FS 38

Distributor Suggested Retail Price DSRP:   $129.95


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A lightweight, value-priced consumer trimmer with many quality design features.

The STIHL FS 38 Grass Trimmer is ideal for homeowners looking for a great value. High cutting speeds and a 15" cutting width trim time off landscaping chores by providing excellent cutting performance. Its lightweight design - just 9.3 pounds! - along with an ergonomic loop handle, curved shaft and low vibration provide operator comfort as well as exceptional handling and maneuverability around la...Read More
Print Spec Sheets
FS 38 Specifications
DISPLACEMENT 27.2 cc (1.66 cu. in.)
ENGINE POWER 0.65 kW (0.87 bhp)
WEIGHT* 4.2 kg (9.3 lbs.)
FUEL CAPACITY 330 cc (11.2 oz.)
* Weight without cutting attachment or deflector.
Model Features
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    Adjustable front handle
    The front handle is easily adjustable (360-degree rotation) for comfort.
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    Fully Lined Drive Shaft
    Provides smooth operation and less vibration.
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    High Tech Polymer Housing
    Housings are lightweight, withstand greater impact and are corrosion-resistant.
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    Start/Run/Stop Controls on Handle
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    Protected Choke Lever/Knob
    Helps prevent damage.
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    Throttle Trigger Interlock
    Must be depressed before the trigger can be activated.
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    Air Filter Cover
    Easily removed for fast and easy filter cleaning or replacement.
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    Protected or Enclosed Control Cables
    Eliminate dangling and loose wires.
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    Heavy-Duty Steel-On-Steel Clutch
    Centrifugal clutch is designed to reduce slippage.
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    Protected Spark Plug
    Protected yet easy to change.
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    Protected Spark Arrestor Muffler
    Has large baffles which reduce noise level and contains a screen designed to reduce the emission of sparks.
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    Upright Translucent Fuel Tank
    Allows operator to easily check fuel level before starting work. Upright position makes it easier to refill.
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    Purge Pump Primer
    By pressing the bulb, this small fuel pump delivers fuel to the carburetor, reducing the number of starting pulls needed after an extended break between uses.
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    Cutting Heads & Blades Selection Chart
    Need help selecting a cutting head or blade for your STIHL trimmer or brushcutter?

    Click here to view the Cutting Heads & Blades Selection Chart (PDF Format).
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    Multi-Function Control Handle
    Having easy access to all of the controls on one comfortable handle makes it easy to complete tasks so the operator’s hand never has to leave the handle.

Important Information
WARNING! Improper use of any power tool may cause serious or fatal injury. Read, understand and follow carefully the operating and safety instructions in your instruction manual before using such products.

STIHL products sold through U.S. STIHL Dealers are for distribution in the United States only.
Click to view the STIHL Limited Warranty Time Periods
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    STIHL Gridiron Protective Glasses – experience heavy-duty protection combined with flexible, lightweight comfort. A hard-coated lens resists scratching and rubber nose pads protect from slippage when sweating. Filter 99% of harmful UV rays.

Are you ready for a STIHL?

