When you're learning the game of golf, you'll likely carry a pitching wedge and a sand wedge among your other clubs. Those two clubs may serve you well for a long time. But there are other wedges, mostly differentiated by their lofts, and you might find your game improving by increasing the number of wedges you carry.
Standard pitching wedge
Most standard pitching wedges have a clubface loft between 44 and 50 degrees. They're shorter than the rest of the irons and are built to have the front edge of the club slip under the ball to help get your shot airborne and added height.
The loft on a sand wedge is usually between 55 and 59 degrees. While it is designed to be used to hit out of sand traps, it can be used from the fairway or from the rough when you're closer than 100 yards from the hole.
Like its name suggests, the gap wedge is used to fill in the gap between a pitching wedge and a sand wedge. A gap wedge usually has a loft of between 51 and 54 degrees. Gap wedges don't typically come with a standard set of clubs, but can be purchased separately.
A lob wedge has the greatest loft, usually 60 to 65 degrees, and is designed to be used for short pitch shots that need to stop quickly or produce a backspin. A lob wedge also will have to be purchased separately from the rest of the set.