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Old 05-26-2010, 06:08 PM   post #1 of 26
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Default Stihl FS90R Review

This is going to be a review of a Stihl FS90R trimmer. On 6/6/06 (I kid you not) I purchased a Troy Bilt 4 stroke string trimmer that gave me 3 years of faithful service until the plating literally fell off of the cylinder. This is the main comparison to my Stihl since it's the only trimmer I've really had many hours on.

I walked into my local dealer (Stihl, Echo, Shindaiwa, Honda are all carried) and started looking for my next trimmer. I ended up making my mind on the Stihl, the Honda was next but it was a 100.00 more and had a smaller engine. I was out around 300.00 for the trimmer and some oil. It is equipped with the 4-MIX engine, a D handle, and the stihl Autocut 2 string head. I used the Stihl line at first, then used some Shakespeare stuff from walmart which I bought for the Troy.

The First Run:
Well, I had the silliest grin on my face from the sheer power this had over the Troy Bilt. It's a beast. The FS90 has a 28cc engine, where as the Troy was 25. It clears overgrown grass with ease, tears through weeds, but you can still trim around objects nimbly and easily. It starts easily (1-3 pulls every time), and the automatic decompression valve makes it effortless so anyone can do it. I also can not forget about the lovely sound. It has one sweet engine note. Most weedwhackers have a sound that I don't really care for, this has a deep sound that is like no other. It's noise level is comparable to other 2 stroke trimmers. The guard is also worlds better than the Troy's, it would cover me from head to to with grass, the Stihl, although still messy, keeps the grass off of me and where it should be. It is much more fuel efficient then my Troy Bilt as well.

1 year later:
I use this trimmer very often and have had zero issues with it. It still starts easily, and cuts better than it did new.


Summary:

Pros:
Fuel efficient, 4MIX engine has gobs of power and torque and is clean for the environment, trimmer head is easy to rewind, easy to start, reliable, and it has a great variety of attachments.

Cons:
It's heavy, but even with the cheap harness that's included it is manageable. I imagine with a decent harness it would be much more comfortable to use.

Due to it's construction, it is vulnerable to carbon buildup from poor fuel ratios. It is recommended that you use Stihl Ultra oil at 50:1 ratio. Due to my local dealer wanting ridiculous prices for it, I have been using Shindaiwa One oil at 50:1 with no issues, and I will be switching to Husqvarna XP oil when I run out. I would only use JASO/ISO rated oils and ONLY at 50:1 to keep the engine running clean. If you run a good mix you can expect a very good lifespan out of this engine.

The only other problem is not major but is a minor annoyance. It is the goofy flippy-caps that new Stihl OPE all come with. It seems if you don't get these things on the first try they take more tries to get them right. Sometimes they look they are fastened but are not and you lose all of your fuel on the ground. Leave it to the Germans to over engineer the screw in cap.
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Old 05-26-2010, 07:34 PM   post #2 of 26
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Default Re: Stihl FS90R Review

Good review writing.I have a Stihl KM-90 Kombi system.Basically the same thing but a split shaft.I have the trimmer attachment and the pole saw attachment.I know what you mean about the fuel cap.I did not know about the ultra Stihl oil recomendation?I use the orange bottle Stihl oil and have only ran a few tanks through the KM-90 but I use it in all my other Stihl products with good luck.

I also have a Stihl FS-80 that I use most of the time as my trimmer.Works just like new and has been used heavily.Stihl is all I will buy.
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Old 05-26-2010, 08:36 PM   post #3 of 26
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Default Re: Stihl FS90R Review

Stihl spent $40 million to develop that engine. I sold many of them when I was a dealer with very few issues. The cost of the ultra oil is incidental when you consider the amount of fuel you can burn over a period of time. Next time you visit a dealer, look for Stihl's comparison test of various oils. If you still (NPI) find the cost of the oil that unbearable, Amsoil 100:1 is another option, I use it at 64:1 in a number of two cycle engines, as well as my KM90 with no issues at all. I do agree with you on the new fuel cap design, it is possible to latch it in the wrong position.
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Old 05-26-2010, 10:58 PM   post #4 of 26
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Default Re: Stihl FS90R Review

