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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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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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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...:laugh:

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. :dunno:

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 :dunno:
 

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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.:lol:
 

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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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Discussion Starter #10
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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Have a Stihl 251CBE, my number 1 go to saw.

Had one failure in 4 years, the ignition module went out ($98), replaced it myself.
Was kind of pi$$ed by that!

Beats the hell out of my old Homelite Super 2 and big Super XL in speed of cutting.

Recently cut all of this with it, 3 good size trees.
 

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I have Huskys.
I'd agree with having a knowledgeable dealer nearby is more important than brand.

My 11 year old husky 445 developed a gas leak.
easy enough to figure out what was going on via the university of youtube.
Took it apart, went to dealer looking for part, all parts in stock (no waiting for ups or paying for shipping), tech at dealer recommended replacing a few other items while I had it apart.
I was always happy with the way the saw started/ran. Always started on the 3rd pull. Now it starts on the 1st pull.:good2:

I by all my saw stuff and equipment there. Always have stuff in stock and have excellent tech that knows the saw inside and out. Both things are something that the big box stores don't do and can't help with.

Shop at your small local dealers.
 

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I recently replaced my SOB (some other brand) 20 inch with an Echo CS590. Best chainsaw I've ever had. Starts everytime hot or cold, no matter what temperature. Most of my wood is walnut, cherry and ash much larger than the 20" bar. It cuts most of it like butter.
 

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INteresting. I have a Husqvarna 435. It's been in the shop several times under warranty and still doesn't run right. I had picked up one of the DeWalt 40v saws to have as an emergency backup and it's ok for light pruning duty but, as you say, under-powered.

So a month or 2 back I picked up a Stihl 251CBE (aka "Woodboss"). I just used it to cut up a truck load of log-length trees into 8 cords of firewood. It ran awesome. I will say this though, the antikickback chain that comes with the saw is OK but I picked up a "professional" chain off of Amazon for it and the difference is surprising. The saw cut through 24" diameter oak logs like a hot knife through butter.
 

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I could not seem to find the rated horsepower for the Echo anywhere?
I used an 025 Stihl for about 18-19 years as my only saw and it had an 18" bar.
It definitely provided excellent service the whole time but I would never have wanted to go longer than an 18 on it, and once the chain dulled a bit it was stupid to try and continue cutting.

You stated an 18" bar minimum. I feel if you wish to run an 18 or 20 you would do better with a 50cc powerhead and you would still have a nice light weight combination.
If you want to stretch out to 24 or 25 inch I would recommend a 60cc powerhead minimum with a small weight penalty.

You haven't mentioned your budget but it sounds like you may not want to spend pro money and no one could blame you.
I won't belittle any of the brands listed so far and Echo does have a five year warranty but if you already have a small limbing saw and you are going to purchase something new I would not be going to 40cc.
 

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I’ve used both Stihl and Echo. But They’re all old.

The Sthils are an 026 and 038 Mag II. Both run great but can be a little cantankerous to get running when they’ve been sitting.



The echo is my
Dad old 60s. It’s older than me. But it still runs and cuts well. I don’t use it much though because it’s so stinking heavy.



So I’d say go look at both. Hold them and see what feels better. Also how close are the dealers. Just in case you need support.

Most JD places carry Stihl. But that can lead to spending even more money.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

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Have a Stihl 251CBE, my number 1 go to saw.

Had one failure in 4 years, the ignition module went out ($98), replaced it myself.
Was kind of pi$$ed by that!

Beats the hell out of my old Homelite Super 2 and big Super XL in speed of cutting.

Recently cut all of this with it, 3 good size trees.
I like the tool less B/C setup on the CBE models. Never had an issue with it on my Husky 235. Makes dealing with it all, quick and easy.

One thing i wish my MS250 had, is the primer bulb for getting fuel into the system. I think at some point they added them, but mine must be older.
 

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I've had a Stihl MS290 for about 20 years and have never had an issue. I also have a trimmer and back pack leaf blower. I would recommend Stihl to anyone.
 

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I like the tool less B/C setup on the CBE models. Never had an issue with it on my Husky 235. Makes dealing with it all, quick and easy.

One thing i wish my MS250 had, is the primer bulb for getting fuel into the system. I think at some point they added them, but mine must be older.
My MS 251 CBE has the primer bulb, easy start and quick chain adjust.

I do ignore the Stihl official way to start it up.

I have a tie wrap just tight enough to slip over the throttle trigger to give it half throttle.

Hit the primer bulb 10 times, chain brake off go to full choke for 2 pulls, flip it to run position, one more pull and it's up and running.
Slip the tie wrap down the handle out of the way down the handle, vroom, vroom it for about 15 seconds and she'll
idle rock solid till you're ready to cut.

Rest of the day, one pull on run and it will start at idle no problems.

Go by the Stihl method, trying to start cold on idle with the chain brake on and you will flood it over half the time.
Half choke is virtually useless the way it's designed to only work at idle only.
 

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I like the tool less B/C setup on the CBE models. Never had an issue with it on my Husky 235. Makes dealing with it all, quick and easy.

One thing i wish my MS250 had, is the primer bulb for getting fuel into the system. I think at some point they added them, but mine must be older.
My MS 362 R C-M doesn't have one and I bought it last fall. Maybe the home or farm ones have a bulb.

My MS 251 CBE has the primer bulb, easy start and quick chain adjust.

I do ignore the Stihl official way to start it up.

I have a tie wrap just tight enough to slip over the throttle trigger to give it half throttle.

Hit the primer bulb 10 times, chain brake off go to full choke for 2 pulls, flip it to run position, one more pull and it's up and running.
Slip the tie wrap down the handle out of the way down the handle, vroom, vroom it for about 15 seconds and she'll
idle rock solid till you're ready to cut.

Rest of the day, one pull on run and it will start at idle no problems.

Go by the Stihl method, trying to start cold on idle with the chain brake on and you will flood it over half the time.
Half choke is virtually useless the way it's designed to only work at idle only.
I follow the procedure on mine and it has never failed to fire after the 3rd pull with the brake on.

For the OP...

Service local is a bit benefit. There wasn't much for me with Husky which was my second choice. I went Stihl as they sell them at my JD Dealer.
 
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