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Echo CS-400 Chain Options

Discussion in 'Chainsaw' started by GitWood, Nov 18, 2011.

  1. GitWood

    GitWood ArboristSite Member

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    I just bought an Echo CS-400 saw for my dad. This seems to be a nice little saw. Starts very easily and runs great. It is not a high end screamer, but seems to have plenty of torque, which brings me to my question. The factory safety chain has to go. I was going to refit it with 63PMC and see how much better that is, but before I do, I wanted to research other options. Specifically, has anyone here ever tried .325 narrow kerf on a CS-400? If so, how does it work, and how do I find the correct sprocket? I don't think that it would be hard to find the right bar, but don't know if there is a .325 sprocket that will fit the saw. Any advice?
     
  2. mountainlake

    mountainlake Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Stay with the 3/8 nk 6 tooth setup, .325 7 tooth will slow your cutting speed a bunch. I just grind the safety humps off on the bench grinder and take the rakers down a bit as they are too high or buy a non safety chain. Steve
     
  3. brokenbudget

    brokenbudget Addicted to ArboristSite

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    i tried to stay with the nk chain but after trying out the 91vxl regular 3/8 lp i am hooked. the saw pulls it no probs. and cuts quite a bit faster than the nk.
     
  4. mountainlake

    mountainlake Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I think I'm calling the 91vxl nk, I'm not running the .43 chain. Steve
     
  5. brokenbudget

    brokenbudget Addicted to ArboristSite

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    :hmm3grin2orange:this chain: http://www.oregonchain.com/pdf/chain/91VXL_FB.pdf
    been using it for a while now and won't be buying stihl low pro anymore. works very well for a semi chisel on the cs400s':rock: after good muffler mod, that widdle saw will be an animal:msp_thumbup:
     
  6. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob ArboristSite Lurker

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    I'm using 91VXL on my small saws, the stuff cuts great. Much faster than safety chain.
     
  7. mountainlake

    mountainlake Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Yes that's what I'm running and I like that chain, seems to stay sharp forever and just melts through the wood. The 91 is not near as wide as .325. Steve
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2011
  8. mountainlake

    mountainlake Addicted to ArboristSite

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    It's amazing what a muff modd does for the CS400, night and day difference. Having had a few of them apart off Ebay lean siezed I'd never think that engine could make power like it does. This is a closed tranfer engine but the ports are kinda small and slanted (vortex?) , piston has grooves across it, I think Echo did thier homework on this one. Steve
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2011
  9. Jer75

    Jer75 ArboristSite Lurker

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    I'll have to 2nd what everyone else is saying here.

    MM, tweak the H/L and toss the small radius bar and safety chain in favor of the 91VXL or for about $32 get a bar & chain combo from Bailey's with an ArborMAX bar and WoodlandPRO chain.

    With it being that cheap if I were you I'd give that a shot before anything else.

    As a non-pro land owner I am TOTALLY satisfied with my little CS-400 and this set up.
     
  10. GitWood

    GitWood ArboristSite Member

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    Thanks for the great advice all. Jer75, I was thinking the same thing in ditching the small radius bar. The only problem is that my dad insists that he wants to stay with the 18 inch bar for the little bit of bigger stuff that he cuts. I looked for bars and it appears that the ArborMax and Oregon Pro 91 bars only come in 16 inch and smaller. Is there an 18 inch option available with a larger radius? I have seem some Forester bars out there. Pics look like they may have a bigger radius, but I can't find anything that tells me if it really is. Anyone have one of these?
     
  11. donbrownzd

    donbrownzd New Member

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    CS-400, .325 x 7, 72 DL, 95VP, Power Mate Rim

    I am running my CS - 400 with Oregon 95VP http://www.oregonchain.com/pdf/misc/MicroLiteBroch.pdf and a Oregon Powermate Rim System http://www.oregonchain.com/pdf/sprockets/RimSproxFB0601.pdf the Rim System is p/n 513442 (.325" x 7) and is specified for a CS-400 application and the chain is Oregon 95VPX072G 72 drive links for a 18". Running a Oregon Microlite Bar -- all I could lay hands on locally.

    I am very very happy with this setup. Granted, I use this saw for 2 things limbing and topping, and cutting up smaller stuff, mostly due to it's very light weight, almost zero vibration and did I mention light weight?

    I really wanted to try a rim when the time came, and I'm very satisfied with the feeling I get with the rim versus spur. Just my 2 cents. The conversion was not horribly expensive either. About 30 bucks for the power mate system, 30 for a bar, 22 for the chain.

    I just completed this conversion today. I spent the last hour or two testing the setup, I'm very very satisfied.

    Hope it helps.

    BTW, I have not run any non-safety chain on the .325 setup yet. I am familiar with 95VP and very satisfied so far, will test others on the job and let you know. -- the original was a micro 3/8 x 6 62 dl 18" setup.
     
