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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    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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    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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STIHL Dealer Days are Ending Soon!

FS 38 is rated 3.3 out of 5 by 346.
Rated 4 out of 5 by from received excellent training, but no operator manual. Would like to have operator's manualStore training is soon forgotten.
Date published: 2018-05-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from This trimmer is an excellent choice for home use. Starts right up even after sitting all winter. Runs great and does a very nice job for what I need it for.
Date published: 2018-05-15
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Extremely difficult to start! It works great on the rare occasion you can start it. Really shouldn't require three people tag teaming to start the thing.
Date published: 2018-05-14
Rated 1 out of 5 by from The FS 38 is impossible to start This FS38 IS lightweight and easy to use...on the rare occasion my son and son-in-law have been able to start it. Otherwise it is a waste of money. The starter needs to be reworked for those like me who purposely chose a lightweight product.
Date published: 2018-05-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Starts easily and very lightweight. A pleasure to use. I haven't maintained my own lawn for years and I recently retired. I figured why not maintain my lawn, save a few bucks and also get some exercise. I purchased the FS-38 trimmer and it has been so easy to start and use, I felt like I was a pro after all these years. Thanks for an easy to use, affordable product that has a great reputation!!
Date published: 2018-05-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Trimmer I have owned this trimmer for around 7 years with no major problems. I cut 4 yards a week with this trimmer and it has never left me unable to complete a job. The only negative would be the power. This trimmer has more than enough for regular cutting, but overgrown grass and weeds make this trimmer struggle. Can't beat it for the money. Very dependable and tough machine.
Date published: 2018-05-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from product is good ONLY PROBLEM I HAVE WITH THIS UNIT IT TAKES TIME TO START THE CUTTER. MANY NUMEROUS ATTEMPTS TO.
Date published: 2018-05-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Trimmer FS 38 I've prrchased this weedeater/trimmer only this past month, and not used but once so far. It starts easy and runs smooth and has done great job on limited use.Have used these commercial ones and if it holds up half as good , its worth the money
Date published: 2018-05-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great trimmer Excellent as always with Stihl. very dependable and tough.
Date published: 2018-05-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent performance I own 2 STIHL chainsaws and have been very happy with their performance therefore I felt confident in purchasing the FS 38. It has performed as expected with one exception. The string that came with the trimmer kept breaking even when trimming grass however the problem was corrected with a larger diameter and a more aggressive string. The FS 38 is everything I needed to maintain a beautiful landscape.
Date published: 2018-05-01
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Not up to the job/ The trimmer string head on this unit does not feed properly and is a real problem. I do not even use it anymore as it starts hard and is not worth the trouble. It was the cheap one on the floor and maybe I should have bought one higher up the line.
Date published: 2018-04-29
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Piece of junk Ive bought many weed eaters and chain saws in my day and I know they are hard to start the first time. I've been trying to get this to run for over an hour now and nothing. Now I have to drive an hour to return this thing to Murdochs.
Date published: 2018-04-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I run 3 of these on a lawn crew. They are an excellent value! I bought my first FS-38 3 years ago after being extremely impressed with a recent Stihl chainsaw purchase. That first trimmer spent one year on standard home use for my lawn and my Mom's lawn. The same trimmer has now given me two good years as a go to for my mowing business and shows no signs of giving out any time soon. I have three of this exact model today, including that first one. They are light weight, inexpensive, easy to repair, and easy to operate. I run high octane fuel with the Stihl synthetic mix in every tank I also run the 0.95" standard line from Stihl. Running commercial, I end up changing the bump nut and air filter a couple times a season. I also clean the spark arrestor and carburetor twice each season. It's a tool, it will require maintenance eventually, and we use ours a lot. I have used a buddy's larger straight shaft trimmer. I was not impressed. I'm 5'8" by boys aren't much taller. For us, this trimmer works excellent!
Date published: 2018-04-23
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Way under expectations for the price Bought an fs38 brand new, first time I went to use it was very hard to start, when I finally did get it started, it would not run properly. It would die every time I gave it gas. Took it back to where I bought it and they charged me just to look at it. Found out the carburetor was bad. They Replaced the carb but I still haven't started yet. Overall just not happy with product.
Date published: 2018-04-17
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Worthless trimmer I purchased this trimmer 3 years ago and have had to replace the pull cord twice. This trimmer never wants to start. Takes 40 pulls sometimes to start. Most of the time it hasn’t started. Tired of breaking pull cords and not being able to trim my yard. This machine was a problem from day one. Don’t waste your money.
Date published: 2018-03-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from it runs great, starts easy great little trimmer works great light weight, prime it like it said in booklet starts every time not my first Stihl product they all work great had others they don't compare to these very happy with them
Date published: 2018-03-07
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Junk I purchased the FS38 in June 2016 to replace a 15 year old gas trimmer. I didn't even get to finish my yard the first time I used it. It stopped running and I couldn't get to start. I had to patch up my old trimmer and use that for the rest of 2016. I actually strained my forearm trying to start the FS38. I got it fixed but continued to use my more reliable 15 year old trimmer into 2017 until it finally broke down for good in November. Went back to the FS38 and used it twice since, with terrible results. The line does not feed, I've tried 2.0 and 2.4 mil line and 2 brands of line. I watched videos and loaded the line correctly, but still no luck. The line does not feed. Another major problem is that the trimmer stalls out when I turn it sideways to edge the yard. I have to rev it up really high to keep it running, then the line breaks and doesn't feed. There is no way I can use this piece of junk in 2018. Ready to cut my losses and buy a trimmer that actually works.
