Small Woodland Owners' Group

Brushcutters

A place to discuss or review of tools and equipment, how to look after them, handy hints for using them.

Re: Brushcutters

Postby smojo » Mon May 26, 2014 9:43 am

do go for a mulching blade, while the provided 4 blade knife is good, the mulching blade is even better if you have stuff like old brambles you want 'shredded


So if you have a big tall patch of brambles what is the technique required to mulch it all down? I presume, rather than attacking it close to the ground you have to start at the top and work down, sort of giving it a haircut. Or do you just randomly move it around the bush until it's all chopped up?
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Re: Brushcutters

Postby oldclaypaws » Mon May 26, 2014 12:45 pm

If you have brambles say, 4ft high, you'll find progressively lower right to left 3 sweeps at 3, 2 and 1ft (holding the cutter at a slight angle leaning to the left) will reduce them largely to bits no bigger than 1cm, much of it the size of sawdust. The blades are typically 12" diameter, so most material gets obliterated in the first contact.

Best to do the final cut close to the ground carefully until you've seen under the shredded brambles to examine for obstacles like stumps, rocks or concealed logs and chucked them to one side.

If you have any part chopped residual escaped bramble that is looking a bit long and spiky for your liking, hold the cutter flat over the top like a mower or metal detector, just go over them again close to the ground in one or two sweeps with the mulching blade, you'll end up with finely shredded pieces. Mine are so small the dogs have no problem walking on it immediately, inspecting my progress into new interesting smelling areas. The bramble compost rots in no time and will largely disappear in a few weeks.

Its very straightforward and you pick up the technique naturally after about 15 minutes.
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Re: Brushcutters

Postby The Barrowers » Mon May 26, 2014 7:34 pm

Hello

Any one had experience with a Billy Goat Outback Brushcutter

I've looked at a self propelled version, forward and reverse gears Ads say will cope with 2 inch diameter sapling

Rent was about £40 a day + vat so is attractive to do ride edges, brambles etc

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Re: Brushcutters

Postby oldclaypaws » Mon May 26, 2014 9:15 pm

Checked them out. They have a 340 cc engine (versus my Husky at 43cc) and cost over £2000. Video here, although not entirely sure why you'd want to mash up a 2" sapling unless you wanted to restore scrub back to a field ?

Its like a mobile compost shredder, a bit of a beast.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmLMxobYeeE
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Re: Brushcutters

Postby outeredge » Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:10 am

I've just fired up my new 143RII yesterday and had a couple of questions for the rest of the "owners club" ;)

  • The gear head seems to get very hot after only 5/10 minutes use - is this normal?
  • What speed should I run at with the mulching blade, should I be going "flat out" the whole time?
  • Is it normal for the machine to vibrate more at slower speeds (mulching head again)?
I was trying to tackle my 6ft bracken but I wouldn't say it was producing anything like 1cm pieces, the leaves for example would come of in whole pieces and it didn't seem to want to suck them in and blend them down. Maybe I'm doing something wrong or brambles are just different.
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Re: Brushcutters

Postby oldclaypaws » Tue Jul 01, 2014 12:21 pm

The gear head seems to get very hot after only 5/10 minutes use - is this normal?


I get the same, its more so on a hot day, and it seems normal caused by the friction of the gears, but its within the design tolerances. You don't need to lubricate the bevel head, its filled with the right amount of grease at the factory.

What speed should I run at with the mulching blade, should I be going "flat out" the whole time?


Like a chainsaw, its designed to run at full throttle (see page 20 of manual). If going at slower speeds you'll have bigger bits of chopped material and more strain on the machine. Don't run it at full throttle without cutting or it'll spin very fast and overheat. The technique is idle, go to bit to cut and give it full throttle, back to idle when done that bit, move on, next bit at full throttle, etc.

Is it normal for the machine to vibrate more at slower speeds (mulching head again)?


Don't run it at low speeds. They do vibrate, particularly as they are hitting stuff, which is why it has built in dampeners. After an hour or so you'll feel some tingling effects of the vibration in your fingers, so don't overdo it. Just double check you've put the blade on right, it should be more of a high 'buzz' vibration than a low 'wobble' or 'rattle'.

