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How to Edge Like a Pro

Brian Fullerton from Brian's Lawn Maintenance

Learn how to edge like a PRO. Do you use an edger or a string trimmer? See what Brian from Brian's Lawn Maintenance has to say on what a professional landscaper needs to give the best service possible.

Hey good morning Gang. Brian here-Brian’s Lawn maintenance. Hey guys, wanted to do a video - actually this was one of the requested videos that you guys had wanted more stuff on, from yesterday's Epic Giveaway Video. I asked what some more videos that you guys wanted done and surprisingly a lot of you guys wanted more edger videos. How do you edge with a trimmer and then also see a little bit more about the edger that we use for our properties. Let me show you guys we have access to. These are two of our RedMax stick edgers. I had one and then obviously one of them went down so I bought a second one probably the year after. I have two RedMax HEZ 2460s. Now I'll be honest I've never used any other edges from any other brands. I've always just kind of stuck with the RedMax style I don't know really the difference between a bent shaft style and then just a straight shaft. All the pros seems to be using the straight shafts from what I've seen and then that's also what my dealer suggests.

You get the oversized looped handle that way some guys hold from the sides and hold it from the top. Obviously you have the adjustment wheel where you can have it higher or lower if you want more of a sharper angle or lower angles based on your height - also get the edge blade down deeper. So I know when you guys are getting started out there's nothing wrong really with using a trimmer to make an edge line, at least initially. My philosophy and my attitude is going to be that if you're going to do the business and you're going to be doing this long term. Whenever you can, maybe your first year or your second year, you need to throw down for an edger. Yes, they're not cheap. They're about three to four hundred dollars, no doubt about it. These are probably in the fours almost. It's just part of the business. I know a lot of guys use Edgit Pro and I think that's awesome. I'm not really against the Edgit Pro, I just am against the liability factor that the Edgit Pro creates by flinging rocks everywhere. I know you guys can argue that one all day long of using it the right way and using it the wrong way. Nevertheless I don't care what you guys say-from my experience using it with the disc pointed inward, using the disc pointed outward- no matter what it's flinging rocks. I cannot take that liability risk with hitting a car window or a house window, especially when you come up the main pathway going to the front door. I can't do that. The edger, yes, it’s in the theory the same way but the amount of grass and dirt that it kicks up its marginal compared to the Edgit Pro. If you guys use the Edgit Pro, again I'm not against them. I know some guys swear by them for me personally, I just can't take that liability risk.

So can you get away your first year or two by using a string trimmer as your edger? Absolutely! I think a lot of guys do that. Let me show you guys the edger in action and then let me also show you on the next lawn I do, which I don't edge, how to use a string trimmer to just kind of clean up the edges. For me personally, some of you guys want to know the business side of things. When I pick up a new client, cut, trim, blow is no problem. Let's just say a twenty five dollar yard, but when I'm on the phone picking somebody up for the first time, what I'm going to say is, “Hey just so you guys know, unless you have the edge line already there…” and everybody on the phone is going to say, “Oh yeah I did it last week.” I always say it's a one-time $25 fee to get that edge line cleaned up. Now if it's easy I might charge them only ten. I might not charge them at all. Nonetheless I always reserve the right to charge from twenty five dollars to get that edge line back in because a lot of the times it is really overgrown. You have to almost take a bag of grass or sod away with it. So let me show you some edging video footage and also show you some trimmer footage. I might do a little commentary over it I might not we'll see how it goes and then we'll catch up with you guys here in a minute.

[Starts Edger]

Obviously being the first lawn, had to warm this guy up let me show him really quick while he's warm.

[Runs Edger]

Edger definitely take some time to warm up. After your third or fourth law they may be pretty hot and will start no problem but sometimes they take a minute to get going. Again you got your safety trigger, you got your rocker switch, on/off, stoke on the back, pull start, gas cap obviously, outside air filter. This is the bracket, obviously to go on the trimmer rack of equipment defender but let me see some edging and then we’ll conclude with some trimming footage.

[Runs Edger]

Alright guys, here is a final look of the edge line for the sidewalk for this property. You guys can see, it’s pretty crisp. Now I know there's going to be a whole bunch of people that say well if you have the skill you can get the same edge line as you can with a trimmer than an edger. You know what, I agree but I also disagree, because you're just not going to get that squared off look as good with an edger compared to a trimmer. Now I know, same thing guys, I can make that edge line look real good with a trimmer but there's just something about making a line with an edger. Again, I'm not calling anybody cheap for not using one. I'm just saying, once you have the extra cash, invest in one. You know take your business to the next level. Provide that best service that you guys can.

All right, so that was edging with a stick edger. Again in my opinion if you're going to do the business make sure you throw down for one. Are they expensive? No doubt about it, but they definitely last. One thing I can always mention for you guys with stick edgers is more power is probably better when you're buying them. If you guys are looking at a 21.2 cc engine versus a 25.4 cc engine, make sure you go with the bigger engine because you're going to be needing that power to slice through the harder stuff and then that way you can also have like a heavier duty gearbox, heavy duty steel cable going through the middle. Let's cut to the next one. I'll show you guys how to do it with a trimmer and then hopefully give you guys some basic tips and with how to keep that edge line. Alright guys up next, let's go trim with the trimmer. As you guys know we have the RedMax 260TS and then also the ECHO 2620. No real preference here. I normally grab the RedMax. My guys normally grab the ECHO. Both of them are absolutely great trimmers.

