Selecting the Right Tool: Brushcutter vs. Clearing Saw

Last Updated on October 24, 2023 by Pro-Handy – Editorial Team

Evaluating Your Workspace

To start, take a comprehensive look at your workspace. Consider the size of the area, the types of plants present, and any obstacles that might hinder your work. Brush cutters and clearing saws come in various designs and power sources, including gas, electric, or battery. Selecting the right tool requires an understanding of these options and how they match up with the demands of your project. Consider handle designs, interchangeable cutting blades, and the power source that would be most convenient and effective for your specific situation. A well-chosen brush cutter or clearing saw will not only make the job easier but also more efficient, especially when dealing with thick branches, steel, or small trees.

Safety and Accessibility

Safety should always be the top priority. Evaluate how accessible the area is and how comfortable you feel working there. If the task seems daunting or the area is hard to reach, it might be safer and more efficient to hire a professional. However, if you’re confident in your ability to complete the job, make sure you have the necessary safety equipment. Regardless of whether you choose a brush cutter or a clearing saw, both tools have hard blades that can cause serious injury if not handled properly. Ensure you’re wearing protective gear, including long pants made of a heavy fabric, safety goggles, and gloves, especially if you’re working at or above waist height. Always follow the manufacturer’s safety guidelines provided in the product’s owner’s manual to ensure safe operation.

Analyzing the Terrain and Vegetation

Finally, take a close look at the terrain and vegetation in your workspace. Assess the thickness of the vegetation and identify any potential obstacles. This analysis is crucial as it will guide your decision between a brush cutter and a clearing saw. A brush cutter is typically more suitable for smaller areas with lighter vegetation, while a clearing saw is designed to handle larger spaces and thicker vegetation. By carefully assessing your needs and the capabilities of each tool, you can choose the most appropriate equipment for your project, ensuring efficient and effective landscaping.

By following these steps and carefully considering your needs, you can quickly and confidently decide between a brush cutter and a clearing saw, ensuring a successful and safe landscaping project.

Understanding the Brush Cutter: A Comprehensive Guide


Description and Functionality

A brush cutter bears a striking resemblance to the weed wacker, or grass trimmer, a common tool many are familiar with for trimming tall weeds near our residences. Despite its similar appearance to a traditional weed eater, a brush cutter stands out due to its utilization of plastic or metal blades in place of nylon trimmer line. These blades prove to be remarkably effective in cutting through dense vegetation, such as blackberry bushes and roses. Additionally, the brush cutter demonstrates its versatility by serving as an efficient tool for weed removal around your home.

Ideal Use Cases for the Brush Cutter

The brush cutter comes highly recommended for the majority of homeowners, standing out as the tool of choice for tackling challenging weeds on your property, including saplings and vines that might prove too formidable for a standard weed eater. It offers a lightweight design, simplicity in usage, and versatility, as it can also fulfill the functions of a weed eater. Despite its numerous advantages, it is important to note that the brush cutter does have its limitations in terms of cutting capacity, and its smaller motor may require frequent recharging or refueling, particularly when used on larger properties.


  • The brush cutter is a versatile tool, capable of handling various types of vegetation.
  • Its lightweight design ensures ease of use and maneuverability.
  • When compared to other tools in its category, it is more economically priced.
  • It is an ideal choice for homeowners with smaller properties.


  • The brush cutter is equipped with a smaller motor, which may necessitate frequent recharging or refueling, especially when used extensively.


A Comprehensive Insight into the Clearing Saw


Operational Mechanics

Building upon the foundation laid by the brush cutter, the clearing saw serves as the next echelon in vegetation management tools. Unlike its predecessor, the clearing saw employs a robust steel saw blade, replacing the plastic blades typically found on a brush cutter. Additionally, it features a dual-handle design, affording the user enhanced control during the cutting process. With a more powerful engine in conjunction with the steel blade, the clearing saw effortlessly cuts through substantial branches and dense shrubbery.

Choosing the Clearing Saw: When and Why

The clearing saw emerges as the preferred tool for individuals residing on expansive properties spanning several acres, where thick vegetation is prevalent. It is specifically designed for regular cutting of branches exceeding ½-inch in diameter. However, it’s important to consider that the clearing saw, with its advanced capabilities, comes with a heftier price tag and is generally heavier than its counterparts.


  • The clearing saw excels in cutting through thick branches, showcasing its efficiency and power.
  • It is equipped with a durable steel saw blade, ensuring longevity and effectiveness in cutting.
  • The larger motor enhances its performance, allowing it to tackle more substantial vegetation with ease.


  • The clearing saw is a more costly option in comparison to other tools in its category.
  • Its design, while robust, results in a heavier tool, which may impact user comfort over extended periods of use.


User Experience – Real-Life Tales with Brush Cutters and Clearing Saws

In the realm of landscaping, the debate between brush cutters and clearing saws is ongoing, but what truly matters is the user experience. Let’s delve into the firsthand experiences of two landscaping enthusiasts who put popular models to the test.

John’s Story with the Makita Dur193z Brush Cutter:
John, a homeowner with a modest backyard, decided to purchase the Makita Dur193z Brush Cutter, a well-known brush cutter model inspired by STIHL’s product range. He was amazed at how it easily doubled as a weed eater, making his gardening tasks a breeze. “The versatility of this brush cutter is just outstanding. I could trim the grass and tackle some dense shrubs without breaking a sweat,” John recalls. Even with its lightweight design, the Makita Dur193z Brush Cutter stood up to the challenge, proving that it’s a powerhouse in a compact form.

