When you have a large yard or even a small acreage, simple lawn care equipment like lawn mowers and string trimmers may not be enough, especially if you have tough weeds, thick grass, and brambles. That’s when you need a brush cutter. A brush cutter with a metal blade will power through all those tough weeds, including vines and brambles. The best brush cutters are also much more forgiving if you accidentally hit a rock or tree stump hidden in your undergrowth. Unlike a string line, the blades won’t break easily.
A lot of brush cutters also have interchangeable heads and allow you to add other attachments. This makes them very versatile tools. In most cases, you can use a brush cutter to power through thick weeds and then change to a string trimmer head to cut around your garden beds and lawn edges. Choosing from the vast array of brush cutters available on the market can be a time-consuming and sometimes frustrating task – especially if you don’t know what you’re looking for.
But don’t worry! Our team has done all the heavy research to bring you a selection of the best brush cutters available. We’ll give you the most important features of each one and let you know why we think it’s the best. And if you need even more information, be sure to check out our extensive buying guide – we’ll tell you the importance of each feature we mention.
On top of that, our top picks also include brush cutter blades and attachments that you can use with your current line trimmer. These will save you both time and money.
View the Best Brush Cutter, Below.
- Forester Chainsaw Tooth 9″ Brush Blade
- Husqvarna 336FR 966604702 Brush Cutter
- Eapele 10” Brush Cutter Blade Weed Eater Blade
- RYOBI RY254BC Brush Cutter
- TrimmerPlus BC720 Brush Cutter with J-Handle
- Troy-Bilt TB27 BC Gas String Trimmer
- Makita XRU15PT1 Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless Brush Cutter
- Wild Badger Power WBP26BCI Brush Cutter
- Husqvarna 129R 17″ Cutting Path Gas Brush Cutter
- Remington RM2700 Ranchero Straight Shaft Brush Cutter
1. Forester Chainsaw Tooth 9″ Brush Blade
Best Overall Heavy-Duty Blade For Brush Cutters
You can use this 9-inch chainsaw blade on most brush cutters with a straight shaft. These include Husqvarna, Stihl, Dolmar, Makita, Poulari, Echo, Ryobi and Remington. The Forester has a 1-inch arbor hole. The blade is designed to cut grass, brush, and weeds. It's even powerful enough to cut smaller trees!
Why We Liked It: This is one of the most popular brush cutter blades and will fit most straight shaft brush cutters. It will efficiently cut through all tough weeds and undergrowth, and you can even use it to trim small trees.Check Price on Amazon ➞
2. Husqvarna 336FR 966604702 Brush Cutter
Best Overall High-Powered Brush Cutter
This gas-powered brush cutter comes complete with a trimmer head, a grass blade, and a saw blade, giving you complete flexibility to get the job done. The engine provides plenty of power and excellent fuel economy. The string line features a twin line cutting system and quick line feed.
Why We Liked It: This is a powerful brush cutter with a gas engine. The three cutting heads give you the flexibility to get all your yard work done quickly and efficiently. It features both an adjustable handlebar and a balance harness for the comfort that you need.Check Price on Amazon ➞
3. Eapele 10” Brush Cutter Blade Weed Eater Blade
Best Double-Sided Brush Cutter Blade
This 10-inch brush cutter blade is made from Carbide steel. It's double-sided and features three teeth. This means that you can just flip the blade when one side becomes dull. The blade spins fast and will cut through almost anything, including fencing wire - if you're not careful.
Why We Liked It: This is a heavy-duty blade that will cut through even the toughest weeds, brush, thick grass, and undergrowth. The blade spins very fast, so you only need to use half throttle on your gas-powered brush cutter. When one side becomes dull, you just flip the blade and use the other side.Check Price on Amazon ➞
4. RYOBI RY254BC Brush Cutter
Best Two Stroke Brush Cutter
This heavy-duty gas-powered brush cutter from Ryobi is designed to slice through thick weeds and brush with ease. You can add other Ryobi Expand-It attachments, including the edger, blower, or tiller. This gives you complete versatility in one tool. The included steel blade is reversible, so when one side becomes dull, just flip the blade and use the other side.
Why We Liked It: This is a heavy-duty gas-powered brush cutter designed to cut through even the toughest weeds. It features a powerful engine and a translucent fuel tank, so you can easily see how much fuel you have left. It also comes with a shoulder harness for extra comfort.Check Price on Amazon ➞
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5. TrimmerPlus BC720 Brush Cutter with J-Handle
Best Brush Cutter Attachment For String Trimmers
This brush cutter attachment will allow you to turn your string trimmer into a brush cutter with ease. You can easily cut through heavy grass, weeds, brush, and small tree branches.
