Line Trimmers Vs. Brush Cutters: What’s The Difference?

Line trimmers and brush cutters are essential tools for any homeowner, landowner, or professional landscaper. These tools provide more versatility than other garden maintenance tools, and they are incredibly useful, but what is the difference between line trimmers are brush cutters? What are they used for, and which one should you buy?

Line trimmers are less powerful than brush cutters. They are ideal for home gardens, trimming lawns edging flowerbeds, and footpaths. Brush cutters are more powerful and versatile than line trimmers. They are required for tougher jobs and larger areas of land maintenance.

Line trimmers and brush cutters are very useful, and they are somewhat similar, but upon close inspection, you will discover that these tools are surprisingly different from one another and specialize in specific tasks. Let’s examine the differences between line trimmers and brush cutters.

How Are Line Trimmers And Bush Cutters Different?

There is always the perfect tool for every landscaping and gardening task, and using the right tool makes all the difference in how well the task is done and how quickly it is completed.

Line trimmers and brush cutters are good examples of specialized landscaping tools that have specific uses and are designed to complete their intended tasks as quickly and efficiently as possible while executing every job with a high level of excellence.

However, both of these tools have specific uses, and while they are similar in appearance, line trimmers and brush cutters have different functions and capabilities.

Let’s more closely examine the differences between line trimmers and brush cutters to determine their capabilities and help you decide which machine is best for you and your requirements.


The most obvious difference between line trimmers and brush cutters is their design.

When comparing the two types of cutters, it is apparent that line trimmers have a curved shaft and brush cutters have a straight shaft

Brush cutters are also much larger and more heavy-duty than line trimmers, with extra handles, harnasses, and controls.

The curved shaft of a line trimmer is designed to make this tool as agile as possible and to allow the line trimmer to reach into spaces that that may otherwise be inaccessible.

This design also allows the line trimmer to be as parallel as possible with the ground, which makes it far better to cut and trim lawn very evenly.

Brush cutters have a straight shaft because it increases durability, and more force and control can be applied to the machine.

The added handles, harnesses, and controls on a brush cutter are to help control the more powerful machine, which allows for proper and safe use of the cutter.

Power And Performance

One of the biggest differences between line trimmers and brush cutters is the power and performance of the different machines.

Line trimmers are smaller and have less powerful motors than brush cutters do. This is because brush cutters are required to tackle more substantial landscaping jobs, while line trimmers are intended to be used for simple yard work and maintenance.

The motors that are used in brush cutters are far more heavy-duty than those in line trimmers. These motors spin at higher RPM, are more durable and churn out more torque. 

These more powerful motors mean that brush cutters have substantially more performance than line trimmers.

That being said, the power and performance of line trimmers are perfect for their intended uses. These machines do not need to be as heavy-duty as brush cutters, and so their power and performance can be lower.

This does not mean that these machines are less useful, but the lower power and performance make them ideal for working in yards and for performing light maintenance. Too much power in these applications may cause unintended damage.

Cutting Heads

The cutting heads of these two different landscaping tools are an important difference as well. Line trimmers make use of trimming lines inserted into the cutting head, while brush cutters use a variety of cutting blades and lines.

These varying cutting methods are an important distinction between the two types of machines, as the cutting heads make each machine ideal for specific applications.

Line trimmers exclusively use a cutting line of various thicknesses and circumference shapes, which are ideal for the gardening tasks of line trimmers.

Brush cutters are designed for more intense work, and so they are built to use a wide variety of cutting blades, as well as trimming lines. 

These machines have cutting heads that are designed to accommodate various blades for various tasks, including heavy-duty circular saw blades. Brush cutter heads can use a wide variety of trimming lines as well, of various densities and thicknesses.

Applications And Versatility

Now that the main differences between these two machines have been covered, we can examine the major differences in intended application between line trimmers and brush cutters.

These differences in application and versatility are based on performance, power, design, and the cutting heads of the two machines.

Line trimmers are designed for garden maintenance, such as lawn trimming, edging flower beds, neatening footpaths and driveways, and trimming light weeds.

These machines are not heavy-duty, but they are perfect for the average gardener with a normal yard to maintain. 

The power and performance of line trimmers make them perfect for these applications, and the cutting heads accommodate trimming line that is well suited for these uses.

In contrast, brush cutters are far more powerful and versatile. These machines are able to tackle everything from simple yard maintenance and lawn trimming to major landscaping projects that require much more versatility.

Brush cutters can be used to level entire sections of land, mow lawns, trim and shape bushes, and with the right attachment, they can even fell small trees.

These machines are very versatile, but they are far more complicated and require much more care and focus when in use.


There are some other differences that are worth mentioning when comparing line trimmers and brush cutters, and one such difference is noise.

Brush cutters are significantly louder than line trimmers. This is due to the more powerful motors and larger cutting heads that these machines use.

Line trimmers are more ideal for suburban environments where noise may be an issue, as they are far quieter due to their smaller motors and more precise cutting heads.

Safety Equipment And Accessories

Another difference worth mentioning is the different safety equipment that is required to use line trimmers vs. brush cutters.

