Who Needs a Brush Cutter
If you have an overgrown, undertreated, and thick agricultural or garden area, a brush cutter can be extremely beneficial for you. You can tackle the brush with string trimmer, but for thicker brush, you need a more powerful tool.
A brush cutter is designed to handle such difficult tasks that are not possible with weed cutters or lawnmowers. Since these tools are motor-powered with gas or battery, they have a powerful motion to smoothly cut through thick foliage and overgrown lawns.
You probably won’t want to spend your hard-earned money on another gardening tool if you already possess a number of them in your arsenal. However, this tool is completely different since its versatility can help replace most of your gardening tools. However, a brush cutter is often more expensive than a lawnmower or a weed wacker, because it operates harder and better.
What Is So Special About Brush Cutters?
A brush cutter has more power compared to ordinary trimmers. It’s easier to use and can be used for all trimming, landscaping, and cutting purposes. You can even carry it anywhere you need to.
Such an essential gardening tool is extremely durable and reliable. It can take a high amount of beating from soil, rocks, and dried leaves. It can cut through any hard area without consuming much power. It also does a great job at trimming pesky bushes with a high speed. Hence, a brush cutter surely saves a lot of your time and effort.
It’s pretty convenient to operate these types of cutting machines. It’s designed in a way that makes it safer to use than garden scissors or other similar tools. The blades are placed far away from the reach of your hands, ensuring you don’t get any accidental cuts.
Brush Cutters: A Comprehensive Buying Guide
Handheld brush cutters function similar to string cutters, but their engines are relatively more powerful. They are ideal for overgrown weeds, thick grass, and bush.
Walk-behind brush cutters are also known as brush mowers. They can be your best choice for overgrown vegetation areas. They are ideal for trimming and cutting areas that require minimal maintenance.
Tow-behind brush cutters are your perfect choice to cover large areas since they are attachable to ATV or garden tractors. You’ll find them easier to use and more effective for thicker bush.
2. Power source
Electric brush cutters are beneficial in a manner that you can continue cutting without any time restrictions and without any worry of the power running low. But in this case, you can’t work in damp conditions for the sake of your safety.
When you’re working with a gas powered brush cutter, you can carry it anywhere and you don’t have to work with long wire hanging around. It’s a more popular option although it generates louder noise.
3. Engine Power
Gas-powered brush cutters come with either 2-stroke or 4-stroke engines.
2 stroke engines are easy to maintain and more affordable. They are smaller in size but have more balance.
4 stroke engines are bulkier, unbalanced, and more expensive. But they run without getting warm and are more robust. You can work longer and handle more demanding tasks with a 4-stroke engine.
As you are investing a good amount of money on your brush cutter, you must make sure it’s durable. Look carefully into its shaft formation and blade material. Make sure all the metallic materials are durable enough to survive through all demanding tasks.
You can get either a straight shaft or bent shaft in a brush cutter model. Models with straight shafts have relatively more power since they are directly connected to power sources. It’s important that you check the length of the shaft. It’s better to have a shaft as long as 52 inches or more to avoid bending forward.
You definitely don’t want your hands to get exhausted when you are using your brush cutter. Choose a brush cutter that has ergonomic handles. They must be comfortable to hold and have soft padded cushions so you can hold for extended hours without getting tired.
7. Cutting Diameter
If the cutting diameter is wider, you can cover more space with one stroke. But this also means your brush cutter will be bulky. However, 10 inches or more cutting diameters should be good for a quick and easy cut.
8. Multi-purpose feature
Your preferred choice should replace all the essential gardening tools for your garden or landscape. To make the most out of your brush cutter, choose a model that is able to handle different terrains.
Your brush cutter should vibrate as little as possible when in use. You can get many models in the market that do not vibrate at all when not running.
The handlebar should have the perfect height. It’s even better to have a foldable handlebar for portability and more convenience.
11. Universal attachment
Consider buying a brush cutter with the universal attachment connection. But if you want to use the device for personal work at home and save your money, you can get a model that can be used with attachments from other brands.
12. Quick Change Heads
The most versatile brush cutters have interchangeable heads with different attachment options. A blade attachment and string trimmer are among the most popular heads that let you use the cutter as a weed-wacker and edger as well. With the quick change feature, you can change heads by using a lever.
13. Run time
This is applicable for only gas-and battery-powered models. The longer it runs, the more cutting and trimming you can perform.
14. Shoulder Support
All quality brush cutters come with shoulder straps. A shoulder strap takes off the strain of holding the tool for a long time, making you more comfortable.
15. Warranty and Budget
You better consider warranty policy before purchasing any power tool. On average, these tools come with a 2-year warranty period. Your budget is the determining factor of the quality of your brush cutter. There are many models ranging from $150 to $600.
