Stihl Cordless Pruning Saw Review: Is This Battery-Powered Pruning Saw Worth Buying?

Updated: Nov. 28, 2023

Kiss those hand-cramping pruners, shears and loopers goodbye. Try this Family Handyman Approved battery operated pruner instead.

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The summer after I moved into my home 13 years ago, I invested in a bunch of tree trimming tools and maintenance equipment. The double city lot I purchased included 14 mature trees that were in terrible shape. Several trees needed to be pruned or trimmed, and six had to come down due to disease, rot or overcrowding.

I bought a bow saw, pole saw, pruners, loppers and a gas chain saw. I did much of the work myself and hired a professional tree service to take out the big ones closest to the house.

These days, I don’t use those tools much except when a windstorm knocks down a limb or two. Instead of digging out the entire tree tool collection, I grabbed the Stihl GTA 26 Pruner to see if it would work for these small and medium branches and limbs.

What Is the Stihl GTA 26 Pruner?

The Stihl GTA 26 is a compact, handheld battery-operated pruner weighing 2.7 lbs. It’s got a condensed four-inch chain saw with a quarter-inch PM3 chain to make smooth cuts with next to no vibration.

It also features an LED display, safe trigger lockout switch and a comfortable ergonomic rubber grip. The Stihl GTA 26 ships with a powerful AS 2 battery, charger, lubricating oil and a carrying case.

Like other Stihl products, the GTA 26 pruner looks and feels sturdy and well-made. It even features a tiny version of their trademark bright orange guide bar scabbard to keep it safe and sound during storage or transport.

How We Tested It

I had a single limb come down from a maple tree during a recent storm. I broke it down with the Stihl pruner and took to the county compost heap for disposal.

While I was there, I asked the attendant if I could use his 20-foot tall pile of limbs and branches to further test the Shihl GTA 26. With his approval, I got after the pile, keeping a close eye on battery life, cuts made, and overall performance on different thicknesses and types of branches.

Performance Review

Performance

With the battery charged, I began cutting the downed maple limb in my yard. The limb was nearly 17 feet long and close to five inches in diameter at its fattest.

The GTA 26 pruner had no problem with this task. It cut up the branch in no time, though it required multiple passes and one rotation on the thick final cut. Though better on branches less than 2-1/2-in. thick, it handled thicknesses up to 3-1/2-in. in a single, methodical pass.

The Stihl GTA 26 was comfortable to carry and use, producing more cutting power than I expected from a compact battery operated pruner.

The same was true at the compost heap. Again, starting with a full battery, I performed 83 cuts over 29 minutes before the battery ran out. It again worked best on branches less than 2-1/2-in. thick. Unsurprisingly, it cut through softer woods like Pine and Aspen with no problem.

Value

If you compare similar pruning products, you’ll quickly find are all roughly the same price when you include the battery and charger. However, the GTA 26 was the first of its kind in the U.S. market. Plus, Stihl is an industry leader in high-quality lawn and garden tools.

Although it may seem like you’re spending a lot on another garden tool in your collection, know that it’s a well-built and dependable one.

Reliability and durability

The reputation of Stihl tools has long been based on durability and dependability, and those traits held here. The GTA 26 looks and feels sturdy and strong. It features high quality, well-made components like the PM3 saw chain and stout AS 2 battery. If properly used and maintained, these will function for many years down the road.

Ease of Use

The trigger operated Stihl GTA 26 is as user friendly as they come. The LED display gives you up-to-the-second charge readings and tool status information.

There are also multiple safety components like a retractable chain guard and trigger lockout switch for ensuring safe operation. Even maintenance and lubrication on the GTA 26 is painless, thanks to the tool-less, single-wingnut bar and chain access.

Why You Should Buy This

The Stihl GTA 26 is ideal for light cutting around the yard. The foolproof, trigger operated pruner is lightweight, strong, agile and well-made.

The tool comes with everything you need to get it running. And it’s made by Stihl, one of the best known and respected brands in the field. Once you get your hands on one of these, you’ll never pick up your pruning shears, lopper or bow saw again.

Where to Buy

Stihl Gta 26 Battery Garden Pruner Kit Battery & Charger Ecomm Acehardware.comvia merchant

The Stihl GTA 26 pruner is available at Ace Hardware.

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