Line trimmers are smaller, less powerful, and much easier to control compared to brush cutters, which means that they are far safer to operate. 

These smaller machines require very little safety equipment, and they have very simple handles installed as they are not likely to run out of control.

Brush cutters, on the other hand, are more powerful, larger, and use more dangerous cutting heads, which makes them far more challenging and dangerous to control and operate.

Using a brush cutter requires the use of specialized handles to maintain control, cutter guards, and a harness to help the operator correctly wield the machine.


The final difference between line trimmers and brush cutters, and perhaps one of the most important differences, is the price of these two machines.

Line trimmers are inexpensive compared to brush cutters because they are less complicated machines.

The least expensive brush cutters are around $120 more expensive than the least expensive line trimmers.

If budget is a major concern, even high-end line trimmers are much more affordable than average brush cutters.

Can You Use A Bush Cutter For Edging?

Brush cutters are incredibly versatile tools, and they have many different intended uses and applications, but can they be used for accurate edging?

Brush cutters can be used for edging, including edging flower beds, footpaths, and driveways. Brush cutters have line trimming attachments that make this possible, and they can safely and expertly execute this task with ease.

These machines have various attachments that can be used, and one such attachment is a cutting head that accommodates various trimming lines.

The ability of brush cutters to use cutting blades and trimming line make them more than capable of performing precise edging, so long as the correct attachment is used.

Can You Put A Brush Cutter Blade On A Trimmer?

Line trimmers are useful tools, but they can not usually accommodate more heavy-duty tasks. Can a brush cutter blade be put on a line trimmer to perform these tasks?

Line trimmers cutting heads can be replaced with a blade head, but only on certain models and types of line trimmers. This modification can only be done if the line trimmer is designed for it; otherwise, it is not possible.

Line trimmers are not the same as brush cutters, but there are some models that are capable of accommodating brush cutter blades if the correct cutting head is installed.

If the trimmer is designed with this in mind, making the switch is a simple task. If a line trimmer is not designed with interchangeable cutting heads that can accommodate a brush cutter blade, then they are not able to use cutting blades at all.


Pros And Cons Of Line Trimmers

Line trimmers are purpose-built for fine garden work and precise maintenance, and they excel at this purpose, but they have some drawbacks as well.

Let’s discuss some of the pros and cons of line trimmers and compare them to those of brush cutters.

Line Trimmer Pros

Some of the pros of using a line trimmer are:

  • Line trimmers are precise tools.
  • Line trimmers can be used in tight areas that are otherwise inaccessible.
  • Line trimmers are excellent for yard maintenance.
  • Line trimmers neatly trim and cut lawn without causing any damage.
  • Line trimmers are inexpensive.
  • Line trimmers are light and easy to use.
  • Line trimmers come in many various models.
  • Line trimmers are safe to use.

Line Trimmer Cons

Some of the major cons of line trimmers include:

  • Line trimmers are underpowered for some applications.
  • Line trimmers are not very durable.
  • Line trimmers are less versatile than brush cutters.
  • Line trimmers are small.
  • Line trimmers not able to tackle large areas of trimming.
  • Line trimmers are only useful for light yard tasks.


Pros And Cons Of Brush Cutters

Brush cutters are incredibly useful and versatile, and they have many attachments and cutting heads. However, there some pros and cons to using brush cutters, and they are not the perfect tool for every job.

Here are some of the important pros and cons of brush cutters in comparison to line trimmers.

Brush Cutter Pros

Some of the major brush cutter pros are:

  • Brush cutters are very powerful.
  • Brush cutters are far more versatile than line trimmers.
  • Brush cutters can use blades and trimming lines.
  • Brush cutters can tackle heavy-duty landscaping tasks
  • Brush cutters are durable.
  • Brush cutters are able to trim and cut large areas.

Brush Cutter Cons

Some of the major brush cutter cons are:

  • Brush cutters are heavy.
  • Brush cutters are very expensive.
  • Brush cutters are dangerous.
  • Brush cutters are more difficult to use than line trimmers.


Should You Buy A-Line Trimmer Or A Brush Cutter?

The differences between line trimmers and brush cutters mean that they are ideal for differing tasks. After comparing the two machines, should you buy a line trimmer or a brush cutter?

Buy a line trimmer, or brush cutters directly depends on your landscaping requirements. Line trimmers are better for standard yard work, while brush cutters are ideal for heavy-duty landscaping. Choose which machine you should use based on what you will use it for.

Using each of these tools for their intended uses is essential for getting the best out of them.

Line trimmers should only be used for standard gardening, while brush cutters are designed for much more intensive work.

If you only need standard yard work done, then you should buy a line trimmer. If you are a professional landscaper or have a particularly large yard with a lot of work to do, then a brush cutter is the better option for you.


At the end of it, these two machines are perfect for what they do, and when comparing them, it is best to consider what their intended uses are. 

Line trimmers are meant for much lighter, more precise work than brush cutters, but brush cutters are more powerful and able to tackle bigger tasks.

The right tool for you is dependant on what your requirements are, so consider the tasks at hand and choose the tool accordingly!


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