A brush cutter is an essential tool for landscaping and keeping your lawn or garden in great condition. Unlike a string trimmer, the brush cutter can handle a lot of work, and no landscaping job is too big or too small for it. Whether you’re scything, tapering, weeding, or mowing, this is a versatile and multipurpose tool that you’ll be using on a regular basis.
Brush cutters come in different shapes and types. Some are handheld which gives you more control over the tool and the brush or edge you’re trimming. Others are more of walk-behind or tow-behind types. Those latter types are a lot heavier than hand-held brush cutters, but they are more suited for large lawns and heavy-duty jobs.
So which type do you choose, and more importantly, which is the best brush cutter for your budget and landscaping needs? The following reviews will give you a clear and in-depth look into the best features and not-so-hot qualities of the top brush cutters in the market. We also followed the reviews with a buyer’s guide to help you make an educated decision when purchasing this versatile landscaping tool.
Best Brush Cutter Reviews
Contrary to popular belief, a brush cutter is not a luxury that you buy on a whim and totally forget about it a week later. This is an essential tool for your landscaping needs. One that you’ll be using as often as you work on your lawn or garden. Here are the 8 best brush cutter reviews. As usual, we start with the cream of the crop.
1. Editor’s Choice: Husqvarna 128LD 17″ Cutting Path Detachable Gas String Trimmer
Power, cutting capacity, and plenty of accessories make this brush cutter from Husqvarna stand out. The Husqvarna 128LD 17″ Cutting Path Detachable Gas String Trimmer is gas-powered with a 17-inch cutting width that gets the job done quickly and without wearing you out.
The 22cc engine uses a 2-cycle oil to conserve fuel while giving you more power. It runs on a mixture of fuel and oil and comes with a 2.6-ounce mixing bottle for convenience. And speaking of convenience, the fuel tank is translucent, so you can monitor the fuel consumption while you work and know when it’s time to refill the tank.
The 128LD also has more convenience in store as you start to use the brush cutter and need to release or replace the trimmer line. The Tap ‘N Go feature allows you to release the trimmer line and reload a new one by simply tapping the cutting head on the grass. You won’t waste time fiddling with the cutter or stop your work just so you can reload a new trimmer line.
And as with all gas engines, the air in the fuel system can cause problems. However, the 128LD has an air purge primer bulb. Use it to remove the unwanted air from the fuel system and carburetor on the go without interrupting your work.
You can also attach an edger to define the edges of your flower beds and lawns or a cultivator to till the soil in your garden. With the right attachment, you can also use it as a pole saw to trim out-of-reach branches and limbs.
However, although the 128LD has a straight shaft, that shaft is too short to give you access to brushes and weeds beyond your reach.
- Gas-powered 22cc engine.
- Uses 2-cycle oil to conserve fuel.
- 17-inch cutting width.
- Tap ‘N Go feature to release and reload trimmer lines on the go.
- An air purge primer bulb to remove unwanted air from the carburetor and fuel system.
- Easily use many attachments for more versatile use in your lawn.
- The straight shaft is not long enough.
- Carburetor screws need to be adjusted to prevent engine bogging down.
2. Best Budget: Greenworks PRO 80V 16 inch Cordless String Trimmer
This affordable brush cutter from Greenworks is both versatile and environmentally friendly. The Greenworks PRO 80V 16 inch Cordless String Trimmer has an electric motor but still gives you the same power as a 32cc gas motor. Only you won’t have to deal with exhaust and empty fuel tanks.
The 80-volt motor is good enough to handle most of your landscaping needs, including cutting a young tree with a 4-inch thick trunk. It also takes care of your scything and tapering jobs. Thick and tall weeds and grass are easy to tame and trim down using this powerful electric Greenworks Pro.
The cutter is cordless, which means it is powered by a battery. The battery is not included, but you can use any compatible battery from models GBA80200 and GBA80400. To charge the battery, you can use a model GCH8040 charger. The brush cutter weighs 14.2 pounds without the battery, which makes it both portable and convenient as a handheld cutter.
