STIHL FSA 130 R Battery String Trimmer Review. String for STIHL trimmer
STIHL FSA 130 R Battery String Trimmer Review
We recently had the chance to work with a variety of both Pro- and homeowner-grade string trimmers for our best battery-powered weedeater article. One of the standout Pro models, the STIHL FSA 130 R battery string trimmer, impressed us with its thoughtful design and quiet operation.
- Design takes the weight of the battery off of the tool
- Backpack batteries available for extended runtime
- 3-speed control
- Runs more than 35 minutes on recommended 7.2Ah battery (281 Wh)
- Strong dealer network for sales and post-sale service
- One of the quieter models we tested (82 dB(A))
- Trigger safety system takes some getting used to and inhibits your ability to turn the trimmer sideways for light edging
- Significantly higher pricing than the competition
- No form of “easy-load” restringing system
A Unique Battery Design
The easiest place to start with the STIHL FSA 130 R is with the overall design of the trimmer. STIHL does away with a battery compartment completely. Rather, they’ve worked a battery tethering system into the design. The idea here is that the battery weight stays off the tool, better maintaining the tool’s balance and rotational center of gravity.
STIHL FSA 130 R Battery Powered Trimmer
Instead of the typical onboard battery, you’ll use either STIHL’s backpack battery or their harness system that houses any of the 36V STIHL batteries. Either system uses a cable that runs from your power source and locks into the plug on the side of the trimmer motor housing.
STIHL gives you some room on the cable so that you don’t have to fight against it as you move. Also, both the harness and backpack adjust so that you carry the battery weight across your waist, rather than your shoulders. The result is a well-balanced trimmer that maneuvers easily and causes a minimal amount of fatigue.
Granted, this feature might be “over-kill” for the homeowner who just needs to buzz through his own lawn. But that’s not the intended audience. For the Pro tackling multiple lawns or some acreage over the course of the day, this harnessed battery can really take the sting out of the workday.
How Heavy is the Trimmer?
Since the battery design dramatically affects tool weight, we weighed the tool using a couple of different methods. Without any sort of tethering, the STIHL FSA 130 R weighs 10.25 lbs. This is among the heavier bare tool weights we measured. When you add the weight of the cable, you creep up to 10.89 lbs.
In the end, this weighed in on the better side of average for the trimmers we’ve tested to date. However, we found it interesting that, because the battery weight doesn’t affect the tool’s center of gravity, the FSA 130 R feels lighter than it actually is. This became even more apparent when we started moving around.
All of the battery-powered string trimmers we tested could list “quiet operation” as a key feature, but the STIHL battery string trimmer was among the quietest at 82 dB(A).
Used in conjunction with the brand’s 0.095″ Quiet Line string trimmer line, which incorporates spiral grooves to reduce wind noise, you could practically trim all your accounts in the middle of the night without disturbing anyone.
A Word on the Trimmer Guard
STIHL’s trimmer guard stays narrow at the base for better visibility. Then it extends out super wide for better protection against flying debris. It looks a bit unorthodox, but we found it pretty effective and a great compromise of visibility and protection.
How Much Run Time Does the STIHL FSA 130 R Deliver?
We used the STIHL AP300S 7.5Ah battery to test runtime. Under no-load, the string trimmer ran on High speed for 36.41 minutes. This came in second only to the Husqvarna 520iLX, which ran for about half a minute longer with a 5.2Ah battery.
This runtime can be extended even further by using one of STIHL’s backpack battery models.
Pro-Level Cutting Performance
The STIHL FSA 130 R battery string trimmer uses a 0.095-inch line and cuts a 15-inch swath. It features a bump-feed head, but unfortunately, it lacks any sort of easy-loading feature. You’ll need to restring this trimmer head the old-school way. We have a feeling most Pros won’t mind one bit.
The FSA 130 R features 3 speeds that you can select by thumping the safety switch up sequentially. At the highest setting, we measured a no-load speed of 5,528 RPM.
