Echo Chainsaw Reviews (2020 Guide)

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​When looking for consumer or prosumer chainsaws, Echo is one of the brands that stand out the most. Not just because of the flashy and colorful designs, but also because they are often associated with good value and model variety.

Of course, there’s more to this manufacturer and its chainsaws lineup than just that. Here are some of the best-selling chainsaws reviewed, as well as the main highlights of the brand, compared to others.

Comparison Chart of the​ Best Echo Chainsaws

Product

Our Rating

​Price

Echo CS400

Best Overall

Echo CS310

Runner-up

Echo CS271T

Best for the Money

Echo CS590

Echo CS352

Echo CS490

Who Is Echo?

ECHO was founded more than four decades ago in Northbrook, IL. Originally known as the Kioritz Corporation of America, it changed its name in 1978 to the ECHO brand, now known as one of the leaders in consumer-grade and professional-grade power tools.

The brand focuses its efforts on innovative advancements in two-stroke engine technology for both the commercial market as well as the professional market. The brand is now owned by the Yamabiko Corporation. It is one of the driving forces behind the brand’s practice of combining both imported and US-produced components, and engineering some of the best hand-held power tools, on US soil.

How Do Echo Chainsaws Compare to the Competition?

Let's see!

Performance

There’s a lot that goes into judging performance when it comes to metrics. But pound for pound, Echo chainsaws are often regarded as the most versatile option, in any engine displacement category. Not especially fast or with consistently high torque, but better at a wider range of tasks.

Longevity

Engine longevity is something that Echo continues to take pride in. One of the main trademarks of the brand is longer engine life and less maintenance-intensive chainsaw designs that their competition. Furthermore, Echo has also made great improvements in two-stroke engine technology as well as in reducing fuel consumption in larger engines.

Value for Money

Although Echo may not be the most budget-friendly brand, this is about getting the most bang for your buck. Echo chainsaws are not overpriced, to begin with. Moreover, they also feature some of the most reliable components on the market, at all engine displacement classes, as well as long warranty deals.

Portability

Even when talking about the biggest Echo chainsaws, the manufacturer still manages to keep the overall weight lower than most of the competition. It’s true that in some cases this causes the Echo brand to come below others in terms of engine power, but it makes the chainsaws easier to handle, safer, and more appealing to a wider user base.

Quick Take: Best ​Echo Chainsaws

Hoping to cut right to the chase? Below are the best ​echo chainsaws:

  1. Echo CS400
  2. Echo CS310
  3. Echo CS271T

Echo Chainsaw Reviews

To get a better understanding of the Echo brand as a whole, it’s important to familiarize yourself with some of the manufacturer’s flagship chainsaws and best-sellers over a wider range of engine displacement categories.

​Best Overall:
​Echo CS-400

PROS

  • Professional-grade materials and build quality
  • Very simple maintenance with easy-access filter
  • Lightweight, easy, and safe to handle by beginners
  • Automatic oiling system and quick tension adjustment

CONS

  • The engine can be considerably loud for its size, especially when pushed to its limits on large diameter hardwood logs

Our Review

One of the best things about the Echo CS-400 is that it already comes with an 18” bar and chain included. It requires no additional investments and is equipped with a bar big enough to fell trees up to 20” in diameter with ease.

Echo’s two-stroke engine is fuel-efficient and can handle continuous use rather well. Even when warm, it’s easy to start the engine back up and continue work. The oil management is excellent and keeps the chain lubed and operating at optimum performance, through a variety of weather conditions.

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

Overall build quality and engine reliability are what set the Echo CS-400 apart from many others. While it may not be the most powerful 40cc chainsaw, it fares more consistently on light, medium, and light-heavy-duty tasks. It also won’t overheat as easily as others.

​Runner-up:
​Echo CS-310

PROS

  • Reliable and convenient I-30 startup system
  • Outstanding maximum cutting diameter of up to 25”
  • Easily handles trunks up to 12” thick with the standard bar
  • Its lightweight frame gives this saw great balance and makes it easy to handle

CONS

  • Carry case not included
  • Can get as loud as 90db which is an excessive for an engine this size

Our Review

This is one of the best 30cc chainsaws on the market. Its design has been optimized for 14” bars, although it can fit a 16” bar too, for tougher jobs. The chainsaw comes with a bar and a good quality chain and sufficient power to saw through some medium to heavy-duty garden work, such as felling trees.

