Best Stihl Weed Eater - 2021 Reviews
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The Best Stihl Weed Eater: A Buyers Guide

Whether you call it a weed eater, weed trimmer, grass trimmer, or weed wacker, it’s all the same thing, but not all of them are created equally. That said, we believe that one of the very best weed eater brands that you can buy is a Stihl. That is because, over the years, Stihl has made a name for themselves in lawn care due to their tool’s high quality, ease of use, and durability. A Stihl power tool will literally last a lifetime if you maintain them well.

But, what’s the best Stihl weed eater of them all? It depends. Are you looking for the best Stihl weed eater for the money? Or simply the best trimmer for home use? Perhaps you need a powerful weed chewer for brush and clearing trails.

Below, we discuss each of our picks for the best Stihl weed eater in several categories. We also go over the types of weed eaters and what to look for in the best one for you as well.

Backyard Boss Top 5 Stihl Weed Eaters for 2021

  PRODUCT FEATURES  
Stihl Grass Trimmer FS 50 C-E - The Best Stihl Weed Eater: A Buyers Guide Stihl Grass Trimmer FS 50 C-E
  • Type: Gas
  • Cutting Swatch: 16.5 Inches
  • Engine Power: 0.8 kW
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Stihl Grass Trimmer FS 56 RC-E - The Best Stihl Weed Eater: A Buyers Guide Stihl Grass Trimmer FS 56 RC-E
  • Type: Gas
  • Cutting Swatch: 16.5 Inches
  • Engine Power: 0.8 kW
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Stihl Electric Trimmer FSE 60 - The Best Stihl Weed Eater: A Buyers Guide Stihl Electric Trimmer FSE 60
  • Type: Corded, Electric
  • Cutting Swatch: 14 Inches
  • Engine Power: 0.6 kW
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Stihl Battery Trimmer FSA 85 - The Best Stihl Weed Eater: A Buyers Guide Stihl Battery Trimmer FSA 85
  • Type: Battery
  • Cutting Swatch: 14 Inches
  • Engine Power: 18 minutes (with AP 100 battery)
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Stihl Professional Trimmer FS 240 - The Best Stihl Weed Eater: A Buyers Guide Stihl Professional Trimmer FS 240
  • Engine Power: 1.7 kW
  • Type: Gas
  • Cutting Swatch: up to 16.5 Inches
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Why You Can Trust Us

At BYB, we genuinely want to recommend the very best products to our readership in order to help them make the best-informed purchasing decision possible. We love what we do for multiple reasons. One, we are experienced outdoorsmen (and women), gardeners, landscapers, home-owners, and DIY experts, and have a passion for what we do. So, we take pleasure in each and every person that we point in the right direction with a purchase. Especially the ones who are just discovering the need for such a product.

In this case, weed whackers are something just about everyone here at BYB has firsthand experience with. However, we of course have not tried each and every Stihl weed eater on the market; nor do we claim to have done so. That said, our expertise does make it easier for us to put the pieces together and read between the lines of manufacturer and retailer descriptions as well as customer reviews and ratings. When we review something for the home, garden, backyard, or DIY projects, you know you can trust the staffers here at BYB to deliver honest and accurate information.

Best All-Around Stihl Weed Eater

Stihl Grass Trimmer FS 50 C-E
    This curved-shaft gas-powered weed eater is lightweight, yet powerful enough for small jobs around the house.

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When you need a string trimmer to take care of small jobs around your front or back yard, you may not need a powerhouse trimmer. This Stihl model is an entry-level weed eater that handles well, thanks to its curved shaft. It includes some great features to make it easy to use, whether you’re a pro or beginner power tool user. For beginners, this Stihl weed trimmer is a good choice because it’s lightweight and easy to use.

An adjustable front handle makes it easy to make this trimmer comfortable for you to use, regardless of your height. Move it up to give you more reach and not have to bend down to reach the handle. Or slide it down and lock it in place to give shorter users more control over the tool. Stihl also includes an easy starter that typically only takes one pull of the cord after you prime the pump. The stop switch is a great safety feature that makes it easy to stop the motor if you’re, say, weed whacking in the back yard and nearly chop down some of your prized daffodils. Just hit the button and it stops whacking.

