FS 38

FS 38
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 488.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This product is awesome I never had one and I got my first one yesterday and use it and itWork good think you
Date published: 2019-08-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great start. Always use fresh gas. Starts every time! I use the Motomix or fresh gas always. Good power for my use around the lawn.
Date published: 2019-08-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Easy to start, easy to use This is my second FS 38. My first lasted over five years with minimal maintenance and fueling with ethanol-blend mid-grade gas/2 stroke oil mix. It got hard to start, and I opted for the quick and sure fix of a new trimmer, rather than gamble with repairing the old one. This time I may stick with the pre-mix, ethanol-free good fuel and better attention to service.
Date published: 2019-08-13
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not what I expected This trimmer got a great rating on Consumer Reports, but I have not liked it. It's hard to start, and the trimmer line melts together easily, thereby breaking the line and creating extra time and effort to string again.I also used all previous trimmers as edgers, but it's hard to hold this model in a way that allows for clean cutting.
Date published: 2019-08-05
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Line feed is the worst Constantly have to rewind the line. It binds up won’t feed. Very unhappy with this
Date published: 2019-08-03
Rated 1 out of 5 by from I think I purchased a Lemon The same day I bought the trimmer, I tried to use it and the carburetor was rattling inside it's contained area, while running. When I actually started to use the trimmer, it kept bogging down and cutting out. Within 2 hours of purchasing this trimmer, I took it back and the "CERTIFIED STIHL MECHANIC' was suppose to have corrected the problem. He did not. I have been doing my own yard work for 10 years now and have never had a trimmer issue like this. I am really upset because I cannot afford to replace this trimmer with one that actually works. I have never been able to trim my yard with it. I have tried several times and it does the same thing over and over, bogging down. I know its a carburetor issue but even the certified mechanic cannot fix the problem. I WANT MY MONEY BACK. How likely is that?
Date published: 2019-08-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great value for the price Just having switched from a corded unit to a gas version, it takes some getting used to. I like the fact that I'm not tethered to a cord, but learning the proper technique takes some time. I believe that, after getting used to the weight difference from the electric trimmer to this one, I will truly enjoy this trimmer.
Date published: 2019-07-30
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Not dependable Used this trimmer four times last season. Started it this spring and used it three times. Next time I went to use it the trimmer wouldn’t start. I’ve messed with it for two months now, I’ve watched the Stihl videos online and tried all the troubleshooting. Still won’t start. I purchased a Stihl expecting a high quality product. I was wrong in this assumption. I will not be buying another Stihl product.
Date published: 2019-07-29
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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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