Thread vs. Blade: Which Cutting Tool for Trimming or Clearing?

Gardeners who have already delved into lawn care and the dilemma of trimmer or brush cutter have surely stumbled upon the following question: Blade or Thread? These are the two established cutting technologies when it comes to precisely trimming grass with a trimmer or a brush cutter. But which tool is best suited for which mowing tasks? What are the differences between grass trimmers and scythes with a thread head or a blade? And which models are the most suitable for you and your garden requirements?

In the blog, we'll explain to you the safety, applications, and handling of garden tools. Additionally, we'll take a look at the wear and tear and the costs of the two different cutting tools.

Brush cutters and grass trimmers are part of lawn care. You can learn about how their cutting technologies differ in the blog.

Blade vs. Thread or rather Scythe vs. Trimmer?

Cordless grass trimmers and brush cutters, in addition to the classic lawn mower, are simply essential for perfect garden care. With them, you can trim not only protruding grass, narrow small lawn areas that the lawn mower cannot reach, and inaccessible weeds but also small shrubs, roots, and tough undergrowth. However, you should pay attention to which tool you can use for which task - and whether you opt for the nylon thread, plastic blade, or metal blade.

In which devices can you find thread or blades?

The choice between blades and thread largely depends on the device types. Metal blades are typically used in brush cutters, while grass trimmers usually operate with thread or plastic blades. This difference in cutting technology is heavily determined by the requirements and functions of each respective device.

  • Grass Trimmers: Trimmers, especially Einhell cordless grass trimmers, always operate with a spool of nylon thread or with plastic blades that easily, quickly, and safely cut short and tall grass.
  • Brush Cutters: Einhell brush cutters always come with two cutting sets that can be flexibly switched: a 3-tooth metal blade and a double-threaded spool. This allows for cutting not only grass but also weeds, roots, and smaller shrubs.

Interchangeable Cutting Technology

For example, if you opt for a brush cutter, you can easily switch between a metal blade and a cutting thread at any time. Brush cutters are, therefore, the hybrid solution that you can adapt accordingly depending on the location and requirements. Only with grass trimmers do you have to make the decision between a cutting thread and plastic blades at the time of purchase.

The biggest differences between thread and blade

Trimming with Blade and Thread: Are you looking for the right tool to clear the last edges and corners of your garden from overgrown grass? Are you in need of a trimmer that thoroughly and precisely removes roots, small shrubs, and weeds? Then Einhell grass trimmers and brush cutters are the perfect tools for you. Depending on the device, a rotating nylon thread or a rotating blade made of metal or plastic ensures perfect mowing results – even in the tightest corners. But what are the differences between trimming with thread or with a blade? We take a closer look at the details and distinctions of grass trimmers and brush cutters, explaining the advantages of the various cutting tools.

The Use of Grass Trimmers with Thread

Although they may serve a similar purpose at first glance, the applications of grass trimmers with thread or plastic blades differ significantly from those of brush cutters with metal blades. Grass trimmers, as the name suggests, have been specifically designed for the care of your lawn. The trimmer cuts the grass very precisely. Furthermore, cordless grass trimmers, in particular, can be used freely throughout the entire garden.

In combination with the cutting thread, the grass trimmer can also be used in rocky garden areas or close to a wall. The thread, unlike the plastic blade, is not immediately damaged. Instead, the cutting thread gradually wears down during operation. With the tip-automatic feature, you can easily restore the correct thread length with the push of a button. When the thread spool is empty, you can either wind a new thread or insert a replacement thread spool with thread.

However, a damaged plastic blade is not a major issue, as you can quickly replace the blade with a new one. Some grass trimmers have a small storage box for spare blades directly integrated for this purpose. Moreover, both the plastic blades and the cutting thread are very affordable to purchase separately.

Our cordless grass trimmers either work with a nylon thread or sharp plastic blades.

