Brush cutters are seemingly similar to string trimmers, but trimmers uses a nylon cord to cut long grass or weeds. In contrast, brush cutters use a metal blade making it more versatile than string trimmers; it can cut through thick and dense patches of grass and branches that are up to 4 inches thick.
- Best Brush Cutters
- Advantages of Using Brush Cutters
- Choosing a Brush Cutter
- Frequently Asked Questions
Best Brush Cutters
Gas Brush Cutters
#1 Remington RM2700 Ranchero 27cc 2-Stroke
The Remington RM27000 Ranchero is powered by a 22 cc 2-stroke engine. This model is fairly easy to start because of its quick start pull mechanism; it’s a step ahead from the traditional pull-cord start-up process.
- Dimension: 37 x 12 x 11.25 inches
- Engine Size: 27 cc 2-stroke
- Weight: 14.5 lbs
It is a versatile tool that can serve multiple purposes due to its TrimmerPlus feature. With an easy-attach shaft, it turns into an arsenal of landscaping tools; it can conveniently cater to a wide variety of lawn care and maintenance tasks. It can easily be transformed into a trimmer, cultivator, blower, pole saw, and many others. Unfortunately, most of these extra attachments will have to be purchased separately.
This model only has a curved handle, but the manufacturer has included a shoulder strap to reduce the strain in operating this 14.5-pound equipment. It has a long, straight shaft which is compatible to multiple attachments, as stated above. Its metal blade also has a cutting width of 8 inches. And for safety purpose, this product is accentuated with a cutting protective shield to avoid injuries and accidents.
#2 Troy-Bilt TB42 BC 27cc 2-Cycle Gas
The Troy-Bilt TB42 is powered by a 27 cc 2-stroke engine. It features a jump start technology, which eliminates the hassle of a pull cord start-up mechanism. However, this feature is sold separately from the equipment.
- Dimension: 36.75 x 12.25 x 11.25 inches
- Engine Size: 27 cc 2-stroke
- Weight: 14 lbs
It has a straight steel shaft that is compatible with various attachments; it actually includes ten (10) interchangeable heads for easy cutting. The handle has a unique adjustable J-design, which can conveniently be operated even by a left-handed person. It also has 8 inches cutting diameter for its metal blade. Like the Remington RM27000 Ranchero, it also has a cutting shield which serves as a protective safety feature.
#3 TIMBERPRO 52cc Heavy Duty Split Trimmer and Brush Cutter
The TIMBERPRO is the big daddy of brush cutters, harnessing power of a 52 cc 2-stroke engine; it’s a heavy-duty equipment that has a serious power output. It comes with three (3) interchangeable heads, which are as durable and effective as its engine.
- Dimension: 73” long
- Engine Size: 52 cc 2-stroke
- Weight: 13 lbs
The interchangeable steel blades feature 3 tooth, 8 tooth, and 40 tooth options. This tool is also accentuated with a bike handle; this provides a steady and stable grip on the cutter, especially since its power might be a little overwhelming for some. Aside from the bike handle, the TIMBERPRO comes with a shoulder strap as well. This provides additional support for the user while operating the equipment. It also comes with a bump string trimmer, which can conveniently take care of the smaller tasks on your lawn.
Electric Brush Cutter
#1 Greenworks PRO 16-Inch 80V Cordless String Trimmer
The Greenworks PRO is a string trimmer, yes, but this is convertible to various landscaping tools such as a brush cutter, leaf blower, edger, hedge trimmer, and tree trimmer.
- Engine: 80V Brushless Motor
- Weight: 17 lbs (including lithium-ion battery)
It is powered by an 80V brushless motor, and can comparingly work as good as some gas cutters. It has a long shaft, which is compatible to a lot of attachments; it’s even compatible to some gas cutter attachments.
The only downside to this product is its limited run time. It can go as long as 25 to 30 minutes for heavy tasks, and can last up to 45 minutes on an average job. Luckily, battery charging time only takes 30 minutes because it utilizes a Lithium-ion battery. If you want to extend running time for this equipment, consider buying an extra battery pack. This can double the running time of this handy tool.
Advantages of Using Brush Cutters
They offer a wide array of use because of its features. Most also provide different blade attachments that allow you to cut various objects like thick weeds and small saplings.
- Powerful and Convenient
They harbor more power than most lawn mowers and string trimmers; they are able to cut overgrown brush that other equipment cannot handle. They are also effective in cutting hard-to-reach areas that larger machines cannot fit.
