Reloading The Autocut 2
Rewinding the Spool You Have
NOTE: The trimmer comes with .080/2.0mm Quiet Line but I wasnt able to get that off the shelf in bulk from the two largest dealers in town. They would have had to order it. Not knowing any better I bought it. I was able to rewind the spool with .080/2.0mm Premium Round Line but the cut ends mushroom a little making it tougher to thread into the channels in the head. I assure you its very possible but threading the Quiet Line is much easier if its available.
Replacing the Spool with a Pre-Wound One
How Much Run Time Does The Stihl Fsa 130 R Deliver
We used the Stihl AP300S 7.5Ah battery to test runtime. Under no-load, the string trimmer ran on High speed for 36.41 minutes. This came in second only to the Husqvarna 520iLX, which ran for about half a minute longer with a 5.2Ah battery.
This runtime can be extended even further by using one of Stihls backpack battery models.
Stihl Is Changing To Meet The Needs Of Todays Electric Market
At the same time, its exciting to see Stihl diving head-first into electric technology. Their new iMOW robot mower is designed to compete in the relatively new robotic mowers industry and, if they can bring the same durability and longevity of their gas-powered products to this line, it will be an exciting time for lawn care.
I also like their three-tiered approach to meeting customer needs in their battery-powered product line.
They have the AI series which focuses on the typical small-yard consumer.
The AK series is designed for larger yards with higher power needs.
Finally, the AP series is a pro-level product line that supports their special backpack battery system for extended run times. You can read about the three-tiered approach on their website at this link.
Time will tell as to what share of the non-gas yard tool market Stihl can claim but one thing is certain. With over 90 years of focus on innovating and improving its products, this company is not going anywhere anytime soon. As consumers move more toward electric yard power tools, the company is clearly prepared to pivot with them.
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What Is The Stihl Fsa 56
At just 3.2kg , the Stihl FSA 56 Cordless Grass Trimmer is the companys super lightweight and very quiet take on a cordless grass trimmer. It packs in a height-adjustable shaft, easy-adjust handle position and potent 36v performance from its rechargeable battery.
One of the lightest and best-balanced trimmers weve used, the FSA 56 is a star performer on the lawn thanks to its 280mm trimming circle, solid 20-minute run-time and effective bump-line feed. Its remarkably hushed for Sunday strimming, is solidly built and, at under £200 including battery and charger, is outstanding value too.
Worx Wg163 Gt 30 20v String Trimmer & Edger
The WORX WG163 is lightweight, affordable, and great for small yards. What really impressed us is this string trimmers versatility.
The WORX WG163 is another lightweight, easy-to-use budget pick suited for small yards. This trimmer kit is even more of a bargain because it comes with not one but two 20-volt lithium-ion batteries.
With the extra, you can have one battery charged at all times, so even if you run out of juice while trimming your yard, you can switch out the batteries and keep working. Plus, the batteries are compatible with all WORX PowerShare tools.
Even though its 20 volts of power isnt anything to write home about, the WG163 makes up for it with impressive versatility:
- It converts easily to an edger with rubberized wheels for traction and guidance, resulting in smoother cuts, including on uneven terrain.
- The trimmer head pivots 90 degrees, and the shaft is telescoping, so this trimmer can fit into all the tight spots in your yard.
- An adjustable spacer guard protects your flower beds and other landscape features while you trim around them.
Another notable feature of the WORX WG163 is the command feed spool system. Instead of automatically feeding the line, this trimmer gives you complete control over the strings length with a button on the handle.
Telescoping shaft for greater reach Converts to wheeled edger Comes with extra 2.0Ah battery
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Who Are Stihl Trimmers Best Suited For
If your paycheck depends on you showing up to the worksite with a gas-powered tool that you know is going to start or if you are a homeowner with a large yard and lots of heavy-duty trimming to perform, a Stihl trimmer is a logical choice for you. Stihl has built a trusted brand name through decades of refinement and reliability.
On the other hand, if you have a fairly small yard that requires minimal trimming, you may be better off with a price-sensitive battery-powered electric trimmer.
Stihl does make electric trimmers but Ive yet to speak to anyone who sees a clear advantage of theirs over other electric models when it comes to price, reliability, and battery life.
That may change in the future but for now, if you have a small yard with minimal trimming needs, you are probably fine picking up an off-the-shelf trimmer at Home Depot or ordering one from Amazon.
Why You Should Trust Us
Weve been covering outdoor power equipment since 2013, with guides to lawn mowers, snow blowers, and leaf blowers. All of this research and testing has given us a firm grasp of what makes a good piece of lawn equipment. And it has provided us with a deep knowledge of the various manufacturers and their reputations for quality, availability, and customer service.
I also have extensive string trimmer experience. I currently live in New Hampshire and have about 2 acres of mowable lawn. After each cut, I spend roughly 30 minutes using a string trimmer around stone walls, flower beds, pathways, and the chicken coop. I also have about a half-mile of electric fence that needs to be maintained with a string trimmer all summer .
