What’s Lurking In Your Long Grass? Top 5 Safety Tips For Brushcutter Use.

We all know that this is Brushcutter season. Time to attack that pile of weeds in the corner of your garden that used to be a strawberry patch but now resembles a set from Jurassic World… oh and by the way… tame Velociraptors acting as pack dogs? You have got to be kidding me. What’s next… a housetrained T Rex working as a bulldozer? Pterodactyls delivering Amazon parcels? Monkey Butlers? Do me a favour! Anyway. You need to remove that mess  before your partner asks you what exactly you have been doing in the garden for the last week or so.

So, if you don’t have a decent brushcutter yet… why not? They are useful, practical and, actually, rather fun to use.  There are some good examples here… very good Japanese models flagged up by my old mate Dick, and some great deals here.

So. You’ve got your brushcutter, you meander down the garden, take a look at the thick set of weeds that now obscures your view of next door’s giant silver statue of Buddha (oh sorry, is that just me?) and decide to cut a swathe through the weeds and restore your garden to order. What next? Well, what’s next is put the brushcutter down and don’t use it yet unless you have followed the following. And the following you need to follow is my rough guide to safe use of your Brushcutter. So here goes.

1. ALWAYS read the manual. I know it’s not fun. I know it’s not sexy, I know you think you can manage without it but many problems can be avoided if you would only look at it. It’s not a mobile phone or a coffee machine. Bad things can happen if you get it wrong while operating and they can be far worse than a deleted contact or a cold latte , so…make yourself a cup of tea, or open a bottle of something nice and read that manual it like it’s a love letter from your favourite film star.  Savour every word. Oh, and if you do open a bottle of something… NO Brushcutting for you until it’s worn off! Do you hear?

What do you mean "the brushcutter's in there somewhere" ?
What do you mean “the brushcutter’s in there somewhere” ?

2.INVESTIGATE  the patch of grass, weeds or whatever you are cutting first. The last thing you want is to find you have sliced up the family tortoise, ruined your new brushcutter by trying to chop through a large piece of concrete or destroyed your kid’s ride-on fire engine. Check what you are cutting!

3. MAKE SURE you have got good quality gloves, boots and preferably goggles and helmet before you start Brushcutting. A pair of shorts and flip-flops is not really the way to go…  from a fashion or a safety angle. If that line or blade come near your unprotected feet, it’s no more Disco Dancing for you so be safe and be protected. Gloves can reduce the effects of vibration as well as making sure your delicate fingers don’t get scratched.

4. If you must have an audience KEEP THEM A DISTANCE AWAY. Brushcutting is not really a spectator sport ( even though I would rather watch it than darts)  but people are always fascinated by other people working, especially if they are holding powerful kit in their hands. You don’t want to damage anyone and you really don’t want  to end up as an example on an Injury Lawyers For You Advert so be careful!

5. ENSURE your blades are kept sharp. This is linked to safety because sharp blades will increase and enhance performance and will reduce the instance of jamming which in turn reduces the times you have your hands near the business end of the Brushcutter. It also reduces the chance that bits of caught grass, twigs or whatever will catch and fly off at your face and it also means you spend less time working which is better from both a fatigue and vibration point of view. So sharp blades are a winner all round.

And although it’s not strictly safety, remember also to keep your oil/fuel mix or oil 9in a four-stroke machine)  topped up and ALWAYS clean your brushcutter after use. A rusty cutter is no good to anyone. Good luck and… enjoy your garden.   Drew Hardy.

 

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