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View Full Version : New guy needs advice: gas powered edger


decypher
05-23-2010, 10:56 PM
I'm in the process of starting a solo/small landscaping business and need some equipment advice on whether to get a gas powered stick edger or multi-wheel gas edger... I'll be edging mostly residential sidewalks, driveways and flower/mulch beds. My edger budget is $350. but the reviews aren't that great for the multi-wheel edgers in that range and I feel kinda limited with a stick edger. All help and advice is appreciated!

Thanks,
Ryan
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360ci
05-23-2010, 11:36 PM
I had a gas handheld unit for a while that worked great. You do get what you pay for though, so keep that in mind. I noticed after every second home I did, that I had to sharpen the blade. I could get a season out of a blade at least. I don't have the unit anymore as demand for it dropped and I sold it while it was still worth something.

mdlwn1
05-23-2010, 11:40 PM
I had a gas handheld unit for a while that worked great. You do get what you pay for though, so keep that in mind. I noticed after every second home I did, that I had to sharpen the blade. I could get a season out of a blade at least. I don't have the unit anymore as demand for it dropped and I sold it while it was still worth something.

I have NEVER heard that before.......ever!

360ci
05-23-2010, 11:53 PM
With the lowered economy people are cutting back with what they spend. I used to get 4-8 calls per month for edging alone with about 4 jobs a month. Last year I had two ALL year, and this year (so far) I've had not even one inquiry. Weekly mowing services are picking up at least along with mulch installations. The less equipment I need to keep track of, the better. I didn't buy the unit new, so it was previously abused by someone else. I sold it for $100 to a local kid.

decypher
05-24-2010, 12:57 AM
edging is very popular here in jersey... any reccomendations? i think i might just go for an echo stick edger since i already have an echo weed wacker plus they're both the same mix ratio.

pitrack
05-24-2010, 01:35 AM
I have a RedMax stick edger and love it. The initial edge is tough sometimes if it is overgrown, but weekly accounts are a breeze when you keep up on them (I edge everytime I cut, which takes maybe 2-3 minutes) As for bed edging with it, it is not the best but it can give you a nice line to hit with a spade after.
http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i248/pitrack/DSC_00432_fhdr.jpg
http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i248/pitrack/DSC_0057_fhdr.jpg

decypher
05-24-2010, 11:04 AM
As for bed edging with it, it is not the best but it can give you a nice line to hit with a spade after.


Thanks pitrack and nice pics. I did buy a spade for bed edging and maybe once I start generating some profit I'll look into a more specialized edger for beds... Do you think those multiple wheeled edgers are any good for beds? My assumption is that they could work for bed edging but it would depend on the grass/turf condition and how smooth or bumpy the lawn is. I think I'm going to stick to spade edging beds for now and maintain them with my weed wacker and if they need a total work-over I'll sharpen them up with my spade.

decypher
05-24-2010, 11:16 AM
Pitrack,

I checked out your website and that's a very nice layout with high quality pics.. nice job. Those pondless waterfalls are a nice touch, what's the average going price range for one of your waterfall installs? My only reccomendation for your site would be to have a small link at the bottom stating that you need Adobe Flash Player 10 or higher to properly view the site since it's coded in flash. The option might "pop up" if you don't have flash installed but I wouldn't know since I already have the latest revision. It might still be a good idea to mention that you need flash to view it since some folks aren't computer literate.. just a thought. Take care!

pitrack
05-24-2010, 11:34 AM
Thanks pitrack and nice pics. I did buy a spade for bed edging and maybe once I start generating some profit I'll look into a more specialized edger for beds... Do you think those multiple wheeled edgers are any good for beds? My assumption is that they could work for bed edging but it would depend on the grass/turf condition and how smooth or bumpy the lawn is. I think I'm going to stick to spade edging beds for now and maintain them with my weed wacker and if they need a total work-over I'll sharpen them up with my spade.

Thanks, I am not very familiar with the multi wheeled edgers so I am not sure how well they would work for bed edging. You could always just rent a bed edger for your larger products, they do a nice job and aren't too expensive to rent for a couple of hours.


