Ask any aspiring gardener and they’ll tell you that controlling the growth of brambles can be a nightmare. They’re tough, resilient and grow where they like – which can make keeping your garden tidy more difficult than it has to be.
We know a thing or two about brush cutters, so we’ve tested several of the best and laid them out in this guide for you to see. We compare cutting ability, fuel type, power, build quality and overall value for money as well as present our top pick.
Best Brush Cutter for Brambles
- ParkerBrand 52cc Petrol Garden Brush Cutter
- Ryobi RBC1226I Electric 2-in-1 Brush Cutter
- Makita EBH252U 24.5cc Brush Cutter
- BU-KO 2019 52cc Long Reach Petrol Brush Cutter
- Makita DUR365U 18V Battery Brush Cutter
Brush Cutter Reviews
ParkerBrand 52cc Petrol Garden Brush Cutter
Our favourite brush cutter for mowing through brambles is this tool from ParkerBrand. It is powered by a strong 52cc petrol motor which makes light work of any stray weeds, foliage or brambles.
52cc of petrol power translates into 2200 watts of power and a blade rotation speed of 7500rpm.
This model comes with two cutting tools as standard; the brush cutter attachment which is great for heavy vegetation as well as a wire strimmer for edging lawns and trimming other grassed areas.
Its reliable, tough and makes clearing any dense foliage easy. Its our best brush cutter for brambles and can easily turn its hand to other clearing and tidying tasks too.
Ryobi RBC1226I Electric 2-in-1 Brush Cutter
Not everyone wants to use petrol powered garden tools which is why we’ve made sure to test a few electric models too.
Our favourite electric brush cutter for brambles is this one by Ryobi – a household name in DIY.
Power is supplied by a 1200w electric motor that effortlessly deals with thick brambles and dense vegetation. You’re also supplied with a strimmer spool attachment for trimming and edging grass.
If you’re looking for something lightweight, then you’ll be pleased to know that this brush cutter weighs in at 6kg which makes it much easier to use for extended periods of time than some heavier models.
The only downside is of course the need for a power supply. Luckily, the supplied power cable is 6 metres long with the option to use an extension lead for larger gardens and areas of land.
Want a brush cutter strong enough for brambles but don’t like refuelling or pull start cords? The Ryobi electric brush cutter is for you.
Makita EBH252U 24.5cc Brush Cutter
Switching back over to petrol, this brush cutter from Makita is a great lightweight option for those who want to ease their way into petrol powered garden tools.
The big selling point here is that this model runs on unleaded petrol rather than 2 stroke oil as is common with many power tools. This makes filling up much easier as you don’t have to mix your own fuel or buy a premixed solution.
Secondly, this petrol brush cutter weighs in at 5.7kg without fuel which makes using it a doddle.
The 24.55cc motor is smaller than other models we’ve tested but is powerful enough to last, and with the supplied cutting tools, will make light work of any bramble clearing job.
BU-KO 2019 52cc Long Reach Petrol Brush Cutter
Looking for more than just a brush cutter? Then look no further than BU-KO’s petrol model.
What separates this one from the rest is the sheer number of attachments and accessories that are included for the price. In addition to the brush cutter and wire strimmer attachments, you’re getting a mini chainsaw, hedge trimmer, a 40 tooth brush cutter blade and a long reach extension pole.
Perfect for landscaping and taking care of pretty much any task in your garden.
It does run on 2 stroke oil so bear that in mind, but if you already have a 2 stroke lawn mower then you’re unlikely to consider this a problem.
Powerful, reliable and excellent value for money with a 12 month warranty.
Makita DUR365U 18V Battery Brush Cutter
This model is something special and one we had to include in our list.
It is powered by lithium ion battery technology which gives you all the benefits of lightweight cordless operation without any petrol, 2 stroke oil or the noise of these types of motor.
It doesn’t come with a battery but any 2 compatible 18V li-ion batteries will do. You probably have a couple in the garage already.
The 36V DC electric motor is a powerful one and is able to provide 145 minutes of running time with two fully charged 5.0Ah li-ion batteries. It is also configurable to run at 3 speeds depending on your requirements: 3500 rpm, 5300 rpm and 6500 rpm.
The nylon cutting head makes easy work of thick brambles, making this brush cutter perfect for those gardeners who prefer battery power.
Bramble Brush Cutter Buying Guide
A brush cutter’s ability to tackle brambles and thick vegetation is its most important characteristic, but the ability to adapt to lighter tasks is also important for many gardeners.
