To combat very tough weeds like brambles an ordinary strimmer may struggle. It takes a machine with a lot of power and a durable blade to decimate those pesky thorns. The best petrol strimmers on the market will cope well with these weeds and some high-end battery ones can also just about cope.
To help you get to the bottom of a thorny problem, I’ve personally tested dozens of strimmers and come up with this strimmer brush cutter review article to help you sort out which is the best model for your garden. I’ve also included a useful buying guide and some FAQs to help answer any questions you may have. I came back in 2023 to update it to the latest and greatest models I tested.
Have a browse through these heavy-duty workhorses and if you like the look of any of them then click the “Price and Reviews” button to check current prices on Amazon. You can also buy many of these at Argos, Screwfix, or B&Q.
Starting off this review we have our top pick which is a professional grade, powerful brushcutter by Makita.
Top 5 Best Strimmers for Brambles
- Top Choice – Makita EM4351UH 43cc MM4 Brush Cutter
- Runner Up – Hyundai HYBC5200X Petrol 2 in One Multi-Functional, Grass Trimmer, Brushcutter
- Best Multi-Tool – ParkerBrand 52cc Petrol Garden Brush Cutter Grass Trimmer
- Best Budget Option – Einhell GC-BC 31-4 S 31 cc 4 Stroke Petrol Brush Cutter
- Best Electric Option – DEWALT DCM571X1 54v XR FLEXVOLT Cordless Grass Trimmer/Brush Cutter – 9ah
1. Top Choice – Makita EM4351UH 43cc MM4 Brush Cutter
Engine: 43cc, 4 Stroke
Cutting Width: 30.5cm
Attachments: Brushcutting Blade, Nylon Grass Trimmer
- Metal blade
- Powerful motor
- Heavy duty
- Low running cost
- Requires petrol and oil
- Quite heavy
To clear thick brambles you need a strimmer head with a metal blade. These cutting heads are described as brush cutters and will power through large areas much easier than a line trimmer.
This Makita heavy duty brush cutter ticks all the boxes when it comes to functionality and durability. With a smooth, easy to start 4 stroke engine, it’s economical and cheap to run. It doesn’t require a mix of oil, petrol is all that’s needed. With 43cc of power will handle long grass easily and the thickest of brambles won’t stand a chance.
It also comes with a cutting line for light work or for edging after the lawnmower has been round.
It’s a professional grade petrol strimmer and is designed with ergonomic bicycle handles which are comfortable to use even for extended periods. To make the job even easier this petrol model comes with a harness to help evenly distribute the weight of it and saves fatigue.
This is one of the toughest and most powerful brushcutters out there and thanks to this, it easily secured the top spot for heavy-duty garden work.
2. Runner Up – Hyundai HYBC5200X Petrol 2 in One Multi-Functional, Grass Trimmer, Brushcutter
Engine: 52cc, 2 Stroke
Cutting Width: 25cm
Attachments: Nylon Spool & Brushcutter
This strimmer by Hyundai is one of the most powerful options out there making it an easy runner-up choice after the Makitawhich has the edge because of a wider cutting width. It is a big and heavy machine that can handle tough work. It’s a high torque, euro 5 engine so pretty good for emissions.
Despite being heavy it comes as a split shaft design so is easy to carry and store. With the strimmer body, you get a toolkit, mixing bottle, harness, nylon bump feed spool and brushcutter cutting head attachments.
The handlebars are offset which makes this strimmer very well balanced and easy to control. The engine is a soft pull, easy start so you won’t struggle to get it going. It comes with a 3-year warranty for peace of mind.
This is a powerful strimmer for heavy-duty work and will tackle any tough weeds without any complaints.
3. Best Multi-Tool – ParkerBrand 52cc 5 in 1 Petrol Garden Brush Cutter
Engine: 52cc, 2 Stroke
Cutting Width: 28cm
Attachments: Brush Cutter, Grass Trimmer, Chainsaw, Hedge Trimmer & Extension Pole
- No messing about with accessories
- Good power
- Great value for money
- Not great customer service
- Quite heavy
For an effective cordless strimmer that won’t cost you an arm and a leg, this model by ParkerBrand is a winner. It’s powerful with a 52cc petrol engine and extremely reliable. This model is also a split shaft design so very compact to store over winter.
You get your standard line trimmer and brushcutter blade which will easily clear tough weeds, saplings and brambles.
You get a tool kit, mixing bottle and harness included with this strimmer so all you need to do is add fuel and get started. It can take a bit of a knack to getting this strimmer going and you need to get a feel for the recoil on each model.
This may be offputting for some but if you don’t mind taking a bit of time to practice then this strimmer is great value for money. It’s a powerful machine and a great all-rounder.
4. Best Budget Option – Einhell GC-BC 31-4 S 31 cc 4 Stroke Petrol Brush Cutter
Engine: 31cc, 4 Stroke
Cutting Width: 25.5cm
Attachments: Line Trimmer, Brushcutter
Next up we have this smooth-running, 4-stroke engine by Einhell that is easy to start, reliable and efficient. It has a durable, twin line spool that is highly effective at grass trimming as well as the metal brushcutter blade which is very durable.
