- Verified purchase
Can't use it
The instruction manual does not match the product so I have no idea how to load the line. It doesn't start. Upon getting help from the man in the shop he basically showed me a complete different way to start it than the manual. But I'm still having trouble. The line continuously braking and tangling and does not feed.
Purchased in July 2020 for A$200.00.
Warranty void and useless
I purchased a Stihl trimmer FS38 in November 2018 with a 2 year warranty. At the beginning of July 2020 I took it to Edward’s Mowers Oak Flats as it failed to start. Three weeks later, after several requests for an update from Stihl, I was informed by Edwards Mowers that the carburetor was the problem and it couldn’t be fixed. They also advised me that the warranty was void. The reason given was that I had used dirty fuel which I dispute.
The unleaded fuel used was the same fuel used in my car and I have had no problems with the car’s performa...
Purchased in November 2018 for A$199.00.
Broke after 5 weeks of use
I am a small time landscaper, so I used this machine about 5 days a week. I followed the operating instructions to a T, as well as using the correct fuel and oil mixture. Within 5 weeks of purchasing this tool, it began to sputter and stall out frequently. In addition, it would not rev fully, and would vibrate aggressively. The feed system would take forever to load, and the line comes off very fast if you rev it high. I am very disappointed, because I payed good money, and I expected the STIHL name to backed by quality, and ease of use. Despit...e it being designed for residential use, I was not anticipating that it would need replacing after just 5 weeks of heavy usage. Pay the bit of extra money and invest in a quality tool, because this is absolutely not one of them, this machine is a dirty stain to the STIHL brand.
Purchased in May 2020 for A$250.00.
Retrofit and fix the problem
Dealer told me to try a FS 40 head.
Half the problem solved.
Get a " Pro Carbon CF3 " line of .095".
They will tell you it won't fit and it doesn't but a drill bit a shade bigger than the hole in the spool will fix that.
Now you have a machine that works and will actually feed the line.
Yes...you heard me right, it actually feeds trouble free.
Now you have a machine that is a pleasure to use.
Purchased in June 2016 at Rental store for A$150.00.
Hard to start and load
I put in the recommended fuel mixture sold by the dealer but have trouble loading and starting it. The load process is terrible and after loaded it gets stuck and doesn’t unwind , when you need more string. Painful don’t buy!
Just bought yesterday .. follow the instructions provided by dealer ..totally disappointed .. bad decision ... wish i could return it . Used once only .. we buy thing for comfert not to have troubles
Purchased in June 2020 for A$169.00.
Fs 38 rubbish
Have had a couple of stihl fs38 units and had trouble getting them to run took latest one used twice to new mechanic and was told using wrong petrol needs 95 or 98 not 85 or 91 which has ethanol in it WHY aren't we told this by STihl and salespeople
Cheap chinese rubbish waist of money
This is the second FS38 I've had 1st one replaced now this one will not run /back fires through the carby had less that 3 hrs use still like new this is just a cheap rubbish item very disappointed stihl agent said it was only cheap , what did I want for the price this is not a quality stihl item just cheap rubbish and even the dealer agreed with me .
Purchased in August 2018 at BRASCH'S CAIRNS.
Horrible horrible and horrible.
Horrible machine. Starting it is a pain. The line keeps sucking in no matter what I try. It’s the most terrible terrible terrible machine. I wish my old trimmer didn’t break! They should do a product recall on these. Don’t buy. The company needs to invest in more R&D instead of advertising how good they are.
Oh! There is more: It had to be repaired a week after I purchased it. Something about a fuel line that was too short. I’m not
Just don’t buy!
I know three others who bought this. Two dumped it. The other got a lawnmower man in as he hates it so much. I keep taking it back to the shop and begging for help.
Purchased in February 2019 for A$250.00.
Worst whipper snipper around
Have owned my Stihl FS38 since 2016 and it has been very difficult to start since purchasing the item. I have recently changed the spark plug reset the gap (special tool required to remove the spark plug). Dismantled the unit to see if there is something wrong internally but there was not. Also, the tap reel on the head of the item does not work.
For a german made item with such a good brand name as Stihl to be using a chinese made carburettor is just disgusting.
Emailed Stihl and didn’t even get a response.
Worst purchase at $162 and has barely worked since purchase.
I will be purchasing a Ryobi battery powered.
Purchased in July 2016 for A$169.00.
Works hard and starts easily
Had mine for 6 years and it’s never missed a beat Easy to start and works at any angle.
Fresh fuel and oil mixed to Stihl ratio
Genuine line lasts better than the cheap stuff
Purchased in March 2014 for A$199.00.
goes well now but was an absolute cat originally.
bought this new and it never ran well regardless of how much you leaned/enriched it, then it just stopped working at all, cleaned the carb and it ran still poorly for a little while then began flooding like crazy and wouldn't start. was ready to throw it off a cliff and then in desperation i tried a cheap Chinese ripoff replacement carb for 10 bucks delivered. what a transformation, it runs perfectly now and has torque like a tractor. happy now but was really frustrated with this from new. hence the 1 star, simply not good enough quality control and the pricing of a replacement genuine carb is simply gouging. just hope this post may help spmeone else that got one with a lemon carb on it.