The brushless motor is digitally controlled, which gives you more torque without using extra energy. As for the cutting width, the head is 16 inches wide and uses a dual bump feed system that allows it to tear through the tall grass and brushes with relative ease. We also liked the straight shaft. It’s made of aluminum and gives the tool excellent balance.
Besides the absence of the battery and charger, which are not included with the package, there are also a couple of disadvantages to this product. One of them is when the saw switches itself off after 15 seconds of idle time. Although it was designed like that to save battery, it really puts you off having to restart the cutter every time you have to stop to decide where you’re going to cut next.
- Affordable price.
- 80-volt electric motor.
- Weighs 14.2 pounds without the battery.
- Straight aluminum shaft for better balance.
- Battery and charger not included.
- Turns itself off after 15 seconds of idle time.
3. Premium Pick: Remington RM25C 25cc 2-Cycle 16-Inch Curved Shaft Gas String Trimmer
When it comes to gas motors, some people have trouble starting the motor. Remington worked on that and came up with the Remington RM25C 25cc 2-Cycle 16-Inch Curved Shaft Gas String Trimmer as an answer to this problem. But that really sells this product short. Because in addition to the quick start feature, it also has many good qualities.
The curved shaft is one such quality that you’ll get to appreciate as you use the Remington more and more. What the curved shaft does is allow you to reach targets at an angle or even ones you can’t see from where you stand. It also lets you come up with and execute neat circular designs of your brushes and trees.
Feeding a new line into the cutter is made a whole lot easier with the dual-line bump head. It allows you to feed the head a new line on the go with just a slight tap on the ground. As for the line itself, it measures .95 inches which gives it more durability and stable performance regardless of the type of grass or weeds you’re trimming.
The cutting width of the Remington is 16 inches, and that gives you more control over the shape you’re executing while delivering faster and neater cutting at the same time.
On the downside, the gas-powered 25cc motor stands powerless against thick or wild weeds and grass. Also, because of the curved shaft, the Remington is rather short, and tall people might have a problem using it.
- Quick start gas-powered engine.
- Curved shaft for better control.
- Dual-line bump head for easy line feed.
- Durable lines measuring .95 inch thick.
- 16-inch cutting width.
- The cutter is too short, and tall people would have to strain their backs to use it.
- Doesn’t cut heavy or extra thick weeds.
It’s no secret that using a heavy gas-powered brush cutter can put a strain on your back and shoulders. This is why you look for a tool with the extra power to cut down the time and work required to finish the task. The Craftsman CMXGTAMD30SA Gas Powered String Trimmer and Brushcutter with its 30cc engine has enough power to handle the toughest lawn jobs.
It starts quickly and without much hassle. You just prime and pull the handle to get the engine purring. And for an engine that runs on gas, the CMXGTAMD20SA produces less noise output than other products of its caliber.
The cutter has a straight shaft to give you extra reach. That’s something that people over 6 feet tall would appreciate. No more putting your back behind it and practically carrying most of the weight on your shoulders.
And behind this quieter and more powerful engine is an innovative technology that uses a 4-cycle process. That means you won’t have to mix the oil with the gas, which reduces the common gas-powered engine problems of jamming and locking up that we have experienced with other products.
The cutting width of the Craftsman is 17 inches which is slighter wider than the average brush cutter. That extra width combined with the 4-stroke engine gives the tool enough power to get any lawn or garden job done in a short time.
One problem we had with the Craftsman, and it has to do with the line bump feeder. It doesn’t live up to expectations and gets jammed more often, especially when you’re tackling thick grass or tall weeds.
- 30cc gas-powered engine.
- A 4-cycle process means you don’t have to mix gas with oil.
- Less noise output than other tools of this caliber.
- Easy to set up in minutes.
- 17-inch cutting width.
- The line bump feeder jams quickly.
