Knowing More About the Brush Cutting Blades
Some of the most remarkable but weird-looking blades we have seen so far are the brush cutting blades. Why do we say that? Because they come in a variety of shapes and they look mean judging from their teeth, sharpness, spikes, and claws. But why do we create such types of blades that look like they are made to kill zombies? It’s because they are used for clearing out from the soft, succulent vegetation to the thickest and toughest plantation of small, stubby trees and in cutting out branches and twigs of old trees which in the old days can only be cut by scythes, machetes, and saws.
So what are these brush cutters and what makes them versatile? The brush cutters are small machines designed to cut and clear out the thickest vegetation to give way to more appealing properties or to make use of the land for beneficial purposes. Previously used as agricultural machines in cutting out tall grasses and weeds, they are now being used on areas where shrubs, hedges, saplings, and tree branches have an overgrowth and need to be cleared out. The old brush cutters are a bit heavy but technology has made them lighter, more compact, and versatile.
With the enhancement of the brush cutters, also comes the evolution of the brush cutting blades. From the simple star-shaped mulching blade for cutting and mulching soft tall grasses and weeds, we now have star-shape blades that can deal with small branches and stems and circular saw blades that can cut even larger branches of trees.
Brush Cutter Blades Types - What Are They For?
Brush cutter blades types are available mainly in four different categories – chisel, knife, mulcher, and smasher. Each blade type has a particular shape for a particular purpose so here is the list of what each blade can do as well as the pros and cons.
Steel circular saw blades. These are also called chisel blades and are better for cutting shrubs and small woody trees up to 4 inches in diameter. They have sharpened teeth that are part of the blade with bent offset for clearance.
These brush cutting blades are designed to cut into tough weeds, woody parts of the plants, or trees or even hardwoods like stems and branches and they can do these because they generally have tungsten tipped blades. Best for horizontal cuttings, these can generally cut up to 60 mm (2.3 inches) wood in diameter. If you want to maintain a clean property located on a high elevated area or outside your lawn, which naturally becomes invaded by an overgrowth of small but tough outgrowth, you will particularly need this type of blade. You can also use these in trimming out shoots and small branches of your trees and shrubs.
Because the cutting edges of a circular blade are at the tip of the blade, these edges absorb the impact during brush cutting and therefore can get dull or damaged easily. Unfortunately, these edges are almost impossible to sharpen which means you have to dispose of the blade as soon as the edges become dull. As a precaution, be careful when using the circular blades because the deeper you cut into a woody stem, the more likely for the blade to bite into the wood fiber and the more potential the blade will kick hard.
These blades have the most variety of shapes among the brush cutter blades types but the most common is the star shape blade. They range from round to rectangular to circular shape and most of them have lasered or stamped blades for cutting soft to thin stems of outgrowths.
Because some of these are imported from China, they are generally cheap although lighter and thinner than the other types of brush cutting blades. With their varied features, they are most preferred for cutting soft vegetation like tall grasses and succulent weeds or use them based on their designs. So these blades offer you a wider option for the type of vegetation you have to deal with. The circular blade, for example, can cut through small shrubs with woody stems.
With an aggressive use, their blades can dull easily because they generally have thinner edges and if it hits hard objects like rocks, metal fences, or marking rods, their sharp edges may bend and therefore need to be disposed of. Another issue with these brush cutter blades types is that they are seen to be more prone in dragging and wrapping the cut grass around it thus hampering your work when you need to remove the grass from the blade.
At present, we are seeing only 3 different shapes with the mulching blades and these are the straight blades, the 3-armed blades and the curved straight blades. The main purpose of these blades is to cut and disintegrate the weeds and grass including leaves, small branches and twigs so that these can easily decompose.
If your lot has been invaded with watery weeds or vines that are easy to cut but have the tendency to wrap around other types of mulching blades, the mulching blades should be preferred. You just have to start hitting the vegetation from the top to avoid the long grass wrapping around the base of the blade. All types of wild grass can grow quickly and are hard to remove especially if you are using the wrong type of blade. But with the mulching blade, these can be disintegrated quickly including their stems.
Your brush cutter should be packed with lots of power when using mulching blades. This is because they are designed to disintegrate and not to cut cleanly so a higher torque is required to make the blade spin faster and do its smashing and mulching job.
Among the brush cutter blades types, the smasher blades don’t have the sharp edges so they heavily rely on their weight and smashing power to squash vegetation really hard. The most common of them are the pivoting flail type blades with linked chains and the round metal head with folding metal blades that straighten out when the rotary head of the brush cutter spins fast. These blades are very effective on softer grass and weeds and also on leaves and small twigs. However, you also need a more powerful torque with these blades to make them efficient.
Smasher blades don’t require sharpening most of them. If the grooves on the tips of the armed blades get dull, you just need to run the engine and spin the blade and tap a concrete lightly on a slant position to thin up the tips of the blade. Chain blades don’t have many issues but once they show weakness in their links or get thinned up, better replace them.
In some European countries, the smasher linked-type blades are prohibited because they have the potential to get detached as the rotary head of the brush cutter spins fast and can cause injury. There’s already a history of accidents with the chain types so we also don’t also recommend the chain types.
