Stihl heavy duty trimmer / brush cutter.

Has anyone had any experience with one of these units? I can't remember the model number of this machine, but it's the smallest model that can handle a saw blade instead of the usual trimmer string. I've got some briar and honeysuckle thickets and a couple Russian olive clumps that I can't get to with my bush hog. Plus some really thick popular sprouts I'd like to thin out. This looks like it might do the job. Anybody use one?
I have used echo's with saw blades. They will go through anything you described like butter. Just don't hit the ground or rocks and they stay sharp for a long time. It is a workout.
I have an FS76 from the early 90s. It is the most reliable gas engine I have ever owned. I used it in my Lawn/Landscape business for 10 years, and have been using it on my properties ever since. I use the saw blades to knock out honeysuckle.
I have one that goes on the stihl power unit that powers the blower,weedeater etc.It is a round blade and will cut trees probably up to 2 inches.You do want to buy the guard but it is a cutting unit
Sounds like I might want to give this gizmo a closer look. With two blades and an aluminum guard for the blade the trimmer /saw was about $730. A little spendy but a handy tool that no doubt I'd use a lot.
Mine wasn't close to that,It has a power unit and you can attach different attachments,i have blower,weedeater,pole saw,brush cutter.maybe all the attachments and unit cost that much
I bought the blade and guard for around $50 but that was 12 years ago. Weed eater was around $400
If you are cutting small trees I would think you would want the round blade.Might be rough having a 3 prong blade bouncing across a sapling,mine cuts it with a saw blade
My brother bought one 20 some years ago and paid 300 + dollars for it, at the time a good chunk of $. If I buy this one it's over $700, Inflation I guess, LOL. The salesman recommended the round blade but I was gonna get it anyway. Thanks for the feedback that's what I wanted.
Has anyone had any experience with one of these units? I can't remember the model number of this machine, but it's the smallest model that can handle a saw blade instead of the usual trimmer string. I've got some briar and honeysuckle thickets and a couple Russian olive clumps that I can't get to with my bush hog. Plus some really thick popular sprouts I'd like to thin out. This looks like it might do the job. Anybody use one?

Not sure exactly which model you're thinking of.

I have the FS310, which my dealer said is the lowest end model that can be considered a true brush saw. Just because they have bicycle handlebars doesn't mean they have the heavy duty components to be a brush saw. If you compare the smaller models like the FS131 and 210, the difference is obvious, the bevel gearbox and shaft are MUCH larger on the true brush saws and that's where all the stress is.

With that said, I've been VERY unhappy with the quality of RECENT Stihl equipment I've bought. Please don't tell me about how great your grandpappy's Stihl from 1978 is, I'm talking about the Stihl stuff I've bought within the last 10 years. It's all been very low quality and all 3 pieces of Stihl equipment have FAILED such that they were unusable and required dealer service within months of purchase. The dealer service in itself was very poor.

Be aware that Stihl power equipment has a ZERO day warranty now. That's right, there is NO warranty on new Stihl power equipment if the problem is determined by the dealer to be a "fuel system problem". No proof is required and there is no appeal.

My FS310 would not start one day after 5 months of ownership. It went from working to stone dead in one weekend. I was using Stihl oil that has fuel stabilizer in it AND I was using non-ox gas. The problem was blamed by the dealer on "bad gas", but they couldn't tell me what was "bad" about it. And no, they did not save a sample of this "bad gas".

So my 5-month-old Stihl that was under "extended warranty" cost me $36 to have fixed. It should come as no surprise that suddenly every problem with a new Sthil is now a "fuel system problem". It will surprise no one to know that I continued to use rest of the 2 gallon can of this "bad gas" in my Husky equipment and my older Stihl saw with no issues whatsoever. So much for the bogus "bad gas" theory then.

Now let me here explain that I know vastly more about handheld power equipment than the average user. I'm worked 3 years as a small engine mechanic, I worked on logging crews during college, and my family heated with wood since I was 4. I have run a chainsaw for a day for ever hour most people have put on one. Had this brush cutter not been under warranty, I'd have dug into it and most likely fixed it myself in less time than it took the dealer to do so. I only took it in because my last Stihl product (a blower), had a complete carb failure after 5 hours of use. Cracked plastic wall inside the carb caused an air leak. It took the dealer over a month to get a new carb, aparently the carbs are now considered disposable.

