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Decisions... Echo vs Stihl.

Storm56

Storm56

NOT blinded by brand...
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So I've been doing my homework and I've narrowed it down a few choices for a new saw. Echo cs550p vs Stihl ms290. Both weigh about the same and run 20" bars and .325 chain.
In the 3/8 category I'm stuck between the cs600p and the ms311. The Stihls run from $15-50 less. But echo's 5 year warranty is sweetening the deal. Anyone experience with these saws and care to weigh in?

P.s. New guy here...

Comparing the Echo & Stihl saws you mention, no question Echo. The Stihl 290-311 series are light years BEHIND the Echo CS 550P-600P, plus you can probably buy the Echo's for less. Stihl is and has been running on their name for the mid line saws and the quality has gone in the toilet.

As mentioned, fatten up the fuel delivery right from the get go and you will probably not need to worry about a 5 year warranty.

I have two Echo saws, a CS 530 and a CS 600P. The 600P runs right with my Stihl 360 Pro, and I MUCH prefer the 530 to my 290 Stihl.

I will not bash Stihl's pro line of saws, but my advice on their mid line saws is to avoid them.

PS: HP specs are nice to look at, but do not bank on them. My lower cc, supposed lower HP 530 Echo positively BURIES my higher cc, supposed higher HP 290 Stihl.
 
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Soilarch

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I'm in a very similar position. I can't tell you want to do/decide but here's what it comes down to for me.

Both "seem" to be reputable saws/brands
Stihl has a name and only needs to keep it.
Echo has a name (in the right circles) but is still trying to build it in the saw world.

Buying echo will let you keep a little cash in pocket for chains/bars/files/wedges/chaps/scabbards...whatever you deem as necessary extras. (If you buy used this is thrown out the window of course.)

The the determining factor for me will be dealer support. (Not the size of the overall dealer network, but the human being I will have to, hopefully not much, deal with regarding the saw.)

If I'm able to find a stihl dealer that I can actually put faith in, I'm likely to buy a used Stihl. (The only legitimate downside to Stihls, in my opinion, is new price.) Because I doubt this is going to happen I'm likely to go Echo...the guy around here has a surprisingly booming business and is on the level with both homeowner and commercial types.


I suggest you evaluate the dealers as much as the saws themselves. You will never notice MOST of the differences in the saws once you become familiar with them. But you WILL want to cuss the first time the dealer disappoints.
 
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mountainlake

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Comparing the Echo & Stihl saws you mention, no question Echo. The Stihl 290-311 series are light years BEHIND the Echo CS 550P-600P, plus you can probably buy the Echo's for less. Stihl is and has been running on their name for the mid line saws and the quality has gone in the toilet.

As mentioned, fatten up the fuel delivery right from the get go and you will probably not need to worry about a 5 year warranty.

I have two Echo saws, a CS 530 and a CS 600P. The 600P runs right with my Stihl 360 Pro, and I MUCH prefer the 530 to my 290 Stihl.

I will not bash Stihl's pro line of saws, but my advice on their mid line saws is to avoid them.

PS: HP specs are nice to look at, but do not bank on them. My lower cc, supposed lower HP 530 Echo positively BURIES my higher cc, supposed higher HP 290 Stihl.





Troll never would answer me when I asked how much HP a CS 510,520,530 has when they cut faster the the 3.8 hp 56cc 029 290 every time. Steve
 
miking

miking

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Dealer support, be it good or bad can happen with any brand. I really haven't had an opportunity to try out the warranty on my Echos but I feel good about the dealership where I buy mix and files and such, and the guys there are real nice. Just kind of a gut feeling, but my guess is they'd honor the warranty if need be without haggling about it. My guess is though, thye would have to nullify a warranty claim if anything I did was out of whack with stock, such as pulling even a muffler screen or trimming limiters. I doubt it would be the local guy's call on that but the parent company, and that could happen with any brand anyway. I had my dealer techs tune the saws prior to my buying them so none of them except the 600P needed much, fortunately. If they are a reputable servicing dealer, they should have no problem tuning yours up for you.
 
bootboy

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I bought a saw. 600p for $440. Pretty excited. It should be here by the end of next week! What recommendations do you guys have for which oil I should run for chain and my mix? I want do this the right way from the beginning. Also, I hear the echo saws run a little lean out of the box, I'm looking for recommendations on tuning.
 
Hedgerow

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I bought a saw. 600p for $440. Pretty excited. It should be here by the end of next week! What recommendations do you guys have for which oil I should run for chain and my mix? I want do this the right way from the beginning. Also, I hear the echo saws run a little lean out of the box, I'm looking for recommendations on tuning.

50:1 Stihl Ultra... Use a non-ethanol gas if you can. Enjoy your new saw... :rock:
 
mountainlake

mountainlake

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I bought a saw. 600p for $440. Pretty excited. It should be here by the end of next week! What recommendations do you guys have for which oil I should run for chain and my mix? I want do this the right way from the beginning. Also, I hear the echo saws run a little lean out of the box, I'm looking for recommendations on tuning.

Run any decent name brand oil, non safety chiesel chain cuts the fastest, even safety semi chiesl will cut good if you take the rakers down a little and grind the safety humps mostly off and semi chiesel will stay sharp longer in dirty wood. Sound like you got it off Ebay, pull the caps and turn the high out untill the engine slows down notacibly at wot no load, then cutting bigger wood turn back in gradually untill it cuts the fastest with decent pressure. Rev limiters can fool you into thinking it plenty rich when it's actually lean. If your worryied about the warrenty you can put the caps back on after adjusting without grinding the tabs off otherwise they grind off on a bench grinder fast. Steve
 
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mattchambers

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medium commercial use strait shaft trimmer

I'm looking into buying a trimmer,n for light commercial use. There are so many brands. Looking at stihl, kawasaki, echo, shindaiwa and not sure what trimmer to get. What do you guys recommend?
 
bootboy

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Part of the reason i went with an echo saw is the fact that I have an echo trimmer I bought in highschool for lawn mowing 3-4 days a week. It's been nearly 10 years of constant use and I've never once had a problem with it. Even now it never takes more than 4 or five pulls to bring it to life. Awesome machine. I leaks a little oil but what the heck, it's a 2 stroke. :)
 
Saw Dr.

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I'm looking into buying a trimmer,n for light commercial use. There are so many brands. Looking at stihl, kawasaki, echo, shindaiwa and not sure what trimmer to get. What do you guys recommend?

It is the wrong forum but anyway... If you decide to go with Echo for the trimmer, do yourself a favor and go to the dealer for a pro model. The commercial ones seem to be pretty stout.
 
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