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View Full Version : Am I the only one that thinks Stihl Trimmers are a POS?


CustomKare
08-02-2008, 08:01 AM
I bought a FS80 yesteday.......what a POS. It's loud, it spits debris back at me and sounds like it's 5 years old already. I know I'll here from you Stihl guys but I would go with an Echo before Stihl. Gas consumptin is way more on the Stihl. I tried it out in my yard last night and uses 1/2 tank of gas where I could do many yards with my Echo.

Hope I'm not jumping the gun here but so far not impressed with the Stihl.

Also, this I understand is a preference thing but the bump and go is not for me. I like the quick change head for a couple of reasons. Youn don't need to carry a bulky spool with you and if you don't then you spend time back at the truck. Also rewinding them sucks and they get hung up.

I use the quick change with the 6" lengths and have a tube mounted on the trimmer, reach down insert and go. Works way better than bump & go....and you use less line. Just my 2 cents

I'll sit down now and wait for the Stihl guys to unload on me

BartonLawn
08-02-2008, 08:20 AM
If you like Echo equipment, why didn't you just buy an Echo?

Have you taken it to the dealer to see if it needs adjusting? Did they fire it up when you bought it to make sure everything was kosher?

CustomKare
08-02-2008, 08:31 AM
Went by the Stihl name, Echo was good to me but wanted to get a "top of the line" piece of equipment. I did fire it up but thought I was being too picky comparing to what I had and felt it's a Stihl....It will be fine. My dealer is awsome and they will take it back but I don't like to do business like that unless the thing fails. I'll live and learn.

BartonLawn
08-02-2008, 08:44 AM
Sounds like the unit has an issue, it happens. hell I'm sure that not even Echo has sent out 100% perfect machines each and every time.

It really sounds dumb to on the one hand ***** about a product, and then turn around and say you'd rather not take it back. :rolleyes:

Roger
08-02-2008, 08:46 AM
If you like Echo equipment, why didn't you just buy an Echo?

...

Exactly! Did anybody force you to buy a Stihl? Who was it that said to the dealer, "... I'll take than one," and then slid the money, plastic, or check across the counter? Why should anybody "unload on me?" You have done the task nicely yourself.

coolgreen
08-02-2008, 09:03 AM
I bought a Stihl FS85R a few years ago, and the thing has been a piece of junk since day one. It vibrates like a jackhammer; it's always been hard to start; it is heavy; it sounds like a bell ringing.... I could go on, but you get the point.

It's always the last trimmer off the trailer - no one wants to use this thing.

I have an old Honda 2-stroke UMK24, which is supposedly a Stihl with Honda stamped on it, and it is a great machine. Seven years old and still running (a bit rough now, mind you). I'm pretty sure the Stihl will be in pieces before it hits the four year mark, becuase I'm not putting one more penny into it.

Every time I take my Stihl to the dealer in an attempt to make it run better or start easier they always say my problems are due to running it with too much line out. I could run my Honda or my Kawasaki trimmers with three feet of line out and they would never screw up like my Stihl.

In short, I think Stihl used to make a great product, but over the past few years the quality has gone downhill.

Don't even ask about my two BR600 "exploding" blowers. Both have been in the shop numerous times for valves, and more recently my dealer had one for more than two months before giving up and sending it back to Stihl to be repaired. Thankfully, it was covered under warranty because the entire motor blew up and virtually everything had to be replaced.

I will never buy Stihl again. It's Kawasaki or possibly Shindaiwa for me from now on.

tacoma200
08-02-2008, 09:08 AM
10 years using Stihl and love them including the fs80. Only one repair during those years other than replacing the spools and that was the on/off switch on the fs55 home owner model. I use ear plugs buy they sound like a normal 2 cycle to me. I kinda like the deep throated rumble, especially the 250 at idle. Just my preference, they've been good to me. :confused:

Icepuck72
08-02-2008, 10:34 AM
I'll sit down now and wait for the Stihl guys to unload on me


People, people, people. DON'T FEED THE TROLL!!!!! Only a botard would buy something before actually trying it out and working with it first. Then, coming on Lawnsite and trying to stir the pot.

