How to choose a brush cutter, pole cutter, selection tips and reviews
brush cutter — a device for cutting bushes and hedges. Some hedge trimmers are capable of processing lawns as well. Such a unit will help to give the vegetation spectacular geometric shapes and even make garden sculptures. The main detail is a tire with moving blades.
Pole Cutter — a device for trimming the upper branches of trees without using a ladder. This tool has a rod that increases its length. There are models equipped with bush nozzles or saw blades. The main element is a tire with a moving chain.
- brush cutter
- Pole Cutter
- Inspect the unit for damage. Pay special attention to the condition of the cutting elements and the reliability of their fastening.
- Evaluate how comfortable the tool is in your hand. It is important that the fingers and forearms do not strain when gripping the handle. The duration and quality of work depends on this.
- The operator’s clothing should be comfortable for working with the tool — not hinder movement and not cling to branches. The necessary equipment includes a protective helmet, goggles, earmuffs (earplugs). A helmet will come in handy when using a pole hedge trimmer / pole cutter, and headphones (ear plugs) are devices with a gasoline engine.
- Do not overload the unit, otherwise it will quickly fail.
Blades (brush cutters) — are represented by two varieties.
- Unilateral — easy to operate, give shrubs simple geometric shapes. This option is suitable for beginners.
- Bilateral — increase the speed of processing shrubs twice and allow you to perform complex shapes. Such a brush cutter requires skills from the user. The choice of experienced gardeners.
Blades can be further divided into two types.
- One-way — Only one blade moves. This brush cutter is cheaper, easier to use, but vibrates a lot in the hands. Ideal solution for beginner gardeners.
- mutually cutting both blades move. It has high performance, but is more expensive and more difficult to operate. A unit with such blades is recommended for professional gardeners.
Bar length – the higher this parameter, the more efficient the hedge trimmer / pole cutter. As the length of the cutting part increases, the weight increases and the maneuverability of the tool decreases. Budget models have short tires, higher-end devices are equipped with larger tires.
The length of the tire of hedge trimmers varies between 8-75 cm (battery — 8-60 cm, network and gasoline — 40-70 cm), for high cutters — in the range of 20-50 cm. To work with small hedges and low trees, a tire 20 is enough -40 cm (brush cutter) and 20-25 cm (pole cutter). To cut large shrubs, you will need a longer tire.
Tooth pitch — the distance between the teeth of the tire. Depending on the model of the brush cutter, this parameter is 8-34 mm. The larger this value, the easier it is to cut thick shoots, but the quality of processing is reduced. Reducing the spacing between the teeth makes the cut more even, but this bar is not the best choice for sawing thick branches.
Chain pitch (pole cutter) — the distance between adjacent teeth of the chain or three rivets of chain links (in the latter case, this value is divided by 2). Measured in inches. The higher this parameter, the greater the performance of the unit. Usually chains are 0.25 (1/4) inch pitch; 0.325 inch; 0.375 (3/8).
Engine power – affects the performance of the hedge trimmer / pole pruner. It is measured in kilowatts (kW) or horsepower (hp). A powerful device will cope with the tasks faster than its weaker «brother». At the same time, this option will cost more and increase the consumption of electricity (fuel).
Depending on the model, the power of the brush cutters is 500-2500 W:
- electric (network) — 400-600 W;
- petrol – 600-1600 W.
For work with sparse shrubs, a device with a power of up to 500 watts is suitable. If the gardener is dealing with dense vegetation, then you will need a unit with a power of 800 W or more.
Important: The power of gasoline powered devices is indicated in horsepower. When converting this unit to watts, use the following ratio — 1 liter. With. = 735 W.
Maximum cutting diameter — the maximum permissible thickness of the branch for which a particular model of brush cutter / pole cutter is designed. Depends on motor power and tire length. Electric brush cutters are able to cut shoots 1-2 cm thick, gasoline counterparts — 4 cm.
Engine size (petrol) — the higher this indicator, the more powerful the engine, but also the higher the fuel consumption.
Engine idle speed (stroke frequency) — determines the quality of vegetation processing. The unit of measure is revolutions per minute (RPM). The higher this indicator, the more accurate the cut. In modest models, the engine speed does not exceed 1800-2200 rpm, more advanced equipment boasts a speed of 2800 rpm and even 3400 rpm.
Rod length — determines the range of the unit, without the use of a ladder or bench. This parameter does not exceed 4 m — this length allows you to process tall trees. A very long rod increases the cost and weight of the structure, and is also inconvenient when cutting branches at a low height.
