Sometimes, a well-tended lawn requires more than a lawn mower. This is where a brush cutter comes in. This type of equipment is ideal for keeping areas that a standard mower can’t reach tidy and manicured. But like any other equipment, it does need proper maintaining in order for it to perform its best for your landscaping work.
Maintenance practices may vary between different best brush cutter for small trees models. There are some general procedures below, but you also have to make sure that you are following steps according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Before performing any inspection or maintenance service on your brush cutter, there are certain fundamental steps that you have to follow to ensure safety and proper execution of maintenance procedures.
- Workspace Preparation
Ideally, you should find a well-ventilated workspace with a flat surface. Make sure that you are positioned somewhere far away from any combustible materials. Keep a distance of at least 20 feet from them. It is also advisable that you spread a drop cloth over the work area to make cleanup easier.
- Personal Protective Equipment
It is very important to wear proper protective equipment even when only performing maintenance procedures on your brush cutter. These objects offer protection in case things get awry along the way.
We never know when accidents are going to happen. That’s why, it’s best that we always stay prepared no matter what happens.
Here is a checklist of what you have to wear:
Since you will be handling sharp or dangerous objects, it’s vital that you protect your hands to avoid any injuries. Wear heavy-duty work gloves made of leather or other wear-resistant material.
- Leg Protection
You might think that it’s a wee bit unnecessary to protect your legs while doing maintenance services. However, there are instances wherein people get injuries on their legs or thighs especially when they are working on the ground. For this reason, make sure to wear heavy trousers or long pants that are made of heavy materials.
- Protective Boots
Avoid wearing sandals or slippers when handling a brush cutter. To protect your feet from any injuries, wear safety boots.
- Engine Preparation
Before you begin working on your brush cutter, it is a good idea to drain the fuel tank before performing any maintenance procedure to prevent gasoline or oil from leaking all throughout your workspace.
Make sure that the engine is also turned off. Remove the spark plug wire from the spark plug to avoid any accidental engine start-up. Never work on your brush cutter without making sure that it’s disconnected from its power source.
Brush Cutter Blade Cleaning
Needless to say, your brush cutter blade will get dirty with each use. Normally, you should clean it after every use before storing it. But in case your brush cutter blade needs cleaning before sharpening it, here is a quick guide on how to clean your blade properly.
Step 1: Make sure that the engine is turned off.
It can cause fatal injury if you start fiddling away with your brush cutter blade attachment and the machine accidentally runs. Disconnect the spark plug wire from the spark plug to ensure no such accident will occur.
Step 2: Remove the brush cutter blade attachment from the cutting head.
It’s more efficient and practical if you remove it from the equipment. In this way, you will be able to clean the blade thoroughly.
Step 3: Remove trimmings and debris on the blade.
To scrub off debris and trimmings on your blade, use a brush with soft bristles. A lot of people recommend using hard bristles on brush cutters. This, however, might result to scratching the surface of your blade. Plus, it’s a lot easier to get through stubborn areas with a soft-bristled brush, especially if your blade is a smasher type.
You can also use a damp cloth if the blade is not that dirty. This option is best used on blades such as knife blades and chisel blades.
Step 4: You can use soapy water mixture for better results.
While many people avoid using water on brush cutters, it is actually not that worrisome. The reason why it’s not ideal to use water when cleaning a brush cutter is because there is a high chance that water can get through the engine system. Using water to clean the blade, however, is a whole different issue. Feel free to clean the blades with water and soap, especially if the stains and debris are a little difficult to remove.
Step 5: Dry your brush cutter blade.
Use a dry cloth or rag to wipe your brush cutter blade dry. Make sure that you dry it properly especially if it’s dripping wet. Storing it away while wet will result to corrosion and rusting.
Brush Cutter Blade Sharpening
The process of blade sharpening is actually a maintenance practice that has to be done routinely. To maximize the cutting potential of your brush cutter, the blade attachment has to be kept sharp and in good condition. The entire process is fairly easy. However, the method varies on the type of brush cutter blade and the blade’s condition.
When to know if your blade needs sharpening?
For chisel blades or circular blades with teeth , you’ll know that they need sharpening when the tips start to look rounded. This is because rounded tips are usually a sign of wear in blades.
For knife blades and mulching blades, sharpening is usually done when the edges are noticeably crooked or not straight. This is a sign of a dull blade.
How to properly sharpen your blade?
Step 1: Make sure the engine of your brush cutter is turned off.
Since you will be handling an object that may potentially inflict fatal injuries, you have to make sure that there is no way the blades will start to run, especially since you will have to remove them from the cutting head.
Step 2: Remove the brush cutter blade attachment from the cutting head.
Needless to say, it is impossible to sharpen your blade properly if it remains attached to the cutting head. Thus, you will have to remove them.
Step 3: Assess the condition of your brush cutter blade.
This is necessary to know what method should you use in sharpening your blade. Normally, a few strokes of a flat file or on a whetstone will be enough to restore normal sharpness on a slightly dull blade. However, blades that show severe signs of wear will probably require a grinder.
Step 4: Start sharpening your blade.
Flat file: This method is ideal for bent edges since it’s difficult to achieve the correct angle on whetstone sharpening because of their design. Simply, angle the file against the edge of the blade and stroke in an angled up and down motion. Do this on both sides.
Whetstone: You will need to use two types of whetstone for sharpening the blade. One is medium-grain and the other is fine-grain. To use the whetstone, you will need to angle your blade on it, forming a 45-degree angle. Then, pull and push the blade carefully in an inward outward motion. You will first do this on a medium-grain whetstone, and then use the fine-grain whetstone for finishing. Do this on both sides of the blade.
Step 5: Check the balance.
Maintaining the balance of the blade is important when sharpening. This is to ensure that you have sharpened the blade properly and either side weighs heavier than the other.
To check, you can hang the blade on a nail. Make sure that you will hang it on the center point. If either side dips lower than the other, your blade is not perfectly balanced. You can simply sharpen the dipping side again to restore balance in the blade.
Step 6: Blades are ready to go!
If the blade is perfectly balanced, you are now officially done and the blade is ready for storage or usage again.
You may also enjoy reading How does a brush cutter work?