The Use of Brush Cutters with Metal Blades

A brush cutter with a metal blade, unlike a grass trimmer, is intended for significantly heavier mowing tasks. While you can also use the device to trim grass, due to its weight and high power, the brush cutter can handle small bushes, undergrowth, overgrowth, or thin roots as well. However, caution is needed when dealing with tough mowing material or when working near stones and walls: the metal blades could be damaged in these situations and need to be replaced with a spare blade. Alternatively, in such hard-to-reach areas, you can switch the cutting assembly and use a nylon double-threaded head instead of the metal blade. In the worst case, the thread might break and would need to be replaced accordingly.

Einhell brush cutters tackle overgrowth with a metal blade or a nylon double-threaded head.

Pro Tip: Purchase Wear Parts

Plastic blades and cutting threads are wear parts or accessories that need to be replaced from time to time. While plastic blades may break occasionally, the cutting thread wears down or tears. You can purchase suitable replacement blades and threads affordably, for example, in our Einhell Service Shop.


By the way, in terms of cost, heavy brush cutters are somewhat more expensive to purchase than grass trimmers. This is because brush cutters are designed not only for lawn care but also for significantly heavier mowing tasks, thanks to their high cutting power and stronger motors. However, the ongoing costs depend on how much you use the devices and how often you need to purchase accessories. Plastic blades and cutting threads are naturally cheaper than replacement metal blades but wear out more quickly and need to be replaced more often accordingly.


Tips for Safe Handling of Trimmers and Brush Cutters

A significant difference between grass trimmers or brush cutters with thread or blades is their safety. As you can imagine, the risk of injury is lower with improper handling when using a nylon thread compared to a metal blade. Even though the thread rotates very quickly and efficiently cuts grass, it cannot seriously harm you. The metal blade of a brush cutter is more dangerous in this regard because it is designed for tougher trimming tasks. In general, whether you choose a grass trimmer or a brush cutter, each device has been developed and tested by us for maximum safety. Therefore, all brush cutters and trimmers are equipped with a cover over the cutting tool to minimize the risk of injury.

If you also follow these tips, you will always be on the safe side:

  • Regular Inspection: Damaged blades cut unevenly and pose a danger during work. Therefore, you should check your tool before each use and replace damaged or dull blades. You can automatically advance the nylon thread using the tip-automatic feature, ensuring you always work with the optimal thread length.
  • Safety Clothing: Especially when working with heavy brush cutters or trimmers with metal blades, you should pay attention to appropriate clothing. For instance, wearing long, preferably cut-resistant pants is considered part of "safety clothing." More safety instructions regarding suitable attire and proper use of the device can always be found in the user manual.

Battery Power for Work Facilitation

In addition to the distinction between thread and blade, an equally important feature is the power source. To ensure that working with grass trimmers and brush cutters does not unnecessarily strain your arms, you should take a look at our Power X-Change devices. Thanks to the cordless battery power, the cordless grass trimmers and brush cutters are not only lighter in weight but also versatile in use, allowing you to reach even hard-to-access areas in the garden. At the same time, thanks to the powerful lithium-ion batteries, you enjoy full power and maximum cutting performance.

You work safely with appropriate protective clothing. Additionally, you can make your work easier with our Power X-Change batteries.

Summary: Thread or Blade?

Grass trimmers with thread or blades are intended for different applications and offer corresponding advantages. If you want to efficiently trim your lawn close to walls or in rocky areas, the grass trimmer with a thread head is the right choice. The thread trims grass cleanly and can be easily advanced in case of wear or contact with objects. Grass trimmers with plastic blades, on the other hand, are more suitable for larger lawn areas, as they exhibit lower material wear. Caution is advised near walls and stones, however.

A robust brush cutter with a metal blade is capable of clearing weeds, undergrowth, and small roots. These devices provide more power than grass trimmers, and the blade cuts even more efficiently. However, for purely trimming grass and lawn areas, brush cutters are often overdimensioned.

Grass Trimmers and Brush Cutters: The Best Einhell Models at a Glance

Picture of the author Marina Liefke.
Written by Marina Liefke
Published on 03.07.2020

Marina Liefke is an Online Editor at Einhell, where she deals with virtually all texts related to tools, garden equipment, and accessories. She acquires the necessary know-how through practical product training and close collaboration with the Einhell product managers. Her favorite tool is the PRESSITO cordless compressor because when the air is running out, it pumps it right back in.