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Husqvarna vs STIHL Trimmers (2020): Comparing Their Top Gas-Powered String Trimmers

When it comes to home and commercial-grade power tools and machinery, Husqvarna and STIHL are among the most trusted names. They are especially known for their reliable and top-quality chainsaws, but their range of trimmers exceeds expectations as well. Both Husqvarna and STIHL have numerous trimmer models for professional and recreational home use, thus we narrowed down our list to some of their most popular and versatile gas-powered trimmers: the Husqvarna 128 LD and STIHL FS 56 RC-E.

Husqvarna vs STIHL Trimmers Comparison Chart

ModelHusqvarna 128 LD 17″ Trimmer STIHL FS 56 RC-E Trimmer
Husqvarna 128LD 17' Cutting Path Detachable Gas String TrimmerSTIHL FS 56 RC-E Trimmer
PriceCheck Price on AmazonCheck Price at STIHLusa.com 
Engine and Displacement2-stroke 28cc2-stroke 27.2cc
Cutting Width 17″16.5″
Power SourceGas-PoweredGas-Powered
Fuel Capacity13.53 fl oz11.5 fl oz
Weight (without cutting attachment)11.11 lbs10.6 lbs
360° Adjustable HandleNoYes
Starting SystemHusqvarna Smart StartSTIHL Easy2Start
Warranty2 years2 years

Design and Ease of Use

The Husqvarna and STIHL trimmers are lightweight and easy to start and maneuver 

Design and Build husqvarna vs stihl trimmer (1)
You can easily tell the Husqvarna 128 LD (left) and the STIHL FS 56 trimmers (right) apart through their colors 

Both the Husqvarna and STIHL trimmers are user-friendly and lightweight enough that they are easy to maneuver. Weighing 11.11 lbs, the Husqvarna trimmer is slightly heavier than the STIHL trimmer that weighs 10.6 lbs without their cutting attachments. Their controls are housed in their handles so you can easily manage the trimmer as needed. The STIHL has a slight edge over the Husqvarna trimmer when considering their handles as the STIHL’s features a 360° front handle adjustment capability.

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Size-wise, the Husqvarna 128 LD wins by a slim margin as its fuel tank capacity and cutting width are slightly bigger and wider than the STIHL’s. The Husqvarna trimmer’s cutting width is 17 inches while the STIHL’s is 16.5″. While this may seem like an insignificant difference at a glance, one will set itself apart when cutting the grass and weeds in larger areas. Both their starting mechanisms are also straightforward and almost effortless. It typically takes two to three pulls for Husqvarna’s Smart Start and STIHL’s Easy2Start systems to fire up, and they’ll be running flawlessly afterward.

Engine and Power

The Husqvarna 128 LD has a slightly higher engine displacement than the STIHL FS 56 RC-E trimmers 

Engine and Power husqvarna vs stihl trimmer (2)
Starting either the Husqvarna 128LD (pictured above) or the STIHL requires little effort 

In terms of power and engine, the Husqvarna and STIHL trimmers are almost on the same level. The Husqvarna 128LD boasts a 2-stroke 28cc engine while the STIHL trimmer is equipped with a 2-stroke 27.2 cc engine. Their output power is almost the same, thus it’s a toss-up between the Husqvarna and STIHL trimmers in this category. Despite their powerful engines, both trimmers do not vibrate aggressively and are quieter than many trimmers in their class.

It is worth mentioning that some users of the Husqvarna trimmer have reported having to adjust the carburetor screws at first. This is not something everyone has experienced, but if you do, the quick carburetor screws adjustment does the trick and you can expect the Husqvarna to run smoothly after.

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Additional Features

The 128LD trimmer can be set-up with other compatible Husqvarna attachments; both brands offer a two-year warranty. 

ADditional features husqvarna vs stihl trimmer (3)
Some of the attachments compatible with the Husqvarna 128LD 17″ are the edger, cultivator, and pole saw 

If you’re short on space and want to free up some in your garage, the Husqvarna 128LD trimmer is the clear choice for you. Its trimmer head can be detached from its shaft and replaced with other compatible attachments, making it the more versatile trimmer compared to the STIHL FS 56 RC-E. Apart from its space-saving advantage, you’ll end up saving some cash as well as you won’t need to get an entirely different machine to do what other attachments can accomplish.

Among the attachments compatible with the Husqvarna 128LD 17″ trimmer are the following:


Both the Husqvarna and STIHL trimmers won’t disappoint, but the Husqvarna 128LD offers better value and versatility 

Regardless of your pick, you’ll end up with a reliable, fuel-efficient trimmer that delivers excellent performance to help keep the weeds at bay. They have similar engine power, overall design, ergonomics, and starting features, not to mention they are similarly-priced, too. Having said that, the Husqvarna 128LD’s versatility, slightly bigger fuel tank capacity, and higher engine displacement give it an edge over the STIHL FS 56 RC-E trimmer.

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Last update on 2020-07-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Rhodaline Escala-Phelps
Rhodaline Escala-Phelps

Managing Editor and Team Leader at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about people, product comparisons, culture, and current events.