Brush cutters are powerful machines that make tough gardening jobs like clearing away dense grass and shrubs quick and easy.
If you have a very steeply sloped property, run a landscaping business or need to deal with tall prairie grass, thick weeds and brambles, reeds, shrubs and brush on a fairly regular basis, a brush cutter will take a lot of the strain out of demanding yard maintenance.
Here’s our buyer’s guide to the best brush cutters of 2021, along with helpful information on how to use this equipment, safety tips and must-have features.
Essentially, a brush cutter is a more powerful, more heavy-duty version of a string trimmer or weed eater. If you have an established, small yard where you need to trim the lawn edging and occasionally deal with weeds, then a string trimmer is the ideal option.
If you’re dealing with more difficult jobs like cutting heavy grass growth and removing dense brush, then a brush cutter is the better option.
This will determine what you can cut through and how quickly. Nylon line brush cutters are less powerful than metal blade brush cutters, with nylon lines being better suited to long grass and light vegetation while metal blade brush cutters work best for more woody, dense vegetation.
Some brush cutters come with both types of cutting option, allowing you to swap out as the job demands.
How Thick Can a Brush Cutter Cut?
A brush cutter is designed to cut tall grass (over 6-8 inches) as well as woody material (between 1-2 inches in diameter). For thicker material, a chainsaw will be a good option.
Are Brush Cutters Dangerous?
Most gardening equipment can be dangerous, and brush cutters are no exception. They can throw stones and debris up at high speed, and the cutting cord or blade can cause injury.
While the best brush cutters have very good safety features, it’s important to follow safety guidelines when using a brush cutter, which you can find below.
What to Look for in the Best Brush Cutter
When you are on the search for a new brush cutter, there are some features you should look for.
Weight of the Brush Cutter
You are going to carry your new brush cutter all over your property. If you have steep parts of your yard, holding a massive piece of machinery will be challenging.
You need to be sure you can hold the weight for long periods of time. In general, most brush cutters differ slightly in weight, and if you are stuck choosing between two options, go for the less heavier one.
Your arms will appreciate it even if it is just a few fewer pounds lighter.
Types of Brush Cutter Engines
If you have used a weed eater or a brush cutter before, you will know there are two types of engines: electric, two stroke engines or four stroke engines.
Two Stroke Engines
Two stroke engines are the most popular option because they generally weigh less and are more compact. Two stroke engines are usually more powerful and, since they have less moving parts, they are also very reliable and simple to maintain.
However, they require you to mix oil and gas together yourself.
Four Stroke Engines
A four stroke engine runs on gasoline, so there’s no need to mix the fuel yourself. They are more environmentally friendly, producing nearly 70% fewer emissions.
They also vibrate less, which means less fatigue. However, they are much heavier and larger than your typical brush cutter, so carrying them for extended periods of time is usually pretty challenging.
Four stroke engines are also more expensive to service and maintain.
Handle types vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, so it’s important to find one that is both comfortable, ergonomically designed and safe for you to use.
The type of handle generally determines how maneuverable the brush cutter is as well.
D-loop handles give you the most control and maneuverability, which is very important when trimming grass, accessing hard to reach areas, and working on uneven surfaces.
This shape handle is great for when you are scything away undergrowth, allowing you to maintain a healthy posture with minimal strain on your muscles. As a result, it’s better for more intensive work.
When you are searching for a new brush cutter, you will notice two different types of shafts: straight and curved. There isn't a huge amount of difference between the two, but it’s important to find your preference.
Curved shafts tend to be more comfortable and easier to carry for extended periods of time and tend to be more lightweight.
Straight shafts are the most common choice for brush cutters. They may not be quite as comfortable over long sessions, but they will give the user more flexibility and precision while working.
If you are cutting brush near buildings or curved areas, a straight shaft brush cutter may be the best option.
Quick Change Heads
A great trend in the brush cutter market is quick change heads, which allow you to switch between nylon lines and metal blades easily to take on different tasks.
This is a great feature if you have to deal with long grass as well as woody material.
Brush Cutter Safely Tips
Wear safety goggles, a long, thick jacket, hat, work boots or sturdy closed shoes, and ear protection.
Always be aware of your surroundings while working, and keep children and pets far away from your work area, as the blade or string can throw debris up at high speed.
Use a wide stance while cutting and make sure your feet are securely placed on the ground.
Don’t forget sun protection.
Always use the harness and handlebar while you work.
How to Use a Brush Cutter
Brush cutters are simple machines that are easy to use. Here are some tips for beginners:
When the brush cutter is cool, fill the tank with fuel as directed by the manufacturer. Remember, 2-stroke models will need a specific mix of gas and oil in order to operate.
Start the brush cutter according to manufacturer instructions (some have a switch as well as a string to pull). Make sure pets, animals and children are well clear of your work area, and stay away from the cutting end.
Start cutting from a fixed position, standing straight up and not bending your back. Always use the harness and keep both hands on the machine, with one hand on the handle and one hand on the shaft.
