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I work in a country park and part of my job is keeping vegetation back throughout the growing season, so that access is maintained and so that the site looks tidy.
We have a range of strimmers and brushcutters at our disposal and each has its own place. The larger engines are useful for where you need power, i.e. knocking back large areas of long grass or scrub. One of these however is overkill for cutting small areas of grass around the bottom of small trees or around bins or many other structures. For this you need something light but with enough power to give a clean cut.
The FS45, used with nylon line, is definitely up to the job. It starts easily and you can trust users with basic knowledge to use it. On thing that is definitely important though is that you MUST wear eye and ear protection as a minimum. I wear steel toe-caps while using it. This is probably overkill but I wear them all the time at work anyway so I don't think anything of it. Even with correct use, it is still very easy for a stone to get flicked in your face, underneath your visor (if you are wearing one). I would recommend wearing gloves with it too as while the vibrations through the handle are very light, the risk of whitefinger is still present so keep your hands warm and absorb a bit of the vibrations with a pair of garden gloves. These aren't essential, but as with all powertools, it is best to be safe than sorry.
This model has been discontinued now and replaced with the FS50 which is even easier to start. This review is intended for those seeking one on the second hand market. I would expect to pay £50-80 for a good conditioned second hand one. Servicing and repairs are relatively easy though so it could be that you could get one that is sold for spares, and get it up and running for home use.
There are other attachments available such as the polycut mowing line, but I have no experience in the use of this.
You do not need a harness for it as it is very lightweight and balances perfectly when in use. I think people over 6 foot might find it a little short though.
As it is made by Stihl, you can expect a certain standard of quality and even though this is a budget, light useage model, we still use it every week. Therefore, when taking into account the price and the type of work it is good for, I will happily give this 5/5. It performs exactly as you would hope plus a little better.
Stihl 2-Stroke Petrol Motor / Power: 1.0 HP (0.75 kW) / Hand Start / Fuel: 2-Stroke Fuel Mix