Pitrack,

I checked out your website and that's a very nice layout with high quality pics.. nice job. Those pondless waterfalls are a nice touch, what's the average going price range for one of your waterfall installs? My only reccomendation for your site would be to have a small link at the bottom stating that you need Adobe Flash Player 10 or higher to properly view the site since it's coded in flash. The option might "pop up" if you don't have flash installed but I wouldn't know since I already have the latest revision. It might still be a good idea to mention that you need flash to view it since some folks aren't computer literate.. just a thought. Take care!


Thanks for the comments, waterfalls are pretty pricey. They usually start around the 3-4k range including everything.
I never even thought about the Adobe Player. How would I go about finding a link to download Adobe Flash Pllayer 10 that I could post on the page? If you can't tell I am not the most computer literate person either haha.

MarcSmith
05-24-2010, 12:00 PM
go with the stick edger... you can still do some minor reshaping with the stick edger on the curved beds...or at the very least get the edge started and finish with the spade. nothing, and I mean nothing (not even the the edge-it) compare to a nice clean edge, it really makes the walks and beds pop out at you... if you plan on doing a lot of edging, just buy a case of edger blades. as they wear down you need to replace them...

decypher
05-24-2010, 05:43 PM
I never even thought about the Adobe Player. How would I go about finding a link to download Adobe Flash Player 10 that I could post on the page? If you can't tell I am not the most computer literate person either haha.

Pitrack - Here you go: http://www.adobe.com/products/flashplayer/ :)

MarcSmith - Thank you sir, just picked up my echo PE, but of course did not pick up extra blades... i really need to make a spread sheet/log of must-have inventory items. (on my to-do list) http://www.messentools.com/images/emoticones/msn6/www.MessenTools.com-MSN6-lamparita.gif

MarcSmith
05-24-2010, 06:48 PM
blades are cheap usually $1-1.50 if you buy em by the case. just remember to leave them somewhere they won't get rusted together.

pitrack
05-25-2010, 01:38 AM
Pitrack - Here you go: http://www.adobe.com/products/flashplayer/ :)

MarcSmith - Thank you sir, just picked up my echo PE, but of course did not pick up extra blades... i really need to make a spread sheet/log of must-have inventory items. (on my to-do list) http://www.messentools.com/images/emoticones/msn6/www.MessenTools.com-MSN6-lamparita.gif

Thank you very much, I added the link:)

cutnedge
05-25-2010, 05:04 PM
Excellent work Pitrack.

decypher
05-26-2010, 03:40 AM
I can't wait to fire up this edger tomorrow lol -- and my tax return just came in so now I can get my backpack blower

pitrack
05-26-2010, 09:56 AM
Excellent work Pitrack.

Thanks man

I can't wait to fire up this edger tomorrow lol -- and my tax return just came in so now I can get my backpack blower


It takes some getting used to, not too tough though. Good luck:weightlifter:

jnt412
05-26-2010, 01:24 PM
I just turn my echo trimmer upside down and start to edge with a fast pace. With a powerful enough trimmer and string, you can edge some flowerbeds as well.

decypher
05-26-2010, 08:41 PM
After I experimented with the blade depth and got it set just right for my property I was on a roll. I did scrape the concrete edge but nothing major, I'll have this down pat asap... Just a tad different from my weed wacker. (Moving forward not backwards) Literally! Lol
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MnGreen
05-26-2010, 09:24 PM
After I experimented with the blade depth and got it set just right for my property I was on a roll. I did scrape the concrete edge but nothing major, I'll have this down pat asap... Just a tad different from my weed wacker. (Moving forward not backwards) Literally! Lol
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You will get a bit of "side" grab on the blade, just don't turn it in to the walk or drive.
Had (2) PE 261 edgers and were excellent machines. They liked to warm up though before you could tear it up. Customers love the results and always were interested in watching how quick clean and easy it worked.

GET THE HD BLADES. forget echo part number but they are twice as thick as the normal shelf stock
blades @ most places. I would get a box and at about 60% replace the blade and grind the old one new
edges. One box all season they would last easily. Sprayed "Deep Creep" on them and wrapped in paper towels back in box. Kept inside truck for when needed.

