As an arborist, you need a beastly chainsaw to tackle all of your everyday tasks. Your typical choice of a power tool would be heavy-duty, reliable, reputable, and works as intended. Traditionally, certain chainsaw brands have been associated with these traits than others.
If you ask a chainsaw enthusiast about his ideal brand for a chainsaw, the chances are that an Echo Chainsaw wouldn’t be one of those. We must admit, before deciding to do thorough research on these chainsaws, we were skeptical too about their performances.
The more we indulged deeper into our research and used a couple of these chainsaws; you would never believe my pleasant surprise.
These chainsaws feature an intelligent design, a well-balanced build, high-quality construction, and an impressive punch. These features make them a definite worthwhile investment
Are you are looking forward to investing in one? Are you confused and finding it difficult to know the best echo chainsaws? Well, We have put together this reviews and buyers guide to help you out.
Who Makes Echo Chainsaws?
Echo Chainsaws are manufactured by a Japanese company called Yamabiko Corporation. The company has its headquarters in Ohme, Tokyo in Japan. It is a modern-day merger between two giant Japanese manufacturers Shindaiwa and Kioritz Corporations which came together in 2008.
With a capital of 6 billion yen, the company is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, First Section Securities. The company majors in the production of agricultural machinery, outdoor power equipment, and Industrial Machinery.
The company has been in existence since 1947, but it was under a different name, Kioritsu, which then changed to Kioritz in the year 1971. However, it was not until 1978 that the first Echo brand of chainsaws with the famous orange casing was produced.
Yamabiko currently produces a host of other power tools under the Echo models. These include hedge trimmers, leaf blowers, and brush cutters. All these are just as durable, reliable, and functional as the chainsaws.
Why Are The Echo Chainsaws Worth For Money?
Echo chainsaws come in a myriad of options for professional chainsaw needs. There are top-handle chainsaws, which gives you greater maneuverability.
The other options are the rear handles for better tool control. You can also find types with the front handle as well. If you are an arborist, then these types would be ideal for you as you have greater control over the tool.
Echo chainsaws are fitted with some features which make them worth every penny a customer spends on them. Here are some of the features you can expect on an Echo chainsaw.
Proper Weight Balance
When you hold an Echo chainsaw for the first time, you can feel how balanced it is. It rests horizontally, meaning all the weight is spread throughout the tool. This feature is great when you plan on using a chainsaw for longer periods as it reduces the fatigue developed in your hands.
As a 2 cycle engine, you would expect too many vibrations from an Echo chainsaw. However, systems are put in place to minimize these fatigue causing vibrations. There are metallic springs, rubber bushing, and a handle separated from the body. All these act as anti-vibration systems.
Chain Brake Mechanism
When you press the stop button, it is essential that the chain stops immediately to avoid injury risks. You would need this feature, more so when there is chain kickback. Some of the models have an automatic mechanism while others will need you to engage the mechanism manually.
Effective Chain Catcher
Besides the chain brake, these chainsaws have a chain catcher for increased user safety. In the event the chain derails or breaks, the aluminum or plastic catcher reduces the chances of getting hit.
Every chainsaw from Echo comes with a tip guard on the guide bar. It keeps the chain from coming into contact with other obstacles that may otherwise cause kick-backs.
In order to reduce air pollution from incomplete fuel combustion, a large, efficient air intake is designed into an Echo chainsaw. The system works like the one fitted on automobiles.
Unique i-30 Starting System
This starting system ensures that even with a gentle pull on the cord, the engine would still start. When you pull on the cord, you wind a helper spring that has been incorporated. At a certain tension level, the spring releases energy that starts the engine.
This system is similar to that found in high-end chainsaws.
This feature makes sure that you have a thing less to worry about as an operator. It prolongs the chain and bar lifespan and saves on oil as well.
Best Echo Chainsaw Reviews 2018 – Our Top Pick
|Echo Gas Chainsaw CS-271T||Gas-powered||26.9cc||12 inch|
|Echo CS-310 Gas Chainsaw||Gas-powered||30.5cc||14 inch|
|Echo Chain Saw CS-352 16 In||Gas-powered||34cc||16 inch|
|Echo CS-400 18″ Gas Chainsaw||Gas-powered||40.2cc||18 inch|
|Echo CS-590 20″ Timber Wolf Chainsaw||Gas-powered||59.8cc||20 inch|
The Echo CS-271T is one of the rated chainsaws from Echo. Weighing 11 pounds, it is a great power tool for your small limb trimming jobs. It is a gas-powered chainsaw fitted with a 2-stroke, 26.9 cc engine. This engine produces enough power to tackle light duty jobs.
