Can You Use A Brush Cutter To Cut Grass?

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Written By James
Updated May 8, 2022 by James

Can You Use A Brush Cutter To Cut Grass?

Going by many names such as weed wacker, weed cutter, and power weeder, a brush cutter is a common gardening tool. It is especially popular in the United States, and serves as a powerful tool for keeping your garden neat and tidy. 

Can you use a brush cutter to cut grass? Technically, yes. However with different size gardens, unless you are cutting a very small lawn then it will be no match as a replacement to lawn mowers. Instead, they are designed for specialised tasks rather than trimming an entire lawn, and you will likely end up with some arm strain trying to do it

This powerful machine is excellent at everything it was designed to do, but cut grass for an entire lawn is not one of them. If you are aiming to trim a specific section of overgrown grass then the brush cutter could do the job fine. Taller weeds and even tree saplings can be removed with these reliable machines.

Brush Cutter Features

Garden power tools come in all varieties in the modern age, and you can find all types of grass trimmer. Corded grass trimmers are an essential garden tool, allowing you to neaten up the edges your mower just can't reach. These can be near fences, perhaps close to a delicate herb garden, or just in an area too small for a garden petrol engine.

A simple press of the grass trimmer trigger, and you'll have your blades or lines whirring. This intense speed will literally hack or cut through whatever you put in front of it. This makes the brush cutter perfect for those overgrown hassles your hands or mower can't manage.

Cordless garden tools are just as popular, and either way both can be very convenient. Using the trimmer head to get those hard to reach spots can be very satisfying, and a powerful trimmer motor will make sure the job gets done the first time. 

One such popular brand are the Ryobi trimmer & brush cutter heads, mainly fitted for line cutters. The variety in brush cutters is plentiful. Electric or petrol, cord or cordless, metal or wire, the list goes on. These different systems for grass trimmers let a gardener find what's best suited for them, and stick with it. 

Manufacturers have been moving towards great reliability in their proudcts in recent years as well. These advancements have led to a wide availability of interchangeable blades. This is especially useful since different blades can accomplish different tasks for a brush cutter. 

Say a particularly weedy undergrowth has formed, and you need to put in a three sided steel brush cutter blade. This would poe no problem at all, and you could then switch back to a different blade for handling some thicker grass. 

Cutting Grass

As already stated, mowing a lawn with a brush cutter is possible, although terribly impractical. Medium lawns and larger lawns are simply too large, and will require larger machines. This usually means a mounted mower or a ridden lawn tractor, able to go the distance with less strain on the gardener.

If you are have difficulty with a certain type of grass of coarse weeds, then the brush cutter can shine. Select patches of overgrowth can be tackled, making even the best manicured lawns that bit prettier. You can even cut through small tree trunks, up to three or four inches thick. 

Thicker grass stand no chance against modern power garden tools and an often metal blade. However, mowing an entire grass lawn isn't totally feasable. So if you're simply looking to maximise your outdoor space by clearing some overgrown grass, then you can certainly cut grass with a power weeder.

Being so powerful, you run the risk of completely killing some grass if you make an error while trimming. If you want to trim your medium length grass into shorter grass, you're still best off with a push or mounted mower, as it will promote a healthy lawn. 

Corded and Cordless Trimmers

Corded brush cutters are an electric model, requiring a plug and a power source in order to operate. Although all corded cutters will be electric, not all electric trimmers are corded. In fact, a number of cordless battery power brush cutters are available on the market.

Brushcutter batteries are designed for long term use, and typically do not leak any discharge or battery acid when left unattended. Corded trimmers are excellent garden power tools, and trade less power for a better environmental footprint. So if you're looking for a replacement grass trimmer, consider an electric model.

Cordless garden tools can come with batteries as already mentioned, but there is also a petrol model. With a fuel tank, these cordless models can operate as long as necessary fuel in present in the tank, and they can be easier to repair than electric faults.

The petrol model is obviously worse for the environment, but cordless garden tools are too small to produce any siginificant issues. A petrol grass trimmer is no worse for the planet than an electric grass trimmer when you consider the power plant process needed for the elctricity and battery charging. 

Higher specification grass trimmers tend to be petrol models with metal blades, more than enough for thicker grass or serious garden work. More than powerful for your average garden needs, but if you're looking for something that will always get the job done then consider a higher end model. 

A key issue lies instead with the fuel tank of garden power tools, since ethanol based fuels can lead to a build up of moisture in the tank. This complicates the fuel burning process and can lead to failures in the cutter. Other fuels also commonly leave residue and debris, which can obstruct proper function.

Line Trimmers

Electric line trimmers use wire instead of metal blades to hack through tough grass and brush. Also known as edge trimmers, string trimmers, or whipper snippers. These are very rarely petrol trimmers, as petrol based models tend to be overly powerful, which can cause issues when using a very light line instead of a metal blade bolted in.

Still, electric line trimmers are among the most popular of cordless garden tools. A cordless line trimmer is most popular in family households, as although you may get a nasty nip from the wire, it is unlikely to cause long lasting and potentially fatal damage in an accident. Unlike the metal blades found on other models.


With so many parts being interchangeable, and blades being easily replaced, you will never have to stress over arduous repairs or fixing when it comes to your brush cutter. The moment you have a dull blade, you can remove it to be sharpened or even replaced if you prefer. As easy as putting fresh fuel or batteries in.

Blade sharpness is important to check when using your cutter, as a dull blade also poses a safety hazard and can shorten the service life of your tool. Being dull, the blade may fail to cut through thicker brush, which can lead to tangling and onto accidents. 

An exact blade life is hard to disclose, as it largely depends on what you're cutting and how often you're cutting it. Therefore it's important that routine checks are carried out properly and safely. Make sure your cutter is powered off, unplugged if corded, before verifying the sharpness. 

Always keep an eye out for different blade attachments as well. These attachments can be specially designed blades for different aspects and areas of the garden. From your more delicate manicuring, to your more powerful overgrowth clearing, there are a wide variety of blades available for you. 

Operational Safety

Being such powerful machines comes with risks naturally. Much like a chainsaw, brush cutters come with safety measures no matter the type you end up going for, nor the blade or wire you've attached to it. Ignoring these safety guides could be fatal.

A harness is a requirement when using a brush cutter, unless it is equipped with a handlebar. In that instance, two hands will need to be used to operate the cutter properly, and safely. A loose grip or a trip can be a devstating accident, especially for bladed trimmers.

The handlebar is your main method of controling the tool, so not using it can lead to an escalating situation very quickly. It also acts as an obstruction between you and the power tool, acting as an extra line of defense should all else fail. However, that's only a worst case scenario. 

Eye protection is essential, as the brush cutter can easily throw debris and all sorts of things up. Since it's spinning so fast, the trimmer can blow like a fan. Most of the time you might be dealing with dirt in your eyes, but small splinters of wood or animal excrement can cause damage to your eyesight permanently. 

This blowback also means you shouldn't use your brush cutter within fifty feet of another person. Even if they are wearing the proper protection as well, any additional people should be stood behind you at all times. Under no circumstance should you find yourself pointing a weed wacker towards another individual.

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My father, and his father before him, and his father; for the past 3 generations, my family have always been into gardening. The green fingers is a gift passed down to me and I thoroughly enjoy it! I also have worked in the manufacturing department for Bosch and DeWalt so I like to think I know a thing or two about tools and such!
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