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Brush Cutter vs. Weed Wacker (Which Power Tool Do You Need?)

While gardening can be fun and therapeutic, you can’t get the best out of it without having the right tools. One of the most important tools that you must have is a machine that’ll cut away any harmful weeds.

But should you get a brush cutter or a weed wacker to do this job?

Brush Cutter vs. Weed Wacker

Luckily for you, we’ve created this brush cutter vs. weed wacker comparison to help you choose a machine that’ll work best for you.

Let’s dive in!

What Is a Brush Cutter?

difference between brush cutter and weed eater

A brush cutter is a gardening tool that has a very thick trimmer wire or blades. Because of this advantage, a brush cutter is capable of cutting through heavy vegetation.

The great thing about a brush cutter is that it can cut through stalks, sticks, and reeds.

The reason behind this impressive strength isn’t just that the machine comes with solid blades. It’s also because this beast features a bigger engine than that of a weed wacker.

As you can see, brush cutters can offer you more versatility than weed wackers.

Now, let’s find out how to use a brush cutter properly.

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The Right Way to Use a Brush Cutter

similarities between weed whacker and brush cutter

Learning how to use a brush cutter can save you much time and effort the next time you head out to your yard. Yet, for a first-timer, operating this machine can be a bit tricky. Here are all the steps you’ll need to get started.

Step 1: Fuel Your Brush Cutter

Filling a brush cutter’s tank with fuel is quite simple, especially if it’s oil-based. Just mix your fuels together well enough, then insert them into the power tool.

When you have a full tank, you can proceed to the next step.

Step 2: Operate the Brush Cutter

The way that you start your brush cutter depends on whether it’s petrol-only or fuel-based.

If it’s a petrol brush cutter, all you’ll have to do is use the switch to turn it on. On the other hand, a fuel-based cutter will require you to pull the string first, which you’ll find close to the switches.

This string will activate the motor after pulling it a few times. Just make sure that the switch is turned on first, or else the motor won’t work.

Note that most brush cutters come with switches for increasing or decreasing the speed. You could use this option depending on the situation at hand.

Step 3: Begin Cutting the Brush

To handle a brush cutter the correct way, you must stand straight and hold the machine at a suitable length. You don’t want to end up bending over, which could hurt your back and shoulders.

Once you’ve achieved a convenient posture, you can start using the brush cutter to do any of the following tasks.

  • Mowing
  • Weeding
  • Trimming
  • Scything

The Upsides and Downsides of Using a Brush Cutter

brush cutter vs weed whacker

Fortunately, the upsides of using a brush cutter far outnumber the downsides.

First off, a brush cutter is fairly easy to use once you understand all the basics. And as we’ve already mentioned, the machine is incredibly powerful since it’s backed up by a huge amount of horsepower.

Second of all, a brush cutter is a versatile tool that allows you to mow, trim, scythe, and mow your lawn. You can even cut down a 4-inch tree thanks to the sharp blades.

Another advantage of this beast is that it saves you so much time and energy.

Alternatively, there are some cons that you need to keep in mind.

For example, you can’t just hack into the weeds from any angle or direction. Instead, you’ll have to move from right to left because the blades work counterclockwise. You must be extra careful when you wield a brush cutter because it might kick back at you if it hits a thick stem or branch.

Also, if you’re using a brush cutter to work on a big yard, you might be overcome with fatigue by the end of the task. This is because the machine vibrates a lot. Still, you might find machines with an anti-vibration feature.

Last but not least, this powerful beast might cause injuries if the user doesn’t follow the safety precautions. You must use a harness when working with a brush cutter, and always put on something to protect your eyes from debris.

What Is a Weed Wacker?

weed trimmer

A weed wacker, also known as a string trimmer, is a tool that you can use to trim down long grass and weeds. You could use it around flower beds, walkways, trees, and other narrow areas.

Weed wackers tend to be handheld, but you’ll also find walk-behind machines in stores. Walk-behind weed wackers are better for larger spaces, and they finish bigger yards in almost no time.

A string trimmer isn’t equipped with metal blades, but with a thin nylon string, hence its name. For this reason, it’s only capable of cutting weed and grass, unlike a brush cutter.

Also, a weed wacker has less horsepower than a brush cutter. But, while it’s less powerful, a trimmer has many advantages that are worth noting. We’ll get to those but only after we learn how to use this great garden tool.

The Right Way to Use a Weed Wacker

how to properly use a weed eater vs brush cutter

Using a weed wacker isn’t as challenging as using a brush cutter. A weed wacker is more lightweight and easier to carry, so you shouldn’t feel too tired when you’re done.

Let’s get to all the basics of using this machine, shall we?

Step 1: Choose a Suitable Trimmer Type

Weed wackers can have curved or straight shafts, so you must understand which type will suit your needs.

While the majority of people prefer a curved-shaft trimmer, it can be harder to control than the other one. Plus, a straight-shaft weed wacker will allow you to get it under shrubs and small trees.

Step 2: Understand the Spin Direction

Taking a closer look at the weed wacker’s spin direction will make your work more effective. If the trimmer works counterclockwise, then you’ll need to move it from right to left. Therefore, any debris or cut grass will be ejected to the left without causing a mess.

In that case, position your body to the right to stay away from as much debris as possible.

Step 3: Start Trimming Your Lawn

While using a weed wacker is surely easy, it isn’t just as simple as keeping the head hovered over the grass you want to trim. Instead, you must move with a certain technique to get the best out of your machine.

For instance, if you’re trying to get rid of tall grass or weeds, you’d better move in a scything motion. Basically, move the machine in a shallow U movement to make your cuts. You’ll get even cuts after a few overlapping scythes.

Another way you could use your string trimmer is to taper the edges of your lawn. Here, you’ll have to position your trimmer at a slight angle to get the work done.

The Upsides and Downsides of Using a Weed Wacker

weed eater versus brush cutter

There are many advantages to using a weed wacker.

For starters, it’s much easier to operate than a brush cutter. All you’ll have to do is flip the switch to the ON side. You can choose from an electrical, battery-operated, or gasoline trimmer.

Plus, a weed wacker is lightweight, which makes your work almost effortless. Not to mention that it’s more affordable than a brush cutter is.

You should also note that a weed wacker is better for smaller lawns. It can go under shrubs seamlessly, and it can work in tight areas.

However, one drawback of using a weed wacker is that it only works on grass and weed. It’s not powerful enough to use on dense vegetation. So, it’s not as versatile as a brush cutter.

Which Gardening Tool Is Better For Your Needs?

Brush cutter vs. weed wacker, which one should you choose?

A weed wacker is perfect if your yard isn’t that big and only requires minimum work. Plus, a trimmer is a great option if you’re on a tight budget.

However, if you want a multi-purpose machine that’ll do more than just get rid of weeds, then a brush cutter is more suitable. While it’s a bit harder to operate, you’ll easily manage it once you learn all the tricks.

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