Rated 3.3 out of 5 by 209reviewers.
Rated 1 out of 5 by STRING HEAD JAMMING TO THE MAX!! Why can't manufacturers design and build a string head where the string doesn't become jammed upon itself on the spool and must be taken apart every 4 minutes and untangled so the string will advance. All trimmers are bad at this but this model seems worst than most. October 9, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by I'll never regret buying this product....yes, It was more expensive but the quality is there!!! This is a great product! I wouldn't trade it for the ones I've had in the past...at all. Yes, I paid more money for it but the quality is there. Its easy to start, purrs like a cat, and gets all my jobs done. Two year warranty and I bought oil that's used for it and got another 2 years. Not bad STIHL..... I'm so impressed I'm going back for more products! Thank you!Libby September 27, 2016
Rated 2 out of 5 by Should have listen to reviews here I purchased the FS 38 based on good reviews in consumer reports. They typically are on the mark but not in this case. I purchased this trimmer after my 20 year old ______ finally gave up (can't reference competitor). Should have bought another ______ product. I have had the FS 38 for a month, used it twice and I am unhappy. The unit and motor itself are fine. Starts with a couple pulls if choked and primed properly. I saw a lot of people complained about this. The engine isn't my issue. The design of the trimmer head is horrible. It holds 12 feet of line. My ________ head held probably 30ft or more. I trim about a hour, half around chain link and half around pavers. I used to need to add line every 2 cuts (2 hours) now I am doing it 3 times in an hour. Because the unit is light the chain link tends to grab and it tends to weld the line in the head, same line I was using in my old trimmer without a problem. So you have to stop, take apart the assemble free it and start again. I did this 5 times tonight, and added line a total of 3 times. So what used to be a 1 hour job turned into a 1 hour 40 minute job to take care of trimmer line issues. You spend more time fixing it than trimming. It might be a good unit with a different trimmer head but the one with the unit is terrible. I which I could return the unit and get my money back and see if I could get a new _____ unit that had the same head design as my old one. In all honesty the _______ unit I owned would on occasion have the same line welding problem but it was maybe once every other trim not half a dozen times in one hour. I know they do review these reviews so maybe they can send me a different type of head that is designed differently at which time I would be happy to post a positive review if it deserved it. September 26, 2016
Rated 3 out of 5 by Lightweight at a decent price. Hard to start and not enough power. Bought the fs 38 and have used it several times now. So far it isn't the easiest weed trimmer to start and it does not have enough power for my liking. I used to fs 45 before the fs 38 and would recommend spending the extra money for more power and easier to start. I have a small yard so the fs 38 will work but have already spent the money and will have to keep it. Go bigger its worth the money. September 25, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by Great Trimmer! I never write reviews but decided to now. I bought the FS38 a few years ago after getting fed up with big box store weedeaters. Yes it cost a little more than a different brand but when you factor in your time and not getting to mow the grass on the day you planned to it is worth it. I have had absolutely no issues with this trimmer. It starts reliably and has plenty of power. It idles amazing, the idle is so low I keep thinking it is going to die but it doesn't. Even when you quickly let off the throttle it will keep running. You can set it down and let it idle for a long time and it just sits there purring on the ground. I do wish it had thicker line, I may be able to find some better line or drill the holes out a little larger if I need to. It is way more reliable than my lawnmower or blower which were other brands and are now sold. Based on my experience with this, and my Stihl chainsaw, and having a dealer that can work on them I am sold on Stihl. It makes me want to start my own lawn mowing company. I'm now looking to either buy a blower or replace this with the Kombi system and several attachments. I wish Stihl made a gas lawn mower. Another bonus is, I work for an American manufacturer and although it is not an American owned company they are made here in America which goes a long way with me. I was slightly considering another brand and when I found out where they were made that made my choice easy. September 16, 2016
Rated 3 out of 5 by It looks good but hard to start. It wore me out starting the machine, but once it warmed up, it ran alright. Kept bogging down and had to keep throttling it to keep it from going dead and still had the gas in it from the dealer. the second day, it was really hard to start and by the time I got it going, I was wore out to even use it. I felt like taking it back and get me a battery operated one. I'm in my 60's and can't take this to much. lol. September 15, 2016
Rated 3 out of 5 by Good if you have a small yard Bought this product to trim around a 40x50 concrete slab and a few trees. Works good for this application. Grass being trimmed is not long or thick so power is adequate. Don't think it would perform well in thick stuff though. Stihl brand string that came with it is not very durable. There are aftermarket strings that are better. My main issue with this trimmer is that it is extremely hard to start, compared to other products higher up in the Stihl family. It's basically a hit-or-miss affair to get it started and then keep it running. Service man says they all do that. I own 2 Stihl chain saws, a motorized blower, and a top line trimmer. All of those products start and run reliably and effortlessly. I know Stihl is trying to compete on the low-end trimmer market but I feel they compromised too much of their legendary quality and reliability with this product. September 13, 2016
Rated 4 out of 5 by I like everything except it is a bit difficult to start. I like all the qualities of the FS 38 trimmer except it is difficult to get it started. It always takes at least 10 pulls of the starter line to get it to fire. I have read the manual on how to use the fuel pump bulb in conjunction with the choke lever but it seems like it isn't getting enough fuel during this process. Once it gets started though, it is a fine tool. Has plenty of power for my residential yard needs. I like the way the head stops spinning at idle speed. There is just one other minor consideration - the exhaust does seem to heat up the trimmer body very close to where your right arm rests (if you are a right-hander) and can get a little too hot after a longer use. September 11, 2016
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