Best Brush Cutter Reviews and Buying Guide
Garden maintenance takes on many different forms.
From clearing up fallen leaves with a lawn sweeper through to pruning your plants, there’s always something that needs your attention.
How about if you need to tackle some really rampant undergrowth and foliage? What if your weeds have grown far beyond the scope of a weed puller?
What you need in these situations is the best brush cutter. Sometimes, you need a powerful tool for a job. When it comes to detailing an unruly patch of weeds and scrub, a brush cutter really is indispensable.
We’ll give you the honest reviews so you can check out a range of products and get what’s right for your needs.
Before that, we’ll show you what to look out for when investing in one of these awesome clearing tools.
- 1 String Trimmer or Brush Cutter?
- 2 Should You Buy, Rent or Call in The Professionals?
- 3 What To Look For In The Brush Cutter
- 4 5 Brush Cutter Reviews
- 4.1 1) Blue Max 52623 2-Cycle Brush Cutter
- 4.2 2) Husqvarna Straight Shaft Brush Cutter
- 4.3 3) Troy-Bilt TB42 2-Stroke Brush Cutter
- 4.4 4) New Professional Brush Cutter by RichTool
- 4.5 5) Poulan Pro PP325
- 5 Wrap-Up
String Trimmer or Brush Cutter?
What’s the difference between these types of cutter?
The string trimmer – also called a weedeater – is a fantastic edging tool. You can take care of all the fine detailing that your lawn mower can’t cope with cutting with a rapidly rotating nylon line.
Powered by electric, battery or gas, string trimmers are ideal for cutting grass and weeds. Light duty stuff.
You can use your string trimmer with one hand.
It’s easiest to think of the brush cutter as the bigger and bulkier version of the string trimmer.
Brush cutters come equipped with a metal blade and are best wielded in two hands.
If you need to scythe down nettles, underbrush, saplings or bushes, a brush cutter is exactly what you need.
Should You Buy, Rent or Call in The Professionals?
When you need to clear heavy foliage, you’ve got 3 realistic options:
- Call in a contractor
- Rent a brush cutter
- Buy a brush cutter
Analyze the situation…
Is this a one-off like a neglected garden that needs restoring to order? If so, you might be best advised to give a professional contractor a call and get it taken care of.
For occasional maintenance or if you are operating on a budget, renting could be the most practical approach.
If you know that that you’ll need to undertake this sort of heavy cutting on a regular basis, it pays to buy the brush cutter you can afford. It will be a worthwhile investment.
What To Look For In The Brush Cutter
You need your brush cutter to be strong enough for the jobs you intend to carry out with it.
Electric or battery-powered brush cutters simply lack the power of the gas-powered.
If you can put up with a louder, noisier cutter, going gas yields maximum bang for your buck.
There are 2 types of gasoline engine…
2-Stroke or 4-Stroke?
The 2-stroke or 2-cycle gas engine is the most powerful. You’ll need a mixture of gasoline and oil. 2-stroke are highly reliable engines. They fall down on fuel economy and emissions.
4-stroke engines are usually more expensive. You run them on gas only. They are quieter and kick out less emissions than 2-stroke engines.
Changing Cutter Heads
Quick-change cutter heads are becoming increasingly popular but are not the best option.
You’re much better off to look for a model that requires you to change the cutting element using your tools.
A solid steel shaft is central to the brush cutter.
Shafts come in 2 styles:
- Straight Shaft
- Curved Shaft
Straight shaft brush cutters are the default choice.
For intricate detail work, curved shafts can let you get closer and be quite effective. The trade-off is a slight loss in power and the likelihood of more mechanical problems with a curved shafted cutter.
Ease of Use and Handling
Brush cutters come in 2 distinct designs:
- 1-handed loop
- 2-handed style
The 1-handed design is great in principle. Most projects where you would want a brush cutter, though, will be demanding enough that it’s wise to have both hands on the job.
If you can hack away with the motion at your disposal with 2 hands, you’ll make light work of clearing even large areas.
Brush Cutter Blades
You will typically get some standard blades supplied with your brush cutter.
You can also buy additional blades with ease.
The larger the width and the diameter of the blade, the greater the cutting power. If you have a bigger blade, though, make sure you have an adequately powered motor. If the blade does not turn quickly enough, not only will you struggle to cut through thick brush but you will also get more kickback.
Carbide steel is the best option when it comes to brush cutter blades.
How about the teeth? Check out which work best for what kind of tasks…
- Areas with sparse vegetation: No teeth blade
- Medium cutting – thick grass, trees, brambles: 30-40 teeth blades
- Heavy cutting – tall and thick vegetation: 80-120 teeth blades
Any of the brush cutters will be fully engineered to minimize vibration.
When the cutter is idling away and not laboring, vibration is not really an issue.
Once you fire it up and get amongst some scrub and trees, that’s when you’ll feel the vibration kick in.
Some models are designed to operate best at full speed. In some instances, you might feel more vibration rather than less if you’re going slowly. Check up on the particular model you have in mind for this.
Now that you have a good working knowledge of what to look for in the brush cutter, it’s time forthe detail reviews so you can buy in complete confidence.
5 Brush Cutter Reviews
If you are torn between a string trimmer and a brush cutter, Blue Max offers you the best of both worlds with this dual functionality 2-stroke beast.
The 43cc motor develops 1.6HP and gives you all the power you need to carve down brush, undergrowth, stubborn weeds or anything else that gets in your way.