FuturePilot4u
05-26-2010, 09:57 PM
i got my 400+ dollar red max edger for 250:)....he rang it up wrong....:hammerhead: and after it was already sold t me he found the price and said o well:laugh:......it has been great and espeacially for over 200 off for nothing......haha i got off lucky!:rolleyes:

clean_cut
05-26-2010, 10:35 PM
Yeah, would try to stick with the major brands, echo, stihl, redmax, etc.

Also look for dealer support, what do the dealers around you sell and service?

You probably want to get the most powerful edger possible if you have the money.

pitrack
05-26-2010, 11:18 PM
After I experimented with the blade depth and got it set just right for my property I was on a roll. I did scrape the concrete edge but nothing major, I'll have this down pat asap... Just a tad different from my weed wacker. (Moving forward not backwards) Literally! Lol
Posted via Mobile Device

One hint that I do (Everyone might not do this) but when you are edging, keep the blade as close to concrete as possible, I like to try to hear the blade "rubbing" the concrete quietly. I do this so I don't have any "stragglers" (Piece of grass left behind that are still in root.)


Yeah, would try to stick with the major brands, echo, stihl, redmax, etc.

Also look for dealer support, what do the dealers around you sell and service?

You probably want to get the most powerful edger possible if you have the money.

Very good points. Eventhough the OP already bought his, that is very good advice. I have a buddy who bought a curved shaft edger with not very much power and he hates it.

decypher
05-27-2010, 04:00 AM
I just want to say thank you for all the advice and tips everyone, I really appreciate everyone's help around here... I definitely enjoy this community and how we all share common goals. I especially enjoy the wealth of information and experience around here. I find a lot of inspiring things on lawnsite.com whether it be pictures of the inviduals work or just sharing honest mistakes for others to learn from or just help in general--This place rocks. I see lots of phenomenal pictures that inspire me to build my LCO and hone my skills. Keep grinding! I know I have plenty of "homework" to do but I gain something useful from this site everyday.

By the way I ended up getting an Echo PE-225 stick edger for now, I'm gonna try it out for a week or so just to make sure I like it, if I need something stronger maybe I can just exchange & upgrade or sell it, then upgrade...
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decypher
05-27-2010, 04:03 AM
Which stick edgers have more power? Curved or straight? I found a lot of mixed opinions on the Internet... Any experts out there on this subject?
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MarcSmith
05-27-2010, 07:41 AM
I though that all stick edgers had a slight curve to them right near the gear box assembly...???fwiw I have a t230 shindiawa edger. works great with the stick edger you really want to opt for more power...since you are cutting through dirt

rlitman
05-27-2010, 01:21 PM
One hint that I do (Everyone might not do this) but when you are edging, keep the blade as close to concrete as possible, I like to try to hear the blade "rubbing" the concrete quietly. I do this so I don't have any "stragglers" (Piece of grass left behind that are still in root.)


That's what I do. It gives a "scissoring" action between the blade and the concrete's edge.
Sure, it wears out blades faster, but these things are so inexpensive anyway . . .
That, and I do my edging before I do my string trimming, so I can fix up any stragglers with the string.

decypher
05-27-2010, 03:02 PM
That's what I do. It gives a "scissoring" action between the blade and the concrete's edge.
Sure, it wears out blades faster, but these things are so inexpensive anyway . . .
That, and I do my edging before I do my string trimming, so I can fix up any stragglers with the string.

I think that "slight scraping" technique is a great way to make the tool "work" for you and yes you're right the blades are cheap enough to replace especially if you're buying in bulk. Great ideas everyone. :)

decypher
05-27-2010, 03:13 PM
I though that all stick edgers had a slight curve to them right near the gear box assembly...???fwiw I have a t230 shindiawa edger. works great with the stick edger you really want to opt for more power...since you are cutting through dirt

I know for sure that echo makes straight shaft edgers. Here's a pichttp://www.echo-usa.com/Images/Products/Edgers/PE265S/PE265S-1.jpg

The only advantage that I am currently aware of for straight shaft assembly power tools is that they are easier on the taller operator's back. Me being 6'2" I definitely appreciate having a straight shaft echo SRM-225 weed wacker since I don't have to "hunch" over as much... but the curved PE-225 edger that I bought doesn't really bother my back yet although I still need to spend some more time using it to be sure. Plus from what you said, I might upgrade my edger since the power-head is on the lower end and it will be used to cut through more impacted, higher traffic compacted soil areas. (walks, drives, etc.)