To mow your lawn, hold the cutter upright and gauge the length of the grass, making shallow cuts until you get the hang of it. Don’t make your cuts too deep, as this will expose the grass roots and damage the grass.
It can also cause the cutting line or blades to throw dirt and stones into the air, which can be dangerous.
To clear brush, use scything methods where you slowly swing the brush cutter in a right-to-left motion. This will cause the cuttings to fall inward to the freshly cut area and reduces fatigue.
Always plant your feet firmly on the ground to ensure you’re stable and not at risk of tripping and falling.
To trim around trees and edging, hold the brush cutter at a 30-degree angle and slowly cut inwards, being careful not to hit hard landscaping or your tree.
You can use a shield or deflector to protect your plants.
To cut on a sloped area, use the strip method. Start at the bottom of the slope and walk in a line along the base, slowly scything the brush away. Then, turn around and walk a parallel line above where you’ve just cut.
Best Brush Cutter Reviews for 2021
Now that you know what to look for in a brush cutter, let’s go through our reviews for the best brush cutters of 2021.
If you want to shop the best gas trimmer, you have to consider a number of factors. Hitachi is one of the best in the list, which can easily shop through thick grass, hard weeds and even small trees without any issue.
It is one of the best because it has second lowest of vibration mode. Low-level vibration is important because high levels are potentially dangerous. And, they can cause hand-arm vibration syndrome, which reduces your ability to firmly grasp objects.
If you feel less vibration, you will not feel tired or have any irritation or numb sensation. This very light tool weighs 10.3 pounds, so in spite of its considerable length, it is easy to handle.
Some of the weed whackers are heavy on one end and might lead to fatigue, but this tool is not heavy at the end. This Hitachi device produces 100 decibels of sound, which is extremely unpleasant. Therefore, a hearing protection is necessary.
This gas cutter comes with a cutting path of 15 inches, which is small compared to other weed eaters. A larger cutting path means less time in the yard and the long shaft helps to reach difficult areas with ease.
The weed whackers are highly compatible with various Hitachi compatible products, making it a versatile tool. To change the attachments, you simply remove the trimmer and attach the edger, hedge trimmer, pole saw etc.
The debris shield in the trimmer helps to cut down extra grass, weeds, rocks, and twigs that might fly up and cause damage to you.
Comes With String Features
Hitachi is a semi-automatic string that makes it easy to adjust the device. The normal weed whackers require bumping the head of the tool against the ground and have more string come out. This requires less hassle.
If you bump the trimmer hard against the ground, it will bring out the extra string and leads to added work. The model comes with 13 feet of string, however, the best weed eaters holds up to 25 feet.
The string is an inch thick so it can last a long time before replacement.
Better Warranty & Support
If you come across any outdoor power tool, and you intend to purchase it, keep in mind that you need to repair and replace various parts from time to time.
So if you want to purchase a gas-powered best brush trimmer, make sure that it has enough warranty. Hitachi model offers seven-year warranty and two years of commercial warranty.
If you discover that any part is defective and requires replacement, you can take it to the nearest service center to repair for free.
Hitachi provides extra protection to the cordless grass trimmers they produce, as well as lifetime warranty with solid steel drive shafts.
The drive shaft is longer than any other brush trimmer on Earth. It is 60 inches long
The head of the trimmer holds only 13 feet of string
The Makita 4-Stroke Brush Cutter - 25.4 cc. is an absolute beast that can make bush and tree trimming a breeze. Whether you’ve just moved to a new property that has been neglected, or you left your garden unattended for a long time.
You will love the power and efficiency of this Makita brush cutter. This 4-Stroke Brush Cutter is gas-powered and has a fuel tank capacity of 20.3 oz.
Which is large enough for residential, as well as commercial use. In fact, it’s also equipped with a commercial-duty dual stage air filter.
Compact, yet powerful, this is one of the best brush cutter on the 2021 market, having earned raving reviews from enthusiasts and experts alike. Let’s have a closer look at its features.
20.3 oz gas-powered engine that meets EPA and CARB emission requirements
Equipped with a 9"" Star blade and harness
Compact design, weighs only 12.1 lbs.
Brush cutter blade included
Multi-position lubrication system
Mechanical automatic engine decompression
Who is the Makita Brush Cutter Best For?
The Makita 4-Stroke Brush Cutter is a durable brush cutter that boasts many glowing reviews from people who used it to cut heavy brushes and small trees.
If you want a heavy-duty appliance than can last for years and take the stress out of brush cutting, you’ll love the performance this offers.
Thanks to its compact and ergonomic design. It is perfect for those looking for ease of use and no-fuss maintenance. This is a sturdy product that gets the job done well, lasts for years, and is easy to learn to use.
Compact, lightweight design
Excellent build quality, highly durable
Can cut thick bushes and small trees
Quick start, even in winter
Improved manoeuvrability at any angle thanks to the multi-position lubrication system
The oil is easy to replace
Transparent window lets you check the oil level easily
Everything about the design focuses on easy maintenance: the placement of the fuel tank, the tool-less filter access, and the placement of the spark plug.
