Best Echo Chainsaw: Professional Power and Reliability - Backyard Boss
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Best Echo Chainsaw: Professional Power and Reliability

Reliable chainsaw power tools are a must when logging, limbing and bucking, cutting firewood, trimming, or even felling are regular jobs for you. Chainsaws are not only good for homeowner property cleanup and maintenance but also for portable professional use- and when the job calls for the best, Echo chainsaws are a popular go-to product.

Echo power products have been around for close to a half-century, and their reliability is well known in the timber industry. The best Echo chainsaws are those chosen for their variable sizes and gas-powered 2-stroke engines specific to the jobs. They offer both rear handle and top handle chainsaw models.

The top-rated saws detailed below provide you with an idea of the various models offered by the company and the choice you have concerning them.

5 Best Echo Chainsaw Comparisons

PRODUCT FEATURES
Echo CS-271T 26.9cc Chainsaw - Best Echo Chainsaw: Professional Power and ReliabilityEcho CS-271T 26.9cc Chainsaw
  • Weight: 6.6 lbs
  • Bar Length: 12 inches
  • Warranty: 5 years
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Echo CS-310 30.5cc Chainsaw - Best Echo Chainsaw: Professional Power and ReliabilityEcho CS-310 30.5cc Chainsaw
  • Weight: 8.8 lbs
  • Bar Length: 14-16 inches
  • Warranty: 5 years
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Echo CS-400 40.2cc Chainsaw - Best Echo Chainsaw: Professional Power and ReliabilityEcho CS-400 40.2cc Chainsaw
  • Weight: 10.1 lbs
  • Bar Length: 16-18 inches
  • Warranty: 5 years
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Echo-490 - Best Echo Chainsaw: Professional Power and ReliabilityEcho-490
  • Weight: 10.6 lbs
  • Bar Length: 16-20 inches
  • Warranty: 5 Years
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Echo CS-590 Timber Wolf 59.8cc Chainsaw - Best Echo Chainsaw: Professional Power and ReliabilityEcho CS-590 Timber Wolf 59.8cc Chainsaw
  • Weight: 13.2 lbs
  • Bar Length: 18-24 inches
  • Warranty: 5 years
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Why You Can Trust Us

When it comes to keeping your yard in top shape, a chainsaw is an invaluable tool. We know this at Backyard Boss, which is why we’ve gathered quite a pile of resources around chainsaws over the years.

Before I bought a chainsaw of my own, I had tried to get my hands on and use as many different chainsaws as possible. The result is me buying a chainsaw that fits my needs perfectly.

I want to pass that indispensable knowledge and experience on to you. So, I’ve taken my real-life experience, mixed it in with some market research and product reviews, and produced this round-up of the best Echo chainsaws available today.

Best Lightweight

Echo CS-271T 26.9cc Chainsaw
    Lightweight chainsaw with plenty of power. Perfect for home use.

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Why We Like It: This incredibly lightweight gas-powered saw weighs a mere 6.6 lbs when dry yet packs a powerful 26.9cc engine. 

The 12-inch bar is perfect for easy maneuverability, and with a lanyard clip and inertia chain brake, this is the perfect homeowner saw for getting around your property. It is also a handy little pick for an arborist who needs to climb as it is designed for easy use in any situation. It’s more tried and true than the very similar CS-2511T, but that’s also a great option if low weight is your primary goal. It weighs about a pound less than the 271T.

This model has a throttle lockout and i-30 start system with digital ignition. It also has a purge bulb for better efficiency and keeping your saw running smoothly. The oiler is clutch-driven to supply the perfect amount for chain lubrication to avoid running too hot and binding up. The side-access chain tensioner for quick adjustments makes for convenient on-the-go maintenance.

Who Should Buy It: This is the perfect saw for homeowners looking for regular, reliable power, as well as for anyone looking for a light, durable climbing saw.

Best Professional Grade For Home Use

Echo CS-310 30.5cc Chainsaw
    Here's a chainsaw thats good enough for the pro's but small enough for the homeowner.

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Why We Like It: The Echo 310 model has a 30.5cc engine displacement and can run up to a 16-inch bar with ease. 

