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Thread: Stihl trimmers

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    Stihl trimmers

    Any + or - thoughts on the Stihl weed wacher trimmers that doesn't have a spool but is loaded with a 8" or so pc of string? I'm thinking about the one that has a straight shaft and retails for about $199. Sorry but I don't have the model number so maybe this is in vain. The dealer showed me so many models and I could not keep them straight in my head!

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

    rancher1913's Avatar
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    the straight shaft ones you can put a blade on for doing tough stuff. you can also get a head for it that uses chains. best hack I have seen was to use zippy ties for string.
    if you are ever being chased by a taxidermist, don't play dead

  3. #3
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    ShooterAZ's Avatar
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    The great thing about Stihl trimmers is that you can interchange trimmer heads quickly and easily. The Polycut blade head makes quick work of large areas of tall grass/weeds, while using the string head makes it easier to get into tighter spots like in and around flower beds. I have the FSC40 trimmer and like it a lot.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    my stihl km130 is by far the absolute best trimmer I've ever owned, and I've probably gone through more than a bakers dozen different non-stihl brand trimmers prior to getting this one, it cost quite a bit more than a ryobi or an echo but well worth it in the long run, about a decade of heavy use on it so far and it still going strong and starts each and every time on first or second pull of the cord. I only use high octane non-ethanol gas and genuine stihl oil.

  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master


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    Always get a straight shaft for the above reason. I have had a couple of Ryobi trimmers including the 4 cycle now. String for grass and a 3 blade for weeds. Even bought a small skilsaw blade that has chain saw teeth for small brush. Very handy

    Only downside to the 4cycle is it doesn't rev as high as the 2cycle and seems to have less power to but for grass and stuff works fine. Paid $90 for a refurbished 4cycle Ryobi on the Home Depot outlet site and the shipped it free. One or 2 pull start for 3yrs I think. I used the 2 stroke trimming several years when I was mowing lawns and 15yrs later it's at my hunting camp still pulling duty twice a year but if I were going to use one heavily I'd go farmbif's way with a Stihl, Echo etc

    Make sure to use non ethanol if you can get it. If not stabil and an ethanol stabilizer. Always Stabil I use the 360.
    Last edited by jonp; 05-22-2021 at 12:33 PM.
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  6. #6
    AKA: GRMPS Conditor22's Avatar
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    I used the FS 130, and/or KM 130 (Kombi) with a bump head (auto cut 25-2 with .095 line) or 3 tooth blade (brush knife) for work. (the 130 {now 131} is bigger than you need for homeowner application, it's like shooting something with a 223 and a 45/70, they both work but the 45/70 gets the job done faster (and is more durable)

    the "8" or so pc of string" you are talking about is a heavier plastic line that wears slower (but I found to be more expensive and more cumbersome to use in the long run).

    With the bump head you can always have a full length of line by just bumping the head, and you can go a long time without having to change line.

    Some people prefer the heavier "8" or so pc of string"


    With a KM (kombi) power head you can have many different attachment that work with the one head.

    around home I use the weed eater, edger, hedge trimmer and blower most often

    if you have a lot of trees the pole trimmer and shaft extension would be useful
    Last edited by Conditor22; 05-22-2021 at 01:10 PM.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
    Rick Hodges's Avatar
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    I have a Stihl trimmer and use it with a metal 3 tooth blade for trimming light brush and shooting lanes. I used it first as a string trimmer with the bump head. It is an unmitigated pain in the dupa to reload the string. I am using another as a string trimmer and relegate the Stihl for brush work with the blade.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master


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    Stihl makes phenomenal trimmers, possibly the best in the business. I'm actually looking at buying one myself right now. I'm definitely going for a straight shaft model. I'm not sure what their recommendation on running brush cutter blades are, but their "brush cutter" specific models are about double the price. My hope is that those models are for commercial use, built to withstand daily abuse. I've been running a brush cutter blade on a cheap Toro for years with minimal issues. I also don't like the handle bar versions, but that is my preference.

    The only Stihl to avoid are the 4-Mix models. Whatever compelled a person to engineer that catastrophe, I'll never know. I was asked to run one once for a job, and it was a handlebar model, which I'm not fond of, but it is ok if you are doing a large area. You mix the gas with oil, like a 2 stroke, likely as a cheap, corner cutting way to avoid having to overcome the problem of oil starvation in a 4 stroke. Not a huge deal. Then there is the weight, they are heavier than the 2 strokes. It really sucks after a couple hours. It's kind of cool that they idle real quiet, but wow do they get loud when revved up, louder than a 2 stroke for sure. I ended up wearing plugs and muffs.
    The final straw was the fact was that it had the 4 stroke fatal flaw of being a bear to hot start. It always cold started easy enough, but when hot, you had better be right on the money, or you were down for a while.
    Last edited by megasupermagnum; 05-22-2021 at 04:10 PM.

