String trimmer vs. Edger

Discussion in 'Industry Surveys & Polls' started by Texas Lawn, Nov 15, 2010.


What do you use for edging yards?

  1. String Trimmer

    72 vote(s)
  2. Edger

    76 vote(s)
  1. Valk

    Valk LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,438

    I'd like to try a stick edger, but I feel I should be prepared to repair any possible damages as a result.

    Curious...when one does encounter/mangle a plastic sprinkler head with an edger blade, how much is the repair? Do you all perform these repairs yourself? Do you consult with your customer first? How many kinds of sprinkler head parts should I have on hand to make these repairs?

    Seriously, do you all know (as well as your employees) where all these sprinkler heads are...or are they marked with a flag ALL year? I guess I just don't see the value in taking this risk cuz I see (or mostly know of) a LOT of pretty dang small sprinkler heads immediately adjacent to concrete edges that I SAFELY maintain with my string trimmer.

    Would these edges possibly look sharper if edged with a stick edger? Yeah, maybe, but at what risk/expense?

    PS - HAPPY MARDI GRAS!!! :jester: :drinkup:
  2. lawncuttinfoo

    lawncuttinfoo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,018

    Sprinkler heads that touch the sidewalk are installed INCORRECTLY by lazy installers. Inform your customers as such. Most will research it and agree.
    If they want you fix it always repair these youself, its a $5-10 part and 5 min labor and the irr. guys will charge $70-100 for the "service call"
  3. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,463

    personally i've never hit a sprinkler head in the first place.

    most of my clients don't have sprinklers to begin with but the ones that do aren't close enough to the sidewalk or driveway for me to do any damage with an edger. as said above, if they are that close, they are installed incorrectly.
  4. Mikegyver

    Mikegyver LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,803

    Yup. Why I love being an irrigator. I don't charge quite that much but it's still lucrative.
  5. nozzy

    nozzy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 67

    I think it looks best to use a stick edger along concrete and a string trimmer along beds. From my experience a string trimmer will cause you to start pulling the grass back from the concrete, eventually resulting in a wider gap. I've added accounts where the previous lawn guy had been edging with a trimmer and there are a couple inches of dirt between the lawn and the concrete. To me, this looks terrible. You can never keep the grass edge as perfect along concrete using a string trimmer. If you can, you are spending more time than you should be. And, if you are teaching a new guy it is WAY easier to have him use a stick edger. Lastly, I really like to use the stick edger after mowing. This gets rid of mower tracks where the mower left the lawn and pushes the grass down onto the concrete. A much neater look when the homeowner first sees your work. The only disadvantage to the stick edger is when sprinkler heads are right next to the concrete. I try to push them over a 1/4" so the edger blade goes right between the concrete and the sprinkler. I've seen a ton of heads that have been flattened by the edger along one side. They often leak.
  6. Lawnfeller

    Lawnfeller LawnSite Member
    Messages: 92

    I generally use an edger in spring then a steing trimmer. The other day tho I watched a guy using a Stihl edger and must admit I was impressed. He was flying around the yard and when he was done it was a thin and even line that looked great.
  7. Derwent

    Derwent LawnSite Member
    Male, from Australia
    Messages: 12

    I've been making do without an edger but it's the next tool I'm getting.
    I'm picky about my edges, more so than most of my customers are. It takes time and concentration to get an edge that might be better than most of the mowing guys around here bother with but is only just acceptable to me.
    Edger just leaves that bit better job so I'm switching very soon.
  8. Michael Ward

    Michael Ward LawnSite Member
    Messages: 90

    Around beds string trim and definitely use an edger around concrete. I cant imagine using a string trimmer for edging along concrete, its slower, harder to make look good, not as clean of a trench left, throws more debris. I would definitely recommend the edger
  9. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,892

    Two observations I've made over the years
    The trimmers tend to leave frayed edges on the blade stems inviting disease. I also see guys on taller turf Ike our SA go back and put a slight taper (1"-2") towards the outside edge. Ag as in that lowers the turf below best practice cutting height leading to yellowing and death. Using a dedicated edger will help keep you and your guys from doing that. It does look good but it's not good for the turf.
    ericg likes this.
  10. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,971

    No string on my lawns anywhere. Edger and counter rotating blade only. I can see the difference and my customers do as well.

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