Flexible handle configuration for comfortable handling
Quiet, produces low vibration levels, even at full throttle
Does not come with a trimmer head string attachment
The stock blade is a little dull
Although it’s very durable and can cut small trees, it doesn’t satisfy high commercial requirements
If you have never used a brush cutter before, the prospect of using one might seem a little intimidating. Fortunately, the Husqvarna 336FR 966604702 Bike Handle Pro Brushcutter is an excellent entry-level product.
It delivers great performance without costing a lot of money. It is easy to learn and to handle. Husqvarna are globally known for their acclaimed machines and this brush cutter is no exception.
Featuring the same leading-edge craftsmanship that Husqvarna is famous for, the 336FR 966604702 Bike Handle Pro Brushcutter doubles up on fuel economy and ease of use.
This brush cutter runs on premixed oil, and if you’re worried about emissions, you’ll be pleased to find out that Husqvarna designed the X-Torq engine.
It operates in such a way that it reduces harmful emissions by up to 60%.
Powerful X-Torq engine
Fuel efficiency increased by 20% and emissions reduced by 60%
Ergonomic balance 35 harness
Equipped with line, brush and saw blade 966604702
Lightweight body (weighs 11.2 pounds)
Excellent build quality, made to last
Who is the Husqvarna Bike Handle Pro Brushcutter Best for?
This is one of the most compact and user-friendly brush cutters from Husqvarna, but it still packs a lot of punch thanks to the X-Torq engine.
It was designed with amateur users in mind, so you won’t find the same heavy-duty features compared to the rest of Husqvarna’s offerings, but the quality is superior to that of other brands.
It can handle low to medium density bushes seamlessly, unless you have commercial requirements, it will serve you for years to come.
It’s also quite versatile and the blades it comes with are enough to cover most residential needs.
Powerful engine that cuts through clumps easily
Ergonomic harness feels comfortable after hours of use and doesn’t cause neck and arm pain
Excellent manoeuvrability, even when it’s revved up
Line, brush, and saw blades offer flexibility and cater to a wide range of brush types
Perfect for beginners and part-time users
The pole could be a little longer
The blade gets dull after heavy use
Changing the attachments is a bit difficult
Must only be used with premixed oil. Pouring the oil mixture without careful measuring can lead to extensive engine damage that’s not covered by the warranty
The Troy-Bilt TB42 can cut down dense brush with minimal effort. One of the coolest features is detachable engine. It can be used to power ten other Trimmer Plus attachments like an edger and pole saw. Those are sold separately, but it’s a unique feature.
Troy Bilt comes with a premium 27cc 2-cycle full crank engine. The engine gives longevity and little vibration. It is also easier to start.
The JumpStart Technology lets users initiate the motor without pulling the cord. Users can also use the SpringAssist that makes pulling the string much easier.
The TB42 comes with a straight shaft which is great for under shrubs and bushes.
It comes with high strength four tip steel blade with that handle thick brush. However, one thing to consider is that the TB42 weighs 14 pounds, which is heavier than the first two reviewed brush cutters.
The unit does come with a shoulder strap for easier carrying.
Another leading brand is Husqvarna which makes some of the top line cutters and trimmers. Despite the higher price tag, the Husqvarna 223R has some excellent features to cut through most brush.
It has a two stroke, gas powered engine, which helps provide enough power to obliterate nearly anything in its path. This two-stroke engine also contributes to its lightweight, weighing only 9.9 pounds.
The engine and starter come with the Start Smart technology, so your cutter will start easily and fastly with little effort on your end.
No more yanking the starting line dozens of time.
One would expect a lot of vibration to come with a great cutter, but Husqvarna added a LowVib system to reduce the vibrations.
Another nice feature to the Husqvarna 223R is the angled, two-handed bar, which will give you flexibility and increased safety when using the cutter.
The 223R is designed to both trimmer grass and cut through brush. It comes with a pre-loaded string head, with .095 inch trimmer line as well as a turf blade for thick growth like hay.
You will be pleased with how much can be accomplished by this trimmer, such as the impressive 17-inch cutting path it provides. Overall, the 223R packs a punch with some great features.
This petrol-powered Honda brush cutter has a high-quality, powerful 4-stroke 35cc engine and can utilize 9-10 inch cutting blades as well as a patented Ultra QuietTM line.
For a petrol engine, it is fairly quiet, and it runs on regular gas, so there’s no need to mix fuel. It has ergonomic, U-shape handles, is easy to start and produces low vibrations for additional comfort.
17 inch Kwik Loader head with Ultra Quiet Line®
10 inch brush blade standard
Quick acceleration and excellent torque
Fuel efficient – up to 50% more fuel efficient than a 2-stroke trimmer
22 fluid oz tank
10,000 maximum RPM
Slide type stop switch
Two motion trigger for throttle control
U-shape type handle
2 year residential warranty and 1 year commercial warranty
Good noise control for a petrol engine
Well-balanced with shock absorption technology
Easy to start
Auto bump line feed
17 inch cutting width
Not fuel-efficient - 48 minute approximate run time until refuel