

You may fool yourself into thinking you're doing a good job, but fools do that.

Buy the right tool for the job, short cuts are for wannabe's and scabs.

lastdetail14
03-14-2009, 09:45 AM
my two cents...


I have a string trimmer. It works well for me and what I have to do. However, trimming in a normal position and then edging with it sideways tends to wear me out quicker. I have an edger but, I agree with one above, I had to go back to the truck to get it and if the ground isn't level with the curb it didn't work out so well. I do like the odea of the trimmer/edger combo or one that has the wheel on the trimmer head to guide the edger head. When I get a little funding built up I think I'll invest in the stick type edger though. Hope this makes sense.

p.s. I got a "new-to-me" truck yesterday!!! '03 Dodge 2500. 4x4. cummins turbo. crew cab long bed!! Brush gaurd, all electric. I'm psyched!! Will have a pic up soon!

Greg

dishboy
03-14-2009, 10:05 AM
Wow 5 pages on a thread about NOT using the right tool for the job.

I would have expected the alledged pro's here would all be in agreement that you use the right tool for the job.

I don't care how good you think you are, you'll never cut a clean straight line with a trimmer that even closely compares with a edger.

You may fool yourself into thinking you're doing a good job, but fools do that.

Buy the right tool for the job, short cuts are for wannabe's and scabs.

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=261351

kaferhaus
03-14-2009, 11:48 AM
http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=261351

You did a fairly decent job on "touching up" an already properly edged walk.

The trimmer was obviously used on the left side looking at the picture and the picture is NOT what the homeowner sees they walk down that walkway every day.

If you're satisfied with laziness and a "good enough" attitude then good for you. It's certainly not good enough for my customers or my pride in workmanship.

driver5
03-15-2009, 03:04 PM
You did a fairly decent job on "touching up" an already properly edged walk.

The trimmer was obviously used on the left side looking at the picture and the picture is NOT what the homeowner sees they walk down that walkway every day.

If you're satisfied with laziness and a "good enough" attitude then good for you. It's certainly not good enough for my customers or my pride in workmanship.



Kaferhaus.... your kinda hard on him dont you think. He took the time to post a photo of him showing all of us a comparison of the two.. and you took the time to try and figure out which one was which. Give the man credit.

they honestly both look great. If you have homeowners that are so picky that they can tell the difference and rather have the edger way.... man... my hats are off to you for having those kinda customers... shew... they are tuff to keep happy.

I and i am sure most people on this site take great pride in their work.. I mean, if we didnt .. then we wouldnt spend any amount of time on this website sharing information and gathering information. Its why where here. Pride in our jobs.

Kaferhaus.. Your welcome here at my property anytime to mow and maintain it. It appears that your very meticulous. And thats not an insult.. its a complement.

Gday

kaferhaus
03-15-2009, 03:16 PM
Kaferhaus.. Your welcome here at my property anytime to mow and maintain it. It appears that your very meticulous. And thats not an insult.. its a complement

Here's my issue Driver5

when you "taper cut" like he's doing with a trimmer you're actually damaging the grass near the edge of that walk as you're cutting it too close to the root.

It looks real pretty in that picture, but in a few days there will be brown streaks and or burn back down it. Maybe not garish streaks but they'll be there none the less. We even use sharpened edger blades, not the blunt ones that are so "cheap", they rip the grass, they don't cut it. which is another problem with a trimmer.... the same reason we mow as close as possible to everything because the trimmers rip the grass, they do not "cut " it. Even with the square or spiral line.

They make edgers for a reason. And no my customers would not find that acceptable, they want a nice clean upright straight edge. and from his pictures it would have taken all of 2 minutes to maintain that edge properly including the time it took to start the edger.

It took all of two seconds even in the picture to see which was which. I"ve been dong this for a very very long time.

Even if I could "get away with it", I simply would not take a shorcut especially on the customers walk....

Thanks for the compliment and that's the way I took it.

I guess the bottom line is if you're happy with it and the customer is satisfied with it, fine. I certainly wouldn't be.

dishboy
03-15-2009, 03:32 PM
You did a fairly decent job on "touching up" an already properly edged walk.

The trimmer was obviously used on the left side looking at the picture and the picture is NOT what the homeowner sees they walk down that walkway every day.

If you're satisfied with laziness and a "good enough" attitude then good for you. It's certainly not good enough for my customers or my pride in workmanship.

Well you are wrong on all counts here. The trimmer was used on all sides and the edger had not been on site in five months. Actually that is what most homeowners see. In this case that is not a walk but a drive for a RV . The Homeowner picks his mail up from the window of his SUV and then drives into the garage and closes the door. I would suggest you post some work of your own so you can back up that big ego you seem to be toting around.

kaferhaus
03-15-2009, 03:38 PM
Well you are wrong on all counts here. The trimmer was used on all sides and the edger had not been on site in five months. Actually that is what most homeowners see. In this case that is not a walk but a drive for a RV . The Homeowner picks his mail up from the window of his SUV and then drives into the garage and closes the door. I would suggest you post some work of your own so you can back up that big ego you seem to be toting around.

So it's okay to do that kind of work if the owner isn't walking down it to get into the house? You do realize that's what you just said don't you?

dishboy
03-15-2009, 03:58 PM
So it's okay to do that kind of work if the owner isn't walking down it to get into the house? You do realize that's what you just said don't you?

That was not the point, the point of the the thread was that those who are skilled can make a edge on par with a edged walk and my camera is not good enough to show fine detail. Like I said post some pictures of your work then you can run your mouth how your work is superior to those using a trimmer. I saw on another thread you were considering a Hustler mini Z. Damn my clients would kick me to the street if I put a POS Z on their property. If you were as discerning as you claim you would be running Walkers. I will be patiently awaiting pictures of your work but I bet your all talk with nothing to back it up.

gorknoids
03-15-2009, 04:00 PM
Nope. We rarely if ever use any of ours.

Fox Lawn & Garden
03-15-2009, 05:50 PM
I don't own an edger. If the side walk is THAT over grown, the customer didn't care about it to begin with. I only see this if the side walk dips below the ground surface. A curved shaft string trimmer with square line running about medium RPM is how I do it. I operate on the sidewalk and cut the right side walking forwards. I can and have more than once ran the trimmer with my right hand and blowed it off with my left hand all at once. It's fatiging, but if you got to get done, so be it.