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Help me figure out these Stihl Brushcutters please! FS311, FS360, FS240

anymanusa

anymanusa

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First of all, I am very tall, 6’8” to be exact, and I’ve had a KM130R that I put a big handle on years ago to substitute as a “bicycle” handlebar. I’d been using this thing with a three and four blade, and recently a circular saw attachment at my 2 acre homestead for a few years, with a harness. Well me and the wifey are now on a 128 acre little plot and I’ve been working on re-claiming the roads, which there are several. I have decided that it is time to get something a little more suited for that task. I want something with a straight, continuous shaft, not a split shaft like my KM. I also noticed that the FS240 is about 6” longer than my KM130, which is very desirable to me. We will also be maintaining the wooded forest. She wants a very significant portion of the Virginia pines removed so that hardwoods can grow. There are very very many pines to remove. Many of them will be easily removed with a brushcutter, some others will require my MS441cm or my little Husky.

I am asking for anyone who knows how the lengths of the FS311 and FS360 compare to the FS240. I understand the better gearbox and vibration damping system of the 311 and 360 are very desirable, but if they are short, that makes them less desirable for my tall stature. Stihl dealers do not have the 311 or the 360 in stock anywhere around here, and I have spent 45min on the phone with their tech support having measurements from exploded diagrams and then actual drive tubes done, to try and guess what lengths these things are. Nothing concrete, but research seems to suggest that the 311 and the 360 may be up to 3.5 inches shorter than the 240 if going by drive tube length alone (4’ 10” -311&360 vs 5’ 1.5”-240). I really want to understand what I’m getting into if I order a $600 or $950 brushcutter. The Stihl website, dealership, and tech help have left me no choice other than to peddle my query on this forum.

I would very much appreciate any advice about this issue.

Now that all of that has been said, let me gripe and say that it is inexcusable the Stihl doesn’t publish simple data like ENGINE TYPE on their website! I shouldn’t have to make calls to the corporate website to find out that the FS240 is 2 stroke, the FS311 is 4 mix (4 stroke), and the FS360 is 2 stroke. There is no excuse for omitting this information from the website. Overall length listing would save me from having to write this book online also.

If you know of another forum somewhere else that would be better suited to me getting my answers, please tell me what it is.

Thanks.

So a dealership in Washington & Oregon (Stark Street Lawn and Garden) was nice enough to measure an FS460 and an FS240 and they said that the 460 was 2-3" shorter than the 240 after they measured. Before they measured, they told me the 460 was gonna be a little longer, but it wasn't so.
 
DND 9000

DND 9000

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From the german Stihl catalog:

FS 240 C-E: lengh 180cm (1,8meters), weight without cutting tool 7,1kg, solid drive shaft, 1 point anti vibration system
FS 311: lengh 181cm (1,81meters), weight without cutting tool 7,2kg, solid drive shaft, 4 point anti vibration system
FS 360 C-EM: lengh 179 cm (1,79meters) weight without cutting tool 8,5 kg, solid drive shaft, 4 point anti vibration system
 
anymanusa

anymanusa

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From the german Stihl catalog:

FS 240 C-E: lengh 180cm (1,8meters), weight without cutting tool 7,1kg, solid drive shaft, 1 point anti vibration system
FS 311: lengh 181cm (1,81meters), weight without cutting tool 7,2kg, solid drive shaft, 4 point anti vibration system
FS 360 C-EM: lengh 179 cm (1,79meters) weight without cutting tool 8,5 kg, solid drive shaft, 4 point anti vibration system
Oh that is awesome thanks! Do you have a link to that catalogue perhaps? I am surprised by the 311 & 360 lengths. I appreciate that info!

-nevermind, I went to the german website and it has all that information! The fs560 is only 176cm long. Why do these more powerful machines get smaller? That's a shame.
 
anymanusa

anymanusa

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311 - 181cm
360 - 179
460 - 179
560 - 176

That's what I don't understand, why do these not at least maintain the same length. I would expect the bigger engine and frame would equal the longer cutting tool length as well.
 
