Chainsaws

Echo Chainsaw Reviews: Which are The Best Echo Chainsaws

CS-590 Timberwolf

Echo chainsaw products are well known for their reliable performance and professional cutting. They are commonly used for all kinds of yard maintenance as well as professional tree felling duties because of their excellent cutting capabilities and durability.

Reviewing such a broad range of products is never going to be easy and ultimately it will come down to what you mainly intend to use a chainsaw for. That said hopefully we can shed some light on which of these models is best for specific usage and frequency of use.

Who Makes Echo Chainsaws?

The Echo brand is owned by the Yamabiko Corporation who have their headquarters in Ome, Japan. Yamabiko was the result of two corporations merging, those being the  Kioritz and Shindaiwa Corporations.

In some shape or form the company have been around since 1947. The first professional saw was produced under the Echo brand in 1978 at Echo Incorporated, Northbrook, IL. A company with this kind of provenance clearly has expertise in their chosen field.

Included as Standard

The Echo brand is a premium offering in the chainsaw market. As such many of the models reviewed here share some features many of which are standard across the Echo brand.

Echo i-30 Starting System

All of the models below include Echo’s unique starting system. Put simply the mechanics of the product incorporate a helper spring that is wound as you pull the starter cord. Upon reaching a certain tension the energy is released aiding the engine to start. Even with a slow pull Echo Chainsaws will start. It is fair to say that other manufacturers such as Husqvarna have similar technologies.

Automatic Oiling System

All of the Echo models on test include automatic oiling and some are also adjustable. This is one less thing for you the operator to worry about. It will prolong the life of your chain and furthermore you’ll also use less oil because of it, saving money on consumables.

Here is our list of Echo chainsaw reviews. This list should help you narrow down your options so you can easily pick out the best Echo chainsaws for your requirements.

1. Echo CS-271T Chainsaw – 12″ Bar, Gas Powered, 26.9cc – Lightweight & easy to handle makes this great for tree work and thinning

The Echo CS 271T comes with a 12 inch bar and chain making it ideal for light to medium-heavy duty cutting. Although it should be noted that the saw can also fit a 14″ bar. It features a G-Force Engine Air Pre-cleaner purposely made in order to lessen the maintenance of its air filter. Using the chain tensioner that is conveniently located at the side, you can make quick adjustments to your chain. It also employs the i-30 system, promoting a quick start to its 26.9 professional-grade and 2-stroke motor engine. The clutch-driven oiler will automatically close in order to control excessive oil consumption.

Echo CS-271T Specification diagram

One of the main things of note with this chainsaw compared to the others on review is that it has a top handle. With this unit being so light and nimble many will use this single handed. This is great for limbing and pruning but could be dangerous in the wrong hands hence Echo only recommend this saw for tree service professionals.

Pros:

  • Powerful
  • Lightweight and nimble
  • Top handle design
  • Well-balanced design
  • Compact design
  • Will also accommodate a 14″ bar
  • Comes with a good warranty

Cons:

  • Premium quality means a premium price
  • This particular model is not for heavy duty work although the larger bar would potentially allow that

The Echo CS-271T is a bit expensive compared to your regular chainsaw but this is because it belongs to one of the top performing brands and this model includes a raft of useful features. Overall this is a lightweight chainsaw that gives you the best comfort while pruning trees and bushes. It’s a compact unit making it nimble and comfortable to use. That’s not at the expense of power either. As long as you’re not taking on heavy duty work with this model you’ll be pleased with the high quality and efficient performance.

 


 

2. Echo CS-310 Chainsaw – 14″ Bar, Gas Powered, 30.5cc – A quick and efficient lightweight animal

The Echo Chainsaw CS-310 comes with a 14-inch bar powered by a 32.6cc engine. This enables it to give out a smooth and stable performance for light to mid duty tasks around the yard such as pruning, trimming and clearing brush. It features a G-Force Engine Air Pre-cleaner that helps a lot in prolonging the life of the machine by ensuring large bits of wood debris never reach the main air filter. The handle is designed thoughtfully giving the user good comfort and safe handling. Lastly its chain tensioner is reachable at the side of the machine which allows you to adjust the chain more easily and reduce excessive wear and tear.

