Garden & Lawn

Best Brush Cutter Reviews and Must-Read Buyer’s Guide

Last updated on May 6th, 2022

Our site is reader supported, this means we may earn a small commission from Amazon and other affiliates when you buy through links on our site.

Brush cutters are the perfect tool for cutting back thick overgrowth and brambles when the usual line strimmers are not up to the job

Well, a lawnmower can effectively cut your lawn and most line strimmers will take care of the edges and smaller areas. However, when it comes to dealing with thick, overgrown bushes, weeds and brambles a brush cutter is the one tool that suits the purpose best. This is because they use stronger steel blades and pure power to cut back even the thickest growth.

A brush cutter is an incredibly powerful and durable tool. It is an absolute garden essential for anyone with a large outdoor space that needs a lot of maintenance. The problem is that once people start searching for the best brush cutter, they find themselves navigating a perplexing web of makeshift lawn tools and expensive strimmers. In this article, we have compiled a list of five of the best brush cutters that can be used to cut any overgrown garden, farm or landscape. 

BEST PICK

Hyundai 52cc 2-Stroke Petrol Brush Cutter
A multi-purpose tool that is easy to use, manipulate and store. It comes with a range of accessories to help get you started. The powerful 52cc 2-stroke engine will tackle thick grass and brushes with ease and for all brush cutting requirements it comes with two cutting blades included as well as a line strimmer. Large areas can be covered quickly thanks to its large cutting width that ranges from 250mm to 450mm. This brush cutter has also been designed with bike handles for improved comfort and to give the user precise control. Full spare parts are available plus a 3-year warranty for full peace of mind.
Using the BUKO Brush cutter to cut back thick brush and brambles

I have recently done some testing on the best strimmers for brambles, check it out here

My favourite model would have to be this Hyundai 52cc 2-Stroke Petrol Brushcutter. This powerful tool is designed to tackle thick brambles almost effortlessly and its high power to weight ratio allows you to run it with little to no strain. Furthermore, it includes a double ergonomic shoulder harness for increased comfort, while adjustable features allow you to suit the tool with your height and fold it down for storage. Best of all it offers excellent value for money and is much more affordable than some of the other alternatives.

RUNNER UP

Bosch 950w AFS Electric Brush Cutter
This brushcutter boasts low vibration and noise levels for a comfortable consistent operation. It’s a good option for anyone looking for a practical tool to tackle excessive growth of grass and weeds. The tool combines the unparalleled German engineering and great performance for fast and efficient lawn trimming. Conveniences include an interchangeable head for quick switch between blade and line, shoulder strap, extra side handle and split shaft. The only real downside is that is mains powered so care needs to be taken not to cut through the cord as you strim, you're also restricted by the length of the cable.

BEST PETROL FOR PROFESSIONALS

Makita EBH341U 33.5cc MM4 Brush Cutter
A powerful and easy to use brush cutter boasting a 1.4HP 35.5cc 4-stroke petrol engine. This tool certainly has enough muscle to manage a variety of cutting jobs. Made from a Bearinged solid steel drive shaft, the tool is incredibly strong whilst the ergonomic cow horn handles on the shaft provide great stability during use. An integral feature of this brush cutter is a spring assisted start for quicker ignition and quick release handles for easy storage. No doubt the best heavy duty brush cutter, however costly it is. A great choice for professionals from a brand we have all come to trust, Makita.

Check out the in-depth review of this brushcutter and other alternative options in our product review section, further down this article. We also have a lineup of 4 other models that are well worth considering, both electric (that brings the cost down) and cordless cutters that are more expensive but are much lower maintenance in comparison to petrol alternatives.

Brush Cutters have come a long way and will even match petrol models on power – Check out my recent review where I have compared 5 of the best cordless brush cutters.


