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View Full Version : Chainsaw Stihl vs. Echo


watatrp
10-12-2005, 06:52 AM
I am in the market for a 18" chainsaw. Have narrowed it down to Stihl or Echo. My dealer sells both. He says Stihl is good but he owns 3 echo chainsaws. I don't have a problem with echo products. He claims that the Echo's are slightly lighter and easier to handle. Does anyone have any pros or cons to either one?

nmurph
10-12-2005, 08:02 AM
i can't speak to the echos, but i have a ms 310 that is bulletproof. it is a beast of a saw. my brother has an 026 that has in the neighborhood of 400 running-hrs of use in clearing woods here in the south. it has seen more than its fair share of abuse and it has never called in sick. just change the bars and chains and it keeps running!!!!!!!

Nosmo
10-12-2005, 09:03 AM
I have a Stihl MS250C it is a 16" and it is very dependable. Starts easily and cuts well.

What I was going to tell you is this. If you do decide on a Stihl I would recommend the models with the thumb adjustment for the chain tension. It is great if you are in the woods cutting or in a yard and need to tighten the tension. You don't have to go to the truck or elsewhere to get a wrench. It was the best $10.00 more I have spent on a chainsaw.

Nosmo

Cigarcop
10-12-2005, 09:10 AM
[QUOTE=Nosmo]I have a Stihl MS250C it is a 16" and it is very dependable. Starts easily and cuts well.

I have two 026's bought both new, and I can honestly say they don't start easily, never have and I don't think they ever will. Thats my only complaint with Stihl.

jetmecanic
10-12-2005, 11:31 AM
watatrp
Stay away from the odd number Stihls for commercial work. They are homeowner quality saws. Echos are good saws for the most part. If you can find a good used Stihl 026 you have a saw for life.

bill w
10-12-2005, 11:52 AM
watatrp
Stay away from the odd number Stihls for commercial work. They are homeowner quality saws. Echos are good saws for the most part. If you can find a good used Stihl 026 you have a saw for life.

I wouldn't exactly say that...the MS361 is a pro level saw. Most of the rest of the line-up ends in 0, making all even numbers.

Echo has always made a dependable saw. What your dealer says about ease of handling is important, but it is also a personal thing. If he won't let you demo both brands, at least pick both up and see how they feel.

nmurph
10-12-2005, 12:04 PM
i have never had a problem with either the 026 or the 310 starting. if you follow the directions in the manual they will start in 4-5 pulls from cold. as far as what size to buy, the 026 (260 now) is a great all around saw. it may be a little underpowered if you will be felling many trees above the 12-16" range. the occassional tree of this size is fine. the 310 is heavier, but it has a good bit more umph when you are in larger trees. the difference is kind of like the difference between a 125cc motorcrosser and an open class bike. you can hear the difference the second you crank them. the 026 is fine for slicing and dicing. it has a lot of power for its weight. the 310 has the kind of power that just won't be denied. you need to decide what the primary use will be, what your budget is, and is the extra weight worth the power increase. we work clearing trees over larger acreages (20-40). there aren't many large trees to cut. so, the lighter weight wins out most of the time over the loss of power. btw, the 310 weighs about 3 lbs more. not a great deal when the truck is 100 yards away, but it feels like a ton when you are 1000 yards away and the temp is 100 degrees.

jetmecanic
10-12-2005, 12:48 PM
Let me clarify my comment. The old way of numbering was 2 digits, the odd last number denoting a homeowner type saw. the new is 3 and the second number in the series being odd denotes a homeowner type saw. Dont get me wrong any Stihl is a good saw, just the even numbers are considered pro saws.

Lawn Masters
10-12-2005, 01:48 PM
Go with an MS260, those are dependable machines with good power and low weight. an MS250 may be close in power, but wont last as long. I run an older 024, same as the 260, except its a smaller engine size, but most parts are interchangable with the exception of cylinder, piston and con rod.

BryPaulD
10-12-2005, 04:25 PM
I'd go stihl over echo, but what about a jonsered? Claim to be better than stihl, better balanced.

mkwl
10-12-2005, 04:30 PM
I have a Stihl MS250C it is a 16" and it is very dependable. Starts easily and cuts well.

What I was going to tell you is this. If you do decide on a Stihl I would recommend the models with the thumb adjustment for the chain tension. It is great if you are in the woods cutting or in a yard and need to tighten the tension. You don't have to go to the truck or elsewhere to get a wrench. It was the best $10.00 more I have spent on a chainsaw.

