Stihl FS38 Review

Stihl FS38 Line Trimmer

Stihl, one of the foremost manufacturers of outdoor power equipment for domestic and professional use. The manufacture Chainsaws, line trimmers, blower/vacs and many other outdoor products.

The Stihl FS38 Line Trimmer is the introductory model in the Stihl Line trimer range but is ideal for most small domestic sections.

It has a single cylinder two-stroke engine rated at 27.2 cc. The machine weights 4.1kg without fuel, cutting attachment or deflector and puts out 0.65 kW or 0.9 HP at 7,000 rpm.

The FS38 has the Stihl AutoCut 5-2 head supplied as standard with 2.0mm line. This head needs to be bumped on the ground to release more line and if to much line is let out it will be cut off on the blade that is in the machines deflector. To refill the cutting head takes a bit of practice as it needs to be pulled apart and rewound with new nylon, The nylon lines are then put into notches on the spool before carefully placing the spool back into the head and feeding the nylon through two metal sleeves on the side of the cutting head. If the reloading causes problems the head can be upgraded to the Autocut C 5-2, the nylon on the C 5-2 is feed in through the metal sleeves and wound into the spool.

Starting the machine is reasonably straight forward as follows.

  • Move the stop switch to the On position or I
  • Squeeze the top and bottom throttle triggers and lock into position.
  • Set the choke lever to closed if the engine is cold and press the fuel pump bulb at least five times .
  • Place the machine on the ground and hold with your left hand while pulling the starter rope with the right hand.
  • When the machine starts to fire move the choke to the open position. (This should take no more than five pulls)
  • Another pull on the starter cord should start the machine, squeeze the trigger which will unlock it and you are then ready to go.
  • To turn the motor off, just move the stop switch to the 0 position.

How to replace trimmer line.

Machine use.

To use the FS38 just squeeze the top and bottom trigger which will in turn make the engine rev and the cutting head turn at high speed.  The other hand holding the D-Handle and you are ready to go.  The FS38 comes with a shoulder strap which can be used to take some of the weight off. It takes a bit of practice to use without making to much of a mess with you lawn but once mastered you will wonder how you did your lawns without this machine.

Try to use the machine at full revs as much as possible. When run too long at low revs they are prone to clogging up with carbon, If this happens your machine will become harder to start and will not run properly. There is a spark arrestor in the muffler which can be cleaned out, this should help with the problem. Also it is recommended that Stihl power equipment is run on a 50:1 mixture with Stihl two stroke oil. (50:1 = 50 parts fuel to 1 part oil.)

Conclusion.

A great entry level machine for the average suburban section.  The next model in the range, the FS45R will give you the AutoCut C 5-2 head which can be reloaded without removing the spool from the machine and has 0.75 kW.  There is also a FS45C Easy Start which is excellent for those who may struggle with the pull cord, it has a starting system that requires 50% less effort when starting.

Stihl trimmers have a full crankshaft engine which should translate to a longer life.  The company has existed for a very long time and therefore after sales service is excellent through the dealer network.

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