Stihl FS 70 R Trimmer Review

Stihl FS 70 R Brushcutter

Battery-powered outdoor equipment is taking off. It’s gone further in performance and reliability than most of us expected. Even so, a sizeable population of gas purists still prefer “refilling” over “recharging.” That’s why we had to get our hands on the Stihl FS 70 R string trimmer.

Here’s our assessment of the performance, design, and where it fits within the broad landscape that is the trimmer/edger market.

Stihl FS 70 R Trimmer Background

Stihl string trimmer

The FS 70 R runs on a 27.2cc engine that, according to Stihl, gives this trimmer its defining characteristics.

First, the company has touted this model as being more powerful than the FS 56 RC-E, even though they both have 27.2cc engines. Second, Stihl says that this trimmer is more efficient, delivering longer runtimes and, therefore, requiring fewer refills.

So, do these statements hold up? In our opinion, the answer is yes.

FS 70 R Performance Rundown

Starting

Stihl FS 70 R engine

Let’s kick things off with the ignition process. Simply put, this tool is a great starter. After a handful of pumps to prime the carburetor, the trimmer fired up on the second pull.

FS 70 R 27.2cc engine

And with the first few revs of the engine, it was clear that this thing has some impressive power.

Cutting

Stihl FS 70 R cutting head

As we do with all of our equipment tests, we put the FS 70 R to work on the OPE proving ground. This is half an acre of fescue grass, grown to various heights and thicknesses throughout.

On all counts, we were pleased with the cutting performance. It effortlessly powered through dense overgrowth. Moreover, there was neither tangling nor signs that the engine was straining.

  • Model: Stihl FS 70 R (4144 200 0137)
  • 27.2cc engine
  • Easy2Start technology
  • Tank: 11.5 oz.
  • Weight: 10.6 lbs.
  • Cutting Swath: 16.5 inches

Its 16.5-inch cutting swath made short work of patches in places that were too tight for mowers.

Furthermore, whenever we needed a fresh length of trimmer line, we gave the AutoCut head a quick bump, and, voilà.

Handling

Stihl brushcutter handling

There are plenty of conveniences that come along with cordless units, but one of the tradeoffs is the additional weight of the battery. That said, gas models are generally lighter, and that includes the FS 70 R.

This trimmer is nicely balanced and runs with minimal vibration. After three 30-minute trimming sessions, we experienced little to no fatigue.

Stihl FS 70 R Design

On the design side of things, the FS 70 R’s big offering comes in the form of comfort and ergonomics.

Foremost, the handle and controls are extremely well positioned, especially the trigger lockout. The mere act of wrapping your hand around the grip engages this safety feature, and that makes operating the controls as natural and seamless as possible.

Stihl brushcutter controls

It’s clear that Stihl put some thought into that, and we think it really paid off.

Finally, other notable design features that made a difference in overall function include the tool’s heavy-duty steel-on-steel clutch and a fully lined drive shaft for smooth operation.

The Final Word

Stihl has marketed the FS 70 R primarily as a Prosumer model, but this tool is definitely capable of light to medium commercial duty. The shaft may not be quite as robust as full-on Pro models, but the cutting power is quite comparable.

That’s why the FS 70 R made our Best Trimmers and Edgers: Prosumer list. It straddles the two performance grades very comfortably.

However, Stihl’s standout achievement with this unit is the handle design.

Overall, it’s very comfortable. What’s more, the operational ergonomics are excellent, especially the trigger lockout, which you can easily engage with your hand’s natural grip.

One thing that the design team should consider is rounding the edges of the trigger, largely to further enhance the already top-notch comfort factor.

Stihl FS 70 R Availability

The Stihl FS 70 R sells bare for $319.99 and comes with a two-year limited warranty.

Still interested in battery? Check out the Stihl FSA 135 R.

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