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Can anyone tell me about the Stihl FS 76 trimmer?

Discussion in 'Chainsaw' started by Marc, May 14, 2008.

  1. Marc

    Marc Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Ok... not exactly a chainsaw, but I didn't see a better forum for this question...

    There's one for sale near me for $250. I'd like to go check it out, but I can't find very much about these things online. What's the engine displacement and rated power output? Are they well built/reliable? Can you still get different head attachments for them?

    I'm looking for a good sized, well built trimmer to put a lot of hours on cutting tall grass and straw around my house and barn-

    [​IMG]

    This one comes with bicycle bars as well, which I've never used. I put lots of hours in behind a trimmer with a loop handle at my old job and liked how manueverable it was... pro's/con's to the bars?

    Anyway, I don't need something huge, since most of the heavy brush cutting will be done with a bush hog, just something with enough power and clearance to cut big thick grass and the occasional quarter inch multiflora...

    Oh yeah, I'm fairly cheap too... let's not forget that important piece of info...
     
  2. THALL10326

    THALL10326 The Champ

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    That 250.00 price is a joke. That trimmer is old, hasn't been made in years and didn't sell for much over 250.00 brand new, tell the guy he's insane. FS76
    great shape, hardly used at all may be worth 200.00 tops and thats stretching it. Bike handles are a pain in the azz, stick with the loop. You can get a FS90 four cycle that will out power a old FS76 easliy for 299.00 brand new.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2008
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  3. Marc

    Marc Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Cool, thanks for the advice. It's actually $225, but still, your advice applies. Think a 90 will be about right for my intended application? Anything bigger than the FS 55 I've been borrowing will be better I suppose.
     
  4. THALL10326

    THALL10326 The Champ

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    I think the FS76 was last made about 10-13 years ago, that dayumm thing is probly on its last leg.

    The FS55 is a low end trimmer in the Stihl line up. Not bad for short time cutting but tends to knumb the arms after a few hours. The FS90 is super smooth, professional trimmer. Its the smallest of their four-mix series at 28cc but puts out plenty of power and does it much quieter than a 2 cycle. It has a solid drive shaft meaning you can use attachments on it if you want to later on. That would be the one base on your cutting needs.
     
  5. computeruser

    computeruser Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Yup, something in the FS90 range would be a good choice. I've been pleased with my Echo SRM260 in tall, heavy grass. It does a good job and does not tire me out the way machines with more vibration and less structural rigidity do.

    The bike handles are nice if you're running a blade, but the rest of the time they seem limiting, even with a good harness holding the trimmer up. I have precious little time on my FS200 with a trimmer head, as it usually uses a tri-blade, but unless you need the added power you'll be happier with a smaller, lighter loop handle unit.
     
  6. Chris J.

    Chris J. Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Yep. Mine makes my hands tingle if I use it for too long, but for $19.99 in VG condition (thrift store find :)) I'm not complaining too much.
     
  7. Marc

    Marc Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Yeah, I know what you guys mean with the hand tingling. When I use the 55 for two or three tanks of gas at a time, I have to wear insulated work gloves to damp the vibration. Insulation on hands = not ideal in humid New England summers.
     
  8. Dapper Dan

    Dapper Dan ArboristSite Operative

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    I have both a FS65 with bike handles and a FS90R with a loop handle.

    I much prefer the 90. The bike handles on the 65 seemed like a good idea at the time but turned out (in use) to be....awkward. Kinda hard to get used to the sound of that 4 stroke after all those years with a 2 stroke.
     
  9. drmiller100

    drmiller100 AboristSite Guru

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    i've got an fs85 adn an fs100. the 85 has served me well for years in a professional landscaping environment.

    the 100 would be a little better for that stuff.

    get one of these things, and throw away the brush hog. it doesn't work in short grass, but works great in tall grass, brush, green branches as big as your little finger

    http://www.stihlusa.com/accessories/interchangeable.html


    135° Adjustable Hedge Trimmer Attachment
    Converts to an adjustable angle (135° working range) hedge trimmer.
     
  10. Marc

    Marc Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Mmm... the bush hog stays, it's what I use to keep the pastures (or what were pastures) cut back. I'm not walking into huge tangles of multiflora taller than I am with a hand machine, I prefer simply to lift the 3 pt hitch and back into with the rotary mower from the comfort of the tractor seat. Plus there's quite a bit of area to keep down.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2008
  11. RAYINTOMBALL

    RAYINTOMBALL AboristSite Guru

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    While we're on the subject

    Went to my Stihl dealer Friday afternoon to buy a FS90 and he talked me out of buying it because he said they have had some "issues" with the 4-mix. Said he thinks I'd be happier with the FS80 he had. I've bought saws ,tractors and other equipment from him so went with his advice. I'll be using it for a string trimmer 90 percent of the time and with a brush blade maybe 10 to 15 hours a year. I'm just a homeowner with a small farm so no commercial work will be done. got it for 260.00 bucks so I was happy with the price. Well will I be happy or should I have went with the FS90? Hey Marc did'nt mean to hijack your thread. Thanks Ray:monkey: :monkey: :givebeer:
     
  12. COLD_IRON

    COLD_IRON Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I have an FS130 with the bike handle and use it for cutting tall grass, weeds, brushcutting etc. I have had no problems with it and have cut quite a bit of grass with it. Currently I maintain 1300 feet of roadway (both sides) and trim out 2 3 acre lots with it and actually cut an entire 1/4 acre lot with it.

