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Author Topic: Which Small Echo Saw?  (Read 3390 times)

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Online lxskllr

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Which Small Echo Saw?
« on: October 14, 2018, 05:11:21 AM »
I've been pondering a replacement for my PoulanPro. It hasn't been running great, and the vibration has been bothering me more than it once did. It's paid for itself a couple times over, so it may be time to simply move on.

I'm pretty certain I want an echo. I like their reputation, warranty, parts availability, and price, but I'm having trouble deciding on which model. My PP is 42cc, so that's the rough target I'm looking at as far as weight goes, and I'm thinking a 16" bar. The option of 18" would be nice, but that's getting into the territory of my ms362s, so probably not necessary. The obvious answer would be the cs400. That's almost a direct replacement for my PP. BUT... there's the cs490. Only .5# heavier, and 10cc bigger. I could also go smaller with something like the cs352. I lose the 18" bar option, but also lose ~1# of weight. Then there's something like the cs361P. A touch bigger than the 352, but ~$150 more. Is it that much better?

What gives me pause, is echo seems overly optimistic with their bar lengths. I'm not sure what I'd need to have a solid runner with a 16" bar. Looking to save a few dollars, hence going echo, but I'll spend the money if it's worth it(say picking the 361P over the 352). I'd also consider a top handle. Whatever I get may go into a tree with me, but I'm not a pro, and it isn't something I'd often do. Top handles don't look as nice to use on the ground, but I've never laid hands on one. Suggestions?

Offline ladylake

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Re: Which Small Echo Saw?
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2018, 06:35:03 AM »
 
 Just get a Echo CS400, open up the muff a little , pull the limiter caps and tune right. Its the saw everyone that run it loves.  On a good scale full of fuel with bars and chain the CS400 is right at 13#.  The Cs490 500 501 are at 14  3/4#.  The Cs490 500p 501 are good saws also also need to open up the muff and tune good.  They take along time to break in, maybe 10 tanks or so.  The CS352 is really light but is not built as good as a CS400 and not near as strong cutting, but with a muff modd which really wake them up they cut good for 33cc. I use mine a lot around the mill cutting up slabs and trimming boards.  They all start and run great with very little trouble. Steve
Timberking B20 12000 hours +  Case75xt grapple + forks+8" snow bucket + dirt bucket   770 Oliver   Lots(too many) of chainsaws, Like the Echo saws and the Stihl and Husky     W5  Case loader   1  trailers  Wright sharpener     Dino setter Volvo MCT125c skid loader

Online lxskllr

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Re: Which Small Echo Saw?
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2018, 07:41:59 AM »
Thanks. That's pretty helpful. I'm probably overthinking it. I was happy with the PP, and I'd probably be happier with the cs400. I spend so much time trying to get things perfect, I get purchase paralysis. That's how I ended up with my Stihl. After looking, looking, debating, debating, I said "whatever. I'll get the dealer to tell me". Went to Husky first, and they were closed, so I went to the Stihl dealer, took his first suggestion, and it worked out pretty well. Sometimes it's better being lucky than being skillful  :^D

Offline DelawhereJoe

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Re: Which Small Echo Saw?
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2018, 08:51:40 AM »
Why not split the difference between the cs 400 and cs 490, the cs 4510, it looks like a newly remodeled saw.
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Re: Which Small Echo Saw?
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2018, 09:28:48 AM »
Why not split the difference between the cs 400 and cs 490, the cs 4510, it looks like a newly remodeled saw.
Looks like the 4510 weighs more than the 490. Weight isn't everything, but I have the 362 as a big saw, so I'm trying to stay far away from that class. I should just delete the 18" bar from the wish list. I have 20" for the 362, and that's close enough.

Offline ladylake

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Re: Which Small Echo Saw?
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2018, 09:54:58 AM »

 Yes I think the 4510 weighs quite a bit more than the CS400 ready to cut.   Steve
Timberking B20 12000 hours +  Case75xt grapple + forks+8" snow bucket + dirt bucket   770 Oliver   Lots(too many) of chainsaws, Like the Echo saws and the Stihl and Husky     W5  Case loader   1  trailers  Wright sharpener     Dino setter Volvo MCT125c skid loader

Online thecfarm

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Re: Which Small Echo Saw?
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2018, 10:13:07 AM »
I think they all over size thier bars when it comes to a small saw.
I bought a 3 pt winch with 6 eight foot chains for a 40 hp tractor. Kinda hard to fill all 6 chains,with logs that need a 8 foot chain. But it does look good. :)
I have a 50cc Efco,that I won on here. Came with a 18 inch bar. 16 would of been cheaper and better. But the 18 does comes in handy,but not something to be buried in wood all the time. It's not made for it. I do have a big saw,but that Efco gets to see alot of wood.
Two saws are nice,one small,one big. Small one is easier on the body. When the Efco dies,I will get a saw and I will get a 16 inch bar for it. 16 inch bars and chains are cheaper than 18 inch.
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79

Offline Mooseherder

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Re: Which Small Echo Saw?
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2018, 11:02:30 AM »
I have all the brands including Echo.  Bought a cs590 from a dealer who services my zero turn mower a couple years ago and am happy with it.  This year I needed something smaller for thinning, blazing and tops so got this cs2511T.  What a great lil saw. Powerful 25cc and so lightweight you can work it for hours. It was the same price I paid for the cs590.


