Makita EM2650UH 25.4 cc. 4-Stroke Brush Cutter
Best heavy-duty brush cutter
A powerful tool designed to help you get rid of even the most stubborn weeds, studs, small trees, and heavy brush.
1 Makita EM2650UH Review
Whether you’re a homeowner looking to clean your countryside yard of stubborn weeds and brush or a landscaper in search of a tool ready to handle everything from high grass and bushes to underwood, the Makita EM2650UH could be the best brush cutter for you.
This mighty tool boasts a 25.4cc 4-stroke engine capable to deliver 1 horsepower. It can literally cut through anything from thick weeds to 1-inch ash trees.
It’s made for heavy-duty jobs, and comes with a multi-position lubrication system that allows the engine to be inclined at any angle. Needless to say that this feature guarantees continuous operation no matter how difficult the task.
Furthermore, we also like the compact, well-balanced design. Weighing only 12.1 pounds, it’s super-easy to carry and handle for hours. Just what you need to get rid of small trees, heavy brush, and other stubborn vegetation you don’t want in your yard.
HUYOSEN 51.7CC Gas Straight Shaft Brush Cutter
Best two-in-one brush cutter
Working with dual-line and blades alike, this two-in-one tool is perfect for most landscaping tasks.
2 HUYOSEN 51.7CC Review
Designed with landscapers in mind but also perfect for home users who want to keep their backyard pristine, the HUYOSEN 51.7CC is the best brush cutter for the money.
Its greatest highlight is the two-in-one design that combines the benefits of a powerful weed eater with those of a commercial brush cutter. The dual head design allows you to use it with line or blades so that you can easily manicure the lawn or get rid of underwood. The tool is also impressive power-wise, thanks to its 51.7cc engine.
Something we’d improve is the two-stroke engine that produces more emissions than the 4-stroke we’ve seen on Makita. That said, this tool is easier to maintain. Powerful and ready to deal with whatever you’re throwing at it, this is the best brush cutter for most homes.
PROYAMA DG430 5-in-1 Multi Functional Trimming Tool Gas Hedge & String Trimmer, Pole Saw and Brush Cutter
Best multifunctional trimming tool
A versatile tool that combines the benefits of a string trimmer, brush cutter, pole saw, and hedge trimmer in one.
3 PROYAMA DG430 Review
Homeowners looking for a versatile multi-tool for their landscaping needs might like the PROYAMA DG430. Powered by a reliable 42.7cc engine, it provides the power you need to trim weeds, trees, stubs, and branches quickly and easily.
Four attachments make it easy to transform from a brush cutter into a string trimmer, hedge trimmer, or pole saw.
Designed for all-round landscape care, it also comes with an extension pole and a bunch of other accessories. Ideal to use in most areas, we also like that it’s EPA-certified. It’s not CARB compliant so you can’t use it in California, but you can use it elsewhere in all peace of mind.
TrimmerPlus BC720 Brushcutter with J-Handle for Attachment Capable String Trimmers and Powerheads
Best budget brush cutter attachment
A compact and affordable brush cutter attachment that doesn’t come with a powerhead.
4 TrimmerPlus BC720 Review
It may not come with a powerhead, but the TrimmerPlus BC720 is compact and cheap, and it can still impress with its abilities. Strong enough to slice through heavy brush, it comes with a 4-tip steel blade with a cutoff guard that can withstand heavy-duty use.
A J-bar, straight shaft, and shoulder strap enhance maneuverability, not to mention that this design allows for easy trimming in most instances.
It’s compatible with attachment capable units from most major brands, which means you can easily fit it on the string trimmer, pole saw, or tool-less powerhead you have at home.
Versatile, and cheap, this is a budget-friendly alternative to all brush cutters on this list if you already own or don’t mind purchasing a separate powerhead.
Best Brush Cutter 2021 Buying Guide
What is a brush cutter?
A brush cutter is a landscaping tool consisting of a cutting head, shaft, and power unit. It looks just like a string trimmer but uses a steel blade instead of a trimming line to cut through thicker grass and weeds as well as wood materials including branches, stubs, and even small trees.
Typically, a brush cutter is used together with a weed eater and lawn mower to maintain the landscape pristine.
String trimmer vs. brush cutter. What is the difference?
The main difference between a string trimmer and brush cutter is the cutting head. Where a string trimmer uses nylon line to cut through light vegetation, a brush cutter uses a steel blade designed to deal with denser vegetation like brush and small trees. Depending on the model, you can find brush cutters equipped with grass blades, brush knives, or circular saw blades.
If you’re dealing with stubborn weeds or thick grass alone, a grass blade might suffice. Brush knives are usually ideal for cutting thin branches or manicure some shrubs. If you’re looking for the best brush cutter for small trees and stubs, get a tool that comes with a circular saw blade.
