Cracking The Garden Clearance With Stihl


This is a paid partnership with Stihl

Do you ever get to that point on a house renovation project where you wonder a) if you’ll ever finish and b) was there a point in starting? I’ve definitely been feeling those kind of emotions lately with the garden project, it feels so overwhelming at times. I’m not a garden designer, haven’t employed any help and it’s not the smallest space in the world.

Despite that though I *think* we’re now onto the second phase and I’m hoping that all the tough, unexciting work is behind me and what’s left will be creative, really transforming the space from how it used to look. I wouldn’t have come this far though without the very generous support of Stihl who definitely enabled me when it came to clearing the garden ahead of our big fencing project.

As a brand Stihl have been around for almost 100 years. Founded in 1926 by Andreas Stihl, they now have more than 35,000 dealers in over 160 countries which is remarkable. Stihl revolutionised the treework industry, in the 1930s by developing one of the first petrol-driven, two-man chainsaws and then again in 1959 with the arrival of a ‘lightweight’ portable chainsaw – luckily for me they’ve been at the forefront of the industry ever since.

I was very kindly invited to the Hampton Court Garden Festival as guests of Stihl and got to try many of their garden tools first-hand but when Pete and I first started talking tentatively about fencing the last part of the garden and our neighbour said she’d be happy for it to be fenced too, I knew the biggest battle we would have would be clearing the vegetation. Although we had a company in to fence, I wanted to try and keep the costs down and thought it would be a job we could take on ourselves with a bit of time and the right equipment.

Stihl very kindly offered me the MSA120, a compact cordless chainsaw which is absolutely perfect for the job in hand. We do have power in the garden both in the outbuilding and a plug socket on one of the walls so plugging power tools in isn’t a problem but if you’re cutting, and knowing how clumsy I am, having no flex is definitely a winner. I wanted something I’d feel happy using rather than having to rely on Pete all the time and it’s very comfortable to both hold and use without being too heavy.

What impressed me most is the professionalism of the Stihl dealership. The closest one to me just happens to be based at our main shopping retail park, a couple of miles down the road. I arrived to collect the chainsaw along with my safety equipment including trousers, shoes, helmet, glasses, gloves and ear defenders. I can be a little haphazard at times when it comes to DIY but I was definitely taking no chances with my prep although I have to say I think the trousers are definitely made for men and I should have ordered a small or extra small instead of a medium.

Before leaving, I had a thorough demo from one of the technicians on site who showed me how to use the chainsaw including topping up the oil and recalibrating the chain. I won’t lie, I felt a little nervous at the prospect of handling something that could potentially kill me but there are so many safety mechanisms built into the chainsaw that I felt reassured I wouldn’t mess up.

And then home bound and thankfully with my neighbour to take some photographic evidence and keep a close eye on me it was time to get stuck in. With the weather being so unpredictable and a skip to fill I didn’t want to waste any time and also to make sure I remembered everything I’d been told at the dealership.

Whilst we didn’t have any really major trees to deal with, the MSA120 is ideal for what needed clearing: “perfectly suited for pruning back small branches around the garden and cutting up smaller logs for the fire”. Once I got going I found it very straightforward to use and it made light work of everything we needed chopping down. It’s nowhere near as noisy as I thought it would be having heard the familiar sound of the petrol machines from a distance over the years and incredibly easy to operate which is exactly what I need.

Now of course the garden is looking a bit bare and we don’t have that much left to remove. But it’s relatively small and my neighbours have also found it useful. It will come in handy once we build the garden back up and the lithium ion battery can be used by other products in the Stihl range. All in all I can’t fault it, it’s definitely been put through its paces and I’m proud to be able to add “chainsaw expert” to my portfolio of handy DIY skills 😉

Right, on to the next garden challenge!

Disclaimer: This is a paid partnership with Stihl who also kindly provided me with the MSA120 cordless chainsaw and equipment in return for my honest thoughts on the blog. As always I only share products and collaborations which I think you may find helpful and I love to use.

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