Last summer my trusty Shindaiwa T231 weed eater finally quit working. It was about four years old and I had put it through some heavy use over the previous few summers. The weed eater was beyond spending money on trying to repair it. It simply was time to get a new trimmer.
So, I went to shop around for another Shindaiwa. While looking, I noticed the Stihl FS 55 trimmer. What was appealing to me was that it was about $100 cheaper than the Shindaiwa. The catch was that it was only intended for “consumer or light professional use”. Since I had cut down on my mowing schedule, I felt that this model would work for me and went ahead and bought it.
- Clean, smooth design
- Heavy duty clutch
- Trigger throttle
- Adjustable front loop handle
- Lined drive shaft
- 27.2 cc engine
- 10.6 pounds
I had never owned a Stihl trimmer before. In fact, I had hardly used in one. And to be honest, the few times I did use one, I wasn’t crazy about it. I was satisfied and used to using my trusty Shindaiwa weed eater. There was no reason to use or buy anything else.
I was well aware, though, that Stihl built quality products. I have always used Stihl backpack blowers and wouldn’t think of using anything else. They are the best backpack blowers I have ever used. I have also owned a couple of Stihl chainsaws that I was very happy with. If you look and see what equipment your neighborhood lawn and landscape companies use, most likely you will find a few Stihl products.
That is why I wasn’t hesitant to give the Stihl FS 55 a try. I knew that any feelings I had about Stihl trimmers were the result of my bias towards Shindaiwa. And since I could save $100, I decided to give it a shot.
When I first started using the trimmer it felt a little awkward holding it since I was so accustomed to using a Shindaiwa. Fortunately, I was able to adjust to it quickly. I found that it was easy to start every time and offered plenty of power. It definitely had as much or more power than a Shindaiwa.
I’ve been using the FS 55 for close to a year now as my main weed eater. I haven’t had any mechanical issues with it. My one complaint is that I find it vibrates quite a bit. This might not be an issue if you only use a trimmer occasionally, but if you’ve been using one for years, it’s more of a concern. Other than that, I’ve been very pleased with its performance.
While reading reviews online, I was very surprised with the negative comments regarding the trimmer. Most of them focused on the claim that it was not easy to start. I was not as surprised to see such comments when I read them about the Homelite weed eater, since you have to follow specific instructions to a T to get it started. But, I have had absolutely no problem starting this trimmer and I probably put more wear and tear on it than most.
The Stihl FS 55 trimmer is another high quality product from Stihl. It offers plenty of power and is reliable. If you mow a few extra lawns in addition to your own, this is a perfect trimmer for you.