Loading ...

Stihl String Trimmer Shaft Vibration

Updated February 21, 2017

While Stihl string trimmers use a small two-stroke engine notorious for its vibrations and loud noises, the unit should not vibrate excessively in other areas such as the shaft or the gearbox, which are designed with a reduced vibration system. Excessive vibration may imply loose parts or parts about to go.

Loading ...

Loose Screws

The shaft on a Stihl trimmer connects to the power head generally through four screws. The vibration on the engine can gradually shake loose even tightly screwed-in bolts. For this reason, Stihl recommends checking for loose screws and other parts after every use, so you can spot them early and tighten. Check all of the screws connecting the shaft to the power head, the throttle control lever to the shaft, and the shaft to the gearbox.

Gearbox Problems

The gearbox connects the mowing head to the driveshaft. Any noise that may appear to emanate from the shaft may actually be coming from the gearbox. If dirt, weeds or other material get trapped in the gearbox, it may force the driveshaft to work harder, thus exposing a problem in the driveshaft or further up the engine. To isolate the problem, remove the mowing head and check the gearbox and driveshaft for damage.

Driveshaft Problems

The driveshaft rotates inside a hollow, protective tube. Like other engine parts, the driveshaft needs lubrication to keep spinning smoothly. If it's spinning rough or poorly inside the tube, it may force the shaft and other areas to vibrate during operation. Pull the driveshaft carefully out of the tube and check it for blue colouration. Replace the driveshaft if it's blue.

Clutch and Flywheel

While not all Stihl trimmers use a clutch, they all use a flywheel to help power the ignition system and cool the engine. A damaged flywheel will cause the entire engine to vibrate more. If the trimmer head hit something hard like a rock during full speed, the flywheel may get bent. This is often referred to as a sheared key. This key mates the flywheel to the crankshaft; if it's bent, the flywheel will spin poorly. If your unit uses a clutch, check the clutch plates, shoes and springs for signs of thinning and other damage.

Loading ...

About the Author

Currently based in Minneapolis, Minn., Eric Blankenburg has been a freelance journalist since 2000. His articles have appeared in "Outside Missoula, Outside Bozeman," "Hello Chengdu" and online at and various other websites. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from the University of Montana.

Loading ...