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Stihl FS 45 / FS 45R / FS 45 C-E

Stihl FS 45 / FS 45R / FS 45 C-E

FS 45, FS 45 C-E and FS 45R
2.8 from 56 reviews

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Stihl junk

Bought brand new FS45 in may 2019.
Piece of junk.
Hard to start (200 attempts for first start), then the line snaps in about 1 metre of work. Need to disassemble head to fix. Then bump feed wont feed.
Bump feed chews a big patch out of the lawn, then the line snaps.
Painful to reload line.
I threw it in the bin, bought a Makita cordless 18v (DUR189RM) and it does a great job.
No mucking around with fuel / oil, lighter, quiet, easy to use, no pull start just press a button, plenty of power and use same batteries as my Makita cordless tools.
Don’t waste your money buying Stihl because its not what it used to be, its just junk now.
I have about 1/2 hr of edges to do, and 2 stroke petrol is cave man style.
Make your life easy and get cordless, but consider brand that uses batteries that can be used in other drills, tools etc, no need to buy a system that can only be used in lawn care.

Purchased in May 2019 for $229.00.

Build Quality
Value for Money
Ease of Use
Cleaning & Maintenance
Noise Level
Product is used: Weekly
Grass Type Short grass

Battery powered trimmer is perfect for my needs

I previously had a petrol driven trimmer which had a line attached to do the trimming. Sure , it worked , but was fiddly. What I wanted was something that was easy to use. I discovered that Stihl have some excellent products for the average gardener. (I was impressed by their battery powered hedge trimmer) Imagine my delight when I found that Stihl have a battery powered trimmer. It was exactly what I needed. At under $200 and with easily replaceable "propeller" like blades (spares included) it was even more acceptable. The unit is charged from a power point and there's a LED display to show the level of charging. I get about 20 minutes of power, which for my needs is plenty. (There are larger units available for bigger jobs that require more time-or for more professional use) For me though , this unit is is welcome addition to my array of gardening tools-both manual and battery powered.

Purchased in August 2019 at Stihl Dealer for $179.00.

Build Quality
Value for Money
Ease of Use
Cleaning & Maintenance
Noise Level
Product is used: Weekly
Grass Type Short grass

Follow the suppliers directions

Have had Stihls since 1977..Firstly a brush cutter which my daughter still uses ..Two chainsaws..still going..Ten years ago I purchased an FS 45 C..For home use...Following the suppliers advice as to how to start it ...pull..prime.. .choke .and off it goes ..Has never missed a beat in all this time ..Just a new spark plug every year...if in doubt read the book . Ed Douglass

Purchased in February 1999 at Wrights Chainsaws Nowra.

Build Quality
Value for Money
Ease of Use
Cleaning & Maintenance
Product is used: Weekly
Grass Type Tall grass

Absolute piece of junk

Only had this for under 6 months, started well the first couple times, now you break a sweat trying to get it started...10 minutes later your heading for the fridge to crack the top of one. Goes through a ton of line an you gotta give it the berries to get through minimal grass.. Never again will I buy a stihl product.

Purchased in September 2018.

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Cleaning & Maintenance
Noise Level
Product is used: Weekly
Grass Type Short grass


This whipper snipper is high revving and is very temperamental to start. It was purchased to replace my previous Stihl wipper snipper which I had had for many years but this one doesn't stack up to it's predecessor. It is used for my residential front and back garden and just meets my needs. I would hate to be using it in a large area.

Purchased in November 2017 at Beechboro Mowers for $279.00.

Build Quality
Value for Money
Ease of Use
Cleaning & Maintenance
Noise Level
Product is used: Weekly
Grass Type Short grass