One Minor Issue…
Speaking of this safety switch…this presents one of our few gripes about the FSA 130 R. At this point, we can confidently say that STIHL cares a lot about your well-being on the job. They like to emphasize the benefits of using PPE, and typically, the STIHL lineup features safety measures to keep you safe. In this case, the predominant safety feature on the trimmer is the 3-stage safety switch.
You have the throttle trigger, the top trigger, and the thumb switch, all of which you’ll need to engage before the trimmer will start. Frankly, it’s overkill. The problem we had revolved around the thumb switch. While the system is effective, we didn’t find it particularly easy to use, or intuitive. It takes a bit of getting used to, and it’s particularly awkward to use if you need to turn the trimmer sideways for light edging. We like safety, but this one is a swing and a miss.
How Much Does the STIHL FSA 130 R Cost?
I often think of STIHL as the Apple Computer of the OPE world. By this, I mean several things: First, STIHL products have a very distinct look, the tools tend to be very streamlined and intelligently designed. Second, the brand has an extensive dealer network that tackles all of the tool sales and service needs. Lastly, STIHL tools tend to fall on the more expensive side of the spectrum.
The STIHL FSA 130 R is the case in point. As a bare tool, it retails for around 400, which is about a hundred bucks more expensive than the next most expensive trimmer we tested. To add an AP 300 battery and an AL 300 charger, you’re looking at around 670 for the kit. If you want to add the battery belt, shoulder harness, battery bag, and cord, you’ll have to budget for another 134.
The STIHL battery string trimmer does come with a 2-year professional warranty (or a 3-year residential warranty). And, as we said, part of the appeal with the STIHL line revolves around their well-regarded customer care and service department.
The STIHL FSA 130 R battery string trimmer definitely has the Pro in mind, and it’s priced like it. But, with that price, you’re getting a fine-performing machine that feels light and agile. We loved the harness system that the trimmer employs for carrying the battery. It takes the weight off the tool and off your arms, placing it on your waist where you don’t really feel it so much. Beyond that, it’s pretty quiet.
Buy if you have multiple accounts to manage, could benefit from the early morning operation that this quiet string trimmer allows, or just love a good dealer network with a quick turnaround on servicing. Pass if you’re looking for a trimmer that can easily pull off double-duty as an edger, or if the price is a major consideration.
STIHL Battery String Trimmer Specs
- Model: STIHL FSA 130 R
- Voltage: 36V
- Cutting Diameter: 15″
- Max Line Diameter: 0.095-in.
- No-Load Speed: 5528 rpm
- Weight: 10.25 lbs (no tethered battery); 10.89 lbs (tethered to battery)
- Sound Pressure: 82 dB(A)
- Shaft Material: Aluminum
- Warranty: 3-year residential; 2-year professional
- Price: 399.95 (bare tool); 669.98 with 6.3Ah battery
Check out STIHL’s website or visit your local dealer for more details.
STIHL Trimmer Weight By Model: Complete List – Battery Gas
STIHL products are some of the most recognized and reliable lawn care products on the market, trusted by homeowners and professionals alike. But is the weight of one of these weed eaters too much to warrant its use by the casual weekend user? Let’s find out!
How much does a STIHL Weed Eater weigh? The lightest STIHL trimmer is the battery-powered FSA 45 that weighs 5.1 lbs. The heaviest model is the Professional Series FS 311 weighing in at 15.9 lbs. The average weight of STIHL gas-powered trimmers for homeowners is 10 lbs.
STIHL weed eaters (technically trimmers but in the south we refer to all trimmers as “weed eaters”) offer a unique balance between practicality, comfort, and efficiency.
Check out the DynaTrap Mosquito Flying Insect Trap – Kills Mosquitoes, Flies, Wasps, Gnats, Other Flying Insects – Protects up to 1/2 Acre (link to Amazon).
The company designs state-of-the-art string trimmers with the needs of the user in mind. You can find the ideal trimmer for you in their range of products. But if you aren’t yet committed to buying a STIHL, be sure to read my comparison of STIHL vs. Echo.