Harry Sawyers, the editor of this guide and a former pro landscaper, has tested many of the trimmers at his Los Angeles property, which is too steep to mow in many places. The typical local practice in this situation: Scrape it bare with a string trimmer so theres nothing left to burn when fire season rolls around.
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Fsa90r Best Battery Powered Stihl Weed Eater
The FSA 90 R is a professional-grade straight shaft weed trimmer with a strong 36-volt Lithium-Ion battery to give you all the power you need. The lower noise of a battery powered trimmer or a gasoline engine trimmer is good for commercial work in neighborhoods or around schools and businesses to be less of a distraction to people inside buildings.
It has a slim profile perfect for transporting it and the ECOSPEED Stihl soft stop trigger to extend the amount of work time on a single battery charge. It starts and stops easily with just a squeeze of a trigger to power through your commercial or large home jobs quickly and quietly.
Best For Professionals: Husqvarna 520ilx Battery
When were talking about the best all-day, everyday professional string trimmer for residential crews, we love Husqvarnas 520iLX. What helps it rise above other solid picks from Stihl, EGO, and Greenworks Commercial is its combination of lighter weight, extremely low vibration, and thoughtful feature set in conjunction with excellent performance. Other professional brands hit several of the same elements, but none of them put them together as completely as Husqvarna.
Price: $299.99 bare tool
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Choosing The Best Stihl Weed Eater For You
Choosing the best Stihl weed wacker is a difficult task because there seems to be one for every type of job out there. Although you may find a battery-powered or electric-powered grass trimmer a better choice for you because of noise ordinances or youre concerned about storing fuel, then, by all means, choose a Stihl that suits your specific needs. However, there is one weed wacker here thats a good choice for almost anyone who needs to care for a lawn or backyard.
Overall, the ideal weed eater for almost any homeowner is the Stihl Grass Trimmer FS 56 RC-E. The moderately-priced gas trimmer has a low-emission engine, so you arent clogging the environment with plumes of smoke, and it has enough power to tackle big jobs. The gas engine means you dont have to worry about tripping over cords. The straight shaft makes it easy to use under bushes, and the handle can be adjusted to make it comfortable for anyone to use.
However, for the price, we definitely prefer other gas trimmers that are comparable to the Stihl model. Take the Husqvarna straight shaft 4-stroke, for example. It offers pretty much all the same features for the same price, but is also a trusted brand and more readily available to consumers as well.
Stihl Products Demand High Resale Value
What Stihl does, what they are known for, they do very well. And thats manufacturing reliable gas-powered yard tools and backing them up with in-store service and repair solutions for peace of mind.
When you purchase a new trimmer, the last thought on your mind is ever selling it. But if the day comes, its nice to know that Stihl product demand a high resell price. The reason for this is twofold.
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With Spring In The Air Many Of Us Gardeners Will Be Turning Our Attention To Our Gardens In Particular Our Lawns As They Come Back To Life The Lawn Mowers Will Be Out And Weekends Will Be A Buzz With The Noise Of Mowers Part Of That Care Is Lawn Edging Notoriously Painstaking And Sometimes Back Breaking So I Was Excited When Stihl Sent Me A Lawn Strimmer To Review For Them
Lawn edging and strimming is one of my least favourite tasks. If youve followed the Exploding Atom Garden you will know just how much of last year was spent installing lawn edging. However, a tatty edged lawn can look pretty ugly especially if youre going to the trouble of mowing it. Theres no point having a designed garden with neat lawn to then ignore the edges. Electric lawn edgers, compared to the manual versions can make light work of this task. Heres my STIHL strimmer review to help you decide if a battery-powered cordless strimmer is for you!
Craftsman V20 String Trimmer/edger
What the CRAFTSMAN V20 lacks in power it makes up for with a wider cutting head that will cut the time you spend trimming.
CRAFTSMANs V20 string trimmer represents a happy medium between our more premium picks and budget picks. It still isnt the most powerful, with a 20-volt battery, but it has a wider cutting head to help you trim your yard faster, and it uses a thicker, more durable 0.08-inch string that can manage more dense growth.
Also improving on 20V trimmers from other brands, this CRAFTSMAN model has variable speed control. You can easily switch to the high setting for more torque or the low setting for better battery efficiency as needed. The V20 gives you control over more than just the speed, since it features a push-button line feed system similar to the WORX WG163.
Customer comments: A few reviewers reported problems with the line feed system not working, meaning they had to manually pull the string out, which can be a pain. Users also reported that this model tends to eat through line quickly.
Push-button line feed doesnt always work Can go through trimmer line too quickly
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Stihl Fsa 56 Battery Charging And Run Time
In standard compact kit form as tested, the FSA 56 comes with Stihls AK10 1.5Ah battery and the AL101 charger offering a 1.6Ah output. The charge will take the AK10 from flat to 100% in around 1hr 20mins and deliver 20 minutes run-time. However, for larger lawns you have numerous options. The AK20 is 3Ah battery doubling the run-time to 40 minutes and the AK30 is a whopping 5Ah pack with an hours cutting time.
Charge time goes up commensurately, and while the AL101 could definitely be quicker, it isnt the slowest charger weve tried by a long margin. If you plan to strim and park-up until the lawn needs attention again, the battery can be left in the dock indefinitely. As such, charge time is perhaps academic for most home users.
