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Thread: Heavy duty weed wacker...

  1. #1
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    Heavy duty weed wacker...


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    I'm looking for advice on a really heavy duty weed wacker that is able to cut through at least 1 inch stalks if necessary. Most of the time I'll be using it as a hand held mower to clear tall weeds on uneven terrain (otherwise I'd consider a mower). I guess there are models that allow you to use either the plastic cable or blades for cutting? I definitely want a gas model in the Stihl or Husky line but would consider others.

    Looking for a little education on the topic as well as opinions on models that you like that would fit the bill.

    Did a search and came up with a couple of threads, but mostly 3-5 years old.

    Thanks
    ADIRONDACK PORKBACK
    "Don't Tread On Me"

  2. #2
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    You want a straight square shaft Stihl with the factory bicycle handle bars and the optional saw blade. I forget the exact model I have but it cost right at $500 and the next model up was a true professional tree cutting model that did NOT have a string head option and was meant for professional forresters.

  3. #3
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    I use a Stihl FS250 and would definitely recommend it.
    I use my F250 mostly with mono filament and occasionally use it to clear brush with a blade.

    http://www.stihlusa.com/trimmers/FS250.html

  4. #4
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    Thanks...

    What about these Stihl 'Brushcutter and Clearing Saws'? Are they 'overkill'? Will I wish I had the FS250 because it 'covers more ground' because of a larger cutting circumference?

    http://www.stihlusa.com/trimmers/FS350.html
    ADIRONDACK PORKBACK
    "Don't Tread On Me"

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by rt014 View Post
    Thanks...

    What about these Stihl 'Brushcutter and Clearing Saws'? Are they 'overkill'? Will I wish I had the FS250 because it 'covers more ground' because of a larger cutting circumference?
    http://www.stihlusa.com/trimmers/FS350.html
    Are they 'overkill'?
    Because you described your primary use as:
    Most of the time I'll be using it as a hand held mower to clear tall weeds on uneven terrain (otherwise I'd consider a mower)
    I would say YES, a brushcutter would be an overkill.

    I use my FS250 to cut trails through the grass on twenty acres and it always seems adequate, especially on uneven ground.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorCalMtn2 View Post
    I use my FS250 to cut trails through the grass on twenty acres and it always seems adequate, especially on uneven ground.
    What is the thickest / toughest stuff you are able to cut through with the FS-250? (Which by the way seems like a good option for me)
    ADIRONDACK PORKBACK
    "Don't Tread On Me"

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorCalMtn2 View Post
    I use my FS250 to cut trails through the grass on twenty acres and it always seems adequate, especially on uneven ground.
    What is the thickest / toughest stuff you are able to cut through with the FS-250? (Which by the way seems like a good option for me)

    I'll be using it to keep weeds down in small food plots as well as clear an acre area that I let get over grown every now and then.... but need to wack it down to prevent trees from starting up....also want fresh growth always coming up for the deer.
    ADIRONDACK PORKBACK
    "Don't Tread On Me"

  8. #8
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    The thickest & toughest stuff I have cut with the FS-250 is heavy stemmed thick grass three feet tall. The question is not really capability, but rather time. If you want to go blasting through grass and make fast work of it you might want to consider a walk behind. I really think you'll be fine though with the Stihl to do the work you described.


    http://www.drpower.com/TwoStepModelD...Page=fabmodels
    Last edited by NorCalMtn2; 06-29-2010 at 10:13 AM.

  9. #9
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    I've had my DR 5.5 HP on wheels for 15 years and it's been used hard every year. Being able to use a heavy duty whacker on bicycle wheels really makes it easier, faster, and a lot safer, plus very few areas I can't get into. Also uses really heavy plastic cords or ten inch blades ringed with chainsaw chain that zip through four inch thick saplings. The only needed repairs so far have been a new underheath swinging guard shield and a carb float bowl.

  10. #10
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    I forgot to mention that I have a total of over 70 acres of mostly wooded property with breaks here and there and plenty of skid roads.

    Now you've got me thinking about that DR, but it's about 6x what I was expecting to spend.
    ADIRONDACK PORKBACK
    "Don't Tread On Me"

  11. #11
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    Got me one of these:

    http://www.gardenequipmentreview.com...mers/rs52.aspx

    They call them "clearing saws" rather than "brush cutters" because you can lop down 6" trees with no problem in addition to anything smaller. I use mine on thick alder brush which can be 4"-plus at the base. With this you spent more time hauling away brush than cutting it.

