FS 38


FS 38

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.)
CUTTING SWATH 15"
POWER SOURCE Gas
* 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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    Convenient throttle/start/run/stop controls built into the handle for easy operation.
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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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    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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    Loop Handle (R)
    Loop handle grass trimmers and brushcutters are ideal for trimming between bushes and shrubs and other areas where space is limited.
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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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    TapAction™ AUTOCUT® Cutting Head
    TapAction™, 2-line AUTOCUT® cutting head with easy-view deflector.
Standard Features
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    Common Features for Trimmers
    View the features common to many STIHL trimmers.

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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Are You Ready for a STIHL?

FS 38 is rated 3.2 out of 5 by 392.
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Junk - Will not start I've have a couple other Stihl products; chainsaw, leaf blower. Both are a great value and start immediately. The FS-38 is extremely hard to start, when I can get it started. I should have read the reviews before I purchased it but was relying on my past Stihl experience. Reviews say the same thing - won't start. Not much use to me if I can't start it. Will replace with another brand in the spring.
Date published: 2018-08-03
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Worst trimmer I’ve ever owned It is hard to start and floods easily. There are two speeds- full on and off. I hate using it and after 2 seasons, I’ve had enough.
Date published: 2018-08-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Lightweight and easy to use! Used many Stihl products at work and they are very reliable. Bought this for my house no problems starting it choke it prime it pull start it and off to work. Doesn’t feel like your holding anything very little weight. Just as reliable as all the other Stihl products I use.
Date published: 2018-08-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This unit has great features, is easy to use and gets the job done.It is easy to start and and is easy to handle. This unit is light weight, well balanced, easy starting and I would recommend it to the average homeowner.
Date published: 2018-07-29
Rated 1 out of 5 by from To many issues to name First I could not get it started. Took for ever. Now that I got it started and changed out the gas and did everything that I was told to do it does not have enough power. I start hitting the grass with it and it dies every time. I was worried this was going to happen so I am going to stay away from anything gas powered. This product causes so much stress I am done with it.
Date published: 2018-07-28
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Would be nice if it ran I bought this weedeater last year. Used it several times. Winterized it then when it was time to use it this year I tried for over 30 minutes to start it and my brother did the same. Finally started after an hour of attempts. 2 weeks later and I'm at the same point. I can't get it to start and I need it to run now as I will be out of town for 2 weeks. Not a good weedeater or a stihl product. Very disappointed!
Date published: 2018-07-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Don’t know why people say it won’t start If you’re having trouble starting it choke on pull three times choke off hold gas throttle open pull first time and it will start
Date published: 2018-07-21
Rated 1 out of 5 by from This unit needs to be used for a hammer I owned a home light trimmer for 27 years and loved it! Started every time, advanced line every time, absolutely loved it! Finally had to get rid of it because of gas leaks! My stihl is terrible! It won’t run fast enough to engage the clutch. I took it to the dealer and he said I had bad gas in it and washed his hands of it! This unit won’t advance line, because it doesn’t run fast enough! It is a total piece of junk. My first stihl product is horrible!
Date published: 2018-07-21
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Average product The fs 38 is affordable, in comparison to other trimmers on the market. It's also the hardest trimmer to start of all trimmers I've ever owned/used. The bump head doesn't work properly, but the poor staff at the location I purchased it from most likely didn't assemble it correctly, I've already taken it back to the store for assistance before I even used it. Now it starts easier, but sounds terrible when running since they played with the carb. Other trimmers are more affordable, most of the time even 30 bucks cheaper and they start each time, hassle free.
Date published: 2018-07-19
Rated 1 out of 5 by from First dissapointment by stihl I own the Kombi system, 270 chainsaw, backpack blowers and the shredder vac but the FS 38 trimmer was the first time I’ve been dissapointed by a stihl product. It is a pain to start. I don’t just mean a little patience, i mean it took me over 30 minutes the first two times I used it to get it going. Stihl normally makes good products, but I sure hope this isn’t a sign of what they’ve become.
