STIHL Mini Chainsaw Review


The STIHL GTA 26 battery-powered mini chainsaw, with its lightweight and compact design, aims to revolutionize quick cutting tasks for both professionals and DIY enthusiasts. However, users often face the problem of finding a tool that balances power, portability, and price effectively. This can lead to frustration, as traditional chainsaws are bulky, expensive, and overpowered for light-duty work, making them impractical for simple, quick tasks.

The agitation grows when considering the limitations of smaller, cheaper alternatives that compromise on performance and durability. This gap in the market leaves users in a predicament, needing a reliable solution that doesn’t break the bank or their back.

Enter the STIHL GTA 26: a game-changer priced around $160, designed to address these issues head-on. It offers the perfect blend of functionality and convenience, providing enough power for efficient cutting while being easy to handle and operate. This mini chainsaw represents the ideal solution for those seeking a cost-effective, user-friendly tool for their light-duty cutting needs, filling the gap between high-powered, cumbersome chainsaws and less reliable, underperforming alternatives.

WEIGHT2.7 lbs.
RUN TIME25 min.
VOLTAGE10.8 volt

STIHL GTA 26 Performance Insights

STIHL GTA 26 mini chainsaw cutting through a log

The GTA 26, with its compact design, is tailored for light-duty tasks. During my use, I noticed that while the motor is small, it’s effective for its intended purpose. However, it’s important to note that the motor can stall if forced into cuts or when tackling tough branches. This tool demands a patient, gentle approach, letting the saw blade do the work.

STIHL GTA 26 Handling and Force Application

Person wearing protective gloves using a STIHL GTA 26 mini chainsaw

The tool requires careful handling, especially regarding how much force you apply while cutting. Forcing the GTA 26 into a cut can cause the motor to stall. This means it’s not suited for those who are accustomed to applying significant force during cutting.

STIHL GTA 26 Chain and Tensioning

Close-up of a STIHL GTA 26 mini chainsaw being used outdoors

I encountered a situation where the chain slipped off during use. It appears that the tensioning mechanism, which requires manual adjustment, can loosen over time. In just about 10 minutes of runtime, I found the chain had become too loose. Readjusting the chain is straightforward, but it’s something to be mindful of during extended use.

STIHL GTA 26 Battery Performance and Runtime

Person holding a STIHL GTA 26 mini chainsaw cutting a small log

The battery life is a crucial aspect to consider. In my experience, the tool lasted for about seven to nine minutes of actual work, and around 18 minutes in total run time with no load. For those considering this tool for more prolonged use, the runtime may be limiting.

STIHL GTA 26 Design and Safety Features

Hand holding a STIHL GTA 26 mini chainsaw over its case

The compact design of the GTA 26 handheld is one of its strong points. It’s lightweight, and easy to handle, and the safety features like the chain guard add a layer of protection. However, I noticed the scabbard became loose over time, which could be a minor inconvenience.

STIHL GTA 26 Value for Money and Suitability

Hand holding a STIHL GTA 26 mini chainsaw over its case

This tool fills a very specific niche. It’s not a commercial-grade tool and is explicitly described as suitable for light-duty tasks around the house. Considering the price and the runtime offered, it might not be the best fit for everyone, especially if you’re looking for a tool for more intensive tasks.

STIHL GTA 26 Package and Accessories

STIHL GTA 26 mini chainsaw and accessories displayed on a black and orange mat

The complete set, including the pruner, battery, charger, multi-oil, and transport bag, provides everything needed to start right away. This comprehensive package is particularly convenient for those new to battery-powered garden tools.

STIHL GTA 26 Mini Chainsaw: Pros and Cons


  • The GTA 26’s small size and weight of only 2.7 lbs make it incredibly easy to handle, reducing user fatigue during extended use.
  • Its straightforward design is user-friendly and suitable for both experienced users and beginners.
  • This tool excels in its convenience for quick and light-cutting tasks. Perfect for minor pruning or small jobs where a larger chainsaw would be excessive.
  • Being battery-operated, it’s easy to start and doesn’t require the maintenance associated with gas-powered chainsaws.
  • Includes a trigger switch lockout and chain guard, enhancing safety during use.
  • Produces low emissions, making it a more environmentally conscious choice compared to gas models.


  • The battery lasts around 7 to 9 minutes under load, which might be insufficient for more prolonged tasks.
  • The chain may loosen during use, requiring periodic manual readjustment, which can be inconvenient.
  • Not suitable for large or heavy-duty cutting tasks due to its size and motor power.
  • At around $160, the cost might seem high considering the limited run time and light-duty application.
  • The chain can slip off during use, potentially interrupting the workflow.