The brick-like battery slots in and out of the charging dock with ease and four green LED indicators count up as its charges. The same indicators show battery charge level in four segments, counting down when you press the bubble-button to the right of the LEDs. The whole battery and charging ensemble is well designed with exceptional fit, and clips to keep everything secure. But does it deliver?
While 20 minutes doesnt sound like a lot of run-time, youll be amazed at the amount of trimming you can do with the FSA 56 on a single charge. This is ostensibly due to its exceptional cut performance and perfect balance, which makes endurance trimming in 20-minute sessions a breeze.
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Pros And Cons Of Cordless Weed Eaters
Cordless grass trimmers are technically quite similar to conventional gas or electric versions, but there are a few differences. The primary one is that a cordless weed eater runs on electricity, and it doesn’t require a power cable to be plugged in. It runs on batteries alone, which might be modular or integrated depending on the model.
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Stihl Fsa 56 What Is It Like To Use
Having been through a ridiculous number of grass trimmers over the years at the farm and through testing for Trusted Reviews, the FSA 56 comes as something of a revelation. Its very light in the hand and the balance proves absolutely perfect.
The adjustable shaft height means just about anyone can get that balance just right, with the battery weight at the rear perfectly countering the motor at the cutting end. Being cordless, there are no cables to drag around or heavy petrol engine under your armpit. That all adds up to making the FSA 56 feel like a fairy wand its so remarkably easy to hold and use.
Theres nothing lightweight about its performance, however. The 28cm trimming circle rips through tall, wet grass with ease and even had a good attempt at heavier scrub using just the supplied 1.6mm line. Spin speed is high enough to deliver a very clean grass cut and theres very little slowing when the going gets heavy. The wire guard works well for keeping away from borders. Flip it up, and you can get in really close to edges.
This model doesnt have a rotating head, which makes it a little trickier to use for lawn-edging duties. As our lawns are mostly edged with gravel, any rotary edging tool is a recipe for disaster anyway, so this wasnt an issue for us. Thankfully, the FSA 56 is light enough to simply flip over if you really need to edge with a strimmer.
Trimmer Head Is Poorly Designed
Winding and feeding the line without it jamming during use takes some patience, but once I got the knack it went pretty smoothly. The problem is that the holes in the trimmer head where the line feeds out have 2 small brass eyelets, with time and use the eyelets fall out. Once the eyelets are gone the trimmer head is useless, the line breaks within moments of use and the head has to be disassembled to re feed the line. You spend more time fiddling with this than trimming the weeds.I have purchased one replacement head so far, trimmer worked fine until the eyelets fell outthis looks to be an ongoing outlay and it should be addressed by the manufacturer.
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What Is A Weed Eater
Also known as string trimmers or weed wackers, weed eaters are power tools used to cut grass and weeds in hard-to-reach spots or places you dont want to risk damaging with a lawn mower, such as landscaping beds.
Weed eaters consist of a long shaft with a cutting head at the end that spins a single or dual nylon string. That string is the blade that slices through weeds and grass.
Who This Is For
A string trimmeralso known as a weed wacker, a strimmer, a weed whip, or a weed eateris the perfect complement to a lawn mower, adding a nice, crisp finish to your lawn. Whereas lawn mowers are intended for wide-open areas, string trimmers are for cleaning up the edges and all the places the mower cant go: nooks, crannies, and tight spots between and under hedges narrow pathways and steep inclines in close quarters near mailbox poles, raised beds, trees, and lampposts and along fences and walls.
Our string trimmer recommendations are for those who want a reliable, powerful tool to help with post-mow cleanup and weed clearing. We werent looking for a pro-grade tool that could be used all day to flatten a hay field or that was necessarily durable enough for constant, rugged use. We were looking for one that was convenient for intermittent regular use, with enough oomph to handle grass, thick weeds, and the occasional stalky shrub.
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For small lawns with minimal trimming needs, we like the Worx WG170.2 GT Revolution 20V PowerShare String Trimmer and Edger. We tested it against a number of other light-duty string trimmers, and it was clearly the best. It impressed us with its fantastic ergonomic adjustments, quick speed, quiet operation, light weight, and the wheeled edging capabilities. The Worx is much smaller than our other picks, and it cant handle thick weeds or extended trimming sessions. But for small lawns or people who simply want a lighter load, its a budget-friendly trimmer that should get the job done.
The Worx actually has three modes: string trimmer, edger, and mini-mower. Theres a removable set of wheels, for when you want to use the Worx as an edger and a mini-mower. The wheels are installed at the top of the trimmer head, and when its time to edge, you simply rotate the head until the trimming string is parallel to the shaft. This movement shifts the rollers down to the ground . The wheels add control and precision for edging jobs.
The Worx is powered by a 20-volt battery and has no problem with grass, but during our testing it struggled with thicker, stalkier weeds. It comes with a 2.0 Ah battery, which in our tests gave us a bit over 20 minutes of cutting time. The good news is that its easy to hear the motor bog down when its struggling. In these cases, we could try to cut the weeds down with a slower approach.