OT: what can brush cutters cope with?

I need to cut a badly-overgrown hedgerow down to about 4 feet above the ground (to preserve a barrier) - it's currently well over 6 feet. The "hedge" is a dense mixture of bramble, small trees and ivy. I've been in with a chain saw but it doesn't cope well because of all the ivy, bramble and smaller stuff, plus it's so dense that it's difficult to use the saw. That's a long-winded intro to why I'm thinking about getting a cheap steel-bladed brushcutter, probably from either Homebase or SFix, in order to deal with the smaller stuff so I can get the chainsaw to the trees. What will brushcutters deal with? Is it possible to use them to cut at 4ft rather than ground level?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 20/08/16 14:45, Gareth wrote:

Have you tried posting in uk.rec.gardening
Answer: no
--
Adrian C

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Is it anymore to do with gardening than this one is to do with DIY?
--
*Can atheists get insurance for acts of God? *

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sat, 20 Aug 2016 14:45:37 +0100, snipped-for-privacy@thanks.com wrote:

I'm not sure that a brush cutter is what you want. Certainly, a decent one would cope with brambles and ivy, stuff up to about pencil or even finger thickness if reasonably powerful. I've never used an electric one, only petrol, 2 or 4 stroke, and in general the more powerful, the more successful it would be. I would be hesitant about an electric one being powerful enough.
But you raise a good point about using it 4ft off the ground. If your arms are strong enough, you could just hold it at that height and thrash away. There is the very real danger of flying bits hitting you in the face, or worse, eyes, so you would certainly need goggles at least and a full face visor for preference, like this http://tinyurl.com/gqsmpz4 And bits do fly, even when strimming or brush-cutting at ground level, make no mistake about that!
But I think you'd be much better off with a hedge trimmer, either as a stand-alone item or as an attachment to a strimmer. It would cope with the brambles and ivy, could be held at 4ft without difficulty, and wouldn't send bits flying into your face. It wouldn't cope with the main stems of the hedge plants, but as you say the hedge is over 6ft, it doesn't sound as though it's huge otherwise you would have described it differently, so I doubt the stems are that thick, and a pair of ratchet loppers or a light pruning saw could well be all you need there. A chain saw sounds a bit OTT.
--

Chris

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 20/08/16 17:10, Chris Hogg wrote:

I agree. This is a job for a tough 2-stroke hedge trimmer
--
"In our post-modern world, climate science is not powerful because it is
true: it is true because it is powerful."
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 20/08/2016 17:10, Chris Hogg wrote:

I'll be wearing my chainsaw helmet and visor.

Well, this "hedge" is the edge of a track, probably 4 metres wide, 20m long, contains several rotting felled trees, has been untouched for many years and totally overgrown. Going in there is like entering another world (OK, slight exaggeration). I've tried the (sizeable electric) hedge trimmer but the denser bits are just too much for it.
More research needed!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 20/08/16 19:07, snipped-for-privacy@thanks.com wrote:

If you simply want rid of it completely and its adjacent to a track consider some kind of digger hire.
That helps to drag logs out for cutting as well.
--
Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as
foolish, and by the rulers as useful.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sat, 20 Aug 2016 19:07:05 +0100, snipped-for-privacy@thanks.com wrote:

That sounds like a field hedge and it needs laying to maintain a good barrier.
You just need a pair of loppers or a bill hook and a chain saw and do it in the winter. Cut all the side shoots and dead wood out, just leaving a healthy main stem. I laid about 100M of one of our hedges this spring. It had been virtually untouched for 20 years and had 40' high stems but was gappy. 5 weeks work with chain saw and loppers has got it back to a gap free low hedge which is regrowing nicely.
You can trim a hedge (not too overgrown) with a brush cutter with a cutting disc, but it's hard work.A hedge trimmer will do it better, but it doesn't sound as if the hedge you've got is a suitable candidate.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I think you essentially need a mix of:-
Chainsaw (or chainsaw on a stick) for the big bits more than an inch or so diameter.
Brush cutter or big strimmer for the smallest stuff.
Probably something manual as well, big pruners and/or a sickle (grass hook).
+lots of energy
--
Chris Green
·

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Saturday, 20 August 2016 14:45:38 UTC+1, snipped-for-privacy@thanks.com wrote:

It's surprising what a hedge trimmer will tackle. You can buy an engine that takes various tools, also an extention piece. Usually called "Pole cutters" for high level stuff. It's hard work using these at levels more than a couple of feet.
If there's access, you might think of getting a farmer in with a tractor mounted hedging flail. Knock it off in minutes, even small trees.
Plus any more jobs round the place need doing.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 20/08/2016 14:45, snipped-for-privacy@thanks.com wrote:

IME the metal tri-arc discs will take coarse foliage and can mibble their way through the stems of small saplings (up to say 3/4"). However you may find a sturdy hedge trimmer better suited though. One that can go on the end of a petrol strimmer type power head is quite good at reaching into dense foliage.
Anything working perpendicular from the body is going to be hard work after a while. Take frequent rests so as not to strain anything!
--
Cheers,

John.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 20/08/2016 18:47, John Rumm wrote:

Hmm, you aren't alone in suggesting a hedge trimmer but I've tried a powerful electric one without much success.
More research and experimentation needed.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

A single sided blade hedge trimmer might give a bit more bite.
--
Tim Lamb

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

My brush cutter came with a circular saw blade. Likely one of the scariest tools I own. It works, but applying enough pressure to make it work well at the end of the boom (or whatever it is the long bit's called) is hard work.
--
Today is Pungenday, the 14th day of Bureaucracy in the YOLD 3182
I don't have an attitude problem.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 21/08/16 13:14, Huge wrote:

Of course a friendly farmer with a disc or flail on his tractor is probably the easiest option.
--
To ban Christmas, simply give turkeys the vote.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yes, although with fallen trees, it doesn't sound very accessible.
Hedgerow cutting time opened on the 1st. August:-)

--
Tim Lamb

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 21/08/2016 13:14, Huge wrote:

A trick I find with the tri-arc disk is to allow it to trap whatever its cutting against the guard on the back of the trimming head. That way it pulls itself into the cut so you don't have to push much.
--
Cheers,

John.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yep. I discovered that quite soon!
--
Today is Pungenday, the 14th day of Bureaucracy in the YOLD 3182
I don't have an attitude problem.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sat, 20 Aug 2016 14:45:37 +0100, snipped-for-privacy@thanks.com wrote:

Brush cutter or clearing saw in my industry is a bit shorter that a strimmer but I'd only use it if I was on a platform. My guess it you would be better off with a Stihl HS82R as this will chew through 1.5" material on either side, single blade ones are better in the T version for fine hedges. Work round the bigger stems and cut them off later a few inches bellow the finished height. Heavy reduction is best done early in the seasons so the regrowth covers over the ugly cuts in the season.
AJH
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 20/08/2016 14:45, snipped-for-privacy@thanks.com wrote:

I think the height would make trying to use a brush cutter difficult. For brambles you really need to use a metal blade, as you mention. A hedge trimmer should be able to cut what you need, but would be tiring to use if you have a longer blade.
--
Michael Chare

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.