How To Start A Stihl Weed Eater


Often considered the gold standard for gardening, Stihl weed eater are easy to use. All it takes to start it is to rip the cable once you’ve filled it with gas and let off the throttle. Whether filling it up with gas or pulling the trigger, let’s see how to start a Stihl weed eater.

If you are not sure how much fuel your Stihl Weed Eater has before you use it, remove the filler cap and check the level. Stihl herbivores are a powerful utility once you can start using them. Follow us as we explore how to get your Stihl weed eater up and running.

  • Refuel

If you have a gasoline-powered Stihl weed eater, you will need to fill it with fuel before you can start it. Electric weed eaters like the Stihl FSA 130 do not require fuel, and you can skip this step if you have one. Locate the fuel tank filler neck in the weed eater and place it on the ground so that it is facing up.

Twist and remove the filler cap so you can add gasoline to the tank. The herbivore’s gas-to-oil ratio is typically 40:1, but it’s 50:1 on Stihl units. Pour the fuel into the weed eater slowly, keeping an eye on the level so you don’t overfill it.

You can check the fuel level at any time during use by also removing the fuel cap. Once you have the fuel level at the correct level, twist the filler cap back into place.

  • Turn it on

Every Stihl weed eater has a lock or throttle lever on the handle that you must hold. Press both levers with one hand and set the starter switch to the “I” mark with your free hand. The “I” mark means “on” and the switch must be in this position for it to start properly.

Some Stihl trimmers use the “Start” marker, but both indicate the trimmer is on. You can now release the levers when your Stihl weed eater is on.

  • Choke Position

Locate the choke knob on the black part of the weed eater base near the breakaway cable. The choke on your Stihl weed eater is usually orange so you can easily find it. Push the choke lever halfway and squeeze the fuel ball to draw fuel.

Now place the trimmer on a flat surface on the ground with the handle facing down. Make sure the trimmer line is not blocked or pressed against the ground at the end of the grass eater.

  • Pull the cable

If you have completed the steps above, you have reached the easiest part of starting a Stihl weed eater. Grab the cable by the handle and pull as many times as necessary to launch it. You can usually get a Stihl Weed Eater to start with 3-5 hits, but they are all different.

The motor starts as soon as you pull the cable far enough and you’ll hear its sound loudly. The Stihl weed eaters aren’t too loud, but you’ll hear it rumble and feel the handle vibrate. Now you are ready to mow your garden and when you are done hang it vertically with the motor facing up.

Stihl Weed Eater Won’t Start

If your Stihl weed eater won’t start after following the steps above, something may be wrong. Whether you have a bad carb, a clogged air filter, or a worn spark plug, there could be a hardware problem. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why your Stihl weed eater won’t start.

spark plug

Your Stihl weed eater will not start if the spark plug is worn or damaged and may need to be replaced. Most homeowners and professionals can only get 100 hours of work out of a weed eater plug. Open the Stihl weed eater motor housing and inspect for visible debris or damage.

You need to clean the spark plug when the air filter is clogged and covered in dirt. Otherwise, the spark plug may simply wear out with constant use. Fortunately, replacement spark plugs typically cost between $2 and $5 and are easy to replace.

Clogged air filter

The air filter on your Stihl weed eater can become clogged after extended use. Remove the plastic engine casing and you will immediately see the air filter. You can immediately tell if it is clogged, and if so, carefully clean the air filter.

A small brush or your hands is enough to clean the air filter on a Stihl weed eater. If the air filter is damaged or clogged beyond repair, it may need to be replaced. You can find replacement air filters for $2-$5 and slide the new one in place of the old one.


You know your carb is bad when there are oil leaks or black smoke coming out of the trimmer. This can sometimes be caused by using fuel with the wrong gas-to-oil ratio, but it can happen on its own. Unfortunately, this is a fix that needs to be done by a professional and will cost you up to $75.

In summary

Starting a Stihl weed eater is easy and should take less than 5 minutes if you follow the steps. You must first remove the filler cap and add fuel to the trimmer at a 50:1 oil to gasoline ratio. Now hold the throttle on the grip near the engine.

While holding both levers close to the handle, move the starter switch to where it says “I” or “Start.” Once the start switch is in the start position, release both levers to turn on the weed eater. Place the Stihl weed eater on the ground with the handle pointing down, making sure nothing touches the cutting line.

Now simply pull the cord and your Stihl weed eater is ready to go. When you’re done gardening, try hanging the scraper by the handle with the trimmer line pointing down. You can easily start a Stihl Weed Eater without investing a lot of time or effort, and it’s worth it.

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