FS 56 RC-E - $219.95 DSRP


Distributor Suggested Retail Price
FS 56 RC-E

DSRP: $219.95

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A straight-shaft grass trimmer with a fuel-efficient engine and STIHL Easy2Start™.

Designed with a low-emission engine, the versatile straight shaft FS 56 RC-E STIHL loop handled trimmer is smooth running to help reduce operator fatigue. With a simplified new starting procedure, and featuring a semiautomatic choke that helps prevent flooding, you get a trimmer that’s ideal for homeowners with heavy grass to trim in hard-to-reach places. Couple this with the Easy2Start™ syst...Read More
Print Spec Sheets
FS 56 RC-E Specifications
DISPLACEMENT 27.2 cc (1.66 cu. in.)
ENGINE POWER 0.8 kW (1.07 bhp)
WEIGHT* 4.8 kg (10.6 lbs.)
FUEL CAPACITY 340 cc (11.5 oz.)
CUTTING SWATH 16.5"
POWER SOURCE Gas
* Weight without cutting attachment or deflector.
Model Features
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    Adjustable front handle
    The front handle is easily adjustable (360-degree rotation) for comfort.
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    Shoulder Strap / Carrying System
    Using a shoulder strap or carrying system helps distribute the weight of the equipment for increased operator comfort and improved maneuverability.
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    Fully Lined Drive Shaft
    Provides smooth operation and less vibration.
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    High Tech Polymer Housing
    Housings are lightweight, withstand greater impact and are corrosion-resistant.
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    Protected Choke Lever/Knob
    Helps prevent damage.
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    Throttle Trigger Interlock
    Must be depressed before the trigger can be activated.
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    Air Filter Cover
    Easily removed for fast and easy filter cleaning or replacement.
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    Protected or Enclosed Control Cables
    Eliminate dangling and loose wires.
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    Heavy-Duty Steel-On-Steel Clutch
    Centrifugal clutch is designed to reduce slippage.
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    Protected Spark Plug
    Protected yet easy to change.
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    Protected Spark Arrestor Muffler
    Has large baffles which reduce noise level and contains a screen designed to reduce the emission of sparks.
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    Upright Translucent Fuel Tank
    Allows operator to easily check fuel level before starting work. Upright position makes it easier to refill.
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    Multi-Function Control Handle
    Having easy access to all of the controls on one comfortable handle makes it easy to complete tasks so the operator’s hand never has to leave the handle.
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    Purge Pump Primer
    By pressing the bulb, this small fuel pump delivers fuel to the carburetor, reducing the number of starting pulls needed after an extended break between uses.
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    Cutting Heads & Blades Selection Chart
    Need help selecting a cutting head or blade for your STIHL trimmer or brushcutter?

    Click here to view the Cutting Heads & Blades Selection Chart (PDF Format).
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    Built in the USA
    Indicates products that are built in the United States from domestic and foreign parts and components.

    More Information

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    Reduced-Emission Engine Technology - Caring for Nature
    The STIHL Inc. “Caring for Nature” seal identifies its powered products that are more environmentally conscious, producing zero or low exhaust emissions. STIHL Inc. defines “low exhaust emissions” as being cleaner than EPA and/or CARB exhaust emission standards.

    More Information

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    STIHL Easy2Start™
    The STIHL Easy2Start™ system makes starting STIHL outdoor power tools almost effortless, eliminating the need for a strong pull of the starting cord. This advanced starting system is designed to make starting STIHL products easier. The specific system may vary by model, but in each case, a quick pull overcomes the engine’s compression to minimize the strength and effort required to start. Available on selected products.

    See it in action!
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    Simplified Starting Procedure
    To get started, simply pump the fuel primer, set the choke and pull the starter cord. The built-in stop switch allows the user to turn off the engine with a simple press of the button. When the engine is off, the throttle lock automatically returns to the “start” setting. Your power tool will be ready to be started when you’re ready to get back to work.

