Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by KTNC, Jun 2, 2003.

  1. KTNC

    KTNC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 88

    I have recently began attempting to edge my paved driveway with a string trimmer... (a practice that seems popular to many on this site) It edges great, but I only can go a few feet before the string breaks. It's never been edged before, and I'm using a Stihl FS36 trimmer. Any suggestions, tips...?

  2. DLCS

    DLCS LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,386

    What brand of line you using? I use Echo Crossfire, not sure if that makes a difference.
  3. kels

    kels LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 280

    Not familiar with N.Y. type grasses, but here in the south you would be there forever and a day trying to cut a new edge with a trimmer, for new edges I always cut it with a stik edger and then clean it out and maintain it with the trimmer.
  4. KTNC

    KTNC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 88

    Thanks Kels... That's what I was thinking too.
  5. You can edge with a String Trimmer, but it’s no where near as fast as a dedicated Edger. Especially cutting an edge where the grass is overgrown. It takes much more skill, attention, and time, but it’s possible. I’ll use my String Trimmer to edge once in a while, maybe 5% of the time. Mostly that’s just to maintain an edge already cut.

    If you have to use a String Trimmer to edge, then be sure to keep the string as long as possible and use the end of the string. I see a lot of home-owners using a String Trimmer to edge, but most of them keep the head of the Trimmer buried in the grass. Concrete eats string quickly, nothing you can do about that. But if you keep the head too low, you’re using the middle of the exposed string. That will effectively slow the cutting speed (and your progress) as well as cause the string to part off in large pieces. Many times the string will part off so short that it will retract back into the head. When you see someone edging with a String Trimmer and they’re stopping every few feet to pull string out of the head, then they’re probably using the middle of the string.

    Another key factor is to use flexible string. I’ve tried a few different brands, but the standard Stihl and Echo string are way too stiff. Gatorline Magnum (with the Kevlar strand) is the toughest I’ve used, but is still pretty flexible. Sufix (twisted with the square cross-section) is VERY flexible and agressive, but it's much more quiet. It’s better to use smaller flexible string and keep your speed up than to lose rpm’s with stiff heavy line.

    I’m not familiar with your model of Trimmer, but it sure helps to have plenty of power to keep your string rotating fast in heavy cuts. If your Trimmer is under-powered, I’d buy a good Edger first. Check eBay. Then replace your trimmer later.
  6. yardmonkey

    yardmonkey LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 341

    I always edge with a string trimmer. Sometimes I use a trimmer to cut a new edge into thick overgrown bermuda that hasn't been edged for years. Takes a while with a trimmer, but can certainly be done. It took me a long time to get good at using a trimmer and I learned a lot reading here. One of the best tips I got here was - always cut with the end of the string and with a full length of string. I was tending to let the string wear down so I would be cutting with a short string or even holding a longer string too close to the ground. Now I keep the string fed out to max length and cut with the tip of the string. A few years ago, my strings broke all the time, now they never do. I've always used Echo Crossfire .095 string. I use a Robin trimmer and have also used Echo and Shindaiwa. Also - concrete wears down string way faster than grass, so you have to advance the string out more often.

    Probably just a matter of getting the hang of it - just keep after it....
  7. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    He did mention that he was edging his blacktop drive, which could very well be why he was using a string trimmer, as a regular edger cannot be used for this application. Me personally, I never use a string trimmer to edsge with. A regular edger just does so much nicer of a job. I do occasionally keep the edges cleaned up a bit with the string trimmer, but for the most part, it's an edger all the way.;)
  8. He said, "paved driveway." He did not specify "blacktop" a.k.a. asphalt.
  9. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    My fault. I always figured that was what paving was.:rolleyes:
  10. Hey, no problem. It’s not your fault. It’s not my fault. Shoot, it’s not even his fault. It’s just asphalt.

    Sorry, been waiting a long time to do that. LOL

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