Updated 3 Oct 2017

Stihl

FSE 71

Snapshot: The Stihl FSE 71 mains-electric line trimmer has 2 cutting lines and weighs 3.9kg. But how effective and easy to use is it?

FSE 71
Consumer score
SCORE
Avg price

$295

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Test results

Overall score
75
Cutting & trimming
?/10
Ease of use
?/10

Good points

  • Good vertical cutting.
  • Good horizontal cutting.
  • Very easy to use.
  • Excellent line feed.
  • Very easy to re-spool.
  • Extremely easy to start.
  • Extremely well balanced.
  • Light weight.

But

  • Poor long-grass cutting.
  • No edging guide.
  • Noisy enough to need ear protection.

How we test

Overall score comprises performance (50%) and ease of use (50%).

Performance is based on horizontal and vertical trimming and long-grass cutting.

Ease of use is assessed on handle comfort, shaft length, weight, balance, cutting visibility, controls, vibration, starting, line-feed effectiveness and ease of re-spooling.

Price is from a September 2017 survey.

Our recommendation
We recommend petrol trimmers scoring above 85% overall. While the performance and ease-of-use of the best petrol trimmers in our tests has hovered at or above this level for a few years, battery-electric models continue to improve year on year.

We raised the bar for the performance of battery-powered trimmers to 80% after a batch of 7 cordless models returned impressive performance in our 2017 test.

Key data

Model

Avg price
$295

Specifications

Depth range (cm)
n/a
Motor location
Top
Shaft type
Curved
Motor type
Mains-electric
Noise (dBA)
83
Weight (kg)
3.9
Depth positions
n/a
Telescopic handle
×
Length (cm)
153
Cutting diameter (cm)
36
Line-feed method
Bump
Run time (mins)
n/a
Charge time (mins)
n/a
Voltage (V)
n/a
Battery size tested (Ah)
n/a

More Info

Battery cost ($)
n/a
Availability
-
Notes
-

Features

Cutting lines
2
Clutch
n/a
Edging guide
×
Shoulder harness
No