Echo vs Stihl

Gareth's Tree

Active Member
Right off the bat let me say that I am currently running all Stihl saws. And I have no complaints with them. However I was wondering if someone has objective information on the quality differences between Stihl and Echo. I don't want to hear that Echo is junk because you don't like them, or because you had one once that didn't run right on three year old gas! I'm more interested in quality of materials used in construction, ability to hold up in a professional use environment. And in a comparison of the general build quality, longevity, and performance of the engine. As well as the overall fit and finish of the saw.
 

JeffGu

Well-Known Member
I don't want to hear that Echo is junk because you don't like them, or because you had one once that didn't run right on three year old gas!
That's the problem, right there... Brand Loyalty Blindness!

chainsaw-lineup2.jpg

All I can say is, try an Echo. Most of my saws are Stihl but by the end of next year I believe it will be about half-and-half. Well, and the one Dolmar.
There are things that I think Stihl does better at, and things I think Echo does a little better at, but they're both fine saws in my opinion.
I've only ever owned one Husqvarna saw... years ago. Never was my favorite saw, but it most certainly was not a "piece of shit"... it was a very good saw. I just like the Stihl saws better. And lately, I'm finding that I like most of the Echo saws, too. There are certain Stihl models that you'll never see in my garage. I wouldn't call them shit, but they aren't up to my standards for a work saw. I definitely know what you're talking about, the way people badmouth an entire brand because cousin Bubba had one that broke when he dropped it off the ladder onto concrete, and now all that company's products are suddenly a "piece of shit" henceforth.

[pic is of most recent saw purchases on saw cleaning day]
 

DTS

Well-Known Member
I started using all stihl when I first started probably cause everyone else I knew was over the years I've switched ground saws to huskys and some stihl. Climbing saws have always been 200t's and now I run a modded 150 which I love and use 90% of the time when I'm in a tree. I've heard good reviews on the Echo 355t so I pulled the trigger and just ordered one from sherrill tree $349 shipped can't really go to wrong there. Will be here tomorrow so it'll be my first echo to date.
 

Gareth's Tree

Active Member
I've heard good reviews on the Echo 355t so I pulled the trigger and just ordered one from sherrill tree $349 shipped can't really go to wrong there. Will be here tomorrow so it'll be my first echo to date.
That's cool, so you could give a first impression comparison to a 200t. Also, something that may save you a headache... My brother had an echo 360t, and until we took the carb off and remove the limiters on the adjustment screws, we could not get it to run right. Even after taking it back to the dealer several times and them telling us everything was as it should be. Once we did that, and were able to richen up the mixture some, it ran quite well.
 

Jeff

Well-Known Member
There are things that I think Stihl does better at, and things I think Echo does a little better
I'm a big Stihl fan, but I try to keep an open mind. (Ignore my wife's hysterical laughter in the background.) Can you please elaborate on what things Echo does better? In my very limited experiences with Echo chainsaws, they fall short in every category except price.
 

JeffGu

Well-Known Member
Price is the big one... but they have a few saws that I thought were just stronger and easier to start than the Stihl equivalent model. I have the MS-150TC and the CS-271T which are equivalent models, and the Echo has noticeably more power, uses 3/8 Picco chain instead of the little 1/4 Picco one. As the wood gets bigger, the Echo digs in and gets through it quicker. The Stihl, however, is more nimble, thinner kerf and really flies through the little stuff with speed and finesse. I like them both, but on removals I prefer the Echo, and think the Stihl will definitely be my preferred saw on prunes. They're both pretty new, so time will tell. I've been hammering them both pretty hard these last few days.

I have an MS-261C-MQ and a CS-590 and prefer the Stihl in the tree, but like the Echo better on the ground... something about the balance and feel of them. I'd have to admit though, with those ones... the Echo is just very good for the price. If they were the same price, I'd buy the Stihl every time, because it's slim profile gives me less trouble if I have to haul it up into the tree.

I was renting an HT-131 pole pruner and decided to buy one. My dealer carries both Stihl and Echo, and let me play with them both. I came away with the Echo PPT-280 because it starts easier, real good power and is two feet longer. About the same price. I got a 4' extension for it, too. Again, it just feels better, to me.

Sometimes this stuff is just subtle. Sometimes, it comes down to the money... you buy an Echo for a backup, and end up liking it a lot more than you thought you would. Like you, I have a preference for the Stihl saws, but I'm willing to try anything. There's a lot of good saws out there.
 

Boomslang

Well-Known Member
The one thing I consistently hear Echo buyers rave about is the warranty. Its by far the best in the industry.
 

DTS

Well-Known Member
JeffGu you mentioned the 271 has more power then the 150 are they both stock? The 150 wasn't impressive to i did some small mods then it waked right up it really excels as a pruning saw. Like the small bar and chain for fine pruning.
 

JeffGu

Well-Known Member
...is the warranty. Its by far the best in the industry.
Thanks @Boomslang... I forgot to even mention it!

...are they both stock?
No, the 150 is Snellerized and the Echo has muffler mod and retune. The Stihl engine is about 24cc and the Echo engine is about 27cc and that accounts for the difference.
The Echo is about 6.6 lbs. dry weight for the power head, and the Stihl is about 5.7 lbs. dry weight for the power head.

