Differences of Finishing Mowers and Brush Mowers

Finishing mowers are attached behind a tractor

Finishing mowers and brush mowers are tools that are usually not part of the average lawn maintenance program of many homeowners today. Similar to standard lawnmowers, these two tools are used for cutting lawns. 

However, these have some notable differences in terms of function and design and one is not necessarily a better choice over the other. The better option for you will depend on whether you need to maintain a yard that is already landscaped or you want to clear an unkempt area.

Types and Appearance

Brush mowers are high-powered cutting machines that are available as tow-behind models that are attached behind tractors or as walk-behind models that users operate similar to standard push lawnmowers. A brush mower also features several sharp blades for cutting that can tear through dense vegetation and heavy brush.

Finishing mowers
Finishing mowers are used for cutting lawns

Finishing mowers, on the other hand, are a type of rotary mower attached behind a tractor. These machines are made up of the combination of three free-swinging blades and three rotating shafts. A finishing mower often comes with staggered wheels that help prevent compaction of soil.

General Usage

Brush mowers are meant to be used for cutting small trees, dense shrubs, and tall grass. Their multiple cutting blades and powerful engine can easily cut through heavy brush that makes these mowers ideal for places with heavy overgrowth of woody plants and weeds.

Video: Demonstration of use finishing mowers

Meanwhile, a finishing mower can leave a finished and smooth appearance on a lawn that is already landscaped. The machine is meant for light cutting and doesn’t cut through dense vegetation or brush. 

Optional Accessories

There are available attachments for finishing mowers to help create a groomed and clean lawn. For instance, you can find a finishing mower that comes with discharge bags or shoots to control and contain the disposal of the grass clippings.

Brush mowers also have available accessories. These include chipper attachments or mulching attachments that serve as a replacement for the brush mower deck that will transform the mower to a wood chipper. 

Strengths and Weaknesses 

If your yard is filled with weeds and grass or you need to clean up an unkempt area, you can use a brush mower to easily clear vegetation that might too dense for regular lawnmowers to handle. Brush mowers are meant to move easily over stumps and rocks that would stop standard mowers. 

However, finishing mowers can be used better in areas that are already cleared like a golf course or large landscape. The blades of a finishing mower are lower compared to the blades of a standard rotary mower so these provide a more uniform cut on uneven and flat landscapes.   

However, the main downside of a brush mower and a finishing mower is that these are not meant to be used in small spaces. Brush mowers often have wide wheel base and leave behind a broad cutting path. This means that this doesn’t work well for precise clearing of small areas or for use in landscapes with close together trees.

Finishing mowers are also meant to be used in more open spaces. A finishing mower might not be suitable in landscapes with obstacles like gardens or shrubs that can narrow down the cutting path.  

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