You've mowed, weeded, and raked your garden, but there's still a lot of work to be done. While the lawn looks perfect right now, it can end up looking sloppy if you don't take care of it. When it comes to taking care of the edges of these lawns, the wide lawn mower doesn't do a good job of cutting, because it can't handle these small areas to produce sharp edges. To keep these areas looking clean and well-maintained, you are supposed to invest in a lawn edger with high quality and learn how to use it properly. If necessary, you can hire a professional landscaper to do this for you.
What Is A Lawn Edger?
There are two types of lawn Edgers or trimming tools, manual and electric. This lawn equipment is designed to create a clear boundary around your lawn. For example, a lawn trimmer will trim strips, paved areas, gravel or sand areas, or areas not covered with soil, around a mailbox.
There are six main types of lawn edgers:
- Spade based
- Hand shears
- Roller based
- String Edgers
- Single Wheel Designs
- Multi Wheel Designs
Specially designed lawn edgers are more effective for any long, even edges in your yard. A rope lawn trimmer is more effective for any angled edges and surrounding interrupted features such as rocks. Some of the typical situations in which lawn edgers are used include defining clean boundaries and preventing grass encroachment between sidewalks and lawns, or on golf courses located on private property and public areas and around bunkers or greens and on fairways. This article will assist you to take an in-depth look at how lawn Edgers work and the different types of lawn Edgers available.
More About The Types Of Lawn Edgers
Before you can learn how to use a lawn edger, you need to choose a tool that is right for you. As mentioned earlier, edgers come in different forms, with wheeled edgers and stick pole edgers, gas edgers or electric edgers to choose from. There are also hand edge grinders, which can be very time consuming, especially if you have a very large yard.
Manual Lawn Edgers
For those that are not familiar with lawn edgers, some of the units may seem like a torture device that was used during medieval times. One of the more popular designs of a manual lawn edger features a rolling wheel that has spikes on it. This wheel is attached to a wooden handle. The design is simple, but it can get the job done. Manual edgers remain a popular choice because of their simplicity. These lawn edgers can help homeowners spruce up different areas of the yard by creating clear and defined edges around gardens and sidewalks. Edging with a manual edger will take a bit of power, but it will help keep weeds from growing over onto the sidewalk or driveway and also trims up areas where a weed eater or lawn mower cannot get to.
Reasons to Choose:
- Durability: there are some manual edgers that have wheels with bearings that provide a more consistent edging. These edgers have a basic design and can withstand the test of time. Since there are so few parts there is very little to worry about when it comes to maintenance, unlike a string trimmer attachment that is at the mercy of the pull cord, engine, and other equipment that can misfire.
- Convenience: manual lawn edgers do not take up much space and they can be taken out at any time to use. You do not have to worry about whether or not you have enough gas to start your gas powered edger and you also do not have to mess with dragging out extension cords just to tidy up a small area of the yard.
- Low price: while you can purchase an edger attachment for your weed eater that does not cost much, these often have to be replaced quite frequently. Manual edgers start out at around $15 and they will last for many years.
Gas Powered Lawn Edgers
The most powerful lawn edgers available run on gasoline. These machines typically use engines that have power ratings measured in cubic centimeters. The smallest gas powered lawn edgers are typically rated from 20 to 50 cubic centimeters. A larger more machine will have four cycle engines that are rated from 130 to 160 cubic centimeters. Many of these larger edgers are quite heavy, but they are not typically too large to lift into the back of a truck. There are several things to consider when purchasing a gas powered lawn edger. If you do not want to mix oil and gas and are concerned about the environmental impact of the machine you may want to consider a lawn edger that has a four cycle engine. These edgers will run cleaner than the 2 cycle machines. Another consideration is a fourth wheel. Having an extra wheel on the machine helps with stability and will allow you to edge the curb areas more effectively. Gas powered lawn edgers are best for bigger yards that have many areas that require frequent edging. Since these machines can be quite noisy they are not the best choice for quieter neighborhoods. If you live in the right area and have a yard that requires frequent edging, a gas powered edger is recommended.
Reasons to Choose:
- Power: these are the most powerful edgers on the market
- Durability: gas powered lawn edgers are made of strong materials that will stand the test of time
- Large yards: if you own a larger yard, a gas powered lawn edger will help you get through all of your edging jobs quickly and efficiently.
If you are concerned about the environment and the noise that the edger will make, a gas powered edger may not be the best choice.
