Are STIHL Mowers Any Good? (With Video And Explained To Beginners)
Agreed, STIHL mowers don’t boast the stardom of older lawn mower manufacturers like Husqvarna and Snapper. However, it would be regrettable to underestimate the power, efficiency, and durability this brand offers. This brand’s ultra-modern production facility situated in Virginia Beach has gone on to produce millions of mowers that authoritatively count among the best American-made lawnmowers.
So, Are STIHL Mowers Any Good Really?
An unwavering prioritization of quality and dependability have accelerated STIHL mower’s rise into one of the most reputable outdoor tool producers in the United States. The inventiveness of STIHL’s polymer design and the quality of their metals are fantastic. Little wonder an independent analysis of the sales and market share data for 2009-2019 – along with a reputable Irwin Broh Research – reveals that STIHL mowers are among the bestselling handheld outdoor power tools that are gasoline-powered.
To better answer the question “are STIHL mowers any good”, let us comprehensively analyze some of the best STIHL mowers, looking through what they have to offer and if they worth your hard-earned dollar.
When you mention STIHL mowers, three major line up of mowers come to mind. These are the signature 4-series, 5-series, and 6-series mower offerings from STIHL.
Are STIHL mowers comfortable?
Comfort is assured when using STIHL mowers. Across the 4,5, and 6 series STIHL mowers, STIHL integrated an impressive bevy of features to reduce operator exhaustion significantly.
The 6-series STIHL mowers, for example, are fitted with a height-adjustable mono-comfort handlebar. Other STIHL mowers like the RMA 510 are fitted with three height options that you can adjust to depending on your height.
The ease of clipping disposal is another major contributor to a STIHL mower comfortability. The majority of STIHL mowers are furnished with a single handle design, making reaching (and emptying) the grass catcher box seamless.
More innovative features like the Smart Choke technology ensure that you can comfortably start your lawnmower. Additionally, these mowers boast impressive grip due to their double ball-bearing functionality.
The drive mechanisms in self-propelled and STIHL mowers are world-class. Effortless, the mowers drive themselves forward, eliminating the physical exertion manual propulsion would have meted on you.
Cost of STIHL: Are they expensive?
STIHL mowers have a broad range of prices, depending on the specs of the mower mode. Indeed, the STIHL 4-series presents three major models. These are the RT 4082, RT 4112 S, and the RT 4097 SX models, each with its cost.
The STIHL RT 4082 has a price range of £2,319.00 to £2,609.00. The RT 4097 SX costs around £2,000.00.
Moving on to the 5 Series, these series are a step-up on the 4 series. Chief among these series are the STIHL RT 5112 Z and the STIHL RT 5097. The STIHL RT 5097 goes for £2,500.00 to £2,699.10.
The STIHL RT 5112 Z This mower goes for around £3,799.00 to £4,049. The STIHL RM 650 is the major offering from STIHL’s 6 series lineup. The STIHL RM 650 comes at a comfy cost range of £687.60 to £849.00.
Is STIHL mower warranty policy good?
STIHL’s warranty policy varies depending on the mower model (or series) and the part that had a defect. Also, the mode of usage (domestic or professional use) determines the type of warranty policy coverage. Like the 2,3,4,5 and 6 STIHL series, the R series has a 5-year extended warranty policy for domestic use. However, the coverage shortens to 3 months if such mowers were deployed commercially.
Furthermore, the said range of mowers has a 3-month warranty coverage if used as hires and rentals for commercial construction.
The warranty policy is different for the 7 series, which comes with a 5-year extended warranty policy for domestic use. However, the coverage for commercial usage and rentals for the 7 series is pushed up to a year.
STIHL mower parts are also covered with solid warranty policies. Lawnmower decks for the R, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 Series have a ten-year warranty for domestic use, three months of warranty for commercial use, and three months of warranty for rentals.
The same warranty coverage applies to mono handlebars. However, the mono handlebar for the 7 series has a 10-year warranty for domestic usage and 5-year warranty for either commercial use or rentals.
Are STIHL mowers’ cutting width good?
STIHL is one brand manufacturer whose mowers adequately cater to both the residential lawn owner (regarding smaller yards) and the typical commercial lawn maintenance operator.
The cutting width differs across these mowers. The STIHL RT 4082, for example, is a big baby, suited for mowing large lawns, with an expanse running up to 4000m². The STIHL RM 4 RT petrol mulching lawn mower ideal is well-suited to mowing big lawns up to 2500m².
The RT 5097 can handle lawns as extensive as 6,000m², courtesy of its 95cm mowing deck width. If you have bigger lawns, you can try out the STIHL RT 5112 Z. Courtesy of its 110cm mowing deck width, this mower can cut lawns as big as 8,000m².
