Cutting the perimeter of a lawn often seems impossible, particularly if a fence borders the lawn's edge. However, several multipurpose and project-specific tools address the challenge of cutting grass in tight spots. Whereas some tools apply only to the lawn edges, other tools can be used for other yard maintenance tasks as well. These tools are available in manually operated and motor-driven models. The right edger for your yard depends upon the size of the yard and the budget of the landscaper.
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Manual Lawn Edger
The traditional manual lawn edger consists of a half-moon-shaped blade attached to a long, shovel-like handle. The rounded, sharp edge of the tool faces away from the pole. Operation of the manual lawn edger is simple and effective; the landscaper plunges the sharp edge of the tool into the lawn and rocks the tool back and forth. The manual edger's blade cuts through both grass, soil and roots. The landscaper continues cutting along the lawn's perimeter to sever a long strip of soil and create clean, finished edge.
Manual Rotary Edger
The manually operated rotary edger is essentially a spiky wheel attached to a long, straight handle. Sharp spikes protrude from the circumference of the tool's wheel, which attaches to a shovel-like handle. To use the manual rotary edger, the landscaper drives the wheel's spikes into the lawn and runs the tool along the lawn's perimeter. As the tool rotates, the spikes slice and sever the lawn's edge.
Like manually operated rotary edgers, power edgers employ rotary-cutting blades that slice and sever through a lawn's edge. However, the assistance of a gas or electric motor allows the power edger to cut through more difficult soil and achieve a cleaner edge than the manual rotary edger. Power edgers range from single-wheeled, amateur models to dual-wheeled professional models. Both types of power edgers use thick, rectangular blades, similar to lawnmower blades. Whereas amateur power edgers often have a pole-style handle, professional power edgers usually have T-shaped, walk-behind handles.
The string trimmer rapidly spins a plastic string to cut through both grass and weeds. Although it doesn't cut soil, landscapers often use the string trimmer to trim grass along lawn edges, particularly if a bordering material, such as brick or vinyl, lines the lawn's perimeter. A string trimmer's rotating head attaches to a roughly S-shaped pole. At the top of the pole, a pistol-grip and trigger control the tool's electric or gas-powered motor.
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