    See it in action!
Standard Features
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    Common Features for Trimmers
    View the features common to many STIHL trimmers.

Important Information
WARNING! Improper use of any trimmer/brushcutter can cause serious or fatal injury. Read, understand and follow all safety instructions in your instruction manual. To reduce the risk of injury from blade contact, circular saw blades may be used on FS brushcutters that have a limitstop, a bicycle handle and double shoulder harness and not on FS brushcutters with a "J" handle or loop handle. Other rigid blades may be used on FS brushcutters having a bicycle handle, a "J" handle or a loop handle equipped with a barrier bar. To reduce the risk of eye injury always wear proper eye protection. Always use the appropriate deflector for the type of cutting attachment, as explained in your instruction manual.
Note: STIHL engine products with the Caring for Nature logo are cleaner than EPA Standards for exhaust emissions.
Note: STIHL recommends use of fuel with no more than 10% Ethanol content. Using fuel with greater than 10% Ethanol content may cause damage to your equipment and may void your STIHL warranty. Learn More…
WARNING! Improper use of any power tool may cause serious or fatal injury. Read, understand and follow carefully the operating and safety instructions in your instruction manual before using such products.

STIHL products sold through U.S. STIHL Dealers are for distribution in the United States only.
Click to view the STIHL Limited Warranty Time Periods
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For Your Safety
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    Sleek Line Glasses
    A lightweight frame made of nylon offers the ideal combination of durability and comfort. Rubber temple tips and nosepiece offer a pressure-free fit behind the ears and protection from slippage on the nose bridge area. Protective lenses filter 99% of harmful UV rays.
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Are You Ready for a STIHL?