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Originally Posted by rscurtis View Post
Stihl spent $40 million to develop that engine. I sold many of them when I was a dealer with very few issues. The cost of the ultra oil is incidental when you consider the amount of fuel you can burn over a period of time. Next time you visit a dealer, look for Stihl's comparison test of various oils. If you still (NPI) find the cost of the oil that unbearable, Amsoil 100:1 is another option, I use it at 64:1 in a number of two cycle engines, as well as my KM90 with no issues at all. I do agree with you on the new fuel cap design, it is possible to latch it in the wrong position.
I'm pretty sure the bigger local dealer wants 8.00 for a 6 pack of orange bottle oil (1 gal mixes). I'm not about to pay that when I can get the Husqvarna oil for 6.00 for a six pack. There's no doubt the ultra is good oil, I just don't want to pay the price for that when I can get similar for cheaper.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndeere View Post
Good review writing.I have a Stihl KM-90 Kombi system.Basically the same thing but a split shaft.I have the trimmer attachment and the pole saw attachment.I know what you mean about the fuel cap.I did not know about the ultra Stihl oil recomendation?I use the orange bottle Stihl oil and have only ran a few tanks through the KM-90 but I use it in all my other Stihl products with good luck.

I also have a Stihl FS-80 that I use most of the time as my trimmer.Works just like new and has been used heavily.Stihl is all I will buy.
I've just heard that the most common common problem with these was early coil problems and running poor oil mixes because it gums up the works.

Here is a thread with some good info and some nudes.
http://new.arboristsite.com/showthread.php?t=127264
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Mowers:
2005 Troy Bilt ZTR 42-19hp Briggs I/C 42" Deck
Allis Chalmers B-10 with a snow blower, blade, tiller, and mowing deck
Chainsaws:
Husqvarna 50 Special, 20" and 16" bars
Stihl 066, 25" and 20" bars
Jonsered 2252 Autotune, 18" bar
Poulan 3400CV, Craftsman 2.1
Other:
Stihl FS90R with Brush Blade
1999 Kawasaki Bayou 220 ATV
Collection still growing.
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Old 05-26-2010, 11:16 PM   post #5 of 26
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Default Re: Stihl FS90R Review

$8.00 for a 6 pack and thats 6 gallons of mix.Thats almost a 2 year supply for me.Thats also 4 pieces of Stihl equipment that it covers The Kombimotor and the FS-80 a BG-85 blower and a MS-250 Chainsaw.I feel its well worth the $8.00.
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Old 05-27-2010, 06:09 AM   post #6 of 26
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Default Re: Stihl FS90R Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndeere View Post
$8.00 for a 6 pack and thats 6 gallons of mix.Thats almost a 2 year supply for me.Thats also 4 pieces of Stihl equipment that it covers The Kombimotor and the FS-80 a BG-85 blower and a MS-250 Chainsaw.I feel its well worth the $8.00.
I wouldn't trade my Kombi system for anything. slkpk
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Old 05-27-2010, 09:27 AM   post #7 of 26
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Default Re: Stihl FS90R Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by slkpk View Post
I wouldn't trade my Kombi system for anything. slkpk
Quote:
Originally Posted by johndeere View Post
$8.00 for a 6 pack and thats 6 gallons of mix.Thats almost a 2 year supply for me.Thats also 4 pieces of Stihl equipment that it covers The Kombimotor and the FS-80 a BG-85 blower and a MS-250 Chainsaw.I feel its well worth the $8.00.
Normally a 6 pack lasts me about 6 months, I use more in the winter months because I cut a lot more wood.

That is for orange bottle Stihl as well, I just don't want to pay more for the same product. I haven't even asked about Ultra, they would probably have to carry me out of there.
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Mowers:
2005 Troy Bilt ZTR 42-19hp Briggs I/C 42" Deck
Allis Chalmers B-10 with a snow blower, blade, tiller, and mowing deck
Chainsaws:
Husqvarna 50 Special, 20" and 16" bars
Stihl 066, 25" and 20" bars
Jonsered 2252 Autotune, 18" bar
Poulan 3400CV, Craftsman 2.1
Other:
Stihl FS90R with Brush Blade
1999 Kawasaki Bayou 220 ATV
Collection still growing.
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Old 05-27-2010, 10:17 AM   post #8 of 26
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Default Re: Stihl FS90R Review