Date published: 2018-07-18
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Hard to start and Keep Started This thing is a complete piece of Crap in all the worse details I could describe, I would have saved money buying a cheap weedeater at Walmart. Takes forever to start and hard to keep started after It's started have to squeeze the throttle multiple times if you squeeze it full power it starts to die, I have used this 4 times since I bought last year and I really just want to throw the crappy thing in the trash, Stihl should take this back and discard all remaining inventory and say hey let's start over again.
Date published: 2018-07-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from great Perfect for my needs, easy start runs like a champ!
Date published: 2018-07-16
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not user friendly at all!!! I spent most of the day trying to keep the string working. Very hard to use. Not user friendly. Definitely will be returning.
Date published: 2018-07-14
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Will not start and does not feed trimmer line I bought this new about a year ago. It takes two people taking turns to get it started after many, many pulls. I used the Stihl premixed gas. It has been this way since I bought it. Disappointed as I expected much more from a Stihl product. I have two of their chainsaws which have always worked fine. It also will not put out new line unless I stop and do it manually. Today I chose to buy another brand of leaf blower and it started like you would expect a new product to start.
Date published: 2018-07-13
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Best for simple and light work Bought this product and used it once and took it back. The motor was hard to start it didn't feed and weak on tall grass. Worst of it the product is made in China and and didn't need another. Best in light work only and don't expect to upgrade to a better stihl head
Date published: 2018-07-12
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Won't start!!!!! Don't matter how good it is if won't run it's junk. We use the reconnended oil and fresh gas. Still won't START!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Date published: 2018-07-07
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Too hard to start I had to take the FS 38 back to the store the day I bought it because I could not get it to start. They replaced the spark plug (on a brand new unit) and sent me on my way. I got it to start and used it that day. Since that time I have not been able to start the FS 38. I need to use this trimmer once a week, not once a year.
Date published: 2018-07-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Super !!! I do not understand about all the bad reviews I have read over this product. I have had an FS38 for 3 years now and have had absolutely 0 troubles out of it. It starts by the 4th pull every time. Of course I use Stihl synthetic oil for my 50:1 mix and I am the only one who mixes the gas for all my Stihl equipment. I cut all heights of weeds and I would definitely by another one !!!Thank you STIHL !!!!!
Date published: 2018-07-03
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Can't Start I have no idea how well this trimmer works, because I am unable to get it started. When demonstrating the unit in the store, the store employees also had trouble getting a different FS38 started. I did not purchase that one, instead opting for another one. But the one I brought home does not start any better.
Date published: 2018-07-01
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Pain to start Had an echo for about 4 years. It was so easy to start but I was always having to add twine. It finally went to trimmer heaven. Have stihl blower that starts on second pull so figured would get a trimmer. Wanted something lighter weight as I'm a 63 year old woman and husband is 70 but not real well. Dealer serviced it and when we picked up started it with no problem. Also bought the replacement head. Got it home couple days later was going to use it and it took me and my husband taking turns after about 20 pulls to start. Figured it was new but it is still the same. Wish I would not have bought this trimmer.
Date published: 2018-06-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from We love it, so easy to start Love it definitely recommend for anyone very easy to use
Date published: 2018-06-29
Rated 1 out of 5 by from bad I hate it it hasn't ran since the day I got it, it won't start and if you do get it started it last maybe a min and somehow I lost my receipt so I can't take it back
Date published: 2018-06-25
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Big hunk of crap If you like spending 30 or more minutes having to just get this weed eater started this is for you. * not much power* doesn’t start easily* doesn’t cut wellI got this because I heard STIHL makes a good product, and I thought this was a good deal at the time. I understand this isn’t there most expensive product but that shouldn’t matter. I don’t have a massive yard and just need to cut a little but if it’s having this much problems doing that. I will not be purchasing anything from STIHL again.
