Mowing your lawn is often fun and almost effortless until you have to cut grass in some hard-to-reach areas. However, in such instances, the brush cutters or string trimmers can be lifesavers as they allow you to trim almost anywhere.
The problem often comes when you have to decide which one between these two will work best for you. But, the good news is that the two tools vary quite a bit, so understanding what sets them apart should make your decision easier.
Brush Cutter vs. String Trimmer
1. Power: Brush Cutters Pack More Power
Brush cutters are more powerful tools than string trimmers as most are gas-powered and use 2-cycle engines to provide more horsepower. Gas-powered string trimmers use either 2-cycle or 4-cycle engines, but they still do not produce as much horsepower as the brush cutter, regardless of the engine type.
While the string timers tend to be a little underpowered, they seem to make up for this by allowing you to choose from different power sources. While brush cutters are almost exclusively gas powered, string trimmers are also available in corded electric and battery-powered versions.
2. Cutting Material: Nylon Line vs. Metal blade
The cutting material is another distinctive feature that sets these two handy tools apart. While the brush cutter uses a metal blade to chop down materials, string trimmers use a nylon string to trim the lawn gently.
With the sharp and tough blade on the brush cutter, you can cut through dense vegetation with ease. Unlike nylon lines on a string trimmer, blades do not wear, and you will not have tiny plastic pieces on your lawn. The only thing that can happen to the blade is losing its sharp edge over time, but you can always re-sharpen.
However, the blade also comes with a disadvantage when cutting, which is forcing you to cut in a specific direction. Unlike line on a string trimmer, the blade mainly rotates clockwise, meaning you can only mow the lawn from right to left.
3. Application: Brush Cutters Are Great for Heavy-Duty Jobs
If you have a large lawn to work on, you will always be better off with a brush cutter than a string trimmer as it is more powerful, and the cutting material is designed to handle heavy-duty tasks. Besides just cutting tall grasses and heavy weeds, the brush cutter is ideal for cleaning thicker brushes and small tree trunks.
Although gas-powered string trimmers can still handle large or at least medium size lawns well, these tools are best suited for smaller yards and when you want to trim hard-to-reach areas like corners. The nylon line on these tools also seems to work best for grass and weeds only as it often struggles with dense vegetation or tree trunks.
4. Ease of Use: String Trimmers are Easier to Use
Brush cutters are more powerful tools, which means they tend to be heavier and larger than string trimmers. What this means is that they take more effort to use, and most models require you to wear a body harness to handle the tool.
Additionally, brush cutters produce more vibration and are prone to kickback if you hit a stone when cutting, making things even harder for you.
On the other hand, string trimmers are much easier to use as they are lightweight and easy to maneuver. Also, with string trimmers, there is often less vibration and kickbacks.
5. Price: String Trimmers are Several Times Cheaper
Price is always a crucial factor to consider when deciding between these two handy tools. However, things should be easier for you here as the price difference is quite massive. You can get a string trimmer for as little as $30 or even less, but the starting price for a simple brush cutter hardly goes below $150.
Brush cutters and string trimmer are handy when working on lawns, which is more so for dealing with hard-to-reach places. When you have to pick between these two, go for the brush cutter if you want something more powerful for heavy-duty use. But, if you prefer a more affordable and easy-to-use tool for light trimming jobs, string trimmers are perfect.