These tools are considerably durable and reliable machines, especially if they are properly maintained. Unlike string trimmers, their blades are far more durable and will last longer.
Choosing a Brush Cutter
Electric versus Gas
Like most lawn maintenance tools, brush cutters are categorized into two types: electric and gas-powered. Both of these types have their advantages and disadvantages.
For starters, electric units are easier to maneuver around tight spaces because of their lightweight features. They also have noise reduction and anti-vibration features, allowing you to operate them without causing inconvenience and disturbance to your neighbors. However, these equipment usually run on battery packs that drain out quickly or powered through binded power cords and electrical outlet, which limits the distance you can cover with your brush cutter.
On the other hand, gas cutters can be really noisy when being operated. They are also rather hefty and heavy; this means you will need some kind of harness to aid you in holding and moving them. On the bright side, gas cutters are definitely powerful tools. They are also not tethered to a power source, enabling you to cover more ground.
Engine for Gas
Gas units come in two (2) types: 2-stroke and 4-stroke. Both engine differ in functions and features, so you will have to take this in consideration as well.
Cutters with a 2-stroke engine have smaller engines. This characteristic suits handheld tools well, for they are easier to carry and maneuver around your lawn. They also operate with more balance compared to 4-stroke engine cutters. In addition to that, they are a lot easier to maintain, lessening the hassle of maintenance tasks.
4-stroke engines are considerably heavier than 2-stroke engines. However, they offer more power output. They also run cooler, so they are less likely to stress during prolonged usage. They also need extensive maintenance and relatively cost more than cutters with 2-stroke engines.
Engine for Electric
Most electric units are available in 20V and 40V options. There are also electric cutters with 60V to 80V, but these are rare. Cutters with 20 to 40 volts are effective in average lawn maintenance of a relatively small area. However, anything bigger than that will need a bigger voltage as well. In order for electric cutters to effectively cut through tough materials, a voltage of 60 or more is recommended.
The shaft connects the motor to the working head. There are two shaft designs available in the market: straight shaft and curved or bent shaft.
Straight shaft tend to work better than a model with a bent or curved shaft. This is because it is directly aligned to the power source. In addition to that, straight shafts offer more compatibility to various attachments.
Curved or Bent Shaft
Curved or bent shaft allow you to work closer on your lawn. However, this shaft style is less likely to support attachments; it is also prone to mechanical issues.
Handles are very important in heavy-duty tools, especially handheld ones with metal blades. They provide ease and stability during operating the machine. The most popular options for handles in the brush cutter industry are two handled designs such as the bike handle and the looped handle. Both of which require both of your hands to hold and control the tool; this gives a better and stable grip in maneuvering.
Attachments are not a requirement in choosing a machine; however, multi-purpose equipment and interchangeable blade heads can become really handy in lawn maintenance. Attachments can also considerably reduce tedious tasks and adds helpful features on your brush cutter.
In relation to this, most of the top brush cutters in today’s market now feature adjustable handles and compatible attachments, making them go-to products by customers for their flexibility and versatility.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the difference between a string trimmer and a brush cutter?
A: String trimmers use nylon string for cutting grass and weeds, while brush cutters utilize metal blades to cut. Another difference is that string trimmers are only used in cutting weeds and long grass, while brush cutters can be used to cut thick patches of grass, small saplings, and even branches.
Q: Can a string trimmer be used as a brush cutter?
A: Sometimes, string trimmers can be transformed into a brush cutter by interchanging the string head with a metal blade head. An example would be the Greenworks PRO 16-Inch 80V Cordless String Trimmer.
Q: When should I get a brush cutter?
A: It is wise to get a brush cutter if you often have overgrown lawn with thick, tall, or woody grass. You can also opt to purchase one if there are areas that a normal mower cannot reach. It can also be ideal in cutting nettles, underbrush, and saplings since mowers will struggle to snip these materials; attempting to use mowers on these are either impossible or will result to a damaged or clogged mowing deck.
Q: Can I just use a string trimmer?
A: No. String trimmers usually cannot handle thick foliage. Aside from not harboring enough power to cut through thick materials, nylon strings have a tendency to tangle.
Q: Will I need to mix gasoline and oil for brush cutters with a 2-stroke engine?
A: Yes. 2-stroke engines need the right mixture of gas and oil for it to work.
Q: Do gas brush cutters produce emissions?
A: Yes. Like all gas powered lawn maintenance tools, gas brush cutters are not exempted from producing emissions. Luckily, all of the brush cutters available in the market today are required to pass emission test before they are given a permit to be sold.