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Stihl fs100rx review

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Grass Shark, Sep 25, 2010.

  1. Grass Shark

    Grass Shark LawnSite Senior Member
    from Zone 7
    Messages: 660

    Ok, we are about two months in using a Stihl FS100RX. I will be comparing this trimmer to redmax, shindiawa & echo.

    The good:
    The Stihl is well balanced and feels good in your hand. It has good high end power with little vibration. The trigger lock is great because its made for starting the machine but it holds the throttle at 50% unlike most models that the trigger lock holds at like 90% So you can walk around trimming a house with the trigger lock on. SEEMS LIKE A WELL CONSTUCTED MACHINE THAT WILL GIVE YEARS OF SERVICE.

    The bad:
    Bogs on hard throttle, does not rev up as quick as the redmax or shindy. The engineer team should be shot. You can not use this to edge, it will melt the skin off your shoulder (bad muffler design). This is the HARDEST head I have ever had to load string into, come on really its 2010.

    The verdict:
    Well constructed, built to last. Powerful. Good for ONLY trimming, NO edging. NOT user friendly. Would not buy buy it again if I could go back. POOR engineering. :dizzy:
  2. gebby

    gebby LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 712

    Can't wait to hear about the others. Including me because all I have is Stihl hand helds I love them. They really got to mess up bad to get me to even consider switching. They will have to pry my cold dead hands from around them. But, I do agreee with some of what you said.
  3. SouthSide Cutter

    SouthSide Cutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,331

    Dont know how you hold yours but I edge all the time with mine and havent had any problems.
  4. knox gsl

    knox gsl LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,166

    I use my FS130 to edge all the time with no problem, but I can understand when comparing Stihl line heads to other brands they are a little cumbersome.
  5. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,467

    I'll bet that this unit was intended for both trimming and edging. But according to Shindawa techs it cuts out due to a gas starvation problem in some angles. Nevertheles is can be used. And doesn't all 4-mix units have speed limiters on them to cut engine revs if the string gets too short or clutches wear out? And you didn't mention the gas cap? And don't they have this warm up period on every start?
  6. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,782

    I've only been running mine about two weeks. I've used Echo 265T's for the past couple of years, 261T's before that.

    I purchased mine primarily for the reduced weight. I'm 59 and am starting to get a little arthritis, etc, and the two poiunds or so is a significant difference, particularly when trimming large properties.

    Okay, so I like the weight. Balance seems OK as well, but it did take a day or two to get used to the FS100RX after using the heavier Echo's for years. I think I notice the vibration a tad more than with the Echo's. This is possibly due to the weight difference, less mass to move around.

    The head guard is a bit overdone. It is probably 6 inches wider than the one on the Echo's, and there are times when that gets in the way a bit getting into tight places. I considered cutting part of it off, but realized the cutter is almost to the tip, so there goes that idea. Also, it is mounted differently to the shaft, leaving a little space, so it is possible to get something like a limb hung there. Happened a few times, until I started watching more closely.

    I agree the head is slow to wind. I bought a couple of extra spools, and will just pre-load them. I do the same thing with the Echo's. One thing I don't particularly like is the fact the string only releases a very small amount at a time, in comparison to the Echo head. However, it is much more frugal with line because of that feature. With the Echo, I waste a lot of line, tapping when it is just a bit worn, and cutting off an inch or so. The Stihl requires muliple taps when the line is getting short before it hits the cutter.

    Also, the head is significantly harder to bump than the Echo. I'm not sure if this is because of the overall lighter weight, causing it to hit the ground with less force, or a longer stroke required to release the spool, or a combination of both, but it took me several days to get used to hitting it hard enough to release more line. I try to do so on harder surfaces anyway, but this is almost a must on the Stihl.

    I don't have any particular problem with edging. I think the heavier Echo's are a bit easier to keep from wandering. Also, I've had my FS100RX try to die on me a couple of times when it gets low on fuel if the engine is at an extreme angle, like when you are edging.

    Starting. Well, one reason I purchased this trimmer was to get something a little easier starting. The Echo's are very cold natured. Shut them off for 10 minutes, and you usually have to choke to start. My BR600 is the easiest starting piece of equipment I own. Half choke it, one quick pull, and it starts first time probably 95% of the time. Virtually always starts the second pull, if it doesn't start the first.

    My FS100RX? Well, SOMETIMES, it starts just like that. Sometimes it doesn't. When it starts with the first pull, probably 60% of the time, it is great. When it doesn't, it sometimes requires as many as 10 pulls. It seems to me that it floods if it doesn't start with one or two pulls, even with the choke open. I thought I had found the secret by giving the unit a very quick pull, which makes it start more constently, but still doesn't cut the mustard every time.

    One good thing, however, as soon as it starts, it is ready to go. No feathering the throttle waiting for it to warm up like with the 2-cycles.

    I also like the sound of the engine. A little less annoying, to me, than the 2 strokes. Kind of like listening to a Harley instead of a dirt bike.

    The unit balances quire diffently when transporting with one hand. The Echo's pretty much balance upright, the Stihl is much heavier on one side (muffler side, I think) which causises it to twist in your hand. The balance point, lenghtrwise is right where the plastic sleeve is wrapped around the shaft between the engine and operating handle. It spins on the shaft, so if you grab the unit by that, it will immediately tilt to one side. Not a big issue, but slightly annoying.

    Power seems to be up there with the Echo's. I don't notice any appreciable lag in engine response, either. As for durability, time will tell, but trimmers tend to last a long time in relation to their cost, so I don't anticipate that being a problem.

    Would I buy another FS100RX? Right now, I'd have to say yes. The weight being the primary reason. My back seems to ache just a little less at the end of the day. :)
  7. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    Most 2 strokes wind out or are rev limited to around 10,000 RPM. The non backpack Stihl 4 Mix engines go well beyond 10,000 RPM before the rev limiter kicks in. I've found that the 4 Mix engine on my edger is usually ready to work as soon as I start it. I'll usually give it about a 30 second to 1 minute warm up period at the first job of the day but after that it's ready to wrok as soon as it starts.
  8. Grass Shark

    Grass Shark LawnSite Senior Member
    from Zone 7
    Messages: 660

    This is how I and everyone I have ever met hold the trimmer when edging, with the power head resting on the top of my arm. With redmax and shindys I have edged with no sleeves and it never bothered me. This unit burns your arm through the shirt. Do you hold yours like this?


  9. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    I flip my hand around so my trigger finger is on the throttle. I've never seen it done that way.
  10. knox gsl

    knox gsl LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,166

    I've never done it like that either.

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