I couldn't tell you anything about echo, but I have had many shindaiwa tools. two 242s, three homepros, a backpack blower, an edger, hedge trimmers, two sprayers and a spreader. I really like shindaiwa. I only had trouble with the first 242. the splines on the end of the driveshaft closest to the motor stripped. Since then shindaiwa has changed the design of the shaft. No other issues other than wearing out string trimmer heads. Just this week I took an old homepro and the oldest 242 which I had retired out of the garage, poured gas in them and they fired right up. I may put the parts back on them that I had scavenged for my other trimmers and start useing them again. I also have a c4 edger that I bought unseen off of ebay. It was used. When it arrived I took it out of the box and poured gas in it. It fired on the first pull. I have a Stihl fs100 trimmer and a Redmax 2450 or something like that. I never use them much. My first choice would be Shindaiwa.