The Bushwacker !!!!!!!!!!

Runs With Scissors

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First off I would like to thank everyone that chimed in with advice about clearing small saplings on another post.

Everyone's advice was taken into account and after some careful consideration, I have decided to go with the Echo SRM-410U Brush cutter as @Flintknapper suggested.

I was all set to get the Stihl Kombi set up, but after handling it, I decided to go with a "dedicated tool"

Now don't get me wrong, the Stihl set up was nice, but 2 things were "nagging me".

1. If I went with the Kombi system, the only attachment they make currently that would help me, is the "limb cutter".

Although it would work, it just seemed like I was going to be using a tool, for a decent size job, that was not designed purposefully for the task.

My "lifes experience" has shown that 98.5% of the time, a "designated tool" does a better/safer job, and more quickly, than a "repurposed tool" does.

I am sure there are exceptions, but "designated tools" usually win out, although I did like the Kombi system.

2. The "handle bars". I really liked the looks of the "Stihl Harness rig' so I ordered one, but the guy told me that there was no "factory option" for the handle bars.

That was kind of a "deal breaker" honestly. I did/do not feel comfortable swinging around a saw with out those handle bars.

I could totally be "off base", but from the videos I watched, those handle bars looked like a great/must have idea.



So enough with the "dilly dallying", small talk, lets see some pics!!!!!!

Here she is in the box.

20240609_081738[1].jpg


One thing that I had not known about was that little "compression release" button. That was a very nice surprise!!!!!

20240609_082202[1].jpg



I decide to use some "anti-seize" on the shaft, just as a "precaution"

20240609_083127[1].jpg


Come on Comifornia....enough with the "warnings"

20240609_083003[1].jpg



I "guaran-damn-te" you that this brush cutter does NOT cause "cancer" nor does it cause "reproductive harm" .


20240609_083011[1].jpg


I decided a little "loc-tite" was a good idea.


20240609_083327[1].jpg
 
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Runs With Scissors

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Now a little warning here.

You have to put the "cross bar" on before you put the guard on. If not you will be taking it off again. I guess this is the part where someone says "didn't you read the directions?".......Nope.

Here is a pic of me "finding out" that the cross bar has to go on first.

20240609_084936[1].jpg


1718016260049.png


Here is the "special locking tool" they give you.

20240609_084116[1].jpg



Sure hope I never lose that "special locking tool they give you, I would not know what to do.....hahahaha

20240609_085756[1].jpg


No surprises or real "gotcha's" to report. All went smooth.

But (and there is always a "but")


I am not liking this exposed blade.

I can already feel myself bumping into it, and cutting the hell out of my arm/hip/shin/foot/hand

20240609_100126[1].jpg



Hmmmmm........so what to do?
 
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Runs With Scissors

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Well I go to my first line of defense...................Amazon.

I certainly can't be the first person to "notice" this sharp blade hanging out. They probably make a guard for it?????????

Well my Amazon-Fu along with my Google-Fu must have been weak......I typed in 8 or 9 different iterations of "brush cutter blade guard" and got zippo.......That's insane.......

Now here I am on a beautiful Sunday morning in need of a guard for my blade, However, as everyone knows around here "beautiful sunny Sunday mornings" bring one thing........Hellish traffic.

There is no way I am going out and fighting all the "blue hairs" traveling at a blistering .04 MPH in a 50, taking a Sunday drive out to Cousin Martha's house for tea, along, with all the "green thumbs" getting their "gardening crap" at Homedepot, not to mention the hordes of people in their convertible/classic/muscle cars out for a joy ride.

Just not going to happen.

Then I say hmm...I simply must have something around here.

I got it a Frisbee.........Too Amazon!!!!!!!


Wow.....Holys%^t....people are pretty proud of their Frisbees.......17 bucks?

The search continues......

Then like a ray of sunshine coming from the heavens, I see these....

20240609_091508[1].jpg



Could it be?

Yep......Perfect fit!!!!!!!! (It was uncanny how well they fit, almost like they were made for it. )

20240609_091503[1].jpg


Now I just gotta cut it. I don't want to just hack-N-slash it, so I use my new welding positioner to mark a cut line.

20240609_091810[1].jpg



Coupled with my new "steady arm rest" I make a reasonably good cut line.


20240609_092013[1].jpg


Now it's off to the band saw.....It just barely works, but it works.

20240609_092034[1].jpg


20240609_092512[1].jpg


Now what to do with this????????