Why We Liked It: This brush cutter head and shaft attachment will turn your string trimmer into a powerful brush cutter, helping you cut through thick weeds and even small trees. The reversible blade has an 8-inch cutting diameter. The included shoulder strap and J-handle make the machine easy to use. Plus, the manufacturer offers a 2-year limited warranty.Check Price on Amazon ➞
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6. Troy-Bilt TB27 BC Gas String Trimmer
Best Easy-Start Brush Cutter
This gas-powered brush cutter from Troy-Bilt features a powerful engine to cut through even the toughest weeds and brush. It has a commercial-grade gearbox to give you excellent cutting capability and longevity. You can also add different attachments - try other pole cutting tools like hedge trimmers or pole saws. This will give you more capability from one tool.
Why We Liked It: This brush cutter from Troy-Bilt has a powerful 27 cc gas engine. It features Jumpstart - you can easily start the engine without the need to pull a cord. The 8-inch cutting blade is strong and will cut through large areas of thick grass and weeds.Check Price on Amazon ➞
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7. Makita XRU15PT1 Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless Brush Cutter
Best Electric Cordless Brush Cutter
This battery-powered string trimmer will help you keep your yard clean and weed-free without the need for gasoline and oil. It runs on two 18- volt 5 Ah lithium-ion batteries and features 3 variable speeds to choose from. High speed allows you to cut through tall grass and weeds, and low speed gives you extended run time. The trimmer is well balanced and comfortable to use.
Why We Liked It: Using this battery-powered electric brush cutter will give you almost as much cutting power as a gas-powered machine. You can choose the cutting speed depending on what you want to trim. The trimmer line is easy to change with the bump and feed function. Plus, because it uses a battery power source, it's an almost anti-vibration machine.Check Price on Amazon ➞
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8. Wild Badger Power WBP26BCI Brush Cutter
Best Commercial-Grade Brush Cutter
This is a commercial-grade brush cutter powered by a 26 cc full crank 2-cycle gas engine. It features a Twist-n-Load string line spool to make reloading the string nice and easy. This will save you valuable time. The included harness makes it more comfortable to use and improves stability.
Why We Liked It: This commercial-grade brush cutter and string trimmer is powerful enough to cut through tough weeds, yet it only weighs 12 pounds. The 2 stroke engine is designed to start quickly and give you maximum fuel efficiency. This makes it very energy efficient.Check Price on Amazon ➞
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9. Husqvarna 129R 17″ Cutting Path Gas Brush Cutter
Best Heavy-Duty Gas Brush Cutter
This gas-powered brush cutter features a powerful 27 cc engine to help you get the job done with minimal effort. The power output is 1.1 hp. The machine comes with a trimmer head, a grass blade, a combination guard, and a bullhorn handle. It also features a standard double harness for more comfortable and effortless trimming.
Why We Liked It: This powerful brush cutter has a high-quality engine to give you enough power for all your trimming requirements. The machine is easy to start and includes a heavy-duty twin line cutting spool. This allows for easy line replacement when you need to.Check Price on Amazon ➞
10. Remington RM2700 Ranchero Straight Shaft Brush Cutter
Best Lightweight Gas Brush Cutter
The Remington RM2700 features a 27 cc 2-cycle engine with an 18-inch straight shaft. It only weighs 14.5 pounds, making it quite lightweight for a gas-powered brush cutter. The shaft design allows you to add other attachments such as an edger, blower, cultivator, pole saw, or hedge trimmer. This means you can use more tools with only one machine.
Why We Liked It: This lightweight gas-powered brush cutter and line trimmer has enough power to get the job done quickly. Pull starts are easy with the Quick Start technology. If you want to change your tool into something more versatile, you can purchase additional attachments. This means you only need one tool to get all your yard jobs done quickly and easily. The manufacturer offers a 2-year limited warranty.Check Price on Amazon ➞
Best Brush Cutter Buying Guide
To choose the best brush cutter for your needs, you first need to understand the different features and what they mean to each machine’s functionality. We’ll delve into those a little later, but first, let’s discuss the difference between a brush cutter and a string trimmer.
Brush Cutters vs. String Trimmers: What’s The Difference?
It’s easy to get confused about the differences between a brush cutter and a string trimmer. After all, they can both be used to get rid of grass and weeds. But, there’s a major difference.
String trimmers use a nylon string line to trim weeds and grass. It’s the perfect tool for trimming around your garden beds and keeping the edge nice and clean on your lawn. However, the string line will break if you try to handle tougher or more woody weeds.
