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String Trimmer vs. Brush Cutter: Uncover the Proven Differences

Do you have a backyard overfilled with weeds and brush? Then you would probably need a string trimmer or maybe a brush cutter.

But what is the difference between these two common garden tools? This is a burning question of most newbie gardeners.

However, both of these tools are quite similar but have some differences. In this article, we are going to learn exactly about that.

So, let’s get started!

String Trimmer Vs Brush Cutter

A string trimmer is also known as weed wacker and with this trimmer, you can reach hard to reach places when you have overgrown weeds. It uses monofilament line instead of blades and the line can break easily if not used properly.

They are very lightweight and used for trimming off weeds and grass. Weed wacker’s come in a variety of models, some are cordless battery powered, some use gasoline and some electricity. The major advance of owning a good one is that they can do some work which a regular mower can’t.

You will be able to clean weeds from the sidewalks, driveways, fences. And can trim off flower beds. Allowing you to have a clean yard! Some models come with a rotating head which allows them to work as an edger.

On the other hand, a brush cutter also the same thing but comes with more power. It doesn’t cut by line, it used sharp blade instead which makes it able to cut through even thicker items.

They are a little heavier than the string trimmer since they come with a blade. You can cut through 4-inch thicker tree trucks with this machine. However, both machines are effective and suitable for different needs!

Why Should You Own a String Trimmer?

As mentioned earlier, string trimmer comes in different versions. Gas-powered models are the expensive ones and the best one cleaning off a large yard, nothing comes close to this beast.

There are some models which are more economical such as battery-powered trimmer, these are only good for small yard cleaning.

An electric corded trimmer is also the same, you can’t cover a large area with such versions. However, if thick tree trucks and overgrown weeds have captured your big yard, it would be best for you to invest in a gas-powered string trimmer.

The Pros

  • It is available in different versions allowing you to choose the needed one. For example, if you own a small lawn, then you don’t have to invest in a powerful model. The versions include gas-powered, battery-powered and electric corded.
  • A gas-powered string trimmer can even cut through 4-inch thick tree trucks effortlessly. For cleaning bigger yards, this version of string trimmer is the best.
  • Some models come with full rotation feature which makes the machine a lawn edger and can reach hard to reach places where weed mower can’t reach.
  • String trimmers are highly lightweight and very simple to use. Even a newcomer will be able to figure things out for the first time.

The Cons

  • Since this trimmer uses monofilament line instead of a blade, so any wrong use might cause it to break easily.
  • Only for small, easy to cut grass and weeds. Is not good for thicker weed stems.
  • Cannot cut through tree trunks, monofilament line will break for sure.

Why Should You Own a Brush Cutter?

There are a lot of reasons why you should own one! The brush cutter is for those who got a large lawn to look after and got thick weed stems and tree trunks. It doesn’t use monofilament line like the string trimmer. It uses thick sharp blade instead and that allows you to clean all the thicker weed stems and tree trunks.

That being said, there are some rules and regulations you must follow when using a brush cutter. Since they are powerful you have to be very careful and you cannot run it through everything. The blade rotates clockwise which will require you to go right left for effective grass, weed cutting.

And if the blade hits any rock, the machine will hit you back, so pay your optimum attention to the ground over which you will be running the brush cutter.

The Pros

  • They also come in different variations. The blades can be changeable and there is a wide variety of blades.
  • Extremely powerful and can cut through 4-inch thick tree materials or tree trunks.
  • It can also get to the hard to reach places with little to no effort at all.

The Cons

  • You got to be really careful using this blade machine that might cut through most of the thing.
  • The rotating blade can force materials back at you.
  • If the blade hits any rock the machine might hit back.


So now you know what is the difference between a string trimmer and a brush cutter. Both are highly effective tools, but you need to know where to use which one. Be extremely careful while using both of these tools, check out OSHA’s guide on mowing and trimming safety.

If you are interested in buying a brush cutter, have a look at our review to find out which works best for your situation.

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