When you’ve got dense brush to deal with an ordinary string trimmer, just won’t cut it. Instead, it’s time to break out the big guns and use a brush cutter to get the job done. A stronger cousin of the string trimmer, these bladed tools cut through the densest overgrowths making short work of weeds and thickets.
If you own a large property, then you know that owning one of these tools is a necessity. The amount of time they save in clearing out overgrowth can’t be overstated, turning a job that could take days of hard labor into one that can be done in an afternoon.
Brush cutters aren’t just more powerful than string trimmers though; they’re also more costly. Because of this, purchasing one can be a significant investment, so you want to make sure you pick out the right one. We’ve provided a guide below, as well as some reviews of what we think are the best brush cutters available.
Our Picks for the Best Value Brush Cutter
|Troy-Bilt TB42 BC||27cc 2-Stroke Gas Brushcutter||View on Amazon|
|Husqvarna 336FR Pro Brushcutter||34.6 cc 2-Stroke Gas Brushcutter||View on Amazon|
|Remington RM2700 Ranchero||27cc 2-Stroke Gas Brushcutter||View on Amazon|
|GreenWorks 80V Pro||Attachment Capable 80V Cordless Electric String Trimmer||View on Amazon|
|Greenworks 40V DigiPro||Attachment Capable 40V Cordless Electric String Trimmer||View on Amazon|
|Makita Cordless Couple Shaft||36V Cordless Couple Shaft Power Head||View on Amazon|
Reviews of the Best Gas Brush Cutters
A reliable machine that packs a punch, the Troy-Bilt TB42, is a multi-purpose tool that can hold up to heavy work. With a powerful 27cc 2-cycle engine, this machine is well suited for dealing with any brush and makes quick work of most saplings.
Sporting an 8-inch steel blade, this brush cutter will tear through thick weeds, thorny undergrowth, and troublesome saplings. When performing heavy weed removal, it cuts cleanly and does not get tangled. The engine is powerful but fuel-efficient, with overall fuel consumption being pretty low. There is an optional electric start available for this cutter, but even without it, the motor starts up using the pull start without a hassle.
The J-shaped handle has comfortable padding that reduces how much you feel what little vibration the engine does have. This handle can also be easily adjusted for left-handed use as well. An adjustable shoulder strap is also included and is placed in a way that keeps the cutter well balanced for comfortable use.
This tool is attachment capable and features interchangeable heads for quick changes. When looking at other accessories available, this hedge cutter is the swiss army knife of lawn care tools with a wide variety available for it. These attachments include a pole saw, edger, cultivator, a blower, and more. This machine can give you the ability to tackle all sorts of different outdoor tasks without needing to buy separate tools for each one.
- Excellent Ergonomics, including a comfortable harness and straps.
- A highly responsive variable-speed trigger
- Large gas tank for extended use
- Durable construction with a heavy-duty frame and hose.
This Husqvarna brush cutter is a serious solution for heavy-duty brush removal. You can tell it was built with the professional landscaper in mind, and the power and durability they provided it makes it an excellent choice for anyone with a large rural property.
This thing is a beast of a cutter sporting an X-Torq engine that puts out some serious power, and it will chew through though vegetation with ease. It has excellent acceleration and enough torque to handle the most demanding jobs. Plus, the X-Torq engine cuts down on exhaust and boosts fuel efficiency by up to 20%.
Despite the weight of the engine, this cutter is comfortable to use. The ergonomic design of the machine is to thank for this sporting a comfortable shoulder harness. It feels well balanced, and you feel minimal vibration while using it thanks to the anti-vibration system of the engine, and the shock-absorbing Flex shaft, which also further reduces the amount of vibration for the user. The adjustable handlebars help to create an even more comfortable grip.
- An incredibly comfortable harness and adjustable handlebars keep back strain to a minimum when using this tool.
- It starts easily every time.
- The engine is powerful, fuel-efficient, and runs surprisingly quietly.