Here's the basic rule of thumb that I use. This head right here-I want to make sure it is completely lined up with the edge as I can get it. Alright guys I'm going to show you a practical example. So right here you guys can see grass is definitely overgrown on this one. Now again when I set up a new customer it's $25 to get the edge line back in the place. This has been a customer for a long time. I used to just edge part of my program at the very first time but most people they do like a one-time cut and they cancel you. You can literally be spending a half-hour to an hour just getting the edge line back together. I did that for the first 4 or 5 years and I just got sick of it so now I charge everybody twenty five dollars.

In fact, we have a new customer over right behind this house now that just signed up-I'm going to do his trimming as well. I just told him, hey $25. He said absolutely, no problem to get it back together. Now I'm going to clean it up with the trimmer the first time, but nonetheless we'll be edging it next week. Getting it back in the shape. Let me show you guys-here's my philosophy-here's what I do here. All right this is probably better angle for you guys. This head right here, you guys can see the string right, so here's what the string is going to be tapping down. Here's my rule of thumb wherever the head is going to be that's going to be your line for the most part so when I'm trimming the grass my goal is to always keep that head as parallel to the sidewalk as I can. This is like my guide. If you have a guard on it that's fine too. Some guys take the guards off. Obviously, you guys can tell that I do, but what you want to do is line up the head all the way down with the sidewalk. Now you're going to get a little shimmy back and forth. That's where the skill set comes into play. If you can just lock it out with your arms and basically just keep that line the whole way down-that's how you're going to get that smooth edge all the way. Sometimes you might get a little shimmy back and forth again that's the skill set that you guys have to develop. An edger-because the blade goes down about a quarter inch to a half-inch, it lines up with the cement. It's always going to keep that straight line the whole way and that's why an edger is kind of idiot-proof to be honest with you guys. Now there's nothing wrong with trimming with the trimmer. Again, when I get a new client I always kind of clean up the edges with a trimmer till I can get a full edge in. You know today my guys are all up north so I don't have any labor. So, I don't have the extra time, so I'm not going to be edging our new customer. All right guys, so pretty straightforward-let me show you guys how we do it with the trimmer and then maybe I'll give you guys some wrap-up thoughts. Of course, if you have any questions definitely let me know.

[Running Trimmer]

Alright guys, so again, I do this every 2 or 3 weeks for my customers that I don't have on an edging schedule, but it keeps the lines looking clean. Honestly, it takes you a minute and a half to do it it's really not that big of a deal. You guys can see the edge line looks pretty good now compared to not having it done. There's obviously a huge difference, so the customer is going to think you edged. They're going to be ecstatic and they're going to be really happy I did it. Obviously, you get to see, it's a little wavy but that's what you're going to get when you use a trimmer. Even with my skill set, I've been doing this for a little while, I can normally keep a pretty good line.

Alright guys so this is a new client as you can see, the sidewalks are definitely overgrown. So what I'm going to do is just clean them up the first time with the trimmer. Now, again I'm going to charge them $25 next week to edge and you get this line back in this a big time. Then that way every time when every other week we come by we can just edge like normal but let me show you guys in trimming action.

[Running Trimmer]

Alright guys, first time-what do you guys think? Again, compared to it being overgrown this is definitely a huge improvement. Okay? Same thing right here. You guys can see the line. Looking real clean. Again, as long as you don't go too far into the grass it's really not that big of a deal to get that line. So as an example, we'll do the driveway next and then we'll do it around the rest of the sidewalk and drive.

Again, there's no right or wrong way to do the trimming with a trimmer. You know, again, my suggestion is always invest in an edger but nonetheless using a trimmer-there's nothing really wrong with it. It's just a skillset that you guys got to develop. Again, no matter what I normally use the trimmer to clean up the edge lines first that way there's less debris when I edge. When you edge you might have to rake and then bag. Which is why I charge $25 because that can take a half hour and that's a pain in the butt man.-even if you got guys helping you.

So that's pretty much it. One thing you guys can also do is a little tip a little trick is-when you trim make sure you trim on the inside and make sure you trim going the opposite way so it pulls all the grass in. That way it makes it look a lot less feathered and obviously it gives you that squared up look.

All right guys, that's pretty much it. Hopefully you guys enjoyed this one. It took a lot of time and effort to do this one. It's about 85 degrees and 100% humidity. We just had some storms last night so if you guys appreciate the footage, do me a big favor shoot it a big thumbs up. I'm sweating my butt off and it's only about 9:30 in the morning guys. All right, hey, by the way if you're new to the channel don't forget to hit that subscribe button. It means a lot. We'll catch up with you here on the next one. Bye bye.