Stihl strimmers guide
By Adele Dyer
Stihl is well known for its petrol strimmers, but it has a full range of electric and cordless strimmers, too. Read our expert view on how well they perform.
Stihl petrol tools are widely used by professional gardeners, but the brand also makes a wide range of tools for the home gardener. We've reviewed its strimmers, hedge trimmers, leaf blowers and chainsaws. It also makes mowers and garden shredders under the Viking brand.
There are electric, cordless and petrol strimmers in the Stihl range, but they come at a price. Stihl is one of the many brands which now offer batteries that are compatible with all their tools. The batteries are all 36V and come in a range of capacities to give longer running times.
We've tested a number of Stihl's electric, cordless and petrol strimmers. Take a look at our reviews of Stihl strimmers to see how they matched up to other strimmers in our rigorous, independent tests.
Which? verdict on Stihl strimmers
We've collated all our test results of Stihl strimmers, plus our unique brand and reliability ratings to bring you an at-a-glance guide to Stihl strimmers.
In the table below, we've outlined how many of the brand's current models are Best Buys and highlight its overall pros and cons to help you decide if a Stihl strimmer is right for you. You can also read our expert verdict on whether we think the Stihl brand is worth buying.
Which? members can log in now to see the results in the table below. If you're not already a member you can try a £1 Which? trial to get instant access to these results and hundreds of product reviews.
|Stihl strimmers - brand data|
|Number tested since 2012||6|
|Number of Best Buys|
|Average test score|
|Brand reliability rating|
|Value for money rating|
|Should I buy one?|
How much to Stihl strimmers cost?
Stihl strimmers are not cheap. Its least expensive electric model costs £70 for a model without an adjustable shaft; something most of its competitors produce for less than half the price. The most expensive model is £195.
Similarly, Stihl's cordless models start at £99 for a simple strimmer for light garden tasks and go up to around £460 for models that work as an alternative to a petrol strimmer for large areas of long grass and rough vegetation.
Finally, its petrol strimmers aimed at home users start at £165, compared with the more usual £100-120 from other brands.
Choosing the best Stihl strimmer
Stihl's electric strimmers start with the FSE 31, a basic model with a fixed shaft and pivoting head for around £70. The next two in the range, the FSE 52 (£90) and FSE 60 (£140) are the most versatile. They have rotating heads and are suitable for most tasks around the garden. The largest strimmer in the range, the FSE 81 (£185), is more geared towards cutting long grass and weeds as the head doesn't rotate but it does have an anti-vibration system to make it more comfortable to use for long periods.
All of Stihl's cordless models are suitable for cutting long grass and weeds, and trimming grass. They are for the home user or professional who needs to work in places where loud noise would be a problem if they're using a petrol strimmer. Most aren't cheap, costing from £199 for the FSA 65 and going up to around £300 for the FSA 90 R, but this doesn't include the battery or charger. However, Stihl has just introduced a cheaper cordless strimmer, the FSA 45, costing just £99, which is for small gardens.
The petrol models are broken down into lightweight and powerful catagories. Most of the lower-cost models have 27cc two-stroke engines and cost in excess of around £160.