Care & Maintenance Tips
Like every other power tool, a brush cutter requires well maintenance for a consistent and long-lasting performance. Here are some useful tips to ensure safety and reliability of your brush cutter and help you avoid unnecessary expenses:
- Clean the outside of your brush cutter and its guard with an all-purpose cleaner.
- Check your brush cutter before every use. Inspect the blades after every few hours when using in rocky areas.
- Inspect your mowing area before starting to work because even a small rock or metal can cause havoc on your cutter.
- Always clear the deck to prevent excessive build-up near the motor area. It allows proper cooling of the motor.
- Replace the blades when necessary and also replace any other cracked or bent tools as soon as possible.
- Make sure to keep the angle gear three-quarters full with grease.
- Clean the carburetor, fuel tank, fuel pipe and fuel filter every month, especially during summer.
- When you’re using a brush cutter for the first time, read through the safety manual first.
- Make sure you have all the necessary gears.
- Check if all the safety devices are functioning correctly.
- Always hold your brush cutter firmly and secure footing while cutting.
- Remember to wear goggles, gloves, and duty boots.
- Make sure all the nuts and bolts are tightened.
- When working with your brush cutter, always maintain a distance from any bystander.
- Don’t forget to check the machine to ensure it’s full of fuel. To refuel it, first let the engine cool down. Also, use it only at ground-level.
Every brush cutter we reviewed on this list is extremely efficient and has high ratings. If you’re new to these gardening tools, this guide will help you to make an informed decision. Even if you’re confused between options, we hope it will be able to break the tie.
If you want it for professional use, you can consider the Husqvarna 336FR. It’s perfect for heavy-duty applications. You will get high-end features that every professional aspires.
For multi-purpose use, the Troy-Bilt TB42 and Iglobalbuy 52cc are the best options since they are compatible for multiple additional attachments. They are also pocket-friendly and convenient to use.
Before purchasing a brush cutter, just remember your budget and only choose that one which seems ideal for you. We hope you’ll finally find your best brush cutter after reading our reviews. Happy gardening!
Q. 1. How is it different from a string trimmer?
Ans: A brush cutter has a longer shaft which covers more spaces than a string trimmer. It’s also equipped with a handlebar that is angled, unlike a string trimmer. It’s typically heavier and more powerful. Brush cutters are also used with harnesses for ensuring higher efficiency and better comfort.
Q. 2. How to use a brush cutter?
Ans: It depends on the size, motor power, and brand, but most brush cutters work in a similar way. You must read the safety and instruction manual first to avoid any accidents. The saying “practice makes a man perfect” goes pretty well with brush cutters. Initially it may take time but you’ll get there once you’re confident enough with the tool.
Q. 3. How to sharpen a brush cutter blade?
Ans: To sharpen the blunt blade of your brush cutter, first wash it with soapy water. Then angle your blade and drag a whetstone across it until it gets sharp enough. You can also use any other sharpening tool instead of a whetstone. Remember to make sure your brush cutter is not plugged in.
Q. 4. When isn’t a string trimmer good enough?
Ans: It’s fine to use a string trimmer if you have a flat and small yard. But for bigger landscapes and thicker foliage, you can’t rely on a string trimmer since it has a limited power. For such harder workload, you need a brush cutter which is more durable and powerful than a string trimmer.
Q. 5. Is a straight shaft better?
Ans: A bent shaft makes it easier for a brush cutter to reach tough spots. But the power is run through a bent shaft to the blade, which makes the machine susceptible to breakdown. As there is no bend in a straight shaft, it’s therefore a better choice in this regard.
Q.6. Does the handle matter?
Ans: It seriously matters when you’re working for long hours. You need to feel comfortable to hold the machine, so the handle has to have an ergonomic design.
Q.7. Do I need a changeable head?
Ans: A good brush cutter often comes with changeable heads. So you can switch between a steel-blade or nylon cord, according to your need. It saves you from buying different tools for these purposes. So a changeable head feature is always useful for you.
Q.8. How can one tell if a brush cutter is quiet?
Ans: All brush cutters produce some amount of vibration, but the best ones come with built-in anti-vibration technology. It’s able to minimize the effects of vibration on your body. The engines of the best models also run smoothly, producing a little amount of vibration.
Q.9. Do I need protective equipment when using a brush cutter?
Ans: Yes. Make sure to use safety goggles, gloves, hearing protection, and protective trousers. Remember to wear your duty boots too.
Q. 10. Which fuel do I need to use for a clearing saw?
Ans: The fuel should depend on the tool’s engine. A 2-cycle engine usually runs on a mixture of 2-cycle oil and petrol. You’ll get the mixture amount and details from your manufacturer’s manual. For a 4-cycle engine, it only requires unleaded petrol.