PDA

View Full Version : Brush Blades-Nothing Big Enough!


4 seasons lawn&land
11-05-2010, 06:45 PM
I got a new Stihl FS 550 clearing saw. As far as the clearing saw aspect with the circular blade I just assume use the top handle chain saw. As for the giant trimmer head in the light junk/reeds it devastates the heaviest trim line I've ever seen... which I expected. I planned on using the plastic paddles or metal Y blade but Im finding there are none big enough or long enough. They are all made so that a decent string trimmer can run them which works good but its slow due to the width of the cut. I need double the standard size and its starting to look like Im going to have to make something:dizzy: It should be maybe an 18 inch cut. The 550 has plenty power to run it but no product to make use of it.

Im starting to think about bolting a lawn mower blade to the thing...

Mudly
11-05-2010, 07:06 PM
I got a new Stihl FS 550 clearing saw. As far as the clearing saw aspect with the circular blade I just assume use the top handle chain saw. As for the giant trimmer head in the light junk/reeds it devastates the heaviest trim line I've ever seen... which I expected. I planned on using the plastic paddles or metal Y blade but Im finding there are none big enough or long enough. They are all made so that a decent string trimmer can run them which works good but its slow due to the width of the cut. I need double the standard size and its starting to look like Im going to have to make something:dizzy: It should be maybe an 18 inch cut. The 550 has plenty power to run it but no product to make use of it.

Im starting to think about bolting a lawn mower blade to the thing...

i use the srm 400 clearing saw wich is the echo equiv. I also have the same problem but my tool supplier suggested i use table saw blades but they are insanly expensive stating at $50 for something that isn't even made for taking brush beatings but it mows down 8 inch saps i guess you can call them stumps by then, with no problem. i use a 16 inch blade and it bearly bogs down when im on a bigger tree. i guess you could try 3/16 cable for heavy brush but that just sounds stupid, but it would not have been the stupidest thing i have done all day. anyways good luck let me know if you find anything.

White Gardens
11-05-2010, 07:17 PM
I use an articulating hedge trimmer on the end of my string trimmer.

I just adjust the angle and get a 24 inch clearance path with it and can cut stuff up to 2 inches in diameter.

http://www.stihlusa.com/graphics/hedgetrimmers/HL100K-135.gif

Mudly
11-05-2010, 07:35 PM
I use an articulating hedge trimmer on the end of my string trimmer.

I just adjust the angle and get a 24 inch clearance path with it and can cut stuff up to 2 inches in diameter.

http://www.stihlusa.com/graphics/hedgetrimmers/HL100K-135.gif

that has passed my mine. I have a set, however thats the best way to dull the blades. at $35 a sharpening and over a 100 bucks for new blades it is not worth it. lets say you clear a lot using this technique and your next job is a topiary job, If your hedge trimmers are not sharpended you will damage the bush. Plus you don't have the versitility and raw power as you do with a stihl or echo clearing saw

4 seasons lawn&land
11-05-2010, 08:26 PM
thats a good idea with the big table saw blade I might try that but I think I need the whipping effect of the string or paddles. Why not cut down 6 inch trees with a chain saw?
The cable Im going to try tomorrow but am a little concerned with flying metal shards.

Mudly
11-05-2010, 08:39 PM
thats a good idea with the big table saw blade I might try that but I think I need the whipping effect of the string or paddles. Why not cut down 6 inch trees with a chain saw?
The cable Im going to try tomorrow but am a little concerned with flying metal shards.

I feel you on the whipping effect, there is none, as for the chain saw for this size tree it goes just as fast, remeber these are rated at, at least 4 HP. unless your carrying a saw with you while clearing why not just go for it. As for the cable, thats exactly why i have not tried this, thats why i said it sounds stupid, but I could be wrong. but let me know how that goes.

4 seasons lawn&land
11-05-2010, 09:09 PM
My uncle was saying they used to make chain saw trimmer line. Not beaver blades but actual chain saw chain. Im guessing theres a reason they dont make it anymore.

4 seasons lawn&land
11-05-2010, 09:23 PM
found it

http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml00/00104.html

White Gardens
11-05-2010, 09:28 PM
that has passed my mine. I have a set, however thats the best way to dull the blades. at $35 a sharpening and over a 100 bucks for new blades it is not worth it. lets say you clear a lot using this technique and your next job is a topiary job, If your hedge trimmers are not sharpended you will damage the bush. Plus you don't have the versitility and raw power as you do with a stihl or echo clearing saw

Just get a dedicated head for brush clearing.

Mudly
11-05-2010, 11:00 PM
Just get a dedicated head for brush clearing.

thats still a lot of cash when the clearing saw is way more economical, faster, and versitile. but to each his own

White Gardens
11-05-2010, 11:56 PM
thats still a lot of cash when the clearing saw is way more economical, faster, and versitile. but to each his own

You should at least try it.

I hate clearing saws as they throw too much crap, and it can be hard on the body when taking out large saplings.