Date published: 2018-02-26
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Hard to start, lacks power I've used gas trimmers for years. Bought the fs38 after researching trimmers. Was going to get the fs56 but my yard's small and wouldn't need it. Took 20 pulls to get the engine to start. Once it started it would not run in mid throttle only idle and full throttle. If you tried to go mid throttle the engine would stall out. It lacked power big time. It bogged down trimming 2 inch grass. It guzzled gas too. In 20 feet of edging it used half a tank of gas.I don't think a quality company like Stihl should even sell this model.I went out and got the fs40, much better in all categories. Starts in 1 pull, has tons of power. Spend the extra money.
Date published: 2018-02-23
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Dont Waste your money Bought this product 1 year ago. Cant find parts, doesnt run right, hasnt started in 2 months. Worst weed eater I have ever bought. I will never buy a stihl anything again. Stalls, quits at high RPM. Rebuilt carb after 1 week. Just junk.
Date published: 2018-02-18
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Do not buy! Bought this last spring. I've had it in the shop 3 times with two different dealers. One had it for 5 weeks. I can't keep it running when trying to run a higher RPM. If you flip it on its side to edge with it dies. One dealer told me this is how it is designed... Although my FS45 never does that. So I have a new trimmer that won't run and none of the dealers apparently in my area know or care how to fix. Thanks Stihl!
Date published: 2018-02-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Operates great!!!!!!!! Purchased this trimmer a week ago. Have used it several times and it has started and trimmed flawlessly. I purchased this since my other trimmer kept breaking down. I now own Stihl trimmer and chainsaw.Stihl customer for life......
Date published: 2017-12-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from FS38 kicks butt IMO... I just purchased the FS38 from an authorized dealer near me. They filled it with the proper gas /&!oil mixture and started it for the first time in front of me .It sounded fine to me but the gentleman heard something he didn’t like and made a few adjustments before I could go out the door w it.I got home ,used it once and I can already dispel some of the negatives mentioned in other reviews .It starts immediately on every attempt.He was carefulTo point out you prime it, pull it twice on Joe and it still hasn’t started put it on a run and try a few more tugh...Not leave it on full show and pull it 10 or 20 times as some people may have gone before they said it didn’t want to start they should read the directions on how to start the FS 38 if their sales person has not already gone over it with them .He also made it clear once it starts and how you approach your were rabbit too and keep it at full speed until that section of your work is done.I’m necessarily revving it up and down before during and after a job tunes to let the fuel lines get gummed up...And believe me at full power the FS 38 is more than powerful enough for any home or light industrial use.Finally I was surprised to see the comments saying it was too heavy. I researched all similar makes and models online and they all weighed between 9-10 pounds and the FS38 weighs 9.3 lbs.? So and less they were comparing it to the weight of a battery or electric powered unit of any brand that comment just plain doesn’t make sense .
Date published: 2017-12-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great product for the price Cant beat the price very good quality easy to use it is a little heavy
Date published: 2017-12-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from It gets job done For what I needed it for it gets job done and was somewhat affordable. But I've only used it once.
Date published: 2017-09-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This trimmer is the best I have ever had! Starts every time!! Not as heavy as other trimmers I have had in the past. Also, the string seems to last lo This trimmer is the best I have ever had! Starts every time!! Not as heavy as other trimmers I have had in the past. Also, the string seems to last longer than others. Helps me to keep my yard manicured!! I'm very satisfied!!
Date published: 2017-09-07
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Doesn't want to start and the cutting line doesn't work well I have had the same problem many have had with this product. This model does not want to start. I think we've gotten it started twice since we bought it. One time when it was running the cutting line was messed up, it was fused together so it wouldn't let out. I wish I could trade this in somewhere.
Date published: 2017-09-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Starting out with Stihl Great power...good weight...starts easily. Overall easy to operate. Head easy to load. I am seventeen and cut a few yards in my neighborhood. I saved my money and this was my first Stihl product purchase. I plan to expand my Stihl collection as I believe in Stihl products! Thanks Stihl!
Date published: 2017-08-29
Rated 1 out of 5 by from This weed trimmer is junk! I bought my trimmer a year ago. I was under the impression Stihl was a quality name.The first time I started it it was a chore. I never have been able to start it since. I't has been in the shop more time than at my home. Pretty sad when the sales man could not start it either. Just picked it up again today from the shop, they replaced the carburetor this time. Surprise surprise, would not start for me. And yes I read the manual, yes I watched the sales man, and even tried to start it in front of him, yes I watched the videos, and yes I use Stihl's own gas mix. This is simply not a good product. It is beyond me why Stihl has not addressed this issue. I have a limited income and cannot afford another trimmer, what a waste of my hard earned money.
Date published: 2017-08-18
Rated 1 out of 5 by from lightwieght this piece of equipment is easy to handle.but that is all i can say about it.
Date published: 2017-08-17
Rated 2 out of 5 by from No power.. hard starter I have used this trimmer only a handful of times and I get more frustrated each time I use it. It's hard to start and seems like it doesn't run wide open. The line runs out so fast because it's the thin stuff and its breaking off. I have been a faithful Stihl gal all my life but this trimmer just isn't cuttin' it.. Can't take it back where I got it so not sure what I'm going to do with it. I am a Stihl gal all the way, but, save your money folks, this trimmer isn't worth the $$$..
Date published: 2017-08-15
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