Now, let’s get to the details on this but be sure to watch the video at the end of this article on how to choose the right STIHL trimmer for you.
STIHL Trimmers By Weight
Gas Trimmers (Professional Series)
|FS 70 R||10.6 lbs.|
|FS 91||12.8 lbs.|
|FS 91 R||12.1 lbs.|
|FS 94 R||10.1 lbs.|
|FS 111||12.8 lbs.|
|FS 111 R||12.1 lbs.|
|FS 111 RX||11 lbs.|
|FS 131||12.8 lbs.|
|FS 131 R||12.1 lbs.|
|FS 240||15.2 lbs.|
|FS 240 R||14.6 lbs.|
|FS 311||15.9 lbs.|
As you can see, weight varies significantly depending on the model and power source.
If you are looking for a weed eater, few brands on the market can compare with the high-efficiency products created by STIHL. The company’s range includes hedge trimmers, brush cutters, leaf blowers, and chain saws, making it a giant in the field of 2-stroke outdoor handheld equipment.
They also make an all-in-one multi-attachment yard tool called the STIHL KombiSystem. It’s been my tool of choice for several years when combating weeds and high grass. Click here to read my complete review.
You can also check out our head-to-head comparison of multi-attachment yard tools from STIHL, Echo, EGO, and Maruyama.
Sthil has designed their products to be highly functional and maneuverable. Thanks to the ergonomic design, STIHL weed eaters are reasonably lightweight and compare respectably to their competitors.
A basic, entry-level gas trimmer from STIHL like the FS 38 is just over 9 lbs.
If you are looking at landscaping as a side job and you need to optimize your performances, you may want to explore the other models offered by the company in their Professional Series.
While unique, each product manufactured by STIHL is easy to use, highly efficient, and adaptable to any need. Yet, their product line includes a ridiculously large list of string trimmer models and, if you are not an expert in the field, it can be challenging to pick one that fits your needs.
Types Of Weed Trimmers
String trimmers, aka weed eaters, have come a long way since they were first introduced in 1972. Today you can purchase one that is electric, gas-fuelled, battery-powered, straight, or curved.
Here are the factors that can affect the weight of your weed eater.
Battery, Electric, Or Fuel-Powered
Studies have been supporting the argument regarding the high environmental impact of gas-powered weed eaters since 2011. Their construction is more straightforward and they can be more substantial due to the added weight of a full fuel tank.
Yet, while 120V electric-powered yard tools are more sustainable, they are not as efficient to groom large green areas. Who wants to drag an extension cord around their yard.
Alternatively, battery-powered weed eaters are lighter, quieter, and guarantee you all the freedom of movement you need to reach the corners of your lawn.
I have two acres and have been itching to trade by STIHL Kombisystem for one of the new EGO Multi-Head systems (link to Amazon). They are cheaper, lighter, and the reviews on the battery life have been outstanding. But I just haven’t been able to let go off my STIHL… at least not yet.
Straight Or Curved Shaft Trimmers
If your lawn is easy to groom and does not include spots that might be challenging to reach, a weed-eater with a curved rod is often the ideal choice. Curved shaft trimmers generally have a better balance to them.
Oppositely, trimmers with a straight shaft are usually heavier and more difficult to maneuver if you are not of a tall or adequately strong built. Yet, straight trimmers are perfect for grooming uneven surfaces and tricker spots in your garden.
I prefer to straight shaft but this is really a personal preference. Just know the straight shaft models can be a little heavier. Be sure to watch the video later in this article. It covers choosing a curved or straight shaft trimmer with some pretty good guidelines.
Power And Engine Displacement Capacity
The engine’s displacement capacity is a loose indicator of a gas engine’s power and, therefore, the efficiency of your weed eater. To express such a measurement, manufacturers use “cc” (Cubic Centimeters) or cm³.