Speed wise I felt the hedge trimmer head was way faster. I was able to clear a 1/4mile, 2 passes worth of tall grass and weeds in 2 hours around a hot wire fence for a local farmer.

No way could I have gotten it done that fast with a brush saw on a trimmer.

Stihl also makes a shorter scythe attachment that I think will be my next purchase. It's half the length so it looks a little easier to use over the full trimmer attachment.

http://www.stihlusa.com/graphics/multitask/attach_FHscythe.gif

Mudly
11-06-2010, 06:21 AM
You should at least try it.

I hate clearing saws as they throw too much crap, and it can be hard on the body when taking out large saplings.

Speed wise I felt the hedge trimmer head was way faster. I was able to clear a 1/4mile, 2 passes worth of tall grass and weeds in 2 hours around a hot wire fence for a local farmer.

No way could I have gotten it done that fast with a brush saw on a trimmer.

Stihl also makes a shorter scythe attachment that I think will be my next purchase. It's half the length so it looks a little easier to use over the full trimmer attachment.

http://www.stihlusa.com/graphics/multitask/attach_FHscythe.gif

I wasn't putting your idea down. believe me before i had a clearing saw or a articulator I used a set of hs hedge trimmers with knee pads to get a job done.
wasnt pretty. in some cases a hedge trimmer might be faster, if your comparing lets say a fs55 to a hl100. but we are talking about the fs 550 and srm 400 you cant walk through a field of cat tails your hedge trimmers wont even fit around their stems.

White Gardens
11-06-2010, 09:11 AM
I wasn't putting your idea down. believe me before i had a clearing saw or a articulator I used a set of hs hedge trimmers with knee pads to get a job done.
wasnt pretty. in some cases a hedge trimmer might be faster, if your comparing lets say a fs55 to a hl100. but we are talking about the fs 550 and srm 400 you cant walk through a field of cat tails your hedge trimmers wont even fit around their stems.

Who said anything about knee pads? If it's on the end of a trimmer would you be standing up?

Cat tails are easy to knock down. Only time I have to slow down is to his some thicker 3 inch weeds that need a slight rotation around the stem to get it to cut through. Earlier this year, I cut down 6-9 foot tall Giant Ragweed earlier this year and with the scythe action, it made it easier and more controlled than the results I would have gotten with a brush blade. It was a 5 foot wide section, 50 feet long. The greatest part was getting the weeds to fall in the right direction to lay them over without falling into the next section I needed to cut.

I know you aren't putting down my idea, because logically in your mind it probably won't work for you. I'll I'm saying is if you are in the right situation, just try it once, and if it works better than your current set-up, then you'll be more the wiser. If it doesn't work, then at least you got the idea.

I originally got the idea from working with a company that had a couple of weedy ponds that they would trim back the un-mowable banks. We would use the extended reach trimmer and adjust the angle so you could stay at the top and reach down without thinking you were going to fall in. If it was a string trimmer then it would have been way harder to keep a stable foothold on the bank and try not to fall in. It also cut through sections of weedy willows with ease.

Mudly
11-06-2010, 01:08 PM
Who said anything about knee pads? If it's on the end of a trimmer would you be standing up?

Cat tails are easy to knock down. Only time I have to slow down is to his some thicker 3 inch weeds that need a slight rotation around the stem to get it to cut through. Earlier this year, I cut down 6-9 foot tall Giant Ragweed earlier this year and with the scythe action, it made it easier and more controlled than the results I would have gotten with a brush blade. It was a 5 foot wide section, 50 feet long. The greatest part was getting the weeds to fall in the right direction to lay them over without falling into the next section I needed to cut.

I know you aren't putting down my idea, because logically in your mind it probably won't work for you. I'll I'm saying is if you are in the right situation, just try it once, and if it works better than your current set-up, then you'll be more the wiser. If it doesn't work, then at least you got the idea.

I originally got the idea from working with a company that had a couple of weedy ponds that they would trim back the un-mowable banks. We would use the extended reach trimmer and adjust the angle so you could stay at the top and reach down without thinking you were going to fall in. If it was a string trimmer then it would have been way harder to keep a stable foothold on the bank and try not to fall in. It also cut through sections of weedy willows with ease.

i used knee pads becuase it was with a regular hs45 trimmer before i got a clearing saw or articulator.

dboyd351
11-18-2010, 07:09 PM
I use an articulating hedge trimmer on the end of my string trimmer.

I just adjust the angle and get a 24 inch clearance path with it and can cut stuff up to 2 inches in diameter.

http://www.stihlusa.com/graphics/hedgetrimmers/HL100K-135.gif

+1. I agree 100% with White Gardens - articulating hedge trimmer heads cut much wider swath.

If you have a split shaft, here's a cheap Articulating hedge trimmer head that doesn't cost much more than the saw blade you were talking about:
http://www.bigjacktools.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=75&products_id=265

Just my .02.

dboyd351
11-18-2010, 07:41 PM
You should at least try it.