The top 5 brush cutters that have made in onto our recommended models list

  1. Hyundai HYBC5200 52cc 2-Stroke Petrol Brush Cutter – BEST PICK
  2. Bosch 950w AFS Electric Brush Cutter – RUNNER UP
  3. Makita EBH341U 33.5cc MM4 Brush Cutter – BEST PETROL PICK FOR PROFESSIONALS
  4. DeWalt DCM571 XR Flexvolt Brush Cutter
  5. Ryobi 1200w RBC1226I Electric 2-in-1 Brush Cutter

Top 5 Brush Cutter Reviews

1. Hyundai HYBC5200 52cc Petrol Brush Cutter

BEST PICK

Buy on Amazon

Hyundai 52 cc 2-Stroke Petrol Grass Trimmer/Strimmer/Brushcutter HYBC5200

Kicking off our list is the winner of our best pick, the Hyundai HYBC5200 52cc 2-Stroke Petrol Brushcutter Set. As the title suggests, this versatile tool is designed to make light work of brush cutting, grass trimming and weed whacking. This can tidy up overgrown gardens which have brambles that need tackling and quickly trim lawn edges with the included line strimmer. 

The 52cc 2 stroke engine provides high power to weight ratio, allowing you to run the petrol-powered brushcutter under less strain. This additionally extends the life of the unit whilst still getting the job done. Its lightweight construction plus ergonomic handle also makes easy usability during long periods of use. 

It comes with 3 and 8-tooth cutting blades that provide a cutting width of up to 250mm, this is a piece we were really interested in as this is what you will need for brush cutting and cutting back the most demanding growth. The blades are built of strong, durable metal to cut thick brambles, roots, bushes, shrubs and nettle patches with ease, ensuring a clean finish every time. Apart from that, its two string cutting head can strim any type of grass to a width of 450mm, making it perfect for use on large gardens and lawns. Furthermore, the trimmer head benefits from bump feed, allowing you to tap and go when you need to create more trimmer line. 

This multi-functional tool is well balanced and weighs only 9.1kgs. Supplied with it is a double shoulder harness to help reduce the strain on your back and allow for extended periods of use. The inclusion of bike handles increases manoeuvrability and comfort, they can be adjusted up and down the shaft to match your height which we think is a very handy feature. The handles also have a multi-purpose grip that includes all the brushcutter and trimmer controls at your fingertips. 

In the box, you will find the Hyundai HYYBC5200, a 3 tooth brush blade and an 8 tooth brush cutting blade, a twin line trimming spool, a spare trimming cable, face visor, ear defenders, spare spark plug, gloves, toolkit and user manual. You get everything you need to work with this tool including safety equipment, this is a big plus to anyone buying their first strimmer as you don’t have to worry about buying safety equipment as it is all included.

Last but not least, Hyundai covers this tool with a 3-year platinum warranty for peace of mind and provides full UK parts if replacements are needed. This is a huge plus because what you tend to find with cheaper models is you struggle to get basic spares but with Hyundai, you know you can get any spare parts you need.

Pros

  • Perfect for lighter trade work and home use.
  • Powerful and reliable.
  • Houses a powerful 52cc 2-stroke easy start petrol engine for quick starting and reliable running. 
  • Supplied with two cutting blades for all cutting jobs and a line strimmer attachment for general lawn care.
  • Large cutting width from 250mm to 450mm means you can finish large areas quickly. 
  • Has bike handles that make it comfortable to manouver and control. 
  • Comes with a double shoulder harness to reduce strain on back.
  • Full spares available to maintain the tool for years to come.
  • Includes a single point adjuster that allows for easy height adjustment or folding flat for storage.
  • 3 years warranty for full peace of mind.

Our recommendation

Overall this model offers excellent value for money, it is not the cheapest petrol brushcutter you can buy but it’s much cheaper than some brands that don’t seem to offer anything extra except for the branded name. If you look after it, you should get many years of use from it. 

If you plan on using it daily for trade use then we would recommend investing a little more and maybe considering the Makita model we look at further down.

If you’re looking for an electric low maintenance model for home use, then our next electric pick by Bosch could be what you are looking for.

Compare the best prices from available sellers below


2. Bosch 950w AFS 23-37 Brush Cutter

RUNNER UP

Buy on Amazon

Bosch Trimmer AFS 23-37 (950 W, cutting diameter blade: 23 cm, cutting diameter line: 37 cm, in carton packaging)

When it comes to Bosch, you can always trust the quality and all of their tools exceed expectations, constantly delivering high performance for several years of use. The Bosch 950w AFS 23-37 Brush Cutter is no different as it is a true workhorse that will regularly tackle garden tasks without letting you down.  

