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Stihl Gas Trimmer - Help decide on straight vs curved

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  • May 17th, 2019 4:38 pm
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Feb 9, 2012
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Toronto

Stihl Gas Trimmer - Help decide on straight vs curved

Got a flyer with some sales on Stihl equipment and am looking for a gas trimmer for my lawn and back yard. For reference, the lot is 50' x 280', so quite a lot of edging.

They have a curved FS38 on sale for $159.95, curved FS-40 for $199.95 and a staright FS 56 RC-E for $269.95

Any major pros and cons of one vs the other? Thanks!
11 replies
Deal Addict
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Dec 14, 2008
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Whitby
If you ever think that you may want to install a blade rather than string then you will need the straight shaft.
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Jan 25, 2007
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Paris
Ive always liked curved. If you want a brush cutter later buy a new end with a straight shaft. I assume all Stihl trimmers have power head and removable ends.
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Dec 4, 2009
322 posts
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If you’re tall, the straight shaft is key...
Sr. Member
May 21, 2015
871 posts
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Sarnia, ON
If you're thinking in future of other chores look at their combi units.. or their mini tiller which is what I have.. then buy the optional attachments like the weed whipper, lawn edger. I have both of those as well. get's a bit pricey though. But its good stuff.
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Oct 14, 2010
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Barrie ON
Everyone has missed the obvious, which is explained HERE.

The motor drives the trimmer head. There needs to be some type of connection between the motor and the trim head.

If the shaft is curved, this connector is a cable. This cable could be steel or I have even seen nylon cord. This cord has to be relatively thin so that it can flex as the motor rotates it. Because of the constant flexing inside the curved tube, this reduces it's life span.

If the shaft is straight, the connection could also be a cable, or an actual steel rod. Even a straight shafted trimmer with a cable will have a longer life because the cable can be thicker and it does not have to flex inside the tube.

Straight shaft trimmers can also provide more torque to the head because of the stronger connecting cable/rod

Of course that is why straight shaft trimmers are always more expensive.
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Jan 25, 2007
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Paris
Rick007 wrote: The motor drives the trimmer head. There needs to be some type of connection between the motor and the trim head.
I was the product manager for a national brand of string trimmers. Failure rate was the same on curved vs straight.
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Jan 23, 2015
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Woodbridge, ON
My first gas trimmer I bought was a curved shaft, what a mistake. Thankfully I was able to sell it and get a straight shaft model. If you take your lawn cutting seriously, a straight shaft makes edging of sidewalks and beds a breeze with pro like results. A curved shaft trimmer can't achieve the same level of detail.

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Jun 12, 2007
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London
I always though straight shaft trimmers spin in one direction and curve shaft trimmers spin in the opposite direction?

Depending if you are left or right handed, one might be more comfortable to use vs the other
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Jan 14, 2007
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GTA North
cessnabmw wrote: Got a flyer with some sales on Stihl equipment and am looking for a gas trimmer for my lawn and back yard. For reference, the lot is 50' x 280', so quite a lot of edging.

They have a curved FS38 on sale for $159.95, curved FS-40 for $199.95 and a staright FS 56 RC-E for $269.95

Any major pros and cons of one vs the other? Thanks!
I bought the FS 56 RC-E last weekend at Home Hardware. Do I need it? No, yard is only 60' x 150'. I'm just tried of the POS weedeaters.

I initially thought I would get the FS-40 and then FS-40 CE for $219.95. Went in and held them all and being 6'2" it was obvious the FS 56 was so much easier to maneuver and for $50 more thought I'd just get what I wanted. Looked at the Kombi but excessive for my needs

Also remember to buy the 6 100ml bottles of stihl 2 cycle oil $(12) to get an extra 1 year warranty.

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