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Stihl FSE 60

*Est. $110
Reviewed
June 2013
by ConsumerSearch
Stihl FSE60

Pros
  • Powerful for tall grass, heavy weeds
  • Lighter than many heavy-duty trimmers
  • Durable
Cons
  • Reloading trim line may be difficult

Bottom line

Reviewers say the Stihl FSE 60 is a powerful string trimmer capable of edging lawns, trimming tall grass and cutting thick weeds. Unlike other heavy-duty electric trimmers, the curved-shaft FSE 60 also gets top marks for great handling: It's lighter, takes one hand to start and run, and is easy to control while edging. Owners describe this Stihl as powerful, reliable and easy to use.

Safety

One-handed start. To prevent accidental starting, the Stihl FSE 60 uses a lockout lever that's directly above the trigger, a design users say works well to start and run the motor with just one hand. According to Stihl, the FSE 60 produces less than 60 decibels when you use the company's Quiet Line. A built-in cord retainer keeps the extension cord from becoming unplugged.

This is the only string trimmer in our report with a curved shaft. According to Popular Mechanics, "testers preferred straight-shaft trimmers because… it puts a bit more distance between the operator and the debris that ricochets around the cut area."

Performance

First class. Both experts and owners call the Stihl FSE 60 one of the best corded electric weed whackers. Bestcovery.com says it "rivals gas powered units for heavy-duty trimming jobs." The FSE 60 uses .08-inch dual lines and a 14-inch head, leaving clean edges in one pass and a smooth finish.

Ease of use

Great handling for a heavy-duty trimmer. Most reviewers say the Stihl FSE 60 is well balanced, but a few say it feels a bit long and heavy. Although its 9-pound weight isn't excessively heavy, some electric trimmers are lighter. Users can reposition the loop handle to improve balance.

Reviews are mixed on how easy it is to replace the dual .08-inch lines. Some owners find the process aggravating and time-consuming, while others say it's a matter of following the instructions for simple loading. Numerous users say the FSE 60 uses a lot of line when trimming.

Durability

Reliable and long-lasting. At StihlUSA.com, owners give the FSE 60 good marks for quality and dependability. A couple of owners say that even after several years, the FSE 60 keeps running strong with no decrease in performance. Stihl covers the trimmer for two years.

Our Sources

1. ConsumerReports.org

Editors rate about a dozen electric string trimmers based on their ability to trim grass in one pass, edge lawns with a clean finish and tackle thicker vegetation. A full report on the Stihl FSE 60 is available, along with reviews from more than 30 owners.

Review: String Trimmers, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Not dated

2. StihlUSA.com

About 20 owners review the FSE 60 at the manufacturer's website. It gets an average rating of 3.9 stars out of 5, with more than 4 stars for quality, dependability and power. Many users say the trimmer's biggest disadvantages are a poor spool design and aggravating line loading.

Review: FSE 60, Contributors to StihlUSA.com, As of July 2013

3. Bestcovery.com

Bestcovery.com names the FSE 60 as one of the five best electric string trimmers. The reviewer gives it 4.75 stars out of 5, saying it's "made for cutting thick and tall weeds, and it will do it quietly and with virtually no maintenance."

Review: Stihl FSE 60 Electric String Trimmer Review, "Dale Y.", June 4, 2013

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Stihl FSE 60 *Est. $110

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