Maintenance of STIHL GTA 26

Maintaining the STIHL GTA 26 Mini Chainsaw is essential for its longevity and optimal performance. Here’s how you can keep this tool in top condition:

  • It’s important to regularly check and maintain the battery’s charge. Before storing the chainsaw, ensure that the battery is adequately charged. The battery should be stored in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight, to prolong its lifespan.
  • A key aspect of maintaining your chainsaw involves keeping the chain sharp and well-lubricated. A dull chain can decrease the efficiency and strain the battery. After each use, clean the guide bar and chain to remove debris or sap. The chain tension should be checked and adjusted as needed to ensure optimal performance. Using the multi-oil provided for lubrication will keep the chain moving smoothly.
  • Post-use, it’s advisable to clean the tool to remove dirt and sap residues. This can be done using a soft brush or cloth, ensuring that the body and air vents are clear of debris to maintain good airflow and cooling.
  • Regular inspections of the tool for wear or damage, particularly focusing on the chain, guide bar, and safety features such as the chain guard, are important. Any damaged or excessively worn parts should be replaced immediately with STIHL-approved components.
  • Regularly monitoring the LED display for battery life and tool status is recommended. Keep the electronic components dry and clean to avoid damage. If you encounter display issues, consulting the manual or seeking support from STIHL is suggested.
  • When not in use, the GTA 26 should be stored in the transport bag provided. Ensure the storage area is dry and secure. For extended storage, it’s best to remove the battery from the chainsaw.
  • Conducting periodic checks on the chainsaw’s screws, nuts, and bolts, and tightening them if necessary, is important for safety and performance. Any unusual noise or vibration during operation should be a signal to stop and investigate the issue.
  • For any complex issues or major servicing needs, the chainsaw should be taken to a professional or a STIHL service center. They can handle more intricate problems and ensure that your tool remains in optimal working condition.

Adhering to these maintenance practices will ensure that the STIHL GTA 26 continues to provide reliable and effective performance for all your gardening and pruning needs.


The STIHL GTA 26 is a tool that I found to be quite likable for what it offers – convenience and ease for small, quick cutting tasks. It’s not about heavy-duty performance but rather about having a handy, lightweight cutting option when needed. The price-to-runtime ratio might be a deterrent for some potential buyers, but for those who value convenience and have light cutting needs, this tool could be a perfect fit. My personal take is that while I enjoy using the GTA 26 for its intended purpose, it might not be a necessary addition for everyone, especially considering the investment versus the limited runtime.


  1. Is the STIHL GTA 26 suitable for cutting firewood?
    It’s designed for light pruning and small cutting tasks. While it can cut small branches, it’s not ideal for processing firewood due to its size and battery life.
  2. Can the battery be swapped with other STIHL tools?
    It depends on the compatibility of the battery system. The GTA 26 uses the AS 2 battery, which is compatible with certain other STIHL tools.
  3. How does the GTA 26 perform with hardwoods?
    Its performance with hardwoods is limited. It’s more suitable for softer woods and pruning tasks.
  4. Is it easy to find replacement parts for the GTA 26?
    Replacement parts are available through STIHL authorized dealers, though the availability may vary.
  5. Can the GTA 26 be used for professional landscaping tasks?
    Given its design for light-duty work and limited battery life, it’s more suited for personal home gardening tasks than professional landscaping.
  6. How does the GTA 26 compare to a manual pruning saw?
    The GTA 26 offers more ease and speed compared to manual saws, especially for repetitive or overhead tasks, though it’s limited by battery life.

Join the discussion below by sharing your experiences, tips, or reviews. Your contributions help others make informed decisions and navigate their chainsaw choices with confidence. Let’s build a community of shared knowledge for all wood-cutting enthusiasts!

David Murray
David Murray
Forestry Author

I'm David Murry, a forestry equipment specialist with a focus on chainsaw operation. With over 13 years of experience, I've honed my skills in operating and maintaining a wide range of machinery, from chainsaws to log splitters. My passion for the outdoors and commitment to sustainable forestry drive my work, which emphasizes safety, efficiency, and staying updated with industry advancements. Additionally, I'm dedicated to sharing my expertise and promoting environmental awareness within the forestry community.


I'm a contractor but this tool has done two years of hard use so far, with four batteries on rotation. It is important to keep chain lubed up and tension right. It is my go to for all small jobs and brilliant for reducing cut branches down for bagging up and shrubs plus small fruit trees. Chains are 9 pounds a go so always keep two spare. When sharp it is amazing what it will cut including dead wood. Yes it is designed for homeowners but it is tough enough for contractor brutality and no the safety cover has not worked loose. Keep the moving bits tip-top and strip and clean after use and it will be a best friend for Lopper type jobs. I have paired mine with the mini hedge cutter/grass cutter again another tool that becomes indispensable for small jobs and bed clearance. Dump the cover because it is awful but unlike big Stilh battery tools things do not break and shatter.