Not the best

My machine says that it is an FS 45 C - not sure if that's a different model to the C-E. I think that we bought it somewhere between 2007 and 2010. Either way, this is the worst weed trimmer I own. It is nearly impossible to start - and I mean like, 10 minutes of yanking at the thing. I thought that there was something wrong with it so took it back to the dealer and they serviced it and explained how to start it - face SSW exactly, do it at midnight, that sort of thing. I read the starting guide from end to end and followed the steps with my iPad beside me. No dice, it just wouldn't start. I'm not sure how many times I've actually got it started, but when you divide them into the purchase price it's not flattering to Stihl. And it's a two stroke, so you have to mix oil with petrol etc and it's very bloody noisy. It also gets really hot, that is when it does start. So, I bought a cordless Ryobi trimmer and that was from a different planet - obviously it always starts and it's comparatively quiet. I could finish entire trimming jobs in the time that I'd still be struggling to start the Stihl. I then needed something with a little more power than the Ryobi so I did what I should've done from the start, and bought a Honda straight shaft petrol line trimmer. The Honda starts either first or second pull every time, even after being in the shed for months unused. It's also a four stroke, so no mixing of oil and it's relatively quiet. So, between the Honda and the Ryobi I've now got things covered.

Purchased in June 2007.

Grass Type Thick, heavy grass or weeds

Gave me a heart attack trying to start it

Had near heart attack twice trying to start it, vomited, cold sweat and palpitation. I found out later that its the purity of oil used that affects how easy or difficult it is to start it. I bought their Motomix and it started easily enough. This is a powerful cutter but heavy after using it for 10 minutes. It's also very loud and it eats the line very quickly.

Date PurchasedJul 2011

Descent machine for the price

Easy to start and runs consistently
Quick and easy to refill the head with line
I would recommend watching the you tube instructional for this
Used for small and medium sized jobs with no issues at all after more than 2 years of regular use on 5 properties ranging in size from a regular residential block and up to a half acre

Date PurchasedOct 2015

Won't start

I just had this trimmer repaired again. The diaphram was replaced after being properly stored for 6 months. I used it over three days for a toral of about 3hours and now it won't start again. I have already had it repaired three times in the last 3years and now have replaced it with an Echo RMS 225. I Will not buy another Stihl product. Have Husky chain saws that always start and run beautifully!

Date PurchasedApr 2014

Good but light duty

This trimmer starts every time and is not used often. It is perfect for a suburban lawn eg trimming horizontally around the corners the mower can't reach. It is too light duty for taking to the farm and cutting grass around the shed. It is also too light for trimming around the lawn edges in a vertical fashion. I use an edger from Mowmaster for that.

Date PurchasedJan 2012

Rock soild

After going against the advice given too me and buying a bent shaft machine over a more expensive straight shaft I am happy to say I am not disappointed with my choice this little machine just loves abuse the only problem I have ever had with it is a blocked spark arresttor which I now know is a simple fix and is something I take out regularly and clean
Yes your cannot use thicker cord as you can with a straight shaft meaning you do need to change cord more often but that is a sacrifice I made buy saving money
To all of the people who have commented on having trouble stating these shoutd stop complaining on forums and go back to the dealer ( let’s face it that’s why you buy a stilh not crap from Bunnings ) and get it serviced
I am waiting for this to explode so I can get my new straight shaft but I think that is going to be a long wait

Date PurchasedMar 2012

The new model over heats and burns your arm

I have had the FS45 model and 2 others before this new one and they worked well.
Buying the newest model was a failure. It never revs like the one I’ve had for the past 3 years. The exhaust hole is smaller and it just won’t rev in the grass.
I’ve taken it back 3 times to be told to put it to work and it will free its self up. Well all it did was heat up and burnt my arm, giving me 4 blisters. I took it back again to be informed I wasn’t using it correctly.
I’ve been using Stijl products like hedgers and chainsaws and they a very good product but to put a new model out that won’t rev to then over heat, it’s not worth purchasing the item.
If they think the exhaust hole is the problem, why did the change it ?
They still haven’t returned my money and because they won’t, I thought I’d share my disappointment.
If a product is good, why change it to disappoint the customer to then inform it’s the exhaust hole being smaller in diameter.

Date PurchasedFeb 2018

Absolute piece of rubbish.

From the day I bought it there was problems. Would definitely stay away from this product,Constant starting problems and goes through line like its going out of fashion. Had to buy a cheap Bunnings one and is 10x better. Unfortunately gives Stihl a bad name. ABSOLUTE RUBBISH!!! STAY AWAY FROM THIS PRODUCT

Date PurchasedJun 2017

The thing it does best is gather dust in the shed...