- With a vibration reduction system, vibration dampening handles, and shock-absorbing handle, you feel minimal vibration compared to similarly powerful models.
With the RM2700 Ranchero brush cutter, you get a reliable, easy-to-use solution for light to medium-sized jobs. This model is an excellent selection for home use but is not suited for tougher jobs.
The RM2700 is a lightweight machine easy to control with a straight shaft and reasonably powerful 27cc gas engine. The engine provides enough power to accomplish most home yardwork and doesn’t cause too much vibration. It has a quick-start feature for easier pull starts but still offers some trouble starting at under half a tank of fuel.
With an 18-inch cutting width, this machine makes short work of clearing large areas of undergrowth, thick weeds, and other brush. The RM2700 Ranchero also uses quick-change interchangeable heads and comes with a large line trimming bump head attachment as well.
This cutter has a comfortable ergonomic handle that can be adjusted for comfortable left-handed use as well. It also includes a shoulder strap for added comfort and greater control.
- Easy to control with a good design for clearing out undergrowth.
- A comfortable option with a handle easily adjusted for left-handed use.
- Supports attachments with quick-changing heads.
Reviews of the Top Electric Brush Cutters
The GreenWorks Pro 80V is a lithium battery powered cordless string trimmer that supports interchangeable head attachments. With this support, it’s possible to use this powerful trimmer with a brush cutter head.
This tool is powered by a digitally controlled 80V electric motor that provides performance comparable in power to a 26cc gas engine. This impressive performance level for an electric trimmer gives it comparable performance to most gas home brush cutters, which usually run on 27cc engines. A bonus of this electric motor is the inclusion of a variable speed control trigger that provides precise control over cutting speed.
There are two batteries available from GreenWorks compatible with this tool, one at 2ah and the other 4ah. With the 2ah battery, you can expect up to 45 minutes of power, but realistically should expect just over 30 minutes, so investing in a spare battery or the larger 4ah option is likely to be worth it. With the rapid charger available from GreenWorks, the batteries charge in about the same amount of time they last, which is useful when alternating between two batteries.
To use this trimmer as an electric brush cutter, you will need a brush cutter head. GreenWorks does manufacture its own attachments, including a brush cutter that you could buy. However, this trimmer is also compatible with most gas attachments, including the Ryobi Expand-It, TrimmerPlus, and PoulonPro attachments, so you have plenty of other options to choose from as well. It also means that you can save some money if you already have a brush cutter head from an old gas tool and are considering switching to an electric model.
- As an electric tool, this machine is lighter, quieter, and requires much less maintenance than a gas engine cutter.
- A variable speed trigger gives complete control over cutting speed.
- It has a durable design with a motor that’s able to provide power equivalent to a 26cc gas engine.
- Usable with a wide number of attachments by different manufacturers.
Makita may be better known for its indoor power tools, but they’ve also built up a line of battery-powered outdoor power equipment that is just as impressive. The Makita XUX01Z 18V X2 is meant to be the backbone of a yard work system with a variety of quick-change ready head attachments. When used with the brush cutting attachment, this cordless tool is a formidable brush cutter.
While Makita manufactures many different attachments for their couple shaft, their design does not fit with standard powerhead attachments. This is because they opted to use a proprietary shaft design instead of a typical square shaft.
Where this tool does shine is if you already own other 18V cordless Makita tools. Makita’s LXT cordless tool system is a line made up of more than 200 different tools that all use the same 18V lithium-ion batteries. Given how expensive these batteries can be, having them compatible between multiple products could save you some money in the long term.
- Quick and tool-free swapping of attachments.
- If the wheel is forced to a stop or rotation speed suddenly slows, then the electronic torque control will disable the motor to avoid damaging the head.