Echo CS-310 specification diagram

Pros:

  • Lightweight at only 8.1lb
  • Good balance in use, you always feel in control
  • Reliable starter, always starts within 3 pulls
  • Includes a quality Oregon 14″ Bar
  • A near professional unit perfect for home use
  • Cuts through 6-8″ branches with ease and can also cope with larger
  • Ready to go out of the box just add gas and oil

Cons:

  • Not great for heavy duty work

The Echo CS-310 Chainsaw is a well-designed chainsaw that like the CS-271T is also well balanced in use. This is a lighter unit though at only just over 8 pounds. It’s powerful enough for smaller pruning tasks but it’s never going to cope with heavy duty cutting. However if you want a reliable and fast performer for around your property for use a few times a year then you could do a lot worse than the CS-310. This is a well built chainsaw from a quality manufacturer.

Echo CS-310 14" Gas Chain Saw
List Price: $199.00
Price: N/A
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3. Echo CS-352 Chainsaw – 14″ Bar, Gas Powered – Easy to start and to use perfect for the homeowner

CS-352 Echo chainsaw is available in 14-inch bar and 16-inch bar variation. Most purchase the 14″ version for simple tasks around their property.

Features such as the chain tensioner being located on the side for quick chain adjustment and the i-30 quick start system make the product easier to use and quicker to start even in cold weather.

Even a slow pull will start this unit thanks to the secondary spring which aids turning the engine over.

The CS-352 also comes with an anti-vibration handle giving you more comfort and better control while working for longer periods. Finally the air filter can be accessed without any tools when maintenance is required, an improvement over previous models and over other chainsaws at this price point.

CS-352 Specification diagram

Pros:

  • Easy to start even with a slow pull thanks to the i-30 quick start system
  • Reasonably lightweight at 8.8lb
  • Available in 14 or 16″ bar versions
  • Anti-vibration handle reduces user fatigue

Cons:

  • Could use a longer lasting chain

If you only need a small lightweight chainsaw for yard pruning tasks then the 14″ version of the Echo CS-352 might be perfect for your needs. The anti-vibration handle and 2 handed grip allow you to cut for extended periods without becoming fatigued. Some buyers have reported great cutting ability but that the chain wears quickly so bear this in mind if you’re considering purchasing.

Echo CS-352 14" Gas Chainsaw
List Price: $259.99
Price: $259.99
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4. Echo CS-400 18″ Chainsaw – A good starter but the fuel ratio’s need to be spot on

The Echo CS-400 is available in a 16-inch and 18-inch bar length variation. It comes with an adjustable oiler, G-Force Engine Air Pre Cleaner and automotive air filter that are heavy duty and greatly accessible for excellent air filtration. It uses a top performing 40.2 cc professional-grade 2-stroke engine making it a fast and powerful machine. The effort required in starting this machine is also reduced thanks to the i-30 starting system.

Echo CS-400 product detail

The Echo CS-400 is great for most pruning tasks that most homeowners will be encounter. The engine is powerful enough to cut yet small and compact enough to keep the weight and the price down.

Be warned though there have been some reports of this chainsaw seizing.

It seems likely that this can be caused by not mixing the fuel ratio’s correctly and furthermore experienced users also advise of a good breaking in period being observed with this product by leaving it on idle for 10-15 minutes before using it to saw.

Pros:

  • Powerful
  • Easy to start with the i-30 system
  • Lightweight at just over 10lbs
  • Comes fully assembled
  • Includes engine oil

Cons:

  • Important to get the fuel mix right
  • Some reports of this saw seizing

The CS-400 is great for lightweight to medium-heavy cutting and is targeted at homeowners. Like the other Echo products it includes a raft of safety technologies and time saving design features. However the potential for this product to seize up means we would recommend the other products on test over this one.

Echo CS-400 18" Gas Chainsaw
List Price: $299.00
Price: $257.40
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5. Echo CS-590 Chainsaw 20″ Bar – The most powerful and our pick of the bunch for professional & commercial users

The Echo CS-590 chainsaw is equipped with the most powerful engine on test here, a capable 59.8 cc professional-grade 2 stroke model. It is available with an 18-inch or 20-inch bar length, our test model arrived with the 20″ which is on paper good for medium to heavy duty cutting.

The fact that the chainsaw bar incorporates the Timber Wolf logo tells you this saw means business.

Echo CS-590 Timber Wolf Bar & Chain

The CS-590 is squarely aimed at property owners with a decent amount of wooded areas to upkeep. If you only have a yard and will be using a chainsaw a few times a year then this is overkill and a damn shame for such a capable product.

Echo CS-590 Specification diagram

Like all Echo chainsaws it includes a Kick Guard attachment at the tip of the bar to aid safety. The included chain brake also brings the chain to a standstill should kickback occur. If you’re going to choose a more powerful model then having built in safety technology is a real plus point.