The higher the engine’s capacity is, the more powerful the weed eater will be.
Often the weight and price of the trimmer are related to this measure. For example, a STIHL weed eater’s engine of 27.2 cm³ will weigh between 8 and 9 lbs. A model with a much higher displacement will weigh heavier.
Battery-powered and electrical STIHL weed eaters follow a similar pattern, but you will need to calculate their power in kW (kilowatt). Just know that the higher the number, the more power it has. Example 56V is more power than a 40V battery trimmer.
How To Choose A String Trimmer
You really need to take just a few minutes and watch this short buying guide from STIHL. They explain the various uses and how to choose between the curved or straight shaft and even point out their best options for different use cases.
Thriving Yard aims to simplify the unnecessarily complex process of growing and maintaining a healthy, thriving lawn and garden. Unlike corporate website companies who write articles from an office overlooking a major city, the authors on this website live in small towns and regularly use many of the tips and recommendations provided in their own garden and lawn care. Read
The Best Commercial String for a Trimmer (Weedeater)
In my experience, one of the most confusing things as a landscaper is selecting the best trimmer line!
While it’s true that just about any.095 weed eater string will handle the job. Some strings definitely last longer and cut better than others.
Price aside, which trimmer line is the best for commercial use?
Well, you better buckle up, because there is a lot to consider. But if you stick around, we have found a few commercial trimmer lines that definitely outperform the rest.
What To Look For In A Trimmer Line
So, let’s cut out some of the competition before we get started on finding the best commercial line. For the most part, unless you are cutting down brush. If you are like most lawn care pros, you will likely typically be using a.095 sized line.
For simplicity’s sake we will assume that the best commercial line is going to be a.095, as most lawn care pros primarily use this size line.When grading trimmer line we will look at:
Top Rated Commercial Trimmer Lines
So which weed eater string is the best?
Well, we have done a bit of research and determined the trimmer lines that rise above the rest.
As hard as we tried to find the ABSOLUTE best commercial equipment, and this includes trimmer line. Much like picking the best pair of boots, you may find that some lines may work better in certain applications than others.
For example, when you are edging with a weed eater you may find that a line that doesn’t perform well with general trimming, works great for edging.
But without further ado, here are the 4 best trimmer lines for your weed eater!
Rated Trimmer Line- STIHL X-Line
TOP RATED AMONG GREENPAL VENDORS
STIHL’s X-line was the most highly rated line among our lawn care vendors. With 40% of vendors surveyed picking this line as their favorite. It works great for nearly all applications you may encounter on a typical day.
Downsides- One Youtuber reports that STIHL’s X-line does not “float” very well and is more likely to gouge the lawn. Furthermore, it is not available at Lowes or Home Depot, so it may not be available in a pinch.
Rated Trimmer Line- Echo- Black Diamond
HIGHLY RATED AMONG LAWN CARE PROS
String Shape- Twisted Square
Echo’s Black Diamond line is highly rated by the lawn care pros at GreenPal. With 31% of pros picking it as their favorite. And is a favorite of many lawn care professionals on YouTube. The twisted square style of line offers both a thick line that won’t easily break and 4 sharp edges for superior cutting.
Downsides- Not sold by Lowes.
Rated Trimmer Line- Husqvarna Titanium Blend
In my experience, Huqvarna’s Titanium Blend is the best line available at Lowes. It is dense so it cuts through almost anything. And in my personal experience, and in reviews on YouTube it’s proven to stand up well to chain link fences and concrete. And it’s even strong enough to edge with.
Downsides- Not sold by Home Depot. May be a bit thicker than necessary for light trimming and may not handle as easily as a lighter string.
Rated Trimmer Line- Shakespeare Ugly Twist
HIGHLY RATED BY LAWN CARE VENDORS
String Shape- Twisted Triangle
And in at number 4 among our lawn care pros with 9% of the votes is Shakespeare’s Ugly Twist. Ugly Twist is a great all around string for your weedeater. It may not be the best, but if it’s the only thing available, you can count on it. It’s not the best string by any means, but it is a good choice if nothing better is available.
