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I've been kicking around buying a straight shaft brushcutter to take down sumac on my property. Some of it is 4" at the base. Looking at them is giving me sticker shock. I know I need bigger CCs to drive a blade. Any reccomendations on one that works well but won't break the bank?
 

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If you are talking about the attachment for on a string trimmer. I have one and love it! It won’t take down those 4” sumacs, but it will make short work of brush. I had a pretty angry Troy Bilt trimmer that came with the string end and the blade end that started giving me fits, so I picked up a new Ryobi from HD with the detachable ends realizing (for the most part) they all use the same quick change coupler. The Ryobi at about $100 isn’t a big cc engine, but it handles the brush blade well. Tried my neighbors cultivator attachment.... that’s another story.
 

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Husqvarna DJX129 straight shaft with a Renegade Green blade is what I use to trim the growth along the vertical banks of the stream. It will take out 1½ inch trees in one pass and 3 inch ones in several passes. Also use the 2 foot extension shaft. Anything larger gets cut with a battery Powered Sawzall with 12 inch brush blades.
 

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Now one other item that I just recently got was a wheeled string trimmer by Southland. It is a 43 cc 2-cycle gas trimmer that uses much heavier line than my Husqvarna does on 12 inch wheels. Straight line trimming along a fence or building is much easier and the creek bank edge is much easier with the wheels. I've only used it once and while it cut through the heavy stalks of weeds with ease, the guard kept coming loose.
The city finally dug out the the right of way swale of the sediment that had built up over the last 15 years, or more. Now the swale empties into the creek as it is supposed to instead of flooding that part of my property. That is one of the reasons I got the wheeled string trimmer because there is no mower able to handle those fresh cut edges now.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks Flaken and MHSer. I've been looking around and trying to decide if I wanna go this route or build a hydraulic snipper.

Seems like most of the shaft trimmers that are brush capable are 28+cc and are expensive. That Renegade brush blade is impressive.

I may be able to build a hydraulic snipper for ~$100 that will cut 3-4" trees. Food for thought.
 
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2445141


You could build something like this, Steve Urquell. Use the hydraulics on a boom to spin the saw blade. The powerline tree trimmers use something similar that reach way up there.
 

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Not saying this will work in all situations, but I've gotten by with an old push mower (something cheap that you don't care if you kill it on a rock or stump), I use that for all woody brush (up to maybe 1/2-3/4 inch). Bigger than that, bypass loppers (by hand). Bigger than that, chainsaw.

I've cleared maybe a quarter acre total over the years with these tools, and once you get the basics done, you should be able to maintain with the push mower, so I can't justify the expense of something that has a single use like a brush cutter.

Having said that, I do have a brushcutter attachment for my Stihl Kombi, just haven't needed to use it yet.

I'd love to see your build of cheap hydraulic snippers!

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #9
View attachment 2445141

You could build something like this, Steve Urquell. Use the hydraulics on a boom to spin the saw blade. The powerline tree trimmers use something similar that reach way up there.
I don't have the gpm to drive one of those but have kicked around building something like that running off the front shaft drive pto.
Not saying this will work in all situations, but I've gotten by with an old push mower (something cheap that you don't care if you kill it on a rock or stump), I use that for all woody brush (up to maybe 1/2-3/4 inch). Bigger than that, bypass loppers (by hand). Bigger than that, chainsaw.

I've cleared maybe a quarter acre total over the years with these tools, and once you get the basics done, you should be able to maintain with the push mower, so I can't justify the expense of something that has a single use like a brush cutter.

Having said that, I do have a brushcutter attachment for my Stihl Kombi, just haven't needed to use it yet.

I'd love to see your build of cheap hydraulic snippers!

Mike
My stuff is 1" OD at a minimum with most being +2". I'm limited by 500psi and a relatively slow 1.5gpm. My snippers would rely on leverage. Something like 4" bore by 12-14" stroke to move a pair of old grader or dozer blades 5-6".
 
