Some time ago, somebody figured out that a pole with a bit of monofilament had the potential to be a tool for work, and not just a symbol of indolence. (Could it be that a widowed-feeling, weekend-fisherman’s wife came up with the power edger?) Since that “Aha!” moment, trimmers have become nearly as ubiquitous as lawnmowers. There is a surprising amount of variety among the trimmers out there. Gas gave way to electric, leading to cordless. Troy-Bilt’s entry into the field enlists ergonomic design as its selling point: the handle telescopes, so you can adjust it to a length that fits your reach and your spine’s comfort zone, from 42 inches long up to 56 inches. This may not seem to be the most exciting feature, until you consider that this means that the whole family can share in edging duties. This edger does not have a wire guide or an extra battery pack for quick switch outs, but then again, the 12” cutting swath is easy to control, the ion battery is designed to last longer before recharges, and the trimmer’s price point is an acceptable compromise.
We also appreciate the automatic line release that advances the trimmer line as needed when the trigger is pulled (because we don’t have a clue how to deal with those lines), and speaking of triggers, seriously. Once you get the feel of pulling that trigger to trim grass or edge around sidewalk and stones, you are, well, hooked for life. Perfect for a fun-filled afternoon that includes work along fences, trees, patios, and sidewalks.
Shortcomings? It didn't have a guide, which I don't use because I have an eye and I like to be able to angle the device for special edging. Some people think its 12 inch cutting range too small, but for my backyard, it is plenty big and as with all tools, I can make two swaths with something small; if the unit is too large, I can't make a swath at all. So I'd rather go small and be more precise. It's not perfect, but it is a nice tool for a manageable piece of property.—C.B.
Want a trimmer of your own? Troy-Bilt will send you one; just leave a comment about trimming—or about getting other people to do your work—and I’ll draw from them. Please leave the comments before 9 p.m. EST.