I have a JD that they gave me when I purchased my 48" walk behind (some promotion they were running to promote their 2 cycle stuff) and I also had a new 2601 Echo at the time. I liked the JD ok but the Echo was my favorite. I just bought a new 260 Echo earlier in the year to replace the 2601 and the JD is a better machine than it in my opinion. Echo sure messed up when they changed to the 260 if you ask me. Over all the JD is all right, just a matter of preference I guess. Main part I do not like is the head, its harder to spool than the Echo and also the oversized guard.