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View Full Version : opinions on Stihl FS 130


cmills
09-14-2009, 11:27 AM
I've been looking at getting a new trimmer and am leaning towards a Stihl FS 130, I currently have an Echo SRM 3100 which has been a good trimmer, but I would just like to try something different. I've had great luck with Stihl chainsaws but I have never had one of their trimmers. Does anyone have any experience with the FS 130, and if so what are your opinions of it?

thanks,
Cory

bonddude
09-14-2009, 04:51 PM
I have the kombi 110 and i love it. It is heavy so if you are only using for trimming id say get the fs100rx as its only 10lbs, vs my 14 or 15.

hate2work
09-14-2009, 05:35 PM
Cory, the FS 130 is actually a brushcutter. The trimmer model is FS 130R, I'm guessing that's what you mean.

The only thing I ever hear negative about the 130R used as a trimmer is that it's a bit heavy and it actually has too much power for any kind of finesse work. Like bonddude said, the FX100R would be a better choice for just trimming.

But the 130R excels at everything else, so many people still buy it and use it for everything, including trim work.

cmills
09-14-2009, 06:04 PM
Sorry, the FS 130R is what I meant. I don't really mind dealing with the extra weight in order to have a little more power because I do use it at our farm where the grass and weeds get very thick around our fence and other areas that seldom get trimmed.

I am also just curious as to how durable/reliable the Stihl trimmers (commercial) are compared to the other brands, especially since all I've had has been Echo.

thanks,
Cory

jkilov
09-14-2009, 06:16 PM
The 130 is just a bored-out 110 and probably does'nt last that long. I recall someone complaining about trashing them within two seasons. The 110 should have more than enough power, if not step up to FS 250.

cmills
09-14-2009, 08:19 PM
How often does Stihl redesign models, I was just looking at some other sites and it seems that the FS 250R has been around 7 or 8 yrs. I was just wondering because if they are due to bring out some new models I would probably wait to see what is new.

johnnybravo8802
09-14-2009, 09:18 PM
I was really impressed witht the FS130R as far as the power. I didn't find it that heavy compared to my FS250R. I could easily recommend it for general trimming. However, I have had all of my 4Mix in the shop in less than a year. I love the 4 Mix but they are prone to give problems. I have 2 cycle machines 12 yrs. old that have never seen a wrench.

tacoma200
09-14-2009, 09:27 PM
Get a 250 while you can. I have a 110 4 mix but we all fight over the 250. Yes it's a bit heavier but I still love that 2 stroke power house. It powers through some tough stuff. The 4 mixes I've run are OK but they seem to strain more while the easy reeving 250 just seems to slice through things much better. Just an opinion, probably not shared by most.

TropicGreenery2
09-14-2009, 09:41 PM
I have one of each and agree with the fact that the echo is better for fine trimming and the stihl is for more bulkier stuff and does way a little more but I would recommend the stihl its great for thicker shrubs.

Two Seasons
09-14-2009, 10:13 PM
We've got the FS110R and use it for trimming and edging.

4mix power with 0 problems and lots of hours on it.

redmax fan
09-14-2009, 11:02 PM
I've been looking at getting a new trimmer and am leaning towards a Stihl FS 130, I currently have an Echo SRM 3100 which has been a good trimmer, but I would just like to try something different. I've had great luck with Stihl chainsaws but I have never had one of their trimmers. Does anyone have any experience with the FS 130, and if so what are your opinions of it?

thanks,
Cory

ive always ran redmax , before that john deere

but ive read a ton on the stihl 130 / 250 , and the 2 cycle in the 250 style , and the new 4 mix type the 130 is . and ive looked at both at dealers tens of times

and my decision came down to seeing too many guys have problems with the new 4 mix , while hearing many guys rave about the fs250r two cycle theyve used for years as a great peice of equipment . ide have bought my 250 already but waiting for winter sales as i dont need it yet . go check out a 250 at dealer and see how rock solid every part of it is , and it really isnt that heavy feeling . very well balanced

tacoma200
09-14-2009, 11:09 PM
I'd give $50 just to have the old two stroke gas cap on my 110 4 mix.

