Stihl FSA 135 Test Review
- April 25, 2023
- 2 comment
Testing Stihl FSA 135
Similar to Husqvarna’s battery-powered clearing saw that we previously tested, the Stihl FSA 135 is designed to serve as a grass trimmer and clearing saw, though it’s primarily intended for grass trimming. This is apparent when you look at the standard equipment included with the FSA 135, which only includes a trimmer head. However, like the Husqvarna, this tool provides the option of attaching a circular saw blade or brush knife. Also, instead of an electric motor, the Stihl FSA 135 features a gear at the end of the drive tube.
Combi Machines: Useless?
People often criticize combination machines for not being great at anything except for making compromises. So, how does the Stihl FSA 135 fare? We had a chance to test it out in the forest with a saw blade attached. The only compromise we noticed was the slightly longer drive tube and larger angle on the gear.
We’re not going to comment on whether this will affect the user’s experience. Experienced pre-commercial thinners may prefer a shorter drive tube and a smaller angle on the gear. But for those who don’t use the saw regularly, it might not make much of a difference.
Hotly Debated: Battery vs. Gas Chainsaws
The debate between battery-powered and gas-powered tools for forestry work is a contentious issue. However, it’s worth noting some important points regarding the Stihl FSA 135. This battery-powered clearing saw is equivalent to a 35-cc gas saw, which is helpful information for potential buyers. Like the Husqvarna 535 iFR, the FSA 135 performs exceptionally well in early pre-commercial thinning and is comparable to gas-powered saws of similar size.
During testing, we also evaluated the FSA 135 for thicker thinning. While it can handle the task, a 200-mm blade is required as a 225-mm blade won’t fit on the FSA 135. Despite its power, stems over 10 cm (4 inches) in diameter can be challenging for the FSA 135 due to the need for torque. Additionally, we observed that the drive tube isn’t designed for these stem sizes, although the likelihood of bending the tube is low.
Stihl FSA 135 vs. Husky 535 iFR
After conducting a series of tests, the testing team found that the Stihl FSA 135 and Husqvarna 535 iFR were relatively similar in performance, with comparable battery life. However, during the testing period, the temperature was slightly higher, which may have given the 535 iFR battery an edge in longevity under similar conditions. On the other hand, the Stihl batteries (AP 300S) were observed to charge faster than the Husqvarna batteries (BLi 300), taking approximately 30 minutes using the largest Stihl charger.
In our testing, we found that the Stihl FSA 135 and the Husqvarna 535 iFR were quite similar in weight. Even with their largest available batteries, the Husqvarna was only slightly lighter than the Stihl. We also observed that both saws had comparable designs and features, making them suitable for use in moderately wet and rainy conditions. Although the Husqvarna is rated according to the IP standard with an IPX4 classification, Stihl chose not to classify the FSA 135. However, we suspect that both saws offer similar levels of water resistance.
The Husqvarna 535 iFR has a slightly thicker drive tube at 28mm compared to the FSA 135’s 26mm, making it a bit more stable when working with thicker stems. However, the difference is not significant. As for the harness that comes with the product, we strongly advise opting for a professional harness in both cases, especially if you’re planning to work in the forest.
The Advantages of the Stihl FSA 135 and Battery Saws
The power of the saw isn’t a crucial factor when working in early pre-commercial thinning. However, if you’re using a clearing saw frequently, the weight of the saw may become a significant consideration.
In terms of sales figures, the Stihl FS 460 and Husqvarna 545 are the most popular clearing saws, both weighing around 10 kg with a full tank. However, the battery-powered saws discussed in this article weigh approximately 7 kg, which is a 25% reduction in weight to carry around during a full day’s work – definitely, something to consider.
One of the main benefits of a battery saw is how easy it is to start, as you don’t have to worry about the “heart attack rope” or pulling a starter cord. Additionally, battery saws are quieter in operation and run completely silently when the throttle trigger is released.
Perhaps the most significant advantage of a battery saw is the absence of exhaust fumes that you would inhale or be exposed to when using a gas-powered saw.
Should You Consider the Stihl FSA 135?
After conducting our test, we believe that the FSA 135 could be a great fit for private forest owners who don’t have a lot of pre-commercial thinning to do each year, especially if they also need to trim the grass. However, it’s not the best choice for professional thinners who work in thicker stands with diameters over 7 cm. In these cases, a gas-driven saw would be a more efficient option since it can accommodate a larger saw blade.
From my experience, it’s crucial to stick to the same brand when using battery-powered tools as the manufacturers design their systems around their batteries. In contrast, gas-powered tools can be fueled with any brand of gas. However, the advantage of the battery system is that you can use the same battery for various tools, including chainsaws, clearing saws, hedge trimmers, grass trimmers, lawnmowers, and more, as long as you use the same brand.
please send broucre , tahanks
Abusamah Bin AiMay 5, 2023 4:12 am
I'm looking at the Ego big cutter. It has a 2kw motor about 3hp in gas terms. Carbon fibre shaft. Proper hook up bar for different harness positions. I think it needs a review from you guys.