Stihl FSA 60R Battery Trimmer

Stihl FSA 60R Battery Trimmer.
I have read reviews of other (older versions) of the Stihl range of Lithium ion battery trimmers; there are some reviews stating the the electric motor in some models fails completely if any wet grass or moisture comes into contact with it. Not sure how that could occur? but some of the reviewers are very unhappy about this issue. I am considering buying the latest Stihl battery trimmer (FSA 60R) and wondering if they (Stihl) have overcome this issue and improved their design to eliminate this problem?

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Hi @GeoffB, welcome to the community.

I can’t comment on whether they have fixed the problem, but it is likely that the manual will say not to operate in rain nor place the motor head under water/use hoses to clean. Electricity/batteries and water don’t mix. For example, our EGO line trimmer manual states “Do not wash with a hose; avoid getting water in motor and electrical connections.”

We have a battery EGO line trimmer - this link is the updated model which is about 2.5 years old and have been impressed with it. It cuts almost as well as a petrol one and the battery lasts about 25-30 minutes - but charges fast and takes around 45 minutes to recharge. I would definitely buy another EGO trimmer and may be also worth looking at along with the Stihl.

BTW, we use our EGO trimmer when the grass is wet with dew (living in Tassie it happens regularly) and have had no issues with it. The head gets wet from both the dew and grass as well. The grass tends to stick to the guard and we use a stiff brush after use to remove it since water is a no-no.

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Thanks PHB,
Have read the manual and they only say not to use in the rain - nothing about wet grass etc.
Wanted to get the Stihl as they have a good interchangeable battery system with a range of their battery powered garden gear. I already have a Stihl battery blower (which I’m very happy with), so am hoping to get a deal if I buy another couple of items - battery chainsaw and trimmer?

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It’s an long standing general recommendation regardless of brand of equipment to avoid mowing or cutting wet grass. It is inefficient with the trimmer needing to overcome the slippery grass and added water weight. I’ve done it when desperate in summer. It takes a little longer. Although I typically use a 40cc brush cutter with a steel blade, and a line trimmer head around the house.

Perhaps for a battery trimmer someone is concerned about the mist spray during really wet grass might cause?

From the Stihl specific battery trimmer manual.

The battery system is nominally 36V DC. There is a warning re the possibility of electric shock if used in rain or damp conditions. There is no explanation of why or how. Technically 36V is able to deliver an electric shock, although under what circumstances is not explained. This voltage is less than the lower Australian classification of hazardous DC voltages, (60V DC ripple free) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extra-low_voltage
It’s considered low risk of causing an electric shock serious enough to cause injury.

Unless other manufacturers of battery powered yard equipment say otherwise, are the risk factors for Stihl’s competitors the same?

It’s also worth noting water ingress can damage low voltage DC equipment if it gets into the battery, motor or electronics.

P.S.
I’ve one neighbour with a Stihl battery based product range, line trimmer, blower and chain saw. As an older Aussie he is more than satisfied with the performance and convenience, for a small rural block owner.

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If a user has a pacemaker or similar electronic device (one I know is used as a support for Parkinson’s sufferers) then even such a low voltage could prove either fatal or at least cause very serious effects. In this regard then the warning is very important to heed.

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One can’t look at voltage alone. If relation to its effect, current also needs to be considered.

And also what part of the body is subject to an electric shock… where the current flows through the body.

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Could it get damp from something as simple as the user putting the machine down on the grass; perhaps for a rest or while moving an obstriction?

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The Nazis established by murdering victims in their concentration camps that it normally takes around 80 milliamps throught the heart to kill a person

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The broad conclusion is correct but very badly put in some respects.

When the voltage of a current goes up, your skin’s resistance goes down. This lets more current flow through your skin.

The author may have a basic understanding of Ohm’s Law but you wouldn’t know from this.

The fact that high voltage does not always produce high current is also useful information. The human body can handle many kilo-volts if there is little current available if you are healthy and not wearing medical devices that may be influenced by the voltage.

It can handle a very high voltage. If it couldn’t, we would die taking off a jumper on a cold dry day…or sliding our shoes over carpet. Static electricity commonly of 25,000V or more can be created and discharged rapidly, giving a small shock.

Even the old Victa which some would have had the displeasure of feeling the spark, gives around 20,000Vs. No mass deaths yet to be reported from mowers.

Even the joke hand buzzers often used by children for a but of fun can have many 1000s volts.

This is why consideration of current and where current flows within the body is also important.

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An amusing mistake in an update regarding bees.

“The hairs are electorally charged during…”

I wonder which political parties the bees support?

image

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Important to note: The Cardiac Surgeons have a list of precautions and risks for patients who have received Pacemakers. My father had a list. It included not using certain handheld 2/4 stroke equipment, EG Chainsaws due to the proximity of the user’s implant to the HT power for the spark plug. The best advice would be that of the professional familiar with the specific Pacemaker. There was also specific advice re hand held battery equipment, which permitted most to be used.

The risk to Pacemaker recipients from electrical tools and implements, including kitchen accessories such as stick blenders may be a worthwhile standalone discussion. One suppliers advice. Note it relates to inductive coupling.


.

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The consequences also vary.
It’s worth noting that similar to battery powered hand tools and yard equipment:
Cars have 12V batteries. Trucks and heavy equipment have nominal 24V systems. The same potential for electric shock in wet or damp conditions, exist when doing work on a vehicle or equipment.

It’s open for a general discussion as to whether the use of battery powered hand tools etc present any new or additional specific risks of serious injury from electric potential. And a different direction in the topic from requesting the test. Although the weather, dust and water resistance may be a useful item to include in the assessment scores when tested.

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I purchased an Ozito Line trimmer 2 1/2 years ago as shown in this link . Two of my friends have Stihl trimmers . One petrol , one Battery . They have both experienced serious line feed problems . I have had no issues with my trimmer .

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