The balance of the chainsaw is superb, allowing for super easy handling and making short work of any branch cutting tasks. Obviously, the light weight is an advantage here too, as is the primer design and location. This allows faster starts and a more convenient and safe way to start an engine, especially if you’re not on the ground.

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

The combination of a fast start, up to four pulls, and a very light weight, make this the king of odd jobs in most rural environments. Of course, the lower price point also helps, as does the already included 14” bar and sharp chain.

​Best for the Money:
​​Echo CS-271T

PROS

  • Long-lasting two-stroke engine
  • Reliable startup system to reduce the risk of accidents
  • Design optimized for aerial work but handles groundwork well, too
  • ​Safe and has excellent vibration damping due to top-handle design

CONS

  • Not the best for cutting logs
  • Not as accommodating of longer blade sizes as other Echo chainsaws

Our Review

As a top-handle chainsaw, the Echo CS-271T is ideal for branch cutting and pruning. It also carries a decent amount of power in its 27cc engine to do some groundwork with it. However, due to its top-handle design, it’s best used for aerial work.

The ergonomics are great and the fact that it already comes with a 12” bar and a sharp chain adds even more value. You can also use this to make short work of firewood and take advantage of the light weight to work in harsh weather conditions and minimize fatigue. As most Echo chainsaws, this too boasts a two-stroke engine, automatic oil pump, and a very quick and reliable startup system.

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

If you’re looking for something smaller, cheaper to run, and very easy to handle, then this could be the chainsaw for you. Maneuverability is what sets the CS-271T apart from the competition as it’s one of the handiest 27cc chainsaws on the market. And, it also benefits from a professional anti-vibration top-mounted handle.

​Echo CS-590 Review​:
​CS-590​​​

PROS

  • Numerous safety features
  • Adjustable oil flow system
  • High-quality sharp chain included
  • Great compatibility with bars up to 20” in length
  • 13,000 RPM top speed for superior cutting power

CONS

  • Overkill for the average homeowner
  • Very loud even with protective gear on and not recommended for common residential work

Our Review

This chainsaw is equipped with multiple safety features such as handguards, chain catcher, spiked bumper, lockout switch, chain break, and even a low kickback chain.

Although it comes with a 20” bar and chain and it is considerably heavier than most consumer-grade chainsaws, the CS-590 is flexible when it comes to bar sizes and can easily accommodate even 16” bars for smaller projects.

Unfortunately, this beast doesn’t come with a carry case. That said, it has very precise oil flow adjustments which help keep the tool running at optimum parameters in all weather conditions.

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

Fitted with a unique decompression valve, the CS-590 has one of the most consistent rope pulling actions in the entire Echo chainsaw lineup. This gives it an edge over many alternatives, especially for consummate professionals, or any homeowner that takes on big projects and has no time to waste.

​Echo CS-353 Review:
​CS-353​​​

PROS

  • Consistent startup from the beginning
  • Good weight-to-balance-to-power ratio
  • Accommodates a broad spectrum of bar sizes
  •  Doesn’t run as hot as other 30cc to 40cc chainsaws

CONS

  • Makes a lot of noise, despite the modest engine size
  • Occupies a niche spot between light and medium-duty 30cc chainsaws

Our Review

This is a light to medium-duty 34cc chainsaw. It comes with a good chain and a 16” bar and pretty much all the standard features you would expect from Echo. That said, it doesn’t feature tool-free chain adjustment. It still has an anti-vibration handle, good balance, and a reliable chain brake.

Metal bucking spikes are also featured for additional kickback protection. The five-year warranty is also nice. Although it carries a bit of extra cutting power, it won’t be worth the extra money to everyone.

The efficient engine means that this model won’t overheat as fast as other 30cc models. Hence you can use it on lengthier projects with fewer pauses.

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

Its design is what sets the CS-352 apart. Between the engine size, additional fuel capacity, and well-calibrated automatic oiling system, the chainsaw transitions better between light-duty and medium-duty cutting jobs. And, it’s still reasonably light enough to handle some aerial work, provided that you can operate a 12lbs fully-equipped and fueled chainsaw.

