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Brush Cutter vs Clearing Saw: What’s the Difference?

Last Updated on January 24, 2020

brushcutter_vs_clearingsawLandscaping is a multibillion-dollar industry with top competitors pushing the latest and greatest products every year. As a consumer, it may be hard to figure out what you really need for your landscaping projects. When you’re in the market for a new brush cutter or clearing saw, it’s important to know exactly what you want from your new equipment. Brush cutters and clearing saws have similar features, but there are some differences that should be noted. To save you some time, we will quickly break down what each tool does and how to make the right decision.

The Brush Cutter

brush cutter product

Image Credit By: Creative Commons Zero

The brush cutter is a versatile landscaping tool that can help you add the finishing touches to your property. Brush cutters come in all shapes and sizes, so finding the right model is important. Lightweight brush cutters, which usually weigh around 10-12 pounds, are best for trimming lawn edges and smaller landscaping projects. Most lightweight brush cutters have a grass trimming or cutting tool, though some models may have a brush knife attachment. These lightweight models are perfect for a homeowner with a smaller property.

The heavier models, though, can easily weigh over 20 pounds. Generally, they come with a cutting tool strong enough to get through most matted vegetation. Some companies have brush cutters with a backpack model—this is perfect if your property has steep inclines or tough spots to reach with a traditional cutter. As with all other landscaping equipment, regular maintenance is needed to care for a brush cutter. Lastly, it’s important to note that most brush cutters are not strong enough to cut small trees or thick bushes. Keep this in mind when purchasing your new cutter.

  • Versatile in size
  • Some models come with attachments
  • Gas or Electric
  • Perfect for the average homeowner
  • Used for general landscaping
  • Needs regular maintenance
  • Noisy
  • Can be expensive
  • Smaller cutters may be too weak for thick vegetation

The Clearing Saw

Clearing Saw Product

Image Credit By: Creative Commons Zero

The clearing saw is a tough piece of landscaping equipment that also comes in different sizes and features. Normally paired with a circular saw or brush knife cutting tool, clearing saws are literally for clearing anything in its path. Whether you purchased land with years of overgrowth or have a job clearing brush from uneven or rough terrain, a clearing saw will be an essential tool. If your property has a more complex landscaping design, a clearing saw would be the better and more versatile option. The lightweight models tend to be equal to or stronger than the bigger brush cutters. Larger, stronger clearing saws are powerful enough that they can easily clear fields with rough thicket and even small trees. This will save you time and energy from switching back and forth between a handheld saw and the clearing saw. It’s also important to note that the clearing saw needs regular maintenance, especially if it has been used extensively.

  • Used for extensive landscape work
  • Can clear thick vegetarian
  • Strong enough to cut small trees and shrubs
  • Can be used on difficult terrain
  • Usually gas but can be electric
  • Needs regular maintenance
  • Can be heavier than brush cutter
  • Can be more expensive than brush cutter

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Brush cutters and clearing saws are similar in what they do, but there are some key differences to remember. Brush cutters are great for the average homeowner that needs more than a cut lawn. They can be used for most landscaping and gardening projects, more versatile than a standard weed whacker.  Also, they’re available in most retail landscaping and home improvement stores with different features and attachments. Clearing saws are better for bigger plots of land, rougher terrain, and complex landscape designs. The ability to clear thick vegetation and stubborn overgrowth with ease makes the clearing saw a popular choice among landscape experts. In conclusion, brush cutters and clearing saws are both great clearing tools: the former is meant for smaller projects and the latter is designed for the tougher landscaping jobs.

About the Author Adam Harris

Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!