I’ve used a lot of Einhell mowers and strimmers and they always do a great job, especially for the price point. Brush cutters don’t come cheap as chips but this is the most budget-friendly version out there.
The bike handle design is ergonomic and comfortable to hold and all the controls are conveniently located in the handle grip for ease of use.
It’s a split shaft design so easy to transport and store. Thanks to the 4 stroke engine it only needs petrol in the fuel tank which saves damage from mis-mixing of fuel.
Once it’s been running for a while this strimmer can be a bit difficult to get going again. It’s not durable enough for professional use but it is powerful enough to demolish thick brambles and the price is very nice as well.
5. Best Electric Option – DEWALT DCM571X1 54v XR FLEXVOLT Cordless Grass Trimmer/Brush Cutter – 9ah
Battery: 54V, 9Ah
Cutting Width: 38cm
Attachments: Line Trimmer, Brushcutter
- Cordless for ease of use
- Includes brush cutter
- 46 minute run time
- Need to keep battery charged
- Can’t recharge battery when hot
There are a lot of corded electric and battery-powered strimmers out there that claim to be strong enough for long grass and weeds. The disappointing truth of the matter is that they rarely live up to the manufacturer’s hype. Most of them are fine for edging the lawn after mowing but if you point it at anything thicker than a blade of grass they give up.
I’ve done a lot of digging and I’m pleased to say I’ve found a cordless strimmer with a lithium-ion battery that is powerful enough for heavy-duty work.
Whereas most models come at a maximum of 20V and 2Ah power this Dewalt strimmer is a huge 54V and 9Ah. It has a high performance, brushless motor that conserves power and allows efficient running. The battery can even be switched to 18V so it’s also compatible with any other XR power tools you may have.
For the price, you pay you to get the battery and charger included as well as a line trimmer head, brush cutter blade, shoulder strap and various tools you need to get you going.
This model is well balanced and will give you up to 46 minutes of runtime when fully charged so not as long-lasting as a petrol engine but pretty impressive for a battery power source.
Things To Consider When Buying A Heavy-Duty Strimmer
The power of the cutting head is dependent on the engine that’s driving it. the more powerful engine will generally give a more efficient cut. For petrol engines, the power is generally given in displacement or cc with a higher cc meaning more power.
For battery-powered models, the voltage is generally an indication of power whilst the amp hours tells us how long the battery will last at this power.
For cutting thick weeds and brambles you need a powerful machine and a petrol model is usually required for such heavy-duty work.
Cutting Head Attachments
A line trimmer is the standard attachment for most strimmers and whilst this cuts grass and nettles fairly well it won’t stand up to woody stemmed brambles and saplings. You need a three toothed, metal brushcutter blade to handle these tougher plants and ideally one that can be reversed when it starts to go blunt so you get twice the use out of it.
Multi-tool with a chainsaw attachment is also very helpful for very thick bramble patches.
Petrol strimmers tend to be a lot heavier compared to corded electric ones and they vibrate more so will tire you out a lot quicker. Make sure your strimmer is a weight you can handle easily and ideally use a harness or shoulder strap to help distribute the weight evenly.
Heavy-duty strimmers have to be durable and quality machines don’t come cheap. They are more expensive than electric models but do vary in price from under £100 up to around £500. As with most power tools, you get what you pay for with the more expensive options generally lasting longer and experiencing fewer issues. It’s a good idea to set a budget before you look too closely into the options and then you’ll be able to find the best brush cutter for your budget.
It’s worth checking out the warranty offered with your new strimmer before you purchase it. It’s not just the number of years that need to be considered but also if the warranty needs to be activated when you receive the product. Some warranties will exclude certain issues or breakages that happen due to “improper” use. As well as this, some will invalidate your warranty if you do not get the strimmer serviced. Make sure you read all the fine print and ensure you understand all these stipulations so you aren’t caught out.
Will a strimmer cut brambles?
The nylon line of a strimmer will break very quickly if you attempt to cut brambles with it. You need the metal brushcutter option to tackle the thick, woody stems.
How Do You Clear Brambles?
Use your strimmer to cut away all the thorny branches until you’re left with just a stump. To avoid this re-generating you need to dig out the stump as well as remove as much of the roots as possible. Any seedlings should be dug out and removed by hand as well.
What’s the difference between a brushcutter and a strimmer?
The strimmer usually comes with cutting head attachments that define it as a strimmer or brushcutter. Strimmer is a shortened form of grass trimmer and this uses a nylon line to cut grass and thinner weeds. A brushcutter is a heavy-duty metal blade attachment that can cut through much thicker material.
What kills brambles permanently?
A glyphosate-containing weed killer will work systemically so the plant will absorb it right down to the roots. This should kill the entire plant and not allow any re-generation.