FSA 130 R Professional Battery Trimmer AP System | STIHL
Downsides- Not sold by Home Depot. Not the best, but it’s a solid all-around option.
Here’s the deal, there are so many brands of trimmer line, we couldn’t possibly mention all of the ones worth trying. While the 4 above are likely going to be your best option. There are other trimmer lines that are highly rated among lawn care pros.
You may even have luck with a generic twisted line. In general, most lawn care pros agree, twisted is preferable for most purposes.
Choosing a Line That Works for You
At the end of the day, your favorite line may depend on how exactly you use your weed whacker.
Are you clearing brush regularly? If so, Husqvarna’s Titanium Blend may work best for you.
Or do you only cut well-maintained suburban homes? If so You will likely prefer STIHL’s X-line.
Either way our list of the best trimmer lines can help you whittle down your choices so that you aren’t so overwhelmed the next time you are at the hardware store staring at a wall of options.
Looking for more to read? Check out our article on choosing the best commercial weed eater.
Our this chapter from our Lawn Care Company Blue Print with copywriting tips for lawn care professionals.
What Size String Trimmer Line Should You Use?
When it comes to keeping a lawn neat and tidy, the string trimmer shines as a multi-purpose workhorse. Depending on the application, one could use it to mow down hard-to-access areas, trim up grass and weeds that a mower can’t quite reach, clear out thicker brush, and edge out lines for a cleaner-looking yard. So, what size string trimmer line should you use for trimming grass?
The answer lies with how you intend to use your string trimmer. Read on.
The Role of the String Trimmer Head
Generally speaking, a string trimmer uses a monofilament line to cut through grass, weeds…whatever. By spinning that line at a high speed, the cutting head generates enough centrifugal force to hold the line out at a stiff, horizontal angle. This lets it cut through most grasses quite easily.
The height and arc of the string trimmer are manually adjusted by the operator, making the trimmer quite useful for cutting around trees, walls, rock beds, etc. In addition, you can turn a string trimmer vertically to use it as an edger against sidewalks and driveways.
On many gas models, both the cutting heads and lines can be switched out. This lets them accommodate a variety of line gauges. Not so much with battery-powered models.
Check the user manual (or with your dealer) to see what gauges your cutting head can handle. Thinner spooled line, thicker pre-cut line, serrated and square lines—even blades or chains could be used if you have a strong enough system. Each string trimmer line size also comes in a variety of shapes, thicknesses, and materials.
With that said—which strong trimmer line size and type work best for which applications?
String Trimmer Line Size Means Thickness
This probably comes as no surprise to anyone, but the general rule with string trimmer line size is that the tougher the application, the thicker the line needs to be. A larger diameter line increases the power and durability of the line, which leads to less breakage and wear-out.
Thicker line, however, requires more power to drive it at the same speed.
String trimmer line comes in a range of thicknesses or sizes. For light work, such as trimming grass, 0.065″-0.085″ should be sufficient. For thicker grass and weeds, a line in the 0.085″-0.110″ range will get the job done, and for thicker underbrush, anything thicker than 0.110″ will work.
One note for the cordless string trimmer users: thicker strings will have an effect on your power and runtime. As the thickness of the line jumps up, more wind resistance affects the cutting head, slowing down the speed at which the engine can rotate the cutting head. Higher voltage and beefier cordless trimmers (see: the EGO Power Head String Trimmer) will probably be able to manage thicker gauge string trimmer line more efficiently, but lower voltage models might struggle with a thicker line. Generally, it’s best to refer to the manufacturer’s recommendation for string size.
String Trimmer Line Shaping
The shape of the line also affects the cutting efficiency. String trimmer line comes in a variety of shapes: round, twisted, square, star shaped, and serrated. Rounded line is the most common type available, but it because it lacks a cutting edge, it rips the grass rather than cutting it. Twisted line is a bit better, as the shape has a little more of a cutting edge to it.