The "horder" in me will simply not let me throw it out. I "set it aside" until such day as I need it... (y) 🍸


20240609_094012[1].jpg
 
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Runs With Scissors

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Pretty good.....But how am I going to make it stay on.....Bungee's...? string?....magic?

Then I see those magnets that Amazon "will not return" for whatever reason and I get an idea.

I will secure the magnet to the disc and Bam!!!!!

Well it turns out that the magnet is so powerful that I needed to "pry it off".....

20240609_091650[1].jpg



Just by luck though, hiding behind that big magnet was a smaller one.....worked perfect, so a small countersunk screw and nut, some "loc-tite" and drill bit and Shazaam!!!!!!!


20240609_093243[1].jpg



Now to go "test fit" it..........
 
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Runs With Scissors

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Damn....if it ain't always something.....

It fits.....kinda, sorta.....

I did not account for the "bulge of the hub".....

So its the right diameter, but not deep enough.....

One side is good, but the other side "sticks out" as you can see.

20240609_093658[1].jpg




I basically have 2 options at this point.

1. re-cut a deeper one ....or

2. cut the center out.

I choose the latter.................after all, I have 2 sets of nifty Hole Saws.

Now where did I put them??????

About 40 minutes of futile searching and cursing, it dawns on me.....they are both at the cottage......4 hours one way.

Moth$%$$#@$%^^

Now what?

I know.....The Lathe!!!!!! hahahahah......Damn, I am so glad I bought that thing.

I make a "mandrel" out of a bolt, 2 washers and a nut, and chuck her up.


20240609_095217[1].jpg



It starts to spin a little, so I have to take many "very light" cuts.

20240609_095405[1].jpg



Eventually I get this.

20240609_095643[1].jpg


Now for the 2nd "test fit"

BAM!!!!!!! Home Run!!!!!

20240609_095833[1].jpg
20240609_095842[1].jpg
20240609_095859[1].jpg



Works exactly as intended and the magnet appears to be of the "Goldilocks" variety....Not to weak, and not too powerful....just right!


The End
 
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Flintknapper

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Good choice.

The SRM410U comes with a 5 year (consumer/homeowner) warranty...though its a pro brush cutter. It is shaft drive (very rugged).

It is 43cc (not the smaller engine of the Stihl Kombi), plenty of power for cutting larger brush 4"-5".

A dedicated brush cutter will let you cut within 1/2" of the ground, so left over stumps/stobs are not an issue for mowing later. You don't have to bend over as with a chainsaw or hold the weight of a pole-saw when you have a lot of work to do.

The blade that comes with the unit is satisfactory for heavy grass, weeds, vines. But when you are ready to cut 'brush' put that renegade on it.

The fuel tank holds a lot of gas and I have never once gone through an entire tank before either being done with the project or was tired of cutting. It will put a LOT of brush on the ground in short order.

Always engage the brush from right to left where possible. Otherwise you'll get 'kick-back' on large pieces.

You'll find (with practice) that on smaller stuff 1"-2" that you don't have to ease the blade into them. Just rev up the engine and 'tap' them from the right side. It will slice right through them.

On larger stuff, hook the blade on the right front quadrant of what you want to cut and just slowly pull backwards. The blade guard serves to 'catch' on the stem and help feed itself in.

On smaller stuff I don't even stay on the throttle. I just 'blip' the throttle a few times to get the blade speed up and then tap whatever I am cutting.

Its a heavy unit (because its built to take punishment), so expect to take a rest every 30-45 minutes. But by then you'll have so much stuff on the ground to clean up...you'd want to stop anyway.

If you have questions about the unit or ways to use it, let me know. I've easily got 500 hrs or more on mine. Between it and my pole-saw.....you'd have to kill me to take either from me. Money well spent.

Congratulations.
 
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Sidekick

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Buy extra blades. I use them with the conversion kit in a srm Wacker and they dull very quickly. Echo engine parts are 1/3 the price of Stihl parts and maintenance kits are cheap. You made the right choice. I switched from Stihl to Echo about 6 years ago and would never go back. Smart move buying now before the ice engine yard equipment is banned.
 
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Russell King

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The one thing I don’t like about any brush cutter is how easily you can accidentally cut down something you wanted to keep! So as you get somewhat close to a sapling you want to keep you need to slow down or stop or it will be cut down.

If you are clearing out a large area you may want to mark anything you want to avoid. You will have your head down and only focus on a small area around the blade so won’t be very aware of what is a foot or two ahead of you.