If you have a small lawn to take care of, then a compact brush cutter will suit your purposes more. The Snapper XD 82V MAX Brush Cutter Attachment is one such product that is doesn’t break the bank will still giving you enough functionality and power to keep your lawn or garden meticulously trimmed and looking neat.
You can plug the attachment to any Snapper XD 82V string trimmer, and you’re ready to go. The attachment has a 10-inch cutting width. This is usually enough for lightweight lawn jobs such as trimming grass, cutting weeds, and giving a brush a nice makeover.
The three blades are made of steel and resist rust and erosion. Of course, this is just the attachment, and it won’t work on its own. But if you already have the Snapper string trimmer, then you can buy this brush cutter attachment and connect it to it. This saves you money on buying a brush cutter complete with a motor and shaft.
That said, this attachment will only work with a string trimmer of the same brand and model. You cannot just use it with any other string trimmer. In addition, the brush cutter attachment is too small to be effective against thick weeds or large brushes that haven’t been maintained for some time. It’s mainly for small jobs.
Another issue we had with this brush cutter was when we tried to use it on exceptionally tall weeds. Once the cutting head got into the thick of the weeds, so to speak, the tall stems of the weeds wrapped themselves around the tines of the head and got it jammed. So you should only use it on short grass.
- 3 steel blades.
- Suitable for lightweight lawn tasks.
- 10-inch cutting width.
- Not very expensive.
- The attachment only connects to a string trimmer of the same brand and model.
- Doesn’t work well against tall weeds and grass.
A brush cutter, for all its versatility, is not designed to take care of all your lawn jobs. Trimming, for example, is beyond the scope of the brush cutter functionality. This is why Wild Badger Power designed a brush cutter that doubles as a grass trimmer. The Wild Badger Power WBP26BCI Brush Cutter and Grass Trimmer comes with two attachments to save you money and double the scope of this multipurpose brush cutter.
The attachment system is made from aircraft-grade aluminum for extra precision and durability. You can switch between attachments with a simple Twist-N-Load mechanism. You can replace attachments on the go and get your job done with minimum interruptions and wasting of time.
To power this multipurpose tool, the WBP26BCI comes with a 26cc engine. It uses a crank and a 2-cycle process to conserve fuel and provide steady and reliable power. We also liked the killer switch, which makes it easy to switch off the engine at any moment with the flick of a button. The ergonomic handle gives you a good grip on the brush cutter, and the straight shaft allows you to reach remote and wayward branches that are out of reach.
The WBP26BCI has a steep price tag but considering you’re getting both a brush cutter and a grass trimmer in one package, that high cost might be justified. However, we had a problem with the included harness. You’re supposed to attach to shoulder straps to balance the weight of the tool on both shoulders. Only the package doesn’t include shoulder straps. So the harness is a good idea, but without shoulder straps, it’s useless.
- 2-in-1 brush cutter and string trimmer.
- 26cc 2-cycle gas engine.
- Universal attachment system.
- Twist-N-Load for replacing attachments easily.
- Steep price tag.
- Harness comes without shoulder straps.
Husqvarna is an established brand with plenty of experience and products in the gardening and landscaping niches. The Husqvarna 336FR 966604702 Bike Handle Pro Brushcutter reflects this experience with its raw power and comfortable design.
Comfort is not the first word that comes to mind when one is talking about cutting brushes or trimming the hedges in the lawn. But the 336FR combines its ergonomic design with a powerful engine to make the task as fast and painless as possible. The X-torque engine is responsible for this extra power. It’s the latest innovation to roll out in the X-torque engine series that has proven to be a huge success in the different Husqvarna lawn equipment products. In addition to its power, the engine also conserves fuel which saves you a lot of money in the long run.
As for comfort, both the ergonomic handles and the attached harness help you balance the weight of the brush cutter and keep a good grip on it at all times. You won’t feel the weight of the 11.2-pound brush cutter since it’s attached to the shoulder straps, thus freeing your arm to direct the cutting head.