I suspect you've not read the operating instructions, it always helps !

http://cdn.husqvarna.com/ddoc/HUSO/HUSO2008_EUenAPen/HUSO2008_EUenAPen__1151109-26.pdf
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Re: Brushcutters

Postby outeredge » Tue Jul 01, 2014 1:17 pm

I did read it, honest! :shock:

...ok to be fair I didn't read the working techniques section. It took me so long to understand how to remove the strimmer head (easy when you know how!!) I just wanted to get out there.

Full throttle it is - I was shocked by how powerful it was at first so had assumed not to run it flat out.

Did you notice that the mulching blade was thicker than the provided blade, on mine the slot it rests on before screwing down came about half way inside the hole.

I'm pretty sure the blades on right, how tight did you do yours? I tried using a torque wrench but doing that left handed thread and trying to hold the brushcutter in place it wouldn't kick in.
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Re: Brushcutters

Postby davetb » Tue Jul 01, 2014 2:07 pm

I love my brushcutter, had it about 5 years and had no issues.
I have just run down to the shed and found out its a Husqvarna 143 r11.
I have never noticed how hot it gets. As a Defender owner it's usually smell that alerts you to something overheating.
I use it mainly on brambles.
It was hopeless with its nylon string, pretty hopeless with the supplied cutting blade - it sliced through the brambles but left them exactly as the were before.
I have bought 3 aftermarket heads - a mulching head - looks like a bent metal disc with 3 non moving arms - no moving parts, a mulching head with 3 metal blades that articulate on a central disc and a hardened flail chain ( a central metal disc with 2 chains of 8 links on each side).
A few years ago ( but after I'd bought them ) the aftermarket heads with any moving parts were declared dangerous by the HSE.
The flail chain was specifically banned from selling or using commercially - there was a death of an adjacent worker as a link broke.
Having said all that, on brambles nothing comes close to mulching like the flail chain, the brambles seem to disappear. I bought it as a 9 link chain but have removed the final link as it was getting worn. It is only any good on brambles and woody stems.
Next best is the head with the 3 blades that articulate out. They are ok on grass.
When tackling high brambles I start at top and employ several sweeps about a foot apart ( height wise) and work from left to right and top to bottom.
I did change the flail chain after the warning but after about 6 months put it back on as it was so superior.
As for tightness of nut it's all a bit anecdotal - not too tight but tighter than hand tight, is what I do.
Great piece of kit, I'd recommend it to anyone.
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Re: Brushcutters

Postby oldclaypaws » Tue Jul 01, 2014 2:49 pm

I did try mine with the grass head on nettles and some roadside weeds by the house, but found that the chunky supplied cord didn't freely come out when you tapped the release knob on the bottom, you had to take the plastic casing off every time and inch it out, which is a pain. Touch a bit of wood and the cord snaps, although it did go through my bucket quite nicely. Subsequently bought a 3mm nylon line, not tried it yet. Yet to find a strimmer head that works as it should. I also found I got covered in pulped nettle and grass all over me and ended up looking like the jolly green giant -I wonder if this is a usual hazzard ?.Certainly a good idea to wear your chainsaw visor down rather than get nettle fragments flying up in your face.

Not sure I like the sound of the chain flails, while the EU can be over-officious, looking at the speed and force which the thing rotates at I can see that if the chain did break it could whizz off at considerable force and kill the wife, or even worse one of the dogs :? .

I was shocked by how powerful it was
-They certainly have grunt, as I said in my original review. Accidentally put your mulching head into the ground and you go mining !
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Re: Brushcutters

Postby Dexter's Shed » Tue Jul 01, 2014 3:46 pm

this has got to be the best strimmer head, bought 15 months ago and still going strong, £20 from flea bay, use 4mm nylon bought on large roll and cut to size, lasts ages, but when it does need changing, all four done in around 1 minute, none of that bumping malarkey, and chops bramble into little chunks

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