Using metal wire on brush cutter

ericlehtinenAugust 15, 2008

I've got a Stihl brush cutter. Neither the plastic string blade nor the solid metal grass blade are sufficient for the problems in my yard. I really want to try using a metal cable or wire attached securely in the same way the plastic string is attached to cutting head.

I would like any comments or warnings from experienced users. It seems like such a good idea I don't see why it's not offered commercially or authorized by Stihl. I Emailed Stihl and the only reply was that Stihl does not authorize the use of a metal wire on the cutting head. No explanation as to why.

The problem with the plastic string is that the vegetation in the yard is so thick and heavy that it rips the plastic string right out at the base within a few minutes. The metal disc blade is just too small and doesn't shred the vegetation as I go along, and much of the vegetation is just pushed out of the way by it instead of being cut. I really need a string blade that will not break or wear down but will rip through anything.

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I feel your pain. On the cooler days I'm starting to clear an old driveway at the ridge w/ heavy grass & blackberries aplenty. I have both a blackberry blade and 1 that, rather being round- has a clover shape. They have their shortcomings. The best I have used for just grass/ weeds etc. was the fixed head where you put in a length or two of .130? line. My guess is that a metal woven cable would fray and get dangerous, but I have not tried it. These things need a flail mower attachment...

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 6:07PM
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The main thing I'm concerned about are any well known serious dangers in using a metal/wire with the brush cutter.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 6:13PM
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davidandkasie(Z8 MS)

metal wire will wear out quickly. the flexing back and forth will break it.

i use the x or t shaped line and both work MUCH better than regular string.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 8:49PM
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I can't imagine why a metal saw type blade would not cut through almost anything. I have an old ECHO string trimmer with a saw blade attachment as an option. It simply saws through most anything. It even "rings" like a power saw blade while it is slowing down after a cut. I just have to be careful not to push it too hard or fast where it will "Kick" off what it is cutting. They usually recommend "Handle Bars" for better control over it kicking out of control. Charles Ranheim

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 11:00PM
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I tend to agree with charles, if the saw blade can't cut it, then a brush hog or chain saw maybe in order????????

    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 8:44AM
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"O" Metal wire spinning about 3 grand don't give me a warm fuzzy. My feets and legs don't like foreign objects sticking out of them. meaning the wire has weight behind it and as mentioned above good chance it will break and fly off any which direction. if you use it just make sure there are no kids within 50 yards.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 8:52AM
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like_my_yard(Central NC.)

PLEASE DON'T use metal wire.

About 25 years ago we moved into a house that had been empty for several years and the yard was badly overgrown.I had a Homelight Super 2 chainsaw with a weedeater attachment on it. It was frustrating to keep replacing the line. Soooo, I got the brilliant idea to use "Heavy Duty" clothes line wire.
I was humming right along thinking this is working great. Then all of a sudden I was laying on the ground gulping for air.
To make a long story short. The wire had wrapped around a metal grade stake,the x-rays confirmed 2 broken ribs and the weedeater attachment for the chainsaw went into the trash.
That was one of the dumbest "smart" things I've done. Go on and laugh - I can now. :)

    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 3:00PM
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Wire is way dangerous! Even with a pair of chain saw chaps!

You could try using .105 line and letting just the tip of the line do the cutting. Line breakage at the head eyelet is usually caused by pushing the trimmer too quickly into the weeds, this causes the line to flex at it's base and break off.

You could also try using a fine tooth brush blade, not one of those 4 edged cutting disks. Use a "stomp down" approach on the weeds starting up high and going down on the brush instead of just cutting at the base.

Wear safety glasses.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 10:37PM
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Hi Eric,

I too had an "aha" moment and installed electric fence wire in a weed eater when I was a teenager. It worked well for about 40 feet and then it stopped cutting. I looked over the head and both wires had snapped off. I then noticed that one of the wires was sticking out the side if the sole of my tennis shoe. Had it gone in one inch higher, it woulda been through my foot. I went back to running plastic wire...

    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 8:31AM
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davidandkasie(Z8 MS)

i watched a guy yesterday put electric fence wire in a weedeater. i told him it would nto work, but he swore it would. i even told him to give me 1 minute to go across the yard and get my line and i would give it to him to finish his work. he cranked that unit up, revved it one time and i heard the line snap and go flying. we found the wire laying 50 ft away! imagine how that could hurt you at the normal 2-3 ft at most your legs are fromteh head.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 3:00PM
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I experimented with wire in my weed wacker after the head would no longer hold the mono filament like it was suppose to. I installed 2 screws to hold the wire ends and tried 2 different types of wire I had on hand. One was a thin stainless steel wire, and the other was a stiffer steel wire, the type used in electric fences, and although they both really cut the weeds and grass with a fury both broke and didn't last more than a few minutes, my guess is that the metal is just too brittle, because it usually sheared off at the edge of the head and did not get pulled off the mounting screws. The biggest issue with wire is safety; I read this at another web site, later, after my experiments, when mono filament breaks it does not fly very far because of air resistance and it does not have any penetrating power, but a wire is a different story, it is a dangerous projectile at the speeds it would go flying off your trimmer head.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 8:28PM
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