The working element is a 12 inches long chain bar with an accompanying heavy duty chain. An 8.1 oz capacity fuel tank stores just enough to keep you working for prolonged hours. You wouldn’t have to stop working to refuel frequently.
Another great feature on this chainsaw is its anti-vibration mechanisms incorporated into its top handle. It is a feature that I came to appreciate sometime last year when I worked for prolonged hours with a chainsaw with an ineffective system. I couldn’t feel my fingers for a couple of days.
Prior buyers and those using this product have great reviews about this product. Most of the reviews attest to how useful this tool is when trimming limbs that require you to climb up trees. The sturdy construction is also a feature to look forward to. It ensures excellent durability.
- Excellent durability
- Easy to maneuver with top handle
- Professional-grade performance
- Can accommodate a 14” bar
- Well balanced design
- Can be used single-handedly
- Comfortable grip handle
- Only great for light duty work with the 12” bar
- Quite expensive
At first sight, you may think the small size of the CS-310 is a mirror of its performance. On the contrary, it has a 30.5 cc displacement engine. When combined with the 14-inch bar, this chainsaw provides an operator with stable, smooth power.
These features allow tackling light duty to medium duty tasks. It can comfortably trim, prune, and clear brushes from your property.
On it is a G-Force Air Pre-cleaner for prolonging the lifespan of the tool. This feature prevents large sized debris from entering the air filter.
A thoughtfully designed handle allows for safe and comfortable machine handling. The chain tensioner is easy to reach so that you can conveniently adjust the tension to minimize chain wear.
Another great feature is the “i-30 starting technology” that Echo chainsaws are known for.
It’s a starting mechanism that reduces the efforts you apply when starting the engine. There is also the provision that the engine will start most, if not all of the time.
- Super light at 8.1 pounds
- The starter is reliable
- Comes ready for use after adding oil and gas
- Good tool balance
- Efficient air filter
- Easy to use
- Only handles thin tree limbs
- Durability is questionable
The Echo CS-352 comes with a 34 cc displacement engine. This 2-stroke engine then powers a 16 inches long chain bar to tackle sizeable tree branches.
There is another variation of this product that comes with a 14 inches long chain bar. The longer bar facilitates heavier tasks.
With a modified 1-30 starting system, this unit gets up and running faster, even when it is cold. This starting system utilizes a secondary spring for storing more energy, meaning that even a slight pull would still start the engine.
This is great if you hate pulling on the cord countless times. If you plan on working for long hours, then the comfortable handle with anti-vibration capabilities would come in handy. Another plus about this chainsaw is that you don’t need tools to access the air filter.
A dual post chain brake mechanism keeps you safe in case of the chain snaps when in operation.
- Easy to access the tensioner
- Available in two bar options
- A slow pull starts the chainsaw
- Reduced hand fatigue
- Weighs a reasonable weight
- Great 5-year warranty
- Automatic oiler saves on consumables
- Chain not durable
- There are complaints of troubles starting it
The Echo CS-400 is another testimony of the great quality chainsaw products from Echo. The chainsaw combines features, power boosters, and clever design to produce a reliable outdoor tool in terms of performance and power generated.
To enable it to perform to the levels you would want, it has a 40.2 cc, 2 stroke engine. This engine through the gear drive then powers the long 18-inch chain and bar.
For a cleaner engine operation, this product comes with an air pre-cleaning system with tool-less cover removal provision.
The patented i-30 starting system provides for an effortless engine starting procedure. Just like the previous models, this chainsaw features the flexible chain bar possibility. It accommodates both the 18 inch and 16-inch chain bars.
This feature makes it possible to vary your applications from felling trees, trimming, pruning, cutting firewood among other operations.
- Improved engine life
- Robust engine build
- Comes with its engine oil
- Flexible applications
- Fully assembled during delivery
- Appropriate for medium heavy-duty work
- Starting system is a time saver
- Seizes at times
- Needs an accurate oil-fuel mixture
- Oil leaks issues
If you are looking for one of the most powerful heavy-duty chainsaws from Echo then the Echo CS-590 is among the best options.
First of all, this is because of its size, it is not the lightest around. In fact, it weighs 17 pounds but even as heavy as it seems, it is still a manageable one for you.
It is the most powerful, with a 59.8 cc, 2-stroke, professional grade engine. Although it can accommodate two chain bars, the 18 and 20-inch options, the one I have used is the 20 inch one. The engine produces enough power to drive this bar through thick trees.