They are some work but very productive and fun.
 
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TheOldHokie

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First off I would like to thank everyone that chimed in with advice about clearing small saplings on another post.

Everyone's advice was taken into account and after some careful consideration, I have decided to go with the Echo SRM-410U Brush cutter as @Flintknapper suggested.

I was all set to get the Stihl Kombi set up, but after handling it, I decided to go with a "dedicated tool"

Now don't get me wrong, the Stihl set up was nice, but 2 things were "nagging me".

1. If I went with the Kombi system, the only attachment they make currently that would help me, is the "limb cutter".

Although it would work, it just seemed like I was going to be using a tool, for a decent size job, that was not designed purposefully for the task.

My "lifes experience" has shown that 98.5% of the time, a "designated tool" does a better/safer job, and more quickly, than a "repurposed tool" does.

I am sure there are exceptions, but "designated tools" usually win out, although I did like the Kombi system.

2. The "handle bars". I really liked the looks of the "Stihl Harness rig' so I ordered one, but the guy told me that there was no "factory option" for the handle bars.

That was kind of a "deal breaker" honestly. I did/do not feel comfortable swinging around a saw with out those handle bars.

I could totally be "off base", but from the videos I watched, those handle bars looked like a great/must have idea.



So enough with the "dilly dallying", small talk, lets see some pics!!!!!!

Here she is in the box.

View attachment 130496

One thing that I had not known about was that little "compression release" button. That was a very nice surprise!!!!!

View attachment 130497


I decide to use some "anti-seize" on the shaft, just as a "precaution"

View attachment 130498

Come on Komifornia....enough with the "warnings"

View attachment 130499


I "guaran-damn-te" you that this brush cutter does NOT cause "cancer" nor does it cause "reproductive harm" .


View attachment 130500

I decided a little "loc-tite" was a good idea.


View attachment 130502
I have had one of those Echo heads for better part of 30 years. You will quickly discover the resemblance to a mechanical bull riding amusement with fangs. Kickback on my 30" chainsaw pales in comparison to what thst little blade can do.

I guess I am just too old these days for that much excitement and WORK.

Enjoy :D :D

Dan
 
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fried1765

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I have had one of those Echo heads for better part of 30 years. You will quickly discover the resemblance to a mechanical bull riding amusement with fangs. Kickback on my 30" chainsaw pales in comparison to what thst little blade can do.

I guess I am just too old these days for that much excitement and WORK.

Enjoy :D :D

Dan
I have the Honda 4 stroke handlebar brush cutter.
A magnificent machine.
At 83, I am afraid of it now, so......I no longer use it,
 
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PoTreeBoy

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Forester has several different type and size brush blades. And a blade guard, but it's fabric not as fancy as yours. I've settled on 9" carbide chain saw type teeth, since I'm usually cutting saplings. It's not the best type for vines and smaller brush.
 
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chim

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About 30 years ago I built a DIY brush cutter from an old string trimmer and a carbide-tipped circular saw blade. Took it out to the fence row for a test drive. Unlike the string head, the saw blade's weight made it take a much longer time to spool up.

I swung it toward a fairly substantial sapling and heard a small "ding" as it whacked the sapling off without even losing RPM's. Then I thought "What if my lower leg kinda got in the path?". I shut it down and destroyed it so none of my kids could ever fire it up..
 

Flintknapper

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Depends on how you look at it…I suspect maybe that is his way to help the gene pool😂

That's kind of what I was thinking as well. A self correcting problem.

We don't want anyone with no more sense than that....contributing to the gene pool.
 
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Ktrim

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I bought my srm echo in '97 when I bought and started clearing my property. Still working great. Primarily just use as weed Wacker now but blade set up is definitely very handy. I have the handle bars and harness kit makes working with very easy.
 

D2Cat

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RWS, I am confused. In your opening paragraph you state, ".... 98.5% of the time, a "designated tool" does a better/safer job, and more quickly, than a "repurposed tool" does."

Then you show the process of repurposing a tool through the remainder of the thread? ;)

That thing is for light duty! You need a disc with chain saw teeth.

 
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Ktrim

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PoTreeBoy

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Nice I have to grab me one of those.
Get the 9" carbide version. I tried an 8" version once and it didn't have near the momentum of a 9". The carbide teeth aren't quite as sharp out of the box as the steel, but they stay sharp much longer.
 
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