- Part of Makita’s LXT cordless tool system
The GreenWorks 40V DigiPro is basically a smaller, lighter duty version of the GreenWorks Pro 80V. Like that larger model, this cordless string trimmer is attachment capable and able to be used as a brush cutter. This smaller cordless brush cutter doesn’t pack quite the same punch as the Pro but is more affordable and well suited for light to medium work, making it a smart buy for home yard work.
A powerful string trimmer out of the box, the head can easily be changed out for a brush cutter. Like with Greenworks’s 80V Pro, the 40V DigiPro also supports most gas attachments meaning you won’t need to buy new heads to go electric. When using brush cutting head, this trimmer can effectively eliminate dense brush with branches up to an inch in diameter.
This trimmer is compatible with two different 40V batteries manufactured by GreenWorks, one at 2ah and the other 4ah. With the included 4ah battery, you can expect to get about an hour’s worth power while brush cutting but may notice it drain quicker with dense brush. If that doesn’t sound long enough, then it could be worth investing in a spare battery as well, the rapid charger takes about as long to charge as the batteries last.
- An affordable option for light to medium-duty jobs.
- The brushless digital motor is quick to start, runs quietly, and provides excellent performance.
- Supports attachments by many different manufacturers.
Buyer’s Guide to Brush Cutters
Choosing a Brush Cutter
Just like with any other tool when you’re shopping for a new brush cutter, you want to get the one that’s best suited for your situation. There are many different options available to consider and to know what it is you’re looking there are three basic questions you should ask yourself.
1. What materials are you going to need to cut or trim?
The thickness of the vegetation you will be cutting can give you a handle on how powerful your cutter will need to be. If you are only trimming light brush, then you should be fine with a lightweight and more budget-friendly model. However, when dealing with thick brush and saplings, you will need to look at more powerful options.
2. How large of an area do you plan to be working it?
If you’re going to be working in a larger area, such as a rural setting, you’ll want to take this into account when making your choice. You will, of course, want a unit suited to clearing a large area quickly, but you should also take comfort into account. Brush cutters can be cumbersome and finding one with a comfortable harness to take the weight off your arms can make your job much more bearable.
3. Finally, are there any noise restrictions which you have to take into consideration?
If noise is a concern, then you should opt to buy a cutter with an electric motor. These models run much more quietly than gas-powered cutters
What Features Should You Look For?
Shaft style: Curved or Straight?
These tools are available with the option of either curved or straight shafts.
Bent shafts are useful for working closer to spot you’re trimming and can be helpful for use in gardens. The need for the connection from the head to handle to curve, however, are prone to mechanical problems. You tend to see this design used most often on cheaper, lighter duty models.
With straight shafts, you eliminate a potential point of failure while also providing yourself with more reach. This option is more common to see among medium and heavy-duty cutters and especially so among gas-powered ones.
A good ergonomically designed grip is a feature you should always look for when shopping for brush cutters. They can be quite heavy, so being able to support that weight comfortably for the time it takes you to complete your job without too much fatigue is essential. Additionally, a secure grip helps you maintain control of where you direct the blades.
The most common handle designs are a single large looped handle or two handlebars, not unlike a bicycle. Both of these designs require the use of both hands to operate the cutter.
The constant vibration of a trimmer can lead to arm fatigue, and because of this, the best brush cutters will offer vibration reduction features. When shopping for a gas cutter, you should choose one with an anti-vibration feature to reduce vibrations when idle as well. Electric cutters usually do not have an idle-state, so this is not a feature you need to worry about with them, but you should still see what others have said about how much vibration you should expect when cutting. Reading the reviews on a brush cutter can help to determine what level of vibration you could expect from that model.
To ensure that your cutter is versatile, you should look for a model that supports quick changing between interchangeable heads. Supporting multiple interchangeable attachments lets you get more out of your tool by adapting it to fulfill different tasks better. Opting for a quick-change option will save you time and effort whenever you need to change the attachment you’re using, something which can otherwise become a source of frustration.
Engine Power: 2-Stroke or 4-Stroke?
