Troy-Bilt Brush Cutter TB 42 Review

What is there to say about the Troy-Bilt TB42?

At 27cc’s of displacement and weighing in at 14 lbs, it has the basic specs to be a decent brush cutter and a tremendous weed eater.

Overall we like the Troy-Bilt, but it’s not the best in the class for the money. ($150-200 range).

Check out our main guide on brush cutters to see what you should be looking for.

Let’s talk about the specs


The 14 lb engine is a two-stroke and 27 cc’s of displacement.

Just on paper a two stroke engine means

  • Having to mix the fuel oil and non-ethanol gasoline, and then having that gas can around for the season. As we said in our overall look at the Brush Cutter and Weed Eater Market this year…we’re not ready to give up the 2 stroke for a 4 stroke or an Electric, but I for one am tired of the arm and a leg that these manufacturers charge for their Company Brand Gasoline.
  • Not to mention the awful fumes of the 2 stroke
  • 2 strokes are still noisy. So you’re still going to need proper noise protection. Be on the look out for our guide to earmuffs and other yard work accessories.

If this isn’t your first rodeo, then Troy Bilt’s engine is giving you more of the same.

Between the motor and the cutting head is a straight shaft made of two pieces. We prefer a solid steel straight shaft for brush cutters, but Troy Bilt is giving you the option to buy and swap out different heads.

The cutting heads are a string trimmer/weed whacker and a “brush cutter”.

I see a lot of companies selling “brush cutters”, but when you examine the product closely, you’re really getting a grass blade.   The reviews mention being able to knock out a 1” sapling with this grass blade, but when I want to clear out some brambles, I want something that looks like a saw.

Attachments – it does accept other attachments

Control – Controlling the beast is done by a J-Handle. That right there should tell you that despite the HP numbers, this is more of a light duty machine. For serious work you need a harness and a bicycle handle.

Rounding out the basic specs, Troy Bilt offers a 2 year limited warranty.

Operation and Usage Notes

Gasoline – This is a 2 stroke, so you will have to mix your fuel and your oil. And if you’ve used two strokes in lawn equipment before, it’s a good idea to use premium fuel with absolutely no ethanol. Ethanol causes two common problems. First it fouls up the carburetor, and then will rot the fuel line. And here’s a pro-tip, add some fuel stabilizer to your fuel mix.   Now ideally, you would drain the tool every time you use it. But most people live in the real world. After a day of ranch work, babysitting the fuel drain isn’t high on the agenda.   Save yourself some trouble and use a stabilizer to prevent problems down the road.

Starting – Modern brush cutters and string trimmers generally start much easier than model that came out just 5 years ago. A good axe chop was what you needed to get one started. Troy Bilt has gotten their system down so that it’s no longer onerous.

They’ve gone one better and offer an electric starter, called Jump Start. You use a drill to get the motor cranked. (sold separately of course)

What will they think of next?

Handling – This comes with a harness for a reason. You may want to replace it with another harness, but even if you think of yourself as a big strapping lad, (or lady), saving your back, knees, and elbow is a good idea. With that said, depending on your level of strength, you might consider this heavy. No one considers this too light.

Cutting – Like I said in the intro, this is more of a trimmer with a blade option and not so much a brush cutter. So if you’re clearing out an orchard or getting rid, I’d opt for something more suited to that.

Long Term

There just isn’t enough data out there for me to make the call right now. We are leaning towards it.  But check back with us.


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