The new Stihl fuel cap is...... well I can't describe it . I'll just say they breathed a lot of gas fumes while designing it.

hate2work
09-15-2009, 12:34 AM
ive always ran redmax , before that john deere

but ive read a ton on the stihl 130 / 250 , and the 2 cycle in the 250 style , and the new 4 mix type the 130 is . and ive looked at both at dealers tens of times

and my decision came down to seeing too many guys have problems with the new 4 mix , while hearing many guys rave about the fs250r two cycle theyve used for years as a great peice of equipment . ide have bought my 250 already but waiting for winter sales as i dont need it yet . go check out a 250 at dealer and see how rock solid every part of it is , and it really isnt that heavy feeling . very well balanced

99% of all 4-mix trouble was caused by petroleum based oils causing carbon deposits on the exhaust valve. As soon as the switch was made to full syn oil, they haven't needed much more than standard tune-up stuff. I'd rather run a 130 for trimming anyday over the 250. They have much less vibration, less noise, less fumes to breathe, are much better for fuel economy, they are lighter, they have a decompression stroke for easier pulling/starting...I could go on but you get the point.

I agree that the fuel caps are not the best design, but as long as you're careful closing it they work OK. I'd like to see them go back to the standard screw on caps, but I doubt very much that will happen. We've had customers buy the BR 380/420 over the BR 550/600 just because the former uses the old style caps.

tacoma200
09-15-2009, 12:56 AM
99%

I agree that the fuel caps are not the best design, but as long as you're careful closing it they work OK. I'd like to see them go back to the standard screw on caps, but I doubt very much that will happen. We've had customers buy the BR 380/420 over the BR 550/600 just because the former uses the old style caps.

Yea, what were they thinking???? I try very hard to put the cap on correctly but still ended up messing up and loosing 1/3 tank of fuel the other day. You just have to be so careful to do it right. It's not intuitive. If you start twisting it slightly off the mark it will not seal. Why the change?

B Gillespie
09-15-2009, 01:40 AM
I wouldn't hesitate to purchase an FS130R...if that is what you are asking. I would, however, recommend demoing an FS250R as well. I have an FS100RX and an FS250R, and while the light weight of the former is nice, the reliability, power, and mass of the 250 is unmatched. Those attributes obviously equate to a generous weight penalty. I am not commercial, so I am unsure about using either all day, but if I only had one trimmer, it would be the 250. I believe in having more power than needed to keep from over taxing equipment.
Posted via Mobile Device

hate2work
09-15-2009, 07:41 AM
Yea, what were they thinking???? I try very hard to put the cap on correctly but still ended up messing up and loosing 1/3 tank of fuel the other day. You just have to be so careful to do it right. It's not intuitive. If you start twisting it slightly off the mark it will not seal. Why the change?

I know, I use a 110R around my house and I did the exact same thing earlier this summer. Spilled gas all over my tailgate after gassing up.

The thing about any company and what they make is that they don't always hit a "home run", and that includes Stihl. I liken these caps to a "base on balls" ( otherwise known as a walk lol ), as they are definitely not a hit.

Why did they change the caps? It has to do with some engineer's idea to make it easier ( pretty ironic, no? ) to install and remove the oil and gas caps on their chain saws. Most of the previous generation of saws had a slot in the cap for loosening, into which you would use ( if you could find it ) the bar wrench to gain leverage to remove it if it was too tight. Enter the "tool-less oil and fuel caps", designed so a wrench wasn't needed for removal :confused:

cmills
09-15-2009, 09:57 AM
Tacoma200 said get FS 250 while I still can, does that mean Stihl is going to change everything over to the 4mix? And if anyone knows, how long before the FS 250 is due for a redesign, as I said before it seems as though it has been out for at least 7yrs. If it was due for a redesign and it was going to stay a 2 stroke maybe I would wait, but if it is going to change to a 4mix maybe I should do something sooner.

Thanks,
Cory

rlitman
09-15-2009, 10:18 AM
Yea, what were they thinking???? I try very hard to put the cap on correctly but still ended up messing up and loosing 1/3 tank of fuel the other day. You just have to be so careful to do it right. It's not intuitive. If you start twisting it slightly off the mark it will not seal. Why the change?

I don't mind losing 1/3 of a tank so much, except that when this happens in my BR500, I end up wearing the gas (and the placement of the cap on the backpack makes it even more difficult to shut correctly, if that's even possible).

