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Author Topic: Back pack brush cutter?  (Read 5075 times)

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Offline Mapleman

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Back pack brush cutter?
« on: September 05, 2012, 11:50:43 AM »
So I've been spending the last couple of days cutting back the brush and bramble growing up in my sugar bush so I can better maintain my sap lines during maple sugaring season.  Stuff has gotten pretty thick the last few years since we had a lot of ice storm damage in December of 2008.  And there's a lot of ground to cover out there.

I'm currently using a Husky 245r brush cutter with a three sided blade, it works OK but is sometimes awkward in the steep and rough terrain I'm dealing with.  I saw a video of someone using a setup that had the motor mounted on a backpack with a flexible shaft going to the cutter shaft.  This setup looks like it would be a lot easier to handle, and much more maneuverable since you only have to swing the shaft and blade and it wouldn't be pinned to your hip with a harness like it is now.  Jonsered has one, model BP 2053, but my local dealer has never seen one and they aren't real common, at least not around here in Vermont. 

My question is does anyone out there have any experience, good or bad, in using this type of rig?  Are they as easy to use as they look?  Anything I might be missing?

Thanks in advance.

"The older I get, the better I used to be."

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Back pack brush cutter?
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2012, 12:29:22 PM »
Where's the Swamp Donkey when you need him .He's the brush saw bandit of the internet .If he doesn't know I wouldn't know who would .

Online sawguy21

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Re: Back pack brush cutter?
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2012, 01:10:50 PM »
I have seen one but have no experience with the product. It weighs 25 lb without the cutting attachment.
old age and treachery will always overcome youth and enthusiasm

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Back pack brush cutter?
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2012, 04:03:48 PM »
I believe they are a prototype, from what was discussed here in the spring. I think there would be a lot of bending down or else a lot of high stumps left with that gadget. I have worked on hillside with a straight shaft brush saw, on many acres. The problem might be the size of your saw, size of the stems and blade used. We use the Maxi-blade, a chisel tooth with the most aggressive cut. There is another chisel tooth on the websites that isn't what we use here. We also use stronger saws in the 56 cc range. One fellow on here is using a little smaller saw, but they cut a lot of soft aspen up his way.

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

'If she wants to play lumberjack, she's going to have to learn to handle her end of the log.'
Dirty Harry

Offline joe_indi

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Re: Back pack brush cutter?
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2012, 11:16:11 PM »
Though my experience is only with Stihl backpack brushcutters, the configuration of these machines are common.
I have sold and serviced the Stihl FR85 (backpack version of the FS85) FR350 (BP version of the FS200)
They are very useful on hilly terrain. But the con side is they use a flexible shaft which cannot handle(sometimes) the load of cutting heavy bushes.They then just twist and snap in two.
Being loop handle types running heavy brush knife type blades is difficult because maintaining control is much more difficult than with a bike handle.
On the Stihl BPs the gearhead ratios were different so as to give more nylonhead rpm so, with pblades it was more speed with less torque, which was good for grass but not too good in bushes and heavy weeds.
After the replacement of about 3 flexible shafts within so many months, I converted them into regular brushcutters by changing the clutch housing, throttle assembly, pinion sets in the gear head and replacing the knapsack harness with the regular brush cutter shoulder harness.
Though the mufflers too needed to be changed(they have the outlets in the opposite direction), for cost cutting they were left intact.
A moral, or suggestion from all the above, pickup a regular brushcutter and just buy the stuff you need to convert it into a backpack.That way you have the best of both worlds.Or vice versa.


Offline alderman

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Re: Back pack brush cutter?
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2012, 01:39:16 AM »
I have one of the Shindaiwa BP35's.  It actually works pretty good if you have a lot of cutting to do.  A bit cumbersome to get the harness on but once everything is in place it is quite comfortable and is well balanced.

I only run a string head on mine as I don't like running a blade without bicycle handlebars to maintain control.

For smaller jobs it is quicker to just grab one of the straight shafted machines.

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