Once the mower is done with your yard, it is imperative you clean up the finishing touches. One of the most important tasks for a pristine yard is making sure the edges are clean. That is why we have brought you a list of the 3 best stick edgers. We also highlight what their strengths or weaknesses are and provide a helpful buyer’s guide, so you can better make your decision. All three of our products are meant for different purposes, so there is not a best stick edger. Keep reading to find out which one is right for you.
Best Stick Edgers in 2020
1. BLACK+DECKER LE760FFAM – Best Corded Electric Stick Edger
BLACK+DECKER may be one of the largest and most successful power tool companies in the world, but they are also squarely a consumer-grade brand. One of the best things about this designation is the fact that it means BLACK+DECKER is less expensive than their competition. That said, this is generally true more broadly of BLACK+DECKER and their products when compared to the competition. However, BLACK+DECKER doubles down on this budget-friendly model by also making this product a corded model. As such, the BLACK+DECKER is by far the best corded electric stick edger that we reviewed.
Up and Down
The BLACK+DECKER is not a bad product, but its consumer-grade designation is well-earned and will limit some of the jobs the BLACK+DECKER can reliably tackle. In terms of its pure cutting power, the BLACK+DECKER provides a solid entry with a 12 amp motor that can spin the blade up to 4700 RPMs – though that is with no-load. However, this power does not translate into the most important measurable for stick edgers: torque. As such, the BLACK+DECKER is better suited for a smaller yard or one whose soil is soft and loose. If you try to push the BLACK+DECKER beyond its engineered limits, it is known to fail.
2. Echo PE-225 Edge Trimmer – Best Gas Stick Edger
Though Echo initially specialized in strictly 2-stroke engines, they eventually saw the ability to expand into the product markets which use those engines. Since then, Echo has been making high-quality lawn care equipment and they made our list as the best gas-powered stick edger. The Echo is easily the closest product on our list to a professional stick edger and should serve admirably for a time. Of course, for those who need a stick edger regularly but perhaps not all day, seven days a week, this is a more than adequate solution.
When purchasing a stick edger, the price is most closely correlated with the cutting power, and the Echo definitely follows that trend of the products we have reviewed.
While not as easy as an electric stick edger’s push-start ignition, the Echo does still make starting their gas-powered model easier than many of their competitors. This begins and ends with the patented Echo i-30 pull-start which requires significantly less force to generate the necessary starting power. On top of being easier to start, the Echo was also designed with one of the best pivots that we saw, making it easier to turn the stick edger on a dime. To make using the Echo even easier, the wheels are rubber which better absorbs vibrations and impacts than the plastic commonly used.
3. EGO Power+ 8″ Edger – Best Cordless Electric Stick Edger
Of the stick edgers reviewed, EGO Power+ is by far the most recently founded, but it was done so on the basis of innovation. As a branch of the petroleum giant Chevron, EGO Power+ specializes in electric lawn care equipment. While this may seem like an odd pairing, it turns out that Chevron is more than capable of manufacturing one of the better electric stick edgers we can find. For our list’s purposes, we find the EGO Power+ to be the best cordless electric stick edger available. It is worth noting that battery is not included which will increase the cost of this model to roughly that of a gas-powered model – though you need not buy new batteries every time they are depleted.
When an upstart enters a market, especially one with potentially conflicted interested, one of the first things most commonly overlooked is the build quality. In an effort to save on costs, non-specialized companies will use inferior materials that ultimately make the product less durable. With the EGO Power+ stick edger, this should be the least of your concerns as this might be the most durable stick edger we saw.
Much like the price reflects, the EGO Power+ sits somewhere between the average electric stick edger and the gas-powered models. This means that heavy-duty jobs are definitely not on the table, though regular use should not present any issues. This stick edger uses a 56v motor which is a non-standard measurement, so the true cutting power is difficult to discern. It does offer a maximum cutting depth of 3” which is second-best on our list and reasonably solid depth, though will probably want to avoid digging out narrow troughs with this edger. As a final benefit, the EGO Power+ is also one of the easiest stick edgers to use with guide wheel and depth adjustment controls at your fingertips.
Gas-powered stick edgers are still the most common and popular, but they are beginning to lose favor. This is because the development of electronics has improved significantly in the past couple of decades. As such, the advantage that gas-powered stick edgers had over any kind of electric stick edgers is much less than it once was. That said, gas-powered stick edgers still hold a fairly comfortable advantage over there electric-powered cousins in terms of cutting power generated. This advantage only expands as you start going up the scale from consumer-grade to commercial-grade. Because of this, the overwhelming majority of professional stick edgers are gas-powered. It is also worth noting that gas-powered stick edgers generally require oil as well which makes their long term overhead costs higher.