More Heavy-Duty Strimmers Reviewed
Stihl FS56C-E 27.2CC PETROL BRUSH CUTTER/STRIMMER BIKE HANDLE ERGOSTART
Engine: 27.2cc, 2 Stroke
Cutting Width: 23cm
Attachments: 4 Tooth Cutting Blade, 8 Tooth Cutting Blade, Line Trimmer
Another great bramble clearing option is this lightweight petrol model by Stihl. It has a very efficient engine despite being 2 strokes thanks to the stratified charge. This is a layer of air that acts to help reduce the fuel lost during the charge cycle. You can end up saving 20% of your fuel consumption with this model and you get a more powerful engine that weighs less.
This strimmer is well made and widely considered a professional quality tool. It works well even with heavy use and comes with some useful cutting head attachments. Alongside the nylon line trimmer, you get a 4 tooth and an 8 tooth cutting blade so it can be used as a mini mower as well.
It’s easy to start thanks to a coil spring between the starter and the crankshaft that smoothes out force peaks so making the recoil start user friendly. It’s also comfortable to hold thanks to the ergonomic bike handles plus harness.
BU-KO 52cc Long Reach Petrol Multi Functional Garden Tool
Engine: 52cc, 2 Stroke
Cutting Width: 20cm
Attachments: Line Trimmer, 3 Tooth Blade, 40 Tooth Blade, Hedge Trimmer, Chainsaw, Extension Pole
- Multi use around the garden
- Includes chainsaw for thick brambles
- 12 month warranty
- Not a very good hardness
- Difficult instructions
If you’re looking to gain a bit more for your money then this multi-tool by BU-KO is worth considering. It’s perfect for all kinds of landscaping tasks due to the various attachments it comes with.
It has a hedge trimmer, a long reach pruning chainsaw and an extension pole to allow you to get to those hard to reach areas.
The strimming options for this tool include a line spool powerful enough for long grass or weeds like nettles. For thicker weeds and brambles you can choose between the three toothed brushcutter blade or the 40 tooth blade for more sawing action.
This is a very cost-effective and powerful machine and comes with a safety harness, gloves, goggles, toolkit and a mixing bottle for the fuel. You can even buy this tool with extra extension poles if you need to trim taller trees.
Ryobi 25.4CC 2-in-1 Petrol Full Crank Grass Brush Cutter
Engine: 25.4cc, 2 Stroke
Blade Cutting Width: 26cm
Attachments: Line Trimmer & Brushcutter Blade
- Chepaer than Matika above
- Easy start
- Includes brush cutter blade
- Not as powerful
- Cans sometimes overheat with extended use
This one isn’t as heavy-duty as the Makita but still packs a punch with its 25cc, two-stroke engine. This petrol model is the perfect balance of functionality for a reasonable price and clearing those brambles won’t end up breaking the bank.
It has a generous 26cm metal blade for brush cutting and a bump feed nylon line with Reel Easy head for quick refills.
This is a lightweight strimmer and it comes with a split shaft so you can take it apart for compact storage or for transportation.
It starts up well due to the engine EasyStart technology. The only thing to be wary of is that you do have to assemble the strimmer when it arrives. It’s fairly straightforward to do this but if you hate all forms of DIY this is not the best option for you.
McCulloch B33 PS, Petrol Brush Cutter
Engine: 33cc, 2 Stroke
Cutting Width: 25cm
Attachments: Line Trimmer & Brushcutter
Another very cost-effective option for tough strimming work is this lightweight option by McCulloch. It comes with a ‘tap and go’ line trimmer which operates by a bump feed system. It has a dual combination guard that can be used with the line trimmer as well as the brushcutter blade.
It has a soft start which helps reduce the resistance in the starter cord so makes it much easier to get going. A split shaft allows for easy storage and transportation.
It’s compatible with multi-tool attachments like a hedge trimmer and chainsaw, but these need to be purchased separately.
This strimmer is comfortable and easy to use and pretty powerful given that it’s lightweight in design.
Tonino Lamborghini Petrol Brush Cutter Trimmer PB 33SB TL
Brand: Tonino Lamborghini
Engine: 35cc, 2 Stroke
Cutting Width: 25cm
Attachments: Brushcutter Blade, Line Trimmer
Lastly, we have a touch of luxury with a real Lamborghini. No, it’s not a car! This brushcutter has an air-cooled, optimised two-stroke engine that can power through long grass and weeds with low fuel consumption.
The brush cutter blade can handle woody stems and it has innovative, anti-tangle protection on the cutting head to avoid grass clumping here.
A double shoulder strap and bike handlebar make it easy and comfortable to use.
It’s powerful, efficient and comes with a 5-year warranty. That’s sure to get you interested if the Lamborghini brand alone didn’t seal the deal!
It takes a lot of dedication to clear brambles and a powerful strimmer will hugely reduce the effort needed to do so. There’s a lot to consider when you’re buying such a powerful tool and it can be overwhelming to know where to begin. I hope this review has helped give you some pointers and has helped show you what you need to look out for when buying a new strimmer. Best of luck with clearing away those brambles and don’t forget to wear gloves!