Brush Cutter vs Line Trimmer: What’s the Difference?

Written By:
Scott Carroll
Published On:
July 24, 2023
Brush Cutter vs Line Trimmer

One of the most challenging parts of gardening and landscape maintenance is controlling brush, weeds, and undergrowth. This weedy growth not only deters from the look of the landscape but also poses a health and safety risk. 

Overgrowth is a fire hazard and can harbour pests and disrupt people walking and working in the area. This is why reliable tools like brush cutters and line trimmers are important for proper maintenance and upkeep. 

Here is what you need to know about choosing the right tools for your needs, curated by our knowledgeable and experienced garden and agricultural experts.

What is a brush cutter?

A brush cutter tool designed with a powerful motor for the toughest garden and landscape uses. These power tools allow you to cut through dense vegetation, tough weeds, and overgrown brush. It is similar in appearance to a handheld grass trimmer, but it is designed especially to make your toughest cleaning and maintenance work simple and easy. Our experts use brush cutters regularly in their work and know these garden tools inside and out.

Overview of a brush cutter:

  1. Design: A typical brush has a long pole form, a cutting head on one end, and a motor on the other.
  2. Power sources: Brush cutters you commonly see can either use electric or gas as a power source.
  3. Versatility: These are extremely versatile tools used in gardens, farms, and roadwork projects.

Typical uses for brush cutters:

  1. Clearing overgrown areas: These power tools are very useful for clearing brush away where lawnmowers, edgers and other tools cannot easily be utilised. 
  2. Agricultural applications: Farmers, agricultural experts, and ranch workers can use these tools to clear land and prepare it for tilling and planting of new crops.
  3. Forestry management: Within the forestry industry, brush cutters help keep trails and paths clear and also help maintain underbrush to prevent wildfires.
  4. Roadside maintenance: Road crews must keep the area along roads, highways, paths, and bridges cleared; brush cutters are the best way to do this.

Pros and cons of a brush cutter

The key advantages of using a brush cutter that our team of experts want you to know about include:

  • They can cut through thick and heavy vegetation quickly and safely
  • They offer unprecedented versatility with different attachments and features to choose from
  • They provide superior durability and power for the toughest jobs out there
  • They are affordable and easy to maintain with regular upkeep and smart use
  • They are an investment that allows you to get more work down more easily

The key disadvantages of a brush cutter that our experts think you should know about include:

  • They can be overkill for simple tasks that could be managed with lighter equipment
  • They may require more maintenance and upkeep due to the complex nature of the devices
  • They are often noisy and heavy or cumbersome to use for longer periods

What is a line trimmer?

A line trimmer is a professional version of what is known to the home gardener as a weed eater, weed whacker, or string trimmer. Our experts use them daily with upkeep and maintenance work on lawns and grasses. The handheld gardening tool is used to cut grass, weeds, and plant material that cannot be accessed with a mower or is too thick for hand cutting. It is essential for maintaining the edges of lawns, trimming around obstacles, and tidying up hard-to-reach spots.

Overview of a line trimmer:

  1. Design: Line trimmers are handheld devices with an elongated pole and a cutting head on one end.
  2. Power sources: Line trimmers can be powered by gasoline engines or electric motors.
  3. Cutting mechanism: A long flexible nylon string is the most common cutting material used.

Typical uses for line trimmers:

  1. Edging lawns: These trimmers are frequently used to trim grass and lawns around flower beds, sidewalks, and hardscape elements in gardens and other areas.
  2. Trimming in areas: Line trimmers are wonderful for hard-to-reach areas around garden features, rocks, stumps, and other hard-to-reach areas in the yard.
  3. Clearing weeds: In hilly or rough terrain, professional landscapers often use these tools to maintain grass and control weeds and other growth on the property.
  4. Garden maintenance: Line trimmers are widely used in maintaining small and hard-to-reach spaces, like alleys, fence lines, gates, and access points.

Pros and cons of line trimmers 

The key advantages line trimmers offer that our team of experts understand include the following:

  • They are ideal for light to medium tasks and are commonly used in residential yards.
  • They have a lightweight and easy-to-use setup that is ideal for a range of tasks.
  • They need no special training or experience beyond basic safety practice training.
  • They are generally less expensive than brush cutters and easier to handle and use.
  • They can be used by anyone due to their lightweight design and setup. 
  • The key disadvantages of line trimmers, according to our experts, include:
  • They are not at all suitable for heavy-duty tasks and rough terrain
  • They are prone to frequent line breakage when used on tough vegetation
  • They generally are not as durable, powerful, or long-lasting as brush cutters

What is the difference between a brushcutter and line trimmer?


A brush cutter is made of a longer shaft with a motor at one end and a cutting head at the other. 

In contrast, a line trimmer has a shorter shaft, a lighter engine, and a cutting heat at the bottom. 

Physical design

A brush cutter is made of a longer shaft with a motor at one end and a cutting head at the other. 

In contrast, a line trimmer has a shorter shaft, a lighter engine, and a cutting heat at the bottom. 

Power mode

Generally, brush cutters have larger motors and are more powerful, whether gas or electric.

Line trimmers usually have lower power levels and can also be gas or electric-powered.

Cutting mechanisms

The cutting mode commonly used with a brush cutter involves a toothed blade, much like a chainsaw. 

Line trimmers generally use flexible nylon string or line as a versatile cutting apparatus.

Cost considerations

Brush cutters are generally more costly to buy and maintain due to heavy-duty components. 

Line trimmers offer a much more affordable option that anyone can usually manage.

Brush cutter vs line trimmer: Which to choose?

Factors our team recommends you consider when choosing the tool for the job include:

  • Size and type of property you are working with
  • The type of vegetation you need to clear
  • What kind of structures and other features are involved
  • Your budget for purchasing and maintaining the equipment 
  • Your physical ability to handle the tool safely
  • How often you will need to use the tools on site
  • How many people need to access and use the tools

Final thoughts

Gardening and landscape maintenance can be quite demanding, especially when dealing with unruly brush, weeds, and undergrowth. Not only does this wild grass growth detract from the aesthetics of the landscape, but it also poses health and safety risks. Overgrown vegetation can become a fire hazard and provide a breeding ground for pests while obstructing movement for people in the area. 

That’s why it is crucial to have reliable tools like brush cutters and line trimmers to ensure proper maintenance and upkeep. To help you make the right choice for your specific needs, our team of knowledgeable and experienced garden and agricultural experts has curated valuable insights. 

They can guide you in selecting the most suitable tools to keep your garden and landscape pristine, making the maintenance process much more manageable and efficient. We wish you the best with your Australian property and landscape management and hope this guide proves to be a valuable resource for you.


Can a line trimmer be used as a brush cutter?

Smaller projects can benefit from a line trimmer, but heavy-duty projects need the power of the brush cutter.

What safety precautions should I take when using a brush cutter or line trimmer?

Both pieces of equipment must be used safely, so basic concerns about avoiding the cutting material and proper maintenance and upkeep are essential. 

How do I maintain a brush cutter or line trimmer?

Routine inspection for damages and prompt repairs will keep your tools in good shape; additional care and cleaning after each use will also extend the life of your cutter or trimmer.