    These may be the most dangerous gas-operated tools ever made though. If your cutting stroke is not against the rotation of the blade, it can grab wood and launch itself into space - and through anything in the way. The guy I bought it from made me sit down in the back of his shop and look at morgue photos of local guys who had come to grief with clearing saws, chain saws, etc. One guy sawed his black lab in half by mistake with a clearing saw due to improper technique.

    Even so, if you have a real bramble to clear up these things will get the job done. Wear a helmet with a face shield and hearing protection though - the stuff really flies.

  12. #12
    We have 15-20 of the Stihl FS250s where I work, and they get punished and worked hard every day. I have seen crews cut 1" dia stems no problem with the 4 sided (cross-shaped) metal blade. Can't go wrong with that model...

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by cliff355 View Post
    Got me one of these:

    http://www.gardenequipmentreview.com...mers/rs52.aspx

    They call them "clearing saws" rather than "brush cutters" because you can lop down 6" trees with no problem in addition to anything smaller. I use mine on thick alder brush which can be 4"-plus at the base. With this you spent more time hauling away brush than cutting it.

    These may be the most dangerous gas-operated tools ever made though. If your cutting stroke is not against the rotation of the blade, it can grab wood and launch itself into space - and through anything in the way. The guy I bought it from made me sit down in the back of his shop and look at morgue photos of local guys who had come to grief with clearing saws, chain saws, etc. One guy sawed his black lab in half by mistake with a clearing saw due to improper technique.

    Even so, if you have a real bramble to clear up these things will get the job done. Wear a helmet with a face shield and hearing protection though - the stuff really flies.
    I had a Craftsman that came with blades like that. They were the first thing I put in the trash. If you're not cutting up bushes or saplings it's overkill and dangerous.

    Having 70 acres, I would go with the Stihl 250R or something else with a harness. I'm guessing you're not walking all around the 70 acres though.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Josh K View Post
    Having 70 acres, I would go with the Stihl 250R or something else with a harness. I'm guessing you're not walking all around the 70 acres though.
    No. Most of the time I'd be driving to the spot that needs clearing in a Yamaha Rhino, then doing the clearing.

    For those with the DR.....How to you control the height of what you are cutting? I would think if you tilt it back to cut higher, you'd still wind up cutting pretty low as you roll over it. Reason I ask is that I need to be able to vary the cutting height to cut over clover and other food plot plants.

    The FS-250 is starting to sound like the best bet. I appreciate all the input.
    ADIRONDACK PORKBACK
    "Don't Tread On Me"

  15. #15
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    I have a 50cc hand held Brush Cutter (that put a 1/2 inch Black Locust needle into my leg) which is parked most of the time because there's nothing like Tractor power to get the job done.

    Allen Saunders: Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by rt014 View Post
    No. Most of the time I'd be driving to the spot that needs clearing in a Yamaha Rhino, then doing the clearing.

    For those with the DR.....How to you control the height of what you are cutting? I would think if you tilt it back to cut higher, you'd still wind up cutting pretty low as you roll over it. Reason I ask is that I need to be able to vary the cutting height to cut over clover and other food plot plants.

    The FS-250 is starting to sound like the best bet. I appreciate all the input.
    THe FS250 is a great machine, but if you have a Rhino, you may want to consider one of the pull behind trail mowers.
    What's Next?

  17. #17
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    The DR has a unique rounded 'thingie' projecting down from the motor. You insert your cords at whatever height you want from about 1.5 to 5 inches and cut away.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedbeAR15 View Post
    THe FS250 is a great machine, but if you have a Rhino, you may want to consider one of the pull behind trail mowers.
    Voted down the pull behind because most of the areas are too rocky and uneven....one bad move and I'll have a big repair bill.


    Quote Originally Posted by Old CW4 View Post
    The DR has a unique rounded 'thingie' projecting down from the motor. You insert your cords at whatever height you want from about 1.5 to 5 inches and cut away.
    Is 5 inches the maximum cutting height? Glad to hear it's adjustable.
    ADIRONDACK PORKBACK
    "Don't Tread On Me"

  19. #19
    Fuel is a bit expensive, but it'll get the job done.

  20. #20
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    I would go with one with a line, not a blade, due to the fact in tall grass like that, you might not see a rock, and when you hit a rock with the blade, its over.

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