Nosmo

I've got the same chainsaw, and I love it!!! Stihl is known for their chainsaws, Echo ISN'T!

lawnmaniac883
10-12-2005, 04:57 PM
Stihl all the way. They damn near invented the chainsaw, perfected it anyway.

bill w
10-12-2005, 05:06 PM
By the way, for an 18" chainsaw I'd get at least a 55cc powerhead.

climber
10-12-2005, 05:46 PM
This all depends on how much usage its gonna get. In my line of work which is every day we use husky and they are so good to me. But if it going to be used every day the stihl 026 is nice but pricy. Then for the occasional few times a week the echo cs520 is nice. And the lenght of time your going to have your saw is do on how you take care of it. But it looks like you should get the echo because its a hardy and will run for you just treat it right. But I did like the guy who said "how about jonsered" I have a 2152 that rips Lol thats only if your can get it.:laugh:

Brianslawn
10-12-2005, 06:49 PM
how bout a little overkill with the 088 and a 36" bar

jetmecanic
10-12-2005, 07:23 PM
As far as Jonsereds they are owned by the same company(Electorolux) that is Husqvarna and Poulan. Most of the Jonsereds mimic the same size Husky and are very good saws.

Precision
10-12-2005, 08:40 PM
I own both echo and Stihl.

I bought the echo 300 (now the 301) when money was tight and I needed to do limbing.

When I needed a big saw (damn hurricanes) I didn't even ask about the echo's straight to Stihl 20" on a 290. If that saw won't cut it then I have no business cutting it.

My echo keeps breaking, just little stuff, but enough to have to get fixed at the dealer, so my new limbing saw is the Stihl 192. Great saw, lots of power for a limber, very light. I would like it to have a bigger gas tank but that would make it heavier, so I guess I will go with less fatigue and the break a little more frequently.

From now on all saws that will see real use will be Stihl.

Gilla Gorilla
10-12-2005, 08:57 PM
I am bias towards Stihl also. I have a 260 and love that thing, just keep a file in your truck and keep that chain nice and sharp. It cuts everything that I have needed to cut. I work with a buddy of mine a couple of times a year that has a tree removal business and get my hands on his 660 magnum. Man is that one hell of a saw with a 30" bar. But boy do you feel it at the end of the day. Last year he just sat in his Bobcat letting me cut some 24" to 32" diameter logs with the 660 then he would load them up. I know he was just laughing inside about how tired and sore I would be at the end of the day from running that heavy ol saw.

I think if you are doing occasional use the 260 will be a great saw for you and like I said keep the chain sharp and have a extra chain with you always.

Teff's Lawn & Snow
10-12-2005, 09:31 PM
Go with the Stihl, we have had nothing but good luck with all of our Stihl chainsaws.

TriCountyLawn
10-12-2005, 09:53 PM
I use all Echo power tools but.....but.....The only chainsaw for me is a Stihl

Envy Lawn Service
10-12-2005, 10:54 PM
Stihl is known for their chainsaws, Echo ISN'T!

That's right...
Nuff said. PERIOD!


Oh and by the way, don't waste your money on Husqvarna saws.
As someone else said, they are now owned by Electrolux...
Nowhere near the quality of saw they once were.
I know... I have one.

" IF " you can get it to start, by then you are too tired to use it or endure the other bugs.


Stihl is now the ONLY name in chain saws.

tacoma200
10-13-2005, 12:26 AM
I have never had a Stihl product in the shop. And I own several.

dcplace2004
10-13-2005, 01:03 AM
period...redmax, stihl, shindy, anything but echo...all new stuff is junk nowadays, but echo is putting the icing on it...go Stihl if echo is the other choice...

climber
10-13-2005, 06:30 PM
If you think that Electorolux is bad then ask stihl why they put it in their saws. Hmm do your research before you talk bad about it. Echo is a nice saw there for if you take care of it. And I see must tree cares using ms200t (stihl) in the tree, but husky ground saws. So go figure.

Lawn Masters
10-13-2005, 06:51 PM
Just because Husky is owned by Elux, doesnt make their saws crap. I run a husky 268xp in jonsered colors, and I swear, its the most powerful thing short of running an 088 I've had to date.

on the saws you just keep pulling on, you're thinking poulan, which IS crap.

rick2752
10-13-2005, 07:53 PM
Stihl all the way!! If you cant start a stihl either you dont know how(there is a small trick) or it needs tuned up. Never had a problem, hell I got a 20yr old 041 and it still starts on about 4th pull just like a new one.

Gnyus
10-13-2005, 08:51 PM
My dad own a 100 acre forests with 50% soft wood and 50% hard wood (mostly maple, we have a sugar shack:D ) Our chain saws are a small stihl 017 for soft wood and a big commercial Jonsered 80cc turbo for hardwood. Althought it is a homeowner chainsaw the stihl has well over 500 hours and still work top notch! The 6k lbs John Deere 4600 with 3.5k lbs trailer full of wood :cool2: even run over it twice after it falled from the bucket :S and it survived :dizzy:
Stihl makes excellent chainsaw, you can rely on

Hope this helps

dcplace2004
10-15-2005, 02:07 AM
I owned an echo trimmer, and it was problematic...I owned an echo blower, and it was problematic...

jameson
10-15-2005, 11:25 AM
I have a used and abused Stihl 026 must be going on 7+ yrs now. Great saw, good power for light and med. jobs, tough start though. Never seen down time @ the dealers shop either.