  12. Jer75

    Jer75 ArboristSite Lurker

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    GitWood, I don't have an answer for you on the 18" set-up. From the start I wanted to go down to 16" from the 18" that came on it. I think this saw is pretty much made for 16" (32" wood would be bigger than anything I'll try with it anyway...)

    I bet your dad would be happier having this 40cc saw pulling a 16" anyway.

    Someone with more insight will probably chime in on larger radius 18" bar availability.

    Really nice saw though I think.

    Good luck in your search!
     
  13. donbrownzd

    donbrownzd New Member

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    CS 400 Conversion to .325 x 7 / 72 DL with Oregon 95VP

    Actually, just assembled all the parts to convert my CS-400 from a micro 3/8" to a .325x7 @ 72 DL, currently using 95VP from Oregon.

    First: The parts:

    1. 95VP072G - Oregon - http://www.oregonchain.com/pdf/misc/MicroLiteBroch.pdf
    2. 513442 - Oregon Powermate System (Rim) - http://www.oregonchain.com/pdf/sprockets/RimSproxFB0601.pdf

    I just assembled them all today on a microlite bar and I'm pretty impressed. The saw feels better in heavier wood in my testing. Saw is primarily used for limbing/topping and small jobs.

    It was not terribly expensive to upgrade. The spur on the saw was shot. I wanted something a little more solid.

    Hope it helps.

    Don
     
  14. brokenbudget

    brokenbudget Addicted to ArboristSite

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    yeah i think they hit the nail on the head when it comes to these smaller saws for sure:msp_thumbup: and yes, the insides do look a little funny to the eye:hmm3grin2orange: "thems grooves are speed grooves! makes you cut wood and stuff faster":msp_tongue: thats my impression of dan the man trying to be funny at the echo training seminar a few years back:rock: pretty good huh?
    makes you think of what they could do to a larger saw (say 70cc or so) if they tried it......
    bah! i still really like the 600p, and thats enough ("sort of") of a saw for around here where a big tree is about 2-2.5' dia..:smile2:
     
  15. s219

    s219 AboristSite Guru

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    I didn't have any problems with the saw pulling an 18" bar/chain, but I put on a 16" setup since it's more useful for my needs (with this size saw, I always felt like I was tripping over the 18" bar). Really, the saw handles so much better with 16".

    My understanding of the safety chain is that the safety links are only a factor for plunge cuts and boring. The only time they should be in effect is when going around the nose of the bar. When on the straight part of the bar, they should not be a factor (they would always be lower or same height as the rakers). Someone feel free to correct me if I am wrong.
     
  16. Jer75

    Jer75 ArboristSite Lurker

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    I think another aspect of the safety chain is that the safety hump thing kinda takes up usable space that negatively impacts movement of waste (chips). I've read (probably on this site...) that for short cuts it's less noticeable but in longer cuts there is a noticeable slowing down as things tend to clog up some.
     
  17. GitWood

    GitWood ArboristSite Member

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    Update

    Well, I was in town last night to pick up a few things and was in the local farm and home supply. They are a sort of big box Stihl dealer. They sell lots of them, but don't really know anything if you need help. Anyway, as I walked past the chain saw equipment, I stopped to see if I could find a 63PMC-62 chain for the CS-400. I didn't see any hanging there, all were PMC3. The guy working there asked me if I needed any help, so I asked about the chain. He said that Stihl doesn't make the PMC, non safety chain. PMC3 is all they make. Needless to say, I didn't ask any more questions. I could probably get better chainsaw information at Walmart. While I was standing there, I looked down and saw a lone GB bar lying there with a price written in black marker ($22.99). I didn't have any idea how they would have gotten this. They do not sell GB at all. Upon closer inspection, it was 18" 3/8 low profile bar with mounting hole and slot that looks just like Oregon A041. It also has the large radius sprocket nose and is solid, not laminated. Neadless to say, I bought it. It rang up as special order parts. Haven't been to my dad's place yet to try it on for size, but I think it should fit. Part number on the bar is POX18-50SH. I couldn't find fit information for this bar online, but I am hopeful. The Lord certainly works in mysterious ways!
     
  18. brokenbudget

    brokenbudget Addicted to ArboristSite

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    great find on the bar!:rock: now you need to go on down the road to a dealer and get a loop of 91vxl spun up for it.:clap: don't settle for safety chain.
     
  19. rmotoman

    rmotoman ArboristSite Operative

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    I bought a new 400 last week based on a lot of people liking it . I haven't cut any wood yet but will this next weekend. Baileys has a 16 inch bar and wp chain for under $15 on their website. I would like to buy the combo and add a couple of 91vxl loops.
     
  20. peters

    peters New Member

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    I just swapped out the stock safety chain for 91VXL did the muffler mod and the CS400 really came alive.
    As others have said this saw is probably better off with a 16" bar, I will probably do that at some point.

    The saw does seem kind of finicky to tune after doing the MM, but its getting close. It seems to have a tendency do bog down at part throttle.
     

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