Whewwww there are so many things to take into consideration when buying EXPENSIVE tools LOL -- its all good though -- these tools will pay for themselves soon enough.

cgaengineer
05-27-2010, 09:53 PM
I though that all stick edgers had a slight curve to them right near the gear box assembly...???fwiw I have a t230 shindiawa edger. works great with the stick edger you really want to opt for more power...since you are cutting through dirt

My Stihl is straight as an arrow all the way down.

pitrack
05-28-2010, 02:02 AM
I just want to say thank you for all the advice and tips everyone, I really appreciate everyone's help around here... I definitely enjoy this community and how we all share common goals. I especially enjoy the wealth of information and experience around here. I find a lot of inspiring things on lawnsite.com whether it be pictures of the inviduals work or just sharing honest mistakes for others to learn from or just help in general--This place rocks. I see lots of phenomenal pictures that inspire me to build my LCO and hone my skills. Keep grinding! I know I have plenty of "homework" to do but I gain something useful from this site everyday.

By the way I ended up getting an Echo PE-225 stick edger for now, I'm gonna try it out for a week or so just to make sure I like it, if I need something stronger maybe I can just exchange & upgrade or sell it, then upgrade...
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Nicely said.

I like my edger with the straight shaft like what was said above I am taller so it's nice that it is longer. Not sure on the difference in power, if there even is one. Actually, I think the drive might be different. Straight shafts might have a different drive mechanism than curved (Or I could be totally making that up) haha

decypher
05-28-2010, 12:59 PM
Not sure on the difference in power, if there even is one. Actually, I think the drive might be different. Straight shafts might have a different drive mechanism than curved (Or I could be totally making that up) haha

I read online (maybe even on here) that the straight vs. curved blade/trimmer rotation has to do with the gearbox. People say you can't believe everything you read but if there's any techs/mechanics/engineers on here that can vouch, let us know, and could a straight or curved shaft and/or the gearbox increase or possibly decrease power to the cutting end of these tools?

Thanks,
Ryan

:usflag:Happy Memorial Day (weekend!):usflag:

decypher
05-28-2010, 10:09 PM
you really want to opt for more power...since you are cutting through dirt

Now I see what you mean, I just edged my neighbors driveway and sidewalks and it was seriously over grown and this was probably the first time it's ever been edged. Needless to say that little 21cc echo pe-225 sounded like it was taking a beating while cutting certain areas... even when I held the throttle down around 90% it would occaisionally struggle and I would let the blade speed peak before I slowly lowered it into the soil. Without a doubt I definitely plan on upgrading to a more powerful edger.
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decypher
05-29-2010, 12:32 AM
Echo states, "A straight shaft design reduces cable wear".

cgaengineer
05-29-2010, 02:53 AM
Pulling edger towards you on overgrown edges is the best way to clean them out.
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mnglocker
05-29-2010, 04:28 AM
Now I see what you mean, I just edged my neighbors driveway and sidewalks and it was seriously over grown and this was probably the first time it's ever been edged. Needless to say that little 21cc echo pe-225 sounded like it was taking a beating while cutting certain areas... even when I held the throttle down around 90% it would occaisionally struggle and I would let the blade speed peak before I slowly lowered it into the soil. Without a doubt I definitely plan on upgrading to a more powerful edger.
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Trade up to a PAS-265 and get the edger attachment. I'm usually not a fan of a all-in one type power tools, however it works great for the occassional needs things, like edging, hedging, power sweeping ect. Things that if the power head poops out for a week on you, won't burry your business.

mnglocker
05-29-2010, 04:29 AM
Pulling edger towards you on overgrown edges is the best way to clean them out.
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I start'em forward and back track too. Makes for awsome edges.

J & D Greens
06-03-2010, 03:00 AM
edging is very popular here in jersey... any reccomendations? i think i might just go for an echo stick edger since i already have an echo weed wacker plus they're both the same mix ratio.

I have a echo stick edger I picked up used two seasons ago used, it has preformed just fine. But I still do my first edging with my McLane edger, it has the power to cut threw most anything and then the stick edger is a breeze to operate from then on.