James

Likestomow
10-15-2005, 12:28 PM
Stihl all the way!! If you cant start a stihl either you dont know how(there is a small trick) or it needs tuned up....

okay, I'll bite... what is the trick?

lugnut#6
10-15-2005, 12:38 PM
after Katrina,i bought a 20" and 16" echo....after 2hours of use the 16 is in the shop for some lil metal Peace that caught the chain and was torn apart.
my dad bought a stihl AV031 after Fredric in 1979.still starts before the 3rd pull.

dcplace2004
10-15-2005, 01:25 PM
If Echo ever put good quality stuff, it must have been years ago...I tried to take some huge hedges down and had to stop the job cause the echo undependable crap broke...buy Echo and you are supporting a company that produces shoddy worksmanship...THEY LOVE YOU FOR IT--well, the CEOs do...

climber
10-15-2005, 02:25 PM
Ok this is how it is. Im in tree care and run echo top handle just because I dont like dropping $500 ms200t out of the tree. I have an echo 300, its 3 years old and starts in 2 pulls. And that saw bangs off the tree all the time and hasnt been in the shop yet. If you think echo is crap its because you treat your stuff like crap which returns to treat you like crap. And maybe the fact that you may want to clean your air filters, changing plugs, etc. If you treat it right it will treat you right. But I still love my 338XPT's.

rick2752
10-15-2005, 03:51 PM
Turn the kill switch to on. Set the throttle lock. Full choke, pull until the saw hits the first time, take the choke off and it will start within a few pulls. I know it sounds wierd but if you dont do it this way I have had problems starting to. If it doesnt start take it for a tune up it should!!

watatrp
10-15-2005, 11:00 PM
Thanks for all the info guys. The info has been invaluable. I must say that all my lawn equipment, trimmers, blowers and hedge trimmers are all echo. My first blower 18 years old is still in use everyday. I've decided on a MS250 Stihl for my use. I need it to cut enough wood for the winter for my home. Cost will be $309. My dealer told me the MS260 would be $500. I couldn't have made a decision without all these answers. Thanks again.

bill w
10-16-2005, 08:06 AM
Did you get the 18" bar?

Nosmo
10-16-2005, 08:36 AM
For personal use the MS250 is a good saw . It will cut all the wood you will need for yourself.

I hadn't used mine since May this year. Went out one day last week and it started on the third pull. Normal is 2 pulls.
First with full choke to get a pop. Second with half choke and it usually fires right up when cold.

Enjoy your woodcutting.

Nosmo

VanceTrendov
10-16-2005, 11:32 AM
I have had 3 stihl chain saws 250, 310, and 200t. Never a problem with any of them. Like someone else said if you do what the manual says you will not have a problem starting. My friend on the other hand just sold 3 of his echo chain saws on ebay. Not one of them was working. Some of them had broken handle (yes 2 of them), and the other one just wouldn't start? He had them for about 1 year and but very little hours on them. Echo sucks.

bill w
10-16-2005, 12:19 PM
I have had 3 stihl chain saws 250, 310, and 200t. Never a problem with any of them. Like someone else said if you do what the manual says you will not have a problem starting. My friend on the other hand just sold 3 of his echo chain saws on ebay. Not one of them was working. Some of them had broken handle (yes 2 of them), and the other one just wouldn't start? He had them for about 1 year and but very little hours on them. Echo sucks.

Some people would break an anvil with a rubber hammer. I can not imagine a broken handle with normal use. I have seen broken low hour Stihls caused by user abuse also.

climber
10-16-2005, 04:27 PM
I have had 3 stihl chain saws 250, 310, and 200t. Never a problem with any of them. Like someone else said if you do what the manual says you will not have a problem starting. My friend on the other hand just sold 3 of his echo chain saws on ebay. Not one of them was working. Some of them had broken handle (yes 2 of them), and the other one just wouldn't start? He had them for about 1 year and but very little hours on them. Echo sucks.
You think echos are a joke because your friend probably does not know how to use a chainsaw. And their handles broke lol what did he do smash em' with a sledge hammer. I dropped my echo out of a tree 3 time and it still runs like a champ.

Ever Green
10-16-2005, 04:42 PM
I had the big echo with the 20" bar and had nothing but trouble with it. The manual oiler hose kept coming off and dumping oil everywhere. To solve this I had to take it apart...in the woods...in the cold...1/2 hour down time...took it back to my dealer, who also does Husky, and got myself a 372 XP...awesome saw...stay away from echo. They run less RPM...so they claim 350 commercial hours...just not a good saw...Husky or Stihl, if your looking for a serious machine