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Stihl Fs 55 R Instruction Manual

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    STIHL FS 55
    Read and follow all safety 
    precautions in Instruction Manual – 
    improper use can cause serious or 
    fatal injury.
    Lea y siga todas las precauciones 
    de seguridad dadas en el manual 
    de instrucciones – el uso incorrecto 
    puede causar lesiones graves o 
    Instruction Manual
    Manual de instrucciones 
    							Instruction Manual
    1 - 47
    Manual de 
    49 - 99 
    							Original Instruction Manual Printed on chlorine-free paper
    Printing inks contain vegetable oils, paper can be recycled. © ANDREAS STIHL AG & Co. KG, 2011
    0458-233-8621-C. M23-8.A11.CP. 
    FS 55, FS 55 C, FS 55 R, FS 55 RCEnglish
    Allow only persons who fully understand 
    this manual to operate your trimmer / 
    To receive maximum performance and 
    satisfaction from your STIHL trimmer / 
    brushcutter, it is important that you read, 
    understand and follow the safety 
    precautions and the operating and 
    maintenance instructions in chapter 
    Safety Precautions and Working 
    Techniques before using your trimmer / 
    brushcutter. For further information you 
    can go to www.stihlusa.com.
    Contact your STIHL dealer or the STIHL 
    distributor for your area if you do not 
    understand any of the instructions in this 
    Make sure your unit is equipped with the 
    proper deflector, handle and harness for 
    the type of cutting attachment being 
    used. Always wear proper eye 
    protection. Guide to Using this Manual 2
    Safety Precautions and Working 
    Techniques 3
    Approved Combinations of Cutting 
    Attachment, Deflector, Handle and 
    Harness 16
    Mounting the Bike Handle 17
    Mounting the Loop Handle 19
    Fitting the Carrying Ring 20
    Mounting the Deflector 20
    Mounting the Cutting Attachment 21
    Fuel 24
    Fueling 25
    Fitting the Harness 25
    Balancing the Trimmer/Brushcutter 26
    Starting / Stopping the Engine 27
    Operating Instructions 30
    Cleaning the Air Filter 31
    Engine Management 31
    Adjusting the Carburetor 32
    Spark Plug 33
    Engine Running Behavior 34
    Rewind Starter 35
    Lubricating the Gearbox 35
    Storing the Machine 35
    Sharpening Metal Cutting Blades 36
    Inspections and Maintenance by 
    Dealer 36
    Maintenance and Care 37
    Main Parts 39
    Specifications 41
    Special Accessories 42Maintenance and Repairs 42
    STIHL Incorporated Federal 
    Emission Control Warranty 
    Statement 43
    STIHL Incorporated California 
    Exhaust and Evaporative 
    Emissions Control Warranty 
    Statement 45
    Trademarks 47
    Because a trimmer / brushcutter is a 
    high-speed cutting tool some special 
    safety precautions must be observed to 
    reduce the risk of personal injury. Care-
    less or improper use may cause serious 
    or even fatal injury. 
    							FS 55, FS 55 C, FS 55 R, FS 55 RC English
    The meanings of the pictograms 
    attached to or embossed on the 
    machine are explained in this manual.
    Depending on the model concerned, the 
    following pictograms may be on your 
    Symbols in Text
    Many operating and safety instructions 
    are supported by illustrations.
    The individual steps or procedures 
    described in the manual may be marked 
    in different ways:
    NA bullet marks a step or procedure.
    A description of a step or procedure that 
    refers directly to an illustration may 
    contain item numbers that appear in the 
    illustration. Example:
    NLoosen the screw (1).
    NLever (2) ...
    In addition to the operating instructions, 
    this manual may contain paragraphs 
    that require your special attention. Such 
    paragraphs are marked with the 
    symbols and signal words described 
    below:Engineering Improvements
    STIHL’s philosophy is to continually 
    improve all of its products. As a result, 
    engineering changes and improvements 
    are made from time to time. Therefore, 
    some changes, modifications and 
    improvements may not be covered in 
    this manual. If the operating 
    characteristics or the appearance of 
    your machine differs from those 
    described in this manual, please contact 
    your STIHL dealer for assistance.Guide to Using this Manual
    Fuel tank for gasoline 
    and engine oil mixture
    Press to operate decom-
    pression valve
    Manual fuel pump
    Press to operate manual 
    fuel pump
    Filler hole for gear 
    Air intake summer mode
    Air intake winter mode
    Handle heating
    Indicates an imminent risk of severe or 
    fatal injury.