We also liked the reduced exhaust emissions that the X-torque engine is famous for. Even for a gas-powered engine, the 336FR has a low environmental footprint.
The only problem we had with this brush cutter was putting it together. The instructions are confusing at best and misleading in some cases. We had to turn to Youtube for help to assemble the brush cutter.
- 36cc X-torque engine that delivers more power and saves on fuel.
- Reduced exhaust emissions.
- Weighs 11.2 pounds.
- Ergonomic handles and attached harness.
- Included instructions are vague and misleading.
We wrap up these reviews with a cordless string trimmer that has a lot of power and little noise output. The HENX 14-Inch Cordless String Trimmer has a brushless 40-volt electric motor and a straight and foldable shaft for convenience.
The cordless motor allows you to move around freely without the need for power extensions or limiting your movement near the electricity outlet. Easy to start, the trimmer has two speeds that you can switch between with ease. If you’re handling a small job where the grass or weeds are short and thin, you can set it to low speed and save on energy and get more runtime out of the trimmer. The second speed is reserved for thick weeds and grass that’s been growing out of control.
But it’s not just speed that sets the cordless Henx apart from the other brush cutters we have on this list. It also comes with a 14-inch wide cutting head with a .95-inch thick dual twist line. This extra power eats through the grass with amazing speed and makes a short job of a lengthy and often tiring task.
And for taller people, the adjustable ergonomic handle is another bonus. It allows you to adjust the shaft to suit your height without having to stoop over or engage your back in the process.
The downside is you can only use it to trim grass. It doesn’t work against a thick brush or tall grass or weeds.
- Cordless electric string trimmer.
- Portable and easy to set up.
- 14-inch cutting width.
- Doesn’t work against brushes, tall grass, or thick weeds.
Brush Cutter Buying Guide
The above 8 brush cutters share a lot of wonderful features, while some of them certainly have a few drawbacks of their own. This might make selecting just one product a little daunting. So to make that decision easier for you, the buying guide walks you through the benefits, types, and key features to look for in a brush cutter.
Benefits of Brush Cutters
For some people, a brush cutter is only important if you were a professional contractor. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. If you have a lawn, brush, and edge, or a garden to maintain, chances are you’re tired of doing it manually. Here are a few ways a brush cutter could make your landscaping tasks a lot easier.
- Easy to access overgrown edges that neither a mower nor a tractor can reach.
- Works well against all kinds of undergrowth, brushes, thick grasses, brambles, saplings, nettles, and others.
- A brush cutter can cut a tree trunk about 4 inches thick.
- Slopes and hills are practically off-limits to tractors and gas-powered mowers. But a hand-held brush cutter will go anywhere your feet can go.
Types of Brush Cutters
From handheld to gas-powered and cordless, brush cutters come in different types. Before you purchase this indispensable landscaping tool, make sure you pick the right type for you from this list.
- Handheld: Small, compact, and lightweight, these brush cutters are the most convenient for smaller jobs. You can think of them as an extension to your arm. You have more control over them, and they give you access to the nooks and crannies in your lawn or garden that other types cannot reach.
- Walk-behind: You can think of this type as a small version of a lawnmower. It runs on wheels, and you can drag it behind you as you go about tapering, scything, or trimming. A little heavier than handheld types, and they certainly handle larger projects.
- Tow-behind: Similar to a mower that you have to attach to a tractor. This one is reserved for heavy-duty work. In most cases, professionals prefer this one and only use it for special purposes like taming a wild field or thick weeds growing in an abandoned area.
- Electric: An electric brush cutter could be cordless, which makes it even more portable. These types need a power source which could be an electrical outlet or batteries. These types have limited power and usability. However, environmentally speaking, they’re a perfect choice since they are less noisy and have limited pollution output.
- Gas: A gas brush cutter has an engine that runs on fuel. These are heavy-duty types and can be walk-behind or two-behind. You can use it for just about any job you have, including thick brushes, young trees, and brambles.