With the guard installed and chain lubed up properly this saw makes light work of felling even large tree’s and branches. Only on the widest of girths might you want to remove the Kick Guard to make a full back cut.

Pros:

  • Given the coveted Handyman seal of approval
  • Very powerful
  • Translucent gas tank to easily see fuel level
  • Does not easily overheat
  • Fantastic vibration control
  • Easy to access air and pre-air filter with no tools required
  • Adjustable auto chain oiling
  • Chain brake to stop rotation should kickback occur
  • Great owners pair of owners manuals with lots of detail and advice about maintenance and use

Cons:

  • Expensive but you get what you pay for and it comes with a great warranty
  • A few customers report starting problems

Overall the Echo CS-590 chainsaw is light and easy to maneuver. The translucent tank lets you monitor fuel levels while the auto chain lubricator makes cutting efficient without pressing buttons and finally the low vibration makes extended use more bearable. The power and cutting prowess makes this a joy to own and a great buy for those with larger properties to maintain. The fact that this product was given the Handyman seal of approval with performance the main motivator for this says it all.

 


 

Key Takeaways Of The Echo Brand & The Best Echo Chainsaws

It’s no wonder many people choose to buy Echo chainsaw products, even if they are relatively expensive.  If you are a chainsaw user after a quality product then an Echo chainsaw is definitely worth checking out. This brand is made with quality components and spare parts are readily available. Add the 5 year manufacturers warranty to the mix and you have a great package. But which are the best Echo chainsaws?

If you’re a home owner with a small property then the CS-310 or CS-352 are your best bet. For us the CS-352 shades it because of the extra cutting power from the larger engine and this model is also fitted with a raft of safety and cutting efficiency technologies.

While it is small the CS-271T is a top handle design recommended for professional use only while undertaking off ground tree work.

For professional users, farmers, ranchers or homeowners with a larger lot the Echo CS-590 has to be your choice. This is a very good and capable chainsaw generally, not just when being compared to other Echo chainsaws. The 18″ and 20″ bars cut through some serious sized branches and limbs with ease, bucking up a felled tree is also quick and painless. Auto oiling also protects the equipment and will keep the chain cutting efficiently for longer.

Following our Echo CS 400 review we can conclude that for most this will prove to be a reliable product. It incorporates the best features of the other Echo chainsaws on test. On Amazon it gains 4 out of 5 star reviews on average yet there are question marks because of the numerous reviews that have reported the unit seizing up. It’s your choice.

What we really like about all Echo chainsaws is the included Kick Back guard, translucent fuel container and the ability to easily service them with tool-less access points. The product manuals are also a work of art compared to some brands on the market – for example the cheaper Blue Max brand is poor in this respect. Of course this is a premium priced brand but the goods live up to the promise.

Essential Chainsaw Accessories & Safety Gear

Whether you’re looking for a saw for pruning around the yard or a large lot, purchasing an Echo chainsaw shouldn’t end with just the saw. You need an overall budget to cover accessories as well as vital safety equipment. Consider the following;

Chainsaw Chaps / Trousers

At current Echo chainsaw prices why spend the best part of $200-$400 on a quality product to then skimp on what might be a life saving piece of personal safety equipment? You can get a reasonable pair of dedicated chainsaw pants or apron style chaps for occasional use for around $50-100 mark, the more you spend the better the protection. The materials trousers or chaps are made from are designed to either, deflect or tangle the chainsaw blade and ultimately bring it to a halt. You need some of these and also follow the safety advice here.

 


Echo Chainsaw Storage Case

Perhaps not quite as important as a pair of chaps but still a great accessory for storing your saw is a chainsaw storage case. The Echo ToughChest for example will store and protect chainsaws with a bar length of up to 20″. These are great for protecting your saw between job locations or for putting away and storing in until the next time it’s required. They’re made from a tough, thick, rugged plastic and the case also has room for oil, gloves etc If you’re going to buy one of the best Echo chainsaws then why not protect in it’s own case. However we wouldn’t let this purchase prevent you from buying a pair of chainsaw chaps / pants.

 


Echo Bar & Chain Oil

To prolong the life of your chainsaw bar and chain you need to regularly lubricate them with Echo chainsaw oil or similar premium product. All of these models incorporate an automatic oiling system of some description. You need to keep the dispenser topped up and the chainsaw will reward you with a more efficient cut, longer lasting chain life and will be an all round safer tool to use.

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