    Indicates a hazardous situation which, if 
    not avoided, could result in severe or 
    fatal injury.
    Indicates a risk of property damage, 
    including damage to the machine or its 
    individual components. 
    							FS 55, FS 55 C, FS 55 R, FS 55 RCEnglish
    3 The terminology utilized in this manual 
    when referring to the power tool reflects 
    the fact that different types of cutting 
    attachments may be mounted on it. The 
    term trimmer is used to designate an 
    FS unit that is equipped with a nylon line 
    head or a head with flexible plastic 
    blades (i.e., the PolyCut head). A 
    brushcutter designates a unit 
    equipped with a rigid metal blade. Many 
    FS models may be used as either a 
    trimmer or a brushcutter – therefore, the 
    power tool is referred in this manual as a 
    trimmer / brushcutter. Some smaller 
    and / or lightweight FS models may only 
    be used as a trimmer, i.e., they may not 
    be used with metal blades.FS models with an R on the nameplate 
    were originally configured (at the time of 
    distribution) as a trimmer with a loop 
    Have your STIHL dealer show you how 
    to operate your power tool. Observe all 
    applicable local safety regulations, 
    standards and ordinances.STIHL does not recommend the use of 
    rigid blades when cutting in stony areas.
    Use your trimmer / brushcutter equipped 
    with the appropriate cutting attachment 
    only for cutting grass and similar 
    Most of these safety precautions and 
    warnings apply to the use of all STIHL 
    trimmer / brushcutters. Different models 
    may have different parts and controls. 
    See the appropriate section of your 
    instruction manual for a description of 
    the controls and the function of the parts 
    of your model.
    Safe use of a trimmer / brushcutter 
    Safety Precautions and 
    Working Techniques
    Because a trimmer / 
    brushcutter is a high-
    speed, fast-cutting power 
    tool sometimes equipped 
    with sharp cutting blades, 
    special safety precau-
    tions must be observed to 
    reduce the risk of per-
    sonal injury.
    It is important that you 
    read, fully understand 
    and observe the following 
    safety precautions and 
    warnings. Read the 
    instruction manual and 
    the safety precautions 
    periodically. Careless or 
    improper use may cause 
    serious or fatal injury.
    As more fully explained later in these 
    Safety Precautions, to reduce the risk of 
    personal injury, make sure your unit is 
    equipped with the proper handle, har-
    ness and deflector for the type of cutting 
    attachment you are using. Use only cut-
    ting attachments that are specifically 
    authorized by STIHL for use on your FS 
    Do not lend or rent your power tool with-
    out the instruction manual. Be sure that 
    anyone using it understands the infor-
    mation contained in this manual.
    The use of this machine may be hazard-
    ous. If the rotating line or blade comes in 
    contact with your body, it will cut you. 
    When it comes in contact with solid for-
    eign objects such as rocks or bits of 
    metal, it may fling them directly or by ric-
    ochet in the direction of bystanders or 
    the operator. Striking such objects could 
    damage the cutting attachment and may 
    cause blades to crack, chip or break. 
    Thrown objects, including broken heads 
    or blades, may result in serious or fatal 
    injury to the operator or bystanders.
    Do not use it for other purposes, since 
    misuse may result in personal injury or 
    property damage, including damage to 
    the machine.
    Minors should never be allowed to use 
    this power tool. Bystanders, especially 
    children, and animals should not be 
    allowed in the area where it is in use.
    To reduce the risk of injury to bystand-
    ers and damage to property, never let 
    your power tool run unattended. When it 
    is not in use (e.g. during a work break), 
    shut it off and make sure that unauthor-
    ized persons do not use it. 
    							FS 55, FS 55 C, FS 55 R, FS 55 RC English
    4 1.the operator
    2.the power tool
    3.the use of the power tool.
    Physical Condition
    You must be in good physical condition 
    and mental health and not under the 
    influence of any substance (drugs, 
    alcohol, etc.) which might impair vision, 
    dexterity or judgment. Do not operate 
    this machine when you are fatigued.
    These conditions reduce the hands 
    ability to feel and regulate temperature, 
    produce numbness and burning 
    sensations and may cause nerve and 
    circulation damage and tissue necrosis.