RonAyersMotorsports
09-15-2009, 01:14 PM
FS 130R is 40% more powerfull than the FS110R. Great machines more than enough power. FS100RX however has great power weighs much less and better balanced over our competition. Great unit. As for the fuel caps if you notice when reinstalling fuel caps. There is a marked line on the tank and cap. Line these marks up, push and twist. Fuel cap will lock everytime. After showing this to several of my customers I made it part of the demonstration process to prevent agrivation and confusion. STIHL 4mix all the way great power and durability.

tacoma200
09-15-2009, 02:41 PM
I still like the free reeving of the two strokes. I line the new Stihl caps up and twist but every now and then they bind or something and I end up with gas going down my leg. Smells great when I'm in line for my happy meal at Micky D's. Nothing like good ole gas vapors in the truck the rest of the day either. Just a vent (unintentional pun), I like Stihl and will continue to use them. They screwed up the cap though. Bad thing is you don't realize is is slightly off until its running down your pant leg. I was going to go back to stihl for a backpack but this one little item makes me want to stay with Redmax.

johnnybravo8802
09-15-2009, 05:08 PM
Tacoma200 said get FS 250 while I still can, does that mean Stihl is going to change everything over to the 4mix? And if anyone knows, how long before the FS 250 is due for a redesign, as I said before it seems as though it has been out for at least 7yrs. If it was due for a redesign and it was going to stay a 2 stroke maybe I would wait, but if it is going to change to a 4mix maybe I should do something sooner.

Thanks,
Cory
I had a dealer tell me today that Stihl was going to discontinue the FS80R and everything will eventually be 4Mix. If I had to guess, I'd say the FS250R will be discontinued also. With the 130, I can't really see a need for the 250R. It'll probably start back at the 350R. Just my guess.

redmax fan
09-15-2009, 05:22 PM
cant remember exactly who here said it , but it was someone whose opinion i take completely seriously said next june / july they stop making the 250

hate2work
09-15-2009, 05:31 PM
I had a dealer tell me today that Stihl was going to discontinue the FS80R and everything will eventually be 4Mix. If I had to guess, I'd say the FS250R will be discontinued also. With the 130, I can't really see a need for the 250R. It'll probably start back at the 350R. Just my guess.

Stihl has already discontinued the FS80. Not sure what's going to happen with the 250. They never made a 350R, the 250R is the biggest loop trimmer.

moremow
09-15-2009, 08:00 PM
I purchased a stihl fs 130 back in NOvember 2008. I didnt crank it up till march. After a couple of weeks it didnt seem to want to idle. Then it started to miss badly and seemed to be running at only 70% or so power or less. I had it into the shop where I bought it 4 times. It would run for a while and then start repeating the same problem. Finally on the fifth time I took it in and the owner of the shop where I bought it was there. I let him know my feelings and disappointments with it. He gave me a new one off the rack and took the other one back. In about a month the 2nd one is now not idling properly. I am going to use it until the season is over & then take it back again. I am going to see if he will exchange it for an Echo. I am mixing the fuel and things properly but it is still having problems. I have an old fs80 which still runs great. At this point it is just not worth my time to trust Stihl at this point. Time is money to me. Glad I have the little fs80 as a back up. My advice is to get an Echo or something of equal power to the Stihl fs130. When the stihl was running good it was great and had tons of power. Getting it to run right is the problem though and I dont have the patience or the time to keep going back to the shop. Good luck with your search on trimmers.

johnnybravo8802
09-15-2009, 09:04 PM
Stihl has already discontinued the FS80. Not sure what's going to happen with the 250. They never made a 350R, the 250R is the biggest loop trimmer.
Stihl does make a 350R, 450R, and a 550R but they are clearing saws with bicycle handles-they remain 2 cycle. If they go entirely 4Mix, there may not be anything between the 130R 4Mix and the 350R 2 cycle.

tacoma200
09-15-2009, 09:18 PM
Stopped by the Stihl dealer today to look around. I tried on the big back pack blower and I have to say it was comfortable and light (I think it was theBR600?). Just playing around I twisted the cap off, remembered how to line it up and put it back on 4 times. For some reason the 5th time I couldn't get it back on, so the shop guy comes over and tries, he has problems getting it started. We concluded it would be nice if the marks were more pronounced so you could get this thing started on correctly. They even suggested using a magic marker to line it up. I'm not that dumb or uncoordinated but why should I have to learn to put a gas cap on? Anyway the light weight of the BR600 would still make it my pic for next backpack I think. But there are probably thousands of people that are having trouble with these caps, imagine the home owner that only puts fuel in a few times a year, or like some of us that can't see as well close up after 40 years of age but don't wear glasses. I can get the cap on but it would be one less thing to think about if they would just go back to the old standard. A larger more clearly defined place to line the cap up would be great though, every worker I've had has spilled fuel so far with the 4 mix cap.

