Favour machinery and Auto Spares has introduced a new brush cutter that can trim one acre of weeds and unwanted foliage using half a liter of petrol only. The simple device suitable for smallholder farmers is a hand held powered multipurpose tool with 3.5 liter capacity engine used to cut Napier grass, trim fences, flowers, boma Rhodes, and shrubs. It is a big relief Smallholder farmers have been using slashers and pangas to remove weeds in their farms.
A brush cutter uses a metal blade that cuts through dense vegetation and tree trunks up to 4 inches thick. According to Kelvin Kigen who is sales representative at the company, brush cutters offer more power and versatility than ordinary trimmers and costs Ksh 25,000.
Kelvin Kigen, a sales representative at Favour Machinery demonstrating how to use a brush cutter at the 2017 Central Kenya National Show, Nyeri County. PHOTO JAPHET RUTO
While using the machine, farmers are advised to wear personal protective equipment including steel capped safety boots (lace-up) and full face safety helmet with hearing and eye protection. Brush cutters have a specific cutting area meaning the user cannot just cut the vegetation from any direction. The blades of the machine rotate counterclockwise hence the user must move from right to left when cutting.
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The cutting zone is from the top of the blade to 90 degrees left, so it is important to feed the blade into the brush or vegetation slowly, so the head is pressed against the material rather than swung at it. If you use a chopping motion to cut with a brush cutter, the machine may smoke and stop working because branches and other material may bind around the blades, causing it to overheat.
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Brush cutters feature different blade attachments that allow you to cut a variety of materials. They’re generally durable and reliable machines, as long as they receive proper maintenance. However, the blade life depends on what you’re cutting and how often. For example, if you’re working frequently in rocky areas or cutting through hard stems or branches, you may have to change or sharpen the blade daily. Before each use, you should check the blade sharpness, because working with a dull blade shortens service life and can pose a safety hazard.
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They are powerful enough to cut through overgrown brush that a lawn mower or line trimmer can’t handle. They also cut in hard-to-reach areas where larger machines can’t enter. However, most brush cutters are cumbersome to operate, and if you have to clear a large area, fatigue can occur. Most brush cutters have a straight shaft and anti-vibration features to reduce operator fatigue. Using a harness also helps control the machine and lightens the load as you work.
Brush cutters are powerful tools that carry some risks if proper safety procedures aren’t followed. You should never operate a brush cutter without a harness, nor should you use a brush cutter that isn’t equipped with a handlebar. The handlebar is what helps you control the tool, and it also serves as a barrier to prevent injury should the machine be knocked out of your hands. Never use the machine within 50 feet of other people.
Kigen can be reached on +254705466313 or +254722531778.