Tips for Using an Outback Brushcutter

Tips for Using an Outback BrushcutterIs it time to get your lawn back under control? Do you need to clear land around a country lot, or take back an overgrown lawn? With a Billy Goat Outback Brushcutter, you can cut down tall grass and saplings almost as easily as you can cut a suburban lawn with a walk-behind mower. These tips will help you get the most out of your brushcutter, from choosing when to cut to solving common problems you may have with your machine.

When Should I Use my Brushcutter?

No matter which season you choose, you need to make sure the ground is dry. Mud poses a serious safety risk, making it easy to slide and fall while you’re wrestling your machine through the brush. Do you need to arrange for yard waste disposal? Are you going to have a tree service come in after you’ve cleared out the ground near the trees? When you arrange for these services, have some leeway in your schedule to work around the rain.

The best season to cut is winter. Annuals are dead, and perennials are in hibernation. This decreases damage to plants that you may want to keep after cutting. There’s no foliage to cut through, and there aren’t any germinating plants that will spread seeds when disturbed. However, there’s nothing stopping you from clearing at any time of year. Cutting in the spring or summer lets you start landscaping and hardscaping projects almost immediately after land clearing.

Plan on shorter workdays than you might have for other landscaping projects. Good visibility is critical if you want to avoid obstacles and get full coverage. Avoid overcast days, and stick to peak sunlight hours.


An Outback brushcutter may have a steel blade like a mower, but it behaves more like a giant string trimmer. That means you should take the same safety precautions you’d use for a trimmer.

Before you cut, check the area for possible projectiles, including rocks, toys, and glass bottles. Chains and fence wire won’t fly, but they can wrap around your brushcutter’s spindle.

Wear non-slip boots to keep your footing, eye protection to protect yourself from flying debris, and hearing protection to block out the noise from the engine and the blade. Vibration-reducing gloves will keep your hands from going numb during use.

Preparing Your Outback

Check the tire pressure: The recommended pressure for your Outback’s tires is written on the sidewall.

Check the oil: Make sure you’re using the right weight of oil for the current temperatures. 5W-30 may be recommended for near-freezing temperatures, but it will burn off quickly when used in the summer.

Check the air filter: Brush cutting raises dust and debris, which can clog your engine’s air filter long before the recommended cleaning interval. Wipe out the air box, and clean or replace the filter elements as needed.

Check the blade: It should have a flat surface that has the sharpness of a butter knife. Sharpen or replace the blade as needed. The blade nut is made from metal that stretches over the driveshaft threads, so it won’t shake loose from vibrations. Always use a new nut when fitting an old or new blade.

Addressing Common Problems

Getting a poor cut with your machine? Check your deck for clogs. Make sure the choke is open once the engine is warm, and open the throttle. Make sure the blade is straight and sharp, and remove any grass wrapped around the blade spindle.

Is the clutch slipping or squealing? This can happen if the clutch gets wet. If the clutch is dry, adjust the cable tension. Over time, the clutch cable can stretch, keeping it from fully engaging the clutch. The cable spring should stretch ¼ to 3/8 of an inch when closed. Putting more tension on the spring can keep the blade brake from engaging.

Do you have a self-propelled model, and the transaxle isn’t working correctly? Like the clutch cable, the drive cable can stretch and may need adjustment. The cable should have a little slack when the bail is open to disengage the drive system. If that doesn’t work, check the drive belt. It also stretches over time and may be due for a replacement.

Keep Your Brushcutter Working with Quality Parts from Billy Goat Parts

Billy Goat Parts is a certified dealer for Billy Goat and their equipment partners, including Honda Engines and Briggs & Stratton. We carry replacements for everything on your Outback, from major components to small hardware. Our site has sections for common replacement parts, like mowing blades, along with an advanced search engine that finds parts for your specific model and serial number. We even have parts diagrams integrated into our system, so you can see exactly what you’re ordering. Visit us at We ship across the United States and Canada.

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