DND 9000

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I can`t tell you why. But they are well balanced. On the professional clearing saws you have also different possibilities to hook it up with your carrying harness.
 
ericm979

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I have the 240. With a brush blade it cuts small stuff pretty well. There are three blade guards- two plastic ones for string trimming (they have a blade mounted to cut line that's too long). One large and one slim that the ground keepers prefer. I like the large one for string trimming as it keeps the spray from wet weeds down. The 240 is a monster string trimmer. For brush blade I feel the small metal guard is required. The big plastic one gets in the way. The dealer thought it was fine like that, I had to insist on the smaller guard. They may not sell a lot of these for brush use.
 
sawfun

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I am 6'2" and my buddy was 6'4" and we both ran my fs250r and fs550 with no height issues. I believe the trick was in getting Stihls largest harness and adjusting the machine height accordingly.
 
anymanusa

anymanusa

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I am 6'2" and my buddy was 6'4" and we both ran my fs250r and fs550 with no height issues. I believe the trick was in getting Stihls largest harness and adjusting the machine height accordingly.
1" doesn't sound like much, but if you see someone 6'4" and right next to that person a 6'5" person is standing, there is a noticeable disparity. 6'8" is a magnitude taller than 6'2" or even 6'4". There is virtually nothing ordinary that works well for me at my height. I notice when using my stihl 130km that the end tool is much closer to my feet than it would be if I were using a tool properly made for my gigantic stature. The real effect is that the blade is virtually never parallel to the ground unless I don't mind a very high cut height. I'm specifically buying this new tool to cut down hundreds of saplings. Ideally I'd like to cut the stumps as low to the ground, and as parallel to the ground as possible. The longer a brushcutter I can buy, the better that can be accomplished without using my back or legs to compensate.

It really peaves me off that some of these brushcutters feel so short in hand. They just aren't made for people my height.
 
anymanusa

anymanusa

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I have the 240. With a brush blade it cuts small stuff pretty well. There are three blade guards- two plastic ones for string trimming (they have a blade mounted to cut line that's too long). One large and one slim that the ground keepers prefer. I like the large one for string trimming as it keeps the spray from wet weeds down. The 240 is a monster string trimmer. For brush blade I feel the small metal guard is required. The big plastic one gets in the way. The dealer thought it was fine like that, I had to insist on the smaller guard. They may not sell a lot of these for brush use.
Yeah I bought the limit stop and I like it. I've got 5 different cutting tools, 3,4 blades, the scratcher, the chisel saws, and the plastic tri blade thingy. It's neat to see how they all have their place in cutting, except the 4 blade thing. I hate that piece of junk. It's not good for anything.
 
Leafy

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I wonder if you could buy a kombi tool and have a drive shaft shop shorten an extension for you. To them it would be like shortening a really really small torque tube. Then you could customize the shaft length to you.
 
DND 9000

DND 9000

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Do you have the L versions of the clearing saws availible in the U.S.? The L versions have a longer shaft as the normal versions. Here in Germany we have (example):

FS 410 C-EM: 179cm
FS 410 C-EM L: 185cm

FS 460 C-EM: 179cm
FS 460 C-EM L: 185cm
 
anymanusa

anymanusa

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Do you have the L versions of the clearing saws availible in the U.S.? The L versions have a longer shaft as the normal versions. Here in Germany we have (example):

FS 410 C-EM: 179cm
FS 410 C-EM L: 185cm

FS 460 C-EM: 179cm
FS 460 C-EM L: 185cm
Oh wow. I sure hope they're available here. I'll have to check! That sounds excellent!
 