    All factors which contribute to 
    whitefinger disease are not known, but 
    cold weather, smoking and diseases or 
    physical conditions that affect blood vessels and blood transport, as well as 
    high vibration levels and long periods of 
    exposure to vibration are mentioned as 
    factors in the development of whitefinger 
    disease. In order to reduce the risk of 
    whitefinger disease and carpal tunnel 
    syndrome, please note the following:
    –Most STIHL power tools are 
    available with an anti-vibration 
    (AV) system designed to reduce 
    the transmission of vibrations 
    created by the machine to the 
    operators hands. An AV system is 
    recommended for those persons 
    using power tools on a regular or 
    sustained basis.
    –Wear gloves and keep your hands 
    –Keep the AV system well 
    maintained. A power tool with loose 
    components or with damaged or 
    worn AV elements will tend to have 
    higher vibration levels.
    –Maintain a firm grip at all times, but 
    do not squeeze the handles with 
    constant, excessive pressure. Take 
    frequent breaks.
    All the above-mentioned precautions do 
    not guarantee that you will not sustain 
    whitefinger disease or carpal tunnel 
    syndrome. Therefore, continual and 
    regular users should closely monitor the 
    condition of their hands and fingers. If 
    any of the above symptoms appear, 
    seek medical advice immediately.Proper Clothing
    To reduce the risk of injury, the operator 
    should wear proper protective apparel.
    Be alert – if you get tired, take a break. 
    Tiredness may result in loss of control. 
    Working with any power tool can be 
    strenuous. If you have any condition 
    that might be aggravated by strenuous 
    work, check with your doctor before 
    operating this machine.
    Prolonged use of a power tool (or other 
    machines) exposing the operator to 
    vibrations may produce whitefinger dis-
    ease (Raynauds phenomenon) or 
    carpal tunnel syndrome.
    The ignition system of the STIHL unit 
    produces an electromagnetic field of a 
    very low intensity. This field may inter-
    fere with some pacemakers. To reduce 
    the risk of serious or fatal injury, persons 
    with a pacemaker should consult their 
    physician and the pacemaker manufac-
    turer before operating this tool.
    The deflector provided with your power 
    tool will not protect the operator from all 
    foreign objects (gravel, glass, wire, etc.) 
    thrown back by the rotating cutting 
    attachment. Thrown objects may also 
    ricochet and strike the operator. 
    							FS 55, FS 55 C, FS 55 R, FS 55 RCEnglish
    5 Be particularly alert and cautious when 
    wearing hearing protection because 
    your ability to hear warnings (shouts, 
    alarms, etc.) is restricted.Avoid loose-fitting jackets, scarfs, 
    neckties, jewelry, flared or cuffed pants, 
    unconfined long hair or anything that 
    could become caught on branches, 
    brush or the moving parts of the unit. 
    Secure hair so it is above shoulder level.
    For illustrations and definitions of the 
    power tool parts see the chapter on 
    Main Parts.If this tool is subjected to unusually high 
    loads for which it was not designed (e.g. 
    heavy impact or a fall), always check 
    that it is in good condition before 
    continuing work. Check in particular that 
    the fuel system is tight (no leaks) and 
    that the controls and safety devices are 
    working properly. Do not continue 
    operating this machine if it is damaged. 
    In case of doubt, have it checked by your 
    STIHL servicing dealer.
    Transporting the Power Tool Warning!
    To reduce the risk of 
    injury to your eyes never 
    operate your power tool 
    unless wearing goggles 
    or properly fitted protec-
    tive glasses with 
    adequate top and side protection com-
    plying with ANSI Z 87.1 (or your 
    applicable national standard). To 
    reduce the risk of injury to your face 
    STIHL recommends that you also wear 
    a face shield or face screen over your 
    goggles or protective glasses.
    Wear an approved safety hard hat to 
    reduce the risk of injury to your head 
    when there is a danger of head injuries.
    Power tool noise may damage your 
    hearing. Wear sound barriers (ear plugs 
    or ear mufflers) to protect your hearing. 
    Continual and regular users should 
    have their hearing checked regularly.
    Always wear gloves 
    when handling the 
    machine and metal 
    blades. Heavy-duty, non-
    slip gloves improve your 
    grip and help to protect 
    your hands.
    Clothing must be sturdy 
    and snug-fitting, but allow 
    complete freedom of 
    movement. Wear long 
    pants made of heavy 
    material to help protect 
    your legs. Do not wear 
    shorts, sandals or go 
    Good footing is very 
    important. Wear sturdy 
    boots with nonslip soles. 
    Steel-toed safety boots 
    are recommended.
    Never modify this power tool in any way. 
