brush cutter vs. mulcher et al.

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by summitx, Feb 15, 2011.

  1. summitx

    summitx LawnSite Member
    from Alberta
    Messages: 11

    other than the obvious physical differences, what's the difference between the two in terms of application and effectiveness?
  2. YellowDogSVC

    YellowDogSVC LawnSite Gold Member
    from TX
    Messages: 3,792

    wow. you can really get specific addressing this. The terms are interchangeable but i am assuming you are asking about a rotary versus drum style?

    Please elaborate or ask some specific questions.. I've got a few opinions.
  3. summitx

    summitx LawnSite Member
    from Alberta
    Messages: 11

    I'm afraid I don't know enough about them to address a specific question... As far as I know; one has a horizontal rotating drum with teeth, the other lies flat and is comparable to a super charged lawn mower on steroids.

    I'm trying to understand the applications of one vs. the other, their efficiencies, and general usage when compared to eachother. (this is me: :hammerhead:)
  4. bobcat_ron

    bobcat_ron LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,137

    The "supercharged lawnmower" will work good in heavy woody brush up to 6" thick, scrub brush and light grass, heavy swamp grass and onion weed will bog it down.
    The horizontal shaft is good for heavier wood and trees, as it will grind them into chips, but grass will plug it up.
    A better unit to use is a heavy flail type mower, high speed for grass and heavy hammer knives for thicker brush.
  5. skidsteer

    skidsteer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 135

    The rotary cutter is less expensive and can run on a standard flow skidsteer, high flow is better, but standard is still good. They cut the brush down but don't always chip it up as small. Smaller cutter are good to 3" and high flow ones good to 6"
    Heavy grass tends to slow them down. When these cutters are used on a tractor you have all the engine hp to drive them. On a skidsteer you are limited to the power at your hydraulic couplers, @ 30 on std flow and 45 on high flow. (roughly) Skidsteers excellent in tight areas and don't run over the bush before they mow it. Also tend to be easier on cutter parts, less brute force to bust stuff.

    Flail cutters are for lighter brush and grass and do a more finished job.

    Drum cutters are the most expensive to buy (eight or ten time more) and requires a large high flow machine to run them.

    Here is my standard flow cutter running on a 15gpm LS 160. Note the open front or exposed blade design, throws more debris around but really cuts well
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2011
  6. Eastern Construction Inc.

    Eastern Construction Inc. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    Skidsteer did you convert the cutter to hydro or buy it that way. It seeems to cut very good what name brand?
  7. skidsteer

    skidsteer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 135

    Well kinda both!
    I bought it with my first skidsteer, the fellow just put a hyd motor on a 40 hp gear box, 60" King Kutter

    It has gone through numerous revisions. Better 6.2 ci Charlyn motor to handle more flow from my 773 when the 753 sold.
    Reinforced the deck.
    Widened it to 6ft
    Then removed the crazy wheel and opened the front of the deck up to expose the blades.
    The final was the best mod as it discharges grass and debris which helps keep cutter rpm up. Not sure why low flow cutters can't be purchased that way. Were are rural so flying debris not really a concern here.

    I also have a 72" Erskine, but this cutter is much lighter and the machine is better ballanced with it on there.
    That site was a bit soft so I wanted to go light and try to make as few turns as possible to not mud it up to bad.

    The Erskine cutter has alot more steel in it though and bigger gearbox etc. I just wish it had a open front too. No doubt hi flow cutters are faster, but you can do alot of damage with a standard flow one too.
  8. Heavyduty1

    Heavyduty1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 244

    We use rotarys when we have a lot of small (4in or less) stuff to clear. Rotarys do throw chips and chunks of wood 100 ft or more.

    If you neeed to cut near houses or the road side, I would choose a heavy flail because it directs flying chunks toward the ground.

    If you needed to cut 4 in or more I would choose the mulcher.

    If you want to get in this for $$$, you will probably need all three. IMO
  9. summitx

    summitx LawnSite Member
    from Alberta
    Messages: 11

    thanks for the imput guys! not seriously thinking of expanding into the heavy duty line of work shown in the video, but curious about ROW maintenance, lease sites etc... I may be revising my business plan in the near future that's all. btw, I have a 246C, no high flow.
  10. YellowDogSVC

    YellowDogSVC LawnSite Gold Member
    from TX
    Messages: 3,792

    I get by with a Bobcat brushcat and a mulcher for the s330. I mulch brush piles and stumps and use the brushcat for lighter brush and high grass because I can run it on low flow. Even on small brush, I use the mulcher if I need finer shreds. Both are heavy duty but mulcher costs about 4x as much $$

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