Power tools relieve the back-breaking aspect of landscape projects and make maintenance easier and faster. Buy high-quality machines that will last to get the best return and the best performance, and always put safety first.
To create neat boundaries and control weeds, use an edger. If you use an edger for weekly maintenance, you can skip edging material altogether. Edgers come in walk-behind models, which are easier to use, and hand-held models, which provide more visibility and control.
To break up ground for a new planting bed, use a tiller. Lightweight, easy-to-start tillers make light work of preparing the ground. The sharp tines rotate to break up grass and dirt; tillers do in minutes what it would take hours to do with a shovel.
For ongoing landscape maintenance, buy a good trimmer. Commonly called weed eaters or weed whackers, these power tools clear out weedy, overgrown patches and help trim grass where a mower can't reach--around trees, next to the house and up against hard-scaping. A curved shaft trimmer is easier to use for smaller operators, while a straight shaft trimmer gives more reach.
If you have a lot of trees or hedges, use a pole pruner for regular maintenance. This power tool looks like a straight shaft trimmer, but instead of a trimmer head there is a small chainsaw mounted on the end of the shaft. Pole pruners are the more powerful cousins of hedge trimmers. Use them to quickly prune hedges and to trim good-sized branches from trees.