When buying a gas-powered brush cutter, you’ll find that the models you are presented with will have two different kinds of engines. Engines are either 2-stroke or 4-stroke, the difference between the two is in how they run:
2-stroke engines are smaller and lighter weight than 4-stroke engines. They operate more well balanced and are also easier to maintain. These engines are favored for lighter duty cutters and are usually more affordable.
With a 4-stroke engine, you get a higher power output machine that runs cooler. The designs of these engines are more complicated, though, and require more maintenance. These engines are large and considerably heavier than 2-stroke engines. They tend to be used on heavier duty cutters where the need for high power is more important than convenience. They, more often than not, are the more expensive of the two options.
Gas vs Electric Brush Cutters: Which Is the Right Choice for You?
Electric Brush Cutters
Electric cutters are lighter weight than their gas-powered counterparts, making them less physically taxing to use. This also makes them a smart choice for older users who might otherwise have issues with the weight of a gas cutter.
Electric cutters also don’t require all of the additional maintenance that gas trimmers do.
Electric brush cutters limit your mobility. Whether it’s by requiring a power cord or with battery life concerns. If you have a large area to clear, you will likely find these cutters limiting. The larger the property you’re working on, the bigger an issue this
The electric motors used by these cutters are also less powerful than engines of gas burning cutters. It’s for this reason that heavy-duty brush cutter options are all gas-powered. If your hard work with a lot of rough vegetation ahead of you than an electric motor cutter will probably not be up for the task.
Cordless Brush Cutters
One of the most common complaints about electric models has to do with the need for an outlet. Cordless tools solve this problem by using a battery pack for engine life. In the past, cordless brush trimmers suffered from short battery life, but the technology has come a long way, and modern cordless models are now a very viable alternative.
While battery life may still be a concern for large properties, it’s worth considering that you can carry a backup battery with you. And while this may seem like an inconvenience, the weight reduction compared to a gas cutter is more than enough to make up for it.
Gas Brush Cutters
Gas burning engines can be more powerful than the motors of electric trimmers. The heaviest-duty brush cutters are all gas brush cutters for this reason. That additional power can be put to good use, quickly clearing out thick brush and saplings that an electric cutter might struggle with.
Not having to worry about extension cords or battery packs make gas trimmers a much more versatile tool. This added mobility becomes more and more important, the larger the area you’re trimming is. In scenarios where you have a large property to landscape, you may not even have access to outlets for electric cutters.
A gas-powered brush cutter can be a lot less convenient than an electric cutter. They’re much heavier than electric options, and often you’ll need a harness to help support that extra weight for extended periods. Also, they are much louder than a cutter with an electric motor, and their engines also give off fumes.
With a gas cutter, you’ve got much more maintenance to deal with. You have gas, oil, and air filter, a spark plug, and eventually, you’re going to have to get a tune-up because the carburetor will go out of adjustment. Also, depending on which part of the
What’s the Difference Between a Brush Cutter and a Weed Wacker or Weed Eater?
Weed wacker or weed eater are names commonly used for string trimmers, a tool similar to a brush cutter but not suited for the same heavy-duty jobs. While these two tools may seem superficially identical, you will want to pick the one that’s best suited to your job to avoid any frustration.
String trimmers use nylon cord spun at high speeds to slice through grasses, weeds, and very light brush. It’s a useful tool for dealing with grass and weeds in places you can’t reach with a lawnmower. It’s a handy choice for keeping your landscape and garden edging tidy, and for dealing with grass on your fence line. However, a string trimmer doesn’t have the power needed to handle trimming dense vegetation.
A brush cutter is like the older brother of the string cutter, and with a more powerful motor and metal blade, they cut through dense vegetation with ease. These tools are well suited for dealing with neglected areas where thick weeds, dried brush, and small saplings are found. These powerful tools are also bulkier than string trimmers, though, and can weigh quite a bit more. They often include harnesses to ease the strain on your arms by allowing your body to help carry the weight.