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 as they use strong steel blades and pure power to cut back even the thickest growth.
A brush cutter is incredibly powerful and durable and an absolute essential for anyone with a large outdoor space which needs a lot of maintenance. The problem is that once people starting 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.
Our favourite model would have to be the 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 to 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. Check out the in-depth review of this brushcutter and more options in the product reviews section further down. We also have a lineup of 4 other models which are well wort considering both electric which brings the cost down and cordless which are more expensive but are much lower maintenance compared to petrol alternatives.
Our top 6 brush cutters which made in onto our recommended models list
- 1Hyundai HYBC5200 52cc 2-Stroke Petrol Brush Cutter - BEST PICK - Excellent model with plenty of power and by a company you can trust, even includes 3 years warranty and lots of accessories and safety equipment. Being petrol you will need to do a little maintenance.
- 2Bosch 950w AFS Electric Brush Cutter - A great cordless brush cutter for home use for those not wanting to worry about petrol engines.
- 3Makita EBH341U 33.5cc MM4 Brush Cutter - Our top recommended petrol pick for professional use, lightweight design and reliability assured.
- 4DEWALT DCM571 "XR Flexvolt" Brush Cutter - our top pick for professionals looking to avoid petrol models and take advantage of new cordless technology. The power of petrol without the maintenance.
- 5Ryobi 1200w RBC1226I Electric 2-in-1 Brush Cutter
Brush Cutter Buyers Guide
Brush cutters are the kind of tools you should rely on where all the others fail, as 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 provide 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 a brief 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 the likes. 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 a rare 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 brush cutter 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.
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 long.
When considering the durability of brush cutters, pay attention on the blade material and design of the shaft. Those made from metal should withstand all kinds of tasks including cutting thick and tough foliage.
Best electric model, powerful yet lightweight for better ease of use
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.
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, which is the connection from the engine down to the spinning head. It 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 a different attachments.
On the other hand, a bent shaft can provide a closer reach to the job particularly when used with linking mechanisms, though 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, which 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 since 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 unit over your body and minimise strain.
Best Petrol Brush Cutter for Professionals
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 Bearinged solid steel drive shaft, the tool is incredibly strong, while 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.
Top 5 Brush Cutter Reviews
Hyundai HYBC5200 52 cc Petrol Brushcutter - OUR BEST PICK
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 wacking. This can tidy up overgrown gardens which have a brambles that need tackling and quickly trim lawn edges with the includes line strimmer.
The 52cc 2 stroke engine provides a 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 a 3 and 8-tooth cutting blades which provide a cutting width of up to 250mm, this is 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 strain on your back and allow for extended periods of use. The inclusion of bike handles increase manoeuvrability and comfort, while they can be adjusted up and down the shaft to match your height which 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, 3 tooth brush blade and 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. Ideally you get everything you need to work with this tool including safety equipment which is a big plug to anyone buying there first strimmer as you don't have to worry about buying safety equipment as its 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 when 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.
Overall this model offers excellent value for money, its not the cheapest petrol brushcutter you can buy but its 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.
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Bosch 950w AFS 23-37 Brush Cutter
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 which is further backed by its 3 years warranty. An impressive attribute of this brush cutter is its ultra-lightweight construction as it weighs only 5.3kg, allowing you to work with it without fatigue and stain to their 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 which cause a mess in your garden. That's because if 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 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 that's not the case with this Bosch model. Bosch ensured that the motor causes very little vibration during use and the sound level is within the safety standard. 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 a little more power then our next pick by Ryobi could be worth considering with its more powerful 1200w motor.
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Ryobi 1200w RBC1226I Electric 2-in-1 Brush Cutter
Whether its power, functionality, efficiency and 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 farther from a mains socket but with a 6 meter cable it comes with a fairly long 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're 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 as the brush cutter is driven by a 1200W engine that delivers 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 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. Keep in mind that you will have to purchase those attachments separately, but you will appreciate having them in a single tool as you should save yourself some model 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. 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 when compared 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 for more demanding use, maybe professional daily use then our next 2 picks and probably when you are looking for.
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Makita EBH341U 33.5cc MM4 Brush Cutter - Great for professional use
Makita is another standout brand that's known for indisputable quality and the Makita EBH341U 33.5cc MM4 Brush Cutter speaks volumes of 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 heavy weight. Thankfully, Makita have successfully overcome such problems. First of all, they equipped this machine with a spring assisted recoil activated engine featuring a mechanical decompression which greatly reduces resistance at startup and flawlessly starting 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 a lightweight design that most other models cannot compare. 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 weights 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 but extremely single piece shaft and 4 stroke engine. With the immense amounts of power packed in a lightweight body, this Makita is still a very dependable tool designed to endure heavy workloads while being very convenient an easy to use.
An ergonomic 'bike' handle provides great control and fatigue-free operation, while a padded shoulder harness with double straps and waist cushion adds comfort when working particularly when you have to cover large areas.
As we have already mentioned, this tool has a 4-stroke engine, which unlike 2-stroke counterparts, it guarantees higher torque, quiet operation and very low exhaust emissions. The result is low maintenance costs, 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 long-lasting service life. If you have the budget and need for such a reliable machine, be sure it will serve you for several years to come.
The only small disappointment is that it comes with2 years warranty while most other models come with 3. That being said this model should outlast any model on this list but this comes 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 an even better choice.
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DEWALT DCM571 XR Flexvolt Cordless Brush Cutter
The DEWALT DCM571 "XR Flexvolt" Brush Cutter boasts XR FLEXVOLT 54V brushless technology, which provides exceptional performance, reliability for the most challenging jobs. DEWALT claims 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 backward-compatible with other tools. The supplied charger is also an intelligent one as its designed to vary output current according to the battery. A 9.0AH battery charges in only 60 minutes and there is a 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. The speed itself is variable from 0-5,100 on the low setting and 0-5,600 on the high setting, meaning you can always match speed to 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, while benefiting from an impressive 380mm cutting swath, a brush knife and adaptor, allowing 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.
All in all, this DEWALT DCM571 is an excellent selection for anyone looking for a typical tradesman brush cutter but doesn't want to deal with the petrol model. We think think you will find a better cordless model with so much power and a better run time.
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Our Final Conclusion
There is no doubt that a brush cutter is effective in those areas where the usual 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 want have the power or strength to tackle such jobs. A brush cutter, on the other hand, has a compact head designed to cut 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.
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Last updated on June 21st, 2021
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