Stihl FS 38
Absolute heap of crap. Everytime I turned it on it side it would cut out, full throttle it would run the cough splutter and cut out. Despite the thing only being 6 months old, full of fresh mixed fuel it was plagued with issues.
The line feeder is useless, doesn’t bump fee properly. I got so frustrated to dumped it.
Purchased in August 2019.
Without question, the worst whipper snipper I have ever owned.
I upgraded from a Japanese brand - wish I still had the old Japanese model. The Stihl FS 38 is without doubt, the worst whipper snipper on the market. It is very frustrating to use; five mins of use - then it's ten mins of reloading the damned trim-line feeder.
The feeder is absolutely hopeless - you need Ironman strength to load it because the so called easy-load mechanism is next to useless. The the line gets jammed on the spool and won't feed, despite bashing the s**t out of the feeder on the ground - then the line breaks off and you have to dismantle the whole damn thing AGAIN......!
DOT' BUY IT.
Purchased in September 2018 for A$199.00.
Was ok, but won't be buying another
My FS38's ignition coil has died after a couple of years of light use. Replacement part is $80 to DIY. New machine is $199 so their marketing strategy is clear. $80 is price gouging - this part would be lucky to cost $10 to make. I expected this thing to last more than a few years - being a supposed 'proper' brand. I've been telling mates to go to a proper mower shop instead of Bunnings, buy a Stihl, but Stihl can GF. I may as well pay cheapo crap prices and go back to Bunnings. In the time it worked, it started easily, but would cut out w...hen turned on an angle if the revs weren't high. The bump feed never worked and had to always remove the spool and pull line out manually. Goodbye Stihl. Enjoy the small amount you made from me. It is your last.
Far 90r trimmer head bump feed not for ladiesladies
One has to be a near on sumo wrestler to get cap off to replace line, again, (your Orange line snaps really easily), I am a female Horticulturist west australia, it is very badly made nothing sits right, it doesn't FEEL right, I used to have a Makita one, bump feed ,easy as pie, but I need to shove a s rewdriver in hole to push tab in, the line catch SYSTEM before u put the top back on is really iffy, not impressed, it lets down your great battery range stihl, wake up, girls use spanners too!!!
- Verified purchase
Definite Issue/s with some of the FS-38 units
Purchased unit new and started having starting issues within 2 tanks of gas. I use premium gas/seafoam. I am very experienced repairing/rebuilding small engines. My 30-yr old McCulloch Eager Beaver is still going fine. I did not expect to start having issues so soon with the FS-38 and I know some of you have had no issues which is great! I have eliminated issues including compression, exhaust spark-arrestor, spark, etc. My last resort is to replace carb diaphragms, etc. There may be some truth behind issues with Zama carbs. I even trie...d adjusting jet settings- no change. Sad to think my MF-14 (year 1973) is still going strong and the only carb issue I have ever had since 1973 was sticking fuel inlet needle. And I don't use premium (ethanol free supposedly) in this hydra-static riding unit. Anyway, for those of you having issues with your FS-38, yes indeed it may be carb issues NOT as a result of your actions. I do recommend premium gas with a touch of seafoam (use sparingly) as a stabilizer. Good luck everyone!
Purchased in May 2015 for A$165.00.
A great trimmer if you care for it properly and have reasonable expectations
( I would have given 4.5 stars if that was an option)
The FS38, bought in May of 2014, has exceeded my expectations.
As long as one follows the proper fuel, fuel storage, and machine storage recommendations, this should be a VERY reliable machine. It has NEVER failed to start.
I ALWAYS use fuel stabilizer after I fill a new, 5 gallon container of gasoline, as I sometimes don't run the machine dry-(as is recommended), and it may sit for a few months over Winter. One time it sat for 6 months with fuel inside and it still started right...
Purchased in May 2014 at ACE Hardware .
- Verified purchase
Don't buy the Stihl FS 38
After using only 3 times the FS 38 refuses to start. Stihl is of little help. I would like to get my money back, Stihl refuses, not backing their product.
It won't die, Tougher then nails
All of my trimmers I am really abusive to them, I use .105 string and I run it wide open all the time, these trimmers have rev limiters and It sees the rev limiter all the time. Cons, the carburetors are trash and they have a limited adjustment so you have to buy a new carburetor once your carburetor adjustment is maxed out, also the spark arrestor gets clogged very easy, the fix is to just remove it, but it makes the trimmer way louder but it will sound really mean, it also is kinda hard to start, but this trimmer is unstoppable and its the cheapest gas trimmer stihl makes, I'm totally amazed!
Purchased in April 2015 for A$99.00.
Questions & Answers
there was a date change on the coil on a fs38 .have purchased two coils but the timing is out on both can any one enlighten me on the parts number for a coil to suit a fs38 ten year old (i think) thank you
My line keeps keeps getting tangled and I have to pull it out by hand every few minutes. This is my first trimmer. Please advise?
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