Best Petrol Whipper Snippers
Aided by powerful engines and a variety of special features, petrol whipper snippers take all the heavy lifting out of intense and large-scale gardening, making them a staple in sheds all across Australia.
Best Petrol Whipper Snipper
The top-rated Honda UMK425 Brushcutter (or heavy-duty Whipper Snipper) is marketed as being suitable for both commercial use and heavy-duty home use.
Price (RRP) $539.00 to $719.00
- Build Quality4.3 (13)
- Value for Money3.6 (13)
- Ease of Use4.1 (13)
- Cleaning & Maintenance 4.5 (13)
- Noise Level4.0 (13)
- Safety4.0 (12)
- Engine Types4-Stroke
- Engine Displacement25 cc
- Power720 W
- Cutting Head TypeLine
- FeaturesCommercial Use
Marketed as Honda’s most powerful brushcutter for professional use, the UMK435 lets you brush cut thick scrub and large areas with relative ease.
Price (RRP) $789.00 to $829.00
- Build Quality3.6 (11)
- Value for Money3.3 (11)
- Ease of Use4.0 (11)
- Cleaning & Maintenance 4.3 (11)
- Noise Level4.3 (11)
- Safety4.8 (8)
- Engine Types4-Stroke
- Engine Displacement35 cc to 35.8 cc
- Power1,000 W and 1,200 W
- Cutting Head TypeBlade and Line
- FeaturesShoulder Strap and Vibration Damping
Stihl’s FS 94 C-E and FS 94 R-CE are whipper snippers that will let you make easy work of any kind of gardening job - big or small.
Price (RRP) $599.00 to $649.00
- Build Quality4.8 (5)
- Value for Money5.0 (5)
- Ease of Use5.0 (4)
- Cleaning & Maintenance 5.0 (5)
- Noise Level3.8 (5)
- Safety4.6 (5)
- Engine Types2-Stroke
- Engine Displacement24.1 cc
- Power900 W
- Cutting Head TypeLine
- FeaturesVibration Damping and Easy / Quick Start
- Cutting Width420 mm
If you’re after a versatile whipper snipper that performs well in a variety of gardening tasks, the Stihl FS 55 R-CE and FS 55 R-CE may be worth giving a go.
Price (RRP) $379.00
The Stihl FS 45 and FS 45 C-E are marketed as compact, powerful tools great for domestic gardening, but are they up to the challenge?
Price (RRP) $249.00 to $279.00
Why choose a petrol whipper snipper?
Petrol whipper snippers use high-power engines for grass cutting. Because of the strength of their engines, they’re generally preferred for heavy duty and commercial gardening.
The engine of your whipper snipper
You’ll need to choose between a and whipper snipper when purchasing a petrol whipper snipper. There’s no clear winner between the two, which means you need to think about how much (if any) effort you’re willing to put in for a higher power output.
Generally, the higher an engine’s displacement the more power it produces. Engine displacement is one of the things that determines horsepower and fuel consumption of an engine.
Here are some features to look out for when shopping for a petrol whipper snipper that’ll help you get the job done easier and quicker.
- An easy/quick start lets you start your petrol-powered line trimmer at the push of a button - no need to mess around with pulling cords.
- A vibration damping handle steadies the handle of your whipper snipper even though the machine is vibrating, so you don’t need to worry about itchy, uncomfortable hands.
- Shoulder straps take the weight of the whipper snipper off your hands, letting you use it with more ease.
- An automatic line system sends out more line when it gets too short. This replaces a manual feed that requires turning off the machine and unwinding the line.
- A pivoting head lets you change the direction you want to cut in (either horizontally or vertically) so that you don’t need to tilt the whole whipper snipper every time you want to switch it up.
Ease of use
The commonly cited difference between a line trimmer and a whipper snipper is that a whipper snipper generally has a straight shaft, while a line trimmer usually has a bent shaft. This distinction is more commonly made in the United States, whereas in Australia the terms are interchangeable - a line trimmer is simply commonly known as a whipper snipper.
Whipper snippers can come with different types of shafts, which affect their price and manoeuvrability.
- A straight shaft whipper snipper is generally better suited to taller users or for those who need a further reach. These tend to be more expensive, but considering they’re more ergonomic and easier to service and find spare parts for, the price difference may be worth it.
- A bent shaft usually means a more cheap whipper snipper. It does the job if you don’t have much area to cover or do relatively simple gardening, however it can be hard on your back over time as most people need to stoop a little to use it.
- A split shaft lets you use the same engine to power other attachments, like a lawn edger. This can help you save valuable shed space as you don’t need to buy whole new garden tools.
- An extendable shaft gives you even further reach, making it useful to do a neat job in trickier places.
When buying a petrol whipper snipper, you should also be aware that you may need to carry around spare fuel and jerry cans on your gardening jobs, making petrol models a bit more inconvenient to use than battery or electric ones.
To make gardening that little bit easier, some petrol whipper snippers also come with a transparent fuel tank, making it easy to see your fuel tank capacity and when your petrol is due for a refill.
Cleaning and maintenance
Petrol powered whipper snippers are an investment, and they need to be cleaned and properly maintained to stay fully functional and to increase their longevity.
You’ll need to clean your power tool with warm soapy water and a soft bristled brush after using it. If you’re planning on storing it for more than three months without use (we get it, gardening can be a bit of a drag sometimes), then you should drain and clean the fuel tank in a well-ventilated area. You also need to dispose of fuel correctly.
Metal parts of the machine should also be kept lubricated to prevent rust, and any blades should be sharpened once a year.
Safety is an important consideration when choosing a whipper snipper, however all commercially available whipper snippers meet national guidelines that make them safe for use. Some may have extra safety features that you can look out for, such as a safety guard that sits at the cutting head to deflect flying debris away from your face and body.
A whipper snipper with a clutch that stops the head from spinning when the motor is idle can also make it safer for when you’re moving between gardening areas.
When using a petrol whipper snipper, ensure you follow these safety guidelines:
- Use ear protection (such as earmuffs), especially if you’re using your whipper snipper for a prolonged period of time.
- Wear closed shoes (with extra toe protection), thick gardening gloves, safety goggles, thick long pants and a long-sleeved shirt.
- Ensure that small children and pets aren’t anywhere nearby.
- Check the line of your tool before use to see whether or not it’s in good condition and needs replacing.
- If your whipper snipper has a 2-stroke engine, mix the oil and petrol carefully and in the correct ratio.
- Use slow, even movements while watching your feet, being vigilant to avoid tripping hazards like rocks or plant pots.
Petrol whipper snippers can cost as little as $100 and as much as $2000 and higher, although most in the market cost between $300 to $700. As a general rule, the more high powered the machine can be and the more features it has, the more it will cost.