Can I Use A Brush Cutter For Hedge Trimmer?

Written By James
Updated May 8, 2022 by James

Can I Use A Brush Cutter For Hedge Trimmer?

Although the name might suggest what a brush cutter might be used for, it is not uncommon for tools to find a new purpose. Typically, as a substitute for another tool where the price doesn't live up to the actual necessity of the product. Or maybe you already have some common tools that are at the end of their life.

Can I use a brush cutter for hedge trimmer? Yes, if you have the appropriate addtional equipment. Since brush cutters are designed to target a portion of grass more than an elevated surface, it can be quite dangerous raising the power tool above your head.

As such, it is important to keep two hands on the device at all time. Extensions to the handle or a pole will also be useful for reaching higher up areas, although you shouldn't sacrifice grip and stability for a higher reach. Steel blades are not the sort of thing you want to drop on your head after all. 

A hedge trimmer attachment may be available, but even if you can use a brush cutter for a hedge trimmer, should you? Let's compare the two tools and consider, as the differences may be more pronounced than you might actually expect. 

Hedge Trimmers

Hedge trimmers do exactly what they say, they are for cutting hedges, shrubs, and other bushes or topiary. They usually fall into the category of battery powered tools, and are designed to be raised to elevated heights. As a result, they tend to be much safer than brush cutters for trimming a hedge.

The best feature of your average hedge trimmers compared to the bush cutter is a two hand safety circuit. This prevents any accidental activation of the trimmer, making accidents far less likely. You need two hands to start the trimmer, so it also encouarges proper safety etiquette of a good two hand grip at all times.

It also means that if you were to drop the trimmer above you, it would turn off before causing any major damage. These are still heavy bits of kit with skinny blades though, so you're still going to get hurt. Not something to try on your own at home for science. 

Although a "blade" hedge trimmers actually have a built in blade protector, designed to stop the trimmer developing sharp edges from constant use. Instead, a dual cutting blade usually shifts back and forth, crushing and snapping their way through the hedges. 

This makes a cordless hedge trimmer one of the safest garden power tools you could possible use, as power hedge trimmers are specifically designed to avoid even becoming health hazards. So long as the trimmer battery is working, the trimmer is working. 

Hedge trimmers could even cut your grass in a pinch, although it is generally impractical. Providing you hold the blade horizontal with the grass, the patch of grass you're aiming at will disappear soon enough. A brush cutter would be more effective at this however, and a lawn mower even more so. 

Brush Cutters

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.

Brush cutters are designed to handle swathes of grass more than an elevated position such as a hedge. Still, the steel blades or even a cordless grass trimmer can make quick work of shrubbery and tall grass. When it comes to trimming hedges, a cordless line trimmer is reccomended. 

Not only is cordless a necessity as wires can easily get in the way of a clean tream, but line brush cutters are safer than using a blade trimmer. An electric model would also not run the risk of a fuel leak or any of the other complications and fire hazards a petrol model could pose.

Make sure your trimmer battery is secure before trimming the hedge, as even a cordless line trimmer isn't without fault. Proper technique and precaution should always be exercised, whether you are using a higher specification and more powerful brush cutter, or a cordless grass trimmer.

Other Tools

If you wanted to garden in a more rustic manner, then there are some more classic tools that could be used for both cutting brush and trimming a hedge. However, without machine assistance these tools can take up significantly more time and effort on the part of the gardener. 

Machetes are used in tropical climates to cut through jungle overgrowth, and it is also a common tool for cutting brush. Clearing coarse weeds and debris is easy with a machete, although any bladed tool should be used with special caution. As for hedge trimming, it is perhaps not the most precise tool available.

Scythes are better known for their grim reaper imagery, but it is one of the oldest agricultural tools known to man. Typically two handed, again this is a tool better designed for clearing overgrowth than designing topiary. At least you would look cool while cutting your hedge in two.

Finally a sickle, another harvesting tool, is a surprsingly common tool for brush cutting. It is surprising due to its small size, and general ineffectiveness when compared to the previous two aforementioned tools. Stll, a sickle can get the job done if you're in a pinch, and happen to have one lying around for some reason. 

Grass and Trees

Grass and trees can also be cut by brush cutters, although to a limited extent. Whether you are using a Karcher lawn trimmer battery grass and shrub shear, or a Greenworks 24V Line Trimmer, it all depends on the size and density of what needs cutting.

Larger lawn sizes are impractical to mow with a brush cutter, and taller trees can become unreachable. So, as long as you are shaving shorter conifers or trimming smaller lawns, a shaft line trimmer can even get the job done. 

Personal Protection Equipment

Proper safety attire is a must for any dangerous tool usage, bladed and wire trimmers are no different. Safety glasses are an obvious first step. Whether brush clearing or hedge cutting, debris can quickly fly dangerously close to your face. 

More powerful brush cutters can blow as hard as any fan with high revolution speeds on the blades or line. As such, safety glasses are the best line of protection against a stray bit of wood taking out your eye ball, and potentially harming your vision forever.

Preserving your hearing is just as important as your vision. Garden power tools can get quite loud, and when you consider how close you will be while holding them, ear plugs become an obvious choice. Helping preserve your ear drums, excessive noise and regular use from power tools can cause serious hearing loss as the years go on.

Finally, work boots and gloves both ensure a proper grip of the equipment. The last thing you need is to drop a brush cutter and cause an accident, so making sure you don't drop or trip while using it is important for your yard work. 

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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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