I hate clearing saws as they throw too much crap, and it can be hard on the body when taking out large saplings.

Speed wise I felt the hedge trimmer head was way faster. I was able to clear a 1/4mile, 2 passes worth of tall grass and weeds in 2 hours around a hot wire fence for a local farmer.

No way could I have gotten it done that fast with a brush saw on a trimmer.

Stihl also makes a shorter scythe attachment that I think will be my next purchase. It's half the length so it looks a little easier to use over the full trimmer attachment.

http://www.stihlusa.com/graphics/multitask/attach_FHscythe.gif

I thought about getting the scythe, too, when I got the articulating hedge trimmer attachment with my new Stihl 90. Problem is, you would be giving up a lot of your cut. I like the FS90/articulating hedge trimmer and the swath it cuts, but I think it is heavier and longer than it needs to be. I had a Troy-Bilt split-shaft/articulating hedge trimmer before and it was much easier to use because it was shorter and lighter with an 18 inch head instead of the 22 inch one on the Stihl. I'd like to see something with the Stihl quality, but lighter and shorter, with about na 18 inch head on it. If I had something like the Tanaka TCG22EASSLP trimmer (light, strong, well balenced) I just bought with an 18 inch articulating hedge trimmer head on it, I'd be in heaven!!!

White Gardens
11-18-2010, 08:32 PM
I've honestly thought the scythe was too short too.

Funny you talk about the length being 18 inches.

I'm planning on replacing my trimmer head next year as I've sharpened them a few times, and I broke one side of the clamp that holds the tork head screw. (I dropped it).

So I was going to at least salvage it enough to use as my dedicated brush cutter and use the new one primarily for hedges.

Ultimately I've though about just cutting the extra six inches off the end of the blade. I'd have to cut it right though to stay close to one of the screws on the cutter to keep the support in holding the blades all together.

dboyd351
11-18-2010, 09:04 PM
I guess it depends on what you use it for. While I think the scythe is just too short for most anything, I can see why people would want more length for hedges.
As for me, mine has never seen a hedge.

I bought it specifically to whack down vines after a friend told me how well it worked. I have a 3 acre lot of woods that was full of greenbriar, poison ivy, blackberry and wild grape climbing over everything. A brushcutter blade was so slow it was a joke and a string trimmer just got vines all wrapped around it. But the hedgetrimmer you can just swing back and forth and it saws thru everything.
Guess I shouldn't complain, it is so much better than everything else. I just wish it weighed about 2/3 as much!!! :walking:

Jake4551
04-04-2011, 10:23 AM
When using an articulating hedge trimmer for clearing brush, how long do I want the shaft to be. Obviously, I don't want a 80 inch reach, but what would be optimal for a 6 foot tall person?

Thanks.

Jake4551
04-04-2011, 10:25 AM
Is the Shindy AHS242 too short??

White Gardens
04-04-2011, 10:26 AM
When using an articulating hedge trimmer for clearing brush, how long do I want the shaft to be. Obviously, I don't want a 80 inch reach, but what would be optimal for a 6 foot tall person?

Thanks.

Standard trimmer shaft works for me. That way you can change the angle of the blade and still be standing upright.

dboyd351
04-04-2011, 01:15 PM
Jake,
I think 80" shaft is probably too long, but the regular short reach ones (like the shindy 242, I believe) are too short. Some manufacturers like Kawasaki make some in the 60-65 inch shaft length range, that I would guess would be about right. Since I'm only 5' 6", I can't tell what would be ideal for a 6 footer. The way I would judge is to find one that will let you aim the shaft down to within a few inches of the ground, without having to bend over, while setting the hedge trimmer blade parallel to the ground. Think of it like you are trying to cut off vines near ground level that are growing vertically out of the ground. That's important because that's what you will eventually want to do if you are trying to control something like greenbriar or blackberry from coming back.
I find if I use that shaft length as a guide, it works pretty well for cutting things up higher, too.

Be careful when comparing shaft lengths, too, because some include the length of the hedge trimmer blade, which is usually about 20-24 inches. I'm guessing a 60-65 inch shaft length, without including the blade, would be about right for you. The Kawasaki KCL525A is 6.5 feet including the 21 inch blade and is on sale on fleabay for $450. Since most major brand extended length articulating hedge trimmers sell in the $500-$600 range, that's pretty good. I haven't used the Kaw, so I can't vouch for it per se, but I think that's about the ballpark of what you might be looking for.

If you want to take a chance on a Chinese one, take alook at this thread:
http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?p=3971423#post3971423.

Good luck.

dboyd351
04-04-2011, 01:27 PM
Standard trimmer shaft works for me. That way you can change the angle of the blade and still be standing upright.

+1. I didn't see this post when I wrote mine. White Gardens just said what I said in a lot less words.

Jake4551
04-04-2011, 02:16 PM
that does look like a good deal on the Kawi, might go with that. It is confusing the way they measure these things. Wish they would provide some sort of graphic with the specific length spelled out more clearly.