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Lawnmower Clinic - Hints and Tricks

Brushcutter Selection: kw vs cc

"I would like a 40cc brushcutter please" At Grassnyer Kliniek/Lawnmower Clinic Pretoria we hear this on a daily basis from customers. What they do not realize is that different 40cc brushcutters could differ by up to 60% or even more in power!

Some brushcutters like the STIHL machines are designed with high performance engines, which offer lower weight, reduced fuel consumption and lower emissions.Many competitors offer machines with large cylinder displacements which have very poor specific outputs, resulting in higher fuel consumptions and higher exhaust emissions.

What at the end of the day does displacement tell you about a machines performance? To illustrate this lets use an example from the rugby field.

At what position would you most likely put a 113kg, 1.98m man in your rugby team?



The great All Black Jonah Lomu was 113kg, 1.98m tall and ran the 100m in 10.8 seconds

This proves that displacement is not as important as performance, at least it’s true on the rugby field.


What about cylinder capacity versus Kilowatt output? Cylinder capacity tells you nothing about the performance of the motor, where as Kilowatt tells you the specific power output.

For example many 50cc brushcutters offer an output of only 1.5 kW, compared to 2.4 kW on the STIHL 50cc unit (60% more) .

It’s like comparing the Big6 2.5 liter Ford Cortina, with the new Ford Focus 2.5 liter, both great cars for their times, but vastly different in many respects.



The Focus has significantly higher kilowatt output and torque. Of course there’s more to consider than just power output. The newer car like the modern STIHL power products also features greater levels of comfort and safety.


Performance of course relates to productivity. STIHL brushcutters usually feature a higher blade speed with better torque characteristics than similar capacity, lower performance motors. It’s blade speed that determines cutting efficiency, here again STIHL machines often have up to 30 % faster blade speeds than competitor machines. Consider that you may be able to use 30 % less units to do the same job! Of course you would then need 30 % less operators and have 30% less associated costs i.e. wages, UIF,pension etc.


Or you could just do 30% more cutting in a day!


Similar comparisons could be made with other STIHL power tools as well.

Contact Grassnyer Kliniek/ Lawnmower Clinic Pretoria for advice on selecting the correct machine for your application.


Top Stihl Brushcutter deals: Stihl FS160 1.4kW, Stihl FS280 1.9kW, Stihl FS450 2.1kW