Brush cutters utilize a metal blade that’s tough enough to cut through woody weeds and really thick grass. Most brush cutters can even handle small trees. Plus, the blade in a brush cutter won’t break if you accidentally brush against a rock or tree stump in your overgrown yard.
You’ll also find that a brush cutter has far more power to get through those tough weeds. But because of this, a brush cutter will often be heavier than a string trimmer. That’s precisely why most come with a shoulder strap or harness to make them easier to use and more balanced.
There are, in fact, different brush cutters than the more common handheld ones. These fall into three major categories.
Handheld Brush Cutters
Handheld brush cutters are suitable for most suburban yards and will even handle the work needed on small rural properties. They’re powerful enough to handle many different types of weeds and are especially useful in areas you can’t reach with your mower.
You’ll probably find that you can get most work done by using a brush cutter with a knife blade. However, if you have a lot of woody weeds, you might want to use an attachment with a toothed blade similar to a circular saw. This will give you that extra cutting power.
Walk-Behind Brush Cutters
Walk-behind brush cutters are more suitable if you have a small acreage property or even if you’re a hobby farmer. These machines use a rotary mower system to cut down large, tall weeds and heavy growth.
Walk-behind brush cutters are very robust and are usually self-propelled. This saves you from having to do any heavy pushing. Their engines are mounted on the rear, and they have heavy-duty pneumatic tires. This allows them to glide over vegetation.
Tow-Behind Brush Cutters
These are large rotary mowers that can be towed with a tractor or an ATV. They’re designed for large rural properties and farms. Some of these machines even have their own engine to power the cutting blade, but others rely on the tractor to provide cutting power. These are connected to the tractor via a drive shaft. Let’s look at the most common features of handheld brush cutters.
Types Of Brush Cutter Heads
There are actually four types of brush cutter heads that are commonly available. Here’s a quick explanation of each one.
These usually come as a three or four-pronged disc and are the most common. The blades are sharpened and will slice through most weeds – even woody ones.
These blades have sharp teeth and are similar to blades you’d find on a circular saw. They spin fast and are designed to cut through small saplings and tough woody weeds.
These blades have thin, sharp edges to cut through unwanted greenery fast. They’re great on tall grass but don’t handle woody weeds well.
These are similar to knife blades but have ends that are bent, usually at a ninety-degree angle. These are used for mulching weeds and grass – but they’re not all that common.
The first thing to consider is the brush cutter’s power source. You can choose from gas-powered or electric brush cutters. Here’s the difference.
Gas Powered Brush Cutters
Gas-powered brush cutters need a predetermined mix of gasoline and oil to get the machine running. When mixing up the gas and oil, make sure you use the correct ratio. This will ensure that your brush cutter runs smoothly and does the job you purchased it for.
Generally, a gas-powered brush cutter is completely portable; you’re not relying on a power socket or battery to operate it. Gas machines also tend to be heavier and noisier than their electric counterparts, but that’s because they put out a lot of power.
With a gas-powered brush cutter, you can also choose from different types of engines. The best brush cutters have either a 4-stroke or a 2-stroke engine. So, what’s the difference?
Brush cutters with a four-stroke engine are usually very heavy and put out a lot of power. This makes 4 stroke brush cutters the ideal choice for landscapers and garden professionals. These 4 stroke machines are generally not well balanced because of the weight and can take a little more effort to operate.
Most common brush cutters designed for home use feature a 2-stroke engine rather than a 4-stroke one. These machines are lighter and well-balanced. They’re also more affordable and much easier to maintain. Plus, some have anti-vibration elements to make them more comfortable to use.
Electric Brush Cutters
Electric brush cutters are available either as corded models or cordless battery-powered machines. They’re much lighter than gas-engined brush cutters but don’t always have the necessary power for your brush-cutting needs.
However, they’re quieter to run and much kinder to the environment as they don’t emit any carbon or fumes. It really depends on your needs and how much brush you have to clear.
As the demand for electric brush cutters becomes more prominent, better models are being developed, and these can rival even gas-powered brush cutters.
Type of Shaft
Most popular brush cutters come with a straight steel shaft. This makes them more flexible – you can easily reach under verandas and into fairly tight spaces. This means you can use these brush cutters almost anywhere that needs brush cutting.
You’ll also find that straight steel shaft brush cutters have more power due to the straight connection from the engine to the head. A lot of these machines also have the capacity to add other attachments via an interchangeable steel shaft. This means you can use your brush cutter machine for other tasks, such as hedge trimming and cultivating.
Some brush cutters are also available with a bent shaft. These are generally not as powerful as straight shaft machines. They also tend to have more mechanical issues.
