Advice needed on brushcutters please...


Hello there, can anyone recommend a good, reasonably priced - £100 ish, electric

  brush cutter, please? We have brambles and general undergrowth to get rid of and then want it to last so that we can use it in the growing season to trim the grass in the small wildlife area at the bottom of the garden.

Stihl fse 60 or fse 81 seem good - has anyone got experience of these or have recommendations?

Thanks for your time 




  • treehugger80treehugger80 Posts: 1,915

    in my opinion electric brush cutters do not work, they simply do not have the power to hack thru stuff like brambles,

    think of paying a little more and get a decent petrol one

  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 5,367

    Sorry Daisy - I have to agree with Treehugger on this one. Both the models you mention appear to be line cutters & more suited to strimming grass or light vegetation (nettles might be ok).

    If you're needing to tackle denser undergrowth and brambles you really need something more heavy duty with a metal blade. Stihl are excellent tools used by many professionals but you still need a tool which is strong enough for the job.

    Personally, I don't like electric cords flailing around when I'm cutting anything - hedges, grass or anything else. Far too easy to cut through the cable - trust me - I know image

    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • DaisydotDaisydot Dartmoor Posts: 21

    Thanks for your thoughts, both. I always thought petrol jobs were a faff and as I'm disabled, electric would be easier for me and anyone who might help (chance would be a fine thing but you never know).

    Guess I'll have to think on it some more. Having been housebound for 8 years, because of an inaccessible garden and no funds, a little longer won't hurt...she lied ????

    I can't explain how much my garden means towards a better enriched life. I used to garden every chance I got so to look at a nightmare every day is so miserable.

    Any thoughts on makes/models of petrol?

  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 5,367

    Not really I'm afraid Daisy.

    Obviously I didn't realise there are restrictions on movement, lifting etc for you so you might well be right that a petrol machine could be difficult for you to start. They are often heavier (so more tiring to use) - so an electric one might be right for you.

    Stihl do make a cordless electric brush cutter with a blade which might be a good compromise (FSA 90) but it is considerably more than £100 - especially if you have buy the battery & charger separately (haven't looked at it too closely).

    The more powerful of the models you originally suggested might well be the most suitable in your particular circumstances. 

    If you think you will only need to clear the brambles / undergrowth once (and can then keep on top of maintenance) you might find it cheaper to hire a heavy duty brush cutter for a weekend to get that job out of the way and done safely and quickly. If you don't know somebody who would come and do it for you then a professional gardening team would probably come in with their own equipment for a day or so and sort it out for you.

    If you have a disability local volunteers might come in to help with clearance. Do you have a local volunteer centre you can contact?

    Whether you hire equipment or call in professional help it  means you have one (probably not tooooo) expensive outlay to get the initial job done quickly (and some sanity restored for you) and you can then buy a cheaper light weight strimmer to maintain the areas yourself as necessary.

    If you have family asking what you would like for Christmas or birthday perhaps they would contribute to a "Garden Clearance" fund if they realised how much it meant to you to put it right.

    Difficult to decide what to do but I hope you come up with something. It is horrible watching your garden disappear under weeds etc when your heart is aching to be out there.

    Good luck. image

    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • Singing GardenerSinging Gardener EssexPosts: 874

    We have a Ryobi electric brush cutter (about £100 on Amazon). It has an interchangeable line strimmer and brush cutter blade but it's a bit of a pain to change between the two. It seems to work pretty well on brambles, sloe saplings etc. although we have had to change the blade a couple of times when it gets bent.

  • DaisydotDaisydot Dartmoor Posts: 21

    Thanks Topbird, no volunteers who will come out to the village, I'm afraid - it's known unaffectionately as 'the village of the damned'! And funds to employ someone (and believe me, I've tried getting quotes but no-one wants to come) don't exist. Hence, the trying to get it done myself. If it's gonna finish me off, you've got to try, right?

    Thanks for the info on the Ryobi, Singing Gardener, I'll check it out.

    A final thought, I used to curse the dandelion for invading my beautifully created landscapes, even though I'm a relaxed kind of gardener. But, for years now, they are one of the few things I look forward to seeing. They sweep in with a carpet of sunshine which, in their way,is very beautiful and makes me smile. I wouldn't recommend giant hogweed though but the humble dandelion is an often maligned treasure. Controversial, I know!

    Thanks for all the help.

  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,123

    Husqvarna do a small light 2 stroke brush cutter, it's very easy to use and inexpensive.

  • DaisydotDaisydot Dartmoor Posts: 21

    Thanks Dave, I'll look at it this morning. ????

  • I agree with you on dandelions - they are beautiful in flower and in seedhead and the green leaves are nice too. I often think that if they were rare everyone would want them!

    They come up between the paving flags on my terrace. I don't want to get rid of them altogether as I use them to feed the guinea pigs and the geese and hens like to eat them too. I often leave a few in the veg garden (where the poultry is excluded) for a tasty addition to a salad for ourselves. The goldfinches like the seeds and go over them methodically, leaving little piles of seed stalks all over the flags - fun to watch through the kitchen window! I cut them down when they get too raggedy looking later in the summer.

  • As has been said, electric line strimmers are good for lawn edging and light work. Brambles need a proper brush cutter with a metal blade. The nylon line can wrap itself around brambles without cutting them. A small 50cc Brush Cutter can be heavy after a while and should not be taken lightly, they can be dangerous if proper care is not taken. Rather than buy one they can be hired from your local tool hire. They often do cheap week end hires, though they tend to be more industrial than garden cutters. Garden types tend to have a curved shaft and should be used for 20 mins max and left to cool for 20mins before another session. They are two stroke and can be a pain to start.

Sign In or Register to comment.