How many times have you cut your grass, only to notice the edges of your lawn still growing wild? Do you need a tool that takes care of those hard-to-reach areas on the outer edges of your yard without worrying about your mower’s blades cutting into concrete or dirt? A Stihl string trimmer will solve your problems.
But which of the many excellent models would be best for your lawn?
We looked at several different choices and have listed each quality we liked the most in a string trimmer. So, if you need a new weed whacker to get those pesky weeds off the edge of your lawn, we have the answer.
Why Use a Stihl String Trimmer?
Unless you’ve been watching a lot of horror films, you probably aren’t used to chopping weeds with a machete.
Without the skills of a butcher, you’re going to need a string trimmer. Or maybe you’ve heard them called a weed whacker or weed eater, instead. Either way, you’ll need a string trimmer to cut down on any rogue weeds popping up on the perimeter of your yard.
A Stihl string trimmer is perfect for taking care of your lawn when you have areas that touch other property, such as a public road or a neighbor’s yard.
If you have a lot of trees, or if you keep a vegetable garden, you’ll want to cut around those tight areas that your lawnmower can’t reach. And it’s even more important to have a weed whacker if you usually use a riding mower.
What Should I Look for in a Stihl String Trimmer?
Choosing the correct Stihl string trimmer can come down to personal preferences. You’ll need to answer a few questions about yourself and how you like to do your yard work.
Gas or Electric?
Have you ever been annoyed by someone running a mower, leaf blower, or some kind of yard appliance at an odd hour of the day?
If you’re on the other end of the situation and want to remain courteous, you’re going to want an electric string trimmer. Not only will you save money on gas, you’ll also be able to let your neighbors enjoy their weekends in peace.
That being said, gas-powered trimmers are going to last longer than electric models. But, trying to start them up for the first time can be an exercise in trial and error.
That same neighbor who you’re making nice with by letting them sleep might have experience with a gas-powered trimmer. Perhaps they can show you how to operate it. And if not, there’s always YouTube.
Another thing to remember is the need to put more fuel in the gas-powered trimmer each time it runs out. It might not seem like much effort, but the cost might add up over the life span of the trimmer. And there’s nothing worse than having to stop your yard work routine to go to the gas station when you’re already losing daylight.
However, the best way to decide on gas vs. electric might be the size of your lawn. You may struggle to maintain a big yard with an electric stringer trimmer. While you can maintain smaller areas easily with electric, you may find that a big yard needs trimming with gas-powered equipment.
Straight or Curved?
Believe it or not, one simple design shift can change the way a Stihl string trimmer functions.
Straight trimmers are usually chosen for their long reach. This design allows you to avoid cutting into anything unnecessary, like yourself. If you have a lot of thick bushes, a straight trimmer works a lot better for sneaking underneath them.
Also, you’ll need to be capable of lifting some weight if you’re going to hold a straight trimmer for a long period of time.
While not as efficient, a curved trimmer works for anyone who needs a lighter model. You’re not necessarily losing any power. However, the design of the curved trimmer means you might spend more time hacking away at the weeds.
If you don’t have as much yard space to deal with, a curved trimmer is a good option. They’re also typically lighter in weight. So, luckily, you won’t have to lug around a giant weapon at your side for just a few patches of weeds.
Using a Stihl String Trimmer
Before we figure out which Stihl string trimmer you’re going to purchase, you might want to know how to use it — especially if you’ve never done this before.
Yes, it’s loud, and it can be fun to use a sharp blade. However, you need to go into this with some knowledge. You don’t want to end up with terrified neighbors wondering why you’re circling around your lawn with an active string trimmer.
Stay away from any attachments that turn the string trimmer into a leaf blower or hedge trimmer for now.
Don’t get us wrong — they’re great add-ons, but we’re focusing on the basics.
The string trimmer is used for trimming near fences, clearing weeds from your garden, and cutting taller grass in bigger patches that mowers can’t handle or maneuver.
That last bit is important.
You don’t want to ruin your lawnmower with tall grass. You can use the Stihl string trimmer for this, waving the trimmer over the tall patches in a sweeping motion. Once it’s down to a manageable height, you can bring out the mower.
Purchasing a Stihl String Trimmer
You’ll need to check the Stihl website to find a dealer near you that sells a Stihl string trimmer. Because of the differing nature of local stores, it’s hard to get a lock on an exact price.
The cost of your Stihl string trimmer will first depend on where you purchase it. The broad range of prices relates to whether you purchase a gas or electric model, the amperage, and even whether you choose a straight or curved model.
The best thing to do is to input your zip code on the website and determine the price from the location nearest to you.
Choosing a Stihl String Trimmer
Now that you have a crash course on how to use a Stihl string trimmer, it’s time to figure out which one is best for you, your hands, and your lawn.
We’ve narrowed it down to five different string trimmers manufactured by Stihl, and we think you’ll find one that fits your needs.
Stihl Battery Trimmer FSA 65
Remember when we were talking about gas vs. electric? How great would it feel if you could go completely cordless and not have to worry about fuel at the same time?
The Stihl battery trimmer makes this a reality. You won’t contribute any harmful pollutants to the environment, and you won’t stumble forward while tripping over a cumbersome cord that tangled on your foot. All you have to do is push a few buttons, and you’re immediately pretending you run a landscaping business.