 

 
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Offline John Mc

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Re: Which Small Echo Saw?
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2018, 02:01:50 PM »
Personally, I would go with the CS 400 and skip the 18" bar. yeah, you can run one on it, but a 16" bar is a much better match in terms of balance and power for the CS 400. Plus, you don't really need this saw to go bigger if you have an ms362.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline Inaotherlife

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Re: Which Small Echo Saw?
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2018, 08:35:31 PM »
I have the CS2511T and it is my most used saw.

But my voice of unreason tells me the CS 361P with a 14" bar is what I need next, to fill the under 50cc void. 
The 361 has a bigger motor than the 352, but is a much more slender saw. And lighter weight also.
The 352 looks bigger than the 490.

Obviously the CS400 is the more sensible choice. I got a 40cc Stihl 009L with a 12" bar. And a CS352 with 16" bar that I will sell.

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Re: Which Small Echo Saw?
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2018, 12:50:55 PM »
Got to put a cs400 in my hand today at the hardware store. I think that'll be the perfect machine. It's as light as I need, and the performance should be fine. I also picked up a 2511t. That's a slick little unit. I could almost drop that in my cargo pocket. Not anything I need, but if I worked in trees, I'd almost certainly own one.

Thanks to all for the advice. Now it's a matter of seeing if my PP behaves itself til a 20% sale gets close to me, or if my willpower holds out  :^D

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Re: Which Small Echo Saw?
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2018, 03:07:25 PM »
 or if my willpower holds out  :^D
It didn't. I'm now the owner of a cs400. It came with an 18" bar, and they didn't have anything smaller to swap it out with. I wanted to get it done, so I bought it as-is. It came with a case, which helped me decide to get it. That knocks down some of the loss of not being 20% off day. I thought it would be the regular case, but it ended up being their better one, so the decision to buy feels even better than it did. I'm probably still gonna get a 16" bar. I'll probably do it before I even run it in wood. That'll make the 18" more salable if I decide to get rid of it(and someone wants it).

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Re: Which Small Echo Saw?
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2018, 08:18:55 AM »
Frustrating first experience with the 400, mostly boils down to user error. Started great, ran pretty well. I took down a pine that sap and water *poured* out of when I cut the trunk. I was limbing the tree, and I guess I wasn't paying close enough attention, and threw a chain. I think it stretched faster than expected.

Took the cover off, and it was filled with wet pine guts, and the spur setup wasn't what I was used to. Spur on the inside, chainbrake on the outside. A little clunky removing the bar/chain. Got it sorted, but some of the drive links had gotten beaten up, and wouldn't fit well in the bar. I forced them in, hoping the motor would make the necessary adjustments. Got it together, started it, but it was too tight for the motor spin. Took it apart again, and had a hard time getting the cover off. Thought it was due to sap, and pried it off with a screwdriver(This is the start of my problems)...

I filed the burrs off the drive links, made sure it fit in the bar, and attempted reassembly. Couldn't get the cover on due to the brake band hanging up on the drum. It also has a weird tab that fits in the brake handle. That was being difficult also. I futzed with it and futzed with it. Nothing was going, and I couldn't make sense of the setup. That ill fitting tab obviously moves, but I couldn't move it with my fingers(Something gummed up??). Took that apart with some difficulty(screws were very tight) to see how it worked. Took the stuff out of the cover, including a fairly heavy spring(A wild clue emerges!). Put it back together, and use the wrench to pry the tab back, and release the brake band. Everything then fits as it should. Runs ok, and I finish cutting. Inspect the spur when I done, and it was a little chewed up, which I anticipated. I wanted to get the job done, and a new chain is about the same price as a spur, so there wasn't any good way to discriminate. It's not terrible, and I'll be getting a 16"b&c today, so it'll have an easier life for awhile.

Lesson learned? The chainbrake must be off before you remove the cover. They probably tell you that somewhere in the manual. I was gonna read it some day, I swear! Kind of an odd setup compared to what I was used, and combined with inexperience made it harder than it should have been.

All in all good saw. It feels a little chintzy compared to my PP, but I can't point to anything wrong. Everything seems durable enough, and it's lighter, so I guess it's a win. I'm happy with it

Offline samandothers

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Re: Which Small Echo Saw?
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2018, 09:16:38 AM »
Hope your future experiences are better.  I have a small CS341, 30cc, and love it for small work.  I enjoy it enough to look at Echo for a 60 cc saw now.  My home owner 45 cc Sthil is not cutting it, literally, for some of my activities now.  I think you will grow to like and enjoy using it. Mine sure is reliable as are my Echo blower and PAS266.

