The Stihl Gas Trimmer FS 56 RC-E is a surprisingly unique looking weedwacker notable for being basic, simple, and doing exactly what it is supposed to do: trim grass and weeds without any fuss.
In general, this string trimmer is as basic as it gets. The engine is small and doesn’t have a ton of power, so the Stihl Gas Trimmer FS 56 RC-E is best used to remove tough grass and weak weeds like clover and dandelions instead of more powerful ones like nettles. This is a medium weight trimmer, coming in at 12.5 lbs. It does include a shoulder strap and is also adjustable, making it easy to hold. The overall product dimensions are approximately 11.2 x 11 x 70 in., so this is actually one of the smallest weedwackers available. Overall, the Stihl Gas Trimmer FS 56 RC-E is ideal for little yards and not much else.
The design is simplistic, consisting of a 27.2 cc, two-cycle engine that rests near the top of a short straight shaft. This shaft is adjustable, so it works for people of most heights. The adjusting mechanism is surprisingly smooth, with few stalls or sticks. The engine connects to a small fuel tank that holds roughly 11.5 oz. This tank is for mixed oil and gasoline instead of straight gas, making it in line with older, more traditional weedwackers.
The Stihl Gas Trimmer FS 56 RC-E is notable for how few features it actually possesses. The manufacturer intended this device to be used for small plots of land and pretty basic projects, so it works well for whacking away grass and dandelions from walkways, driveways, and around fences. It costs between $50 and $70 depending on where it is bought, making it one of the least expensive options currently on the market.
At the bottom of the straight shaft is a basic head that has a 16.5-inch cutting swath. This is slightly smaller than average but not by much. One unique feature about the head is that it fits two standard plastic debris shields, adding extra protection from grass, rocks, dirt, and anything else that might get kicked up by the trimmer. This is a great feature for those who are sick and tired of getting their legs and feet cut up or irritated by debris.
Finally, it is pretty simple to replace the strings in the trimmer head. Stihl made sure this weedwacker has easy to understand construction, so you don’t have to sit and fight with the device just to load new strings around the central spindle. Just remember these strings are shorter than average, so it can be a little difficult to fish them through the holes and around the spindle.
Outside of these features, there is nothing else of note in the construction. However, there are a couple of characteristics that are beneficial to the buyer when it comes to the warranty and customer service. Each Stihl Gas Trimmer FS 56 RC-E comes with a 2-year warranty as well as a lifetime guarantee on the driveshaft. These cover basic wear and tear during normal use of the weedwacker, and can be called in without trouble.
The Stihl customer service center is also highly responsive to questions and queries about this gas string trimmer. Unlike some other companies, Stihl is quick to honor its warranty and can be reached by phone or email almost any time of day. Answers are typically given within 24-48 hours, and the manufacturer can direct buyers to trustworthy repair services in their area.
Stihl Gas Trimmer FS 56 RC-E is a simple model, but it does run well. The engine is small but well-made, so there are no issues trying to cut down weeds and long grass. The handle is easy to adjust and the shaft is durable, so this string trimmer works just fine.
Overall, the Stihl Gas Trimmer does not offer many features that makes this gas string trimmer stand out, especially when compared to the competition. However, it is perhaps the least expensive option on the market and works great for those individuals who don’t want to deal with long grass but aren’t too invested in yard work and its associated accouterments.
Despite being basic, there are some nice characteristics though. The weedwacker is easy to understand and keep clean, and replacing strings can take less than five minutes. The warranty and customer service are also nice features, especially since many manufacturers are terrible about responding to queries.
So, this weedwacker is recommended for the minimalists out there who don’t need features like anti-vibration mechanisms, long shafts, or adjustable heads to turn the string trimmer into other tools.