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The best brushcutter of 2019

ByElina BlomUpdated October 4, 2019

We have tested brush cutters and name Husqvarna 525 RX as best in test. It is a powerful machine that gives you a good operating time, all while not weighing too much. If you're after a brush cutter that can also cut down trees, then Stiga SBC 226 JD is a very good choice. It is best budget choice based on it's long operating time and motor power.


Strong enough even if for large areas of tough weeds

Power source: Petrol Cylinder volume: 27.2 cc Wire diameter: 2.4 mm Cutting width: 42 cm Weight: 4.9 kg Tank volume: 0.33 L Miscellaneous: Semi-automatic line feed, AutoCut C 26-2 User manual: PDF

Stihl FS 55

The Stihl FS 55 is a relatively light and neat “brushcutter”. Stihl call it a strimmer, but given that it has a blade it’s also very useful as a brushcutter. In fact, it’s actually best as a brushcutter. With the brush blade on, you can cut woody weeds without problems, so you get quite a lot of power for your money. There are more suitable models if you’re going to use your brushcutter for heavy tasks such as cutting coarser brush with branches more than 3-4 cm thick. But if you’ve got a field of weeds, large tangles of bushes with thickish stalks or smaller woody weeds, the FS 55 is excellent. The rig is light to adjust and suitable for both tall and shorter users. All of the buttons and controls are well positioned and clearly marked, which makes the brushcutter easy to understand. The Stihl FS 55 is also relatively fuel efficient. Despite the fact that the tank doesn’t hold very much, we can cut in tough terrain for just over 50 minutes on one tank. Starting the FS 55 requires at most 2-3 pulls on the cord, even when you first start it for the season. The noise level is normal, but the profile is a bit unpleasant, so it's a good idea to wear hearing protectors.

The FS 55 works well with both a blade and reel of line. The reel also lasts quite well even in tough terrain, and gives a good cutting width that makes the process efficient. The harness is a simple type but nicely padded and sufficient in terms of weight and balance. The FS 55 is both user-friendly and well designed, and is suitable for those with a lot of tough weeds to handle. If you're only going to cut normal grass, it’s a bit over the top and it would be better if you bought a battery-powered strimmer. On the other hand, if you're going to cut tough terrain such as young woodland, it's a bit under-powered. But if you're between the two, it’s an excellent choice. It’s very efficient.

Good constructionsuitable for both tall and short userstime efficient
Can’t cope with trees


Good value for money, medium-strength brushcutter with a long operating time

Power source: Petrol Cylinder volume: 25.4 cc Tank volume: 0.65 L Line diameter: 2.4 mm Cutting width: 43 cm Power: 0.7 kW Weight: 7.2 kg Miscellaneous: Semi-automatic line feed, brush blade 3T (255)

Stiga SBC 226 JD

The Stiga SBC 226 JD is our best in test because it's relatively strong given the price, and has a long operating time. In terms of strength, it can cope with a good deal of the brush that we attack with the brush blade. However, it tends to get stuck when used on woody vegetation or in tall, thick grass. The brushcutter has what's described as an easy start function, but it still takes 5-6 pulls to start from cold. Once it's warmed up, however, it's easy to start. Assembly is simple once you've done it a couple of times. There are three parts to be screwed together in a particular order. The same applies to the line reel, which is strong and relatively easy to install. The line reel is semi-automatic and is fed out by tapping the head on the ground, which works without problems.

However, the brushcutter only includes a simple harness, which impairs the user experience somewhat, as the body is unevenly loaded. Nor is the harness well padded, and the brushcutter is quite heavy. These disadvantages become obvious when you've run the machine for a short time. However, it's easy to attach and remove the harness. Another disadvantage in purely ergonomic terms is that the throttle button is large and slippery while the vibrations are simultaneously considerable. After a little while, these factors can have an impact on your hands. The operating time with a full tank is estimated as around 1 hour 20 minutes. That's really good. The price is also a plus, and might explain some of the disadvantages such as the choice of harness. Given its low price, the SBC 226 JD is therefore an excellent alternative if you have a small budget.

Long operating time, strong
Unergonomic harness, heavy

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3. Husqvarna 525 RX

Strong brushcutter for both small and larger clearing projects

Power source: Petrol Cylinder volume: 25.4 cc Tank volume: 0.51 L Line diameter: 2.4 mm Cutting width: 30 cm Power: 1 kW Weight: 4.9 kg Miscellaneous: T35 strimmer head, semi-automatic line feed, 255-4 brush blade

Husqvarna 525RX

The Husqvarna 525 RX is a brushcutter suitable for anyone needing a bit more power in an easy-to-carry machine, although given the price, the power could have been better. It's pretty good on both tall grass and well-grown brushwood, but it struggles a bit with really thick clumps. As a hobby machine, though, it's impressive. The semi-automatic line feed works very well, feeding out the line when you press the head against the ground. You get about an hour and ten minutes' operating time from a full tank. This is very good, given the tank volume. We also like the fact that it's easy to assemble and start using.

