Echo-Kioritz is an established Japanese manufacturer famous for their quality 2-stroke equipment. In 2007 after Kioritz (Echo) and Shindaiwa alliance, they became Yamabiko Corp. which continues to produces Echo and Shindaiwa saw engines within Japan. Yes the parent company is Japan which manufactures saws outside US under the Echo brand, but Echo is assembled mostly in Illinois. Interesting thing about Echo is that sometimes they pass through Illinois on their way to other countries. As far as I know, they do not out source production to China.
You don’t hear it mentioned anywhere too much, but 20 years ago Shindaiwa was the official saw at the International Society of Arboriculture (today it is Husqvarna). Although you couldn’t get Shindaiwa past the EPA regulations in the US but I found that Echo is made on Shindaiwa machines by American manufacturers.
So they have been around for decades but people have a very little interest in them as their marketing sucks. Many people just didn’t know what they were.
If anybody like to ask for opinion on the general design of the Echo saw, their build quality, what’s best about them, what is lacking and can be improved, read this article.
Anyhow, I know most of us never give any second attention to the name “ECHO” and immediately dismiss it. Many people find it hard to understand why anyone wants to buy an Echo saw. They think Echo is an arrogant brand, or client service is low list for Echo.
But now I think Echo is the new age of saws. The new gen Echo’s are a whole different ballgame than the old saws. The new Echo’s are first rate saws when compared to everything else that sells now. EPA is the thing that keeps them from performing as they should. If you disassemble many saws from many manufacturers, then you would realise that these saws are equally well built.
It’s hard for Echo haters to stand by any of their production. Their trouble is totally brand hate. Its one thing to bad mouth a specific model of saw when the experience was not sweet enough but degrading an entire product line without ever picking up or using the model(s) is not justified. You can see pro’s not bashing any brand because they would like to have some of all of them. Folks would call them all junk for sure; when most likely someone had problems right to start with as they did not adjust the carb properly or straight gassed it. You should not be pissed off by an operator who is learning how to setup the saw for first time use.
As per my experience Echo builds very conservative saws that last a long time. Echo saws cut good cc for cc with their competitors and blow many of them away, no matter if they are Stihl or Husqvarna. Like any other brand, Echo makes some really nice stuff that represents cream of their crop, some average performers, and a few that are pathetically underpowered. But you can never ever bad mouth their entire product line. I would be happy to place it against other brands out there cord for cord. If there is a defect, I am sure it does not speak for all the models off the line. Every manufacturer including the Big S has had a defect now and then.
Echo hasn’t fallen to the level of some of the others, but in recent years they have reduced their build quality. I’m not trying to say they’re not well built, but it’s no fairer to compare them with their ancestors. Don’t forget to mention Stihl and Husky, same thing more plastic and less metal. But that’s the story with almost all the companies out there. Just remember that Echo makes some really nice stuff that’s built like a tank and is a runner.
Many of their saws are good compared to all other brands but they had more to give power-wise. Overall Echo is a little behind in engine technology. They also have a very restrictive muffler. But I would also say that many people perhaps do not understand our desire for performance. Echo still left a lot on the table though.
All I can go off of is experience, never purchased one replacement part that was not a regular wear item. Great product and bargain for the value. Even with the cost of modifications they are a great bargain. You could get a 60cc Echo (with compression increase, custom muffler, modified and tuned) for around $600. I think that’s hard to beat. Also the Five year warranty will leave a grin on your face whenever something goes wrong.
Many dealers steer their customers to Echo as they think they just make more sense for most people, whether homeowner or pros. I agree some models may be freshly painted antiques but, they still cut wood well and no other manufacturer can touch their price. When Echo releases their best-sellers (CS-500p and CS-600p) on 65-70 cc platforms the Swedes and Germans will notice!! So, if you are not a brand snob, you will like them.
In the end, from the reviews of many experts and professionals, I conclude that Echo runs when everything else quits, always been that way. I know some of this is second hand info I’m passing along but you would hear good and bad about them and that’s the case with all other brands as well. Everyone has had a nightmare saw or saws in their life; we read them all the time!
I would buy any brand of saw as long as it does what I need it to do and it starts easy! (I did pull the caps though).
One main issue with Echo is their policy of not publicising power numbers. They hide the HP ratings from consumers, or sometimes show them in KW figures which give inflated results. You cannot find such ratings for Echo chainsaws anywhere, neither they are present with dealers, nor they are present on the company’s website. While they (Echo) won’t disclose the HP ratings, you can’t compare the specs they put out (or more accurately refuse to put out). That’s a big problem.
The entire Echo’s range, I have run and worked on have been well made. But some of the top line Echo chainsaws are equally pricy as pro grade Stihls. Another big problem.
Some people also complain about faulty oiler on Echo saws. But that’s not really true. Many others are very stingy with the oil. However, they seem to get the job done. If any saw doesn’t put out enough oil it would be because of the EPA and for sure would have nothing to do with the build quality. You need to get it adjusted properly before the first use.
I always found out about the dealer network, that’s an important activity before buying on brand new saws. A good dealer shop nearby proves very convenient for warranties and buying the spare parts, besides the initial sale.
