A lawn edger is a tool that is used to cleanly separate the lawn from the paved areas of a yard. A shaft is attached to a small engine. At the other end of the shaft, there is a sharp cutting wheel. The cutting wheel is placed at the edge of concrete or pavement, where it meets the grass. The cutting wheel cuts into the soil, removing roots and grass that might have grown onto the road or sidewalk.
There are two types of lawn edgers: electric and gas powered. An electric lawn edger power is measured in amperage. When looking at electric lawn edgers, the higher the amperage, the more powerful the lawn edger. Common amperages are 11 amps and 12 amps. Gas-powered edgers are measured in cubic centimeters (cc). The higher the number cubic centimeters, the more powerful the engine, allowing the user to cut through thicker sod. The bigger engine uses more fuel, but allows the user to complete the job more quickly, as the wheel has less tendency to bind or slow down on thicker sod or weeds.
An electric edger does not use fuel, so the user doesn't have to worry about mixing fuel or keeping fuel on hand. The electric edger is not as strong as a gas-powered engine, so is best for someone with a smaller lawn. Electric edgers are cheaper than gas-powered engines. A gas-powered edger allows the user to move around a large yard without worrying about the restrictions caused by the length of the power cord. Gas-powered edgers are also more powerful than electric edgers and last longer than electric edgers.
When purchasing an edger, consider the size of the lawn and how often you are using the edger. If you have a large lawn, choose a gas-powered edger. An electric edger is good for smaller lawns. If you edge each week, you should also consider a gas-powered edger, as the gas-powered edgers last longer than electric edgers. Electric edgers are lighter than gas-powered edgers.
The user must always be aware of stones, sticks or clumps of sod being thrown up by the wheel, which spins at a high rate of speed. The wheel does have a protective cover, but there is always a chance that a stone or other debris could be kicked out from under the cover, ricochet off the ground or other object and hit the user. The wheel should be kept sharp. Sharpen or hone the wheel as instructed by the owner's manual.
For large yards or for commercial use, there are push-type edgers. Push edgers are also useful for people who cannot hold and manipulate a gas-powered or hand-held edger. The push edger has a larger engine, which is supported on two wheels. The "front wheel" is the cutting wheel.