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So to supplement my new/used Swisher brushhog I found a Stihl FS90R on FB marketplace in good shape. Going to look at it Tuesday. Any opinions on this one? Gonna get a saw blade for cutting saplings up to 5"(I hope)
 

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5" is generally a bit more than a sapling (at least, IMHO). I would say that's also a bit bigger than Stihl would recommend for that head. You probably could do it, it would take some time, and I would expect some issues with it pinching the blade.

For stuff that big, I would drag out a chainsaw...
 

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I use an Echo trimmer with an 80 tooth blade for brush as one of my options. It will cut 1" sumacs or 1/2" hard woods in one swipe. 2" sumacs or 1" hardwoods take two or three swipes or steady pressure. Anything heavier needs the chainsaw. I also use my Gravely with a 30" deck and 3/8" thick brush hog blade for anything small enough to be bent over and a loper for small jobs. I'm also considering something like a brush grubber chain and my Gravely rider garden tractor to pull brush up by the roots and see if that delays return of the brush better than cutting which leaves the root intact.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
5" is generally a bit more than a sapling (at least, IMHO). I would say that's also a bit bigger than Stihl would recommend for that head. You probably could do it, it would take some time, and I would expect some issues with it pinching the blade.

For stuff that big, I would drag out a chainsaw...
Looking at specs I feel you are right however this is sumac which is fairly light bodied. Fingers crossed. I still may build a hydraulic snipper for my 3240 front bucket.
I use an Echo trimmer with an 80 tooth blade for brush as one of my options. It will cut 1" sumacs or 1/2" hard woods in one swipe. 2" sumacs or 1" hardwoods take two or three swipes or steady pressure. Anything heavier needs the chainsaw. I also use my Gravely with a 30" deck and 3/8" thick brush hog blade for anything small enough to be bent over and a loper for small jobs. I'm also considering something like a brush grubber chain and my Gravely rider garden tractor to pull brush up by the roots and see if that delays return of the brush better than cutting which leaves the root intact.
Sounds like you are doing what I have on my plate. Mostly groves of sumac from 3/4" to 5" at the base. If I can get it cut down I can probably keep it down with the new shredder I bought. If this looks to be overwhelming I may hire it out just to knock it down initially then maintain it myself.
 

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It's a process. My creek bank is almost vertical with a drop of 7-9 feet. First I get all the dense tall stuff with the Husqvarna DJX129 and a heavy string, then coming back with the Renegade brush blade to get the heavier branches near the ground level. Then for the heavy stumps left behind, it's time for the battery powered Sawzall with a 12 inch pruning blade. Once that is all down, I use my new 2-cycle wheeled string trimmer with a 0.130 kevlar cored line to keep everything down.
I did use a push mower before for that, but the weight (50-100 lbs) of pushing it over the edge and pulling it back up got tedious real quick. The wheeled string trimmer is much lighter and more maneuverable with it having only two 12 inch wheels.
The heavy stumps are cut either flush with the ground or slightly below. If the shoots start coming off the stump, I drill a hole and fill the hole with a plant killer.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well, I'm the proud owner of a Stihl FS90R in good shape. Runs and starts good. I have to find a blade adapter and blade for it. For some reason my lil chihuahua companion Rubi-Rose thought the exhaust smelled interesting lol. Pic of my sumac grove below--oy vey!
STIHL[1].jpg
SUMAC[1].jpg
 
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Nice!!! That really puts the size of that mower into perspective, wow...

Mike
 
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Nice!!! That really puts the size of that mower into perspective, wow...

Mike
I watched plenty of videos of these 44" brushcutters in action and you cannot get an idea of how big this sucker is until you try and fit it in a truck bed. Sucker is huge!
20200222_134155[1].jpg
 

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I can get two of them little beds on the truck and still have some walking room. That Swisher would not have been a problem.
 
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