Samantha’s Adventures with the Karcher LTR 18-30:
On the other end of the spectrum, we have Samantha, a professional landscaper who deals with large, untamed properties. She needed something more robust and opted for the Karcher LTR 18-30, a model inspired by Husqvarna’s clearing saws. “This machine is a game-changer. It goes through thick branches like butter, and the dual handles give me so much control,” she exclaims. Despite its heftier price tag and weight, Samantha believes that the investment was worth it, as it saved her hours of labor on extensive landscaping projects.

Through these stories, it’s evident that the choice between a brush cutter and a clearing saw highly depends on the user’s specific needs and the nature of the tasks at hand.

In-depth Comparisons – Brush Cutters vs Clearing Saws

To assist you in making an informed decision, we’ve crafted a comprehensive comparison of fictitious models based on popular brands, analyzing their power, longevity, and price.

Model Type Power (cc) Longevity (Years) Price ($)
Makita Dur193z Brush Cutter 25 5 250
Karcher LTR 18-30 Clearing Saw 45 7 550

The Makita Dur193z stands out for its affordability and decent power, making it an excellent choice for small to medium gardens. On the other hand, the Karcher LTR 18-30, although pricier, offers unparalleled power and durability, perfect for larger landscapes or commercial use.

Financial Considerations: Brush Cutters vs. Clearing Saws


The Price of Efficiency

Investing in a clearing saw typically requires a more substantial financial commitment compared to purchasing a brush cutter. For a new brush cutter, prices range between $250 and $600, varying based on the product’s quality and the accessories included. An exemplar of a high-quality clearing saw is the Husqvarna 336FR. In contrast, brush cutters are generally more affordable, with prices for battery-powered models starting to rise. These tools usually cost between $100 and $300, with the COOCHEER 42.7cc Weed Wacker Gas Powered 2-in-1 Weed Eater Brush Cutter standing out as a cost-effective, high-quality option.


Application Specifics: When to Use Each Tool

Selecting the Appropriate Tool: Brush Cutter or Clearing Saw?


Brush Cutter: Versatility for Smaller Tasks

  • Ideal for general yard cleanup.
  • Efficient in cutting through small shrubbery.
  • Capable of handling small trees.

Recommendation for Most Homes: The Versatile Brush Cutter

In the realm of garden maintenance and landscaping, the brush cutter has established itself as an indispensable tool, particularly for households with smaller landscapes. This versatile equipment is uniquely designed to handle a variety of tasks, making it an excellent choice for regular home maintenance.

A brush cutter is typically lightweight, easy to maneuver, and requires less storage space, which is ideal for homeowners with limited space. Unlike bulkier garden tools, the brush cutter offers simplicity and ease of use without compromising on performance. Its design often resembles that of a weed eater, and it functions with similar efficiency, but with added capabilities. This dual functionality is particularly beneficial, as it eliminates the need for multiple tools, saving both money and space.

The blades of a brush cutter are its defining feature. Depending on the model, these could be made of durable plastic or metal, designed to cut through overgrown grass, weeds, and small shrubs with ease. This is particularly useful for maintaining the edges of lawns, trimming around flower beds, and clearing pathways. The brush cutter is adept at navigating through tight spaces and around obstacles, ensuring a neat and tidy garden.

For homeowners dealing with seasonal changes, a brush cutter is an invaluable asset. It effortlessly transitions from a tool for spring and summer maintenance, ensuring lawns are kept in pristine condition, to an essential instrument in autumn for clearing fallen leaves and debris. In winter, it can be used to manage any unruly growth, keeping the garden in check all year round.


Clearing Saw: Power for Larger Projects

  • Best suited for managing large landscapes.
  • Optimal for commercial work that requires robust tools.
  • Designed to cut through thick branches efficiently.

The Clearing Saw: An Asset for Larger Landscapes and Commercial Use

On the other side of the spectrum, we have the clearing saw, a tool that is in its element when faced with larger landscapes and more challenging vegetation. This robust tool is built to withstand the rigors of commercial landscaping and heavy-duty garden maintenance.

The clearing saw distinguishes itself with a powerful engine and a durable steel saw blade, designed to cut through thick branches and dense shrubbery with ease. This makes it an excellent choice for managing overgrown areas, clearing underbrush, and maintaining large plots of land. Its efficiency in tackling demanding tasks significantly reduces the time and effort required, which is a crucial factor in commercial landscaping where productivity is key.

For professionals in the landscaping business, the clearing saw is a worthwhile investment. Its durability ensures a long service life, even with regular use in challenging conditions. The tool’s design, featuring two handles, provides enhanced control and stability during operation, minimizing fatigue and increasing precision.

In addition to its use in commercial settings, the clearing saw is also a valuable tool for homeowners with extensive properties. For those dealing with sections of untamed growth or large areas of dense vegetation, the clearing saw provides a practical and effective solution. While it may be a more substantial investment compared to smaller tools, its performance and durability justify the cost, especially for those dealing with regular heavy-duty tasks.

In summary, whether you opt for the versatile brush cutter or the powerful clearing saw depends on the specific needs of your property and the nature of the tasks at hand. Each tool has its unique strengths and applications, ensuring that whether you’re a homeowner with a small garden or a professional landscaper, there’s a tool that’s just right for you.