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What is a Brush Mower?

- Jun 22, 2018 -

Brush Cutter, Brush Mower, Field Mower, Finish Mower, Brush Hog: there are so many different terms out there that deciding on what kind of machine you need can seem more exhausting than the job of mowing itself. To better understand what kind of brush cutter is right for your mowing needs, it can be helpful to take a look outside at the area that you need to cut. Is it cluttered with weeds, tall grass and other brush? Is it wide enough to make even the thought of a string trimmer wear you out, but not quite wide enough for a tractor attachment or does it have tight spaces that won’t allow for a tractor? If so, then a walk behind brush cutter may be exactly what you need.

When should I use a brush cutter?

The most common uses for brush cutters are to tend to overgrown fields and neglected lawns. They can also be used to cut grass under trees where rocks and other hard objects can damage a finishing mower and along banks and slopes that can be difficult to tend to.

What does a brush cutter take down?

A brush cutter (also referred to as a brush mower) appears to be a more beefed-up version of a lawn mower. It is typically used to cut tall grass (grass taller than 6” – 8”), weeds, brush, shrubs and woody material such as stalks and saplings. Brush cutters normally cut woody material of a diameter between 1” and 2”—for any thicker material, you may want to use a chainsaw.

What are the pros of a brush cutter?

The main advantage of a brush cutter is that it will cut fairly wide swaths of overgrowth without bogging down and in a relatively short period of time. The cutting decks of brush cutters are usually wider than that of finishing (lawn) mowers. The average lawn mower deck is 21” wide while brush mowing decks range from 24” to 26”.

Brush cutters are also built to endure rougher terrain and to cut thicker and denser material than finishing mowers. They feature more powerful engines, ranging anywhere from 8 to 15 horsepower, pneumatic tires, thicker and more durable blade spindles and cutting decks made of heavy duty steel. Finally, many brush mowers have added features that make them easier to operate on rough terrain. Such features can include a locking differential for added traction and an articulating cutting deck for more even cutting on rough terrain.

What are the limitations of a brush cutter?

Brush cutters are also built to endure rougher terrain and to cut thicker and denser material than finishing mowers. They feature more powerful engines, ranging anywhere from 8 to 15 horsepower, pneumatic tires, thicker and more durable blade spindles and cutting decks made of heavy duty steel. Finally, many brush cutters have added features that make them easier to operate on rough terrain. Such features can include a locking differential for added traction and a front wheel for greater maneuverability.

What are some tips for brush cutting?

Brush mowing, by its very nature, can be quite a different experience than lawn mowing. Before you begin mowing, you should wear clothing that is going to protect you: gloves, safety goggles, and a safety vest are common attire for brush mowing. Areas that require brush mowing are of course covered with taller vegetation, making it more difficult to be aware of what is in the vegetation as well as your surroundings. With this in mind you should first make sure that the area you are going to cut is clear of people, vehicles and anything else that can be injured or damaged by thrown debris such as wood, litter and rocks. Next, it is a good idea to go through the area to check for heavy objects such as stumps, metal debris and large rocks. If it is possible to move these objects out of the area, you should do so but if not, you should mark them with neon tape, flags or other brightly-colored appendages that will help you spot them from a distance.

Finally when mowing, begin with the blade height at a higher position (FYI: the Orec Samurai Walk Behind Brush Cutter and Cyclone Flail Brush Mower both feature adjustable cutting heights) to avoid hitting hard obstacles that may be on the ground. Once you have gone through the area at a higher cutting height, it will be easier to spot and remove or mark such objects if you would like to make second cut with a lower cutting height.


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