TROLL:nono:

Mike Blevins
08-02-2008, 10:35 AM
I didn't have any luck with Stihl equipment either. I run a different brand now and love them. I won't turn this into a who's better thread. LOL

BartonLawn
08-02-2008, 11:11 AM
I've just had good luck I suppose. I've had a Stihl chainsaw for years and it's been a good performer. This spring I decided to get a new trimmer and picked up an FS-90. It too has performed well. Seriously tho I think Stihl's reputation speaks for itself. There are other quality brands out there no doubt, but not each machine is going to run perfectly each and every time. When I bought my trimmer my dealer gased it up and we went out back of his location and whacked a few weeds with it so I could get a feel for it. It's been fine since, but if it hadn't I would have simply taken it back and they would have corrected the issue. Of that I have no doubt. :)

naturescape
08-02-2008, 11:29 AM
I bought a Stihl trimmer this spring and quickly returned it. An FS-90. WAY too heavy. Any my newer (within 4 yrs) Echo stuff takes FOREVER to warm up. I'll stick with Tanaka. Lasts forever, smooth/well-balanced/powerful/light/NO warmup time/no stupid safety levers.

ALC-GregH
08-02-2008, 11:43 AM
I had to take back my Stihl blower yesterday for the 3rd time and it only has 1 tank of fuel through it! I told the dealer this time that they can keep it, I want a full refund and got a Echo ES230. I'll never buy a Stihl product again. I just can't trust them. It cost me again yesterday driving back and forth to the dealer with my trailer loaded just to get a blower to finish a customers home. I can only hope and pray the chainsaw I have will keep working, I should have bought a Echo saw too.

david shumaker
08-02-2008, 12:00 PM
I've got both Echo and Stihl equipment. I think it would be very hard to tell which is best overall unless put through the same kind of extensive tests that Consumer Reports does.

ed2150
08-02-2008, 12:05 PM
I just bought an FS-80 about a month ago; I've been running Kawasaki trimmers for the last few years.

I really don't have a problem with the Stihl, it seems to be a pretty good trimmer. Starts and runs good with plenty of power and relatively light. My helper and I agree though, we like the Kawasaki trimmers better.

1998tahoe
08-02-2008, 01:02 PM
I run all Stihl products. Very few problems. The only issues is a little carb adjustment here and there. I have learned how to set them so NO PROBLEM NOW.......




Also Stihl is made in the U.S.A. In Virginia Beach.:usflag::usflag::usflag:

naturescape
08-02-2008, 01:07 PM
I run all Stihl products. Very few problems. The only issues is a little carb adjustment here and there. I have learned how to set them so NO PROBLEM NOW.......


Maybe, just maybe, they should come from the factory properly adjusted.

tacoma200
08-02-2008, 01:23 PM
Maybe, just maybe, they should come from the factory properly adjusted.

If I remember correctly every Stihl product I have bought the dealer started and tested it and made sure everything was working properly before he handed the trimmer over to me. It seems to be part of the dealer support to make sure each Stihl product leaves in 100% operating condition. I don't care what product others buy and who knows what I will buy next but Stihl is very good with support. I would prefer this method to factory only adjustments and shipping them with fuel in the tanks. I don't claim Stihl is the best but they are in my experience very good. I couldn't get support for most manufacturers here but there is a Stihl dealer in almost every town. Just my 2 cents, that may be all it's worth.

CkLandscapingOrlando
08-02-2008, 01:52 PM
Sthill sucks.I've been at this for 15 years and for 15 years I've thought the same thing.I've been working for my self now for the last 5 so I've been using my 2'nd choice which is echo.I figured after 5 years away from Sthill I would try them out and see if things are any better.Only 2 pieces I got that are broke are'nt my echos thats for sure.It still sucks.They hate water and the new gas caps suck real bad.

Lazer_Z
08-02-2008, 02:23 PM
I'll never buy anything except for Stihl. I've got 5 pieces of Stihl equipment so far and I plan on adding 2 more attachments for my KM 130 R and an HS 81 T. Before I get judged (and I know I will). Yes, I have used a couple different brands. I used Echo and I thought they were top chit, I though my PB650 was the best until it gave me fits of not wanting to start right when HOT or COLD. No matter how many times it was to the dealer it still gave me fits. Finally the throttle cable broke and I needed a blower the next day, I went and bought a BR600, I eventually got the Echo back and sold the POS. I bought a Shindaiwa T230 and I liked it at first, but it didn't have the power I wanted so I went back to using my Echo SRM 2601. That thing started giving me fits so it got replaced with a Stihl FS 90 R and it's a night and day difference between barley 26cc's and the power of 28.4cc's and the tons of torque that the 4Mix has.

mag360
08-02-2008, 02:35 PM
Going from kawi or husky to stihl trimmers they won't feel "right". We have a couple fs100rx (the light ones) and even those are a little trick to get the feel for. The throttle is not very forgiving---you go straight from 0% to 85-90% throttle with only a slight pull on the trigger. This makes it hard (especially for an inexperienced worker) to avoid making mistakes around delicate lawn areas and edging. We broke a driveshaft within two months on one of them but I believe we were using it too hard (a couple of every other week areas and one large embankment) without the guard on.

