Stihl FS480

This is the latest clearing saw from Stihl and is everything you would expect from a company that repeatedly demonstrates technological innovation in the field of cutting woody material.

For starters, this machine has a 48.7cc engine, producing 2.2kW. It’s powerful but compact. This model also has decompression for easy starting, elasto-start cushioned recoil handle for comfort, compensating carburettor so the machine continues to run regardless of maintenance and the shaft is sheathed to isolate vibration. What’s more, there is even a shorter model for operators of short stature.
Everything about the FS480 shouts comfort. The handles have soft grips and are adjustable via a butterfly nut. Even the throttle trigger is designed to be flush with the handgrip so there is no pressure on the operator’s fingers.
Our man especially likes the Comfort harness — standard with this machine. “Usually you can feel the weight on your shoulders but with this harness the weight is transferred down to the hips.”
Thought has even been given to refuelling. The filler spout is at an angle so any spilt fuel goes on the ground rather than coming into contact with hot parts of the machine and the filler cap is strapped to the spout so you are not going to lose it in the woods.
Fitted with a blade, the FS480 tackles all the saplings and undergrowth we put before it, including 45mm hazel.
“There’s plenty of power with this machine,” says the tester. “Like the bigger Makita, this machine has the drive to tackle the work.”

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