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11 Best Brush Cutters in 2022 | Ultimate Buying Guide

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 2022, along with helpful information on how to use this equipment, safety tips and must-have features.

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Best Brush Cutters Ultimate Buying Guide

Review Ratings of the Best Brush Cutters 

Product


Our Rating

Price

DEWALT MAX String Trimmer Kit
Top Rated Brush Cutter
PAXCESS 20V Cordless String Trimmer & Edger
Best Value Brush Cutter
Honda Brush Cutter GX35
Premium Choice Brush Cutter
Makita 4-Stroke Brush Cutter


Husqvarna 966604702 336FR Bike Handle Pro Brushcutter with Line & Brush and Saw Blade, 34.6 cc


Wild Badger Power WBP26BCI 26cc Straight Shaft Brush Cutter
Craftsman WS235 2-Cycle Straight Shaft Gas Powered Brush Cutter
Greenworks PRO 80V Cordless String Trimmer
POWERWORKS STP302 XB 40V Cordless String Trimmer
Troy-Bilt TB42 BC 27cc 2-Cycle Gas Brushcutter with JumpStart Technology
Stihl FS C-EM 460 Brush Cutter

Should I Use a Brush Cutter or String Trimmer?

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.

You can find out more about the differences between string trimmers and brush cutters here.

Best Brush Cutters in 2021

Source: Amazon

What is Better - Nylon Line or Metal Blades?

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

Source: Amazon

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 Type

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 Handle

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.

U-Style Handle

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.

The type of handle generally determines how maneuverable the brush cutter is as well

Source: Amazon

Shaft Type

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

Curved shafts tend to be more comfortable and easier to carry for extended periods of time and tend to be more lightweight.

Straight Shafts

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

A man using one of the best brush cutter

  • 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.

A brush cutter is designed to cut tall grass
  •  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 2022

Now that you know what to look for in a brush cutter, let’s go through our reviews for the best brush cutters of 2022.

DEWALT 20V MAX String Trimmer Kit

This brand is all about performance and build quality, and this string trimmer is exactly that. It features a variable speed trigger for customizing cutting performance, the brushless motor reduces wear and increases equipment lifespan, and it’s powerful enough to handle thicker brush and weeds.


The 14-inch cutting swath is a bit smaller than other competitors, but still practical, and it’s fairly lightweight at 7.9lbs (without batteries).


The spool loads quickly, and the trimmer can be folded for easy transport and storage.

Pros

  • Foldable for easy storage
  • Robust build quality
  • Brushless motor for performance and longevity
  • Variable speed trigger for precise control
  • Able to handle thick weeds and growth
  • Easy spool loading system
  • As powerful as a 2-stroke gas trimmer
  • Battery and charger included

Cons

  • 14-inch cutting swath is smaller than competitors
PAXCESS 20V 12 Inch Cordless String Trimmer & Edger

With trimmer and edging capabilities, this battery brush cutter offers solid performance from 20V batteries and power driving transmission for additional torque.


It’s quick and easy to convert between the two functions, and it comes with two batteries so you can swap out for an exceptionally long runtime.


It offers fantastic value for money, as it comes with a main and spare battery, a 6 pack of spool and 2 trimmer caps.


It also has a protection ring to protect the line from rocks and hard objects, helping to reduce wear. It’s exceptionally lightweight too at just 6lbs.


If you are in the market of lawn edgers, don't miss our review on the best lawn edgers available online. 

Pros

  • 2 x 20V batteries and charger included
  • 6 pack of replacement spool and 2 trimmer caps included
  • Very lightweight
  • Quiet operation
  • Protection ring for easy edging around plants
  • Fast-charging

Cons

  • Suited to smaller yards of ½ acre or less
  • Not suited to commercial use
Honda GX35 Brush Cutter

Source: Powerequipment.honda.com

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.

Main Features:


  • 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
  • Easy storage
  • 2 year residential warranty and 1 year commercial warranty

Pros

  • Good noise control for a petrol engine
  • Well-balanced with shock absorption technology
  • Easy to start
  • Auto bump line feed
  • 17 inch cutting width

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Not fuel-efficient - 48 minute approximate run time until refuel
  • Heavy at 15.4 lbs.
Makita 4-Stroke Brush Cutter - 25.4 cc.