The heads on those things are great for heavy stuff, though. Long grass and weeds for whatever reason hardly ever gets tangled up in the head. By comparison our husqvarna and redmax trimmers, while better for basic trimming, will get the long, stringy stuff wrapped around the head every once in a while.

For a dedicated brush machine I'd buy a bigger stihl with a solid shaft and clutch and more power. For weekly maintenance we'll use these 100's untill they quit but won't replace them.

CustomKare
08-02-2008, 07:30 PM
I knew this would be a good post because of the Stihl die hards or in some cases blow hards out their.

You all had some good points, especially the negative comments, thinking I would accept a piece without a demo. The demo was done at the dealer but was not impressed but wanted to give the benefit of the doubt. Used it on day 2.......result stihl ......still is a POS......atleast this one.

Thank you all that responded.....that's why I love this sight. You will always get dedicated people pationate about the industry.

jkilov
08-02-2008, 08:24 PM
All these threads about people switching handheld brands are getting boring to read.

I bought a FS80 yesteday.......what a POS. It's loud ...and sounds like it's 5 years old already.
That's the trademark sound of a stihl 2-stroke. Like it or leave it.

Gas consumption is way more on the Stihl. I tried it out in my yard last night and uses 1/2 tank of gas where I could do many yards with my Echo.
Another stihl trademark. But I would'nt judge consumption from a single yard test.

Also, this I understand is a preference thing but the bump and go is not for me. I like the quick change head for a couple of reasons. You can get a manual stihl head if you want. I could debate on the manual head being faster to load statement but won't.

I bought a Stihl FS85R a few years ago, and the thing has been a piece of junk since day one. It vibrates like a jackhammer. Actually stihls are quite smooth. Make sure the problem is'nt an unbalanced head or a bent outer shaft if it ever fell off the trailer.

it's always been hard to start .
Yes my fs-85 has always been a bit cold natured. But the real problem is usually the carb. It's the Achilles heel of this engine (I never keep fuel in the tank when not in use - so that's not it).
it is heavy An FS85 heavy? Something is wrong. It's not heavy it may be unbalanced for you, adjust your handles.
it sounds like a bell ringing.... Yet another stihl trademark, a full metal clutch. They're a bit jerky and ring when engaging, but unlike the friction coated ones, full metal clutches last forever.
Every time I take my Stihl to the dealer in an attempt to make it run better or start easier they always say my problems are due to running it with too much line out. Put your guard back on before you overheat it or trash the gearcase. They're expensive.
I had my share of niggles with the stihl dealership.

We broke a drive shaft within two months on one of them but I believe we were using it too hard (a couple of every other week areas and one large embankment) without the guard on.
The RX has a hallow shaft not meant for heavy loads or attachments. Put the guard back on.
The heads on those things are great for heavy stuff, though. Long grass and weeds for whatever reason hardly ever gets tangled up in the head. By comparison our husqvarna and redmax trimmers, while better for basic trimming, will get the long, stringy stuff wrapped around the head every once in a while.
Correct, the broadened gearcase helps prevent tangle ups. I wish other manufacturers would just copy this.

If you ask me it's a decent trimmer, does'nt excel in anything but a nice package. Except for the carb, mine had a Walbro WT-38b (more intended for chainsaws, maybe that's the problem, had to fix it twice), some have Zama carbs now, I don't know how they cope.

Sorry for being a smart*** :laugh:, but reading all this was getting boring so I had to wrap it up.

I love Saturdays, can't wait till evening, party time !:) Cheers mates. :waving::drinkup::drinkup:

johnnybravo8802
08-02-2008, 10:12 PM
Am I the only one who thinks Stihl is a POS?=YES........!!!!!!!!Look at the statistics and you'll have your answer.

scottfarmn
08-02-2008, 10:51 PM
(Pationate). You have to be a high school graduate to use a stihl.

topsites
08-02-2008, 10:59 PM
Went by the Stihl name, Echo was good to me but wanted to get a "top of the line" piece of equipment.

Uhhh....

Echo is a top of the line piece of equipment.

The rest of your post is just as contradictory,
I could tear into it but it would just end up as a wall of quote-reply text
thou it is tempting.
But if you don't like it then take it back already and get an Echo, geez.