Since it’s a 2-cycle engine, you’ll need to mix some oil in with your gasoline. Do not use ethanol. This will corrode the fuel lines and damage the carburetor.
You’ll be able to use both hands with this brush cutter so you can work safely and accurately. The straight shaft is perfect for your posture and helps you to cut effectively.
Starting 2-stroke brush cutters can be problematic. With the Blue Max, it’s a breeze. You can run this machine all day long with no snags. It uses surprisingly little fuel for such a potent engine.
If you need to deal with really heavy-duty projects, make sure you sharpen your blade. You can also buy a superior blade. Later this week we will examine these blades for you so you can make the best choice.
One thing to watch out for is the vibration. Think about how long you will use it for and determine whether this will inconvenience you.
For a formidable workhorse that will cope with even heavy cutting, this Blue Max 2-in-1 will not disappoint.
- Highly versatile 2-in-1 string trimmer and brush cutter
- Powerful 43cc motor to tear through even stubborn brush
- Easy to assemble straight out the box
- Straight shaft offers solidity and performance
- 2-handed operation for safety and efficiency
- Large capacity fuel tank and great economy so work all day without needing to stop and refill
- Tends to vibrate quite heavily which is expected for such a powerful piece of kit
Sometimes termed a commercial weedeater, the Husqvarna 223R is a CARB-compliant monster when it comes to cutting away brush and heavy scrub.
Although not in the same power league as the Blue Max, the 24.5cc engine is surprisingly able. A 2-stroke unit, you’ll need to add some oil to your gas before you get started.
You won’t be menaced by noise or vibration with the 223R. The patented LowVib system keeps thing smooth and quiet.
A 2-handled model equipped with a top-notch double harness, work without straining yourself and feel secure while you focus on your cutting.
You can deal with large areas thanks to a generous cutting path. The Husqvarna does not enjoy dealing with really hardcore projects so think about your intended use before launching into purchase mode.
For a rugged and capable brush cutter from a brand you can trust, the Husqvarna 223R is well worth your further investigation.
- 24.5cc engine reliable, powerful and quiet
- Double handled model with double harness for your safety
- Minimal annoying vibration thanks to LowVib system
- Air purge means no more difficult starts: get cutting with ease
- Wide cutting path means this brush cutter clear big spaces rapidly
- Not ideal for large commercial projects involving serious cutting
Next up in our reviews is a reasonably-priced 2-stroke from Troy-Bilt.
Some 2-strokes are awkward to start but the JumpStart functionality and full-crank engine means you can kiss goodbye to tiresome pull-starts.
The 27cc engine is competent enough to deal with most regular cutting needs.
The straight shaft is extremely durable. You can maximize your reach with this design. Things could be improved if this was a 2-handed model so make sure you are happy working single-handed if you opt for the TB42.
With a superb engine, gearbox that’s built to endure and a steel-tip blade, you can’t expect much more brush cutter than this for the money.
- Great value for money
- Powerful 27cc 2-stroke engine cuts through most brush fuss-free
- JumpStart technology to eliminate pulling cord
- Handle can be adjusted for use with either hand
- You can easily fix on 10 TrimmerPlus attachments so truly versatile cutter
- Very little vibration so work in comfort
- 1-handed operation not ideal
As we near the end of our reviews, here’s another very powerful option, this time the BC52 manufactured by RichTool.
Power is the main selling point of this superb cutter. The 52cc engine will run all day long without letting you down.
The fuel tank is roomy so you can work for extended periods without needing to worry about topping up.
The metal blade is ideal for seeing off weeds, brush and most regular cutting duties are a cinch.
With 2 handles, you keep complete control and you’ll find it easier to cut than using a 1-handed model.
For a very competent brush cutter that will manage even large and difficult projects, the BC52 merits a closer look if you find it meets your personal requirements.
- Superb raw cutting power from 52cc engine
- Extremely reliable so work confidently
- 2-handed model means better safety and accuracy
- Metal blade eats through stubborn brush and weeds
- Deals with even heavy cutting duties without straining
- Trigger handle and lock made from cheap plastic
We’ll finish up these reviews with the PP325, a highly flexible 6-in-1 brush cutter.
If you are looking for an appliance that offers real value for money, the multiple attachments are tailor-made. As well as the brush cutter, you can also pop on a trimmer, edger, cultivator, blower or pole pruner.
The 25cc engine is very willing and needs gas only for best results. It’s straightforward to start and will keep going all day long.
You get a shoulder strap but bike bar handles would have improved the experience. A harness would have been ideal as well but, for the price, you can’t complain too much. Especially in light of the additional attachments.
You’ll need tools to swap out the cutter blade so there’s no quick change here.
If you are looking for a very durable and multi-purpose tool for your gardening and cutting demands, the Poulan Pro takes some beating!
- Superb 6-in-1 functionality
- Easy to start unlike some 2-stroke engines
- Very quiet when in use
- Engine requires gas only so simple to operate
- Lightweight at 12 pounds for such a powerful cutter
- Bike bars would be better for control
- No harness
Now that you’ve worked through these brush cutter reviews, you should hopefully be in the position to kiss goodbye to unsightly weeds for good.
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Contact us at any time if you have any questions or feedback. We’re always delighted to help. If there are any products you would like covered or any topics that are of particular interest, let us know and we will do our very best to oblige.
Now go and cut down those ugly weeds and nettles!