Not to long after I got my home owner Stihl, MS250, I was using it and I could not get the chain to turn.  Got frustrated and stopped using it that day.  I requested my wife take it to the shop the following Monday for the dealer to help sort.  Well when I got home from work she let me know the dealer released the chain brake!  ::)  New fabled gadgets on saws!  :o  I never will forget that, glad she took it in instead of me! What a no brained move.

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Re: Which Small Echo Saw?
« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2018, 11:03:13 AM »
I'm sure it'll be a good saw. The problems I had were self inflicted. The only real complaint I have is the fuel/oil holes are kind of small. I'd like them to be bigger, but I'll manage. The chain brake is kind of weird, and looks like it would be subject to getting crud in it, but I'm not a mechanical engineer. They're confident enough to give it a long warranty. If it had real issues, they'd redesign it.

edit:
I got the 16" bar and chain today. Too warm and wet for cutting, but I'll take it out tomorrow. Also, I'm thinking I'll get a reel of chain, and spin my own. I have two saws and three bars now of the same size, that take different lengths. I wasn't impressed with the price of Chinese chain at homedepot. The localish hardware store spins their own. I'll check their prices first, but it'll probably be better to do it myself.

edit2:
Forgot. No tingling fingers after use either. That was my main mental justification for getting the echo. Medical necessity!

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Re: Which Small Echo Saw?
« Reply #15 on: October 20, 2018, 05:37:42 PM »
 
 I ran over a CS400 with my 11000# tracked skid loader, broke the top handle, bent the bar, ruined the recoil and a small crack on the bottom of the fuel tank which I plastic welded.  Not to bad, still runs great.  These smaller chains throw easy, keep them snug when limbing or cutting brush .Steve
Timberking B20 12000 hours +  Case75xt grapple + forks+8" snow bucket + dirt bucket   770 Oliver   Lots(too many) of chainsaws, Like the Echo saws and the Stihl and Husky     W5  Case loader   1  trailers  Wright sharpener     Dino setter Volvo MCT125c skid loader

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Re: Which Small Echo Saw?
« Reply #16 on: November 27, 2018, 05:22:00 PM »
Small update. Been getting some time in with the cs400, and it's becoming my favorite saw. Starts easily, and cuts very well. After swinging the ms362, the cs400 is a treat to carry, and the 16" bar is a good match for it.

I was using it today to "split" the evergreen(spruce?) I took down a few weeks ago. That wood *does not* want to come apart with mauls, wedges, or axes, but the cs400 goes through it like butter. I'm almost jealous of people that mainly do softwood. I went through two tanks of fuel, and I didn't bother sharpening the chain once. It's still good enough for the next job.

In contrast, I was using my ms362 to rip some gnarly black oak rounds, and it was slooow going. Had to sharpen every tank full, and every cut took forever. Good introduction to chainsaw milling. That's something I'll never do unless I'm out in the sticks, and need to make my own lumber or something. Way too much work. I could have used another 20-40ccs, and maybe a back upgrade  :^D

Offline hopm

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Re: Which Small Echo Saw?
« Reply #17 on: November 27, 2018, 06:28:05 PM »
Good info
I have a echo 590 I have been very pleased with....My pickup saw has been a stilh 250...BUT I ran over it with the tractor today....so I'm in the market

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Re: Which Small Echo Saw?
« Reply #18 on: November 27, 2018, 06:36:36 PM »
If I knew what I know now, I'd have likely gotten a 590 instead of my 362cm. Nothing at all wrong with the Stihl, but the 590 is half the price. I knew almost nothing about saws when I was shopping, and I limited my choices to Stihl and Husqvarna. Too many choices makes things hard, and I knew of those two by reputation. Figured it would be hard to wrong if I stuck with them.

Offline Inaotherlife

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Re: Which Small Echo Saw?
« Reply #19 on: November 27, 2018, 09:49:10 PM »
I just loaded up on a bunch of Echo saws, after only having a single old chainsaw for the past 10 or 15 years.

Got the 490....cheap.
And more recently the 361P at the 20% off sale. So $320 plus tax.
And in between picked up my most indispensable and expensive saw, the PPT-2620..with 4' extension.

The 490 weighs about the same as the 400 but a bit stronger. And the mag case.

The 361P is super lightweight and compact with it's 14" bar, but revs quick and cuts really well. And it has a good solid feel to it.

These make a pretty good one-two punch for my needs.
Just maintenance work and a little firewood now and then.

But recently, I was tempted by a very lightly used Echo CS-800 that was offered for $500 in the local classifieds.
I resisted as I figured it wouldn't get enough use to keep it in shape.
And I'd already made my luxury purchase, the little CS-2511T.
It's a tiny terror. A lot of fun to use, and easy to get in normally hard to reach areas.
And doesn't feel so cumbersome for the occasions when I might be off the ground.

I chalk it up as a combination of want and need.
Work and play.
Entertainment and occupation...even though I don't normally get paid to use them. But they have saved a good deal of money over paying someone else to have all the fun.


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