How do you use a manual lawn edger

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I bought one of these at an auction. It looks almost the same as this photo.
http://i00.i.aliimg.com/photo/v0/253670564/Sidewalk_Edger_Edger_GN0600_040_.jpg
I ran it down the edge of my sidewalk. The points of the star shaped wheel cuts into the ground along the edge of the walk, but dont seem to cut the grass too well. However the dirt tends to overlap the sidewalk. Every year I have used a flat shovel and just dug away the excess dirt along the walk. This edger seems to cut into the dirt, but I still have to use a shovel to remove the dirt from the walk.
This is the first time I ever used one of these, so I'm not sure what it's supposed to do or how to use it. Searching the web got me this photo, but little information about how to use it. Seems most of them sold are gas or electric powered these days. With only a 15 foot sidewalk, I sure dont need anything powered. The old shovel method always worked pretty well anyhow, but I paid a buck for this used edger at the auction, just to try it out. Now if only I could figure out how it's supposed to work.....
Thanks
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On 4/19/2012 2:17 AM, snipped-for-privacy@toyotamail.com wrote:

I've burned up more than one electric edger trying to edge infrequently.
I have one like you pictured.
Biggest problem is that you have insufficient torque to hold it straight. Once it hits the slightest obstruction, it will twist and lock up on the grass or the concrete or anything else in the way.
Once you get the slot cut in the dirt next to the sidewalk, they sorta work ok. But you have to edge before the slot fills up again.
I discovered, almost by accident, that I could grab the grass that overhangs the sidewalk and sever it with a couple of swipes of a utility knife. Don't even try to cut it in one swipe, just do a couple of light swipes and you've got a clean edge. No more tripping over the extension cord or choking on all the dust kicked up by an edger. Not quite as dignified, but faster than the electric.
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replying to mike, Bill wrote: I have a really dumb question. What do you do to get the wheels to turn. I have the bolts loose on the sides but the wheels turns half way around and stops. Thanks Bill
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On 4/19/2012 4:17 AM, snipped-for-privacy@toyotamail.com wrote:

with a few minutes practice, your string trimmer can be the best edger you can ever ask for. Turn it so the head is vertical and edge along working against the rotation, and you'll find it makes a nice little edge trench. After a few weeks, you'll be able to go along several feet a second.
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Steve Barker
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You use it by doing what the guy before you did, sending it off to auction. They are pretty much useless. As Mike pointed out, if you use it frequently enough to keep the slot it cuts open, it might work. Also depends on the soil composition, how dry it is, type of grass, etc. I say kick it to the curb.

That's what all the lawn services around here do. I bought a convertible unit for maybe $125 that has two interchangeable heads. One is a string trimmer. The other is an edging attachment. It works great for edging. I think its a Troybilt. But even with that, it doesn't have the power of a true power edger with a bigger gas engine. As long as you do the edging on a monthly basis or so it works fine and I'm happy with it. But let it go a few months and it takes a lot longer to get through it.
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On Thu, 19 Apr 2012 06:39:22 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"

I have a 4-cycle TroyBilt with interchangeable heads (string trimmer, edger, and a blower). All work like a champ. As noted here, it takes a little work to get the slot cut but there is a wheel that helps with this. You start out with a shallow slot and each week lower the wheel a little. The first time edging in the spring it takes a little work to get the slot open again but after, it goes very quickly. The blower works great, too, because it's on a long pole, sorta like the string trimmer, so you can move it right next to the ground to blow the clippings back into the yard.
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On Thu, 19 Apr 2012 08:22:48 -0500, Steve Barker

Most landscapers around me do this. I've have 2 gas powered edgers (blade) sitting in my garage that work well but I agree it's easier with the string trimmer which I also have. The powered edgers give a slightly better edge in most cases (not all) but the string trimmmer is much faster in most cases and faster in the rest. I remember as a kid, my dad had what the OP bought for a dollar. I recall you had to keep going over the grass edge to get a decent cut edge. I suppose that could also be due to the dulling of the blades??? Overall the string trimmer is better and more universal in use too.
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wrote:

If the lawn dirt is packed against the edge of the sidewalk, the string trimmer only cuts the grass hanging over the edge. You need to get that dirt cut out before the string trimmer will work well. I've got places where the lawn dirt is higher than the sidewalk. Sidewalk has sunk. Needs to be cut out with a real edger or a shovel blade. My string trimmer will draw a straight line on the grass there, but the dirt is creeping out onto the sidewalk It takes forever to cut packed dirt with a string trimmer. Where the dirt is lower than the sidewalk edge, the string trimmer works fine.
--
Vic


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On Thu, 19 Apr 2012 09:55:04 -0500, Vic Smith

That's where I like my powered blade edgers better but maybe in your case you can use heavier string or longer string. It might work better for you???
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On 4/19/2012 10:58 AM, Doug wrote:

the string trimmer(s) i'm referring to will run a pair of .095 or .105 line hanging out about 10".
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On Thu, 19 Apr 2012 12:15:52 -0500, Steve Barker

Mine's .065 single string. Never saw one with a "pair" of strings. Might get a heavier string model when this one quits. But I don' like cutting dirt here with a string trimmer. Too much chance of throwing a stone. Think that's what dinged/cracked a thermal pane that cost me a couple hundred to replace.
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Vic


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On 4/19/2012 5:45 PM, Vic Smith wrote:

I'll second the pair of .095 lines. My Bolens will easily cut just the right sized trench beside the walk or driveway -or- just neatly shear off the overhanging grass. A heavy duty string trimmer held at 90 degrees to the cut is way easier and will be used pretty much as often as you mow. If done weekly with a light touch you can blow away any dirt kicked up.
I also have a 4 cycle dedicated edger in the shed that hasn't been used in years because dragging it out and cleaning up literally mounds of dirt afterward is just a PITA.
John
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On 4/19/2012 4:45 PM, Vic Smith wrote:

I haven't seen a single string model for decades.
http://www.stihlusa.com/trimmers/FS110R.html
this is the one i have. Four stroke engine, pulls about 13000 rpm, but still uses mixed fuel.
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wrote:

No. I had an electric edger that handled it if I did it every year, but that gave up the ghost some years ago. My string trimmer won't make a dent on the 1-3 inch thick hard turf overhanging the sidewalk where it's low. Does what I expect of it. Needs a powered blade or jumping on a sharp shovel now. So I'll either collar and pay the landscapers that do most of the neighbors' lawns with a gas-powered edger, or jump on a shovel myself. Or maybe even buy a powered edger. Besides where the sidewalk is low, even where the dirt was even 15 years ago, and the sidewalk doesn't' look like it sunk, the turf is growing a bit over the sidewalk edge. Pretty sure the lawn has increased in height over the years. I use a mulching mower and never dethatch.
--
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On 4/19/2012 2:39 PM, Vic Smith wrote:

Give the utility knife a try. I was amazed at how easy it was. I'm not even gonna try to fix the electric edger.
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Thanks, that actually sounds like a good idea. I'll try it before I sharpen a shovel. Getting on my knees shouldn't be that hard to do.
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On 4/19/2012 9:55 AM, Vic Smith wrote:

oh believe me, the string trimmer will bring that dirt out if you do it properly.
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On Apr 19, 2:17am, snipped-for-privacy@toyotamail.com wrote:

Works rather simply........ just roll it forward about a foot or two and then roll it back over the same length.
Continue working the edger...... ~2 ft forward, 1.5 ft back, repeat
IIRC I could edge 50' of lawn fast enough to not worry about needing or wanting a gas or electric weed wacker.
I tossed my manual edger when the rubber "tire" on it cracked, split & failed. If I had an manual edger in good condition I'd still use it.
cheers Bob
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wrote:

Thanks for the reply. Finally I got an answer. It always amazes me how a person can ask something on this group and get 50 replies that do *NOT* answer the question. If I wanted to buy, or owned a power weed whacker, I'd get one. I'm not that fussy about my lawn to spend the money for one, and the last time I had one, I would spend 10 minutes fixing the string for every one minute I whacked. I think I got $2 for it when we had a rummage sale. While I'm not fussy about the lawn, I hate when the grass starts to grow over my 3 foot wide sidewalk, and soon it's only 2 feet wide. So, once a year I clean the edges.
Mine has a good tire. I think it was too muddy when I used it. I'll try again when the lawn is dryer. It seems easier to use than a shovel.
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On Apr 20, 4:42pm, snipped-for-privacy@toyotamail.com wrote:

Amen!!!
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