Made of high-quality materials, this tool is reliable and built to last and this is further backed by its 3 years warranty. An impressive attribute of this brush cutter is its ultra-lightweight construction (it weighs only 5.3kg) allows you to work with it without fatigue and strain to your arms. Behind this lightweight tool is a 950W motor that generates more than enough power and torque to tackle various types of vegetation.

This brushcutter swiftly and thoroughly clears rough and long grass, brambles, nettles, weeds and bushes that cause a mess in your garden. That’s because it comes with both a metal blade and a strong cutting line spool that can be easily interchanged without having to remove the safety guard. The blade has a cutting radius of 23cm and it is suitable for brambles, nestles and shrubs, while the line spool has a 37cm cutting radius and it is perfect for coarse grass and weeds.

We all know that most brush cutters are prone to vibration and noise, especially petrol alternatives, but this is not the case with this Bosch model. Bosch has ensured that the motor causes very little vibration during use and the sound level is within the safety standard.

Pros

  • Perfect for home use, a brush cutter and strimmer in one.
  • Powerful and low maintenance.
  • Includes a sharp three-tip blade and long cutting line spool to tackle all kinds of garden vegetation. 
  • Equipped with a 950w motor that delivers optimum cutting power. 
  • Has an adjustable handle and strap design to provide the ideal tool balance to different operations. 
  • Has a safety barrier for storing the extra-long line spool. 
  • Comfortable and easy to use thanks to an interchangeable head. 
  • Lightweight and ergonomic design at only 5.3kg makes it easy to use for long periods of time. 
  • Quiet operation compared to petrol models means it can be used during the day without disturbing your family members and neighbours.
  • 3 years warranty for peace of mind.

Our recommendation

All things considered, this Bosch AFS-37 brushcutter is quite versatile and convenient to use. It will let you enjoy the powerful performance of an electric tool without an added weight, mixing fuel and starting issues of petrol models. Overall this is an excellent model for home users looking for something with a little more power than your average strimmer alternative. If you are looking for something with a little more power, then our next pick by Ryobi could be worth considering as it has a more powerful 1200w motor.

Compare the best prices from available sellers below


3. Ryobi 1200w RBC1226I Electric 2-in-1 Brush Cutter

Buy on Amazon

Ryobi RBC1226I Electric 2-in-1 Brush Cutter, 1200 W

Whether its power, functionality, efficiency or ease of use, the Ryobi 1200w RBC1226I Electric 2-in-1 Brush Cutter offers all of that and more. The first obvious thing about this tool is that it is an electric brush cutter, meaning it is lighter than a petrol model because it lacks a fuel tank and engine. Another benefit is that you will never have to worry about mixing fuel for a 2-stroke petrol engine or think of refilling a tank when there is so much to do. The only thing you may need is an extension cord to help you work further from a mains socket, but it does come with a 6-meter cable as standard. 

Apart from that, simply plug in this brush cutter and start cutting overgrown grasses and brambles. There is a useful shoulder strap to offer extra support and evenly distribute the weight of the tool for good balance. The body also has a handle and an additional loop handle on the shaft to ensure a secure grip and comfort during use. And after you are done, simply split the shaft into two and compactly store the brush cutter in the garden shed. 

Though lightweight and easy to use, this tool is as not simple as it may seem. The lightweight frame doesn’t mean a lack of power at all. The brush cutter is driven by a 1200w engine that delivers a comprehensive performance to tackle thick grass with no problem. 

The whole package comes with a 26cm Tri-Arc+™ hardened steel blade for heavy-duty jobs and a ReelEasy™ bump feed string head for easier tasks. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of this tool lies in its unrivalled functional versatility many other models lack.

Ryobi’s Expand-It system makes it compatible with a variety of attachments that can transform it into a hedge trimmer, a blower or pole chainsaw. On top of that, this tool has an extension shaft that offers an extra 62cm of reach for overhead applications. Bear in mind that you will have to purchase those attachments separately, but you will also appreciate having them in a single tool as you should save yourself some money in the long run.