Here’s another perk you’ll love: the noise level — or lack of it.
If you’re in a quiet neighborhood and feel self-conscious about disturbing your neighbors, the Stihl Battery Trimmer is one of the most respectful lawn care devices you can own.
Without a cord to worry about, you can take this trimmer to the very edge of your yard and nip those pesky weeds in the bud.
So, about that battery — there’s a plus and minus to it.
The good news is that the cutting power won’t lower as the battery drains — it’s either on or off. Unfortunately, Stihl sells the batteries and charger separately from the trimmer itself.
This is lame, but it doesn’t take away from the convenience of cutting the cord (and the weeds). And purchasing a spare battery means you can even handle big properties with an electric trimmer.
Stihl Electric Trimmer FSE 60
As we’ve been discussing, Stihl string trimmers can be loud, especially when they’re powered by gas.
If you’re still living in that suburban area, but you need something with a bit more “oomph” than a battery-powered trimmer, we would recommend the Stihl FSE 60.
Without any emissions from gas, it’s as economically efficient as the battery trimmer. Using electricity also makes this Stihl string trimmer very easy to shut off and start up again. You won’t need to prime it, tug on a cord, or struggle with the amount of fuel already in the tank.
The FSE 60 has an adjustable handle that lets you rotate up or down. This provides a comfort level not seen in every string trimmer on the market.
If you don’t have a lot of upper-body strength, the electric trimmer might help you out. It’s about 2 pounds lighter than a Stihl string trimmer that operates on gas. Plus, it has a curved shaft, which adds to the convenience of the curved handle. And this makes it incredibly easy to maneuver around your lawn.
Stihl Grass Trimmer FS 40 C-E
If you’re not a professional landscaper or if your yard isn’t that big, you can do just fine with an entry-level Stihl string trimmer.
The FS 40 C-E is another trimmer with a curved shaft, meaning you can carry it around with relative ease. Even if you’ve never picked up a power tool in your life, you can learn how to manipulate the FS 40 pretty quickly.
The front handle is adjustable, like some of the others on this list. You can move it up to give you an added reach advantage or slide it down to adjust to your shorter stature.
Being a gas trimmer, you’ll need to pull a cord to start it up. Thankfully, Stihl has included an easy starter pull. So, most of the time all it takes is one yank before you’re trimming weeds like a pro.
While this is a great model if you’re just getting started with lawn care beyond a mower, be aware that the curved shaft means you won’t be able to cut as wide of a patch.
If you need any kind of support strap to put over your shoulder, you’re out of luck on this one — Stihl doesn’t include it with the trimmer. If you’re okay with lugging this around the yard, the FS 40 C-E is a perfect starting point.
Stihl Grass Trimmer FS 56 RC-E
Think of this as the FS 40’s bigger, older sibling who made the varsity team on their first try. This Stihl string trimmer works for those who have at least a whole acre of land to maintain.
Using a straight shaft, you’ll be able to reach even the most annoying parts under the bushes, and you won’t ruin any patches you want to keep in place.
Even though this is gas-powered and bears a straight handle, it’s still pretty lightweight compared to other string trimmers on the market.
The added power of the gas engine allows you to cut through the thickest of weeds with no real struggle. And you’ll spend less time cursing the blades for not doing their job.
Although this is light compared to other similar weed whackers, this Stihl string trimmer is still heavy by its nature. It also isn’t the best when it comes to gas consumption. So, you’ll notice that you have to fill it up pretty regularly.
We recommend this one if you have a bigger lawn. You’ll need a trimmer that can plow through a lot of weeds in a little time.
Stihl Professional Trimmer FS 240
Maybe you’re an actual landscaper, or you’re about to play one in a film or TV show. You may even have an enormous yard. This Stihl string trimmer is the Rolls Royce of Stihls.
We’ll get this out of the way now: You’re going to be paying a lot more for this model than any other. However, if you have a lot of land to maintain, you probably don’t mind the extra investment.
The FS 240 is loud, as should be expected from a gas trimmer. You’ll also get a harness when you purchase this model. And if you aren’t a weightlifter, or if you’ve never used a gas string trimmer before, you’ll need it.
This model is perfect for extremely thick growths of weeds, including small wooded areas if you live outside of civilization.
Depending on the size of your land, you might need to refill the fuel tank halfway through your job. This is a small price to pay, considering what it can do. Because this is easily the most powerful model on the list of Stihl string trimmers that we’ve looked at.
If you have the area to justify the purchase, you can’t go wrong with the FS 240.
Our final verdict comes down to how much land you have. If you aren’t in charge of a huge estate and just need a Stihl string trimmer to take care of weeds, we would go with the FSE 60.
The electric trimmer isn’t as noisy as the others on this list. It’s also pretty light. Best of all, you won’t have to worry about filling it up with gas each time you need to edge the lawn.
Anyone who has a larger yard of several acres should opt for the Professional Trimmer. The larger your yard is, the more your Stihl string trimmer is going to go through wear and tear.
The FS 240 is built to last and can withstand the same kind of workout you’ll get just by taking it around your property.