This is a lightweight saw that is only 8.8 lbs dry and a great choice for homeowners looking for a strong engine and longer bar support than the 200 series. A dual post chain brake and top-mounted air filter make safety a priority and allow for easier cleaning maintenance. It is also a choice by arborists and carvers due to its compact size and easy-to-handle design.

The i-30 start technology is also present in this model, making it easy to start each time you use it. And a side-access chain tensioner lets you keep on working after only a brief pause to adjust when needed. The clutch-driven oiler is helpful since it ensures your chain doesn’t bind as you work.

Who Should Buy It: This is a strong choice for property owners who need a dependable saw for regular maintenance in forested areas, for firewood, or for regular cleanup. 

Best For Heavier Workloads

Echo CS-400 40.2cc Chainsaw
    Being the lightest saw in its class, this is the saw if you want power but don't want too much size

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Why We Like It: The 40.2cc engine in the CS-400 is the smallest offered in this series. 

This particular model is toted for heavier consumer jobs and can handle up to an 18-inch bar with no problems. At only 10.1 lbs dry, this is one of the lightest saws in this engine size category, a claim many of the Echo saws can make. 

The inertia type chain brake and auto oiler that matches cutting conditions keep you moving and working through the large jobs you have in mind without pause. It is also a dependable and lighter weight model often used in the timber industry as well.

Who Should Buy It: This is the go-to for homeowners in need of a saw that is going to see heavy workloads through multiple seasons. 

Best For Milling At Home

Echo-490
    Big enough to mill lumber on site, this is the saw for you if you're a home scale lumberjack.

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Why We Like It: The Echo 490 is the largest in the 400 series class, the lightest weight, and boasts the strongest engine. 

Just one step below the 500 series, this is a borderline professional saw that is the perfect choice for heavy timber jobs, and easy and strong enough for milling purposes. The 50.2 cc engine can easily handle up to a 20-inch bar, meaning it can make short work of decent-sized tree diameters in just one cut. A dual post chain brake handle and rubber wrap-around grip handle allow you to work efficiently through the heaviest jobs with easy maneuverability.

A reduced effort starter, G-Force filter cleaner, heavy-duty, easy access filter, and chrome-plated cylinders provide a smooth operating, easy maintain product. Much of the maintenance can be accessed tool-free, making your job more efficient.

Who Should Buy It: This is for the homeowner who has some serious tree work on their land or the firewood cutter that makes it their business to have a supply on the ready through almost any season.

Best Professional Grade

Echo CS-590 Timber Wolf 59.8cc Chainsaw
    This is a professional grade saw, but it's still small enough to suit the homeowner

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Why We Like It: The 590 Timber Wolf is a professional grade saw that is still a lightweight, handy product for busy homeowner who likes to get the job done themselves. 

The powerful 59.8 cc engine is amongst the three largest offered by the company, and this particular model lends itself well to the farm and ranch category, where jobs depend on the saw. This engine size can easily handle a bar up to 24 inches, and at only 13.2 lbs dry, the company continues to amaze at its lightweight construction design.

A dual post chain brake, bumper spikes for easy control, and a decompression valve all make your job that much easier while you work. Plus the air pre-cleaner, clutch-driven oiler, easy-access air filter, and see-through fuel tank keep your maintenance to a minimum while in the field.

Who Should Buy It: Large property owners can’t go wrong with a product like this, and neither can a professional in need of a durable and strong saw.

What Size Chainsaw Do I Need?

Person using chainsaw
Image credits: Arttower via Pixabay

When it comes to engine size, the answer is simple. Bigger engines are more powerful. It means you should be more experienced in chainsaw operations to use one of these safely.

The main factor to consider when buying a chainsaw is bar length. It refers to the length of the bar that the chain spins around. The longer the bar, the thicker the wood that you’ll be able to cut is. A longer bar also results in a heavier saw that’s more difficult to use.

The bar is an important factor because it’s the main limiting factor when it comes to the size of wood you’ll be able to cut with your chainsaw. Your bar should be at least two inches longer than the thickness of the wood you plan to cut.

The standard bar length for home use chainsaws is 14-18 inches. Any longer than 18 inches, and you’re dealing with a workhorse of a chainsaw that’s designed for professional use and tough jobs.

