Brush cutters are popularly known for their ability to complete tasks that a lawn mower and a string trimmer cannot handle. They are pretty known for their high powered cutting ability. However, this makes one wonder.
How thick can the best brush cutter really cut? What type of materials can a brush cutter cut?
Let us find out the answers to these questions below.
Types of Brush Cutter Blade
There are four (4) types of brush cutter blades available in the market:
- Knife Blades
- Chisel Blades
- Smasher Blades
- Mulching Blades
Each of these blades have their distinct functions and characteristics, which can greatly affect the cutting capability of a brush cutter. Some are designed to handle tough materials and others are more effective in trimming softer materials. Nevertheless, these blades are far more effective than a normal string trimmer. The key is to understand what type of blade works best in a certain material.
This is the most common type of blade that is being used on brush cutters. It usually comes packaged with your equipment upon purchase. It comes in various sizes and shapes, ranging from rectangular to rounded ones with small sharp teeth. But, the most common form of knife blade is a star-shaped metal blade that has three or more cutting edges.
With this type of blade, the number of knife edges affect its cutting ability. Logically speaking, the more edges there are, the more effective it is in cutting materials. However, since knife blades are made out of stamped thin sheets of steel, they are only ideal for cutting soft material such as grass and watery weeds.
It is also does well in cutting grass, but it is prone to tangling. Because these blades are rectangular or star shaped, they tend to drag grass to the center. As a result, trimmings wrap around the gear head.
Chisel blades are circular metal blades with varying numbers of sharpened teeth around the perimeter; most of which are tungsten-tipped. This type of blade works extremely well at horizontal cutting. They can cut up to 50 to 60 mm of material in one pass. Usually, they can cut deeper, but this depends on the type and number of teeth the blade has.
Types of Teeth
This type of teeth is a one-piece blade wherein the teeth are the same material as the whole blade. These blades were once the most popular choice of chisel blade in the industry. However, they gradually lost popularity through the years because of the production of better models. One of the main reasons why they are less used these days is because of they are very prone to chipping. And since they are part of the entire blade, they lose their efficiency very fast once chipped.
Nevertheless, steel teeth chisel blades are effective in cutting various greenery if kept sharp. For this reason, most of major brush cutter manufacturers offer this type of blade as an alternative cutting head attachment.
There are two models of chisel blades with chainsaw teeth – one that’s an actual chainsaw blade riveted between two steel discs and the other is a single steel disc with riveted chainsaw teeth segments.
This type of blade works extremely well in cutting hard materials. It can even cut through a thick branch. However, this type of teeth requires frequent sharpening in order to work well. Since they are mostly used in heavy duty trimming tasks, they need to be kept sharp at all times.
Tungsten Carbide Teeth
Tungsten is considered to be one of the toughest metal alloys in the world. That’s why, it’s no surprise that it’s now being incorporated in brush cutter blades. Chisel blades of this type usually have welded tungsten carbide tips in the steel disc blade, as shown in the photo above.
These blades are actually the most widely used type of chisel blade in the industry nowadays. They are durable and extremely effective in cutting various types of vegetation or greenery.
Number of Teeth
A lot of people think that more is better. However, this isn’t entirely true. While blades with numerous teeth are effective in cutting small saplings or grass, it does a poor job in cutting materials with a larger diameter. This is because you have various teeth all cutting at slightly different speed and depth.
Smasher blades are a type of cutting blade that bear no sharp edges. They are generally made from different components. Some are linked to metal blades, while others are connected metal chains. Instead of cutting through materials, they often whack their way through by utilizing their weight and thickness. Because of this, they are not recommendable to be used against hard materials. They are only made for smashing through soft materials like grass and watery weeds.
Mulching blades, as the name implies, are a type of blade that is ideal for mulching whilst cutting. The tips of a mulching blade are designed to cut materials to a pulp so they can be used as mulches. They work extremely well in cutting soft materials. Some can handle thick patches of greenery or small saplings, but they can only withstand cutting through thin branches – nothing more.
Although brush cutters are widely known because of their high performing abilities, there is no denying that these equipment have their limitations as well. Despite having metal blades as cutting components, they won’t work effectively unless handled wisely.
That’s why, here are some of the most effective cutting techniques that can aid your brush cutter cut through materials in a breeze.
The key to this techniques is to understand the spinning motion of your brush cutter. If your blade rotates counter-clockwise, you should move your cutter in a-right-to-left cutting motion. But if your blade rotates clockwise, a left-to-right cutting motion will suit your equipment better.
Long Grass Trimming
The theory behind this technique is to cut long grass cleanly by passing through it twice. The initial pass if for cutting the top part of the grass, while the second pass cuts the remaining part of the grass.
For trimming along sloped areas, a good method to use is the strip method. The process requires you to cut a strip parallel to the slope, and then return along the swath. The method will then be repeated to cut the next strips.
Cutting Around Obstacles
The secret to successfully cutting around an obstacle is to use the brush cutter’s deflector as guide. In this way, you will be able to cut the surrounding area without damaging the obstructing material.
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