Noise level – affects the comfort of using the tool. The quieter the hedge trimmer/pole pruner works, the better. However, the low-noise model is characterized by low power. Measured in decibels (dB). For most devices, this parameter is in the range of 65-100 dB.
The weight – affects the comfort of using the tool. Working with a heavy hedge trimmer will tire the user faster than using a lightweight model. It should be noted that massive equipment is more stable and does not slip out of hands under increased loads.
Electric (network) — powered by an electric motor. Power sources — 220 V network. Advantages: relatively low price, ease of use, environmental friendliness. Disadvantages: limited freedom of movement, less power compared to the gasoline counterpart. The power tool must not be used in wet conditions.
Important: An extension cord will help increase the maneuverability of the electric hedge trimmer / pole pruner. When choosing this device, pay attention to the length, insulation reliability and resistance to mechanical stress and moisture (recommended dust and moisture protection class IP67, IP68).
Electric (battery) — unlike the previous version, it does not depend on the outlet, thereby increasing the maneuverability of the tool. The battery model is more expensive and heavier than the network device, and also inferior to it in terms of power. Requires battery level monitoring. It is designed to solve relatively simple tasks and works no more than 40-50 minutes (requires recharging).
Petrol — powered by an internal combustion engine. Advantages: increased power, mobility. Disadvantages: complex maintenance, high price of the unit and fuel, loud noise, toxic exhaust, bulky and heavy weight. This technique is suitable for professional gardeners who perform large amounts of work.
Manual — driven by human muscle power. Advantages: low cost, noiselessness, environmental friendliness, light weight, compactness, does not require power, can be used in any weather. Disadvantages: the need for physical effort, rapid fatigue of the operator, unsuitability for processing tall shrubs. This tool is great for small jobs.
Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cd) — an outdated and imperfect battery. Such a battery is resistant to high and low temperatures, quickly charges with good capacity. Cons: «memory effect» (decrease in capacity due to regular recharging), toxicity. Therefore, such batteries should be charged only when they are discharged to zero.
Nickel Metal Hydrite (Ni-MH) — has the advantages of Ni-Cd, but is almost not subject to the «memory effect» and is less toxic. Cons: the complexity of long-term storage (including does not tolerate storage in a discharged state), heating during operation, a tendency to self-discharge.
Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) — devoid of the «memory effect», has a high charge density with low weight. In addition, the Li-Ion battery has a low self-discharge and charges quickly. Cons: high cost, sensitivity to high and low temperatures. This battery is adversely affected by a complete discharge.
Capacity — indicates the amount of energy issued by a 100% charged battery until it is completely discharged. It is measured in ampere-hours (Ah). The capacity determines the battery life of the power tool until the next charge.
Important: in addition to capacity, the autonomy of the hedge trimmer / pole pruner is determined by the motor power and battery voltage, the level of complexity of the tasks and the state of the cutting part.
Voltage — directly depends on the engine power. This parameter is important when replacing a broken battery with a new one.
Tank volume (petrol) – determines the duration of the tool until the next refueling. Most often, the capacity of the hedge trimmer tank does not exceed 0.5 liters.
Bar/Blade Angle Adjustment — makes it possible to cut branches located in hard-to-reach places.
Oil pump (gasoline pole cutter) — lubricates the chain, which increases the life of the tool.
The anti-vibration system – reduces the level of vibration when working with a pruner. As a result, the use of the tool becomes more comfortable.
Shoulder strap — reduces the load on the operator’s hands and thereby increases comfort during long work.
Case – protects the brush cutter / pole cutter from negative external influences. Simplifies storage and transportation of the unit.
telescopic rod – adjusts the overall length of the brush cutter / pole cutter and its reach depending on the height of the bush / tree. The best option for most situations.
There are also models with a solid and collapsible bar. The one-piece rod is durable, but relatively short, collapsible — it is longer, but not very convenient to use and store.
Trolley with telescopic handle — makes it possible to work the lawn while standing. Due to the retractable design, the handle easily adjusts to the height of the operator.
Water level (brush cutter) — gives an even haircut of a hedge, parallel to the surface of the earth.
Instant stop — in a matter of fractions of a second, the knives stop working. Increases operator safety.
Protection against accidental start – blocks spontaneous switching on of the device.
Shield — protects the user from accidental rebound of the device when touching a hard surface.