johnnybravo8802
09-15-2009, 09:32 PM
Stopped by the Stihl dealer today to look around. I tried on the big back pack blower and I have to say it was comfortable and light (I think it was theBR600?). Just playing around I twisted the cap off, remembered how to line it up and put it back on 4 times. For some reason the 5th time I couldn't get it back on, so the shop guy comes over and tries, he has problems getting it started. We concluded it would be nice if the marks were more pronounced so you could get this thing started on correctly. They even suggested using a magic marker to line it up. I'm not that dumb or uncoordinated but why should I have to learn to put a gas cap on? Anyway the light weight of the BR600 would still make it my pic for next backpack I think. But there are probably thousands of people that are having trouble with these caps, imagine the home owner that only puts fuel in a few times a year, or like some of us that can't see as well close up after 40 years of age but don't wear glasses. I can get the cap on but it would be one less thing to think about if they would just go back to the old standard. A larger more clearly defined place to line the cap up would be great though, every worker I've had has spilled fuel so far with the 4 mix cap.
I called Stihl today and spoke to a rep. I unloaded about how all of my 4Mix products are less than a year old and have already been in the shop. He claimed that the Stihl guys are working like crazy to adapt the carbs to the fuel on the market. He stated that I could take my machines in and have the newer carbs installed under my warranty-that's what I plan to do. I've heard mixed reviews but he has verified using the synthetic oil also in the 4Mix. I mentioned the gas cap problem, Tacoma, and said that the German's must have been smoking crack when they designed them. He actually started laughing when I began my sentence about the caps-according to him, most people are complaining about them but the "Germans have no intentions of changing the design.":cry::cry::hammerhead::hammerhead:

STIHL GUY
09-15-2009, 09:47 PM
i used the 130 for a bit and was very impressed with the amount of power

tacoma200
09-15-2009, 09:49 PM
I mentioned the gas cap problem, Tacoma, and said that the German's must have been smoking crack when they designed them. He actually started laughing when I began my sentence about the caps-according to him, most people are complaining about them but the "Germans have no intentions of changing the design.":cry::cry::hammerhead::hammerhead:

I had always been a big fan of German engineering, isn't it like "form follows function"? Wheres the function at? Thanks for the warning about smoking crack.! If it f%^&s you up that bad I'll pass.

mictrik
09-15-2009, 09:55 PM
I have an FS90R and a MS360 pro chainsaw, both use the new caps and I have had no problems with them. Line them up, twist and it is very secure more secure than the "standard" caps and far more resistant to vibration. I use a high quality synthetic oil and have had no problems with the 4mix FS90R, runs and starts great.

johnnybravo8802
09-15-2009, 09:55 PM
I had always been a big fan of German engineering, isn't it like "form follows function"? Wheres the function at? Thanks for the warning about smoking crack.! If it f%^&s you up that bad I'll pass.
Yea, the design is there but the function is out the door. The caps are also a magnet for dirt-accumulates between the cap and tank. That's good for the carb!!!!!!:hammerhead::hammerhead:I mentioned that to the rep as well.

hate2work
09-15-2009, 10:39 PM
Stihl does make a 350R, 450R, and a 550R but they are clearing saws with bicycle handles-they remain 2 cycle. If they go entirely 4Mix, there may not be anything between the 130R 4Mix and the 350R 2 cycle.

Johnny, not to nit-pick or anything, just in the interest of keeping things clear, when there is an "R" behind the name of a Stihl, that means the machine has a loop handle. We call those trimmers. If there is no "R" behind the name, we call those brushcutters. Stihl does not make anything larger than the FS 250 with the "R" behind the name. They make the 350, 450 and 550, they are brushcutters, and they do not have the loop handle designation of the "R" behind the name. The very biggest brushcutters are sometimes called clearing saws.

Hope that clears it up :)

fastcat
09-15-2009, 10:42 PM
I love my fs 130
Posted via Mobile Device

cmills
09-21-2009, 09:59 PM
Well I finally bit the bullet, but I ended up getting the FS 250R instead.

thanks for all the replies

Merkava_4
02-20-2010, 07:12 AM
I called Stihl today and spoke to a rep. I unloaded about how all of my 4Mix products are less than a year old and have already been in the shop. He claimed that the Stihl guys are working like crazy to adapt the carbs to the fuel on the market. He stated that I could take my machines in and have the newer carbs installed under my warranty-that's what I plan to do. I've heard mixed reviews but he has verified using the synthetic oil also in the 4Mix. I mentioned the gas cap problem, Tacoma, and said that the German's must have been smoking crack when they designed them. He actually started laughing when I began my sentence about the caps-according to him, most people are complaining about them but the "Germans have no intentions of changing the design.":cry::cry::hammerhead::hammerhead:

Have you got the new designed carburetor on there yet? How's it running?