FS 56 RC-E is rated 4.5 out of 5 by 822.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Two Month Review - Very Reliable I bought this from a dealer, and not a box store. I have learned my lessons. Better products. This is very reliable and easy to start and run. It's only 2 mos old but highly recommended by the owner (my neighbor) of the dealership. I have removed the shield for longer trim lines and easier edging. I'm not a fan of the tapping for more line but it's consistent. Just make sure you tap and don't run out or you have to stop, get a screwdriver, refeed, etc. That killed me on the first usage. User error! Power is great. The look is good. I'm getting used to edging and making cleaner cuts. It's a little heavy but that's a sacrifice for power. Overall, I'm very please but i'll know more in 3-4 years.
Date published: 2018-09-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good and powerful for my half acre homeowner needs For 10 years on 2.5 acres I had a trimmer with a curved shaft and the head style that took pre-cut pieces of line rather than spooling and always advancing the line. The fly wheel finally disintegrated on that one. I've also moved to a smaller property with only a half acre to maintain now. Being a happy Stihl chain saw owner I decided to grab a Stihl trimmer. I am 6' tall so I looked into getting a straight shaft trimmer this time. I was looking heavily into the FS-50 for a long curved shaft, but opted out. I was also looking heavily into the FS-70R as it had all the same specs as this one but is professional grade. ? . Couldn't really tell the huge difference between the 70 and this FS-56-RCE. Both have steel on steel clutches and this homeowner model has Easy2Start which is a big plus so far. So I passed on the 70R. I've only fired this trimmer up a few times. It's very easy to start. (knock on wood) I hope it stays that way. Using the long straight shaft took some getting used to after spending a decade with a curved shaft. It honestly felt big, cumbersome and even clunky at first, but man, the power of this thing really makes up for it's size. It is safe to say that I had the hang of it after several minutes of use and was going to work on my 0.5 acre yard. It was blazing fast at any of the homeowner tasks I threw at it. Fence line trimming, trimming around swing set feet, sidewalk edging, garden trimming, pool side trimming, etc. I'll mention that I did purchase a Duro-Head and a sleeve of the pre-cut line pieces because I was a long time user of that style head and I like it. I also saw many of the negative reviews on this 56RCE are about the head that it comes with. I can go about 12 minutes of straight use before I need to install new duro-cut lines. I use three sets of lines (2 stop-n-swaps) when trimming my half acre. In effort to improve my Duro-Head experience I think I'll buy a spool of .120" line next time and cut my own pieces about an inch longer than the Duro pre-cut pieces. Maybe I can get 15 minutes before needing to swap lines and only have to swap once while trimming my yard. I cannot review the head that comes with the trimmer because I have not used it. I have it as a back-up though. The line rotates in the opposite direction from what I had before, but I got used to it pretty quick as well. I just have to use the trimmer opposite handed, but it's light enough so it's not difficult. I like using the trimmer without the shield deflector (I always wear pants, boots, long sleeves, glasses, hat and ear plugs) because I need to see what I'm doing when edging a sidewalk. The duro-lines are unforgiving if you're not careful. Your edges will be jagged if you're not paying attention or can't see through the deflector. So far I really like this trimmer. It's no holy grail that makes trimming an absolute dream to do. It's still a chore, but this FS 56 RCE works well at what it is designed to do. About as good as I expected, nothing groundbreaking. That's why 4 stars instead of 5.I'll probably get an edger attachment and chain saw bar attachment if the engine proves to be of good quality over a year.
Date published: 2018-09-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Great trimmer. Would be even better with a few changes. I'm no pro when it comes to knowing all about trimmers. My old trimmer, which is/was a straight shaft, it spun clockwise, just like every other trimmer I used. It was acting up so I went to the local dealer and picked up a Stihl. First time using it, I was impressed with the comfort and power. I mean, why wouldn't I be, it's a Stihl! But, the darn thing about stoned me to death, throwing every little rock, chunk of dirt, etc right up into my face. I wasn't expecting this to spin counter-clockwise. I returned to the store where I purchased it. The man said perhaps a different shield from a blade attachment would help. He called Stihl directly to see what they said and all they told the guy (and me) was that I need to learn how to use it properly. Needless to say, I was pretty disappointed in this answer and found it to be kind of rude. After going home and researching this issue, even though I felt the guy from Stihl was a bit rude, it does appear that there is a bit of a learning curve. Also, a lot of people claim all straight shafts spin counter clockwise. Well, I know that's not true as I own one that spins clockwise. Also while reading up on this, it does seem that there are a lot of people that hate this problem. Question is, if this gear drive is driven by 2 gears, why couldn't a 3rd gear be put into the design that would allow it to spin clockwise? If that's not possible, why not design a different shield that would give more coverage? For the first time, Im disappointed in my Stihl purchase. I spend this money knowing I'd have a great piece that I'd love using. Great it may be but I hate using it and I'm now stuck with it. Next step, modifying the shield. We'll see if that helps.
Date published: 2018-09-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great weedeater Great weedeater plenty of power starts on first 2 pulls very dependable the only down fall is wish it had a longer shaft
Date published: 2018-08-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from LOVE THIS TRIMMER I purchased this trimmer recently and absolutely LOVE it everything from the power to the ergonomics it is the best I’ve ever used!I was hesitant about spending so much in a trimmer but it should last myself a LONG time! I couldn’t be happier!The fuel motomix is what I bought and it cost a bit more but wow it is convenient and doesn’t have that oily smell and it doubled the warranty!
Date published: 2018-08-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from No more gas I like the idea of not needing to refill my trimmer with gas. I found the battery life a little disappointing. I purchased 2 batteries. By the time 1 battery is dead, I swap batteries and immediately start recharging it. By the time the 2nd battery goes dead, the other battery is about 1/2 charged. I wished the batteries would hold charge longer. Otherwise the trimmer works well.
Date published: 2018-08-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Starting is a breeze Starts every time with very little effort. Has great power for even the toughest of over grown grass and weeds. Best value for my needs and pocket book.
Date published: 2018-08-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from First time Stihl owner First time I have purchased a Stihl product and man I'm impressed.Purchased this Trimmer about a month ago and have used it 3 to 4 times.
Date published: 2018-08-25
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