Brushcutters

Hi:
I need to cut down very thorny, woody brush, about a quarter acre to half acres worth. Machete doesn't do the trick at all. Just bounces off the brush. Trimmers with cords, forget about it. I need a hand held brushcutter with a saw at the end. The ones with toothed saws from Stihl and Husqvarna top out at around 800 bucks. Cheapest ones are under 400. Too much for one day's need.
I have a John Deere C1200 gas trimmer. At Lowes, I saw a Troy Bilt brushcutter blade attachment for 69 bucks. A four pronged blade, not saw-toothed. COuldn't find info on the web whether this attachment could be used for this John Deere brand. I remember the box stated works on most brands of gas trimmers. I am assuming it is best for Troy Bilt products.
Anyone here used the Troy Bilt brushcutter blade attachment?
I also saw pruning and edger attachments at Home Depot and Lowes. I wonder if the pruning attachent could be used since the brush I have is essentially small branches. Not sure if continuous use of an electric pruning attachment like a trimmer is recommended.
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Doe John wrote:

The key is the trimmer needs a straight shaft with a solid driveshaft; not a flex-shaft (even if it is straight).
That 4-tooth blade is "weed blade" and does a fine job of cutting heavy grass and non-woody weeds. A "brush blade" look just like a circular saw blade with 20 or more teeth. They don't work as well as a weed blade on grass and tender weeds, but can handle anything up to 1/2" or more saplings.
I have an Echo SRM-2200 trimmer that I bought over 15 years ago. It can take metal blades and would handle trimming 1/2 acre of brambles, but it might be a *little* underpowered for the job. You can buy comparable Echo trimmers for about $300. Don't buy a big monster trimmer like my dad did; they are too heavy and unwieldy.
A quick google search looks like the C1200 probably has a curved shaft; if so, I wouldn't try to adapt a blade for it or you will spring the driveshaft.
Best regards, Bob
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Sharpen the machete. Actually, skip the machete and buy a brush-hook and/or bank blade like these:
http://www.americantrails.org/resources/info/tools3.html
--Goedjn
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Look into renting something such as a weed wacker with circular saw blade. it sounds like a one day cut 1 day cleanup . Long handle pruning shears if the thorns are not to low. A pole trimming saw will keep you out of thorns. It is a small area and work will be all day electric would not be that bad.
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John,
I'm not familiar with your line trimmer but doubt that it will work well as a brush cutter. Your owners manual will address this question so read it and perhaps describe needed parts. You can rent a brush cutter by the day.
Dave M.
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zxcvbob wrote:

Just curious - why not a flex shaft? I've used one for 10 years and have not had any problems.

I use a 8 1/4" carbide tipped circular saw blade on my Polan weedeater and routinely cut saplings up to 4". (No comments about safety - I keep the rpm's well below specs). They even make a brush blade with a chain saw chain around a circular saw blade frame. Looks agressive but does not work as well as a standard saw blade.
Bob S.
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Takoma Park Volunteer Fire Department Postmaster wrote:

How about a swing blade? (I forgot about those until y'all mention the brush hooks.)
Bob
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Doe John wrote:

Goedjn is right you need a brush hook. If you have never used one then stick to a strap brush hook that is sharpened on one edge only. An adz eye or blood brush hook and a bank blade are not for beginners. With a little care and practice a brush hook will make relatively short work of the brambles. The other approach is to rent a walk behind brush mower. -- Tom H
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Bob S. wrote:

If the blade hits something hard and stops abruptly (like a stump) it can unwind the flex shaft -- just my opinion, I don't have any references.

I've cut 1" mesquite with mine with a 7.5" blade, but it was a bitch. I wouldn't want to cut a bunch of saplings with a brush cutter when an axe would be so much easier.

I have a short (about 10") lawnmower blade on mine. ==(8-0 It doesn't kickback nearly as much as you would expect.
I mostly use the weed blade when the monsoons come and it rains every day for 2 weeks and I have to cut the overgrown grass in the lawn wet. It works much better than the lawnmower in that case.
Best regards, Bob
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for half an acre? LOL
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On Wed, 13 Apr 2005 22:40:37 GMT, Takoma Park Volunteer Fire

I have a sling blade, I think that is what it is called, but it only works with the dead brush, not the living ones. Unfortunately Home Depot and Lowes does not carry anything like a brush hook. Ames makes a couple of Ditch blades.
If I could get to the trunks of the brush, I could cut them with pruners. However, there is a tremendous amount of overgrowth of thorny branches. I would have to wear a suit of armor and crawl underneath to use the pruner. Will the brush hook/ditch blade hack away at the thorny outergrowth branches? Using a pruner to cut away at the individual branches to get to the center would take forever.
THanks
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Doe John wrote:

Go to your local hardware store. Tell them you want to rent a brush hog. See what they got. Why fart around with hand tools, wasting time? Coupla bucks in you'll be driving a tractor, chewing all that mess into mulch.
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