The differences are going to be a matter of personal preferences, and center around what it is you want from a pruning saw. I can see nothing about either saw that tells me one is made any better than the other, and I certainly haven't had either one long enough to tell from experience. My personal opinion is that these are both great little saws, but there are people who are going to expect them to perform like a much bigger Husky or Shihl, and complain that they're all crap.
 

fordf150

Member
get more specific on what size or price range saws your trying to compare. Echo vs Stihl vs Jred vs Husky vs Dolly is such a broad question that its hard to answer.

Pole saws=Echo is hands down the winner every time. This one isnt up for debate to me.

Best value= Echo/Dolmar in 75% of the classes.

Best value isnt necessarily what you want as a pro, but on the homeowner/firewood side that is a big plus.
 
Does the echo warranty extend to commercial arborists? It used to be a 5 year homeowner warranty. It could have changed or maybe I misunderstood something.
 

Boomslang

Well-Known Member
Does the echo warranty extend to commercial arborists? It used to be a 5 year homeowner warranty. It could have changed or maybe I misunderstood something.
2 year commercial warranty, which is 4x longer than the big guys. I think Husky and Stihl only offer 6 months.
 

fordf150

Member
Does the echo warranty extend to commercial arborists? It used to be a 5 year homeowner warranty. It could have changed or maybe I misunderstood something.

2 year commercial warranty, which is 4x longer than the big guys. I think Husky and Stihl only offer 6 months.
stihl is 90 days, husky/jred is 1 year, dolmar 2 years, echo chainsaws are 1 year/trimmers,blowers ect are 2 year

that is the commercial warranty period.

consumer warranty gets complicated.
dolmar= 2 years
echo= 5 years
stihl, jred, husky varies depending on if you buy their oil or premix gas when you buy the equipment.
 

Gareth's Tree

Active Member
get more specific on what size or price range saws your trying to compare. Echo vs Stihl vs Jred vs Husky vs Dolly is such a broad question that its hard to answer.
I only run the Stihl Professional Series saws, so I would be comparing to whatever Echo considers professional saws. I don't know if Echo actually has saws they consider professional or homeowner. If they do it is not as clear-cut as Stihl.
 

fordf150

Member
I only run the Stihl Professional Series saws, so I would be comparing to whatever Echo considers professional saws. I don't know if Echo actually has saws they consider professional or homeowner. If they do it is not as clear-cut as Stihl.
a little better.

192=270T
201T=355T
241=490
261=????
362=620PW

personally i wouldnt really compare the bigger models unless your after savings/value and dont mind losing some performance in the process. pick the models/size your interested in most and i will go in depth a little more. It is not quite a clear cut case of saws being equal with echo compared to the others. notice i compared the 241 to a 490 echo...roughly equal in power IMHO, roughly equal in weight, stihl wins the fit/finish hands down but the echo is $200 cheaper so you can put up with allot of rough edges for that price difference.
 

Gareth's Tree

Active Member
a little better.

192=270T
201T=355T
241=490
261=????
362=620PW

personally i wouldnt really compare the bigger models unless your after savings/value and dont mind losing some performance in the process. pick the models/size your interested in most and i will go in depth a little more. It is not quite a clear cut case of saws being equal with echo compared to the others. notice i compared the 241 to a 490 echo...roughly equal in power IMHO, roughly equal in weight, stihl wins the fit/finish hands down but the echo is $200 cheaper so you can put up with allot of rough edges for that price difference.
Well, right now we run a: 200t, 261, 460, and a 660. (And an old 026:)) The most used (and all-around favorite) of the bunch is 261. Of course, I noticed that you weren't exactly sure which Echo model to compare to the 261... Otherwise I guess maybe also comparing the 200t to the echo 355. If there is a significant cost savings, what is the trade-off?
 

fordf150

Member
200/201 compared to a 355 is one of those cases where you can end up with 95% of the saw for 50% of the money.

Similar power, similar weight.

Personally I think the echo is more comfortable to use and has a slightly better filter system. It is odd to use left handed though because of the contoured handle.

Echo is a clamshell saw versus the better (in my opinion and many others) mag case of the stihl.

Echo has tiny fuel/oil caps that make fill ups a pain and almost impossible with gloves on.

Biggest plus

You can buy 2 echos for the price of one stihl
 

fordf150

Member
261....I don't think echo has anything that can compare. Everything echo has that is comparable power wise is bigger and heavier, everything that is the same weight/size is under powered compared to a 261.

460/461 would compare to a 800 echo in cc but that is about it. Echo will be under powered and heavy but have the addition of a manual oiler, save a couple hundred (maybe even $300 with a good echo dealer and including a long bar).

660 has no echo counterpart to compare to.

Quality wise I don't think you can go wrong with echo, they are bullet proof for the most part, been selling them 5 years without a single warranty claim, they are the least worked on unit that I see in my shop and the ones I do work on are at least 5 years old but to be fair I have nobody cutting timber with them or trimming trees with them other than the 355t. Lots of landscapers use the trimmers and blowers though
 

fordf150

Member
Thank you for all the good info! So there isn't really an Echo that matches the 261? Does Echo consider some of their saws professional, or homeowner?
Echo claims they are all pro grade.... They base that on EPA emissions testing versus the more common construction techniques that most others use.

Example if you don't know what I'm talking about is,

Stihl considers them pro if they have mag cases. Their pro saws are EPA rated for 300 hours. Homeowner saws IIRC are only rated for 50-100 hours and are clamshell engines.

Echo has all their stuff certified for 300 hours no matter if it is clam shell or mag cased
 
Top