Source: Amazon

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 2022 market, having earned raving reviews from enthusiasts and experts alike. Let’s have a closer look at its features. 

Main Features:

  • 20.3 oz gas-powered engine that meets EPA and CARB emission requirements 
  • Equipped with a 9"" Star blade and harness 
  • Anti-vibration handle 
  • 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.

Pros

  • 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 

Cons

  • 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
Husqvarna 336FR 966604702 Bike Handle Pro Brushcutter with Line & Brush and Saw Blade, 34.6 cc

Source: Amazon

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%. 

Main Features:

  • 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.  

Pros

  • 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 
  • Fuel efficient 
  • Low emissions 
  • Easy start
  • Line, brush, and saw blades offer flexibility and cater to a wide range of brush types 
  • Perfect for beginners and part-time users

Cons

  • 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
Wild Badger Power WBP26BCI 26cc 2 in 1 Straight Shaft Brush Cutter

If you have a larger yard and heavier vegetation, this powerful 26cc 2-cycle brush cutter will get the job done.


It’s commercial grade for performance, with high-quality manufacturing, an aircraft-grade universal attachment system, and an easy system for reloading string spools.


It’s lightweight for a gas brush cutter at 12lbs, and the system allows for compatible attachments, including leaf blowers and edgers. It also has one of the best warranties in the industry.

Pros

  • 6-year Homeowner’s and 3-Year Commercial Manufacturer’s Limited Warranty
  • Multi-attachment design
  • Harness strap included
  • Rubber grip handles

Cons

  • Fixed head – does not pivot
  • Fuel needs to be mixed
Craftsman WS235 2-Cycle 17-Inch Straight Shaft Gas Powered Brush Cutter

Another good 2-stroke gas powered brush cutter is this model from Craftsman. It starts easily, the 27cc engine offers great performance on thicker vegetation as well as lawns, and the 198-inch cutting deck means the job gets done quickly too.


It’s well-suited to home and commercial landscaping use, and it’s built to last. The translucent tank is a simple but useful feature that makes checking fuel levels easy, and the J-handle keeps you comfortable even on longer jobs.

Pros

  • Ergonomic J handle
  • Translucent fuel tank
  • Suited to home or commercial use
  • Multi-attachment design
  • Anti-vibration tech to reduce fatigue

Cons

  • Can be challenging to convert between uses
  • Fuel needs to be mixed
Greenworks PRO 80V 16 inch Cordless String Trimmer

If you’re looking for a cordless green gardening solution for home or commercial use, this battery brush cutter offers great performance and features.


Despite being electric, this trimmer can handle challenging vegetation and growth easily, giving you a viable, eco-friendly alternative that’s the equivalent of a 32cc gas engine.


It runs quietly for approximately one hour per charge, uses a bump-head line feeder system, and is almost maintenance-free. It’s best for yards of up to 1 acre in size.

Pros

  • High-performance
  • Good run time
  • Durable build quality
  • Low maintenance
  • Brushless motor for longevity
  • Suited to home or commercial use
  • Quiet operation
  • Battery compatibility with Greenworks equipment
  • Rapid charge in 30 minutes
  • Lightweight at 6.6lbs

Cons

  • Battery and charger sold separately
POWERWORKS STP302 XB 40V 15-Inch Cordless String Trimmer

This eco-friendly cordless string trimmer offers enough cutting power to slice easily through grass and weeds, and is best-suited to home use.


It weighs almost 10lbs, uses a bump-head feed for easy, convenient line advancement, and the handles are designed for grip and comfort.


The 15-inch cutting swath is ideal for smaller yards of ½ acre or less, making it better suited to established gardens and home use rather than commercial applications. 

Pros

  • Bump-head feed
  • Adjustable handles and cushioned grip
  • Compatible with other Powerworks XB batteries
  • 15-inch cutting swath
  • Quiet operation
  • 4-year tool warranty and 2-year battery warranty

Cons

  • Suited to smaller yards of ½ acre or less
  • Slightly heavier than competitors
Troy-Bilt TB42 BC 27cc 2-Cycle Gas Brushcutter

Source: Amazon

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.