The cordless STIHL mower offerings, on the other hand, are better suited to mowing smaller lawns. The RMA 339C can mow lawns up to 300m². The same lawn area goes for the RME 325.
Cordless STIHL mowers like the RME 339 and RME 443 can handle relatively bigger lawns (compared to their cordless counterparts). The RME 443 can mow lawns as big as 600m², while the RME 339 lawn area capacity comes a little bit lower at 500 m².
How easy are STIHL mowers to transport and store?
STIHL mowers are easy to move and store. Most of these STIHL mowers are accoutered with carrying handles which not only simplify loading and mobility.
The latter is achievable as these handles act as lashing points, capably handling securing duties (especially with a strap) when your STIHL mower is in transit.
Folding your STIHL mower for storage or getting prepped for work after storing it away is not challenging either. STIHL’s Quick Fix clamping devices are beneficial in either releasing the mower or fastening it.
How good are STIHL engines?
STIHL engines are strong and efficient. Courtesy of being fitted with OHV RS engines, STIHL mowers (typical of the petrol-powered 4 series mowers) need minimal maintenance. This can be attributed to the camshaft being situated in the block, and not the head.
Other STIHL models like the RM 448T are decked with Briggs and Stratton 575 Series. These engines boast the industry’s best torque-to-weight ratio. This explains why such mowers are reputed for their reduced noisiness and lesser vibration.
Altogether, STIHL engines are easier to start. This can be jointly attributed to Smart Coke or Ready Start technologies these engines are equipped with.
Are STIHL mowers strong?
Unlike the bunch of plastic mowers that are recently littering the market, STIHL mowers have a reputation of strength. Where is this better demonstrated than in the resilience of their mower deck?
STIHL mowers are furnished with steel decks that can withstand rough usage. These sheet steel decks are designed to be torsion-resistant, reinforced for extra endurance.
There is even more. STIHL mowers are outfitted with smooth-running wheels, which stand out for their robustness upon being hard-wearing.
Some of such STIHL mowers are further girded with a directional stability tread pattern that makes it easier to manipulate your mower when driving without disproportionate deviations from your line of travel.
STIHL mowers pros and cons: Overview of what I like and needs to be improved
Overall, I appreciate the nimbleness of STIHL mowers when in use. Their ergonomics make it easier for the mower handles to contour to your hand’s shape, reducing the tension in the grip. The cutting height adjustability means just any operator – regardless of how tall they are – can efficiently use STIHL mowers.
They are pretty compact and easy to store. It is remarkable how STIHL mowers manage to achieve such ruggedness despite being relatively lightweight. More than having a very minimal need for maintenance, most of the STIHL users I tried had good run time.
On the cons, I would say STIHL mowers are obviously not the best mowers you can get if you are keen on reverse speed.
Best Stihl Mowers For Your Money
Having examined these, let us dig deeper into the specific mower offerings from STIHL. We will examine the best pick from the 4, 5, and 6 series.
STIHL 4 series
The 4-series present three major models. These are the RT 4082, RT 4112 S, and the RT 4097 SX models. Yes, we are digging into each.
The STIHL RT 4082
This is sufficient to work through lawns with significant vegetation with the turning circle and the forward view free of blockades.
The STIHL RT 4082 is fitted with a single pedal drive. This – with the hand lever – makes it less challenging to manipulate the mower’s line of travel between reverse and forward gear.
Cutting with the RT 4082 wasn’t bad. I was impressed by the clever catching mechanism. Surely, I didn’t need to exert myself collecting the grass across the RT 4082’s cutting width. What more, the grass catcher impressively comes at a 250-liter capacity, which I could readily open to get the clipping tipped out.
Engaging and disengaging the mowing deck blades wasn’t a problem either. A simple push at the control panel switch took care of that. The option of retrofitting the RT 4082 with a mulch insert was inspiring for me, I must confess.
The RT 4097 SX
The RT 4097 SX also places a great deal of emphasis on user convenience and performance. There was no way I wasn’t getting fascinated with the ruggedness and versatility of the RT 4097 SX.
First, the mower is supplied with a Briggs & Stratton 3.130 Series engine. For all the power this engine packs, it is remarkably noiseless. This mower assures you of longer rides, as its 9-liter fuel capacity means lengthier drives without regular refueling breaks.
This 4-series mower can handle lawns as big as 6000 m², thanks to a 0.9m cutting width. What more, I could manipulate the cutting height as my lawn condition requires from 0.35-0.9cm.
The suitability of the RT 4097 SX to bigger lawns is further demonstrated with its side discharge’s relative expansiveness.
