Brush cutter/ heavy duty string trimmer

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Feb 2, 2021
Southern New England
Looking for a machine that blurs the line between brush cutter and heavy duty string trimmer.

I need to take down everything from heavy over grown weeds to woody briars, to saplings

I really like echo (simple two stroke) but I’m open to others. Any recommendations on size, power, models?

what about cutting heads? Go with a blade? I have A LOT of rocks.



Minister of Fire
Oct 20, 2018
I had a 4-stroke Ryobi string trimmer for years. Blade for brush, saplings, etc. Worked great.


Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
SE North Carolina
I like my blade on my string trimmer. I don’t have rocks but that blade will find every piece of metal in my back yard. I switched it from a 4 pronged “blade” to a carbide tip regular saw blade. Hit anything hard and you can brake the carbide off, but it cuts every up to 1.5” very easy.



Minister of Fire
Aug 8, 2011
Long Island NY
Echo for me. I just bought the 225 PAS w/ trimmer and edger. Its pretty capable and I don't feel under powered but if you have a lot of heavy work every year you could go one step up.
Can't beat older stuff!

Does my bidding super!


Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
Unity/Bangor, Maine
Our ATV Club uses a four stroke Husqvarna with a blade cutting attachment. I really like it. Quiet. No two stroke mixing. Fires right up each and every Spring. Changing out the string to the rotary blade is a 3-minute job.


Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
Northern NH
Not sure it its still true but the various pros I knew would only buy straight shaft trimmers if they did saw work.


Feeling the Heat
Jul 23, 2016
I've had a Stihl fs91 4 stroke for a few years now. I have a 3 blade cutting head. Starts every time and has easily cut anything on your list. Might be a spring sale on them right now too.


Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
SE North Carolina
So I ended up with the Kombi system ( I have straight trimmer head from Stihl and then a generic brush cutter head, and an adjustable (angle )clipper head. It’s not pro grade and probably sees 15 tanks a fuel a year but the fast head change out saves me time(like when I don’t want to mess with the string head again for the 3rd time that day) 30 seconds later I’m sawing away. I might add the pole saw someday but I have an electric one so it’s not high on my list.

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Minister of Fire
Jan 8, 2014
Wisconsin Dells, WI
I just picked up a 555RXT from the UK. Same thing as the 555FX sold in the states, but with a longer shaft and comes with the string trimmer head and brush blade vs the shorter shaft and saw blade of the 555FX. Due to the longer shaft it's designed to be mainly used for brush clearing vs cutting down small trees that the 555FX is designed more for.

I basically got the 555RXT for the same price of the smaller 545FR sold here.

See my post -HERE-.
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Minister of Fire
Mar 1, 2012
Central Ohio
I've had a Sithl FS85 trimmer / brush cutter for the past 16 years. When I bought the trimmer I was told that if I wanted to run anything outside of a string trimmer head to only get a machine with a solid shaft. Whatever you buy, I'd make sure it has a solid shaft vs cable. I have the string trimmer head on mine 99% of the time and probably use the brush cutting head once or twice a year. I like the model I got because its not very heavy like a full on brush cutter, but its not a light duty home owner version.

Over the last 16 years I've only had one issue with the trimmer and it was due to ethanol. I had to replace the carb about 5 years ago. I think it cost me $20 for a new OEM carb from the local Stihl store.

Stihl has an online tool that you can use to make sure the brush cutter is compatible with the trimmer. You can find it -HERE-
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