The 525 RX is also user-friendly. You understand immediately how everything works. All of the buttons and controls are close together and there's no difficulty making adjustments. You can start the brushcutter from cold with just 2-3 pulls. And you switch it off easily by pushing forward a stop control. This then goes back automatically into the starting position. Unfortunately it only includes a simple harness, which we think is a bit stingy given the price, but it fits well and the padding seems to be sufficient for the weight of the machine. We would have liked there to be a much better grip on the handle, as it's slippery and plasticky. However, we like the fact that the throttle system is designed so that the upper button is the larger one, instead of the lower one as is the case on so many other machines. This means that it's never difficult to control the brushcutter's power. Overall, we feel that this is a good value for money brushcutter for anyone needing an economical, powerful and light machine.

Powerful, good operating time, weight
Slippery handle, simple harness

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Lawnmowers Direct

4. AL-KO BC 4125 II-S

Budget brushcutter for lighter work

Power source: Petrol Cylinder volume: 32.6 cc Tank volume: 1 L Line diameter: 2.4 mm Cutting width: 41 cm Power: 0.9 kW Weight: 7.8 kg Miscellaneous: Semi-automatic line feed

AL-KO BC 4125 II-S Comfort

The AL-KO BC 4125 II-S is a brushcutter primarily suited to anyone cutting lighter vegetation such as grass and brush that isn't densely packed. In other words, the performance is what we'd expect in this price class. It's quite a heavy and bulky machine to carry around. It feels particularly heavy because it only comes with a simple harness with very little padding in. You feel this on your shoulders and back after using it for a while. We estimate the operating time with a full tank to be around 1 hour 15 minutes. This is OK, but given the tank volume and brushcutter performance we would have liked more.

Something we really like about the BC 4125 II-S is the semi-automatic line feed. This makes it easier to run in tough terrain that wears the line out quickly, because you don't have to stop at regular intervals and pull out more line. The line lasts well during use. The grip is also good. It's made of patterned rubber so that your hands don't slip, and the buttons are a reasonable size. At the same time, many details of the machine feel relatively plasticky. The overall experience is that AL-KO is making well considered choices in order to reduce the price. You get a brushcutter that's primarily suited to cutting grass and weeds, with reasonable ergonomics and build quality and a pretty good operating time. However, we recommend that you upgrade to a better harness.

Good for cutting grass, good grip
Heavy, poor harness


A brushcutter is an ideal garden tool for anyone who has a lot of grass, brushwood or woody vegetation to clear a couple of times a year. You can fit both a reel of line and a variety of blades on a brushcutter head. This gives you a wider range of possible tasks. The time it takes to clear an area is largely affected by your technique and speed of movement. If the brushcutter is sufficiently powerful and equipped with the right tools, it will immediately remove any weeds as you move it over the ground. With the right technique, you will be able to clear the area both quickly and safely. However, if your brushcutter's performance isn't up to the task, you'll be stuck in the same place for a long time. For example, the blade can get stuck in woody vegetation and be unable to cut it, and weeds may bend rather than being cut. Either the brushcutter will be able to do its task or it will be completely incapable. So it's very important that you buy a brushcutter that's competent enough to cope with the tasks you need it for.

A brushcutter is like a chainsaw with a long shaft and rotating blades. You put on a harness to which you attach the machine, and you then control it with the bike-style handlebars. Because it's heavier than its sibling the strimmer, and has more motor power, the harness is an important accessory. You need a good harness and an effective anti-vibration system for good ergonomics. It's also important to choose a brushcutter that has a good balance between power and weight. You should be able to use the brushcutter for the whole of the operating time without feeling discomfort. If you know that you have quite dense clumps of brushwood or reeds that it may even be difficult to get in amongst, you need more power and also need to assume that the machine will be heavier. However, if you've got less dense tall grass and brush, you can drop down a size and probably also a weight class.


Both blades and line tend to be included with a brushcutter. But what type of blade is included? There are different types of blade for different purposes:

  • Grass blade - intended for grass and smaller weeds
  • Compost blade - intended for tough clumps of grass and brush
  • Brushwood blade - intended for brushwood
  • Saw blade/brushcutter blade - intended for woody vegetation

The advantage with blades is that you don't have to worry about the line breaking or the thickness of the brushwood you're clearing. A blade is usually able to cope with both dense brushwood and less dense bushes. The disadvantage is that you don't get the same cutting width. In simpler conditions, therefore, it's best to use line as this is more effective. If you have sensitive areas in the garden, line also entails less risk of damage. Because the line can break, it's important that you choose a brushcutter that can cope with sufficiently thick line for the task you need it for, and that it's easy to top up the brushcutter with new line. You can buy prewound line reels that you simply install, but it's cheaper to buy loose line and spool it on yourself. The standard line thickness is about 2.4-2.7 millimetres.

As the blade on the brushcutter gets blunt, you may need to sharpen it. It can therefore be a good idea to also buy the tools to file it with - a file and a file template.

Remember to use suitable safety equipment when using your brushcutter. Safety goggles, gloves, safety shoes and hearing protection are recommended.

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