Electric Lawn Edgers
The next type of lawn edger is the electric lawn edger. There are two types of electric lawn edgers, corded lawn edgers and cordless or battery lawn edgers. Both types of electric lawn edgers are typically lightweight and small. A corded electric lawn edger will have motors that are rated for power in amps. The typical power of an electric lawn edger is ten to twelve amps. Power for cordless or battery lawn edgers is measured in volts. The most common size for a battery powered lawn edger is 18 volts. When looking for an electric powered lawn edger you should choose one that has a strong blade. The typical blade size is 7 or 9 inches. If you are choosing a unit that is corded it is important to choose one that has a feature to help keep the extension cord from becoming tangled. There are several units that feature a cord that will not come unplugged easily as you are moving around your yard.
If you are considering a battery powered lawn edger choose one that uses a lithium ion battery. These batteries have a longer life span, which will provide you with more consistent power over time.
Electric lawn edgers are not as powerful as gas powered edgers, which means it can take more time to edge along areas that have been left for a long time. Once you have your edges under control, a good electric edger will be an effective option for keeping your edges under control when they are used regularly.
Reasons to Choose:
- Easy to use
- No carbon emissions, which is better for the environment
- Powerful enough for most homes
One of the main issues with electric lawn edgers is that they have to be plugged in to work. This can be a problem if you have a larger yard as you will have difficulty reaching some of the areas that are further away from your home. While a battery powered lawn edger is a good option, you have to worry about the battery running out of power before the job is finished. In addition, as the battery is wearing down it may not cut as well.
How To Use a Gas Or Electric Powered Lawn Edger
If you have decided to go with an electric or gas powered edger, the first thing that you are going to need to do is put the lawn edger together. There are some lawn edgers that will come completely assembled and you will simply be able to take it out of the box and begin using it. However, most lawn edgers are going to require some assembly. Most lawn edgers will come with clear instruction manuals on how to assemble the pieces in addition on how to properly use the machine. Make sure that you read over these carefully.
Where To Use
Once you have read the instructions, you are next going to want to choose the areas around your yard that you are going to use the edger on. You can use these gas or electric powered lawn edgers for creating new garden beds or for cleaning up the edges around your current garden beds. These powered edgers can also be used along the driveway or other pathways around your home. Power edgers are more efficient than manual edgers, but this does not necessarily mean they are going to do a better job. Power lawn edgers are really good around straight areas such as places where a footpath will guide you. Power edgers are not the best around areas where the boundaries are not well defined. In areas such as this a manual edging tool can be a better choice if you have the time to use one. While power edgers are quite powerful and will speed up the process of edging around your yard, there are still some areas of a yard that may require a manual edger in order to create the borders that you are looking for. Overall, both manual and power edgers are good choices. If you have a larger area that needs to be edged, a power edger is the right choice as doing all of the work manually is simply going to take up too much time.
How To Use
When you are using your power lawn edger it is important that you keep the tool straight and rigid. You will want to move your body, but not your arms. After you turn the edging tool on and give it some power, you want to walk slowly with the tool. Your arms should be held steady.
If you move your body instead of your arms you are going to see a cut that is much straighter.
If possible, you should walk along the footpath or the sidewalk as you are edging instead of on the grass. The reason for this is because when you are holding the edger out with your arms your body is going to naturally want to bring your arms closer to the body.
If you are standing on the lawn when this happens you are going to cut into the lawn instead of cutting off the farthest edge. After some time you will find that you are redefining the edge every time, going further into your yard, instead of using the same edging as your guide.
If you stand on the sidewalk or pathway while you are edging your body’s natural impulse to bring the arms in as you are moving will cause less damage because you are going to be edging air as your body is correcting its position.
- Clear the work area by removing pebbles and debris that could get caught in the tools.
- Check the overall condition of the lawn edger, including the cutting head, the guard, and the condition of the wire if you use a wired electric edger.
- Make sure there is no person or animal within your work area.
- Hold the tool firmly and place the cutting head at the level of grass to be cut.
- Use your edger under sufficient lighting.
- Never walk back to see any obstacles and make sure you always stay in balance.
- If you use an electrical edger on an AC outlet, make sure your extension cord is insulated to prevent electric shock.
- When pruning grass around trees and bushes. Do not cut wood or damage other garden equipment.
- If the nylon string breaks, stop the machine immediately.
- Trimmer blades continue to rotate for a few moments after stopping the machine. Keep the trimmer in the grass until the sharp edges come to a stop.
- Unplug the trimmer if it is an electric lawn trimmer. Do not touch the hot engine.
- Clean the trimmer after each use after cooling the engine.