I'll live and learn.

Wow...

laxative
08-02-2008, 11:50 PM
They're all the freakin' same.

GravelyNut
08-03-2008, 01:42 AM
Stihl test runs their equipment at the factory. Before we turn one over to a customer, we test run them. If they aren't running smooth , they don't leave. Only equipment that doesn't get test run is equipment going for export. There are an occasional unit that doesn't run right and it gets a through going over. No maker can make every unit perfect. Used to be that Auto Union ( now known as Audi ) would test every engine built at the factory. Best engines on the dyno would be pulled for the racing teams. Next best went to the top of the line cars. The rest went to normal production runs. That could mean up to a 5 MPG difference in the same size engine in 2 different models weighing the same amount.

mag360
08-03-2008, 02:34 AM
The RX has a hallow shaft not meant for heavy loads or attachments. Put the guard back on.

Correct, the broadened gearcase helps prevent tangle ups. I wish other manufacturers would just copy this.

:

That's correct. The guards will stay off to maintain productivity, though.

topsites
08-03-2008, 03:46 AM
I just can't help it :p

Gas consumptin is way more on the Stihl. I tried it out in my yard last night and uses 1/2 tank of gas where I could do many yards with my Echo.

Whoa, since when do we measure fuel by the tanks on two different machines?
Around here I measure it either by the gallon, or by the ounce, sometimes by the pint and the quart...
Now aren't those the measures we should be using, seeing how fuel is a liquid?

That the small fuel tanks on some Stihl trimmers is frustrating, yes.
But you got a small model...
Isn't the 80 ...

Hey wait a minute, is that a homeowner's model?
Maybe not, either way the smallest I would ever buy is the 85.
Because the FS-85 has a fuel tank the same size as the Echo and it too lasts ALL day on one tank.
Although the FS-100rx has a smallish tank too, but it doesn't consume more fuel, it just holds less.
Which I find strange, yes it runs out sooner than the bigger tank units but it still uses less quantity.

I say next time you want to use a tool commercially either get the commercial
version or don't complain about the smaller model "issues."

Richard Martin
08-03-2008, 07:38 AM
I just can't help it :p



That the small fuel tanks on some Stihl trimmers is frustrating, yes.
But you got a small model...
Isn't the 80 ...

Hey wait a minute, is that a homeowner's model?
Maybe not, either way the smallest I would ever buy is the 85.

The 80 and 85 are the same exact trimmer except for the shaft. The 80 has a flexible shaft and the 85 had a solid shaft. I say had because the 85 is no longer available and hasn't been since 2005.

See http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=97204

heather lawn sp
08-03-2008, 08:17 AM
(Pationate). You have to be a high school graduate to use a stihl.

THANK-YOU!!

Mike Royce
08-03-2008, 08:55 AM
On the Stihl fs-90 trimmer I have: Its been in the shop three times within the 1.5 years I have had it. Has gone through 3 carbs. so far. Does not always start easy. I might double think about another brand next time. But usually I like it when its running.

sawman65
08-03-2008, 09:03 AM
hhhmmmmm. boy gets on here bashing stihl, gives kudos to his honda. has any of ya'll heard this before?????

johnnybravo8802
08-03-2008, 09:21 AM
(Pationate). You have to be a high school graduate to use a stihl.

I just got that!!!!!!I had to read back through the threads to figure out what "Pationate" was. I thought it was some new European brand power equipment.:laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh:I was thinking that Stihl had better watch out!!!:laugh:I don't think the original person who posted has gotten it either yet.

Icepuck72
08-03-2008, 12:32 PM
These threads are useless.

S man
08-03-2008, 12:43 PM
I liked my stihl fs80rs that I made into 85s but after a year they start running rough and seem to have clutch problems. I sold my older one that was having problems and the dealer wouldn't fix it. I still have th newer one that runs alright but I like the redmax better. My dad works with me most of the time and likes the stihl. So I can't get rid of it yet.

Just Mow
08-03-2008, 01:23 PM
He sure sounds a lot like Yungman

Lazer_Z
08-03-2008, 02:50 PM
hhhmmmmm. boy gets on here bashing stihl, gives kudos to his honda. has any of ya'll heard this before?????