Stihl FS 460 C-EM Brush Cutter

Source: Stihlusa.com

Stihl brush cutters are well-known for quality, durability and performance, and this 2-stroke, 750cc model has some exceptional features.


Using Stihl M-TronicTM technology, the engine works to deliver optimal power more consistently, adjusting to elevation, temperature and fuel quality.


It also offers easy-start technology and a four-point anti-vibration system for comfort.

Main Features:


  • First Stihl brush cutter featuring Stihl M-TronicTM technology
  • Intelligent engine management for optimal power
  • 29% engine power increase compared to the FS360 C-E
  • Stihl Easy2StartTM system
  • Low emissions
  • High fuel efficiency
  • Four-point anti-vibration system


Pros

  • Powerful engine can take on tough jobs easily
  • Tech ensures consistent power supply
  • Anti-vibration technology
  • Easy to start
  • Low emissions

Cons

  • Heavier at 18.7 lbs.
  • Expensive

Best Brush Cutter Top Picks

Top Rated Brush Cutter

Top Rated Brush Cutter
DEWALT 20V MAX String Trimmer Kit

The DeWalt string trimmer is one of the most powerful battery operated brush cutters on the market, capable of heavy duty work, and more than durable enough to handle some seriously tough weeds and brush. 

While the cutting width is just 14”, making it slightly less efficient than other brands, it makes it easier to achieve clean lawn edges and much more controllable for precise work than some of the wider swathed brush cutters.

If you’re looking for a brush cutter that can handle everything you’ve got to throw at it, and that will last you a lifetime, this is it.

Best Value Brush Cutter

Best Value Brush Cutter
PAXCESS 20V 12 Inch Cordless String Trimmer & Edger

I’m not going to pretend I’ve heard of Paxcess Paxcess before. They’re an amazon-only tool brand, which usually hints at a poor quality, budget manufacturing standard, but this is a really clever strimmer, with features that just make sense.

Considering that most domestic gardeners use strimmers to neaten their lawn edges more than anything else, it’s bizarre that more strimmers don’t have guide wheels for that job.

For gardeners on a bit of a budget, looking for a brush cutter that can handle reasonably heavy work, but maybe not wanting to spend on a professional’s budget, this is the best brush cutter for you.

Premium Choice Brush Cutter

Premium Choice Brush Cutter
Honda GX35 Brush Cutter

Source: Powerequipment.honda.com

If you’re looking for power in a brush cutter, you need to go petrol. One day, electric models will catch up, but for now, contractors and commercial landscapers should all still be looking at petrol brush cutters because, simply put, they’re the only brush cutters that can really handle the worst of the heavy brush.

The handle bars on this brush cutter are designed for safety as well as ease of use, making it easier to handle heavier tools, especially once they’re fuelled up.

It’s definitely a brush cutter for someone on a higher budget, or looking for professional tools, but you get what you pay for here, and it really is a superior strimmer.

Enjoy Superior Power and Performance with the Best Brush Cutter for 2022!

We hope you enjoyed our reviews on the best brush cutters of 2022, as well as our tips on how to use a brush cutter safely and the features to look for when you’re buying a new brush cutter.

Remember to always follow safety guidelines when trimming your yard, and use metal blades rather than nylon lines when tackling thicker, woody brush.

With the best brush cutter, you can reduce fatigue and strain on your body while ensuring that your yard looks neat and clean throughout the year.

About the Author Pat Moreno

Pat is our gardening tool expert here at Sumo Gardener. Working for many years as a private and commercial landscaper, Pat has used almost every type of gardening tool there is. Along with a vast knowledge for types of plants and putting together an amazing looking and maintainable garden, Pat developed a passion for gardening tools as he found that using the right tools vastly improved the ease and outcome of any landscaping job he undertook. When spending hours, days or years using a particular tool, you want to make sure you’ve got the best one for the job, and Pat is the right guy to guide us to the best gardening tools.

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