Spring 2021

As with all STIHL products, STIHL trimmers and brushcutters are equipped with active safety devices. These features, such as throttle trigger interlocks, anti-vibration systems, Master Control Levers™ and of course deflectors, all play an important role in the safe use of the product by keeping the operator comfortable and the unit under control.

Often overlooked yet extremely important is the deflector. Every STIHL trimmer/brushcutter is equipped with one to help guide grass cuttings in the proper direction away from the operator. The deflectors can vary in shape and size, but their primary task remains the same – keeping foreign objects from being propelled towards the operator.

In addition to protecting the operator from flying debris, the deflector also helps protect the engine. When using a line head for trimming grass, the deflector maintains the correct line length with its integrated line cutter. If the trimmer is used without a deflector, the line length extends beyond what is permissible. Excessive line length adds additional load to the engine and subsequent rotating parts, which can cause a premature failure of these components. It is important to understand that STIHL equipment is air cooled and thus relies on the cooling fan to disperse the heat. When adding additional load, the engine rpm decreases and thus the cooling fan speed also decreases. As a result, internal temperatures increase and if they get hot enough, this could lead to component failure.

Hopefully with this information, operators will be less inclined to remove the deflectors from their trimmers/brushcutters. This will extend the life and performance of their equipment while keeping themselves out of harm’s way.