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Old 08-10-2017, 07:33 PM
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Default String Mower vs Brush Hog?

Besides a lot of fencing that's getting pretty raggedy with weeds, I also have a good deal of steep hillside that needs to be mowed down periodically. Much of that over-growth involves wild rose with fairly thick stems. (Many trees and steepness make use of the tractor & 72" brush mower inadvisable.)

A power string mower seems lighter, more mobile & agile, but is probably a pain in the gulu breaking strings frequently like they do and maybe not powerful enough for my major league weed problem.

The brush hog is much more expensive but more powerful, and although it has powered drive wheels, this is pretty steep terrain and I'm not getting any younger.

Thoughts? Experiences?
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Old 08-10-2017, 10:17 PM
Doninalaska Doninalaska is offline
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I use a "self-propelled" DR mower. It is basically a high-powered string trimmer. It is called "self-propelled", but it really is "power-assist" as when you walk behind it and squeeze the drive bar, it helps you get over obstacles and up slopes but it is not real self-propulsion...kinds like a Moped if you remember those. I got it because my wife isn't big enough to handle a string trimmer (in case she has to do things if I get disabled further) and she can't do pull-starts on equipment. My DR has electric start and drives itself around pretty well. It requires about as much effort as a self-propelled walk-behind lawnmower. It also has the ability to add a Brush Cutter and a "Beaver Blade", but I have not found those to be successful aids. There is also a tractor version of the DR, but that would defeat your purpose of doing slopes and getting into tight places, which is why I don't have one.

Here is the link if you want to look:
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Old 08-11-2017, 12:18 AM
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Jjr Male Jjr is offline
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Thumbs up Wheeled String Trimmers are G-R-E-A-T!

I have a wheeled string trimmer I purchased in '15 and now wish I had not taken so long in deciding to purchased one. In rough rocky terrain where straight blades have problems cutting a straight path, the string trimmer shines.

I have the 22 inch cut Cub Cadet, but it is not self propelled. I suffered a major heart-attack in '12 and based on some others reviews of these type machines (being extremely heavy and difficult to operate), I hesitated in purchasing what I needed. I can lift the unit to put it in the back of my truck or remove it from the truck when I am not using the trailer. (I also mow for both our daughter & son who live nearby.) I also have a standard string trimmer, but rarely ever use it since purchasing the wheeled string trimmer, which will do anything the standard string trimmer will do and much more. Additionally there is no aching back at the end of the day using the wheeled string trimmer.

The Cub Cadet uses the .155 Diamond Cut string which is so expensive I purchased a spool of the .155 twisted cord, I believe is the name they use, I referred to it normally as "braided cord" and cut my own using an original which came with the unit, for measuring length to cut the spooled cord. I do not believe a person could install two of the Diamond Cut lines in place on the trimmers attachment points "ears" but I discovered I can attach two of the braided or twisted lines to each of the ears and it immensely improves the duration between replacing the line and will cut much thicker and woodier vegetation with twin .155 diameter cords attached compared to a single .155 diameter line. Attaching the two lines is a little more work, but once one gets the technique down, it is not that much more involved over installing a single line.

I don't really know the exact degrees of slope to the worst areas where I use the wheeled trimmer, but a 6 - 8 degree slope is probably about the worst I have to contend with, but the engine is not pressurized for oil pressure, so when using one of these machines, one can not keep them on an incline continuously, unless one is using an engine pressurized for oil lubrication to all moving parts.

Two suggestions, if you go this route, purchase one with the largest diameter rear tires you can find or afford, and avoid plastic wheels (the hub & spokes) if possible. The Cub Cadet has 16 in rear wheels, but 20 inch wheels would navigate over rough terrain better in my opinion. The CC also has plastic spokes and hubs, and although not a problem yet, I have had other plastic wheeled things who's wheels did give problems with time and age.

The CC was only $369 IIRC, but I did not want to spend $600 - 800 initially on something I was unsure was going to do what I desired of it. It will, and I have no complaints of the CC, but when it is replaced I will probably look for more durability at that time.

The wheeled string trimmers are an excellent investment in my opinion, and they will do much more than a bladed unit can do with out the damage a blade will cause.Just this past week, a good friend broke the right spindle off his mowers deck when he drove over an angled or bend piece of pipe sticking out of the ground, which locked the blade preventing its normal spin. Fortunately the blade itself was not bent. He knew the pipe was there, but it wasn't where he remembered it being. That would not have happened with the wheeled string trimmer. Repairs cost him right at half what my Cub Cadet cost. [And I did offer to make the repairs for him. The Spindle would have cost him a tad more than $30 + tax S/H fees TOTAL, with nothing added for my labor. I estimated the cost at a shop of $125 +/- $10, but I was a little low, on my estimate.]
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Old 08-11-2017, 01:51 AM
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Tim Horton Male Tim Horton is offline
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We have an older Craftsman 6.5hp ? walk behind string trimmer. No power assist at all to move it, but it does have bigger wheels than the big rear wheels some walk behind mowers do.

It came with a spool of about 5mm diameter replacement string. Cut a 40cm (16") length, fold in half stick the loop through a slot and hook it over a tab. The string has about a 3mm twisted steel cable in a 5mm OD plastic tubing. Works surprisingly well. I don't use it on hills, but have some quite rough ground to cover.
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Old 08-11-2017, 05:49 AM
Doninalaska Doninalaska is offline
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The self-propelled machine has smaller wheels than the walk-behind, but with the boost, it is a lot easier to use that the walk-behind. The self-propulsion and the electric start is why I made the choice I did. I use a blue twisted line (which I think is the .155 mentioned above). It makes a bit more coarse cut than the smaller diameter line, but is much more durable. I, too, buy it on a spool and cut my own lengths. They recommend soaking the line in water overnight, as it is supposed to improve life expectancy and ease of installation, but I have not noticed a lot of difference. I can install it it at 4 different levels on the nose "ball" to control the height of the grass/weeds after mowing. A friend had a smaller walk-behind trimmer and when he got older, he hired one of my sons to run it for him---he still managed to throw a rock through a car side window with it and he didn't even know he had done it.
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Old 08-14-2017, 10:05 AM
Setanta Male Setanta is offline
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i'm usually short on funds so a walk behind brushhog is out of my personal options, though i have used them before, they are ok, i have had a few trimmers but hated them. these days if i can't use the tractor brush hog i use a scythe, just as fast as a trimmer but much less work and cheaper
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