    Only attachments supplied by STIHL 
    and expressly approved by STIHL for 
    use with the specific STIHL model are 
    authorized. Although certain unauthor-
    ized attachments are useable with 
    STIHL power tools, their use may, in 
    fact, be extremely dangerous. For the 
    cutting attachments authorized by 
    STIHL for your unit, see the chapter 
    Approved Combinations of Cutting 
    Attachment, Deflector, Handle and Har-
    ness in the instruction manual or the 
    STIHL Cutting Attachments, Parts & 
    Accessories catalog.
    To reduce the risk of injury from loss of 
    control and blade or line contact, never 
    carry or transport your power tool with 
    the cutting attachment moving. 
    							FS 55, FS 55 C, FS 55 R, FS 55 RC English
    6 It may be carried only in a horizontal 
    position. Grip the shaft in a manner that 
    the machine is balanced horizontally. 
    Keep the hot muffler away from your 
    body and the cutting attachment behind 
    Your STIHL power tool uses an oil- 
    gasoline mixture for fuel (see the 
    chapter on Fuel of your instruction 
    manual).Fueling Instructions
    In order to reduce the risk of burns and 
    other personal injury from escaping gas 
    vapor and fumes, remove the fuel filler 
    cap on your power tool carefully so as to 
    allow any pressure build-up in the tank 
    to release slowly. Never remove the fuel 
    filler cap while the engine is running.Select bare ground for fueling and move 
    at least 10 feet (3 m) from the fueling 
    spot before starting the engine. Wipe off 
    any spilled fuel before starting your 
    Different models may be equipped with 
    different fuel caps.
    Toolless cap with grip
    To do this with this STIHL cap, raise the 
    grip on the top of the cap until it is upright 
    at a 90° angle. Insert the cap in the fuel 
    tank opening with the raised positioning  Warning!
    Always shut off the engine and make 
    sure the cutting attachment has stopped 
    before putting a trimmer / brushcutter 
    down. When transporting it in a vehicle, 
    properly secure it to prevent turnover, 
    fuel spillage and damage to the unit. 
    STIHL recommends that you keep 
    metal blades covered with the transport 
    guard (optional accessory).
    389BA019 KN
    Gasoline is an extremely 
    flammable fuel. If spilled 
    and ignited by a spark or 
    other ignition source, it 
    can cause fire and seri-
    ous burn injury or 
    property damage. Use extreme caution 
    when handling gasoline or fuel mix. Do 
    not smoke or bring any fire or flame near 
    the fuel or the power tool. Note that 
    combustible fuel vapor may escape 
    from the fuel system.
    To reduce the risk of serious injury from 
    burns, never attempt to refuel the unit 
    until it has been completely removed 
    from the operator.
    Fuel your power tool in well-ventilated 
    areas, outdoors. Always shut off the 
    engine and allow it to cool before refu-
    eling. Gasoline vapor pressure may 
    build up inside the fuel tank depending 
    on the fuel used, the weather conditions 
    and the tank venting system.
    Check for fuel leakage 
    while refueling and dur-
    ing operation. If fuel 
    leakage is found, do not 
    start or run the engine 
    until the leak is fixed and 
    any spilled fuel has been wiped away. 
    Take care not to get fuel on your cloth-
    ing. If this happens, change your 
    clothing immediately.
    In order to reduce the risk of fuel spill-
    age and fire from an improperly 
    tightened fuel cap, correctly position 
    and tighten the fuel cap in the fuel tank 
    001BA220 KN 
    							FS 55, FS 55 C, FS 55 R, FS 55 RCEnglish
    7 marks on the grip of the cap and on the 
    fuel tank opening lining up. Using the 
    grip, press the cap down firmly while 
    turning it clockwise as far as it will go 
    (approx. 1/4 turn).
    Misaligned, damaged or broken cap
    NIf the cap does not drop fully into the 
    opening when the positioning marks 
    line up and/or if the cap does not 
    tighten properly when twisted, the 
    base of the cap may be prematurely 
    rotated (in relation to the top) to the 
    closed position. Such misalignment 
    can result from handling, cleaning 
    or an improper attempt at 
    tightening.NTo return the cap to the open 
    position for installation, turn the cap 
    (with the grip up) until it drops fully 
    into the tank opening. Next, twist the 
    cap counterclockwise as far as it will 
    go (approx. 1/4 turn) – this will twist 
    the base of the cap into the correct 
    position. Then, twist the cap 
    clockwise, closing it normally.
