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FS 40 C-E

FS 40 C-E
A lightweight, reliable grass trimmer, featuring STIHL Easy2Start™ technology, a low exhaust emission engine and lightweight curved shaft.

Product Description

This entry-level trimmer feels like first class. The STIHL FS 40 C-E trimmer is lightweight, balanced in hand and features a curved shaft for exceptional handling. And that’s just the outside of the trimmer. Inside, the low exhaust emission and fuel-efficient engine is ideal for home use – putting grass and weeds to rest with good cutting power. This grass trimmer also features our innovative Easy2Start™ technology, so you can get started with just a simple pull of the starter cord. Together it makes for one fantastic deal, unless you’re a weed.

Model Features

  • Reduced-Emission Engine Technology - Caring for Nature
    The STIHL Inc. “Caring for Nature” seal identifies its powered products that are more environmentally conscious, producing zero or low exhaust emissions. STIHL Inc. defines “low exhaust emissions” as being cleaner than EPA and/or CARB exhaust emission standards.

    More information

  • Built in the USA
    Indicates products that are built in the United States from domestic and foreign parts and components.

    More information

  • 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).
  • STIHL Easy2Start™
    The STIHL Easy2Start™ system makes starting STIHL outdoor power tools almost effortless, eliminating the need for a strong pull of the starting cord. This advanced starting system is designed to make starting STIHL products easier. The specific system may vary by model, but in each case, a quick pull overcomes the engine’s compression to minimize the strength and effort required to start. Available on selected products.

    See it in action!
  • 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.
  • Simplified Starting Procedure
    To get started, simply pump the fuel primer, set the choke and pull the starter cord. The built-in stop switch allows the user to turn off the engine with a simple press of the button. When the engine is off, the throttle lock automatically returns to the “start” setting. Your power tool will be ready to be started when you’re ready to get back to work.

    See it in action!
  • 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.)
0.7 kW (0.94 bhp)
4.5 kg (9.9 lbs.)
340 cc (11.5 oz.)
* Weight without cutting attachment or deflector.

Important Information

WARNING! Improper use of any trimmer/brushcutter can cause serious or fatal injury. Read, understand and follow all safety instructions in your instruction manual. To reduce the risk of injury from blade contact, circular saw blades may be used on FS brushcutters that have a limitstop, a bicycle handle and double shoulder harness and not on FS brushcutters with a "J" handle or loop handle. Other rigid blades may be used on FS brushcutters having a bicycle handle, a "J" handle or a loop handle equipped with a barrier bar. To reduce the risk of eye injury always wear proper eye protection. Always use the appropriate deflector for the type of cutting attachment, as explained in your instruction manual.

Note: STIHL engine products with the Caring for Nature logo are cleaner than EPA Standards for exhaust emissions.

Note: STIHL recommends use of fuel with no more than 10% Ethanol content. Using fuel with greater than 10% Ethanol content may cause damage to your equipment and may void your STIHL warranty. Learn More…

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 40 C-E is rated 4.4 out of 5 by 362.
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Powerful tool, don't like the grip & trigger. I have used it one time to cut day lilies, really tough job that hedge trimmers could not handle. Cut through a dozen plants with the same string, no problem. I need to adapt though to the trigger being so far forward on the shaft.
Date published: 2017-11-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Works well This trimmer replaced the stihl I bought in the early 90s. Very dependable and I believe this one will also be!
Date published: 2017-11-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Starts easily and runs well. Best trimmer I have ever used. Have had several different brands and prefer this by far.
Date published: 2017-10-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great trimmer, except.. I have always had battery operated trimmers in the past because it seemed all gas trimmers were difficult to start. After a demonstration of this trimmer I was sold. Very easy to start. However, I am having a problem with the "tap & go" feature, and it appears I am not the only one. Right from the get go it did not work. I had to take the head apart and manually re-thread the line. This happened every time I had to add line. When opening the head I found that the line had crisscrossed itself and I had to straighten it out. What can do to stop this from happening?
Date published: 2017-10-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great home / small business trimmer Purchased the FS40 CE back in 11/13 and overall has been a great unit. I read all about the trimmer line feed issues and bad starts, but I think most of that is improper use and not following the MFG suggestions. I use ethanol free gas for all my equipment, Stihl oil and now Stihl trimmer line. I tried to increase my trimmer line size on this unit and it had issues. I went back to OEM specs and my problems went away. I still have the original trimmer head. This is NOT a commercial unit, so do not expect it to do that level of trimming. I live in Florida and we have some of the toughest and fastest growing grass in the nation. We cut yards about 45 weeks out of the year. I have 2 oversize yards, 1 standard size, and 2 small lots and this trimmer has never given me any trouble. It has trimmed 1 month's worth of growth with no issues and clean results. As for chain link fence, use the deflector as a stop so the line does not tear off. My other Stilh is a BG56 blower and it is over 10 years old. Just replaced the carb on it and it runs like new again. I have had other units and learned the hard way, you get what you paid for.
Date published: 2017-10-22
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not extremely happy with product at this point The pull cord is easy to pull but it does take several pulls to get it started. Once started, subsequent starts that day are generally 1 pull.The weight is nice making it easy to maneuver. My biggest concern at this point is the line does not feed out very easily. The trimmer line seems to get stuck - coils around itself inside the spool causing it to not "bump" out...generally about half way thru the spool. It seems like the trimmer line doesn't stay tight so it gets slack in the line causing the issue. Also the spool is somewhat cumbersome to work with to keep the line in place when putting back together.It takes me about 15 minutes to trim my yard. I have used this twice now and spent as much time messing with the line feed as it takes me to trim my yard. I have had several other brands over the years and never had anywhere near this issue with the line feed. Very disappointed as I thought I was buying a quality product in Stihl. I could have spent way less money on some off brand and got something that works just as well....frustrating.
Date published: 2017-10-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good trimmer but... I really want to like this trimmer but the curved shaft makes you bend more in order to use it. After about a half hour of use you can feel it in your lower back. If this was a straight shaft trimmer it would be a great seller for Stihl. It runs great and does what a trimmer does. I used it over the summer and I'll be upgrading to the FS56 because that's a straight shaft trimmer.
Date published: 2017-10-16
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Okay but not great. I bought this trimmer after a lot of research and talking to friends. Everyone, including the people at the store, recommended Stihl over other similarly highly rated brands. I was replacing a low priced popular model that I had bought 3 years ago. That trimmer never ran well; it had issues with starting and then staying on without choke. It lacked power and despite only occasional use, it stopped working. In comparison, Stihl trimmer is much better. Its weight is balanced and it started without a fuss. I also like that its head does not spin during idling. It cuts well and effortlessly. However, my only problem after one use is that it DOES NOT advance the line upon tapping. To think that an advanced company like Stihl would not have figured out a simple archaic mechanism of line feed is disappointing. Now, I am having the same fear of picking up this trimmer to do my yard work. I had to stop trimmer after 3/4th of my work and it is sitting in the garage. I may try to work on it again but honestly I am annoyed.
Date published: 2017-10-08
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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
How to Start Your FS 40 C-E Trimmer - 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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