J & D Greens
06-03-2010, 03:07 AM
But there is one major thing I would advise you to do with the Echo stick edger. Add an extra rubber flap to the back (for the middle) of it as when you edge with it on uneven edges (which most are) the guard it comes with stop nothing from going directly behind it. You will understand when you see it. So far after doing this I have not hit any windows with it!

decypher
06-04-2010, 01:54 AM
Pulling edger towards you on overgrown edges is the best way to clean them out.
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Thanks for the tip, I'll try that out to see how it works.
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decypher
06-04-2010, 01:58 AM
Trade up to a PAS-265 and get the edger attachment. I'm usually not a fan of a all-in one type power tools, however it works great for the occassional needs things, like edging, hedging, power sweeping ect. Things that if the power head poops out for a week on you, won't burry your business.

I was considering this option but I think I'm going to hold off on the PAS series for now. Thanks for the advice.
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decypher
06-04-2010, 02:02 AM
I have a echo stick edger I picked up used two seasons ago used, it has preformed just fine. But I still do my first edging with my McLane edger, it has the power to cut threw most anything and then the stick edger is a breeze to operate from then on.

That's a great idea for the first time over grown edge... man I really like the new multi-wheel tanaka (TLE-600 I think? The one with the optional curb hop kit.)
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decypher
06-04-2010, 02:09 AM
But there is one major thing I would advise you to do with the Echo stick edger. Add an extra rubber flap to the back (for the middle) of it as when you edge with it on uneven edges (which most are) the guard it comes with stop nothing from going directly behind it. You will understand when you see it. So far after doing this I have not hit any windows with it!

Is there pre-drilled holes on the echo stick edgers with the metal debris shield or did you modify yours? I know the echo stick edgers with the plastic shield have a rubber flap on them. Did you just double up right on top of the existing one? Can you attach a picture to this post for us to view?

Thanks,
Ryan
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decypher
06-04-2010, 02:21 AM
By the way-- I did end up taking back my echo pe-225 for a refund now I can't decide between the echo pe-265 or the tanaka (tpe-260 is the model I think?) Both stick edgers are 25cc and the local echo dealer is asking $379 for the Echo and another dealer is asking $399 for the Tanaka. Any input/advice on which stick edger I should go with? Which is easier to service? Which has a more reliable and/or easier carburetor to service? Which has a better drive cable etc.? Thanks again everyone, I truly appreciate the advice since I'm just getting my LCO started.

Thank you,
Ryan
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J & D Greens
06-04-2010, 02:24 AM
I just added a third flap that overlapped the other two enough to take care of the v-gap in the original, did that after I put a rock threw a car window that cost me $235.00 to replace!

J & D Greens
06-04-2010, 02:36 AM
By the way-- I did end up taking back my echo pe-225 for a refund now I can't decide between the echo pe-265 or the tanaka (tpe-260 is the model I think?) Both stick edgers are 25cc and the local echo dealer is asking $379 for the Echo and another dealer is asking $399 for the Tanaka. Any input/advice on which stick edger I should go with? Which is easier to service? Which has a more reliable and/or easier carburetor to service? Which has a better drive cable etc.? Thanks again everyone, I truly appreciate the advice since I'm just getting my LCO started.

Thank you,
Ryan
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Ryan if you are working solo you just need to get a commercial grade stick edger. Take good care of it, make sure you run all the gas out of it at the end of the season because the carb. can get messed up threw the off season. I have had no problems so far with any of my Echo hand helds 4th season running them (third with the stick edger). You can easily pick up a good used McLane edger for around $100 bucks that would take care of the hard stuff, they are pretty easy to use just slow to work with compared to the stick edgers.

decypher
06-04-2010, 03:06 AM
I just added a third flap that overlapped the other two enough to take care of the v-gap in the original, did that after I put a rock threw a car window that cost me $235.00 to replace!

Ah-ha I see... Gotcha. Thanks for the heads up on the "insurance flaps". And yes you're right I need to stop thinking about this too much and just make a move, point taken. My gut instinct is telling me to go with the commercial grade echo since I'm already running a few echo tools... PM me if you have any used McLane resources. Thank you.

Ryan
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