Way back in 1926, Andreas Stihl designed an electric powered chainsaw that was to revolutionise the world for commercial and residential gardeners. With a small factory in Stuttgart, Germany, he soon started an assembly line making petrol powered chainsaws. Over the period of 90 years Stihl has grown worldwide with eight factors in Germany, production companies on four continents and supplying 90 countries with their products.
In 2009 Stihl launched their cordless range of hedge trimmers which were quiet and powerful, and several years later a new era began with a complete range of lithium-ion battery powered tools. These days a lot of 4wders and campers have moved from the old petrol chainsaws to battery operated ones for convenience, compatible with other skins ( blower, drill etc ) and no need to carry smelly fuel and oil.
Just recently I came across a compact new product by Stihl that may not be up there with the big boys but it certainly does the job. The new Stihl GTA26 garden pruner, is a handy tool for the garden but also in the bush. It features a 4’’ bar, 1/4’’ chain and with a 25 minute battery run time, I’ve found that it cuts enough timber for a night away camping.
Stihl claims that it can cut over 80 x 4cm branches around the yard, but when out on the tracks it cuts enough thicker branches for a good nights fire. This obviously has limitations on the thickness of the wood, its battery life and your expectations on those all nighter logs to stay burning in the morning, but so far I’m pretty impressed.
In the carry kit you receive the GTA26 saw, chain oil and manual, battery charger and a 10.8v ( 28Wh ) lithium battery which takes about 15mins to recharge. The lightweight GTA26 also features a non-slip handle and second grip point, interlocking trigger and a flexible hood. This thing is that quiet that you don’t need to wear ear protection, only a set of glasses. It has a 5 light charge status indicator so you can keep an eye on the battery charge and a large easy to use wing nut enables you to take off the bar and chain for cleaning and adjustment. This thing is balanced pretty well too.
I've been using this saw for several months now and while it won’t take away the need for a larger saw for track clearing or those larger bonfires, this thing definatly makes light work of getting enough wood for a night. Priced at $279 from Stihl dealers, its debatable if its worth the money just for camping, but well worth the coin if you have a little bit of land that needs some light pruning and also handy in the shed.