As I write this note, a much needed rain has just started to fall. If it hadn’t, I would have been outdoors trimming grass around trees and buildings with my brush cutter. Over the years I’ve tested many brush cutters and line trimmers – both gas-powered and battery powered – and I’ve come to some pretty firm conclusions about what's practical and what isn't when it comes to this kind of equipment.
The model that makes sense for you is a function of the size and wildness of the grounds you take care of. A postage stamp lawn is best trimmed with hand shears, though more than a few companies are happy to sell you cordless line trimmers for this work. Gas-powered line trimmers are my choice for larger lawns of the suburban sort, though beyond this you’re better off with a brush cutter. Though primarily designed to spin a circular blade for cutting small brush and saplings, a brush cutter happens to be the most comfortable option for trimming grass when it's equipped with a line trimmer head. This is because all brush cutters come with a harness and handlebars. The harness distributes weight onto your shoulders, and the handle bars make it much easier to swing the tool from side-to-side during use. Although somewhat heavier than a line trimmer, I've always found a brush cutter less tiring to use.
In 1993 I bought the largest Jonsered brush cutter on the market, and it’s still starting well and running perfectly today, after more than 200 hours use. A month ago I bought the largest brush cutter ECHO makes as a partner to old faithful, and after 3 hours of work, I really like it.
For more information on brush cutters and line trimmers – including the facts about 2- and 4-stroke models, check out the full story at http://www.SteveMaxwell.ca /line-trimmers-and-brush-cutters
Contributing Editor Steve Maxwell has been helping people renovate, build and maintain their homes for more than two decades. “Canada’s Handiest Man” is an award-winning home improvement authority and woodworking expert. Contact him by visiting his website and the blog, Maxwell’s House. You also can follow him on Twitter, like him on Facebook and find him on Google+.