Electric stick edgers would be the most ideal type of stick edger were it not for the fact that they often have difficulty achieving the same level of torque and cutting power as a gas-powered model. This is irrespective of to which of the two subtypes of stick edgers you are referring: the corded and the cordless model. Between the two, the cordless model is quite clearly the more convenient and versatile, but the corded electric stick edger is able to push more consistent power. The cordless electric stick edger will also require a battery pack which is usually sold extra, increasing the product’s overall cost. Thankfully, you can purchase one or two batteries and simply recharge them, making them much less expensive over the long haul than a gas-powered stick edger. That said, electric stick edgers are probably best suited for the consumer-grade market where their lower average cutting power is less of a concern.
Regardless of how the stick edger is fueled, its ability to perform the designated task is inherently tied to the amount of power the motor or engine can generate. While this is great in theory, the market is inherently muddled with different manufacturers using different measurements. Part of this is so companies with weaker power tools can hide their weakness but it still results in a market that is difficult to gauge. That said, there are still a few conventions which are good rules of thumb to follow when judging stick edgers.
For one, most electric stick edgers, regardless of whether they are corded or cordless, will rate their motors in terms of amps used. While gas-powered stick edgers use a combustion engine, it is almost always a 2-stroke or a 4-stroke, if it is environmentally friendly. Even though gas-powered stick edgers use engines, they are generally rated more on the engine’s size rather than the horsepower output. It is worth remembering that a gas-powered engine will generally produce more cutting power than a comparable electric motor due to the way that the energy is consumed.
RPMs is another important metric related to the cutting power generated by the motor or engine but it has more to do with the types of materials to be cut. While you will ostensibly be cutting into the ground, soft soil with young, green shoots is a very different type of ground to cut than a hardened clay. The faster the stick edger can spin the blade, the harder the materials that the blade can cut through – so long as it has the torque necessary to make the cut. It is worth noting that a great deal of the additional cutting power generated from a gas-powered stick edger is directly transferred into torque.
Since stick edger is inherently a hand-held power tool, its weight will become vitally important depending on your task and your capabilities. To the point, if you have a fairly large property to edge or you are otherwise personally limited, then the heavier a stick edger is the harder it will be to use for an extended period of time. While most stick edgers are fairly similar in weight and design from the outset, their choice of a power source and their overall design will determine to a fair degree how heavy the stick edger feels.
For the power source, the more parts or resources necessary to make the stick edger run, the heavier it will be. This means that gas-powered and battery-powered electric stick edgers are heavier than a corded electric stick edger. A cordless electric stick edger will generally start a bit lighter than a gas-powered model, but will eventually be the heavier of the two as the gas-powered stick edger consumes its fuel. Of course, some stick edgers try to mitigate this with a better base design that takes most of the weight out of your hands.
Though a stick edger is ostensibly meant to provide a nice, clean edge for your lawn, not everyone has the same kind of lawn. Depending on where you live, you may need your stick edger to be able to cut deeper or shallower. If you live in a suburb or somewhere else highly processed and manufactured, you may not even have 3 or 4 inches that some stick edgers can cut. That said, it is generally considered better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it – so long as you can adjust it as needed. This actually brings us to the other important consideration regarding the cutting depth: settings. The ability to change the stick edger’s cutting depth expands its versatility to the point that it can be used for other tasks altogether. Digging a small narrow trough to run a line or bury hardware is easy with powerful stick edger that offers a solid maximum cutting depth.
Ease of Use
While this may be a bit overlooked, the ease of use of a stick edger is important for both consumer uses as well as professional ones. For the professional, a stick edger’s ease of use will have a big impact on how quickly the professional can work and ultimately, how much work can be done. On top of the statistical impact, the ease of use will also influence the morale of the employee using the device which will further affect how effective that person is at their job.
For the consumer, the ease of use comes down to simple convenience since these tasks are rarely weighted in dollars and cents. Basically, why would you spend your valuable free time trying to figure out a complicated power tool when you could spend a little bit more for its use to be self-evident. In this instance, the time and energy saved, not to mention the frustration avoided, can easily be worth a modest price increase. This applies double for gas-powered stick edgers which often have a pull-start engine that irritates so many users – consumers and professionals alike.
As we can see, there is a wide range of options to choose from depending on what specifically you are looking for. If you have a large property in disrepair, you will probably want to the kind of power a gas-powered stick edger provides. The Echo is an excellent entry in this category with the advantage that it is much easier to pull-start this engine compared to many others. This is also a better stick edger for auxiliary tasks like digging troughs.
Of course, if you are just looking for a stick edger to do the occasional job around the house, either of our electric models is a solid option. For those who will edge regularly, we recommend the Ego with its more powerful motor and more durable design. If you only expect to use the stick edger every so often, then the BLACK+DECKER’s convenience and price are difficult to match.