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FS-80 vs. 85

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by germann, Jul 23, 2002.

  1. germann

    germann LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 268

    Why buy a Stihl fs-85 when you can get an fs-80 that is cheaper, weighs less, and still has a lifetime driveshaft warranty? I have an fc-85 so I can change attachments, but for trimming only, I see no point.-What am I missing?
  2. robert payer

    robert payer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 282

    I think that the only draw back is that the gas tank might be alot smaller. If you are using these commercially, this could be a real slow down.
  3. ScotLawn

    ScotLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 309

    the fs-80 has a flexable internal shaft where as the 85 has a solid shaft. yes they both have lifetime warr on shaft and clutches but you WILL notice a differance in the solid vers the flex when you get the head wound up in some tall thick grass or heavy edging. the flex shaft will give some where as the solid will not alow that give and use the engines torque more effectively. both trimmers have the same motor and the same fuel capac. if you wanted to change out heads and use a brush blade or something like a cultivator or saw head you would want the solid shaft.

    In my opionion spend the few extra bucks and get the solid shaft 85

  4. heygrassman

    heygrassman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 509

    Just bought a FS-85 and it is a great piece of equipment, but is a bear to start out of the gate.

    I may be mistaken but I believe the clutch on the FS-80 is not guaranteed for life, I know that the 85 is. Also the 80 is only .02 lbs lighter..

    FS 85R - Loop Handle
    Displacement 1.55 cu. in.
    (25.4 cc)
    Engine Power 1.27 bhp
    (0.95 kW)
    Weight 11.0 lbs.
    (5.0 kg)
    Fuel Capacity .96 pts.
    (.45 l)

    FS 80R - Loop Handle
    Displacement 1.55 cu. in.
    (25.4 cc)
    Engine Power 1.27 bhp
    (0.95 kW)
    Weight w/o
    attachment 10.8 lbs.
    (4.9 kg)
    Fuel Capacity .96 pts.
    (.45 l)

    Here is the link: http://www.stihlusa.com/trimmers/FS-85.html
  5. Jimbo

    Jimbo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,093


    Everything Scot said is correct. However, I have both and I don't notice any difference in the two. I feel like you about the shaft (lifetime warranty).
    They say not to run the metal grass blades on the flex shaft model, but I have for years without any trouble. In fact if the blade does hit something hard the flex shaft absorbs the shock.

  6. Pelican

    Pelican LawnSite Member
    Messages: 164

    I own both, they are identical save for the shaft type. I tried to use a brush cutting head on the 80, but it would wind up the driveshaft and stop and then spin wildly when it broke free. It was hard to control precisely and I believe it would eventually break if used that way much. I think if you tried to use the hedge head with the 80, it wouldn't cut nearly as well as the 85. The 80 is great at string trimming though.
  7. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    I had both. I sold the FS 80. I could tell a difference. The 80 felt like I has something springy in my hands. Maybe its because I've been using the 85 for many many hours. I didn't like it so after selling the 80 I got another 85. Very firm feel.

    They are the same trimmers except for the shaft.
  8. GLS

    GLS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,185

    There should only be about a $10 price difference between the two. Just go for the 85...You won't be disappointed:)
  9. rkbrown

    rkbrown LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 533

    Price difference here is $30. I went with the 80. I will get an FC-85 edger and use it for the hedgetrimmer attachment.

    On edit: I might have sprung for the extra $30 had this been a planned purchase. It was not, however, and I was already spending close to $400 that day for my planned purchase of a backpack blower.

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