I want to buy a lawn edger and I'm wondering if the electric models (about
$80) have plenty of power or would I be better off going gas as with some
other things. Having never used an edger before I'm not really even sure if
you NEED much power. Advice appreciated.
I borrowed a Black and Decker electric edger from a friend. When it
worked it worked well. However, it got clogged very easily with the clay
soil that we have and so hardly ran for more than 30 seconds before I had
to stop and clean out the clay. So it certainly does not have the power
to muscle through heavy clay (they claim it can act as a trencher too).
Based on my limited experience I would be reluctant to buy it.
If it were me I would get a 2 cycle gas string trimmer that takes
attachments (Ryobi makes a good consumer gas trimmer). You buy the
motor head and string trimmer together as a set and then buy the steel
blade edger. You'll have plenty of power and not have to drag a cord
around. Home Depot has Ryobi, Homelite, and John Deer (which is OEMed
by Homelight). Lowes caries Troybuilt (which appears to be OEMed by
Ryobi) and Cub Caddet (which is probably OEMed by either Ryobi or
Homelight, don't know which). I've had a Ryobi for about 8 ~ 10 years
and used it about every other week during the mowing season (which is
about from mid March to mid November around here) and it has never let
me down. The "expand-it" attachments from all of the above named brands
are interchangeable (in fact I have a John Deer brush cutter I use on my
The 18" Ryobi RY3002 will run you about $119 at HD and the edger
attachment is about $69.
I have the Ryobi. It depends on what you want, how often you'll use
it, how much edging you have to do, etc. The Ryobi is certainly a lot
better than an electric model, which I would never consider.
However, I would consider the Ryobi just barely acceptable for
frequent edging of a modest amount of work. For example, if the area
hasn't been edged in months, then this unit is going to have a very
tough time getting through it. A 4 cycle gas unit edger with a
circular type blade will handle this easily and give a nicer result.
It also has the advantage of weight, which keeps it steady and where
you want it to be. However, if you edge every few weeks minimum, then
the Ryobi will do ok. Another consideration is how tough the grass
and soil are that you have.
The other obvious issue is how long the units will last. Any 2 cycle
engine has a much more limited life than a 4 cycle. Plus, if you just
use the Ryobi for weed whacking, the strain on all the parts is much
less, and I believe it will last a lot longer.
I chose the Ryobi as a compromise, the biggest issue being that I
didn't want to have to store a std edger, as I don't have a lot of
I have the Ryobi and its ok for a modest amount of edging. It really
depends on how frequently you will use it, how much you have to do,
etc. The Ryobi needs to be used frequently. If you let the edging go
too long, this unit is going to have a tough time getting through it,
while a 4 cycle edger will get through it easy and do a nicer job.
After I bought the Ryobi, I rented a regular one to get through it the
Nothing beats a regular 4 cycle real edger with a round type of blade.
It has both power and weight to keep it where you want it to be. For
me, the biggest issue was I didn't have a good place to store this
type of unit. Another issue is how long the units will last. All 2
cycle engines of this type have a limited life compared to the 4 cycle
one you get on a regular edger.
Also, as was pointed out, it depends on how tough your grass and soil
are. I don't have any experience with an electric unit. I would only
consider that type at all, if you have a very small area thats easy to
I've used electric edgeer Black/Decker models for years. They often are
more powerful than the equivalent gas-powered models. They work adequately
for most soils (when dry) and will generally last 4-6 years. However, this
assumes that you keep the blade sharpened (once/year).keep it fairly clean,
and don't mind pulling around 100 feet of electric cord. In other words,
they're great for small yards. They also don't have a throttle (speed
control), so they only move at one speed. That means, you may have to run
them back and forth over tough roots and grasses before they make your edge
properly. But, once you have established an edge cut, they need less effort
the next time around. Unfortunately, B&D often makes the model with parts
which are hard to replace (models change and parts aren't available after
The gas-powered models are great for larger yards (longer drives, sidewalks,
etc.) and you don't have to worry about the cord. Some models have
interchangeable parts (double as a trimmer, snow blower, hedge trimmer,
etc.). They also feature increased speed control and this works great if
you have different grasses/soils to edge through. If you a first timer and
want the thing to work right the first time (no priming, pulling a cord
starter), then go with the electric model. They're also quieter (less ear
damage). Hope this helps.
I had been using an old weak electric until it gave up the ghost about
the day you posted. My 2 top options were an $89. electric Black and
Decker from HD, or spend ~$250. for a nice gas one.
I went with the B&D. Compared to the old crappy one, this one is
really quiet and cuts like a hot knife... Granted, a gas one would be
much more powerful, but I already had the extension cords. The acid
test will be next spring the first time I edge, but I'm extremely
satisfied with the B&D. It's powerful enough and quiet. I have ~400
total feet to edge and it works very well- especially compared to the
old junk that I just tossed. Good luck.
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