Blogs

4 Types of Brush Cutter Blades Explained by Big-Time Gardeners

brush-cutter-blade-types

Brush cutters are extremely useful tools that should be present in every maintenance shed. Not only are they relatively easy to use, but they are helpful in removing tougher brush and small trees. This is something your average lawnmower cannot do.

Whilst they are handy in a bushy area, it is sometimes difficult to decide which blade is the right cutting tool for the job. How many types of blades are there and what is the difference between them? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each blade type? These are the questions to ask yourself before you start looking for the best brush cutter.

4 Types of Brush Cutter Blades Explained

1. Chisel

These blades are round and have teeth on the edges. These teeth are sharp and can easily slice through any vegetation. A strong tool is needed if you want to use this blade, because if the blade spins fast enough it will yield a better result.

Pros:

  • Strong blades
  • High durability
  • Excellent performance when cutting
  • Harder materials are no match for this blade

Cons:

  • Quite expensive
  • Needs a high amount of power to operate
  • Sharpening the blades is almost impossible

Cutting performance:

Chisel blades are great at cutting horizontally if they are used within their depth limits. Cutting too deep can cause the blade to slow down considerably. This normally happens when branches with a diameter of more than 50 – 60mm is cut. The deeper you cut into a branch, the higher the chances of the blade kicking into one direction are.

Mulching ability:

Chisel blades are not ideal for mulching, because they are unable to be moved up and down through brush. Their round shape is to blame for this.

Types of teeth:

  • One-piece blades – the teeth and blade are one unit.
  • Chainsaw blades – A chain from a chainsaw is fitted between two separate discs.
  • Tungsten Carbide blades – The teeth are brazed onto the disc.

2. Knife

This blade has edges that are sharpened like a knife. It is the most common of the metal blades and are typically provided when you buy a standard brush cutter.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Cuts soft vegetation well
  • Generally durable if well maintained

Cons:

  • Cannot be used on hard surfaces
  • Dulls very quickly
  • Prone to breakage if it hits a hard rock

Cutting performance:

Because the edges become blunt quickly, the blades start to smash through any vegetation. It will become a smasher blade when this happens. This will also cause un-cut vegetation to bounce back beneath the blade.

Even though these blades can be tough, if proper cutting techniques are not used, the blade tips can break off once they are dulled.

Mulching ability:

The best type of knife blades for mulching are the rectangle and star-shaped edges. The large surface area of the blade is the reason for this. The circular multi-tipped blades are of no use where mulching is concerned. Do not even waste your time trying to mulch with this blade.

3. Mulching

The 3-in-1 blade can be used for mulching, bag, and discharge. These blades are more curved and have two cutting blades along their edges. Cut grass is brought into the deck and cut a few more times. It is then discharged through the back of the device where it will become fertilizer for your grass. This mulch will make your earthworms incredibly happy.

Pros:

  • Designed to be good at cutting easily
  • Mulch leaves and smaller branches with ease
  • Works for heavy-duty pieces

Cons:

  • Requires a large amount of power to operate
  • Mostly only available for bigger brush cutters
  • Tall grass and woody weeds are not this blade’s forte
  • Not readily available in all places
  • There is a possibility of debris flying around at high force

Cutting performance:

The curvature and longer cutting edge of these blades gives it the ability to bring cut grass into the deck. They are not ideal to use in overgrown areas but work fine on well-maintained lawns. These blades are capable of chopping cut grass into incredibly small pieces, unlike general blades.

4. Smasher

This blade type has no sharp edges, but rather thick, weighted, pivoting blades or chains. It relies heavily on its weight and thickness, to clear vegetation. This type of blade is difficult to come across today because of the EU Directive.

Pros:

  • Does not require edge maintenance
  • Works well to clear softer grass and water weeds
  • Very efficient

Cons:

  • Quite pricey because of all the different components required
  • They generally do not last that long
  • Smashing weeds that are woody can easily result in failure
  • Most of these blades consume a large amount of power

Cutting performance:

Most of the available flail blades are not heavy enough to smash through denser weeds and bush, and so they are usually just bounced aside. Cutting anything too dense will cause the blade to fail and can damage your brush cutting machine.

Mulching ability:

Smasher blades are effective in mulching softer grass and watery weeds, but it lacks the capacity to mulch anything denser than that.

Conclusion

Hopefully, this guide to blades has made you more aware of your cutting options. Remember that choosing the type of blade you are going to use relies heavily on the task you want to perform as well as your personal blade preference. Always refer to your user manual for safety and assembly instructions when operating your brush cutter and when changing blades.

FAQs

Q. 1: What will a brush cutter cut?

Ans. Brush cutters will cut through any dense brush that line trimmers or hedge trimmers just cannot manage. Dense vegetation, woody weeds, small trees, and thin branches are what this machine is ideal for.

Q. 2: How thick can a brush cutter cut?

Ans. The general limit in thickness for a brush cutter is about 4 inches. Any more than this could damage your machine and cause unnecessary safety risks. These risks come from flying debris, defective blades, or a damaged tool.

Q. 3: Can you cut grass with a brush cutter?

Ans. Although they can cut grass, it is not recommended that you use a brush cutter simply for mowing a lawn. It should be used only for overgrown grass that is too tricky for an average lawn mower to handle.

About the author

Brent Butterworth

A Professional Woodworker & Custom Furniture Builder

Brent lives in Wisconsin and is a woodworker, custom cabinetmaker, interior consultant, and a freelance writer who got the opportunity to write several magazine articles for different publications on home improvement and woodworking. He’s always amazed at the depth and breadth of woodworking all over the globe, and feels proud to be a part of this great effort. Brent has built everything one can imagine, from unique art furniture to different types of home furniture to canoes and even a sailboat.

Leave a Comment