He sure sounds a lot like Yungman All I'll say to this is YEP! Have a good one :waving: .

johnnybravo8802
08-03-2008, 02:59 PM
The jokes on you!!!! This is Yungman's son.:sleeping::sleeping:

wimpy
08-03-2008, 05:13 PM
I think the problem is a lot of Stihl dealers and non Stihl dealers don't even know how to work on the 4-mix equipment. That's probably why you get a lot of people on here saying their dealers themselves bash the stuff. Because if they knew how to repair them and prevent them from going south, they would know how great the 4-mix is. In my honest opinion I feel they are the best out there. Class for class in comparison to all other major brands, the performance of the 4-mix cannot be denied. They offer more torque, fuel efficiency, quieter sounds, and equally as important they don't expel a lot of emissions like the 2-strokes. I personally don't care about emissions but a lot of my clients do. It stands out that a professional is using equipment that is clean for the enviornment. Professional image = More money.

Most people in this industry both dealers and LCO's's are ignorant as to how certain machines work and what procedures are necessary to get them functioning properly. And when you get ignorant people spouting off because of frustrations of not being able to fix something or maintain it, they'll just go off on the brand and recommend something else. And that's how negative rumors are spread and no actual knowledge on how to use the equipment properly is taught.

It all comes down to knowledge. When there's new technology and people don't have the patience or the fortitude to learn the new technology, how it works, and what methods are necessary to keep them running and performing at it's best, people will denounce it. I believe that is the number one reason why there are bad posts being made about 4-mix. I own three pieces of 4-mix equipment. Br 600, Fs 100 rx, and Km 130. I run 89 or 93 Shell or Chevron gas with Stihl Hp Ultra at 50:1. When I bought all these tools, my dealer informed me on all the things I needed to do to ensure optimum performance and longevity of the machine's life. I trusted their advice and I'm being rewarded for it now. The only maintenance I do is clean the air filter and clean the dirt or any other debris. That's it! Maybe after a year I'll change a spark plug. I run these things at least 5 days a week. Another thing, I wasn't a big believer in the Hp Ultra oil but I bought it because my dealer basically shoved it down my throat if I wanted to buy any 4-mix. They told me to use it on all my equipment even my saws. I believed them but was still a little skeptical. I've been using that oil propbably for about a little over 2 years now and let me say, forget about it! It's ALL I use now.

ilovegrass
08-03-2008, 05:36 PM
i have a fs55r and it is a pos to. i had it for a week the handle fell off .three weeks later the coil went out on it.And after all that its still hard to get running. The head on it sucks! Shindawa is the best i have three and never had any problems.i thought i would like it but didnt....

Phil G
08-03-2008, 05:39 PM
Sometimes it's the manufacturers themselves that cause the issues. I remember four or five years ago I bought 4 BG85 blowers for a contractor. Within a week they were coming back; not running right, carb problems. I lost count the number of times the machines had the carbs stripped and cleaned and reset. Even after a few calls to the factory I was assured it was the machine operator that was doing things wrong. I've know this contractor for over 30yrs and he's ok with his equipment. I ended up relacing three carbs and the problem went away. This was in the spring time, in September of that year at a trade show I asked Stihl about this and they finally admitted they had a batch of faulty carbs earlier that year, made abroad somewhere. Despite this issue he (the contractor) an I think Stihl are the best:weightlifter:


atb Phil

ChadA
08-03-2008, 06:43 PM
I would have to agrre based on my personal experiences. I have two echo srm 210's. One i've had since 04 when I started the business. One since 06. Both in top notch shape. In 04 I also bought a stihl fc75 used for $70 bucks. Worked good but it was loud , vibrated like crazy and the screw that held the head in place broke four times. But for 70 clams I was overall happy with the machine. In may of last year I decided it was time for a new one. I have only used stihl edgers before and my echo dealer here is a real jerk off. Plus the dealer where I bought my JD 7 iron carries only stihl and they always taken great care of me. So I upgraded to the FC 100 and it isn't the worst edger I ever used but from day one It has been hard to start. It will definitely give your shoulder a workout. It also will leave your hand tingling after more than 10 minutes of continuous use. I took it back several times and minor adjustments were made to help with the problem but they never did go away fully. Well last week after 14 moths of operation the POS started giving me some major concerns. When I would start it and give it gas it would rev up to full speed and with the throttle still wide open it would just start putting out on me. Like it was in half choke or something. I dropped it off at the dealer and will know Monday what the issue is, hopefully.
With that being said I will stick with echo until further notice.

On a side note I bought a stihl chainsaw for $350 3 weeks ago and the starter rope broke on the first day. Maybe five pulls total before snap.

Charles
08-03-2008, 07:23 PM
Just too much trolling going on in this thread. So time to move on