When buying the best brush cutter for brambles you want to ensure it has the attachments you need for your garden, which increases versatility and saves you having to buy other power tools to complete similar tasks.
And of course, the type of fuel your brush cutter runs on will also be very important to many.
Two stroke motors are the standard for petrol strimmers and petrol brush cutters, but you can buy models that run on unleaded petrol such as the Makita we tested in this guide. Alternatively, electric brush cutters and cordless battery strimmers whether mains powered or battery powered are just as powerful and may make for the better option.
The weight of any brush cutter is also important as this impacts how usable it is. Heavier tools will cause fatigue to set in faster whereas most people find lighter options to be more manageable.
There is some trade off as heavier models vibrate less, and if you intend on using a harness, weight becomes less of an issue. Try not to go too far above 10kg in weight for maximum usability.
The other important performance aspect is cutting speed. Some vegetation requires a high-speed cutting blade whereas other tasks are easier at a lower speed. Therefore, the option to control speed manually is desirable.
More powerful motors tend to cut faster which can make cutting through certain types of vegetation quicker, requiring less physical effort. The larger the area to clear, the more power you’ll need.
Looking for a hedge trimmer? We’ve reviewed the best petrol hedge trimmers.
How do I use a brush cutter?
Its best to spend some time reading the supplied manual before diving into operating your new brush cutter. Your manual will outline the safety features of your model such as emergency shut off procedures as well as any important information relating to refuelling or the power supply.
You’re going to need some safety gear too. Eye and hearing protection as a minimum but we also recommend gloves as well as safety boots with a steel toe cap. Any high-powered cutting device can cut through clothes and shoes with ease so bear this in mind.
If your model comes with a harness, then we recommend using that too. It secures the brush cutter to you, making you less likely to drop it as well as it generally making the brush cutter easier to handle.
With the harness fitted correctly, weight should be evenly distributed across your chest. Make sure that your harness is tightened properly as this will reduce the incidence of injury.
Lastly, spend some time practicing your cutting technique. Cutting should be done in a sweeping motion as if you were using a scythe. Sweep backwards and forwards in an arc like motion to assist the cutting tool in doing its job.
How do I start my brush cutter?
An electric brush cutter needs to be plugged in and switched on if mains operated. Battery operated models will have a power switch. Again, consult your owner’s manual for more info.
Petrol brush cutters that run on 2 stroke oil are a little more complicated. They first need to be filled with fuel. They then need to be primed if starting from cold. This is done by operating and opening the choke.
Finally, you will need to rip the starting cord until the motor starts and runs without stalling or cutting out. Once warm, you can then reduce the choke before eventually turning off the choke entirely.
This last step will require a little practice but is straightforward once successfully done a few times.
Never refuel your brush cutter when it’s hot.
When you’ve finished using your brush cutter, wipe it clean with a damp rag to remove any dirt or fuel residue. Be sure to also wipe clean the cutting head with a lightly oiled rag for lubrication and to prevent rust.
How do I sharpen my brush cutter’s blade? Can they be replaced instead?
Once your brush cutter’s blade has become dull and is no longer cutting efficiently, its time to either replace it or sharpen it. Sharpening the cutting head will be cheaper but does require a few additional tools.
To sharpen the blades of your brush cutter, you will need a workbench or table (preferably with a vice), a medium grade whetstone and a fine grade whetstone for the best results.
The process for replacing the blade will vary by model. Your owner’s manual will provide more detail on both where to buy replacement blades from as well as how to remove the old cutting head and fit the new one.
The general process is outlined as follows:
Most brush cutter blades will consist of a washer, a locking nut, a bump guard and the blade itself.
First you’ll need to remove the existing blade or strimmer line head. This usually involves unscrewing the bolt that’s keeping the blade in place. If you’re removing a strimmer head, the entire unit will usually unscrew together. Some strimmer lines are suitable for bramble clearing so bear this in mind when buying accessories.
After you’ve removed the existing blade, put the new one in place and then put the washer on top of it. Then add the bump guard and screw the bolt through this assembly to keep everything in place.
It’s important that you ensure the new blade is tightly screwed to the unit before using it, so double check that this has been done before operating it for the first time. The tools you need will sometimes be included when you buy a new blade, but if they aren’t, you’ll find them in any basic toolbox.
We’ve covered the top 5 brush cutters that are suited for bramble clearing. Each model has its pros and cons as well as a few unique features so pick the one that best meets your needs.
If you have no preference over power source, take our top pick and you won’t go wrong.