How To Stay Safe?

chainsaw near felled tree
Image credits: Markus Spiske via Unsplash

The comprehensive safety of chainsaw use is beyond the scope of this post, but we can touch on a few important points here.

Firstly, make sure you use personal protective equipment. It includes but isn’t limited to helmets, eye protection, ear protection, gloves, and steel-toed boots.

It’s important to be very aware that you have a sharp, spinning blade in your hands. The chain brake should be engaged when you aren’t actively cutting wood.

One of the most common accidents with chainsaws is called ‘bucking’. It happens when the chain hits something harder than the wood it’s cutting; a knot in the wood or the ground, for example. The saw then ‘bucks’ back towards the operator.

If you’re positioned incorrectly, the saw may come into contact with you. To avoid this, always make sure nobody’s parts are in line with the saw if it were to buck.

The Proper Maintenance Of Your Saw

Person using a chainsaw while in a tree
Image credits: nightowl via Pixabay

Maintaining your chainsaw will lengthen the life of your saw considerably. Before you even start your saw-up, make sure you’ve added the correct fuel. 4-stroke engines require gas and oil in separate reservoirs.

A 2-stroke engine, on the other hand, requires you to mix the gas and the oil first and then put that mixture into one reservoir. Each chainsaw will specify the ratio of gas to oil your saw requires and should come with a mixing bottle to help you out. Pay attention to this ratio and try to be as accurate as possible. Too much oil and you risk gumming up your carburetor. Too little, and your engine won’t have enough lubrication to run smoothly.

Next, you need to keep an eye on the chain oil reservoir. When your chainsaw is brand new, it’s a good idea to liberally coat the bar and chain with plenty of oil before filling the reservoir. As a best practice, I like to top up the chain oil reservoir whenever I top the chainsaw up with fuel.

Talking about chains, make sure the tension on your chain is correct. You should be able to lift the chain a few millimeters off the bar using just your fingers. Too loose, and you risk breaking the chain or getting it caught in something. Too tight, and you risk damaging the chain and the engine.

When you’re using a new chain, it will get looser faster, so keep a tool on you to tighten the tensioning mechanism regularly.

Get Some Experience First

three orange chainsaws
Image credits: Markus Spiske via Unsplash

A full safety briefing on the safe use of a chainsaw is beyond the scope of this post. But I will say this; if you’re not an experienced chainsaw user, don’t use a chainsaw without having a lesson first. They are dangerous tools, and mistakes happen quickly with potentially devastating results.

Once you’ve had a lesson and you know your way around your chainsaw, it’s a good idea to start small. Cut up a few branches and small logs to get a feel of how a chainsaw works. The chain will pull the saw in certain situations and push it away in others. The only way to understand this is to use a chainsaw.

When you feel ready to cut down a tree, make sure you have an experienced chainsaw user present to show you the ropes. Many factors will determine your approach, along with a whole new range of things that can go wrong, so don’t go it alone.

What is the Echo Chainsaw Brand?

Man up a tree with a chainsaw
Image credits: henry perks via Unsplash

Echo was first founded in 1972 and has become a leading manufacturer worldwide of professional-grade, handheld power equipment. By the 1980’s they were well established in North America and established a strong relationship with specific home improvements stores to provide their products to the general public. Their innovative approaches are still considered to be some of the best in current technological advancement, making them a leader in both power and reliability.

Why Would I Want an Echo Chainsaw?

Other than the strong name associated with the Echo brand as a reason to research them, Echo chainsaws have become a leader in professional-grade dependability both in commercial forestry-related industries, as well as for residential use. Each model has a high-performance, 2-stroke gas engine and Pro-Fire ignition system to ensure reliable starts every time you use it.

Vibration reduction system technology and grouped controls define each saw made by the company, creating a more comfortable and efficient working experience. Plus, professional-grade components are used in every model, even for the more residentially focused products. The company also offers a wide range of accessories and components for use with your saw, making them even more versatile- a good detail to consider.