​Echo CS-490 Review:
​CS-490​​​

PROS

  • ​You can use a variety of bar sizes on it
  • ​High-end dual post chain brake handle
  • ​Almost professional-grade performance
  • ​G-Force filter cleaner for easier maintenance
  • Very good rubberized grip wrap makes it easy to grab a hold of

CONS

  • ​Not the best pick for quick start-and-stop jobs
  • ​It may take longer to start the engine again after it gets warm

Our Review

As one of Echo’s best-sellers, the CS-490 is a very reliable 50cc chainsaw. It comes with a very sharp chain and an 18” bar, ideal to use on thicker trees, large diameter logs, and other medium- to heavy-duty tasks.

It’s comparable in power with professional-grade 60cc chainsaws, which is saying a lot. The design is similar to other Echos, which means that it’s comfortable to use, despite its weight.

As the largest model in the Echo 400 series, is also perhaps the most long-lasting model. It also boasts superior vibration and kickback prevention features.

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

This is hardly a homeowner’s main saw, because of its sheer size and power. However, because it can accommodate bars between 16” to 20”, it also means that it can handle very tough jobs, with minimal effort and little to no overheating.

Comparison Overview

Echo is more than one of the biggest domestic brands in the US. It’s one of the world’s major players. But with all its standout features, reputation, and variety of products, it never hurts to see just where it stands when compared to the competition. Here’s what set the other trusted manufacturers apart.

Stihl vs Echo Chainsaw

Stihl chainsaws are often seen as roughly equal in quality to Echo. These two manufacturers often match each other in power, ease of use, and even pricing. But there’s something to be said in terms of parts and availability. Stihl has a stronger international and domestic presence.

Stihl also tends to have more model variations and better bar and chain variety than Echo. That said, brand loyalists won’t consider this reason enough to switch to Stihl just to test the waters. And, when push comes to shove, Stihl doesn’t always fit its budget-friendly or midrange chainsaws with the most powerful engines or quality of life features.

Echo vs Husqvarna Chainsaw

For a majority of amateur and professional users, Husqvarna chainsaws will always be the go-to choice. And it’s not just about brand loyalty, but more so because Husqvarna is known to make some of the biggest and baddest engines.

Though maintenance-intensive, pricier, and usually larger and heavier, these chainsaws are the ones to beat in terms of raw cutting power and speed. That said, in many situations, a Husqvarna chainsaw can be overpriced and overkill for the task at hand.

Conclusion

Whether it’s made for the average homeowner or a professional ax man, an Echo chainsaw will always adhere to a certain standard of excellence. Performance-wise these are some of the most consistent chainsaws on the market, even though they may not be the most powerful overall. But, the flexibility, versatility, and model variety helps Echo remain one of the most trusted manufacturers.

People Also Ask

As one of the leading manufacturers of chainsaws, among other tools, it’s natural for prospective buyers to want to learn more general information about the brand and its chainsaws. Things such as where and how they’re made as well as how to operate them since most use similar technologies and designs. Here are some of those questions, answered.

Who Makes Echo Chainsaws?

Echo chainsaws are all manufactured by Echo Incorporated. A once domestic brand, this brand is now a subsidiary of the power tool giant, Yamabiko Corporation. Though many components for Echo chainsaws are made in China and Japan, the chainsaws themselves aren’t assembled there.

Where Are Echo Chainsaws Made?

Although ECHO chainsaws contain many components made in factories from China, Japan, and Europe, most ECHO chainsaws are put together in the US at the company’s main factory in Lake Zurich, IL. There’s a total of over 200 ECHO products manufactured there and then distributed domestically and internationally.

How to Start an Echo Chainsaw?

Flip the ignition switch into the Run/On position. Press the rubber bulb with your thumb towards the motor until you see gas inside the purge pump bulb. Then, pull on the choke knob. Pull the starter handle until you hear an engine start attempt. Push on the choke knob back and then pull the starter handle again. This will start the engine and put it in idle.

How Good Are Echo Chainsaws?

A lot of personal preference and past experiences can go into such an answer, depending on who you ask. But on a global scale, Echo chainsaws are regarded as some of the best there are, often on par and sometimes even better than those of other leading manufacturers such as Stihl or Husqvarna.