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Traditionally, lawn edgers are the go-to tools for cutting edges on lawns and defining boundary lines. However, straight shaft trimmers are also frequently used by landscapers for the same purpose. But if you don’t have an edger or a straight shaft trimmer, can you edge a lawn with a curved shaft trimmer?
You can edge a lawn with a curved shaft trimmer, particularly on small yards. The hand-held tool also works well for intricate works to help you achieve flawless landscaping. Curved shaft trimmers are lightweight, making them easy to maneuver for a picture-perfect yard.
This quick article highlights the benefits of using a curved shaft trimmer and shows you how to use the tool like a pro. So, keep reading if you want to know how to keep your lawn looking pristine, and what safety precautions you should know when using curved shaft trimmers.
Why You Should Edge Your Lawn with a Curved Shaft Trimmer
Cutting or trimming hard-to-reach spaces of your lawn requires a tool with more maneuverability than a mower. That’s where trimmers come into the picture. While they’re not lawn edgers, these tools can effectively function as edgers (source).
Although many professional landscapers use straight shaft trimmers for edging, curved shaft trimmers are better because:
- The trimmer is easy to carry. Typically, curved shaft trimmers have shorter shafts, making them lighter and more convenient when you’re using them for longer periods.
- Curved shaft trimmers are suitable for small yards. Curved shaft trimmers are great for edging yards that don’t require heavy-duty trimming, making them suitable for people who manage small yards.
- The tool offers greater maneuverability. The design of the shaft gives you a greater sense of balance, which increases your ability to see and maneuver the tool in tight spaces and around areas such as flower beds and trees.
- Curved shafts are less expensive. A curved shaft trimmer usually costs less than its straight shaft counterpart, making it a preferred option if you want a trimmer with a cheaper upfront cost.
Downsides of Curved Shaft Trimmers
On the flip side, curved shaft trimmers have a few cons. These include:
- Curved shafts have limited reach. Although a curved shaft trimmer is great for intricate works, the arched shaft design can prevent it from reaching under decks and lawn furniture.
- The attachment options are limited. Usually, users can only attach light-duty nylon cutting lines to curved shaft trimmers because the design doesn’t support other attachments.
- The shaft length isn’t suitable for tall users. The curved design makes it a little uncomfortable for taller people since they’ll have to bend over to use the tool.
How to Edge a Lawn with a Curved Shaft Trimmer
The trick to achieving clean edges on your lawn is to know how to use the various garden tools at your disposal. Thankfully, using a curved shaft trimmer isn’t rocket science, and it all starts with knowing the correct angle to hold the tool. Properly positioning the tool can mean the difference between a picture-perfect lawn and a poor edging job.
To edge a lawn using a curved shaft trimmer:
- Hold the curved shaft trimmer at a 90-degree angle. This position allows the line to spin vertically rather than horizontally.
- Lower the trimmer so the fast-spinning line touches the grass along the edge of your work area.
- Slowly move the end of the trimmer along the edges of the area as the tool cuts off excess grass. The force of the spinning line will throw up dirt, small rocks, grass, and roots, but try to hold the tool steady during operation. Trimmers feature protective shields, so you don’t have to worry about getting hit by debris.
- If you skip a spot, go back and edge it before moving forward.
- If grass sticks to the trimmer, pause for a moment and lightly tap the head of the trimmer on a hard surface to loosen the grass before continuing.
Remember that trimmers maintain existing boundaries, so only trim the small portion of grass extending over your boundaries.
Over-trimming will create too much gap between your lawn and other parts of your yard like:
You can avoid damaging your lawn by ensuring that the curved shaft trimmer is always at the edge of your grass during edging. Although edging is different from mowing, it’s best to always follow the one-third rule when maintaining your lawn (source).
Safety Precautions When Using a Curved Shaft Trimmer
Electro-mechanical garden tools for cutting and trimming are not without risks, and the curved shaft trimmer is no exception (source).
The cutting lines of a string trimmer might appear harmless at rest, but they can reach a speed of up to 7,000 and 15,000 rpm when they spin. That’s more than enough speed to cause deep cuts on the skin.
Besides, the spinning lines can throw up soil and gravel, which can cause severe injuries if they hit the operator or anyone else nearby. For this reason, it’s crucial to consider the following safety precautions when edging your lawn with a trimmer.
- Remove loose objects from the area before trimming. Loose objects such as pieces of glass, stones, and sticks can cause serious injury, so inspect the area and get rid of them.
- Ensure the safety of people nearby. Make sure that bystanders and pets are nowhere near the area.
- Always wear gloves, safety goggles, work boots, long-sleeve shirts, and long pants when edging your lawn. Avoid wearing sandals, sneakers, and loose clothing that won’t properly protect your body.
- Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. If you have a gasoline-powered model, start the trimmer outside to avoid accumulating carbon monoxide gas.
Like straight shaft trimmers, curved shaft trimmers also have downsides, but they’re excellent tools for edging lawns. Most models are lighter than their straight shaft counterparts, and they offer a more user-friendly experience if you’re not on the tall side.
A curved shaft trimmer is a good investment if you’re not a professional landscaper. Plus, it doesn’t break the bank.