Because of its power, it is a good tool for property owners with decently sized areas of wood to tidy. It tends to be an overkill if you only own a couple of yards of trees since you will rarely use it. Safety mechanisms include a kick guard at the bar tip.
There’s a chain brake for emergency moments when you need to steady a derailed chain. A clutch operated auto-oiler gives you less work to do as you concentrate on felling trees without running the risk of chain wear.
- See-through the gas tank
- Easy to access pre and air filters
- Great user manual provided
- Excellent vibration damping
- Customizable auto-oiler
- Powerful engine
- Easy to maintain
- Quite pricey
- Relatively heavy
Things To Consider Before Buying The Echo Chainsaws
Just like any other chainsaw brands, Echo chainsaws come in a variety of models. You have varying bar lengths, engine capacities, weights, gas-powered, electric or cordless echo chainsaws. Out of the numerous options available, it may be hard to select the exact one for your needs.
Here is a guideline of the things you need to consider when choosing the best echo chainsaw.
Length of Bar
When buying any chainsaw, the length of the chainsaw bar is one of the most important things to consider. It is the size that determines to a great extent how functional your chainsaw will be.
The length you settle on should be dictated by how you intend to use the chainsaw and your experience levels. A shorter bar limits the thickness of wood you can cut but is also easy to control. A longer one expands your capabilities but requires a professional to control it.
Echo chainsaws come in a variety of lengths, but we narrowed down to between 12 and 20 inches. For beginners and light-duty users, lengths between 12 and 14 inches should be fine, as long as the limb thicknesses do not exceed 10 and 12 inches respectively.
Heavy duty users would be better off with the 18 and 20 inches’ bars. However, choose the length you are most comfortable using but meets all your requirements.
The power ratings of your chainsaw of preference are essential. Consider the amount/type of work you expect of your chainsaw then choose a matching power output. The rating is determined by the engine displacement specification of the engine.
If you intend to cut large trees or carry out heavy duty tasks then you need more power. An example is the 59.8 cc Echo CS-590. There are other more powerful models than this model from Echo that you can choose.
For light-duty works, even a 25 cc engine can do for you. Cutting brushes and trimming softwoods should be easily accomplished by these models.
Another thing to remember is that the bar length goes hand in hand with power output. A longer bar requires more power than a shorter one.
Look for an Auto-Oiler System
If you have ever used a chainsaw that requires manual lubrication, then you know how hectic it is. You have to stop the unit, lubricate, then restart it, allow it to warm up then proceed with your work. That is a waste of your time.
Always look for an Echo Chainsaw with an auto-oiler. All the options I have provided have this feature. All you have to do is top up the oil tank, then let the saw lubricate itself through the clutch operated auto-oiler.
In the process, you save on time, have less work to do, minimize oil wastage, and prolong the chain lifespan.
Chainsaw Accessories and Safety Features
No one needs to be reminded regarding how dangerous a chainsaw can be. The fast spinning chain is a hazard if you do not have the necessary safety features, while the weight takes a toll on you after a while.
When using a chainsaw, ensure you wear the appropriate personal protective equipment.
Then, ensure the chainsaw has safety mechanisms such as a chain brake and catcher. These are mandatory in the event the chain derails when in operation.
The handles too need to be ergonomically designed with vibration dumping mechanisms to reduce fatigue. A tip guard too would be good to give you assured handling.
As you might have realized, these chainsaws incorporate different handle designs. Here, the intended purpose comes into consideration.
There are the traditional rear handle chainsaws; then there are the top handle ones.
If you are looking for better control, more so when cutting trees or logs at ground level, then the rear handles are the better option.
For arborists seeking to curve wood into different angles, then you would be better off with the top handles.
In as much as they are not the most popular chainsaws around, Echo chainsaws are excellent options for professional and domestic arborists. The products are packed with amazing features meant to lessen your burden and keep you safe when in use.
They are, therefore, an excellent investment to make due to the impressive power to weight ratios. In addition, they are easy to use and will behave well in the course of their service delivery process to you.
If you are looking for the best Echo Chainsaw to invest in for your heavy-duty tree trimming needs, then I would suggest the Echo CS-590 20″ Timber Wolf Chainsaw. It has the longest bar in this review, is filled with safety features, easy to start, and has the most powerful engine.
Otherwise, for light duty, domestic, and professional pruning, brush cutting, and shaping of trees, I would recommend the Echo CS-271T – Chain Saw, Gas, 12 In. Bar, 26.9CC. It is easy to maneuver, is lightweight, and delivers a constant stable power output.