EcoGreen Services
02-20-2010, 08:34 AM
Stihl does make a 350R, 450R, and a 550R but they are clearing saws with bicycle handles-they remain 2 cycle. If they go entirely 4Mix, there may not be anything between the 130R 4Mix and the 350R 2 cycle.

For clearing abandoned lots and bush work the FS550K is a absolute beast, Really heavy but the harness works great. It will slice through a 4"-5" maple and Elm in a heartbeat. Moooo Powwwwer :)

99% of all 4-mix trouble was caused by petroleum based oils causing carbon deposits on the exhaust valve. As soon as the switch was made to full syn oil, they haven't needed much more than standard tune-up stuff. I'd rather run a 130 for trimming anyday over the 250. They have much less vibration, less noise, less fumes to breathe, are much better for fuel economy, they are lighter, they have a decompression stroke for easier pulling/starting...I could go on but you get the point.

I agree that the fuel caps are not the best design, but as long as you're careful closing it they work OK. I'd like to see them go back to the standard screw on caps, but I doubt very much that will happen. We've had customers buy the BR 380/420 over the BR 550/600 just because the former uses the old style caps.

I think that's a key point. Since going to the Sthil HP Ultra synthetic oil in ethanol free premium we haven't had any problems at all.

I agree the 130's are nice to use and have been problem free.

I also use a KM90R mostly with a pole pruner and straight edger and it's also been great. I like the Kombi concept because it cuts costs on tools you don't use that often like the brush (which works great for cleaning driveway gravel off lawns after plowing season) and the hedge trimmer as well as having less engines to maintain. I picked up a blower a little while ago, Works good on light snow, LOL

I've had good luck with Stihl. I even have a couple of my old "Consumer" KM55's and FS55's that are still running strong.

What was wrong with the old style cap that they needed to change them ?

Almost all my handhelds are Orange & White. Having a good dealer you do a lot of business with is key when you do have a problem. They're much more likely to drop everything to get you up and running again. Loyalty goes both ways.

johnnybravo8802
02-20-2010, 09:30 AM
Have you got the new designed carburetor on there yet? How's it running?
I haven't had the first problem since I changed carbs!!!:clapping::clapping:I also switched to the synthetic oil at the same time so I don't know what fixed what. I do know the synthetic is expensive but there really isn't a price you can put on a machine that's down. I use the cheaper oil for my 2 cycle products.

jkilov
03-05-2010, 03:50 PM
Well I finally bit the bullet, but I ended up getting the FS 250R instead.

Wow, 6 months to decide on a trimmer. Well, you did pick the best one around. Enjoy 1000+ trouble free hours with this machine.

redmax fan
03-05-2010, 06:02 PM
ive been looking at the 250 at my dealer for over a year wanting to buy it

but it'd be a luxury so i keep holding back

but its always in the back of my mind if i get a wind fall :)

EcoGreen Services
03-05-2010, 10:47 PM
Wow, 6 months to decide on a trimmer. Well, you did pick the best one around. Enjoy 1000+ trouble free hours with this machine.

LOL, I'm the other way. When I need a handheld I walk into my Sthil dealer (Who I've dealt with for over 20 years) And just say Matt, I need a trimmer/edger/whatever, What kinda deal have you got for me. Usually walk out a 1/2 hour later with it.
For me, A good dealer is key. My Dealer keeps loaner units for regular commercial customers. If I have a machine go down I take it in, Get a loaner, Get out in 5 minutes.

Merkava_4
03-05-2010, 11:01 PM
I haven't used one yet, but I've held the FS130R in my hands.
Very nice, has a real good solid feel to it.
I especially like the Santoprene throttle grip. :)

biggiej42
04-26-2010, 09:41 PM
O've got a fs130r that i've been using quite frequently lately. Just got it this month. it's phenominal! I've used smaller trimmers with good results, but none of them stack up to the versitality of this one. If you need finesse, it's there, if you need power, it's more than there.