    As far as issues with the 4-mix, the only ones I heard of were in the blowers. Just run good 2 cycle mix and you will be fine.

    Now as far as Bike handle vs. D handle go - If the terrain is somewhat level and theres a LOT of cutting to be done, the bike handle is the way to go. But if you are trimming out ditches and areas with compound curves where you need the extra maneuvering - the D handle is definitely superior. Personally, I use both side by side.
     
  13. THALL10326

    THALL10326 The Champ

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    Issues on the 4-mix trimmers, at present time none that I know of. When they first came out several years ago they had some ignition module problems that was taken care of fast by Stihl. Other than that I know of no issues with the 4-mix trimmers. Motor wise there's never been any issues with the 4-mix trimmers that I know of. The blowers when they first came out had several issues, fanwheels, motor pans and exhaust valves. All was taken care of by Stihl and now those blowers are probly the best on the market.

    FS80, lovem, nice trimmer. Sell the hell out of them. Far as FS80 verses FS90 the FS90 will out cut a FS80 merely on the more torque factor of the 4 cycle engine, it runs quieter than a FS80 and I'm positive enigne life of a 4 cycle is longer than a two cycle based on the landscapers around here using the 4 mix trimmers. I've yet to see one loose a engine or scar a piston. I've got some outfits using the FS110's full time and they have over 7 years of landscape use on them, thats alot of hours and years for a landscaper trimmer. Full time trimming a 2-cycle is on its last leg after 4 to 5 years. The FS80 is tried and true but its days are numbered thanks to EPA. The FS90 will be the model replacing the FS80 in the very near future..
     
  14. THALL10326

    THALL10326 The Champ

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    "Now as far as Bike handle vs. D handle go - If the terrain is somewhat level and theres a LOT of cutting to be done, the bike handle is the way to go. But if you are trimming out ditches and areas with compound curves where you need the extra maneuvering - the D handle is definitely superior".


    100% correct!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  15. Marc

    Marc Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Good to know, and makes a lot of sense.

    As I said, all I've ever used is the D handle, and where I was trimming was in and around a drainage ditches and rough stone walls, and the terrain will be similarly complex at my house, just more of it. I wasn't terribly impressed with the harness it came with and ended up using it without it, even though it was for pretty long stretches of constant use.
     
  16. Marc

    Marc Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Actually, I did a lot of this stuff last year with a scythe. Boy was that a PITA. I got pretty good at using it too, but it is pretty limited when your going close in to stuff, around stone walls, etc.
     
  17. RAYINTOMBALL

    RAYINTOMBALL AboristSite Guru

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    Hey Tom thanks for the info .Think I'll go see dealer see if he'll swap me out for a fs90. I've only run 1/2 tank of fuel in fs 80. And I'd really like option to run pruner attachment with the solid shaft. I know there's about a 30 dollar difference in price but that's not a problem. Don't know how I was talked out of it to begin with. Live and learn. Thanks again.:givebeer: :givebeer:
     
  18. maico490

    maico490 AboristSite Guru

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    I use either a FS450 or FS480 at work for several hundred hours a year. They are both overpowered for blade work but come into their own for strimming the mature grass and weeds we seen to end up cutting all the time for the local water authority. I couldn't imagine cutting without bike handles and find no problems with awkward contours or slopes. They both have the full "comfort" harnesses and are virtually impossible to use without. Properly adjusted the job is so much easier with the harness as all you are doing is steering without supporting any weight on your arms. For what it is worth the 480 is slightly more powerful but a lot harder on fuel which is a PITA when you get away from where you left the fuel.
    What I would say about using any strimmer is wear good eye protection. We use chainsaw helmets with metal mesh screens and safety glasses underneath.After a few hours cutting you can hardly see through the glasses for the splatter which has got through the screens. Also you have to be really careful with stone chippings as I've seen them go a good 50ft with disastrous results if there happens to be a window in the way!
    It always makes me cringe when I see homeowners using strimmers in shorts and sandals with nothing more than a squint for eye protection.
     
  19. LazyJ

    LazyJ ArboristSite Operative

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    My neighbor was showing off his new trimmer to me yesterday, Ryobi with an electric start... now there's a boat anchor for ya.
     

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