anymanusa

anymanusa

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I wonder if you could buy a kombi tool and have a drive shaft shop shorten an extension for you. To them it would be like shortening a really really small torque tube. Then you could customize the shaft length to you.
I want a solid shaft, preferably the 1 1/8" diameter of the 311 or the 460 most likely. The more I look, I like the 460. I'd be a done deal if a long version was available.
 
anymanusa

anymanusa

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Do you have the L versions of the clearing saws availible in the U.S.? The L versions have a longer shaft as the normal versions. Here in Germany we have (example):

FS 410 C-EM: 179cm
FS 410 C-EM L: 185cm

FS 460 C-EM: 179cm
FS 460 C-EM L: 185cm
Thanks for that excellent information. I am afraid it won't be available, but you bet I'm going to exhaust every option to find one. The Stihl dealers here are so dumb it's not even funny. They told me every trimmer was 4 mix and they acted like they didn't understand what I was saying when I asked which ones were 2 stroke. They will have to look this up online and give me an answer. I hope I can get it. This is exactly what I'm wanting!

Actually I should say the few folks that I've delt with aren't that bright. I shouldn't let that poison my impression of every dealer employee.
 
DND 9000

DND 9000

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Where are you located in the "Beautiful South"? I had a look on stihlusa.com and didn`t see the L versions of the clearing saws listed. Depending on which distribution company is in your area, you could try to contact them if your dealer doesn`t have an answer. Now I give you the german order number of the FS 460 C-EM L. It`s highly possible that this will not help you, but maybe your dealer can check the number in his computer system.

FS 460 C-EM L would be: 4147 200 0100

The Stihl dealers here are so dumb it's not even funny. They told me every trimmer was 4 mix and they acted like they didn't understand what I was saying when I asked which ones were 2 stroke.
I often heared that they don`t know exactly what the customer would like to have or is talking about. It`s right that most of the trimmers (not clearing saws) have the 4-Mix engine. I think the smaller trimmers are much more popular in the U.S. as the larger clearing saws.
 
anymanusa

anymanusa

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Where are you located in the "Beautiful South"? I had a look on stihlusa.com and didn`t see the L versions of the clearing saws listed. Depending on which distribution company is in your area, you could try to contact them if your dealer doesn`t have an answer. Now I give you the german order number of the FS 460 C-EM L. It`s highly possible that this will not help you, but maybe your dealer can check the number in his computer system.

FS 460 C-EM L would be: 4147 200 0100



I often heared that they don`t know exactly what the customer would like to have or is talking about. It`s right that most of the trimmers (not clearing saws) have the 4-Mix engine. I think the smaller trimmers are much more popular in the U.S. as the larger clearing saws.
Birmingham Alabama.

That may be true about the trimmers, but at the time I was looking at an fs 240r that they had that was definitely longer than the 185cm that it's listed as on the german stihl website (2 stroke)). I went back the next day to measure it but it had been sold. I know it was longer because it went up to my nose when stood upright and my km130r only goes up to my chin when stood upright, and it's 185cm long.

I see the fs 240r is listed at 185cm, but this one was definitely longer.

Thanks for the number, I'm gonna give it to them and cross my fingers.
 
Stihl #1

Stihl #1

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I am looking at the intro Tech Bulletin and it says that the FS 240 has a drive tube length of 58.9 ", 1496 mm, and the FS 240R is 61.6 ", 1565 mm. Overall length is FS 240 71.1 in, 1805 mm and FS 240R is 73.4", 1865 mm.
FS 240 is bike handle and FS 240 R is loop handle. So the R model is slightly longer but for safest operation you should not put a limit stop on a loop handle, only bike handle, so there is no chance of a kickout throwing the blade back into your legs. The shaft can be swapped or the handle bar and throttle swapped but it would be way expensive. Let me look around and see if I have either a shaft or longer tube in my stash and I will let you know if you have not bought anything yet.
Also the reason the big clearing saws are shorter is that most are sold on countries that have short people in them. STIHL sells way more clearing saws in third world countries than in USA and EU.
Eddie
 
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