What can a brush cutter cut?
A brush cutter can cut all the vegetation a weed eater can cut. Additionally, thanks to the steel blade, it can also slice through:
- Tall prairie grass
- Small trees
Types of brush cutters
Brush cutters are either handheld tools, walk-behind tools or small excavator attachments. Most homeowners will do just fine with a manual brush cutter, while professional landscapers might prefer a skid steer brush cutter.
Manual brush cutters
Manual brush cutters are ideal for residential and semi-commercial use. Based on your preference, you can choose from:
- Gas brush cutters: Have a gas powerhead that usually delivers high torque and impressive cutting power. They are typically used by professional landscapers and homeowners living in rural areas.
- Electric brush cutters: Either corded or cordless, are slightly less powerful than the gas units, but they can be used in all states. Cordless brush cutters just like rototillers are often preferred over the corded ones due to their mobility; regardless of your choice, electric brush cutters are typically suitable for smaller yards and lighter jobs.
Walk-behind brush cutters
Similar to the walk-behind string trimmers are ideal for clearing wider areas, such as small to mid-sized yards. Like the handheld models, they can be powered by gas, electricity or a battery, and some even convert from brush cutters to lawn mowers.
Excavator brush cutters
These heavy-duty attachments can be mounted on excavators or tractors and are used for heavy brush removal. They usually have a cutting swath of 30 inches or more and are used for clearing large surfaces, trails, and construction sites.
Other types of lawn trimming tools
A brush cutter is only one of the landscaping tools you need. To keep your outdoors pristine, you usually need a wider range of trimming tools, including:
- String trimmer: Are used for trimming tough grass in difficult or restricted areas where a lawn mower can’t reach.
- Hedge trimmer: If trimming the brush is essential, so is trimming your hedges. This type of saw allows you to manicure hedges and bushes.
- Pole saw: Ideal for trimming trees, shrubs, hedges. Most pole saws can also turn into chainsaws.
How does a brush cutter work?
A brush cutter works in a way similar to weed eaters. The powerhead transmits the power to the cutting head through the shaft. The blade typically rotates counterclockwise, making it easier to cut through most types of vegetation with a simple motion towards your left-hand side.
How to use a brush cutter?
There are different techniques to use a brush cutter, depending on the material you have to cut.
- For cutting thick grass and weeds, hold the brush cutter like a string trimmer, with the blade just hovering over the ground. Move the tool over the vegetation you need to cut to trim it down.
- To cut thick brush or shrubs, raise the cutting head at waist level and slightly lower it onto the brush. This movement will allow you to cut from top to bottom, for easier management of the vegetation.
- If you plan to cut saplings or small trees, first make sure your brush cutter is fitted with a circular saw blade. Hold the tool with the blade raised at a height between 2 and 8 inches above the ground, then bring the blade against the tree to start cutting. Try to keep the brush cutter straight while cutting your way into the trunk. This method is only suitable for small trees with a diameter up to 2 inches. For anything larger, you’ll have to use a chainsaw.
How to sharpen a brush cutter blade?
Even the best brush cutter blade will lose its sharpness sooner or later. Luckily, sharpening it isn’t hard. Just follow the steps below.
- Make sure the brush cutter is turned off, then remove the blade attachment from the cutting head.
- Pick a suitable flat file, angle it against the edge of the blade, and stroke it up and down at least 10-20 times, while applying some pressure on it. Repeat on the other side.
- Check the balance of the blade by hanging it on a nail. If either side turns down, it means the blade is not properly balanced, and you’ll have to sharpen the dipping side again until it balances out. That’s it! You can now start cutting brush again.
Features to look for when buying a brush cutter
With so many models available on the market, it’s sometimes hard to decide which is the right one for you. If you want to get your hands on the best brush cutter, make sure it has the following features:
- Interchangeable cutting heads: The best brush cutters are versatile tools that can be used as both weed eaters and brush cutters by simply changing the cutting blade with a nylon string head.
- Multi-tool capabilities: If you want to save some money, check if the tool you like comes with brush cutter attachments. These attachments can vary from pole saws to string trimmers and even hedge trimmers, so it can cater to all your trimming needs.
- Blade: Not all brush cutters come with brush knives. Some are equipped with lighter duty grass blades that can cut through tall prairie grass but can’t handle brush or shrubs. So, make sure you check the blade if you want to get the best brush cutter out there.
- Maneuverability: Before buying, it is also essential to check if the brush cutter is well-balanced and easy to use. Get a lightweight, ergonomic unit that’s easy to handle regardless of the task.
- Storage: Last but not least, consider getting a brush cutter with a folding shaft that is easier to store than a standard model.