FS 38

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A lightweight, value-priced consumer trimmer with many quality design features.

Product Description

Designed for those seeking a great entry level string trimmer at a value price, the FS 38 is ideal for the homeowner. Its lightweight design – just 9.3 pounds! - is surprising when compared to its power output. And its high cutting speeds and 15" cutting width allow the user to complete trimming tasks in a short amount of time. Combined with optimized balance, an ergonomic loop handle, curved shaft and low vibration, the FS 38 offers exceptional handling and maneuverability around landscaping obstacles.

Model Features

  • 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).
  • Loop Handle (R)
    Loop handle grass trimmers and brushcutters are ideal for trimming between bushes and shrubs and other areas where space is limited.
  • Adjustable front handle
    The front handle is easily adjustable (360-degree rotation) for comfort.
  • Convenient throttle/start/run/stop controls built into the handle for easy operation.
  • 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.
  • TapAction™ AUTOCUT® Cutting Head
    TapAction™, 2-line AUTOCUT® cutting head with easy-view deflector.
  • Upright Translucent Fuel Tank
    Allows operator to easily check fuel level before starting work. Upright position makes it easier to refill.
  • Protected Spark Arrestor Muffler
    Has large baffles which reduce noise level and contains a screen designed to reduce the emission of sparks.
  • Protected Spark Plug
    Protected yet easy to change.
  • Heavy-Duty Steel-On-Steel Clutch
    Centrifugal clutch is designed to reduce slippage.
  • Protected or Enclosed Control Cables
    Eliminate dangling and loose wires.
  • Air Filter Cover
    Easily removed for fast and easy filter cleaning or replacement.
  • Throttle Trigger Interlock
    Must be depressed before the trigger can be activated.
  • Protected Choke Lever/Knob
    Helps prevent damage.
  • High Tech Polymer Housing
    Housings are lightweight, withstand greater impact and are corrosion-resistant.
  • Fully Lined Drive Shaft
    Provides smooth operation and less vibration.


27.2 cc (1.66 cu. in.)
0.65 kW (0.87 bhp)
4.2 kg (9.3 lbs.)
330 cc (11.2 oz.)
* Weight without cutting attachment or deflector.

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.


FS 38 is rated 3.2 out of 5 by 501.
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Pretty good for the money Went in to buy a different weed eater but found this one on sale so far has turned out to be better then the reviews
Date published: 2019-11-05
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not Worth it Used twice after the 2nd use the hub that holds cutting string was stripped and broke the center section out of it. Took back to seller and they swapped it for a new one. I expected a better product from Stihl.
Date published: 2019-11-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from bigger twine It has too much horsepower for the twine, i have used up more twine on dumb stuff, and can't use thicker twine, so i i would recommend as far as starting, but if u were to do your yard u would spend more money on twine than gas, just saying to be honest, p.s. and i used company twine and had my own lawn service
Date published: 2019-10-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wholly crap great power Really nice for cutting tall grass and weeds. Never bogged down once in my 3 foot tall grass, weeds, and light brush. Cuttings getting wrapped up in the string head area is very minor and if you catch it quick enough it clears out easily. .080 trimmer string is heavy enough to cut the toughest of weeds and grass. The string and trimmer are strong enough to have cut a couple 1/4" thick tree limbs just as a test to see how strong the string was. You can also get the upgrade to a stihl poly cut 7-3 for around $25. with the plastic blades that will last longer than the string as long as you don't hit hard things like rocks, tree trunks, and walls. This is definitely the best pick I've had for lawn equipment in a while. My only con would be : Safety switch on the top of the handle that you have to keep a tight grip on sits between your thumb and index finger making it difficult to hold down when pulling the trigger, but there's ways to deal with it if you are mechanically inclined
Date published: 2019-10-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Got it done Perfect for my projects, small land light. I did have an issue feeling heat in my arm from the motor that was a bit uncomfortable. I had to stop and let it cool down. That was my only complaint. Otherwise it got the job done with no issue. STIHL is the best and can’t beat there warranty.
Date published: 2019-09-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great value, quality build. I bought this trimmer back in 2014. I followed the break in instructions for the engine and use Stihl oil. I have had zero issues with my trimmer. I only have a half acre lot so it ends up being about 30 minutes of run time every week from April through September. This trimmer will knock down mature Kochia weed with the PolyCut blades. I was impressed by the amount of power it has. I wouldn’t use it for brush cutting, but that’s not what it’s designed to do. Great product from a great company!
Date published: 2019-09-05
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Worst ever Second time use, could not get it started. Do not buy
Date published: 2019-09-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I've had no issues at all with my fs-38 I haven't had any problems, if I had any complaints at all.. it would be that I have to use a specific size trimmer line. So the giant spool that I already own is no good to me anymore, which sucks because I just bought it 4 months ago..
Date published: 2019-09-02
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Standard Features

  • Common Features for Trimmers
    View the features common to many STIHL trimmers.

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For Your Safety


Low-Emission Trimmers from STIHL - Video

How to Wind a STIHL Trimmer Head - Video

Cutting Heads & Blades Selection Chart (PDF)

Download Instructions on How to Rewind Your Trimmer Head (PDF)

Product Instruction Manual (PDF)

Product Safety Manual (PDF)

STIHL Limited Warranty

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