Charge Your Garden With Battery Power: STIHL’s AK System
For small, medium and even larger sized gardens, the STIHL AK battery system packs a punch and offers a tool for just about every task in the garden. Designed with the Aussie backyard in mind, the range now boasts 15 impressive 36V battery powered tools for home users with gardens of all shapes and sizes, whether that be a small courtyard in the city, or a larger block in the burbs.
Let’s take a closer look at the full range.
AK BATTERY LAWN MOWERS
There are eight lawn mowers in STIHL’s range of battery powered tools, four of which belong to the AK battery system. The RMA 460 and the self propelled alternative, the RMA 460 V, are the steel deck versions in the range offering a 46cm cutting width, seven different height settings and a 50L tear resistant mesh catcher. These models also boast a dual battery slot so you can cover more ground on a single outing by quickly switching them over, and the self propelling version offers three different speed settings so you can adjust it to comfortably suit your stride.
The RMA 235 and the RMA 339 both feature a durable polymer mowing deck which is extremely lightweight and provides high resistance and robustness against damage from rocks and sticks, as well as heat and UV radiation. Both models feature an easily accessible catcher with a foldable lid that makes it incredibly easy to empty and central height adjustment so you can adjust to suit the season. The RMA 235 has a 33cm cutting width with five different height settings from 25-60mm, while the RMA 339 has a cutting width of 37cm.
The new RLA 240 is the first scarifier to join the STIHL range and one of five tools to join the AK battery system this season. The RLA 240 gives users the option of either scraping their turf using the scarifying attachment for better aeration, or combing the dead grass and moss out of your lawn, also known as dethatching, using the aerator roller. Simply attach the tool you need in a few simple steps, adjust the working depth using the infinitely adjustable scale, and away you go.
There are two grass trimmers to choose from in the STIHL AK battery system, the FSA 57 and the FSA 60 R. Both models are light and well-balanced, and give users the option of using an AutoCut mowing head or a PolyCut mowing head. The AutoCut head is a great option if you’re looking to achieve that picture perfect edge around your lawn and come standard with both models. If you’re one to let your grass get nice and long, then the PolyCut head is great at slashing through thick grass.
The adjustable shaft length on both models also means you can set it to suit your height for added comfort, and both models feature a wire spacer guard that is perfectly designed to meet the same length as the line, meaning you can trim right up to and around your fences, trees and play equipment without leaving any damage behind.
The cutting circle on the FSA 57 is 28cm which is great for your typical backyard, but if you’re after something a little more, the cutting circle on the FSA 60 R is 35cm, allowing users to cover more ground at a time.
The BGA 57 is a favourite amongst users of the AK battery system. While it might seem like just another blower, this particular model has a number of added comfort features which make light work of cleaning and tidying.
The slim design and even weight distribution allow the blower to be held close to the user’s body meaning it’s gentle on your shoulders which keeps fatigue to a minimum allowing you to work longer. It also has a symmetrical trigger lockout that allows the user to use it with their left or right hand making it suitable for everyone. The rubberised handle adds extra comfort and the blower tube can be easily adjusted to three different lengths to suit the height of the user. The BGA 57 is capable of clearing up to 760m2 of leaves on a single charge using the AK 20 battery – that’s the equivalent of three full sized tennis courts!
The AK battery system also welcomes a new blower to the range this season, taking out the title of the most popular blower in this range. The compact construction of the new BGA 60 and the well-balanced build with a center of gravity close to the handle is designed to preserve energy and extend the battery run time, and the blowing tube is also adjustable in length so that users can adapt it to suit their height. Not only does this make it even more comfortable to use, it also avoids loss of blowing power due to excessive ground clearance. The BGA 60 also features a metal ring at the end of the round nozzle which is designed to prevent wear in the event that it makes contact with the ground.
Users now have the option to tidy the leaves and debris in their backyard before collecting them up and turning them into mulch – all done with the one machine using a single battery. The feature-packed SHA 56 doubles as a blower, and a vacuum shredder. Simply tidy up leaves and debris with the blowing function, and then switch to the vacuum to collect and shred before adding this garden waste to your compost.
Switching between the two working modes can be done easily and quickly without the need for tools to ensure there is very minimal disruption to the user in between tasks and will quickly become your most helpful tool in the shed.
There are four options to choose from in the AK battery system when it comes to caring for your hedges, including not one, but two new models to join the range this season.
The new HSA 50 is the compact and lightweight option and is perfect for tidying hedges around a home garden with it’s 50cm bar, whereas the new HSA 60 is capable of going that little bit further with a 60cm bar, boasting an impressive list of innovative features to make light, easy and enjoyable work of trimming hedges.
The HSA 56 is another option in the range, and is a neat little trimmer with double sided cutting blades which are droplet shaped making it easier to collect every branch along the way. Capable of trimming up to 140 meters on a single charge using the AK 20 battery, it’s incredibly lightweight, easy to maneuver, beautifully quiet and virtually vibration free.
If you are after something to tackle hedges tall and wide, the HLA 56 long-reach hedge trimmer is the best option within the AK battery system. This trimmer is perfect for trimming hedges tall and wide, and features the same double sided droplet shaped blades as the HSA 56. This handy trimmer also features variably adjusted blade angle which can be swiveled from -45 degrees to +90 degrees making it an incredibly versatile tool purpose designed to tackle just about any hedge. The total length of the HLA 56 is 210cm, however if you have some seriously tall hedges around your home, then there is the option of using a shaft extension which will increase your reach by an additional 50cm!
AK BATTERY POLE PRUNER
The HTA 50 makes light work of thinning out shrubs, pruning fruit trees or removing dangerous branches in the garden, all from the safety and comfort of the ground. The total length of the HTA 50 is 280cm, but this can be extended to 330cm with the optional HTA shaft extension.
Easy controls and a rubberised grip on the handle tube allow for a comfortable working stance and good control whilst cutting. The chain is driven directly by the motor in the cutting head which provides excellent torque for reliable cutting performance, and also cuts down on weight and vibration due to the lack of a drive shaft. The HTA 50 also features a branch hook which is ideal for pulling down smaller branches suspended in the tree canopy so you can clear the way for pruning other branches. The chain oil tank also has a handy inspection window to keep an eye on the oil level.
To round up the AK battery system are two battery powered chainsaws, the MSA 120 C-B, and the MSA 140 C-B. Both models are incredibly handy for pruning and cutting firewood to size, but also make great camping companions. Like all chainsaws in STIHL’s range, these two models offer a number of advanced comfort and safety features and have been designed with the user in mind.
The first thing you’ll notice about battery chainsaws is how incredibly easy they are to start. They’re also so quiet that you can use them without ear protection, which means you’ll always be fully aware of your surroundings, and you won’t bother your neighbors no matter the time of day.
Added extras like tool-free chain tensioning allows you to tighten or replace the chain quickly and easily, and STIHL’s quick stop super chain break adds an extra layer of safety by immediately bringing the chain to a stop when the saw feels any sudden inertia.
Both models are also incredibly lightweight and weigh in at just a little over 3.5kg including the battery. And when it comes to performance, the MSA 120 C-B can make up to 100 cuts on a single charge with the AK 20 battery, while the MSA 140 C-B offers up to 25% more performance with the same battery.