  9. #9
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    Mine is a FSA56 battery model. I only use it for grass trimming so use the string head and really like it. I reload the spool as needed with string I got years ago using a cheaper model. I use about out 15% of the batter to do 1000 ft of edge. I really like it.
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  10. #10
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    I've had one of the Stihl power head types that you can interchange tools. I have a string trimmer, a blade cutter that will cut down up to a 4 inch tree, and a hedge trimmer attachment. I used it to clear trails and around feeders and stands for 10 years, besides using it for the residential stuff. I used the heck out of it and it still is going. Had some work done to it over the years. Not a lot. I bought in 2008. Good stuff.
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  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hodges View Post
    I have a Stihl trimmer and use it with a metal 3 tooth blade for trimming light brush and shooting lanes. I used it first as a string trimmer with the bump head. It is an unmitigated pain in the dupa to reload the string. I am using another as a string trimmer and relegate the Stihl for brush work with the blade.
    Agree with that! I have a 110R something model, a bigger one, 99% of the time I have the blade on it. The string seems to break-off inside the head constantly...I hope the heads have been redesigned, had mine about 4 years now. I would definitely opt for the head that don't feed line if it is a Stihl.
    Last edited by remy3424; 05-24-2021 at 07:23 AM.
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  12. #12
    Boolit Master


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    Done deal, just bought a brand new Stihl FS 56 RC-E. It sure seems to work well. I'm not a huge fan of the easy start recoil, but is sure is easy to start.

    For brush cutter blades, I've used a bunch, and my favorite by far is the Oregon. The last one I bought was the MAXI part# 41-935. It appears the MAXI is for 30CC+, and the EIA is 24CC+. They appear the same, the EIA is apparently slightly thinner and lighter. I'll be buying an EIA for the Stihl I just bought.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by remy3424 View Post
    Agree with that! I have a 1050 something model, a bigger one, 99% of the time I have the blade on it. The string seems to break-off inside the head constantly...I hope the heads have been redesigned, had mine about 4 years now. I would definitely opt for the head that don't feed line if it is a Stihl.
    Check to make sure the string on both sides is wound the correct direction. I had the break off problem and found it has one side wrapped backwards. Fixed that and it works fine now.
    Steve,

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  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy
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    The new easy load tap heads are nothing like the old take apart heads.I prefered the short pieces till I got a new trimmer with easy load head.Keeping the trimmer line in water helps.Don't overlook a Echo trimmer I've run both a Stihl and Echo and prefer Echo. Thats daylighting signs and miles of guiderail so a lot of hours on them.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by farmbif View Post
    my stihl km130 is by far the absolute best trimmer I've ever owned, and I've probably gone through more than a bakers dozen different non-stihl brand trimmers prior to getting this one, it cost quite a bit more than a ryobi or an echo but well worth it in the long run, about a decade of heavy use on it so far and it still going strong and starts each and every time on first or second pull of the cord. I only use high octane non-ethanol gas and genuine stihl oil.
    I have a big, straight shaft Stihl that has to be over 30 years old and there's no telling how many miles of fence row I've kept clean with that thing. I use it as a string trimmer, have the grass blade and the saw blade, all of which came with the trimmer. It's a hawg! I have two smaller, bent shaft, Stihl string trimmers for lawn and park use. I don't know about the model you're looking at but I'd take the worst Stihl over the best of anything else.

    I use ethanol free gas for the mix as most of my stuff is older and not ethanol compatible....and it's easier than fooling around with 2 or 3 additives...and it's also readily available here. Ethanol free is also all that goes in my 3 vintage MG's and Morris Minor. It almost smells like real, leaded gasoline!!! I do put a lead additive in my vintage cars.
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  16. #16
    Boolit Grand Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by buggybuilder View Post
    Any + or - thoughts on the Stihl weed wacher trimmers that doesn't have a spool but is loaded with a 8" or so pc of string? I'm thinking about the one that has a straight shaft and retails for about $199. Sorry but I don't have the model number so maybe this is in vain. The dealer showed me so many models and I could not keep them straight in my head!
    If you do not need a heavy duty model to cut down small trees and brush, look at getting a battery model. I have two acres of lawn and it takes me 20-30 minutes to trim. I will be buying a battery unit and avoid mixing of gas and the noise.
    Don Verna

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  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy pete501's Avatar
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    Stihl FS 130 handle bar with a 20-2 Duro-Cut Fixed Line Head. I use .155" Line.

    Ditch the factory guard and extend the line as long as possible. 24 inch diameter or so. The cutting path is larger and you can cover more acres. With the longer line, the engine rotates slower. slower line speed doesn't seem to wear the line as fast.

    I can run it near T post with little care of breaking line. I trim the neighbors property, it usually takes 2 hours , I trim down to the ground and had only advanced the line three times, approximately 6 inches of line per side used.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    At the lake, we have had a Stihl FS90 for 20 years. Its a straight shaft 4 stroke that runs on 2 stroke mixed fuel. Tons of torque, use it for almost 3 acres of weedeating including the shoreline which is 200 yards by 20 yards. Shoreline is full of rocks, no way to mow it. It gave me some trouble about 2 years ago, shop backlogged for 2 weeks. They replaced the fuel lines all is back to normal. In the down time, I bought the newer version FS91 to complete the work and to use at the primary residence. Both have bump heads loaded with Ugly Line .095, bicycle style handlebars, and backpack style straps. Buy yourself another head, I wear out two heads of string for every tank of gas at the lake. Tons of rock around the lakes here in Missouri.

  19. #19
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    stihl straight shaft with bump feed head.

    never a problem with it, great machine.

    i use ugly twist line in it.

    good luck
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  20. #20
    Boolit Master
    Petander's Avatar
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    I bought my two-stroke Stihl in the late 90's and it's still going strong.

    I have used the big three blade cutter a lot, also the circular saw is handy. The wire trimmer head is fine but those bigger ones suit my needs better. I don't have pretty lawns.

    I started using special non-ethanol "small engine" gasoline for all my ... small engines some five years back. They always start and work good, no carburetor clogging over winter etc. Chainsaws,generators etc all get at least stored with that non-ethanol special gas.

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