Echo Chainsaw Models

Person felling a tree with a chainsaw
Image credits: reijotelaranta via Pixabay

The many models offered by the company fall into 6 different categories based on strength, engine size, and chainsaw chain length. When searching for the best chainsaw for you, you went to buy the one that best fits the jobs you have in mind.

200 Series

2 models define the 200 series at a 25-26.9cc engine displacement level of power. These are made for light to moderate job loads with the occasional heavy-duty logging that needs to be thrown in. Focused for residential use, these are easy, more lightweight saws and support a 12 to 14-inch bar length.

300 Series

7 different models ranging in strength from 30.1 to 36.3cc engine displacement are the perfect choice for light to heavier jobs and support up to an 18-inch bar length. These are the perfect saw for residential use, firewood cutting, or heavier property cleanup.

400 Series

Ranging in strength from 40.2 – 50.2cc engine sizes, the 5 models found in the 400 series are made for moderate to heavy job loads with long cutting times. There are perfect for residential and commercial work, especially when working with lumber. These support up to a 20-inch bar with ease.

500 Series

These 2 models come in a 50.2cc, and 59.8cc engine displacement and are made for more professional logging and lumber cutting capacities. With the ability to support up to a 24-inch bar, these are made for long days, cutting moderate to larger-sized wood products.

600 Series

3 different models at 59.8cc to 66.8cc power create a great choice from which to pick for more professionally sized jobs. Able to handle up to a 27-inch bar, the power of these saws are hard to beat.

800 Model

The 800 model has an 80.7cc engine displacement and 36-inch bar length for the big jobs that need a powerful engine and size behind it to get it done. Although there are bigger saws in the market, this is one of the largest and most powerful currently available.

Factors to Consider When Buying An Echo Chainsaw

Black chainsaw
Image credits: Michael Fenton via Unsplash

Like any buying experience, it can get overwhelming when purchasing a new product and being faced with multiple choices. The important thing to remember when buying a saw is that bigger is not always better, and to stick with your knowledge and comfort. Some tips are explained below:

What do you plan to use the chainsaw for?

You need to consider both the size of the jobs you have in mind, as well as the amount of time you plan on running your saw- and how often. If you only have the periodic job lined up for it around your property, you may want to consider a saw that is easier to maintain and quicker to access between each cutting job. Electric saws have very little maintenance and do not require much in the way of storage needs- plus, they are easily as strong as many smaller gas engines.

How much experience do you have with a chainsaw?

Chainsaws are powerful, dangerous tools and require knowledge of their working parts and how to handle them. Luckily, almost all chainsaw accidents are due to operator error and poor judgment, meaning you are more in control of your safety than any other variable. For basic safety guidelines and to have an idea of what you should know, please visit our guide here.

Do you know how to maintain your saw?

Maintaining your saw is very much a part of an efficient operation, as well as safety. Be sure you have an awareness of what you need when operating an electric saw versus a gas-powered saw and how to keep them working for years to come.

How We Picked

Different chainsaws come with varied features that differentiate them, but which of these features matter most? We identified some criteria to help us rate the chainsaws on this list. They are:

  • Size. Most of the chainsaws on this list are the right size for home use. Most homeowners don’t need a professional-grade saw to maintain this property. To prevent you from spending more money than necessary on a larger saw than you need, we’ve stayed with home-grade saws.
  • Reliability. Nobody likes tools that break. The Echo, in general, makes reliable tools, but we made sure to include models known for their reliability.
  • Power source. This list is concerned only with gas chainsaws. So we made sure each saw on this list is powered by gas.
  • Budget. Often the most important factor when it comes to buying decisions. We included a range so that there’s something for everyone.

Conclusion

The best Echo chainsaw from the list above is the Echo CS-271T 26.9cc Chainsaw. This compact, lightweight chainsaw is excellent for any homeowner or property owner.

Echo chainsaws are truly quality products, are backed by one of the best warranties in the industry, and all have professional details to make your jobs effective and easier to get done. Each of the series offered by the company has a few choices from which to pick, dependent on your needs and personal preferences. 

The anti-vibration is considered one of the best in the business, and the weight of their saws cannot be beaten, as they hold some of the lightest saws in their class across the board.

If you have any experience with an Echo saw or need more information about a particular model, please let us know below! And, as always, please share!

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