Daniel Adams
Bernard C Williams
January 16, 2024 9:28 pm

Great present,as I have had one for years and love it, my 90 year old father in law asked me to take his petrol chainsaw in for repair, found out the repair was the same cost as my baby one , I got that for him, saying if he didn’t like it I would keep it, after one use he wasn’t going to give it up. Put chain on branch and pull trigger,no petrol starts,so easy to use , and light weight, And I worry less about him up a tree with a chain saw at his age.

Daniel Adams
Sue diggle
January 16, 2024 1:42 am

I have had high regard for Sthil products. As such, when I had a chance to buy a new GTA 26 a bit under a year ago, I did so. It met all of my expectations and appeared to be perfect for my needs. As it was still winter with deep snow I didn't use it hardly at all for the first few months of ownership, but in the spring and early summer I used it a couple of times to trim back some bushes. It was nice to not need to gelt out my big chain saw. Later in the summer I used it again, and in the middle of the job it suddenly quit. I was still on my first battery charge and had never sharpened the chain. I thought it needed a battery charge but that didn't help. I was busy and didn't get it to the dealer until October. In January they called and said they finally had time to look at it and said that they were going back to Sthil for disposition. In a couple of weeks, I called them back and they said Sthil had authorized replacement of the saw but with me using the original charger and battery which was fine with me. I appreciated the warranty service, and would have been happy with a repair. The only problem was how long it took, which would make me question buying a new full size Sthil saw.

Daniel Adams
William Johnson
January 15, 2024 7:39 pm

Hi William Johnson, I can see your frustrations with how long the replacement service took. You might consider reading our article about the Best Stihl Chainsaw.

Kristin Watsons
David Murray
January 16, 2024 12:48 am

I also own two of these with separate batteries in case I hit something that dulls the blade I have another to go to. Works great as long as its limitations are realized. Use a serious chainsaw for firewood; this is for trimming smaller branches. I mainly use it for pruning knowing the battery doesn’t last too long. Nice small size, comfortably balanced. Don’t use it with a dull blade. You’ll be disappointed and it’s hard on the saw!

Daniel Adams
January 15, 2024 3:40 pm

Wife bought me one. I use it to trim limbs coming through our cattle 4x4 fence. Fits through fence to allow low trimming. I can trim about 1/4 mi before switching batteries. Works great

Daniel Adams
William Winkle
January 15, 2024 2:19 pm

Some overseas jurisdictions forbid the use of any chainsaw, however small, without a chain brake.

Daniel Adams
January 15, 2024 11:24 am

We have one and my wife loves it because it means that now she can prune bushes and trees in our garden as and when she chooses. Your comments are valid, but it's great tool for home gardeners! The 4" bar will technically cut an 8" branch but I wouldn't try it. But I can use it safely while up a ladder, and it is great when off the ground, because of its light weight and small size. I notice Makita make one this size now, but it is more traditional in its layout.

Daniel Adams
Greg Madden
January 14, 2024 8:26 am

Great piece of equipment for pruning 1”-4” limbs. Crape Myrtle pruning is why I really purchased one. I now own two. Battery does not last as long as I would think but it definitely does what it is intended for.

Daniel Adams
Stefan Lewitt
January 13, 2024 7:58 pm

It would be helpful to do a comparison across different makes of small saws. I'm in forestry and would love a small battery saw for side trimming thin branches on trees. I already am on the Makita,and Ferrex (Aldi) platforms. Would a reciprocating saw do a better job, or maybe too heavy for one handed use?? Thank you.

Daniel Adams
David Butler
January 13, 2024 2:03 pm

Hi David Interesting article and very factual. I'd like to add having used the GTA 26 for just over a year it is my go to tool when professionally working in gardens. I have 3 batteries maybe a 4th needed so this covers near continual use whilst doing hedge renovations or fruit/tree pruning. I have found that it is safer using the GTA on green wood than dead woods as with dead wood the units chain tends to jump up and down trying to gain bite this also applies to anything less than thumb thickness. I would also highly recommend purchasing the hip holster for it as this is a godsend whilst up a tripod ladder. I also lubricate the chain a lot as this really makes a huge difference in continual use. It's a perfect tool and I wouldn't be without it in my everyday kit bag.

Daniel Adams
January 13, 2024 8:07 am

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