What’s The Difference? Bush Hog Vs Finish Mower


Do you need a mower for large areas of grass or to tackle rough vegetation on your property?

When you want to keep your property neat, you need to own the right equipment to handle the job.

A bush hog and a finish mower both cover extensive areas of land quickly, but is one better at a particular task than the other? Find out here in this guide!

Below, I compare a bush hog versus a finish mower and explain the jobs each piece of equipment does best. Once you get all the details, you’ll be able to purchase the right machine for your needs.

What’s The Difference?

If your property has wild areas that need maintenance to control extreme overgrowth, then a brush hog is the mower you need.

If your yard is large and you want your lawn to have that sharp, manicured look, then a finish mower is right for you.

Related | Best Way To Clear Brush

A standard lawnmower is made to maintain the grassy areas of your yard. A lawnmower can be a push-behind for small spaces or a lawn tractor for large yards.

While you can run a lawnmower over weeds and other growth, the blades may or may not cut through them, especially if they are quite tall.

Fighting your way through thick, weedy patches is hard on you and your mower. Mower blades made for slicing through thin grass will quickly dull when put to the test against thick fibrous plants or weed stalks.

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On the other hand, some people have beautiful expanses of grass over acres of their property, but find using a lawn tractor still takes a lengthy amount of time to finish mowing chores.

Is there one mower than can work well for both types of lawn care issues? Nobody wants to own more equipment than they need to keep their property looking excellent.

On the other hand, everyone wants the right machine to get the job done with outstanding results. Let’s look at what the brush hog and finish mower have to offer.

What Is A Brush Hog?

A brush hog is a type of powerful rotary mower that you attach to the back of a:

  • Farm tractor
  • Lawn tractor
  • ATV
  • UTV

Technically, Bush Hog is the brand name of a company that makes machinery made to cut down brush. The term “bush hogging” was a way to explain and market their products.

Nowadays, bush hog is synonymous with a brush hog or rough cut mower.

A brush hog features a blade that is heavy and durable, but not as sharp as a blade on a standard mower. Brush hogs use the fast momentum of the spinning blade in combination with the heftier weight to cut through tall, dense foliage.

Brush hogs do not rely on a sharp blade to cut through thick plants since the edge would get dull quickly and need constant upkeep.

A brush hog is ideal for mowing vast expanses of overgrown vegetation quickly.

A homeowner with extensive acreage may opt to use a brush hog to keep growth down along roadways, meadows, edges near woodlands, and other areas outside of their main grassy lawn area.

Owning a tow-behind brush hog means learning the steps on how to use it safely. If you have smaller areas of land that may not require a large bush hog, up next, I have a different option for you to consider.

Brush Mower

A brush mower works like a brush hog but is a smaller, walk-behind version with the same blade configuration.

Since you are still dealing with thick foliage and also possible rough terrain, pushing a brush mower can be very tiring.

Look for a model that offers a self-propelling feature to lessen the workload on your arms while you steer the unit.

The powerful engine of a brush mower can deal with tall grasses, woody plants like small trees and shrubs, and thick weeds without getting bogged down.

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Brush mowers are perfect for managing small areas. I think spaces of a half-acre or less are manageable with a self-propelled brush mower.

To be safe, consider your physical fitness level and how dense the growth is you need to cut through before deciding if a brush mower is the better choice over a brush hog.

What Is A Finish Mower?

A finish mower has a large, flat deck and is made to cut large areas of grass. You commonly see this type of mower in use when commercial lawn-service companies mow residential or business properties.

Finish mowers are pull-behind attachments that connect to tractors or ATVs for efficient mowing of:

  • Parks
  • Schools
  • Large yards/estates
  • Roadway easements
  • Sports fields

Finish mowers are also known as grooming mowers.

Finish mowers typically have three wheels that help reduce soil compaction and aid in turning the equipment during use.

The mowing deck is broad and flat, with rotating shafts and multiple blades. The blade deck is adjustable so you can cut the grass to the height you desire.

The blades of a finish mower are sharper and spin at a higher RPM than a brush hog. The faster, more tapered blade feature is essential to trim down grass without shredding the top, so the lawn looks tidy and stays healthy.

Consider a finish mower more like a standard push mower on steroids. It is made to cut and maintain a grass surface, and not made to chop through brushy overgrown areas of your lawn.

The best part about a finish mower is you can find models in a variety of widths, from 60 inches wide on up to ten feet or more.

A personalized deck size enables you to finish your yard with fewer passes of the tractor, yet allows you to fit between trees or other obstacles so you can complete the job fast.

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Finish Mowing Tip

For a cleaner cut with less power consumption, make sure the deck of your mower is set with the front a bit lower than the rear.

When you place your mower this way, the front-half spin of the blades will cut the grass, while the back-half turn of the blades floats over the cut grass, which prevents a shredded appearance.

In Summary

Both mowers do a fantastic job reducing time and stress when dealing with vast expanses of grass or thick, tall, weedy patches of growth.

Now that you see the differences between a bush hog and finish mower, you can decide which piece of equipment is best to add to your yard maintenance shed!

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