If you’re concerned about buying a gas-powered trimmer because of emissions, you’ll be happy to know that Stihl works hard to create products that produce low exhaust emissions, making it a cleaner choice for the environment than ever before. It’s one of the easiest to use trimmers on the market, which makes it a great beginner lawn care tool. The best parts are that it’s lightweight and it starts easily, but for more details, be sure to check out this Stihl weed eater specs.

Best Straight Shaft Stihl Weed Eater

Stihl Grass Trimmer FS 56 RC-E
    This heavy-duty straight-shaft weed eater will easily cut through an acre of land without being too much of a burden.

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For those who have an acre or more of land to trim, then this Stihl model is a good choice. The straight shaft makes it easy for you to get to those tough-to-reach spots underbrush and bushes without damaging the foliage you want to keep. Although this Stihl weed eater has more power, it’s still relatively easy to handle.

Despite the straight shaft and increased power compared to other similar models, it’s still a lightweight machine, which is important when you have lots of weeds to power through. The heavier and more powerful a weed trimmer is, the more likely your arms will tire out. The increased power, though, means you can get your yard done more quickly, and the tool can handle jobs like slicing through tiny saplings you want to clear away.

One of the best features of almost any gas-powered Stihl weed wacker is that it generally starts on the first pull, and that alone may be worth the money for some homeowners. You can expect some of the basic features of Stihl weed eaters, like a fully lined driveshaft to absorb some vibration.

Best Electric Stihl Weed Eater

Stihl Electric Trimmer FSE 60
    For small properties in an urban neighborhood, a corded electric weed eater like this is the best choice, as it's quiet and clean.

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Weed whackers are inherently loud; if you buy a gas-powered one, anyway. If you have neighbors complaining about your Saturday morning routine, then you might want to consider an electric trimmer, like this one from Stihl. Not only is it quieter, thanks to the electric-powered motor, it’s also a cleaner choice for the environment.

The other benefit of buying an electric trimmer is that it’s one of the easiest trimmers to start and stop. There are no cords to pull, no pumps to prime – you just press a button and flip a switch to get it going. Stihl’s adjustable handle, which is present on almost all models, lets you move the handle up or down, and 360-degrees around to make it comfortable for your hands and height.

One of the most noticeable differences between this trimmer and a gas-powered one is the weight: It’s nearly two pounds lighter than most gas trimmers. The curved shaft makes it easy to maneuver, especially when you’re doing light jobs around your yards, like edging or whacking the weeds on your driveway. This Stihl electric trimmer is a good choice for small yards in crowded neighborhoods; it’s lightweight, quiet, and easy to start and use.

Best Battery-Powered Stihl Weed Eater

Stihl Battery Trimmer FSA 85
    If you need your weed eater to be quiet, but you have a good-sized property to maintain, get this battery-powered weed eater. Remember to also invest in a battery that will last you for an entire job.

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With cordless, electric power tools, you don’t get tripped up by cords, they’re generally lighter in weight, and they’re better for the environment. This Stihl battery-powered grass trimmer emits zero exhaust, meaning you won’t choke on harsh smoke. Plus, it doesn’t get much easier to use than this: You just press a few buttons to start the trimmer, so there’s no need to prime a pump or pull a cord like you would with a gas trimmer.

If you live in a suburban area where the houses are close to each other, you know how loud some power tools can be. This Stihl weed eater is quieter than traditional trimmers, so you won’t disturb your fellow suburbanites as much. You can also go to the very edge of your yard without worrying about whether you’ll be able to reach – there are no cords to tug on.

One concern with battery-powered tools is a loss of power. However, this battery-powered weed wacker uses a 36 Volt Lithium-ion battery, which is a good choice for rechargeable batteries. You won’t lose power as the battery drains; it continues to cut through grass and weeds until the battery dies. So, the performance isn’t affected by diminishing returns.

Best Commercial Stihl Weed Eater

Stihl Professional Trimmer FS 240
    This gas-powered Stihl weed eater can clear woody weeds and is most suitable for large properties or commercial use.

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Whether you’re a professional landscaper or you simply have a large job to do at home, you may feel like you need a Stihl professional weed wacker. For the most power, you should consider this model, which has a robust engine and a large bike handle to let you harness all that power. Keep in mind that with a more powerful engine, the trimmer is also going to be bigger and heavier.