Type of Handle
Most brush cutters need two hands to operate them effectively. They usually feature either a loop handle or a two-handlebar type design, commonly referred to as a J-handle. It gives you much better control, especially if there’s a lot of vibration in the brush cutter.
Harness or Shoulder Strap
Most gas-powered brush cutters are heavy and come with a harness or shoulder strap. This makes them much more comfortable and easy to use, especially when you have lots of brush cutting to do. It’s much easier to use them if you can balance the weight on your shoulders.
The cutting width refers to the width of material each cutting head will cover in a single pass. In the models we’ve reviewed, the cutting width ranges from 8 to 17 inches.
It’s important to note that cutting heads with a wider range usually use more power, but they might also get bogged down and clogged up with weeds, especially if your work involves cutting through vines.
Cutting heads that feature a narrower width are usually slower, but it’s easier to access hard-to-reach areas in your yard with them.
It’s important to consider each brush cutter model’s durability to ensure that it suits your needs. Most gas-powered brush cutters are powerful enough to suit many household applications. If you have a standard yard, any one of the models we’ve reviewed will suit you fine.
If you have a smaller yard or only have a small area of softer weeds, then an electric brush cutter should be perfect for the work you need to do.
However, if you have a lot of cutting work to do, you should consider one of the more heavy-duty models. A machine with a 27 to 34 cc engine should supply you with enough durability to get the work done every time.
If you have really woody weeds or a lot of brambles, you might want to get a saw blade to fit your existing brush cutter or line trimmer. These blades are highly durable and will last a fairly long time.
Consider the Versatility of the Machine
Having a cutting machine that can do more than one job is a great way to save money and time. Most of the models we’ve reviewed have interchangeable heads. This means converting them from a brush cutter to a string trimmer is fairly easy, especially if your tool has a quick change head.
When you’re down at the bottom of your yard, it’s extra effort to trek all the way back to the shed for another tool to finish the job. So, having one tool that can handle different types of work is convenient and less time-consuming.
Apart from interchangeable heads, some brush cutters will allow you to add shaft attachments. The attachments available for these are numerous. They can include a shaft with a trimmer head, a blower, a hedge trimmer or even, a shaft with a cultivator.
These machines are extremely convenient because you don’t have to use any extra tools to convert them. You just remove the shaft extension with the current head and exchange it for the one you want to use next.
Not only do these versatile tools save you time and money, but they’ll also take up less storage space in your shed or garage.
Why Quick Change Heads Are a Benefit
Most brush cutters come with interchangeable heads. This means you can use them either as a brush cutter or a string trimmer. The one you purchase will come with the brush cutter head already attached.
Depending on the model you select, the unit will also feature a string line head with a trimmer line. Choosing a model with a quick change head will certainly make switching from brush cutting to weed whacking easier and faster. It’ll make your brush cutter much more versatile.
Why Anti-Vibration is Important
Generally, gas-powered brush cutters will vibrate much more than electric ones. This is because the engines are different. Gas engines tend to vibrate when they’re operating at optimum speed.
This can cause a lot of fatigue if you’re not used to it or have any kind of wrist problems. But to overcome this, some models include an anti-vibration feature when they’re just idling.
On the other hand, electric brush cutters don’t vibrate quite as much. If you have any issues with your wrists, you might want to use a brush cutter that runs on electricity or a battery.
A harness might also help with the vibration. This allows you to distribute the weight and vibration evenly across your shoulders and back, reducing the amount of fatigue you’re likely to suffer.
What if You Already Own a Gas-Powered String Trimmer For Your Lawn Care?
If you already own a string trimmer with a 2-stroke or 4-stroke gas engine, there might be alternatives to purchasing a whole new brush cutter unit. Of course, this will depend on how big your yard is and how often you need to do some brush cutting.
If you only have a small to medium-sized yard that’s fairly easy to maintain or a small area that’s a bit overgrown, you can easily purchase an accessory to fit your existing string trimmer.
Depending on the sort of string trimmer you have, you can either purchase a saw-tooth blade or a double-sided cutting blade. Most of these blades will fit a 1-inch arbor, commonly found on a lot of string trimmers. You just have to ensure that your trimmer has enough power to keep the blade going at optimum speed.
Other string trimmers can add other tool adaptions by exchanging the shaft. If the machine’s shaft features a lever that allows you to pull it apart, you might want to get a brush cutter shaft attachment. All you have to do is note the shaft diameter of both your trimmer and the brush cutter shaft attachment to ensure they’re compatible.
Tips On Using a Brush Cutter Effectively
Unlike string trimmers, brush cutters have to be used differently depending on the type of material your want to cut. Here are some tips for using a brush cutter effectively to get the work done.
