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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).
  • Adjustable front handle
    The front handle is easily adjustable (360-degree rotation) for comfort.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Start/Run/Stop Controls on Handle
  • 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 3.3 out of 5 by 315.
Rated 4 out of 5 by from It gets job done For what I needed it for it gets job done and was somewhat affordable. But I've only used it once.
Date published: 2017-09-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This trimmer is the best I have ever had! Starts every time!! Not as heavy as other trimmers I have had in the past. Also, the string seems to last lo This trimmer is the best I have ever had! Starts every time!! Not as heavy as other trimmers I have had in the past. Also, the string seems to last longer than others. Helps me to keep my yard manicured!! I'm very satisfied!!
Date published: 2017-09-07
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Doesn't want to start and the cutting line doesn't work well I have had the same problem many have had with this product. This model does not want to start. I think we've gotten it started twice since we bought it. One time when it was running the cutting line was messed up, it was fused together so it wouldn't let out. I wish I could trade this in somewhere.
Date published: 2017-09-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Starting out with Stihl Great power...good weight...starts easily. Overall easy to operate. Head easy to load. I am seventeen and cut a few yards in my neighborhood. I saved my money and this was my first Stihl product purchase. I plan to expand my Stihl collection as I believe in Stihl products! Thanks Stihl!
Date published: 2017-08-29
Rated 1 out of 5 by from This weed trimmer is junk! I bought my trimmer a year ago. I was under the impression Stihl was a quality name.The first time I started it it was a chore. I never have been able to start it since. I't has been in the shop more time than at my home. Pretty sad when the sales man could not start it either. Just picked it up again today from the shop, they replaced the carburetor this time. Surprise surprise, would not start for me. And yes I read the manual, yes I watched the sales man, and even tried to start it in front of him, yes I watched the videos, and yes I use Stihl's own gas mix. This is simply not a good product. It is beyond me why Stihl has not addressed this issue. I have a limited income and cannot afford another trimmer, what a waste of my hard earned money.
Date published: 2017-08-18
Rated 1 out of 5 by from lightwieght this piece of equipment is easy to handle.but that is all i can say about it.
Date published: 2017-08-17
Rated 2 out of 5 by from No power.. hard starter I have used this trimmer only a handful of times and I get more frustrated each time I use it. It's hard to start and seems like it doesn't run wide open. The line runs out so fast because it's the thin stuff and its breaking off. I have been a faithful Stihl gal all my life but this trimmer just isn't cuttin' it.. Can't take it back where I got it so not sure what I'm going to do with it. I am a Stihl gal all the way, but, save your money folks, this trimmer isn't worth the $$$..
Date published: 2017-08-15
Rated 2 out of 5 by from After one (1) year of homeowner use my Stihl trimmer leaves a lot to be desired. I purchased my FS38, one year ago. Within two hours of initial purchase, I returned to my dealer complaining of very poor engine acceleration and a rough idle. Was told by my young salesperson that it just needed some break in time. One year later and I'm still trying to break it in. Now, this isn't my first rodeo or trimmer, nor my second or third but, it will be my last STIHL trimmer. I have a very small yard so, I'm not asking much from this piece of equipment. I'm using Stihl premixed fuel. I can only hope that this is not the norm.
Date published: 2017-08-08
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Standard Features

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

You Will Also Need

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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