Brush Cutters versus String Trimmers

What is a brush cutter?

Brush cutters come in various versions. However, they only come in gas-powered models. Simply because, electronic equipment cannot fully meet a brush cutter’s required horsepower. This is due to the high amount of power needed to whirl a metal blade, which is what brush cutters use as a cutting component.

Most of the best brush cutters have 2-cycle or 2-stroke engines. They are also generally more expensive than string trimmers, so you have to carefully consider if your lawn space really calls for such an equipment to make it worth your while.

Nevertheless, it is a nifty little equipment that can significantly cut through even the toughest and thickest patches of greenery, fit for large lawns that a lawn mower cannot fully maintain.


Brush cutters have longer shafts. This gives them a bigger working range than a typical trimmer. They have a bulky design which makes them rather heavier, but are equipped with angled handlebars that aid in control. They are also used with a harness to provide comfort through distributing the weight evenly, so the operator can conveniently maneuver them around the lawn.

Brush cutters, depending on the brand and make, also allow various blade attachments. Generally, they have 4 different types of blades, but the form and design of each are widely assorted. These blades come in various shapes and sizes, which have their own advantages and characteristics making them perfect for specific use and type of greenery.

When equipped with the correct type of blade, brush cutters can be very helpful in doing various tasks. Some models even allow you to cut through tree branches. There are also options that allow you to mulch as you trim your lawn.


Brush cutters are generally more powerful than string trimmers. This equipment is the perfect for large, unruly areas that lawn mower or a string trimmer cannot handle. They can easily clear brush, sapling, and tall weeds. They work extremely well even in trimming hard to reach areas that are not quite accessible to lawn mowers.  And although they are made for dense type of brush and undergrowth, they are also capable in clearing grasses and weeds. And with the correct accessories, they can also perfectly perform edging.

However, brush cutters can prove to be very exhausting to operate. This is due to it’s bulky and heavy weight. The operator is required to use his or her entire body just to support the equipment alone. For this reason, brush cutter manufacturers have provided harnesses to ease the strain from carrying the equipment.


  • Versatile equipment that allows various blade attachments
  • Powerful machine that can cut through brush and branches
  • Ideal for getting through hard to reach and stubborn places


  • A very specific cutting zone can cause some serious kick back
  • Exhausting too operate due to its heavy weight
  • Large possibility that trimmings and objects are thrown in the user’s direction
  • Maintenance and operation costs more than trimmers


What is a string trimmer?

String trimmers resemble brush cutters in terms of appearance. However, these equipment utilize a special type of nylon string to cut through greenery instead of metal blades. Nevertheless, this doesn’t make them any less effective in maintaining lawns.

To start, trimmers actually have a wider array of different versions. They come in gas-powered models, as well as electric versions. A gas trimmer, however, costs more than an electric trimmer. But, this is expected since they are generally high-performing compared to the latter.

Even though they are used in cutting through less dense material, string trimmers are actually rising in popularity these days because of their ability to carry different cutting head attachments. This gives them versatility in performing various lawn maintenance tasks. Most trimmers in the current market are now convertible to edgers, hedge trimmers, or even brush cutters. The downside to it, however, is that trimmer engines are usually not quite as powerful as a normal brush cutter.


Trimmers come in different varieties, but they do come in almost the same shapes and sizes. They either have straight or curved shaft, both of which ends with a rotating head to which the nylon string attachment is connected. The engine, however, is located at the upper end of the shaft, accentuated with a handle or hand grips for easier handling.

Trimmers, in general, are manufactured for ease of use. They are lightweight in nature, making the user suffer no strain at all while working with it. Although, they are a little tricky to operate sometimes because of their feed systems.


Trimmers are ideally used for trimming through weeds and brush that lawn mowers can’t reach. They are specifically useful in trimming edges, fence lines, and even irregular sloped areas. However, they are not meant for cutting dense patches of greenery and branches.


  • Available in various makes such as gas, electric corded, and battery cordless
  • Perfect for lawn edging and trimming through irregular sloped areas
  • Lightweight and very easy to operate


  • Line or string breaks easily if not used correctly
  • Not ideal for handling brush or thicker weed stems
  • Turns small rocks into projectiles

What is the difference between a brush cutter and a string trimmer?

Truthfully, brush cutters and string trimmers are somehow alike. They are both perfect for maintaining a lawn that a lawn mower alone simply cannot handle. They are also able to reach stubborn and hard to reach areas. However, their differences lie in their performance and build.

Trimmers are smaller, and lighter types of machine. They also have wider options for power sources such as gas, electricity, battery-charging. They are generally used on soft materials like grass and watery weeds. They are also convertible to various lawn mower tools such as an edger, hedge trimmer, and many more.

Brush cutters, on the other hand, are only manufactured as gas-powered equipment. They are a lot more powerful than trimmers, making it possible for them to clear high grass, heavy brushwood, branches, and other types of stubborn and dense materials.

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