The Stihl 026 is a 49cc gas chainsaw for homeowners and farmers. It came to market in 1993 and was later replaced by the MS 261.
In this article, I’ll lay out an overview of the saw, describe the specs and show you where you can get parts.
Stihl 026 Chainsaw
The 026 was one of Stihl’s best-selling chainsaws in the mid-professional category. Nowadays you can get a second-hand one for a good price but beware of the increased difficulty of finding parts and making sure the saw is in good condition.
The most common guide bar for the 026 was a 16” one.
The saw is suitable for processing firewood, dropping mid-sized trees, and clearing land.
A well-maintained piece can still hold its ground even after 3 decades.
Stihl 026 Specs
|Model||Displacement||Weight||Power||Performance weight||Recommended bar length||Electronic ignition system||Catalytic converter (CAT)||Elastostart||Decompression valve||Compensator|
|Stihl 024 WB||41.6 cm3||4.6 kg||2.1 kW|
|2.2 kg/kW||32.7 cm||s||r||r|
|Stihl 026||48.7 cm3||4.7 kg||2.6 kW|
|1.8 kg/kW||37.4 cm||s||r||s||s||s|
|Stihl 026 C||48.7 cm3||4.9 kg||2.6 kW|
|1.8 kg/kW||37.4 cm||s||s||s||s||s|
|Stihl 036||61.5 cm3||5.7 kg||3.4 kW|
|1.7 kg/kW||37.4 cm||s||s||s||s|
|Stihl 036 QS||61.5 cm3||6 kg||3.4 kW|
|1.8 kg/kW||37.4 cm||s||s||s||s|
|Stihl 044||70.7 cm3||5.9 kg||3.8 kW|
|1.55 kg/kW||40.45 cm||s||s||s|
|Stihl 044 C||70.7 cm3||6 kg||3.8 kW|
|1.6 kg/kW||40.45 cm||s||s||s||s|
|Stihl 046||76.5 cm3||6.5 kg||4.1 kW|
|1.6 kg/kW||40.45 cm||s||s||s||s|
|Stihl 046 C||76.5 cm3||6.8 kg||4.1 kW|
|1.7 kg/kW||40.45 cm||s||s||s||s||s|
The table above shows a comparison of the Stihl chainsaw of the same category from back in the day. You can see that the 026 is more powerful than the Stihl 024, but there’s a big gap between the 026 and the 036 and beyond.
If you want to find current alternatives to the 026, I’ll cover that in the alternative section.
The Stihl 026 is made of die-cast magnesium and injection mold polymer.
Note: Exact specifications can vary depending on when and where the chainsaw was manufactured, and whether or not it’s had any aftermarket work done on it. This is also the case for other models.
STIHL 026 Features
There are several notable features and benefits of the Stihl 026.
20” Sprocket Nose Bar Full Comp Chain
The 20” sprocket nose bar full comp chain is highly effective for basic cutting needs. The teeth are square and there’s the minimal spacing between them. This adds to the efficiency and speed of the chainsaw’s cutting ability.
The throttle lock is a safety feature, and when active, the chain can’t propel even if you accidentally press the trigger.
Another safety feature is the hand protector. If the chain breaks while in use, it can ricochet back from below and hurt you even if you’re wearing gloves. The metallic hand protector prevents that from happening.
Stihl 026 Price and Parts
Since you can only buy the 026 second-hand, it’s hard to tell a specific price.
Factors such as condition, how much the owner values it, or needs the money from the sale play a part. The price can range from $50 to $250.
So how hard is it to find parts?
Similarly to price, this is also hard to tell, you may be lucky and get what you need on day one, or be looking for a few weeks. But the 026 was a very popular chainsaw, so there will be a decent amount of sellers with parts.
You can look for parts on these websites:
- eBay – original and aftermarket parts, as well as the whole 026 chainsaw
- Amazon – a lot of aftermarket parts
- HL Supply – a great range of parts for all chainsaws
- Sears Parts Direct – may or may not have parts for the 026
Another good spot to ask around are local Facebook groups.
Stihl 026 Review
The Stihl 026 delivers on its promise. It’s simple yet effective. Its features support functionality and safety. It’s a great tool for personal use.
You won’t experience extremely rough vibrations when cutting, which enhances the experience.
Your local dealer probably won’t have parts, but you can still get them online.
- Awkward choke
- Doesn’t have the most modern features
STIHL 026 Alternatives
When you buy a chainsaw, it should last you a couple of years, so it’s a good idea to find the best one for your needs.
I’ll share with you the current alternatives for the Stihl 026.
STIHL MS 261
Where else to start than with the saw that replaced the 026 – the MS 261. It’s a gas-powered chainsaw that has professional-level performance and efficiency. It has a 50cc engine, which delivers 3 kW of power. It weighs 4.9 kg, so it’s decently light and also has an electric ignition, unlike the 026. Another key feature is an improved anti-vibration system that further increases comfort.
Husqvarna 460 Rancher
Now let’s skip to the Husqvarna counterpart, the 460 Rancher. It’s an all-around chainsaw that’s gas-powered and has a 20” guide bar. It has a centrifugal air cleaning system to prevent dust and other debris from reaching the air filter. Another key feature is the combined choke and stop control. These features significantly reduce the risk of engine flooding and make starting the machine easier.
Husqvarna 455 Rancher
A little brother to the previously mentioned 460 Rancher is the 455 Rancher. It only weighs 12.8 pounds but has 3.5 horsepower. One of its unique features includes an automatic chain oiler, which makes it safer and more effective as it delivers a steady stream of oil.
Stihl 026 Manual
Stihl 026 FAQs
Do you have any reservations or concerns about the Stihl 026? Here are some frequently asked questions by chainsaw enthusiasts such as yourself.
What CC is a Stihl 026?
The Stihl 026 is a 48cc chainsaw. Whereas it might fall a bit short in this category compared to other chainsaws of its caliber, this shouldn’t discourage you from seeking out and using this model. It’s relatively effective and efficient thanks to the saw’s squared teeth and minimal spacing.
Is the Stihl 026 a good saw?
To put it simply, yes. With the Stihl 026, you have a reliable asset for your domestic cutting needs. Whether it’s for firewood, farming needs, or even outdoor escapades such as camping, it will meet your needs.
What year was the Stihl 026 made?
The Stihl 026 was introduced to the market in 1993. To attest to its effectiveness and efficiency, many people still use and prefer it now nearly three decades later, even if it’s no longer in production.
What Stihl saw replaced the 026?
Though Stihl halted production on the Stihl 026, the company continues producing user-friendly and effective chainsaws. The MS 261 model replaced the Stihl 026.
How much compression should a Stihl have?
One of the key things to consider when choosing a chainsaw is compression. Stihl USA indicates its chainsaws offer a minimum compression of 110 psi. However, you’ll find it varies with models, as some can read a bit higher or lower.