Use your power edger or weed wacker primarily around sidewalks and footpaths. When you edge your lawn, you have two options for which tool to use: You can use an electric or gas-powered edging tool, or you can use a manual edging tool. (We'll explain about the manual edging tool later.) Because you don't have the space to dig out extra mulch or dirt around sidewalks and footpaths, it's best to use a power edger in these situations. Power edgers will make short work of these borders.
Edge slowly but surely, taking time so that you don't have to rehash the same territory too many times. Power edgers are, well, powerful, so it's tempting to blaze through your lawn in record time. Too often, however, lazy execution produces lazy results. Take your time when you edge using a power tool. You'll find that you won't have to re-edge the same spot over and over again to achieve a clean look. Re-edging the same spot over and over again is likely to lead to a sloppy look.
Use your manual edging tool to create fluid or flowing edges. Against the slight curve of a planting bed, the edging tool works fantastically. Simply spray paint your curved edge or lay down a garden hose onto the edge you want to create, and edge away. Of course, if you decide to use a garden hose as your guide, be extremely careful not to accidentally cut into it with your edging tool.
Be careful of electrical wires, plumbing pipes, and other subterranean hazards as you edge. Although they may be covered with PVC pipe that's difficult to cut into with an edger, it's better to be safe than sorry. Talk to your utilities company before edging out any large stretch of lawn and remember to edge gingerly.
Edge around flower beds and planters with a manual edge. Flower beds and planters are perfect for using a manual edge because you can afford to take away a little soil or mulch when you edge. The process is the same. Just remember not to take away too much lawn when you edge; try to achieve the balance of taking away just enough to clearly define the edge but not so much that you've significantly reduced your lawn space.
Decide how you want to tackle trees and shrubs. The lawn around trees and shrubs can be edged either with a power edger or a half-moon. When using a half-moon, however, be especially careful of root growth. If the tree or shrub is older or has an extensive root system, consider edging with a power edger instead of actually digging into the soil and potentially cutting up roots.