Another important feature of this tool is the SmartTool technology adaptor located on the shaft. It controls the powerhead automatically by adjusting the motor power levels depending on the functional attachment in use. In so doing, it optimises the tool performance to the task at hand so that you get the most out of this 2-in-1 brush cutter.

Pros

  • Perfect for home use, more power than any other corded models we have reviewed.
  • Outfitted with a powerful 1200W motor that makes short work of long overgrowth, brambles and nettles. 
  • A multi-functional tool that includes a TriArch brush cuutter blade and a bump-feed grass strimmer spool. 
  • Features Ryobi’s Expand-It system that makes it compatible with a range of attachments. 
  • Comes with a shoulder strap to provide balance when using the tool.
  • Features a SmartTool attachment system that allows the tool to optimise power to the task at hand.
  • 3 years warranty for full peace of mind.

Our recommendation

Overall, if power and high functionality are important to you, the Ryobi RBC1226I Electric 2-in-1 Brush Cutter is a great choice and maybe even a better choice in comparison to the Bosch model. Having the optional attachments and slightly more power just gives it the edge.

If you have been looking for a model suitable for more demanding use or maybe for professional, daily use, then our next two picks are probably what you are looking for.

Compare the best prices from available sellers below


4. Makita EBH341U 33.5cc MM4 Brush Cutter

BEST PETROL PICK FOR PROFESSIONALS

Buy on Amazon

Makita EBH341U 33.5cc Brush Cutter

Makita is another standout brand that’s known for indisputable quality and the Makita EBH341U 33.5cc MM4 Brush Cutter speaks volumes to their smart technologies and innovations. This professional-grade brush cutter houses a 33.5cc 4-stroke engine that produces 1070W of power enough for both trade and home applications for those looking for something a little more professional. The kit includes a nylon cutting head and a brush cutter blade, allowing the tool to function as a heavy-duty brush cutter to remove weeds, brambles, nettles and saplings in tricky sections of the lawn while doubling as a line trimmer to tidy up your garden.

The major issues with most petrol power brush cutters include difficulty in engine starting and being heavyweight. Thankfully, Makita has successfully overcome such problems. First of all, they have equipped this machine with a spring-assisted recoil activated engine, featuring a mechanical decompression that greatly reduces resistance at startup and flawlessly starts the engine in mere seconds. Basically, this means you don’t have to pull the cord countless times to start the engine and the recoil is much smoother.

Yet, the biggest benefit of this brush cutter is its lightweight design that most other models cannot compare to. It weighs just 5.7kg and the weight remains fairly comparable to that of electric brush cutters. To give you an idea, our best pick weighs over 3kg more. It may not seem like a big difference but it makes all the difference if you use it for hours on end, day to day. This mostly owes to its hollow, single piece shaft and its 4 stroke engine. With the immense amounts of power packed into a lightweight body, this Makita is still a very dependable tool designed to endure heavy workloads whilst being very convenient and easy to use. 

An ergonomic ‘bike’ handle provides great control and fatigue-free operation, whilst a padded shoulder harness (with double straps) and waist cushion adds comfort during the time you are working, particularly if you have to cover larger areas. 

As we have previously mentioned, this tool has a 4-stroke engine, which, unlike its 2-stroke counterparts, it guarantees higher torque, quiet operation and very low exhaust emissions. The result is low maintenance costs, an extended service life and an eco-friendly tool. All things considered, the Makita EBH341U 33.5cc is one of the most powerful brush cutters, characterised by high performance and a long-lasting service life. If you have the budget and need for such a reliable machine, you can be sure it will serve you for several years to come.

Pros

  • Perfect for professional daily use, very reliable 33cc petrol engine producing 1.4 hp for strimming the most demanding brambles and other growth.
  • Rubberised soft grip handles and cow horn handle design make it easy to control the tool and comfortable to work with too. 
  • Quick release handles for easy storage. 
  • Spring assisted start allows for quick ignition compared to other ordinary petrol models. 
  • An integrated 4-stroke engine benefits from low emissions, quiet operation and low maintenance.
  • 2 year warranty included.