Some line comes in a square or star shape. The edges of these string trimmer lines are sharper than rounded trimmer line, and cut through the grass rather than tear at it. Serrated line is also an option when it comes to a sharper trimmer line. It has teeth, similar to a kitchen knife, and “saws” through heavier grass and weeds with relative ease.
Check Out These STIHL Trimmer Line Options
As an example of how the shape of trimmer line can vary—even from a single manufacturer, check out these options STIHL has for its customers:
The shape of the line optimizes it for different applications. Some shapes are only available in certain diameters. Others come in a wider variety. Trimmer line can be formulated to resist fraying and splitting or for durability, noise reduction, strength, and temperature resistance.
String Trimmer Line Material
Nylon line is the most common line available, but it tends to wear out and break quickly on anything but lighter duty jobs. Manufacturers have come out with a variety of alternatives for heavier duty jobs, however. Some examples include reinforced composite nylon, internally reinforced nylon, and aluminum additives for added strength.
Although not line in the technical sense, some of the beefier string trimmers can work with nylon, or even metal, blades. All of these options improve the durability of the light gauge nylon string, but if the vast majority of your trimming work centers on light grass clipping, you can probably get by with inexpensive nylon line.
So, what type of string trimmer line size should you use? The easiest answer: probably the heaviest and sharpest gauge that my trimmer can effectively turn without losing power to wind resistance. Assuming your string trimmer has the power, you won’t lose much cutting efficiency by using a heavier line. When you need to jump over to heavier duty trimming work, that ensures you won’t have to mess around with changing your line to handle it.
For most homeowners, round nylon line probably suffices for the vast majority of simple trimming needs. You might need something heavier for edging and clearing out underbrush. However, for handling grass around the house and yard, light gauge round nylon trimmer line does the trick.
Of course, this assumes normal wear and tear on the line won’t bother you too much. If you want to spend less time re-spooling your cutting head, switching to a more durable material is a good, though pricier, option.
When he’s not playing with the latest power tool, Clint DeBoer enjoys life as a husband, father, and avid reader—especially the Bible. He loves Jesus, has a degree in recording engineering, and has been involved in multimedia and/or online publishing in one form or another since 1992.
Clint’s career has covered nearly the entire realm of audio and video production. After graduating at the top of his class with an Associates Degree in Recording Engineering, he began working for the famed Soundelux studios in 1994, one of the largest post-production companies specializing in audio for feature films television. Working on a myriad of feature films, Clint honed his skills as a dialogue editor, foley editor, and sound designer. Years later, he moved into the expanding area of video editing, where he served as the company’s senior AVID video editor for three years. Working for such clients as Universal Pictures, Hollywood Pictures, Paramount Home Entertainment, NASA, Universal Studios, Planet Hollywood, SEGA, NASCAR, and others, Clint DeBoer dealt extensively with client management as well as film video editing, color correction, and digital video MPEG compression. He also carries several THX certifications (Technician I and II, THX Video), and is ISF Level II Certified. After founding the CD Media, Inc. publishing company in 1996, he went on to help start or grow several successful online publications, including Audioholics (as Editor-in-Chief for 12 years), Audiogurus, and AV Gadgets. In 2008, Clint founded Pro Tool Reviews followed by the landscape and outdoor power equipment-focused OPE Reviews in 2017. He also heads up the Pro Tool Innovation Awards, an annual awards program honoring innovative tools and accessories across the trades. Crediting God and his excellent staff for the success of what is now the largest power tool review publication in the industry, Clint DeBoer hopes to see continued growth for the company as it rapidly expands its reach. Pro Tool Reviews critically reviews hundreds of hand tools, power tools, and accessories each year to help inform users about the best and newest products in the industry. Reaching everyone from the construction industry professional and tradesman to the serious DIYer, Pro Tool Reviews helps tool consumers shop better, work smarter, and stay aware of what tools and products can help put them at the top of their game.
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