The Stihl is hard to start, and goes through cord like you would not believe. I got that annoyed that I bought a cheap Chinese line trimmer (Flash) yes it is called Flash. It was half the price, starts easily, runs smoothly, and I use it commercially. I will never buy another Stihl.....I bought the Stihl about March 2017 and it has done about 5 hours work. I bought the a Flash about the end of March 2017 and it would do about 8 hours per week and the only item I have replaced is the shoulder harness. it starts 2nd pull every time. Anyone want a cheap Stihl?...

Date PurchasedMar 2017

No problem in 4 years

Bought new 4 years ago. Never had any problems even cutting far north Qld grass! Pushes 2.4mm line no problems at all. Used 2.7mm (probably being a bit hard on it) and worked ok with revs up. Always used Stihl ultra 2 stroke oil and 98 octane fuel (with ultra you’ve got a fuel stabiliser do keeps fresh in tank). Only changed spark plug and air filter once. Follow manual for starting and you won’t have a problem.

Date PurchasedApr 2013

Not worth the money

Carb floods way to easy - Always a crapshoot trying to get started. If you like blisters, frustration, or the challenge of deciding if its the carb, sparkplug,spark arrestor or the quality of gas causing this equipment to never start, then this trimmer would be the right purchase. My other 2 stroke equipment has never given me any problems (craftsmen blower, echo trimmer)...There is a serious design flaw with this trimmer...

Date PurchasedJul 2012

Don't even contemplate it

I purchased this piece of crap after deciding the easy start option would be better for my shoulder and back.
It never starts easily even after following the correct convoluted procedure. 'Easy start' is a misnomer. I've just damaged my shoulder again trying to get it started.
There is nothing else about any of it that I can find positives. Paid $450 for rubbish machinery.
For the love of God do not waste money of this.

Date PurchasedSep 2016

This is ok sometimes.

Ok so this trimmer was great for a couple years. Tell it started flooding up or taking a long to start up or even get it tuned. It's ok. Just the model fs45 is not a good one. Personally ones that are 200+ are better. Because they last. They get the job done. But a good cheap one is the echos. They are good. Stihl has good ones. The fs45 has problems when you really put it the the test. Long grass. Weeds on a weekly usage level.

Date PurchasedFeb 2009


I thought Stihl was a good brand..... Not any more.
This model is hard to start
Chews through line
Hard to refeed
A waste of good money
Used it twice and cut my finger twice on poorly designed plastic "guard" around exhaust

I wish I had read the review before I purchased. I got this because I was over my last cheaper trimmer. This model is rubbish. Putting up on gumtree, I hope like me they don't read this review.

Shame on you Stihl! I want my money back!

Date PurchasedDec 2016


I owned a FS 45 for almost 10 years. It was impossible to start at the best of times. Went to my local Sthil retailer and purchased a brand new Fs45. Guess what... Wouldn't start and flooded every time. Took it back, they told me I don't know how to start one even though I have had one for 10 years, they managed to start it after 10 minutes of mad pulling, the poor guy was so red in face.. Swapped it out for a honda 4 stroke... Magic... Won't buy sthil again... Save yourself the pain and frustration and just buy the 4 stroke Honda... FS45 is compete piece of garbage. Having said that the guys at Beacon Equipment were awesome and I would continue to buy from them as they sell much more than just Sthil.

Date PurchasedJan 2017

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Questions & Answers

Excuse my ignorance i am female an not mechanically minded. But i took my fs45 to be fixed they replaced something inside it, it started once now it won't start.
No answers

How do you take the bearing head from the shaft need to change it?
1 answer
you press the knob down and turn the bearing

What size cord to use on a fs45c ?
1 answer
Bunnings sells cords cheap, take your one down and buy


Stihl FS 45Stihl FS 45 C-EStihl FS 45R
CategoryPetrol Whipper SnippersPetrol Whipper SnippersPetrol Whipper Snippers
Power SourcePetrolPetrolPetrol
Assisted Starting FeatureNoYesNo
Price (RRP)229279
Handle TypeLoop HandleLoop HandleLoop Handle
Release dateMar 2008Mar 2008

Visit official website - Download manual

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