Brushcutters/clearing Saws?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by BASIC, Jun 13, 2003.

  1. BASIC

    BASIC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 83

    Hi,does anyone have any experience with heavy duty brushcutters/clearing saws(Stihl,Husqvarna,etc.)?I have a Stihl FS-85 and its more of a trimmer than a brushcutter,I'd like to get something bigger,thanks,BASIC.
  2. 2pioneer

    2pioneer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    Look at the Husqvarna 232R. It's a great mid-weight brushcutter. If you want to use for both trimming & brushcutting I'd suggest the 326LX trimmer and using the J-handle and saw blade attachment.

    I've been using the 326LX and it's very powerful, lightweight and starts very easily.

    I also own a Stihl FS85 which is underpowered, unbalanced and tempermental in starting. It floods very easily and emits alot of smoke.

    Husqvarna all the way!


    If you don't have a Husqvarna dealer in town and are interested in their equipment drop me a e-mail at I'm a dealer and can ship via UPS or FedEx.
  3. BASIC

    BASIC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 83

    2pioneer,thankyou for your respose.I agree with you about the FS-85,I've had some problems with mine.I'm looking at the Husqvarna 232R,235R and the 245R.I have a Shindaiwa T261 B trimmer that I'm happy with for light duty work.Thankyou for your offer about a Husky dealer but I have a great one close to my home,BASIC.
  4. gene gls

    gene gls LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,213

    I have a Husky 245 trimmer that is a man killer. I havn't used it in a couple of years, sence I found a Beaver Blade for my Sthil FS 85. A Beaver Blade is a metal disk with a pice of chain saw chain around it. I can cut 3" brush with no problem. I have 2 FS 85s, one for grass with a D handle and one with bicycle handle for brush. They are the best.

  5. Jimbo

    Jimbo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,093

    The biggest I have is the Stihl FS200R. It has good power for brush cutting, but can also be used as a trimmer. Anything bigger and your getting into dedicated brush cutting equipment.

  6. DEEJ

    DEEJ LawnSite Member
    Messages: 230

    I use the FS 85 for trimming. My dealer wasn't even interested in selling me a clearing saw. He said the FS 85 was all I would need. Having miles of trails to clear for the surveyors, I didn't agree. I went to another dealer who provides clearing saws for our Hydro folks.

    I bought an FS 280K dedicated clearing saw. It is one awesome unit. I have had it for about 5 years now and use it all the time.

    The engines on the clearing saws are more chain saw engine than trimmer engine. This unit will start second pull, one with choke (start and die), then choke off (start and run). There is no primer bulb on this unit.

    It has bicycle handlebars and a full harness. Small brush up to 2 inches in diameter and you can pretty much just swing back and forth and advance forward. The unit will cut it no problem at all. The biggest issue in this case is the brush falling all around you, and on top of you! When working in the alder I will often get tangled up and have to cut my way out!

    With the taller stuff I will cut it down, then hit it one or two more times as it is falling to cut it up. The saw doesn't even hesitate. The more I use it, the better I get at slicing and dicing it as it falls.

    The blade has about 3 1/2" exposed all around the right angle foot on the bottom of the shaft. I will often cut bigger stuff. This takes some practice so you don't pinch the blade in the tree and get it stuck. I will determine which way the tree is going to fall, slice into the forward side as much as I dare, then slice into the backside and let it fall. Using this method you can drop stuff up to 5" or 6" in diameter.

    I use the Stihl 9" blades with this unit. They sharpen with a standard chain saw file, the same file as my 036 chainsaw. I have a few blades and rotate them as they get dull. The blade change is quick and easy. If I stay away from the dirt, a sharp blade will last most of a day. The last time I bought blades was about 5 years ago and they were about $15.00 each. I don't seem to destroy or wear out blades. They always resharpen fine. Mine have been resharpened many, many times.

    I use a 3 bladed brush knife on the FS 280K when I have heavy hay and small brush (<1/2") to cut. I also have a string head with huge string, but I never use it.

    I really like the FS 280K. It has been a reliable smooth operating machine. Maintenance is minimal. Grease in the foot periodically(the same as the FS85), clean the air filter (doesn't get very dirty), and install a sharp blade. For that matter, my FS85 is smooth and reliable also (just a bit shorter than I would like).

    I highly recommend the Stihl clearing saws, as clearing saws. This is not a unit you really want to trim with!

  7. I use an FS 55 shaft drive with a 7 1/4 inch 20 tooth circular saw blade on it ( actually its got an older FS 86 brushcutter shaft and gear box on it. i drove over it with my moms buick rendezvous moving the buick to the other drive way to wash it and i never saw the thing and the right front tire went over the front 5 or so inches . I **** my self. and later that day i went to my dealer all pissed off and told him . he said that the municipality had a FS 86 they blew the rod outta and the shaft and gear box was still good.) and i could have it for 20 bucks so i took it and fixed the trimmer , and scored a set of bike bars too . :D it works great. I don`t use the blade much, just when the snowmoblie club clears the trails in the fall. and the odd tree trimming. sapling/ bush removal. and we used it at my freinds cabin to cut down 3" trees to make a railing for the path to the river.

    I got 3 of these blades on sale for 3 bucks each at true value and i`m gonna get a 10" soon


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