A Buyer’s Guide To Lawn Edger Power – Electric Vs. Gas Engines


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A beautiful lawn takes more than a simple lawnmower.  Anyone with a well-maintained property will tell you there’s weeding, seeding, aerating, and of course, edging.  With the edging tools come two choices to accomplish our goals: hand tools like a flat shovel or blade or powered edgers.  But with powered edgers come even more options.  Now to decide which of the electric vs. gas engine powered edgers are the best choice.

When you’re talking power, there’s a fierce battle for supremacy between gas and electric.  Just look at the automotive world, and you’ll agree that green energy is making itself known. But is gas-powered landscape equipment more powerful than electric? Or is electric the new king?

I’ve dived the data that reveals the answers to bring you the answer here today.  Once and for all, I’m going to draw the line between electric vs. gas engines (when it comes to edgers anyway).  Are you ready?  Let’s jump in.

Is Gas Edger Better Than Electric?

The debate between gas and electric power rages onward.  But what do the actual stats say?  Well, first, I looked to professional landscape companies for an opinion. Tom Snogles, Sun Power Lawn Care owner, operating out of Gainesville, Florida, was one such professional I looked into their operations.

Sun Power uses electric tools exclusively and gave up on gas-powered back in 2014.  They’ve been running off solar panels mounted to their trailers that charge their cordless electric edgers, mowers, trimmers, and blowers.

Looking at the benefits of electricity for a commercial company can be a tall order. However, there are several reasons why going electric is a smart choice.  Despite this, most landscape companies in North America operate using gas-powered equipment.

Let’s take a look at the benefits and liabilities of using gas vs. electric-powered edgers.  Most of these points will also apply to other landscapes, gardening, and yard equipment, but we’ll focus on the edger.

 Gas-Powered Edgers (And Other Equipment)Electric-Corded Edgers (And Other Equipment)Electric-Cordless Edgers (And Other Equipment)
Advantages– Powerful
– 100% portable
– Quiet
– Lightweight
– No fuel training required
– No burn potential
– Nearly zero maintenance
– Zero emissions
– Quiet
– 100% portable
– No fuel training required
– No burn potential
– Nearly zero maintenance
– Zero emissions
Disadvantages– Noisy
– Pollution
– More significant incident/injury potential
– More training required
– Flammable fuel required
– More maintenance
– Heavy to carry/push
– Requires power source
– Requires cord
– Limited by cord length
– Portability limited by the cord
– Batteries don’t last
– You will need extras
– Large batteries can be heavy (not as much as a gas engine, though)
– Need power source for charging

Residential Equipment Use

For most residential applications, an edger powered by electricity is the best option.  Despite the obvious environmental concerns with gas, the extra maintenance required (especially if you live in a place with cold winters) is simply not worth it. 

In the circumstance where one has a large residential property, and corded equipment is simply not a viable option, the cordless electric option with a few extra batteries and a pair of chargers is a smart option.

If the power of gas persuades you to move away from the safer, lower-maintenance electric models, then you must be prepared for the maintenance involved.  Not to mention the excessive noise levels that gas engines make.

When it comes to power, the truth is that gas engines are often stronger than their electric counterparts.  At least when it comes to landscape equipment.  However, to put things to the real test, I used some cordless electric options and found that the power may not be up to match that of gas.  Furthermore, I discovered that the cordless edgers’ power was more than adequate to accomplish the task.  But spare batteries are required as the battery on the model I tested died after about 20 minutes.

Commercial Applications

The most significant factor for landscape companies is portability.  Time is money, and crews need to travel from one client’s property to another efficiently.

That said, without either an expensive solar setup or a generator, corded electric is simply not a feasible option for a landscape crew.

With cordless out of the question, our choices are clear: gas or cordless electric.  As gas is so readily available, gas-powered equipment is the obvious choice for most landscapers.

Despite the apparent issues with having gas-powered equipment, the problem with electric cordless is evident when the first battery dies.  For any commercial operation to be successful, multiple batteries and charging equipment is required.  However, this means a reliable power source to keep the chargers operating.

Although in sunny places like California, Arizona, Florida, Texas, and other similar geographical locations, a solar setup might work well, just as Sun Power has accomplished.  But in colder regions like New York and Pennsylvania, a solar-powered trailer to charge equipment may not work well.

What Is The Best Gas Lawn Edger?

If you’re shopping for a high-quality and reliable gas-powered edger, then take a look at the McLane 101 Gas-Powered Edger.  With a choice between a Briggs & Stratton 550 engine or a Honda engine, this edger is powerful and has a 3.5 HP power.

The blade has a versatile blade design that allows for any attack angle, from vertical to horizontal.  It makes the machine also double as a powerful wheeled trimmer.

With its four 7” wheels, this American made equipment’s stability is fantastic—a massive improvement over its 3-wheeled competition.  And being American made, you know the tool is built to last – no disposable tools here!

The McLane 101 Gas-Powered Edger/Trimmer also has some excellent ratings.  With a 67% 5-star rating, it’s well-acclaimed.   One owner even wrote how he received a twenty-year-old McLane edger from his father, and twenty-five years later, the machine was still running strong. That’s the kind of multi-generational lasting equipment people should be buying, in my opinion.

A great gas powered edger is the one from McLane. Check out the current price here on Amazon.

What Is The Best Electric Lawn Edger?

Electric lawn edgers come in two forms – corded and cordless. I’ve looked at both, and depending on whether you have a massive property or not; you may be able to get away with a simple string trimmer/edger combo. Let’s review the most highly-acclaimed models.

Best Cordless Edger

WORX delivers again with this highly-acclaimed edger/trimmer.  The unit runs on 20-volt batteries and is powerful for a cordless machine.  For smaller to medium properties, this machine performs well and is also lightweight.

Being electric, this edger that doubles as a trimmer can easily be used without the need for hearing protection like one would need for a gas-powered unit.  And being electric, there’s no fear of burns from a hot exhaust, no exhaust to hurt the environment (or you), and the machine is pretty light, coming in at less than 6 lbs.

Check out the WORX cordless edger here on Amazon.

Best Corded Edger

The 12-Amp edger made by WORX is another popular favorite of homeowners. With its highly acclaimed reputation, this unit is a top choice for many people who want a clean edge on their lawn for a professional appearance.

WORX’s edger and trencher machine come with a 7.5” cutting blade to powerfully excavate and cut through dirt and plants to create a clean and near-perfect edge to your lawn.

If you prefer a corded edger, the on from WORX is a great choice. You can find the current prices here on Amazon.

Do You Really Need An Edger?

So, you’ve got a lovely lawn, a few weeds, healthy shoots, everything is okay.  But that edge is a little sloppy.  And with the cost of an edger being anywhere from $85 to $600 or more, one may probably ask if the tool is essential for something used every few weeks.

To answer if one needs an edger, one must look at the length of lawn edging required. If you have a small lot and a small lawn, maybe only 10’ x 25’ or something, then perhaps using a cord-style trimmer or similar is fine. When you have a large lawn, perhaps upwards of 50’ or more along a single side, then odds are having a dedicated edger isn’t such a bad idea. 

But in the case of substantial properties, keep in mind that a gas or cordless edger may be the most appropriate.  Again, the corded edgers are fantastic, but you’re limited to the length of the cord, as mentioned above.

Lars

I am always happy to share all my knowledge about how to keep your garden in good condition and make it special.

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