This is a gas-powered weed eater, so you should expect it to be loud (be sure to wear protective earplugs) and emit lots of exhaust. For the best control, and to reduce fatigue while trimming a large yard, use the harness that Stihl includes – it’ll do wonders for your back and arms because this is a heavier trimmer. This is one of those trimmers you’d want to tackle woody weeds, such as thistle, or weeds that grow in between small rocks where you definitely cannot take a mower.

Like almost every Stihl grass trimmer, this one generally starts on the first pull; that alone may be worth the price to you. The fuel tank holds a little more than 25-ounces, which is more than enough to take care of moderate jobs, but you may find you have to refill it a few times for bigger jobs, but it comes with the territory.

What to Look for in a Stihl Weed Eater

The cutting head of a Stihl weed eater in action.Choosing the best Stihl weed whacker is more than simply browsing price tags and features. You need to know what to look for based on your specific needs. that said, the following are the most critical factors to pay attention to while shopping for the right one.

Brand Specific Features

Power Drive Transmission, One-Pull Start gas-powered motors, high-end rechargeable Lithium-ion batteries, and a great manufacturer’s warranty are a few of the most well-known brand-specific features to Stihl weed eaters. Other brands, if you are shopping for other manufacturers besides Stihl, have their own specific brand features that you should be aware of.

Engine

The engine that a weed eater is equipped with determines not only how much power the machine has, but what sort, and how much, fuel it takes as well. The most common two types of engines used in weed eaters are gasoline and electric. With electric motors, both corded and cordless are available. Be sure you know what sort of fuel and maintenance costs you are getting into before purchasing one.

Handling

The shaft type and the overall weight of a weed eater have a lot to do with how it handles. But, so does your own height, shape, and weight. The perfect weed eater for your neighbor may be a terrible burdensome machine for you to operate and vice versa. How top-heavy the unit is, as well as the angle that the string cuts at are also important factors to think about.

Ease of Use

The ease of use involves more than just how easy, or hard, a weed eater is to handle. It also counts how hard it is to start, how much maintenance it requires, how much time it takes to clean it after use, how difficult it is to restring and adjust. Depending on the model, and your shape and size, as well as your property, the ease of use for each weed eater greatly varies. That is why we suggest trying a few on for size, in person, even if you plan to buy one online.

Weight

The weight of a weed eater is a big factor to think about while shopping as well. Whether you prefer something lightweight, or you are tall enough and strong enough to tote around one of the bigger and heavier-duty models makes all the difference in the world. Thankfully, there are models available that weigh only five pounds or less. Likewise, heavy weed eaters can weigh over 15 pounds, closer to twenty with fuel in some cases.

Cutting diameter

A weedeater cutting diameter is a measurement that determines how much grass and weeds it can lay low in one “swath.” Depending on your needs, you will have to be the judge of how big, or small, a cutting diameter you want. That said, popular cutting diameters are anywhere from 12 up to 18 inches.

For large yards, a larger cutting diameter helps get the job done more quickly and efficiently. On the other hand, for small yards, with little weeding to do, a smaller cutting diameter makes much more sense.

Warranty

The warranty options that come with the purchase of any given weed eater say a whole lot about the potential quality of the unit and how the manufacturer feels about it. Meaning, if a manufacturer believes in their product, they will more than likely include a multi-year warranty, if not a lifetime one. Likewise, the best weed eaters typically include a return policy or money-back guarantee as well.

Who Needs a Weed Eater?

cutting grass using wee eater

A weed eater is great for manicuring your lawn just so to make the edges look great, and to get the stragglers that a lawnmower may leave behind. It’s also virtually the only way you’re going to be able to trim around trees, in gardens, and along fences.

Bottom line: If you own your home, are in charge of upkeeping a rental property, or own a piece of land, you likely need a good weed eater.

Further, if you have any of the following tasks to repeat regularly, you may benefit greatly from investing in a great weed eater:

  • Edge your lawn
  • Clear weeds from deck or foundation edges
  • Trim weeds near fences
  • Cut grass around trees
  • Clear weeds from gardens
  • Remove grass and weeds from driveway cracks
  • Clear tall grass in large patches

All of this can be done with a trimmer, but not a lawnmower. Theoretically, you could clear tall grass with a mower, but chances are the tall grass will just jam the machine. The trick to doing all of these things with a weed wacker is knowing which technique works for each job. For example, the clearing of tall grass works well if you use a sweeping motion as if you’re using a scythe.

