Stihl manufactures several models of brush-cutting and clearing saws. Clearing saws and brush-cutters are heavier versions of the standard line trimmer, but with interchangeable blades that substitute for the line trimmer cutting head. While line trimmers seldom cause injury even when contacting bare skin, metal trimmer blades could cause severe or fatal injuries. Designed for cutting heavy grass, reeds and even clearing small saplings, these machines require special techniques and appropriate safety guards.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Things you need
- Stihl brush-cutting clearing saw
- Stihl grass-cutting blade or brush knife and;
- Stihl large deflector or;
- Stihl circular saw blade and;
- Stihl limit stop
- Safety goggles
Choose the right blade for the job. Cut grass and weeds too tall for mowing with the grass-cutting 4-tooth blade. Tall ferns in wooded areas and tough reeds growing on swampy ground yield to the 8-tooth blade. Chop rough woody bushes with stems up to 3/4 inch thick with the 3-toothed brush knife. Use the circular saw to fell woody saplings with trunks up to 1 9/16 inch diameter.
Match the appropriate deflector to the blade chosen. Stihl grass cutting and brush cutting blades require mounting the Stihl large deflector to the cutting head. Stihl circular saw blades require the Stihl limit stop.
Adjust the carrying harness to allow support of the machine with the shoulders and back. Operating handles steady and guide the machine--arms should not bear the full weight of the trimmer.
Cut grass and weeds by sweeping the blade side to side, advancing with a small step before beginning each sweep. Use a level and steady stroke similar to the sweep of a scythe. Run the trimmer only fast enough to cut efficiently.
Chop rough brush from top down, working gradually from side to side as the blade lowers through the brush. Start at the edge of the growth nearest the operator. Lowering the blade into the centre of the bush fouls the machine and could cause mechanical damage.
Saw small saplings by approaching from the right side of the trunk and cutting with the left front of the blade. Compare the blade to a compass dial with north directly ahead. Cut with the section between north and west on the blade. Rev the engine to full speed to begin the cut and back off to a speed that cuts well without stalling.
Tips and warnings
- Always wear long trousers and approved eye protection.
- Don't be too aggressive. Cut only what the machine can handle or uncut brush and weeds will wrap around the shaft and possibly ruin the driveshaft or gearbox.
- Look for dangerous obstacles. Wire, metal stakes and loose dead limbs could all wreck the blade or cause serious injuries.
- Kickback knocks the cutting end of the machine to the right in a violent arc. Keep children and pets out of the working area.
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