Date published: 2018-06-24
Rated 2 out of 5 by from String Head Is Of Poor Quality I had a Homelite trimmer for about 20 years and it was always a pain to start but once it was running it did what it suppose to do, trim the grass. It started leaking fuel so I thought it was time to replace the Homelite. I selected the Stihl FS38 mainly because of Stihl's reputation. That was a mistake & I wish I had read some of the reviews concerning the string head - the best words I can come up with to describe it is - it sucks.This trimmer starts easy & runs great but I spend as much time or more messing with the string as I do trimming the grass. The green string lasts about 2 minutes & the head will not feed the string out so I have to stop and manually feed the string out. I've only used this thing twice & I'm now wishing I had used my money repairing the Homelite instead of buying the Stihl. I gave it 2 stars only because it starts easy & the motor runs great. Buyer beware.
Date published: 2018-06-23
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Bad cutting heads,won't extend. I bought this trimmer (FS 38) about a year ago from the D&B store in Nampa Idaho. The trimmer runs good, it is light weight. problem with this trimmer is that the trimmer line will not extend with either a replacement head or a rewound replacement head. You have to stop when trimmer line needs extended, shut off equipment and take trimmer head off and rewind then reinstall and then go back and cut until trimmer head needs to be extended again. tThen do it all over again. For the price of the Trimmer its not worth it. The money I spent should be refunded so I can go buy a better brand, just not a Stihl.
Date published: 2018-06-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good Product, Great Price I bought the least expensive trimmer I could find from Stihl. I was pleasantly surprised at how good the trimmer works considering I just needed a small trimmer for my yard. Great balance, comfortable to use, compact design.Con - doesn't hold a ton of fuel.Pro - remains light weight even when full of fuel.Con-small head does not hold a ton of linePro-compact design with dual line feed knocks out a lawn quickly. Starts very easy and is just a great trimmer for such an inexpensive tool.
Date published: 2018-06-19
Rated 2 out of 5 by from This FS-38 Brushcutter was a Lemon I still maintain STIHL builds quality products. But every now and then you get one that's a little under the weather. I purchased my FS-38 Brushcutter in the summer of 2017, and up until this purchase had only been around what STIHL is famous for; their chainsaws. I purchased this item at a Big R in Dumas, TX some 80+ miles away from my home. The store performed its standard quality control over the trimmer. It ran, and out the door it went. Now I've handled plenty of these in the past but this thing never received the mixed fuel through its system like it should, so never ran like it was supposed to. But low and behold, the choke lever broke the very first day. The trimmer has yet to be taken back, thinking I'll get someone else to fix it here at home, if not myself.
Date published: 2018-06-17
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Never works This is my second one and second mistake. I figured I would try again, use the best gas and oil the stuff made by Sthil premix 93 octane. From 1st day of purchase. After using 1 time and using all gas, it won't start. off too the shop later fuel line is clogged. I get charged even though I used 90 octane non ethanol fuel. Next time it won't start, things need to be adjusted. Use it 1 time, go to start it again, it starts and dies, won't run more then 5 seconds. I have a FS 38 and as far as I am concerned the thing is a lemon. No matter how well I take care of it, it won't work. Buy an electric trimmer. IF this thing was an airplane engine I would have been dead from the start.
Date published: 2018-06-16
Rated 1 out of 5 by from this product would be good if it had clockwise rotation If you are right handed with the counterclockwise rotation of the cutter head you will receive all the trimmings right back at you. Its strictly amazing they allow this to happen. I attempted to take it back but it was beyond the time allowed..
Date published: 2018-06-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from highly recommend this little trimmer is just what i needed ,a break from my big 4 stroke Troy-Bilt it has all the power i need yet light enough that i can "one hand" it needed. The store i bought it from Sladek Hardware in Independence Mo. went over everything i needed to know about it, Best thing since i bought a gallon of Moto-mix i got a 5 year warranty
Date published: 2018-06-11
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