Are you interested in the Stihl GTA 26 cordless pruner? Read my reviews, my opinions and find out what are its best qualities.
Finally, after saving some money, I was able to give myself this splendid pruner for Christmas. And I am thrilled, since the Stihl GTA 26 mini battery chainsaw has many peculiarities that we do not find in other similar models. Despite having a high cost, I can guarantee that if you want to take home a tool for small pruning (or carpentry) jobs you will not find better. Remember, in fact, the rule “the more you spend, the better you spend”.
Features of the Stihl GTA 26 cordless pruner
As I mentioned above, i battery pruners miniature like the GTA 26 are the best allies for those who want a power tool suitable for pruning small branches, with a diameter of no more than 8 centimeters. This model is of course no exception, considering that it has a bar with an overall length of 10 centimeters. Secondly, it has a one-of-a-kind structure, with a top horn that gives you the ability to use it with two hands as well.
What are the other features to underline right away? The presence of a safety lever above the trigger, which you will have to push with your thumb to activate the rotation of the blade. This is a protection system that I personally consider essential, and the same goes for the cover bar that is right above the blade. Its purpose is twofold: on the one hand it protects you from flying splinters, and on the other it prevents your hand from touching the saw if it slips.
Also, know that the pistol grip is ergonomic and very comfortable, and that the package includes the battery, the charger and a vial of lubricating oil, as well as a liner to cover the blade when you are not using the mini saw and the case for the transport. In summary, it just misses the word. Finally, it has the quick chain tensioner but not the automatic lubrication.
The alternatives: the best-selling mini chainsaws
If the Stihl pruner is not available, here is a small list of the best-selling mini chainsaws:
Stihl cordless mini chainsaw
1. Blade and cutting diameter
The blade of this mini cordless chainsaw it has a length of 10 centimeters, therefore it is suitable for cutting twigs with a maximum diameter of 8 centimeters. However, it was created to optimize the cutting of smaller twigs, around 4 centimeters, but no one prevents you from pushing it to the limit I have indicated.
It is not the longest size on the market, since there are also mini saws with a blade up to 18 centimeters, but as they say: in medio stat virtus. It means that such a length is perfect not only for pruning bushes and trees, but also for hobbies and jobs like carpentry and DIY. As for the technical data, the chain pitch is 1/4 inch (6.35mm).
And the performance? Amazing. This tool is fantastic as a replacement for other tools such as loppers and saws, and in fact not only hobbyists like me use it, but also professionals. In other words, don’t be fooled by appearances.
2. Structure and handle
The structure is made entirely of hard ABS plastic, so it holds up well against bumps and this is great news. Secondly, the handle has a pistol shape and is particularly suitable for a matter of ergonomics and ease of use. In addition, as I have already mentioned to you, it has an ergonomic and non-slip coating. I assure you that it can be used comfortably even if you are wearing work gloves (actually you should always do it, for a safety issue).
Speaking of the handle: in addition to the main pistol grip, you also find a horn placed on top of the machine body of the tool. This section, which we do not find in any other mini saw, allows you to use the Stihl GTA 26 cordless pruner with two hands, in order to ensure greater precision in straight cuts, when you need it. Of course, under the main handle you will also find a trigger, but I prefer to tell you about it in a separate chapter.
3. Trigger and safety lever
The Stihl GTA 26 mini cordless chainsaw is operated by pressing and holding the trigger located under the handle. In this regard, I would like to emphasize that the trigger is not equipped with a potentiometer: it means that the more or less strong pressure does not affect the speed of the saw, which will always remain the same. This is not a real defect, considering the use you will make of it, but for correctness it is good to specify the presence of this small limit.
However, starting the saw only works if you keep the side lever raised, which acts as a safety device. With the lever down, the pressure of the trigger will not produce any results, consequently you will not risk yourself and will not risk those who touch it to play with it (like children). Although, of course, I recommend that you keep it away from anyone, and always use it with caution.
The lever does not snap, and this is crucial news in my opinion. The toggle levers (on / off position) are quite dangerous, for a very simple reason: if you forget to lower it, the chainsaw will remain active and therefore you will effectively nullify the usefulness of the safety system. On the contrary, this lever does not click and must be held constantly high in order to allow the trigger to function. Plus, it’s super easy to push, as you just need to lift it with the tip of your thumb.
Finally, know that the lever is present both on the right and on the left, so the Stihl pruner is also suitable for left-handed people like myself (a real rarity).
4. Battery and autonomy
The battery, supplied with the charger, has a cylindrical shape and must be inserted in the appropriate housing located under the handle. It lasts about 25 minutes, but the autonomy can depend on many factors. For example, from the hardness of the branches and their diameter, but also from the continuity of use: if you use it without pauses, and on more complex branches, it could last less.
Personally I advise you to take this reference into consideration: the duration of the pruner, with a complete recharge, is around 80 overall cuts of twigs with a diameter of about 4 centimeters. If you read some negative reviews that say it barely lasts 5 minutes, know that this is bullshit: probably the battery was charged badly or the charging was incomplete.
Before we go any further, you need to know that on the Stihl electric pruner there is also a side section with the power button and a charge indicator. The 4 notches will help you to keep the autonomy of the mini saw under control, so that you can organize yourself better. Finally, the complete recharge of the battery is very fast, since it only takes 70 minutes.
5. Quick chain tensioner
Here is another gem that justifies the price of this tool, namely the presence of a lever that acts as a quick chain tensioner. In other words, for chain tensioning you will not have to tinker with various keys, avoiding wasting an infinite amount of time. How does it work? Very simple: you must first loosen the side knob, then pull the saw bar with one hand, and finally tighten the knob. As you can see, exactly 2 seconds are lost.
6. Chain lubrication
The Stihl GTA 26 cordless pruner does not have a self-lubricating pump, so you will have to do this manually. Before explaining how to do it, I would like to tell you that once again this is not a defect. The only mini chainsaws with automatic lubrication and with an oil tank are the large ones, with 18 cm blades, but they are also heavier (this one, however, weighs only 1.2 kilograms).
For the lubrication I suggest you take the bottle of oil supplied, and pass it along the chain, on both sides of the bar, before working. Being small, and designed for simple cuts, continuous lubrication is not absolutely necessary. If you are experienced with chainsaws, you will already know that the frequency of lubrication can change based on the dryness of the wood.
However, I advise you to lubricate it often, because in this way you will allow the chain to penetrate better into the wood, and in general you will make it last longer.
7. Blade cover bar
The structure of the Stihl GTA 26 mini cordless chainsaw also mounts a bar to cover the upper section of the blade, which is an extra very important. Although it is possible to disassemble it by unscrewing the appropriate screws, I suggest you keep it, because it is a very precious extra for your safety. The bar slides up as soon as it sinks into the wood, so it does not represent an obstacle to the correct operation of the saw, nor to its performance (always at the top).
What is it for? To protect you from the crazy splinters that could leave when cutting wood, and to avoid hurting yourself if your hand placed over the horn slips, if you use it with the double handle.
Price of the Stihl GTA 26
The cost of this Stihl electric pruner fluctuates around 290 euros (but it depends on the offers), and if you hear someone telling you it’s a scam, give them a raspberry. It is true that a few months ago it was available in the launch offer with a discount of about 80 euros, but it was precisely an offer. The stocks in June ran out like flour at the first lockdown in March, so much so that the GTA 26 was unavailable for a long time. In short, unless there are new special offers, you will never find it at a lower cost.