What is the difference between a brush cutter, a lawn trimmer and a power scythe?

Which tool is best suited for cutting grass, brush and other dense plant growth? We explain the difference between brushcutters, lawn trimmers and brushcutters and give tips on how to use these cutting tools.

Differences in strength

Even though the terms are often used interchangeably and there is little visual difference between the devices, there are still differences. The actual generic term for this type of gardening tool is a brush cutter, although “lawn trimmer” is more widely used in the vernacular. It can be used to cut grass, herbaceous plants and woody undergrowth in general.

Less powerful models are referred to as grass trimmers or lawn trimmers. In Switzerland, they are commonly referred to as disc scythes. The lower power allows these cutting tools to work more precisely, which is particularly advantageous when cutting lawn edges. Most lawn trimmers are powered electrically or by battery.

If, on the other hand, it is a more powerful device, it is called a brush cutter. These scythes have enough power to easily shred dense brush, thistles and nettles.

Which tool is best for what?

Before you buy, think about the area of application for which you need the cutting tool. The cutting system also determines which types of plants are best mowed with it. After all, whether a trimmer string or a thicket blade is more suitable usually depends on the material to be cut. Some models offer the convenient option of changing the cutting system, so that the device can be used flexibly.

DeviceRange of applicationPreferred cutting systemAdvantage
Lawn trimmerGrass, lawn edges and thin grassesTrimmer threadvery precise
Power scytheLight scrub and herbaceous plantsTrimmer thread / bladeversatile
Brush cutterDense undergrowth and strong plants, such as thistlesThicket knifepowerful

Differences in safety

The individual cutting tools also differ from each other in terms of safety. The following equipment of the devices as well as clothing is recommended:

  • Lawn trimmers: sturdy footwear
  • Power scythes: thread cover, protective goggles, sturdy footwear
  • Brush cutters: blade cover, safety glasses, hearing protection, cut protection suit, gloves, safety shoes

In general, when using a brush cutter, make sure that there are no other persons within a radius of about 15 meters who could be injured by thrown objects such as small stones.



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