STIHL gardening tip: working with cordless power tools

STIHL gardening tip: working with cordless power tools

Whether it’s a hedge trimmer, chainsaw or blower, every STIHL tool is built with decades of experience in developing and using power tools for forestry and gardening.

Our garden tools are perfectly suited to their particular applications. To help you manage challenges around your home and garden more easily, we would like to share our expert knowledge with you. In our “STIHL gardening tips” blog post series, we have brought useful tips and tricks together for you.

In this article, we will tell you how to save electricity when working with your cordless power tool, how best to store your battery and what deep discharge is all about – and much more.

STIHL gardening tip: working with cordless power tools

Our expert tips on working with cordless power tools:

  1. Clean tools need less electricity: If all dirt has been removed from a tool and it is functioning well – e.g. .if the saw chain has been properly lubricated or the brushcutter’s cutting tools can turn freely – then less friction will occur. This means that it will take less energy to run the tool. That will reduce wear and tear and make the tool easier to work with, as well as ensuring that you won’t have to charge the battery as often as you otherwise would.
  2. Allow damp or wet batteries to dry: If your battery becomes wet or muddy while you are working with a tool, you can simply clean the battery and dry it. To do this, switch off the tool, take out the battery, and clean it with a damp towel. Then store the battery separately and let it dry.
    While it is drying, do not put objects into the battery’s openings, and do not connect the battery’s contact points to metal objects. If the battery’s inlets are dirty, clean them carefully with a soft brush. The same applies if your battery’s charger becomes dirty.
  3. Understand the charge display on your STIHL battery. The four LEDs on the battery show the remaining level of charge in the battery, but can also indicate if there is a fault in the tool or the battery. To see this display, simply press the button on the battery. The LEDs will light up in green for around five seconds before they indicate the remaining level of charge. If only one LED is flashing in green, this indicates that there is a low level of charge left in the battery.
    The green LEDs will also show the remaining level of charge if you place the battery into the charger (if none of the LEDs light up, then the battery is already fully charged).However, if the LEDs light up or blink in red, this indicates a fault:
    • One red LED is lighting up: the battery is too hot or too cold. If the battery is too cold, you should warm it up slowly by taking it into the house, for example. Please do not put the battery on a heater.
      If the battery is too warm, you should let it cool down. The AL 300 and AL 500 chargers can also actively support in cooling down the battery, as they have a cooling system installed.
    • Three red LEDs are lighting up: the tool (e.g. your brushcutter or hedge trimmer) is too warm. Before you continue with your work, you must let the tool cool down to operating temperature.
    • Three red LEDs are flashing: there is a fault in the tool. Please bring the tool to a STIHL specialist dealer so that it can be checked.
    • Four red LEDs are flashing: there is a fault in the battery. You should also go to your local specialist dealer in this case.

LED Chart

  1. Reading the display on the STIHL battery charger correctly: If the battery has been placed in the charger, the charging process will begin automatically. The LED on the charger indicates the charger’s status:
    • The LED on the charger lights up in green for a second and in red for about a second: this display is perfectly normal. The charger is automatically performing a self-check after being plugged into the mains.
    • The LED on the charger lights up in green: the battery is charging.
    • The LED on the charger flashes red: there is a fault in the charger. Please have your charger checked by a STIHL specialist dealer.
    • The LED on the charger does not light up: if the battery is fully charged, the charger will automatically switch off.

    You will find an overview of battery charging times on our website. Please note that the actual charging time may differ from the charging time mentioned on the website as it is influenced by many factors, e.g. by the temperature of the battery or the surrounding environment.

  2. Charging the battery correctly: The battery will be particularly protected during charging if the temperature of the battery pack is between 0°C and +40°C. A battery that is too cold or too warm, on the other hand, cannot be charged. If your battery is too warm after a long period of use, STIHL chargers with integrated battery cooling (e.g. the AL 300 and the AL 500) will help to achieve the optimum charging temperature.Another distinctive feature of lithium-ion batteries is that they charge quickly: this ensures that the battery quickly reaches a charge level of 80 percent and can get working again immediately.
  3. Short charging times are also possible: It is also possible to charge the battery over a very short period, such as a few minutes, without any problems. Charging the batteries for short periods like this has been proven to have no effect on the battery’s performance. This also means that the battery can be removed from the charger at any time – regardless of the charge level status shown on the display.
    So you can charge your batteries during short breaks from work without needing to worry.
  4. Don’t be afraid of deep discharge: Thanks to voltage monitoring of the individual cells in STIHL batteries, you do not have to worry about deep discharge, which can cause considerable damage. It is not possible to exhaust or overcharge the battery.
  5. Long-life batteries even with quick charging times: A quick battery charging time, like the times achieved by the STIHL AL 300 and AL 500, do not have a negative impact on lifespan. The active battery cooling will ensure that the battery is protected even during quick charging. The batteries can be charged several hundred times without any noticeable loss of energy.
  6. Storing the battery correctly: If you want to store the battery, you should remove it from the tool and set it aside separately.
    If you are storing the battery for a long period of time, we recommend keeping it at a charge level of two green LEDs, which corresponds to a 40–60 percent charge. The battery should be kept clean and dry and should be placed in packing material that is not electrically conductive (e.g. cardboard) to protect it from becoming damp or wet and from being subjected to direct sunlight. Ideally, it should be stored in a closed room – which also ensures that it is kept out of reach of children. The battery can be stored at temperatures between -10°C and +50°C.
  7. Finding the right battery for your STIHL tool: If you are interested in a STIHL cordless power tool, we will always recommend which battery will be the best match for your needs and your cordless tool. Selecting a battery and a tool depends on what type of application it will be used for.
    It does not always make sense to pick the battery with the highest performance. Depending on the intended purpose, it may be more important to work with less weight and therefore a lighter battery with less capacity. When it comes to hedge trimmers, for example, less weight makes the tool much easier to use. On the other hand, tools that need a lot of energy, like blowers or chainsaws, should generally be fitted with powerful batteries.Here is an example to provide a clear explanation: when it comes to batteries for the STIHL COMPACT cordless power system, you can do twice as much work with the AK 20 as you can with the AK 10. However, the AK 10, which weighs just 0.8 kg, is considerably lighter than the AK 20, which weighs 1.2 kg. When you make a decision, you can think about whether you will have the chance to recharge the battery during short work breaks, or whether you should choose a long battery life. In many cases, having two lightweight batteries is also an appealing option.

COMPACT cordless power system

Get off to a great start in the garden with STIHL batteries.

In general, before you start working with your cordless power tool, you should always read the instructions, including the safety instructions.

Perfect for the garden: cordless power tools from STIHL

Whether you are cutting hedges, mowing the lawn, trimming the grass, getting rid of leaves, cleaning paths or cutting firewood – we have the right cordless power tool for every job in your home and garden. The quiet and zero-emission garden tools from STIHL make working in the garden a breeze.


Discover a new level of calm when it comes to garden work. Light, quiet and powerful – the garden tools from the STIHL COMPACT cordless power system.

A major plus: the battery can be used in all COMPACT cordless power system tools, so you will be up to any challenge at home or in the garden.

STIHL batteries