Our recommendation

The only small disappointment is that it comes with a 2 year warranty whilst most other models come with 3. That being said, this model should outlast any model on this list but this does come at a cost.

If you need a model with just as much power and reliability but without the petrol engine maintenance, then our final pick by DeWalt could be the perfect choice for you.

Compare the best prices from available sellers below


5. DeWalt DCM571 XR Flexvolt Cordless Brush Cutter

Buy on Amazon

DEWALT DCM571 54 V'XR Flexvolt' Brush Cutter - Yellow/Black

The DeWalt DCM571 “XR Flexvolt” Brush Cutter boasts XR FLEXVOLT 54V brushless technology that provides exceptional performance and reliability for the most challenging jobs. DeWalt claims that the 54V Li-Ion battery offers runtime and performance that has never been seen before, making it a reliable tool for professional tradesmen to undertake heavy-duty applications without the need for mains power. 

In addition, the XR innovation allows you to remove the battery and power other power tools in DeWalt’s XR range. The XR FLEXVOLT is the only battery on the market that can switch from 54V to 18V, thus backwards-compatible with other tools. The supplied charger is also an intelligent one as it is designed to vary output current according to the battery. A 9.0AH battery charges in only 60 minutes and there is an LED indicator to show the battery charge status. 

A fully charged battery provides a no-load run time of 54 minutes on low speed and 44 minutes on the highest speed setting. The speed itself is variable from 0 to 5,100 on the low setting and 0 to 5,600 on the high setting, meaning you can always match the speed to the application. A 1.8m shaft with 380mm head width and 200mm head depth plus an ultra-lightweight 3.5kg design makes for easy tool control whilst still benefiting from an impressive 380mm cutting swath. A brush knife and adaptor allows you to use the tool for simple grass trimming and demanding clearing jobs. 

Along with a 2mm twisted line, battery and charger pack, the box includes a shoulder strap that is particularly handy when working for prolonged periods of time.

Pros

  • Ideal for professional jobs without the worry of petrol engines thanks to the cordless power.
  • Fast cutting – 380mm cutting swath for quicker job completion over vast areas.
  • Does everything from simple grass cutting to more demanding brush cutting jobs thanks to the supplied strimmer wire and brush blade. 
  • Features brushless motor technology that guarantees a longer runtime, high efficiency and more durability. 
  • Variable speed control and long runtime of 46 minutes from a single battery. 
  • Comes with a handy shoulder for less strain working. 
  • Supplied with 9Ah battery and charger.
  • Battery features LED indicator to show the status of the charge.
  • 3 years warranty for full peace of mind.

Our recommendation

All in all, this DeWalt DCM571 is an excellent selection for anyone looking for a typical tradesman brush cutter who doesn’t want to deal with a petrol model.  We think you will struggle to find a better cordless model that has so much power and a better run time.

Compare the best prices from available sellers below


Brush Cutter Buyer’s Guide

Brush cutters are the kind of tools you can rely on where all the others fail. This is because they are very strong and can cut through pretty much anything. They are typically a serious investment given how powerful they are and that means it is vital for you to make the right choice for your garden. 

From trimming grass to removing weeds and hacking back thick brambles and nettles, a brush cutter typically does any kind of task in the garden. These tools can even be used for lighter strimming jobs on the lawn as they usually include a line strimmer attachment too. The fact that they mains powered, battery-operated or petrol-powered means you can give them as much power to handle any given task. Even the modern cordless models have as much power as most petrol alternatives now.

Part of their design includes a long shaft that provides an extended reach to almost any part of your garden, making strimming and maintaining your garden a lot easier. Many of them come with a number of attachments and much needed safety equipment.

Having told you briefly of the benefits, let’s choose your best heavy duty brush cutter. 

