The curved-shaft Stihl Homescaper Series FS 45 has a 27 cc engine and weighs almost 11 pounds. It uses a bump feed to advance the line. This model performs well in tests, and experts say it can handle tough trimming jobs. A related model, the Stihl FS 45 C-E Easy2Start provides assisted starting. For a little less money, the electric Stihl FSE 60 (*Est. $110) also has a lot of power, according to experts, though you'll have to contend with a cord.
We found the best comparison review of the Stihl FS 45 at ConsumerReports.org, which tests 22 gas trimmers in all. ConsumerUnlimited.com has a short review based on other online reviews, and owners review this model at BackyardBoss.com.
Editors compare the Stihl Homescaper Series FS 45 with 39 other string trimmers based on objective testing. The Stihl FS 45 is part of the ConsumerReports.org ongoing testing program.
Review: String Trimmers, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, May 2011
More than 80 owners rate and review the Stihl FS 45 based on their ongoing experiences. The average rating is only 2 out of 5. Many complain that this model lasts only two or three years, and some say it's hard to start, doesn't idle right or stops and has to be restarted during use. These reviews range from 2007 to April 2011; earlier reviews are more positive than more recent reviews.
Review: Stihl FS45, Contributors to BackyardBoss.com