Buyer beware when it comes to today's Stihl gear. After 25 years of Stihl ownership, I've bought my last one. Strongly suggest you look at quality brands like Echo and Husky, and avoid Stihl and Stihl dealers. They are coasting off of a reputation based on what they were 30 years ago, not what they are now.

Bought my first new Husky chainsaw last winter. It fired on the 2nd pull and hasn't missed a beat since. Solong, Stihl.

I have a commercial Stihl straight shaft trimmer with the handle grips, not sure which model. I have a round saw blade on it and it makes short work of briars, saplings and all sorts of brush. I use it to trim back paths, create new paths and cut shooting lanes. It works great and when that blade is sharp it will cut down 6" trees if you need to without a problem. I really like it and it is a work horse.
A buddy bought a kit at home depot that converted his weed eater into a saw blade monster. He said it worked great i just haven't gotten around to buy thing the kit. I think its was around $80.

I tried one of the multi-tool trimmers before I bought my dedicated brush cutter. I wrecked the trimmer in one weekend. I ended up with a toasted clutch and the drive was "crimped" in several places requiring a shaft replacement.

Trimmers are not built for the extreme abuse that a brush saw can handle. Just look at the diameter of the shaft tube and the size of the bevel gear case and clutch housing on the motor. Everything on a dedicated brush cutter is bigger and more heavy duty.

At best, I would say that these conversion kits cold safely be used to cut "coarse", but non woody plants like raspberry and blackberry, cattails, etc. Anything larger than your little finger that has woody bark will destroy the unit. Trust me, I've been there, and it cost me $180 to repair my string trimmer to working order.

I recently bought a Huskavarna brush cutter and tried it out today in the woods for first time.
Mine came with three heads, grass string trimmer, metal brush blade and a circular forestry saw blade. I found the forestry saw blade did good on trees up to 2". It was a lot easier than using a chainsaw. Although I'll still have to go back through the area with a chainsaw to finish up the big stuff. The saw blade Does not do well on briars, small vines, etc. the metal brush cutting blade did good on the briars and small stuff up to about an inch.
All and all I'm happy with my purchase since I needed a new trimmer for house anyways and this serves that purpose plus my habitat work.
I paid $511 with free shipping for mine. Be sure if you get a brush cutter it comes with a comfortable harness, it is pretty heavy! And safety glasses are a must. I also realized after practicing around house a little it will leave your ears ringing. I wore ear muffs today and glad I did.
I've done a bit more research and the newer Stihl products don't come too highly recommended. Even on their own trimmer/brush cutter web page some of the reviews were less than favorable. I've been looking at the Echo brush cutter it has good reviews and is $200 cheaper. The only fault seems to be weight and the harness is extra. I gonna make a trip to the Echo dealer and check them out. Thanks for the feed back so far.
A good friend of mine who has a farm about 30 miles away from mine purchased an Echo brush cutter this past spring. He's very impressed so far. He, too, noted that it weighs more than a similar Stihl, but whether or not you consider that a good or bad thing depends. IMO part of the weight difference is due to heavier duty components and more metal instead of orange plastic.

His Echo has already bested my Stihl in one important measure. He's had it more than 6 months without having to take it in to a dealer to be fixed.

And safety glasses are a must.

Actually, a face shield is a MUST. I found that out the hard way when I went to cut some brush stumps must a little closer to the ground. I took off about 3 inches of a briar stump about the diameter of a good Robusto cigar.

It flew off the blade, hit a tree right in front of me, flew directly back at me, and hit me right on the point of the chin with enough force to really get my attention. I mean as in it hit me with more force than I could ever have thrown it.

That metal blade has tremendous energy. Small pieces fly like bullets! Do not use near people and I wear my chainsaw helmet with mesh shield.
I've used brushcutters for ~30 years. The cutter is a key component. I highly recommend using a 10" 80 tooth blade such as this:
8" diameter blades are not as good as they don't have as high of tip speed (feet per minute) at the same RPM.
They will slice through thick fescue grass and anything up to a couple inches diameter. Of course it is wicked dangerous - it would take someone's ankle off cleanly. Have NO ONE or pet anywhere near where you are using it.
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I decided on the Echo and picked it up today. I also got an extra blade, a face shield and ear muff combo. The trimmer came with a harness but it needed considerable modification to fit my 2x body. I haven't had time to give it good test yet. A better report will come later.