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Brushcutters Buyers Guide

Petrol Brushcutters

Brushcutters are generally used for clearing denser rough vegetation and weeds.

Although a brushcutter looks and is operated a bit like a strimmer, they are designed for much heavier and prolonged use.

You can get petrol brushcutters and electric brushcutters, but petrol are more popular due to their portability, range and extra power.

Petrol or Electric

Choosing between a petrol or electric brushcutter comes down to a few key factors, including :

  • Will you have a power outlet near where you will need to use it?
  • Can you afford the extra that a petrol model will generally cost?
  • Do you want the extra overhead of looking after a petrol model?

Generally the deciding factor will be the locations in which you intend to use the brushcutter. As their main purpose is to clear denser vegetation, it is very common that they are used away from the main garden, or of course sometimes out in public areas where access to a power outlet is not always possible.

What is the difference between a brushcutter and a strimmer?

Many people think a brush cutter and a strimmer are one and the same thing. However a brushcutter does not use the standard nylon line type cutter that a strimmer uses, instead it will most likely be fitted with a metal blade that enables it to cut much thicker vegetation.

A lot of brushcutter models however will be adaptable, so a standard strimmer head can be fitted to allow trimming of standard lawn edges.

In fact Ryobi offer a range called "Expand-IT" which allows for a multitude of different tools and cutting heads to be coupled with thie brush cutter machines.

Petrol Brushcutters

Starting a Petrol Brushcutter

There are a few different types of starting mechanisms to be found on petrol brushcutters, the most common are detailed below :

  • Recoil Start - Probably the most common and familiar method for starting the engine on a petrol brushcutter is the recoil start which involves pulling a cord with a handle out fairly quickly to turn the engine over and get it started.
  • Electric Start - Becoming more common are models with an electric push button start, which are obviously much easier to operate than a recoil, but which generally cost a bit more.

Fuel Type

There are 2 fuel types to choose from when buying a petrol brush cutter - 2 stroke and 4 stroke.

  • 4 Stroke Engines - run on normal unleaded fuel that you get at the petrol station. 4 stroke engines do need oil, which is added seperately for the purpose of lubrication.
  • 2 Stroke Engines - if you do select a 2 stroke engined mower you will need special additives for the fuel.

Brushcutter Engine Power

The engine power of a petrol brushcutter will usually be quoted in horse power (hp or Bhp) and the higher the horse power the more powerful the engine.