Simple question first…
What is a brush cutter…?
I imagine you have a good idea in your head already, right? The problem is…
Not everyone’s idea is the same…
So let’s take a more detailed look before you buy one…
A brush cutter is a tool that uses a very flexible monofilament line (instead of a blade) to cut bushes, brushes or grass on flat or irregular terrain, usually when preparing land for another purpose. It has a long shaft with a cutting head on the end. The shaft has handles with some having shoulder straps, too.
Beware, they’re dangerous so make sure you…
- Always use protective gear, especially footwear and eye wear
- Avoid use on dodgy terrain or slippery ground
- Make sure it’s comfortable to handle, use the shoudler strap
- Pre-check area before you start for containers, stones, hose pipes, electrical cables, etc
WHERE TO BUY A BRUSH CUTTER
But before you buy one, ask yourself this question…
“What do I want a brush cutter for?”
Brush cutters are important for clearing grass, small bushes and weeds. Different sized brush cutters are available depending on vegetation density. Most come with a wide range of accessories for different jobs such as clearing bushes, brushwood, shrubs and even short trees.
Before buying a brush cutter, keep the following in mind…
- Machine efficiency; usually depicted by high torque, high power and rapid acceleration
- Bush cutter handles and shoulder strap for comfort and efficiency
- Attachments suitable for the job
- Folding hand bar for transport and storage
- Ease of maintenance
- Good vibration dampening to ensure lower fatigue with extended use
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A BRUSH CUTTER
As shown by the TimberPro petrol brush cutter the following are very important features in a brush cutter:
- Cost and value for money
- Performance, reliability and durability
- Power output of the motor
- Ease of use and maintenance
- Accessories for a range of tasks
Power and Cost
Brush cutters can be powered by: electricity (cable), battery (cordless), two-stroke or four-stroke petrol engine.
Consider the Following when making a decision on which is best
|Battery Power||Electric||Four Stroke||Two Stroke|
|Overall Power||Fairly Weak||Fairly Good||Better||Best|
|Produced Noise||Quiet||Quiet||Loud||Very Loud|
|Lubrication||Not Applicable||Not Applicable||Only Oil||Oil + Gasoline|
|Weight||Fairly Light||Fairly Light||Heavy||Heavy|
|Fuel||Limited Electricity||Unlimited Electricity||Petrol (To Tank)||Petrol (To Tank)|
|Mobility||Free||Limited By Cord Length||Free||Free|
|Maintenance||Fairly Light||Fairly Light||Fairly Frequent||Fairly Frequent|
With regards to power, electric brush cutters are less powerful. However, they make up for this by being lightweight, quiet and easier to handle.
The oil and petrol brush cutters are considered powerful but are noisier and heavier. Of all the above, brush cutters powered by 2 stroke engines are the most popular.
Even though they are heavy, use petrol and require more frequent maintenance, they usually produce a higher quality job and can cope with all kinds of conditions.
Four Stroke vs. Two Stroke Engines
Compared to 4 stroke engines, 2 stroke brush cutters are more powerful and have fewer moving parts. They are also more reliable.
In terms of fuel, 4 stroke engines don’t consume as much petrol usually. Consequently, 4 stroke engines are quieter with fewer emissions.
To cut grass, a brush cutter has to be held and tilted at odd angles. One problem with a 4 stroke is that tilting can cause the oil to move to the wrong areas thus exposing the engine to added wear and tear or even damage.
The petrol for both 4 stroke and 2 stroke engines should be free of additives and ethanol.
What you must do…
It is important to note that running a 2 stroke engine without adding oil might cause the engine to seize up resulting in expensive repairs. Always make sure you have enough oil for a 2 stroke engine…
For some machines you add it to the petrol. Others have their own separate oil tank and they mix the oil to the petrol automatically. Make sure you know what your one does…
Performance and Reliability
Performance and reliability will be best looked at by studying 2 key points:
1. The Shaft
A shaft drives the cutting head.
Most brush cutters have either a bent shaft configuration or a straight shaft configuration.
Bent shafts allow you to get as closer to whatever is being cut. However, shaft bending comes at a cost as manufacturers will have to link the engine to the cutting head.
The bending and linking leads to a less powerful shaft (compared to the straight shaft) and sometimes more mechanical problems may be experienced.
2. Quick Change Heads
the cutting elements of a brush cutter can be changed. For example, from tri-blade to quad blade or many toothed saw blades depending on your preference and choice.
Even though this is the case, standard brush cutters are very effective and reliable. Therefore any form of engineering to quickly change heads should be discouraged as it may lead to poor performance and technical issues down the line.
The Bottom line…
For best performance and reliability, a brush cutter with a 2 stroke engine, petrol powered, without a quick change head and engineered for less vibrations is the way to go
The best value for money example of that?
Is the TimberPro
Ease Of Use
The ease of use depends on its handles. A brush cutter can either be one handed or two handed.
Bull horns, bike handles, bull-bar, bulbar and tubular are some names used to refer to a two handed design brush cutter.
The one handed is generally easy to use but considering the safety concerns, it is important to engage both hands by using a two handed cutter.
When it comes to bigger projects, a two handed bush cutter has an edge over a one handed one. It also allows for scythe-style motion when clearing land thus more work completed in a short space of time.
For a lot of people, gardening or yard work has never been easy without a reliable, powerful, efficient, durable and cost effective brush cutter. Despite the many market options, the TimberPro is the most desired option.
I would highly recommend the Timber Pro 5 in 1 brush cutter for nearly all people looking for one of these power tools this season. We reviewed this back in 2015 when we were searching for the best brush cutters around.
When we re doing our research for the best brush cutters in 2016, we realised that things had not changed that much and this Timber Pro from 2015 was still up there at the top of the list. Check it out to see the full details and why it’s such a good choice. You might even find it’s a better deal that last year…