Key Features to Look for
With so many brush cutter types, it’s easy to confuse a bug for a feature or miss the forest for the tree, so to speak. Here are the key features to keep in mind when choosing the top brush cutter.
- Motor Power: How much power you expect out of your brush cutter depends on the jobs at hand. If you have a medium-size lawn and you only do regular yard maintenance work, then an electric brush cutter is right for you. For light work, choose a cutter with 20 volts motor. If you work on your landscaping jobs on a weekly basis, then an 80-volt motor should be enough for you.
- Cutting Capacity: This represents how much weed, brush, or bramble the tool can cut. To get a good idea of the cutting capacity of the brush cutter, check the diameter of its head. An 8-inch cutting head is suitable for light work such as weed trimming. Thick brushes and more stubborn underbrushes would need a 10-inch cutting head. This one will get the job done faster and with less hassle.
- Shaft: The shaft of the brush cutter connects the head to the handle. They’re either straight or bent. A bent shaft gives you more control since the spinning head is closer to the handle. However, they have their own problems and would malfunction more often. A straight shaft has more power, but it also requires a stronger arm to operate it.
- Shaft Length: Generally speaking, the longer the shaft, the more unwieldy the tool. If your landscaping job is just regular maintenance work, then a shaft between 52 to 65 inches is right for you. It will not put you out nor make your arm and shoulders sore.
- Anti-vibration: Carrying a tool with a motor means you’ll be close to all the vibration and noise the brush cutter makes. That vibration can cause back pain and muscle ache if you’re exposed to it for a long time. So look for a brush cutter with anti-vibration features.
What is the difference between a brush cutter and a string trimmer?
The main differences between a brush cutter and a string trimmer have to do with the material and the way the two tools approach cutting grass and weeds. A string trimmer usually uses a string made of nylon to cut through weeds like a blade. A brush cutter, on the other hand, uses steel blades that cut through grass, often using a scissoring motion. That makes the brush cutter more durable and efficient against thick weeds and brushes than the string trimmer. Some products come with replaceable attachments that allow you to use either a brush cutter or a string trimmer, according to the job at hand.
How can I sharpen the blade of a brush cutter?
Since the blades of the brush cutter are made of steel, that makes them easy to sharpen. They also don’t get dull quickly. But after a few uses, you’ll notice that the brush cutter doesn’t cut as fast and swift as before. That means the blades need sharpening. Here’s how to sharpen the blades of the brush cutter at home.
- Use soap and water to get all the grime off the blades first.
- Bring the blades close to the sharpening tool and set them at a 45-degree angle.
- Drag the sharpening stone in one direction away from you.
- Check the edge of the blade gently to make sure it’s sharp.
How often should I cut my brush?
In general, you should trim your brush or lawn regularly. That ensures that your lawn looks neat at all times. It also means your landscaping jobs don’t get long and exhausting. On average, you should give your brushes a good trim twice a year. Once in the early spring and the second time in mid-summer. The second trimming is mainly for ornamental purposes.
The Last Word
Out of the many brush cutters we tested, we settled on the above 8 to review. We liked many features, but only one took the top prize. That’s the Husqvarna 128LD 17″ Cutting Path Detachable Gas String Trimmer. With its gas-powered 2-cycle 22cc engine, you have plenty of power to handle any landscaping job. It also saves on fuel and makes releasing and reloading trimmer lines easy and fast with its Tap ‘N Go feature.
For our best budget, we chose the Greenworks PRO 80V 16 inch Cordless String Trimmer. It offers a bang for your buck with its pollution-free 80-volt electric motor. The straight aluminum shaft gives you good balance and allows you to reach remote spots and narrow angles.
And last but not least, we couldn’t finish this wrap-up without giving an honorable mention to the Remington RM25C 25cc 2-Cycle 16-Inch Curved Shaft Gas String Trimmer. It has a quick-start gas-powered engine and a 14-inch cutting width to take care of all your mowing, scything, tapering, and trimming jobs with ease and efficiency.