What to consider before buying a brush cutter

In order to purchase the right brush cutter for your garden, you need to pay attention to certain aspects of the tool. Consider the following:

Electric vs petrol models

Electric or cordless brush cutters are run through main power with a power cord or are battery-powered with modern lithium-ion batteries. They are fairly quiet compared to petrol alternatives and they are more Eco-friendly and a doddle to use and maintain. In addition, they are super easy to manoeuvre and usually lighter too. These are designed for cutting vegetation such as ragweed, nettles, brambles and such like. On the downside, electric models are quite limiting in that you may not get as much power that you need, where you need it and for as long as you need it. In fact, these models are rare to find these days because of the popularity of petrol-powered models and the sheer power they provide. That being said electric models are getting much better.

Petrol brush cutters are extremely powerful and they can deal with thick vegetation and more woody thick stems. Even so, these brush cutters are quite difficult to use and require regular maintenance, such as changing fuel and air filters, spark plugs and mixing the correct ratio of petrol and oil to keep them running well. However, a petrol brushcutter can go anywhere you need without worrying about the source of power, all you need is a good supply of ready-mixed 2 stroke petrol in a jerry can.

Petrol powered brush cutters also come with either a 2 stroke or 4 stroke engine. The difference between the two is how they run, with a 4 stroke engine weighing more and running cooler with more output, though the design is more complicated. It is also more expensive but usually more reliable and easier to refuel as there is no mixing petrol with oil to worry about.

A 2 stroke engine has a more balanced powerstroke, requires less space and is easy to maintain.

Durability

Brush cutters can make some of your gardening chores easier, but if you are going to be spending a lot of money on one, you will want to make sure that it can cope with what you need to do and last for a long time. 

When considering the durability of brush cutters, pay attention to the blade material and design of the shaft. Those made from metal should withstand all kinds of tasks including cutting thick and tough foliage. 

Multi-functional capability

A brush cutter can essentially replace all of the other landscaping tools you already have. Look for one with some form of multi-functional ability, whether that means it comes with attachments or whether separate attachments can be bought later to use with the tool. 

Essential parts of a brush cutter

The features of any particular model will vary but there are a few terms you should know before purchasing a brush cutter from any given brand. 

One is the shaft, this is the connection from the engine down to the spinning head and can be straight or bent. A straight shaft has more power because it has a direct line to the power source and it also works well with different attachments. 

On the other hand, a bent shaft can provide a closer reach to the job, particularly when used with linking mechanisms, although this can often cause mechanical issues. 

Interchangeable heads are another thing that makes a brush cutter more versatile. They can complete multiple jobs whether small or large. The most common heads include a string trimmer and blade attachment, these will allow you to use your brush cutter as a lawn edger for keeping the grass neat and tidy. Better still, you can always change the features using a simple tool rather than having to fully unscrew the head unit. 

Thirdly, there is the handle. Given that brush cutters are heavy-duty tools, you will need a strong grip to do the job. A two-handle bar is a good option because it will provide a sturdy hold for an extended period of time, while it requires two hands to hold and control. 

And due to the weight of these tools, consider the presence of shoulder straps or a harness that evenly distribute the weight of the unit over your body and minimise strain. 


Our Final Conclusion

There is no doubt that a brush cutter is effective in those areas where the usual garden strimmers fail. For instance, if you want to trim thick brambles, saplings and undergrowth or cut thick grass along the fence, then you already know that most strimmers simply won’t have the power or strength to tackle such jobs. A brush cutter, on the other hand, has a compact head designed to cut the grass head on and it can be directed deep into hidden areas thanks to its slender frame. 

Whether you are looking for the best brush cutter for brambles or a heavy-duty petrol model for clearing large fields, we are convinced one of the models above should suffice regardless of your budget.

Still need a lawnmower? Go here: best lawnmower for large gardens.


Last update on 2022-03-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Welcome to my site, my name is John and I have been lucky enough to work in horticultural nurseries for over 15 years in the UK. As the founder and editor as well as researcher, I have a City & Guilds Horticultural Qualifications which I proudly display on our About us page. I now work full time on this website where I review the very best gardening products and tools and write reliable gardening guides. Behind this site is an actual real person who has worked and has experience with the types of products we review as well as years of knowledge on the topics we cover from actual experience. You can reach out to me at john@pyracantha.co.uk

Write A Comment