Brush cutters and grass trimmers differ and they can be used in a variety of locations, from back gardens and verges, to paddocks, hedgerows and forestry sites, again the demand for a machine depends on your needs.
Engine Power - As you move up the range, more powerful engines are used, more power means the operator will be able to use heavier duty cutting heads.
Bent Shaft - Small bent shaft models are lightweight and easy to use, designed for grass trimming they are an ideal tool for garden use.
Straight Shaft - Most of these machines offer more uses with a wider range of cutting heads and engines available.
Cutting Heads - A range of attachments are available for different uses.
Nylon Line - This is commonly used on all types of trimmer for grass and softer plants or weeds.
Polycut - Available on light to medium weight trimmers, each head has three plastic knives that will cut through thicker material than the nylon line.
Metal Blades - These are the heaviest duty heads available used solely on straight shaft machines.
Brush cutters also vary according to handle type, there are two different handles available.
Loop Handle - This is a small D shape handle fixed tight to the shaft of the trimmer, good for operating in tight spaces and where accuracy is important. It is important to remember that a metal blade cannot be used on a loop handled cutter.
Bike Handle - These give a wider grip on the machine, allowing for a smoother, sweeping motion, perfect for areas of open ground such as lawns and paddocks. They also provide a stronger grip so are more suitable when using metal blades.
COMBI SYSTEMS OR MULTI TOOLS
Combi system machines are similar to brush cutters, using the same engines and handle options. However, they can be recognised by the joint below the handle. This allows the lower half to be detached, and various other attachments fitted. The most common attachment is a hedge trimmer.
MUST HAVE ACCESSORIES
Two Stroke Oil - As the majority of models have 2-stroke engines the unleaded petrol has to be mixed with a specialist oil which helps lubricate the engine. Mixes will vary from machine types but the most popular one is at a ratio of 50:1. The easiest way to get this ratio is using the 100ml oil sachet, one sachet per five litres of unleaded petrol, five litres being a standard size petrol can.
Petrol Cans - A standard five litre petrol can will help make sure the right petrol is used in the right machine, and also help maintain the correct oil mixture.
For electric models an RDC circuit breaker is essential and an extension lead will help you get to further away places.
PPE - The key areas to think about when purchasing a brush cutter is face, hearing, hand and leg/foot protection. This can be covered by a face shield combined with earmuffs, a good pair of leather work gloves toe protective boots or wellingtons.