    NIf your cap still does not tighten 
    properly, it may be damaged or 
    broken; immediately stop use of the 
    unit and take it to your authorized 
    STIHL dealer for repair.Screw Cap
    See also the Fueling chapter in your 
    Instruction Manual for additional 
    Before Starting Fold the grip flush with 
    the top of the cap. Grip 
    the cap and check for 
    tightness. If the grip does 
    not lie completely flush 
    with the cap and the 
    detent on the grip does 
    not fit in the correspond-
    ing recess in the filler 
    opening, or if the cap is 
    loose in the filler opening, 
    the cap is not properly 
    seated and tightened and 
    you must repeat the 
    above steps.
    Left: Base of cap in closed posi-
    tion (with open space)
    Right: Base of cap correctly posi-
    tioned for installation
    001BA227 KN
    001BA226 KN
    Unit vibrations can cause 
    an improperly tightened 
    fuel filler cap to loosen or 
    come off and spill quanti-
    ties of fuel. In order to 
    reduce the risk of fuel 
    spillage and fire, tighten the fuel filler 
    cap by hand as securely as possible.
    Always check your power tool for proper 
    condition and operation before starting, 
    particularly the throttle trigger, throttle 
    trigger lockout, stop switch, cutting 
    attachment, deflector and harness. The 
    throttle trigger must move freely and 
    always spring back to the idle position. 
    Never attempt to modify the controls or 
    safety devices.
    Never operate your power tool if it is 
    damaged, improperly adjusted or main-
    tained, or not completely or securely 
    							FS 55, FS 55 C, FS 55 R, FS 55 RC English
    8 Keep the handles clean and dry at all 
    times; it is particularly important to keep 
    them free of moisture, pitch, oil, fuel mix, 
    grease or resin in order for you to 
    maintain a firm grip and properly control 
    your power tool.As can be seen in that chart, some 
    cutting attachments may require you to 
    change your deflector, handle and / or 
    Keep the deflector (and the attached 
    skirt where appropriate) adjusted 
    properly at all times (see chapters on 
    Mounting the Deflector and Mounting 
    the Cutting Attachment of your 
    instruction manual).
    Arrows on the deflector (A) (as seen 
    from the underside) show the correct 
    direction of rotation of the cutting 
    attachment. When viewed from above, 
    however, the cutting attachment rotates 
    counterclockwise.Adjust carrying harness and hand grip to 
    suit your size before starting work. The 
    machine should be properly balanced as 
    specified in your instruction manual for 
    proper control and less fatigue in 
    operation. To be better prepared in case 
    of an emergency, practice releasing the 
    unit from the harness as quickly as 
    Start the engine at least 10 feet (3 m) 
    from the fueling spot, outdoors only.
    For specific starting instructions, see the 
    appropriate section of your manual. 
    Place the power tool on firm ground or 
    other solid surface in an open area. 
    Maintain good balance and secure 
    Once the engine has started, 
    immediately blip the throttle trigger, 
    which should release the starting throttle 
    and allow the engine to slow down to 
    With the engine running only at idle, 
    attach the power tool to the spring hook 
    of your harness (see appropriate 
    chapter of this manual). Warning!
    Do not attach any cutting attachment to 
    a unit without proper installation of all 
    required parts. Failure to use the proper 
    parts may cause the blade or head to fly 
    off and seriously injure the operator or 
    The cutting attachment must be prop-
    erly tightened and in safe operating 
    condition. Inspect for loose parts (nuts, 
    screws, etc.) and for cracked or dam-
    aged heads or cracked, bent, warped or 
    damaged blades. Replace damaged 
    heads or blades before using the power 
    tool. Always keep blades sharp.
    Check that the spark plug boot is 
    securely mounted on the spark plug – a 
    loose boot may cause arcing that could 
    ignite combustible fumes and cause a 
    To reduce the risk 
    of personal injury 
    to the operator 
    from blade or line 
    contact and 
    thrown objects, make sure your unit is 
    equipped with the proper deflector, han-
    dle and harness for the type of cutting 
    attachment being used (see chart in the 
    chapter on Approved Combinations of 
    Cutting Attachment, Deflector, Handle 
    and Harness).
    000BA006 KN
    To reduce the risk of injury from blade or 
    line contact, be absolutely sure that the 
    cutting attachment is clear of you and all 
    other obstructions and objects, includ-
    ing the ground, because when the 
    engine starts at starting-throttle, engine 
    speed will be fast enough for the clutch 
    to engage and move the cutting 
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