Echo has always been a reputed manufacturer of quality saws/engines. Many times they just have a crappy dealer network. I think that’s one of the main reasons why nobody knows Echo. That varies too widely; and that gives companies a lot of wiggle room to deny claims. Some dealers say they have got nothing against Echo equipment but they don’t like the way they are dealt with by the Echo management. They help some and screw over others. It’s like if they don’t support the dealers, dealers won’t support their products. But there also seems to be a lot more good reports on how Echo treats their dealers.
Even if you have found a dealer in your area then let me clear some more doubts. Many people claim warranty issues with Echo saws. If a sawyer cannot his product repaired under warranty by the dealer then he would rarely buy their product again and recommend others to stay away. And that’s bad word-of-mouth for the brand. Although besides with saws, I bet most guys around here void the warranty within minutes of getting it home (mods, tuning, muffler re-adjustments), so the point is moot.
But still as far as I know, warranty issues as far as Echo goes are non-existent in many areas. Many dealers claim that they provide the best product support both before and after the sale of their products.
In the end it depends a lot on the dealer-distributor relationship. Anyone who has ever had a bad Echo warranty experience must have had a dealer who really pissed of his tech guy at the distributor or was on probation for repetitive warranty fraud or junk warranty claims. Elite dealers don’t even need approvals for short-blocks or minor replacements. So, it might be cool if you know a dealer who has healthy relations with Echo. But at last, with every company some dealers suck while some are great. So nothing much to worry about once you find someone as there are a ton of good reports as well for the same Echo.
These days’ warranties aren’t even worth the paper they’re printed on. That’s the harsh reality of most brands. Too many of them frustrate the heck out of you so you will go away. In the end dealers play a very important part and good dealers are priceless but, if the manufacturer is a slime ball it doesn’t matter what the dealer does.
If you need parts Echo will be cheaper. OEM Echo parts cost half as compared to OEM Stihl parts, no matter if you purchase them from local dealers or some website online.
But I would be impressed if Echo improves their service in few locations. Many people are reluctant to buy Echo saws because their spare parts are hard to find sometimes. Their parts distribution network is pathetic in some areas. It feels ecstatic when people quickly get air filters, clutch covers, mufflers for their Husqvarna or Stihl, and hence they spread the word. I don’t expect the dealers in the city to stock a ton of parts but they should be able to get them in 24 hrs.
Earlier I would recommend always looking for an Echo dealer around before going for any of the Echo saws. But these days Echo OEM parts can be picked up online and shipped right to your house. So nothing much left to bother about.
After discussing the brand in general, let’s have a look on their product line-up. Some of the newer Echo offerings are mediocre, some are a tad “weak”, others strong contenders. I was wondering about the 80cc range, seems to me they could gulf up a big market share. The CS-8000 which is hanging strong at 80 cc’s is the only model for that range in the Echo line-up.
The CS-670 and the 800 have low power-to-weight ratio. Those who loaned out their CS-6700 don’t even care if it comes back!
I had nice results with the 600P though that I’ve had my eye on for some time. Apparently that saw appears to be a “home-owner” version in Echo’s newer line-up. But with actual operation CS-600p seems pretty impressive from PRO point of view also.
Great work as usual, but I have to admit that little CS-450 are pretty impressive too. As for the CS-400, one of my friends repetitively bucked a 15″ diameter thick log of firewood with that little sucker. It took some time but it did it, and kept on asking for more. So, the Echo engines do seem to be solid workers.
Pound for pound the 500 series is the hands down winner for Echo. All the three models, CS-500, CS-510 and CS-520 are about the same deal and are real warriors.
Also my little CS-360T does not develop a “death-clatter”, even when I’m running the piss out of it every day. So far it’s just been dead solid reliable, with zero issues anyplace. It’s been in service at least 3 years, and honestly, I run it several times a week without any special treatment. It’s a very powerful saw, and fast. Last year I ran the saw almost continuously for two days, as the trees had thousands of limbs on them. The little 360T started appearing bulky but it never grumbled once.
In any case I think you should take a closer look at Echo. Very impressive stuff guys!! Below I have charted some of their all-time best-sellers. Have a look to make a fast decision.
|Product Name||Echo CS-310||Echo CS-330T||Echo CS-370||Echo CS-400||Echo CS-450||Echo CS-600P|
|Weight (lbs.)||8.8 lbs.||8.1 lbs.||10 lbs.||10.1 lbs.||11.2 lbs.||13 lbs.|
|Average Length||29.6 in||24.75 in||15.5 in||29 in||15.7 in||17.6 in|
|Tank Capacity (fuel)||0.25 L||0.31 L||0.41 L||0.41 L||0.33 L||0.56 L|
|Engine||30.5 cc||32.6 cc||36.3 cc||40.2 cc||45 cc||59.8 cc|
|Automatic Oil Pump|
|Level Indicator (oil)||NO||NO||NO||NO||NO||NO|
|Maximum cut diameter||28 in||28 in||32 in||36 in||40 in||40 in|