With just your first ride on the RT 4097 SX mower, you will appreciate its maneuverability. This can be attributed to the driving directions being readily alterable with the handle lever. The single pedal drive system also contributes to manipulating the mower through limited spaces.
The absence of a grass catcher box in this mower is a double-edged sword. On one side, such absence improves the compactness and maneuverability of the mower. But on the other side, having to do more work collecting my grass clippings was not exciting.
The RT 4112 S
Like me, the STIHL RT 4112 S users are bewildered at how adroit and maneuverable this mower is despite coming at a hefty weight of 206kg.
This mower skillfully dances its way around the smallest space, working through obstacles like shrubs and trees, erstwhile notorious for making the operator’s life miserable.
At a cutting width of 110cm, the RT 4112 S is fitted with sizable turf tires. I admire the traction these tires provide, which was particularly helpful when mowing uphill lawns.
For homeowner particularly mindful of the damage lawnmowers do to their lawns, it is relieving that the RT 4112 S’s turf tires are enhanced with rounded shoulders.
This is beneficial in decreasing drag and eliminating the possibility of driving tracks doing significant damage to your lawn after mowing.
How about speed? The RT 4112 S is stocked with a homely 12hp engine and hydrostatic gearbox. Courtesy of these facilities, the rider enjoys increased speed flexibility when floating the pedal.
The STIHL RT 4112 S doesn’t miss out on compactness, with its mowing deck offering a cutting width of 110cm. This mower can take care of lawns as extensive as 8,000 m².
STIHL placed elaborate stress on comfort in the design of this mower. STIHL situated the seat pretty comfortably so that you wouldn’t be exhausting yourself when steering the mower.
If you have been in mowers where the steering controls and adjusters are planets apart, you would immensely appreciate how closely positioned the blade clutch activation system, the switch (for reverse or forward movement), and cutting height adjuster are to the steering control in the STIHL RT 4112 S.
Exploring STIHL 5 Series
As said, the 5 series is a technological upgrade on the 4 series. It is clear to this 5-series beat their precursor, the 4 series, in collection capacity and mowing width. Indeed, the RT 5097 and the RT 5112 Z are the two most popular mowers in this category.
The STIHL RT 5097
It retains the single pedal drive system from the 4 series. It is reasonably powerful, and I could count on its single-cylinder 8HP OHV engine.
Collection with the RT 5097 is superb. It leverages a synchronized twin-bladed deck for packing the clippings. I didn’t get to spend much time disposing of my clippings.
This mower is furnished with an incredible 250-liter collection box. What more, I could empty it without leaving my seat, thanks to the lever.
In some mowers I have used, the collection malfunctions (or their efficiency reduces dramatically) when used in wet conditions. I didn’t suffer this mowing with the RT 5097. I experienced almost the same collection efficiency when mowing in damp conditions as I would in dry situations.
I also like that STIHL accoutered the RT 5097 with responsive steering. This, combined with its tight turning circle capability, ensures you can readily meander your way through obstacles.
The STIHL RT 5112 Z
The STIHL RT 5112 Z has more power than the RT 5097. The former comes with a robust twin-cylinder OHV engine. Comfort is another strong attraction of this mower.
The direct steering (with the drive lever and height adjuster all in close proximity) and a single pedal system guarantee that mowing time is less draining for the operator.
The Grass Guide System is another feature I fancy about this mower. Fitted on either side of your deck, grass blades are efficiently caught at the edge, nudging them in the direction of the blades.
The STIHL 6 SERIES
It wouldn’t be fair to you if I close the article without talking about STIHL’s 6 series. Chief among this 6-series lineup is the RM 650. How good is it? I will tell you shortly!
Examining the STIHL RM 650
The RM 650 comes with a distinct touch of class, despite its relative affordability. Fortified with a robust Kohler XT800 Series engine, this is not the mower that shies away from the tough tasks.
Why wouldn’t I be fascinated with the RM 650’s SmartChoke technology when I have been through the horrors of weather-motivated mower starting problems? With this capability, there was zero starting the RM650 regardless of the weather being frightfully hot or icy cold.
This mower’s catcher box has a capacity of 70 liters. This cutter box is reachable as this mower is outfitted with a grip mono-comfort handlebar, with the latter remarkably soft on the hand. When it comes to storage, the RM650 transforms into a nice compact mass when you fold the handlebar.
Of course, the RM650 doesn’t miss out on the 3-in-1 cutting mode wave currently sweeping the riding mower market. Maximizing this feature, you can not only mow, but also much and, bag. Not bad, eh? The height adjustability of the RM650 – big thumbs up to the spring-loaded central cutting height adjuster – means you can vary the mower depending on your lawn’s grass condition.