After the grass is cut, the job is not yet done. Edging now has a broad meaning, just as string-trimming does. You may just be edging the concrete driveway and sidewalk, or edging could be keeping the flowerbeds and landscaping details at bay as well. Regardless of your jobs’ exact needs, it’s almost impossible to finish the lawn without a good edger. We try out and review the curved shaft STIHL FC 91 edger.
Keeping maintained lawns with a clean grass edge along driveways and walking paths are very easy when edged regularly. On the contrary, if the homeowner has neglected the grass cutting and/or edging during the Spring or Summer months, edging becomes a very laborious process. The latter is what we have to deal with.
Someone from our work family on the Pro Tool Reviews side of the house, whom shall remain nameless, purchased a home and shop in May of this year. This property included a house and shop with manicured lawn and landscape, along with oversized driveways for both buildings. While the lawn has been mowed from time to time, edging and trimming are yet to be done, even after five months (in Florida). That is, until we got our hands on the STIHL FC 91 curved shaft edger.
STIHL FC 91 Edger Features
With the testing ground full of overgrown concrete and culverts, we are able to give the FC 91 a good shakedown right from the start. As with most STIHL equipment, starting the curved shaft edger for the first time is a breeze. A quick prime of the bulb, full choke for one pull, the shift to partial choke and the edger is alive. After a few seconds, the choke is turned off and we’re off to the races.
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Power and Maneuverability
The power from the STIHL FC 91 edger seems appropriate for most jobs, however we are able to bog the engine while cutting through the months of overgrowth. While it did bog and the RPMs dropped, the engine never died. Slowing down on the forward motion all but eliminates any bogging. In all fairness, the bogging would not happen if the edging were at least done monthly.
When edging long sidewalks or roadways with mostly straight edges, I like a straight-shaft edger. However, for most yards and jobs that we encounter, curved sidewalks and flower beds tend to have more turns than straights. Curved shaft edgers like the STIHL FC 91 handle these turns much better and easier than a straight shaft. Also, the offset of the blade from the shaft allows for better line of site to the blade and contact area as well.
Ergonomics and Adjustability
In addition to ample power, the STIHL FC 91 has a great feel when in action. The balance on this tool is much better than most edgers we have used before. The handle is a pretty simple curved loop handle, and the positioning seems pretty spot-on. The trigger-throttle and throttle lock are typical, with a blade style lock that once depressed, the throttle can be engaged. There is no switch for On and Off, only a kill (STOP) button; hold the button down and the engine stops. Otherwise, the FC 91 is always ready to start.
The work head has a nice design with typical pro-style access to the blade and typical blade fastener. Out of the box, we needed to adjust the roller (wheel) for the desired depth of cut. This is easy to do with the thumb-screw on the wheel itself. Give the thumbscrew a few turns to the left, move it to the desired location, then tighten.
In our case, the handle needed to be moved as well to accomodate for taller people. The included tool that comes with the STIHL FC 91 edger will adjust the handle as well as remove the blade nut and the remove the spark plug. Within a couple minutes, the handle was just where we wanted it.
Starting and using the STIHL FC 91 curved shaft edger is very simple and it performed very well. The excellent balance allows for much great control of the machine around any obstacles in the path. With the overgrown mess that we were dealing with, the power wasn’t quite their to just muscle through, however there is more than enough power for typical jobs. If you do find yourself tackling forests as a routine, then you may want to look into the next step up in the STIHL edger lineup.
As we mentioned, the curved shaft provides the user a greater ability to maneuver much better than a straight shaft. In the end, curved vs. straight can totaly be a preference decision. The STIHL FC 91 edger’s great balance makes the edger feel as though it’s lighter than it is. In addition, STIHL does a good job in minimizing vibration, hence along with the balance, the operator notices less fatigue. The curved shaft FC 91 is priced in the ballpark of the professional edgers and it’s covered by a STIHL 2-year limited warranty, commercial or personal use.
To find out more about the curved shaft STIHL FC 91 edger visit your local STIHL dealer, or click here .