Need a new chain saw. Echo vs Stihl
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    Need a new chain saw. Echo vs Stihl

    I was looking at the Echo CS-400. But I don't want to be underpowered with a smaller engine. Also trying to compare the Stihl MS 250 and MS 251 wood boss.
    The main use would be cutting fallen trees and trying to downsize my brush pile. Want no less than a 18 inch bar and not too heavy. I have been using a battery powered DeWalt 40v chainsaw with a 16" bar. It is underpowered for bigger cutting jobs.

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    SRG
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    Here's my recent chainsaw thread. Ended up with an MS250 (page4+5). Cuts like a beast with the 18" narrow kerf B/C setup.

    Owners of Husqvarna 455 Rancher....

    No info on Echo saws, other than i don't personally care for their on/off and choke switches.
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    My 2 cents

    I have the MS250 which I bought for the exact same reasons you're looking to buy. I have had no issues with the saw. Stihl makes quality equipment. I even used it to level off some large (30" dia.) stumps from when I had a bunch of large trees taken down. No issues with lack of power. I own both Echo and Stihl products and prefer Stihl. Just my 2 cents.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ultra7350 View Post
    I was looking at the Echo CS-400. But I don't want to be underpowered with a smaller engine. Also trying to compare the Stihl MS 250 and MS 251 wood boss.
    The main use would be cutting fallen trees and trying to downsize my brush pile. Want no less than a 18 inch bar and not too heavy. I have been using a battery powered DeWalt 40v chainsaw with a 16" bar. It is underpowered for bigger cutting jobs.
    Are you set on one of those two brands? We have 4 different Husqvarna saws and they have all been awesome. Seriously, 0 issues with any of them. Have owned a couple of them for over 6 years now. A 450 or 460 would be a good fit for what you are wanting to accomplish.
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    Just remember that everyone has their preference with brands as you read the advice...

    In my case, Im a big Husky fan. I like, or at least am used to their angled handles, so Stihls feel odd to me when using.
    Now that thats out of the way, Id also say that most people end up with an undersized saw. Running an 18" bar on a 40cc saw is nowhere near ideal, and regardless of chain size or pitch, its underpowered. 50cc is generally the minimum size for an 18". And even then, some guys wont run it on less than a 60cc.
    That said, my old 55 Rancher has had a 20" 3/8" on it since new, and thats not really recommended anymore either, but it does ok. It is underpowered compared to my other saws, but it gets the job done.
    I guess underpowered is relative too. If you dont mind the extra time it takes to make the cuts, who cares?
    I never knew the 55 was underpowered until I used a higher HP saw.
    There are other things that go into that too, like if you happen to only be cutting softwoods, its less likely to be a big deal, as if you plan to cut hardwoods.
    I run an 18" bar on the 550XP, .325 .050, and its all that saw wants at times. I cant imagine any 40cc saw coming anywhere close to it, as no 50cc saws so, except for the Stihl MS261, but I RARELY cut softwood here. Ash, Oak, Maple, etc.

    To me, the best bang for the buck, hands down, is the Echo CS590 Timberwolf. Tons of power, and at not much more money than the CS400, you get one heck of a saw.
    Were I buying a non-pro level saw today, thats the one Id buy. Matter of fact, before I bought my 562XP, I strongly considered it anyway. It sure would have saved me money, but I really wanted the Autotune of the Husky, and as good as the CS590 is, the 562XP is a MONSTER. Love that thing!

    I know Sthil holds a lot of appeal to lots of guys here because its an easy buy from most Deere dealers, but make darn sure they can actually fix them. The reason I didnt even consider the Stihl MS362 when I bough the Husky 562XP was because my local dealer, while fairly outstanding in my opinion with most 4 stroke engines, had some major issues fixing my neighbors MS270, and even though they had it 3 times, for a total of nearly 2 months, they couldnt seem to find the torn intake boot, even though they replaced the carb. The next shop had it diagnosed and fixed in 2 hours.
    Point being, make sure wherever you buy, and whatever you buy, you can get GOOD and COMPETENT service!

    In addition to all that, I would recommend asking that same question over here: Arboristsite.com

    These guys know saws inside and out, kinda like most of us are with tractors.
    Not to say some here dont, because we have several saw aficionados here, but its just a much larger group much closer related to your question.

    I would also HIGHLY recommend looking at your local classified ads for a good used saw.
    I found my 550XP on Craigslist for half the cost of a new one. It had 5 hours on it (another feature of Autotune or Stihls M-tronic is that they track total hours used, along with a host of other info). You could likely find a good deal there. Speaking of classifieds, the Arboristsite has their own section too, which is where my 562 came from, and it too had very few hours. Looked brand new, cost a couple hundred less than new. Great guys over there like here.
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    I agree on bar size. I have a 346xp with a narrow kerf 18”, and you have to work hard not to overload it in some logs. My ms290 has a 16” std kerf and that’s a better match.

    Unless you are cutting 17” logs regularly about the only thing 18” does is increase the risk of kickbacks due to increased leverage.
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    I never owned or used a Echo.

    Owned a Stihl for 20-25 yrs never a problem, my brother and I would cut 10-15 cords of wood every yr. When I decided to buy a new saw 20+- yrs ago bought a Husqvarna . Except for just spending close to $150 a couple months ago on maintenance and normal wear items not problem.

    IMO can't go wrong with either of those two. as I first said Echo
    Last edited by etcallhome; 06-14-2019 at 09:44 AM.
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    A lot like choosing a tractor, local support is important. I've owned both Stihl and Husqvarna. Currently, there are 3 quality Stihl dealers within 12 miles, and the nearest Husqvarna dealer, which is marginal in service, is 20+ miles away. No Echo dealers around. So, for me, Stihl is a no brainer. I believe that all 3, as well as some others, can fit your bill. But, if getting them worked on competently, or getting parts reasonably, is important- then look at who's local.

    You will find more selection in Stihl and Husqvarna, than with Echo. Lots of model variations to fit your need more perfectly.

    On a personal note, I wouldn't trade 3 Echos, or Husky's, for my Stihl 361.
    Last edited by hodge; 06-14-2019 at 10:08 AM.
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    Between an MS250 or MS251 I would take the MS250 personally. The MS251 isn't a bad saw but emissions is one of the changes. I also don't like just having just one bar nut for some reason.
    I have an 025, the predecessor to the MS250 and its works great. I use it more than my 028 or 036 Pro just because its a good size and good power.
    MS261 is a badass saw but it also comes with a price tag since its a Pro saw.

    I wouldn't get an Echo saw. I don't have much experience with Husky but all the tree guys I deal with every day swear by Stihl.
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    There is a dealer that sells both Stihl and Echo chainsaws just one mile away from the place I work at. I heard that their service department is great and work on just about anything that is small engine related. I guess that is why their business is called "Small engine specialist". I will stop by there today after work to check out both brands of saws.
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