Stihl has announced two new tools in its 10.8v battery line-up, designed for smaller jobs and more nimble use. I got a first look at the new products, the HSA 26 Shrub Shears and GTA 26 Cordless Pruner, at the company’s factory in Austria.
It’s the GTA 26 Cordless Pruner that will really get your attention. Looking like a small chainsaw, the tool has a guide bar of 10cm to allow for branches, twigs and timber to be cut easily. There’s no requirement to wear chainsaw protection while using this tool, though as there’s a full Stihl saw chain there, it’s a good idea to do this.
The GTA 26 Cordless Pruner should be used two-handed. Trying it out to cut some old branches, it took a couple of goes to get the action right: it needs a bit of gentle pressure, allowing the saw to do the work for you; too much pressure and the saw can jam. I was impressed with how quickly I could cut through the branches and the stability and low vibration of the GTA 26.
Stihl claims that the battery can handle up to 80 logs with a diameter of 4cm when fully charged, so you should be able to get through most jobs easily enough. A GTA 26 set will be available with an AS 2 battery, charger, and transportation bag for around £149 and it will be available in Spring 2020. It will ship with a bottle of chainsaw oil, which Stihl recommends that you use once per charging cycle.
Joining this tool is the HSA 26 Shrub Shears, a more powerful upgrade to the existing HSA 25. With the 17cm double-stroke blades, the new model can cope with branches up to 8cmm in diameter. This new tool has teardrop-shaped cutouts, designed to pull and trap branches for smoother cutting.
You also get a 11.5cm grass cutting blade, which lets you cut grass around awkward areas and places where your traditional grass trimmer may not reach. The HSA 26 will be available in Spring 2020 and will start at £109 including battery and charger. I’ll bring you full reviews once samples are available.