Regardless of whether you choose a straight or curved shaft; electric or gas; or buy a high-powered, professional-grade trimmer, or one meant for home use, the best Stihl weed wacker is the one that fits your hands, your yard, and your budget. Read through our Stihl weed eater comparison to help you choose the right one for you!

How to Choose the Right Weed Eater

Picking the right Stihl weed eater starts with determining a few things, such as the amount of power you want, the size of your yard, or commercial jobs, and how tall you are, as well as how much you weigh. Yes, your height and weight do make a major difference!

Straight vs. Curved Shaft

Stihl-Grass-Trimmer-FS-56-RC-E

A straight shaft is the most preferred type used in weed eater construction because it offers a longer reach than other shaft-types. The long straight shaft design makes it easier for you to whack the weeds or grass without having to get knee-deep in them to reach them.

Straight Shaft weed eaters are also easier to maneuver under bushes than most curved shaft designs. These are also easier to handle if you’re taller or have a larger frame than the average bear.

Stihl-Electric-Trimmer-FSE-60

Curved shaft weed eaters are lighter in weight and easier to manage if you’re a smaller lightweight person compared to the average weed eater operator. You don’t lose any power by choosing a curved shaft, though, despite the easier-to-handle design.

More importantly, you should choose a curved shaft if you don’t have a ton of trimming to do. Even more, you don’t have to worry about underbrush either because these bad boys reach it and whack it down with ease.

Gas vs. Electric vs. Battery-Powered

Ask your neighbors which weed eater you should buy, and they’re likely going to suggest an electric model; especially if you prefer to do yard work at 6 a.m. on a Saturday morning. The electric models and battery-powered trimmers are a bit quieter than a gas-powered one, and your neighbor wants to sleep in!

There are some excellent reasons to choose a gas-powered one, though, including the life of the weed eater and the power you get from a gas string trimmer. It’s a good idea for you to get a lesson online or from someone who knows how to start a Stihl weed eater because it can be tricky the first few times.

Stihl weed eater maintenance is easy, whether you choose gas, electric, or battery-powered, but the gas trimmer is going to require that you add fuel before you use it every time. An electric one you just plugin, and the battery-powered trimmer only requires that you charge its battery before you use it.

Bottom line: If you have a large yard to maintain, a gas-powered trimmer is your best bet. For smaller lawns, an electric version will work well (and not disturb your neighbors). A battery-powered weed wacker is great for those jobs that are far off at the edge of your property where a line won’t reach.

Why You Can’t Just Use a Lawn Mower

Lawnmowers can’t reach the places a weed trimmer can. The entire design of a mower makes it impossible for them to reach certain areas of your lawn. Think flower beds, walkways, gardens, outdoor furniture, fire pits, decks, foundations, driveways, and more.

Sure, you can just use a lawnmower to cut your yard, but, it will not be a job well done, and eventually, you will have all the issues that come with tall uncut weeds. That means more bugs, mice, and a generally unkempt appearing yard no matter how many times you mow it.

How We Picked

In order to present you with only the very best Stihl weed eater choices currently available on the market, we combined our first-hand experience as landscapers and home-owners with a bout of deep recon and research on the subject. We started by looking at each model currently listed for sale by Stihl, starting with the manufacturer descriptions, and compared them with customer reviews and ratings from Stihl owners who shop with online retailers.

After we reduced the many available units down to a select few, we thoroughly combed over all available information about each specific model. This information is what we based our reviews of these weed whackers on. And, that is how you know each selection on our list is worth your consideration if not your investment.

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 you’re concerned about storing fuel, then, by all means, choose a Stihl that suits your specific needs. However, there is one weed wacker here that’s 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 aren’t clogging the environment with plumes of smoke, and it has enough power to tackle big jobs. The gas engine means you don’t 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.

Do you have a favorite model Stihl weed whacker? If so, whether it is one from our list or another model, we would love to hear all about it in the comments section so we can inform our audience about it! Also, why not give this article a share if you found it useful in your weed eater shopping?

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