1.Hold the Brush Cutter with Both Hands.
Remember that a brush cutter is a powerful tool and will likely vibrate a little when cutting through tough weeds. You should always hold it with both hands.
Place your dominant hand on the rear handle and the other hand on the forward or J-handle. Make sure you have a firm grip.
2.Move the Brush Cutter from Right to Left
Cut with short sweeping movements to get through all the weeds. The blades spin in a counterclockwise direction, so you’ll want to cut with the blade’s left side.
Make sure that you’re well balanced in case of any kickbacks. These occur when the blade hits hard objects such as rocks and tree stumps. You should try to avoid hitting hard objects if you can – this will keep your blades sharp and intact.
3.Use Long Sweeping Motions to Cut Tall Grass
Cutting through long, tall grass uses less energy – use long, sweeping motions to power through this. This will save you a little time in the long run.
4.For Tall Woody Shrubs, Use a Tri-Blade
If you have a lot of tall woody shrubs, you’ll want to use a tri-blade. This will cut through woody parts more effectively. Instead of using a sweeping motion, start the blade at waist height and lower it down onto the weeds.
5.Use a Saw Blade for Saplings up to 2 Inches in Diameter
Small saplings will require a saw blade to cut through the wood. However, if your saplings are larger, you might have to resort to using a chainsaw to cut them down.
How to Sharpen a Brush Cutter Blade
Your brush cutter blades need to be sharp enough to cut through all those weeds effectively. You might have to sharpen the blades periodically.
If you have a blade sharpener or a sharpening file, you can easily do this yourself. Firstly, you’ll need to clean any dirt and debris from the blades. All you need is warm water and soap.
Next, you want to place the blades in a workbench vice to hold them in place. Then, just run the sharpener or file over the edge of the blade until the blade is sharp.
You can also do this with an angle grinder if you have one. Just press the edge of the blade against the grinder and move it slowly from the center of the blade to the edge. Remember to flip the blade over to do the other side as well.
Be very careful not to touch the blades with your fingers, as you’ll likely get cut. Wear gloves to protect yourself while you’re doing this.
Important Safety Tips
Brush cutters, whether gas or electric, are powerful machines, and there are certain safety precautions you should keep in mind when using one. Most importantly, always wear safety gear when operating a brush cutter. This should include:
- Eye goggles to protect your eyes from flying debris
- Safety boots to protect your toes and feet
- Work gloves to protect your hands and give you a good grip on the machine
- Some people also wear a full face shield when they work as rocks and other debris can easily fly up that high
- Long pants are also important to protect your legs from flying debris. You might want to cover your arms as well
Brush Cutter FAQs
Does a gas-powered brush cutter need oil to be added to the gasoline?
Yes. All 2-stroke brush cutters will need you to add oil to the gasoline. You’ll have to refer to the instruction manual to get the right mix.
4-stroke machines don’t require you to add oil to the gasoline.
Do I have to empty the brush cutter if I won’t be using it for a long time over winter?
If you won’t be using it over winter, it’s best to drain the gasoline from your gas-powered brush cutter. Otherwise, the fuel additives will separate and gum up the carburetor. This means you’ll have to get the machine serviced before you begin any work in the spring.
Do I really have to wear safety equipment when using a brush cutter?
Yes! Brush cutters are powerful machines, and the blades spin at a very high speed. When they hit a rock or piece of wood lying among the tall weeds, they’ll send these objects flying – most likely, at you.
It’s best that you wear safety equipment such as eye goggles or a face shield, boots, and gloves. You should also protect your arms and legs from flying debris.
How thick can a brush cutter cut?
Most brush cutters can handle material up to 2 inches thick. Some of the more powerful machines can even handle branches up to 4 inches thick. For anything thicker than this, it’s better to use a chainsaw.
Can you use a brush cutter in the rain?
In most cases, you should do your brush cutting when the weather is dry but not too hot. It’s much harder to cut through wet weeds, and you’ll spend far too much time doing so. Wet weeds will also clog up your brush cutter – you’ll spend a lot of wasted time removing the debris from the cutter.
You should now have a good idea of the best brush cutter for your needs. It all depends on the size of your yard and how much brush you want to clear.
You might want to get an electric-powered brush cutter for small or medium-sized yards. These are easy to use and are usually lighter than gas-powered machines. You’ll also save time and money because you won’t have to mix gasoline and oil to run your machine.
If you have tougher weeds to get through or own a small rural property, then the best brush cutter might be a heavy-duty gas machine. This will allow you to get all the work done in your yard with ease.
Our top picks include both gas-powered and electric brush cutters, as well as cutting blades and brush cutter attachments for if you already have a line trimmer.