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Chainsaw Stihl vs. Echo

watatrp

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
South Bend, IN
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

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
ga
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

LawnSite Bronze Member
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

LawnSite Member
Nosmo said:
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

LawnSite Member
Location
atlanta
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

LawnSite Member
Location
Va.
jetmecanic said:
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

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
ga
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

LawnSite Member
Location
atlanta
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

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Hudson Florida
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

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
MI
I'd go stihl over echo, but what about a jonsered? Claim to be better than stihl, better balanced.
 
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