How to Use Brush Cutter Blades for Weedeater
If you are familiar with weed eaters, these are also called weed whackers or string trimmers by many people. These machines use nylon strings in whacking out weeds with blinding speed and cutting it with more precision. You can use weed whackers against tall, tough grass and weeds which make them ideal trimming tools on areas where grass mowers can’t reach. But what if you have discovered that at the back of your house there’s part of your lot that has overgrown woody plants that needed to be cut? Can your weedeater deal with it? The answer is yes and no.
Yes because most manufacturers of weedeaters fabricate attachments to their products that can enable these to be equipped with brush cutting blades. And no if your string trimmer is not capable of this fitting feature as some old models of weed whackers are made solely for trimmer use. So it depends on the model of the weedeater that you could use it both for grass trimming and brush cutting.
Moreover, before you change your trimmer line into a brush cutter blade, better check first the capacity of your machine because the choice of your brush cutter blades for weedeater will depend on the capacity of the engine. For example, a brush cutter circular blade requires that it must spin 100 to 120 rotations per second to make it an effective branch cutter. So you will need either a 2-stroke or a 4-stroke engine with at least 1.5hp for this capability. To change from nylon string to brush cutter blade, we have specified instructions below for the easy and quick replacing process.
Advantage of Shifting from Brush Cutter Blades to String Trimmer
Both brush cutters and string trimmers provide common benefits to users so if you want to switch from one mode to another. But what are the advantages and disadvantages of having a weed eater capable of equipping brush cutting blades? If you have a lawn that is properly maintained by the best lawn mower, some of the areas along the lawn that your mower cannot reach are usually the edges near the pavements or corners or under the trees. These spaces would always have growth of weeds and grasses which you must also trim. So this is the best job for the weedeater. There are three ways that a weedeater can be better than a brush cutter and these are trimming, mowing and edging grasses. If you use a brush cutter with a blade on soft grass, you may produce an uneven cut and may even damage the roots of the grass and dig up the soil. Therefore, using nylon trimmer is the only way to go when working on soft grass or watery plants.
But if you have a backyard or a property full of hardy and woody weeds and several trees that have branched out their twigs and branches all over the place, then it’s time to switch to brush cutter blades for weedeater. More so, analyze first what brush cutter blades types you will need before buying your blade. Though most of them are cheaper, you won’t need to buy a blade that cannot handle your type of vegetation you need to clear out.
How to Turn Your Weedeater into a Brush Cutter
So how do you change the nylon cartridge from a weedeater into a brush cutter blade? Here are clear and concise step-by-step procedures to do that.
Remove the trimmer head by using either a straight allen wrench or a 4-inch nail and inserting it into a hole at the back of the gear head. Turn the trimmer head until you feel a click which means the nail has locked its place into the slot of the head trimmer.
Turn the trimmer head clockwise to unscrew it.
Place the brush cutting blade on top of the drive disc. Make sure the blade’s center fits exactly on the raised edge of the rod of the trimmer.
Place the large washer on top of the blade followed by the cup that will support the blade. (This brush cutter cup can be bought on any hardware or you can order online). On the edge of the cup, you will see arrows telling you direction where to turn the nut when tightening it. This is the reverse tread direction to prevent your blade from loosening up once it spins.
Insert the screw by following the turning direction you see on the cup. Usually, this is in a counter-clockwise direction.
Use a socket spanner to tighten the nut.
Advantages of Owning a Brush Cutter
Now that we have discussed the benefits of having a weedeater that can be converted into a brush cutter, you can decide if you want to own either a weedeater or a brush cutter. But let us remind you that the brush cutters still have more powerful engines because they are made to do hardcore jobs and not merely for trimming grass on the lawn.
So here are the great advantages of owning one:
Brush cutters are very versatile. You can load them up with nylon strings to make them reliable trimming tools for your gardens and lawns. You can then put on a brush cutting blade once you need to clear out hard to kill tough weeds up to cutting up thick branches of trees.
They are packed with more power. You can create a good clearance quickly around the camp and cut those shrubs and small trees that can hide snakes and other dangerous small animals.
You can get them into hard to reach places where your mower can’t reach.
You can choose on a variety of brush cutter blades depending on the types of weeds and brushes you have to deal with.
The technology in the manufacturing of the brush cutting blades is very extensive. Meaning, there will always be new types of blades with different shapes that will come out and do more effective cutting for tougher jobs.
Lastly, brush cutting blades can offer you a good deal with their prices especially with the imported ones. You can buy the cheaper ones manufactured from other countries like China which are cheaper but very reliable.
If you look closely at the available brush cutter blades types today, you may realize that a lot of things about them have changed, particularly their shapes and teeth. From the basic two-armed knife blade, we now have the multiple-armed blade types. From the simple circular blade with serrated teeth, we now have the chainsaw edged. And their evolution continues which makes them also multi-purpose blades.
Like for example the smasher blades which commonly have chains and flails, we now have what they call the “bush destructor”. This is also some sort of a flail type but has a wider, folding blade for smashing, cutting and mulching grasses and weeds.
The teeth of today’s brush cutter blades have also gone tougher; they can cut even thin metals because of their carbide and tungsten edges. So if you are looking for the right brush cutting blades, better search for a blade that can be used for a number of purposes. But remember, there are always risks in using brush cutters so do not force the blade to cut an object if it’s not capable of.
For our next article, you may be interested to know about the best cordless weedeater which we see as very user-friendly garden tools in maintaining more neatly-looking lawns and gardens.