Brush Hog, Brush Cutter, Brush Mower: What’s the Difference?

For overgrown land, there are a lot of tools out there to choose from.  Do you need a brush hog or a brush cutter?  Would a brush mower better suit your needs?  Get the full story about all your brush cutting options before you decide.

Brush Hog

A brush hog is a rotary mower that usually attaches to your tractor.  They’re meant for mowing down thick brush and vegetation over large areas.  Most are designed with a blade that is heavier but duller than a lawnmower blade.  This is because they whack through heavy brush using the momentum of the blade, rather than slice through it using the sharpness of the blade.


There are also brush hogs available that tow behind an ATV, UTV, or lawn tractor instead of requiring a large tractor.  The DR Tow-Behind Field and Brush Mower is one such option.  With all the brush hogging functionality of tractor-mounted models, the DR also includes features that make it more user-friendly, such as the ability to offset the mower to one side or the other, allowing you to ride in an already-cleared path while the mower mows next to you.  A brush hog is great for brush mowing large, overgrown areas.  If you have a smaller area, a walk-behind brush mower (see below) might be a better option.

DR Tow-Behind Field and Brush Mowers


Brush Cutter

When most people say “brush cutter” they mean a handheld string trimmer or a handheld string trimmer fitted with a brush blade.  A handheld string trimmer is great if you have relatively light weed and grass cover in a pretty small area.  They will slice through flexible, green vegetation, but not thick, woody brush.  And if you have a large area to cover, carrying one around will quickly become a pain!  Fitting one with a brush blade in place of the string will allow it to take down thicker brush and saplings, but is still really only an option for small areas of brush.


Brush Mower

A brush mower is essentially a bigger, beefier version of a traditional walk-behind lawn mower.  Similarly to a brush hog, they use a heavy but relatively dull blade to whack through thick, woody brush and saplings.  Their power comes more from the momentum of the blade than from its sharpness.  Some units you have to push along — which can be tiring — and others are self-propelled, meaning they drive themselves forward and all you have to to is steer.  DR Self-Propelled Field and Brush Mowers, for example, have four forward speeds to choose from, so you’re always at a comfortable walking pace.

These are great for fields that are small enough to brush mow on foot.  If you have several acres to mow, a tow-behind unit, such as a brush hog, would be more suitable.  Even with the self-propelled feature (like all the DRs have), you wouldn’t want to do 5 acres with a walk-behind!

DR Field and Brush Mower

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  • JoeyBones

    what would you suggest for leaves? I live on about an acre and maybe half of that is years of fallen leaves that were not cleaned up by the previous owner. In some spots there’s maybe a foot of dead leaves, some dead branches and who knows what else under there.

    Would a brush hog do the trick?

  • Dennie clouse

    My cluch burned out a baring so I call dr for a part and was told they did not sell inturnual parts and that I could buy a cluch for a little over 200.00 dollars . I took it off and got the number off the baring and ordered it. it cost 3.00 with free shipping. Now it runs like new.

  • Oregon Field & Brush Mowing

    2 acres is about as much as one ought to tackle with a DR Field & Brush Mower with the 30″ deck. Between 2 and 5 acres is tough pricing wise because it is kind of expensive to rent the equipment or pay for a contractor to mow with a tractor and brush hog but too much for a DR mower.