Stihl FSA 130R Trimmer First Look – Battery Power for the Pro
We recently had the opportunity to use the Stihl FSA 130R string trimmer while at Stihl headquarters in Virginia Beach, VA. The Stihl Summit brought in influencers and media from across the USA. The Stihl FSA 130R is a battery-powered string trimmer meant for the professional. Stihl claims the FSA 130R has gas-equivalent power. We’ve heard this claim before from other brands, only to be unimpressed. However, this time was different.
We didn’t get to use the FSA 130R battery powered trimmer enough for a complete review, but we did use it enough to give some first impressions. The FSA series doesn’t have an onboard battery, hence you wear the battery on your back (backpack). Users can also choose a clip-on battery to wear on your belt, albeit with less capacity. Whether on the back or on the hip, the battery tethers to the FSA 130R trimmer with an easy push-in-pull-out terminal.
Looking for Gas-Powered Trimmers? Check out our Best Weedeater Shootout.
Stihl FSA 130R Trimmer Features
The first impression you get when picking up the FSA 130R trimmer is that it’s very light. Only 8.4 lbs sans the battery that will be worn on your back. This makes maneuvering and long walks along landscaping borders a cinch. Even the lightest gas-powered trimmers still push the scales beyond 10 lbs.
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Pull the trigger and you get a real surprise. They really are putting great power down to the head of this Stihl FSA 130R string trimmer. We were cutting through some pretty thick and tough weeds and brush with this battery-powered trimmer. We just had to remember to bump the head every now and then to replace the expended line.
A brushless motor provides the power on the Stihl FSA 130R trimmer, so you get the benefit of digital controls. Stihl incorporated a 4-speed selection, which the operator can choose, on the fly. Wide Open Throttle (WOT) is limited by each speed selection. Speed 1 delivers 0-6,300 rpm, variable by the trigger-pull, Speed 2 is 0-7,200 rpm, Speed 3 is 0-7,700 rpm, and Speed 4 is 0-9,800 rpm. Limiting the line speed can drastically extend the battery/tool runtime.
Look Ma – No fumes, No smoke, Little Noise
One of the many benefits of the Stihl FSA 130R being battery powered, you don’t have the smell of burnt fuel nor the combustion noise. You do hear the whir of the line spinning through the air and the destruction of foliage, but nothing near the noise of a gas-powered trimmer. In addition to noise and smell reduction, there’s also that benefit of not buying gas and oil. This savings is straight to the bottom line.
Gas-powered string trimmers have a stronghold on the professional string trimmer market, however, the Stihl FSA 130R may be a trimmer to break that threshold. It seems to have the power to do most of the work for general trimming. We believe the breadth of Stihl’s success will be based upon two questions: how much runtime will professionals require? and will the pros embrace the backpack-style battery?
Buying the battery-powered FSA 130R string trimmer will set you back about $400, but you’ll also need to purchase a battery as well. We’ve yet to get pricing or runtimes for the batteries. With the limited time we had with the FSA 130R, we’re quite impressed. We do believe the professional has some opportunities with battery-power where gas-power can be a deterrent. Noise and emissions ordinances continue to increase in our communities in the US, so these tools like the FSA 130R will give these pros a leg-up on the competition.
We hope to get some of the Stihl battery powered trimmers in for review soon, and we’ll be sure to follow-up. The Stihl FSA 130R trimmer is already available at your local Stihl Dealer.
Stihl FSA 130R Trimmer Specifications
- Model: FSA 130R
- Weight: 8.4 lbs.
- Length: 68.9 in.
- Cutting Width: 16.5 in.
- Diameter Line: .095″
- Speed Settings
- Level 1: 0-6,300 rpm
- 2: 0-7,200 rpm
- 3: 0-7,700 rpm
- 4: 0-9,800 rpm
- MSRP: $399.95
- Distribution Date: Distributed to servicing dealers on 9/1/2018