The Ultra is relatively expensive, but visit a local dealer and look at Stihl's test results compared to other oils, even their own. It's much better for the equipment despite the fact it's almost twice the cost of the cheaper oil.
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Old 05-27-2010, 10:53 AM   post #9 of 26
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Default Re: Stihl FS90R Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by rscurtis View Post
The Ultra is relatively expensive, but visit a local dealer and look at Stihl's test results compared to other oils, even their own. It's much better for the equipment despite the fact it's almost twice the cost of the cheaper oil.
Is it really that much better? I don't know, I really don't want to burn up equipment, but my **** cheapness gets in the way.
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Mowers:
2005 Troy Bilt ZTR 42-19hp Briggs I/C 42" Deck
Allis Chalmers B-10 with a snow blower, blade, tiller, and mowing deck
Chainsaws:
Husqvarna 50 Special, 20" and 16" bars
Stihl 066, 25" and 20" bars
Jonsered 2252 Autotune, 18" bar
Poulan 3400CV, Craftsman 2.1
Other:
Stihl FS90R with Brush Blade
1999 Kawasaki Bayou 220 ATV
Collection still growing.
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Old 05-28-2010, 08:29 AM   post #10 of 26
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Default Re: Stihl FS90R Review

Good review,

I am starting year 3 with our FS90r and it still amazes me how good it is. Fired on the 2nd pull this year and I love the sound it makes and power.. well that is never an issue with these units. Just purchased the KM130r Kombi unit with some attachments for our business based on the sucess with the FS90, I know I will never go back to 2 strokes except for chain saws and blowers. As to the oil, I only use the Stihl oil as recommended by the dealer as it doubled the warranty on the units we have purchased and I feel it is at least partially responsible for the way these units start after sitting for extended periods, I have an 017 saw and a BG86C-E and an MS260 is on the way and use the oil in them as well. I figure I buy synthetic oil for my truck and all my other 4 stroke engines as well as synthetic gear lubes and tranny fluid so the few bux extra I pay for the Stihl oil is just cheap insurance. I need to look into that Stihl ultra stuff though.
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Old 05-28-2010, 10:31 AM   post #11 of 26
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Default Re: Stihl FS90R Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrGiggles View Post
Is it really that much better? I don't know, I really don't want to burn up equipment, but my **** cheapness gets in the way.
I know they don't call it the "show me" state for nothing, but your dealer should have a pictorial of the results of different oil tests. What did you ever do with your Mercedes?
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Old 05-28-2010, 11:01 PM   post #12 of 26
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Default Re: Stihl FS90R Review

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I know they don't call it the "show me" state for nothing, but your dealer should have a pictorial of the results of different oil tests. What did you ever do with your Mercedes?
Lol, I'm not originally from here. I've been here for about 4 years, originally from Minnesota.

Mercedes? How did you know about that? Well, after some contemplating and realizing the amount money I would have put in it would be about equal to what it's worth, plus it was in pretty poor shape. I parted it out, came out 200.00 ahead, and scrapped what was left last weekend.
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Mowers:
2005 Troy Bilt ZTR 42-19hp Briggs I/C 42" Deck
Allis Chalmers B-10 with a snow blower, blade, tiller, and mowing deck
Chainsaws:
Husqvarna 50 Special, 20" and 16" bars
Stihl 066, 25" and 20" bars
Jonsered 2252 Autotune, 18" bar
Poulan 3400CV, Craftsman 2.1
Other:
Stihl FS90R with Brush Blade
1999 Kawasaki Bayou 220 ATV
Collection still growing.
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Old 05-28-2010, 11:12 PM   post #13 of 26
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Default Re: Stihl FS90R Review

I just bought a Stihl FS-45 trimmer and I will only use the Stihl orange bottle Oil because I dont want to go cheap or pay for the synthetic stuff. I love this trimmer!!! I will Always buy a stihl for all my needs from now on.
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Old 06-02-2010, 10:04 AM   post #14 of 26
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Default Re: Stihl FS90R Review

I have owned my fs90 for 3 years now. Homeowner use of course. I have always used opti2 in it since day one and also on my bg85. Before the Stihl I used a shindaiwa and a lawnboy for 10 years and same thing ran nothing but opti2.
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Old 06-02-2010, 07:45 PM   post #15 of 26
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Default Re: Stihl FS90R Review

I love Stihl products with the exception of those gas caps. They are bonafide junk. I can't believe a screw in cap with no issues whatsoever had to be re-done.
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