Which brush cutter is best?

Brush cutters make short work of thick, stubborn hedgerows and dense weeds. These powerful tools chop through saplings and bushes with ease. With these, you don’t need to purchase or rent a bush hog to take care of any overgrown parts of your property.

The Badger Brush Cutter and String Trimmer is built to accommodate bush clearing and weed trimming alike. It includes the attachments you need for both tasks as well as a harness to make it easy to carry.

What to know before you buy a brush cutter

Brush cutters vs. weed whackers

Many people understandably confuse brush cutters with weed whackers. They look nearly identical at first glance, but there are some key differences. Brush cutters use a hard, spinning blade to tackle thick undergrowth, whereas weed whackers use a nylon string to zip through tall grass and light weeds.

While dedicated brush cutters are more powerful than weed whackers, some let you swap out their blade for a string cutter, further blurring the line between the two tools.

Motor type

Gas-powered brush cutters are available in two motor configurations.

  • Two-stroke brush cutters require you to carefully measure and mix gasoline and oil in the right proportion. Preparing your fuel improperly will result in poor performance and excessive smoke. Two-stroke tools are lighter and more affordable than four-stroke options.
  • Four-stroke brush cutters feature separate tanks for gas and oil. Because the tool mixes its fuel automatically, you won’t have to deal with as much mess or the risk of incorrect measuring. Brush cutters with four-stroke motors are more efficient, but they’re more expensive, heavier and less common.

Battery power

Thanks to advances in technology, manufacturers are now offering brush trimmers that forego fuel in favor of powerful batteries. These machines run quieter, don’t require gasoline and don’t produce any noxious fumes or smoke during operation. However, with their high cost and short battery life, electric brush cutters are not ideal for business owners or people that have to clear large areas.

Required safety gear

Brush cutters are messy. While in use, they throw chips, sawdust and debris in all directions. Because of this, protective eyewear is a must. You will likely also want to invest in rugged work gloves to prevent blisters while holding the machine’s grips as well as sturdy work boots to keep your feet, toes and ankles protected from any airborne sticks or stones.

What to look for in a quality brush cutter

Changeable heads

A brush cutter that lets you swap out its blade for a string trimmer, tiller or edger is a versatile landscaping tool. Choose one with this ability to ensure that you can take care of a wide range of property maintenance jobs.

Weight 

Brush trimmers are held using grips and a shoulder strap. Because they require enough strength and endurance to move them back and forth while trimming, select one that is light enough to not exhaust you during long jobs.

Extra batteries

With only around 30 minutes of battery life, owners of electric brush trimmers may find themselves stuck waiting for a charge before they can get back to work. If you prefer to skip the gasoline, select an electric trimmer that includes extra batteries so you can keep one or two charging while the others are installed.

Accessories

From shoulder straps and harnesses to extra blade attachments, you can find a lot of value in a brush cutter set that includes useful accessories. Some even come with extension poles that let you reach safely into deep ditches or saw through small branches overhead.

How much you can expect to spend on a brush cutter

Brush cutters typically cost $200-$600. People shopping for four-stroke and electric cutters will find the ones they prefer at the higher end of this price range.

Brush cutter FAQ

Can I cut wood with a brush trimmer?

A. No. Even the most powerful trimmers are only designed to safely cut small saplings and bushes. Wood and tree trunk cutting requires a chain saw.

Can I trim branches with a brush trimmer?

A. In some cases, yes. Brush trimmers are made to be used at ground level, but some include extension poles that let you reach branches using an optional saw attachment. Extra caution must be taken while using the tool in this manner. 

How do I clean my brush trimmer?

A. After use, you will find your brush cutter covered in grass, sawdust, wood chips and debris. If left to dry, this plant matter will cake on the moving parts of the tool. Clean it after use by rinsing its blade and head with a garden hose, manually removing any stubborn material. Avoid getting the tool’s motor wet.

What’s the best brush cutter to buy?

Top brush cutter

Best Badger Brush Cutter and String Trimmer

Badger Brush Cutter and String Trimmer

What you need to know: Powerful and flexible, this two-stroke brush cutter will prepare you for almost any trimming job.

What you’ll love: This brush cutter includes a harness and features bicycle-style grips to reduce strain while you use it. It also comes with both a brush cutting blade and a string cutting spool.

What you should consider: Even with its harness and handlebars, some users feel that this cutter is too heavy to use comfortably.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

Top brush cutter for the money

Best DeWalt Two-Stroke Gas Brush Cutter

DeWalt Two-Stroke Gas Brush Cutter

What you need to know: This affordable brush cutter features padded ergonomic grips and an extension pole. 

What you’ll love: Light and maneuverable, this tool includes a shoulder strap and uses spring assist to make starting its motor easier. You can purchase a wide range of DeWalt attachments to multiply the ways this tool can be used around your property.

What you should consider: The included blade is covered in a protective coating which limits its cutting power until it is either sharpened or worn down a bit.

Where to buy: Sold by Home Depot

Worth checking out

Best Makita LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Brush Cutter

Makita LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Brush Cutter

What you need to know: Makita delivers with this electric brush trimmer that can keep up with the gas-powered competition.

What you’ll love: With its two included batteries, this brush trimmer doesn’t skimp on power. It features three speeds and comes with a charger. Its handlebar grips let you comfortably move the tool. A handy reverse option makes it easy to fix a jammed blade.

What you should consider: You will want to purchase additional batteries for this cutter if you plan on taking on extensive jobs.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

 

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Derek Walborn writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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