For larger properties or rural areas, it’s not uncommon to have sections that require a specialized piece of equipment to help keep it trimmed and clean. Generally, these areas are too dense or have foliage that is too thick for a line trimmer but not quite thick enough for larger equipment to be used.
The perfect match for these areas is a field or brush cutter. These make quick work of those problem areas and can save you hours throughout the season. They’re also essential in some areas prone to wildfires as overgrown areas can greatly increase the chances of fire spreading on the property.
Below, we’ll look at the best field and brush cutters for different applications to help you choose which one may be best for your situation.
Brush Cutter Basics
For those new to brush cutters, there are a few basics to help you get an understanding of what the different types are.
These are similar to line cutters and trimmers but built to handle larger-diameter cutting jobs. They also generally have more robust “U-handles” so you can have the proper control and leverage when dealing with the additional power.
These are great for smaller areas or if you’re on a budget and want something versatile. Most handheld brush cutters have additional attachments that can be used to increase their usefulness.
Walk-Behind Brush Cutters
These are more expensive and take up more space, but they also work much faster and take less effort than a handheld brush cutter. You can easily clear larger areas with these and all with less effort.
For larger areas, these are almost a must, especially if you have to clear the area several times per season.
Rideable Brush Cutters
These are for commercial use or property managers dealing with very large areas that need to be trimmed regularly. These provide the lowest effort of all brushcutter types, but it comes at a cost. Prices start at least double the price of a high-quality walk-behind unit. They also have more maintenance due to their complexity. However, for large commercial use, they are a necessity.
Top Field And Brush Cutters
Below is our list of the top field and brush cutters to match almost any situation you need to tackle.
ECHO 30.5 CC Brush Cutter
Engine: 1.8 HP
Cutting Width: 20 inches
This lightweight brush cutter is perfect for when your regular line cutter is just too underpowered for the task at hand.
With a comfortable handle and powerful two-stroke 30.5 CC engine, the ECHO can tackle heavy brush that would normally bring a standard line trimmer to a stop. However, it’s not meant for large-diameter trees but can handle small saplings with the optional steel blade.
It’s also reasonably priced and comes from a well-known brand. If you need an affordable brush cutter for small areas and light brush, this is one to consider.
DR Field and Brush Mower
Engine: 10.5 HP
Cutting Width: 26 inches
When you need something with a little more power but don’t want to break the bank, the DR Field and Brush mower is a great choice.
A powerful 10.5 HP engine powers both the cutting blades and the wheels on this self-propelled model. It can also handle brush up to 2 inches thick.
At under $2k, it makes it one of the more affordable walk-behind models you can find. It’s also from a trusted brand which is always great for peace of mind when buying larger equipment.
Swisher Predator Brush Cutter
Engine: 11.5 HP
Cutting Width: 24 inches
The model 11524 is a great walk-behind brush cutter for those looking for something lightweight and easy to maneuver.
You get 4 different walking speeds to match your tempo and brush density. The 11.5 HP motor can handle larger saplings up to 1.5 inches thick. The total cutting width is the standard 24 inches found on most consumer-level brush cutters.
Overall, a great choice and one we liked for its lightweight and excellent control and maneuverability.
Brush Beast Walk Behind Brush Cutter
Engine: 20 HP
Cutting Width: 36 inches
When you need power and the ability to handle some of the thickest brush, the Brush Beast lives up to its name.
With a 20 HP engine and commercial width 36-inch deck, this beast can handle trees and brush up to 4 inches in diameter without bogging down.
All that power needs fuel though, and this one comes with a 5-gallon fuel tank to keep you running.
If you’re looking for big power and have large areas to clear, the Brush Beast is a perfect fit.
Generac Pro Brush Mower
Engine: 18.6 HP
Cutting Width: 30 inches
The model AT47030 has you covered if you’re looking for a large and fully featured brush cutter. The 18.5 HP engine has a convenient key-start so getting going is always as simple as turning a knob.
The Generac also has disc brakes and independent controls for each wheel, allowing for very precise and easy control over any type of terrain.
You get 3 gears forward and one reverse, which also adds to the superior handling of this brush cutter.
The mechanical elements are also top-notch, with large bearings used for the cutting wheel that make the operation feel butter-smooth compared to some other cutters.
Overall, this is a great package and one that has a lot of great features. It’s also covered under a commercial-use warranty, so it’s definitely built to last.
Earthquake String Mower
Engine: 11.7 HP four-cycle
Cutting Width: 20 inches
We added this model to the list because it bridges the gap between a line trimmer and a walk-behind cutter with a cutting wheel.
The Earthquake works best for larger areas with light to moderate brush and weed coverage. You can easily tackle larger areas that would take twice as long with a handheld model.
Its 4.6 HP engine produces plenty of power and you get a full 22 inches of cutting width. That’s a decent width for a machine that is this light and easy to maneuver.
Overall, this a great brush cutter that is easy to use and maintain as long as your brush isn’t too thick. It also comes with a generous 5-year warranty, which is one of the longest among all brush cutters.
Billy Goat BC2600 Walk-Behind Brush Cutter
Engine: 11.7 HP four-stroke
Cutting Width: 26 inches
With a name like Billy Goat, this thing should easily chew through brush and that’s exactly what it does. Billy Goat is also a well-known brand in the industry and it shows with this model.
With an 11.7 HP engine complete with an electric start, this has plenty of power without being too large. The Billy Goat also has a unique control and suspension system that helps keep the weight balanced when moving over difficult terrain.
What’s better, the suspension system also prevents the cutter from bottoming out when using low-cutting heights.
The Billy Goat has a cutting width of 26 inches and can handle up to 2-inch diameter saplings.
Considerations When Choosing A Brush Cutter
The key to choosing the right brush cutter is matching it to your property and type of brush. You’ll want to consider both the power and the maximum height and diameter of the brush it can cut.
You’re generally better off getting one that is slightly more powerful than what you need than one that is slightly underpowered. An underpowered brush cutter will wear out much faster and it will also be more difficult and tiring to use.
Finally, due to the mechanical complexity of these machines, it’s always best to go with a well-known brand with a good warranty. A good dealer network in your area may also be something to consider.
Some of these cutters can be pricey and should be looked at as an investment. So knowing you have a strong brand backing you up gives you peace of mind when making a larger purchase such as this.