Echo CS-400 Chainsaw Review – The King of Value

Are you looking for a new chainsaw? Well, if you are, we would recommend starting out by doing some research. And, if the Echo CS-400 has gotten your attention, going through some Echo chainsaw reviews is just what you need.

However, we do understand that finding Echo chainsaw reviews is not an easy task. So, of course, we had to make one ourselves. And the timing is ideal, as we have just finished testing their Echo CS-400. And the chainsaw did not disappoint us in the slightest. What you should bear in mind is that this is not an expensive saw, however, we did give it to pros for testing as well. So, our expectations really weren’t high about their take on this chainsaw.

However, we were in for a surprise as they loved the Echo CS-400. They even agree that they wouldn’t think twice about using it professionally. It is possibly the best homeowner chainsaw when you keep in mind that you can get it for around 300 dollars. Whereas their usual chainsaws go for at least $600.

So, if you require a chainsaw to prune limbs, cut firework down to size, or even cut down trees, this might be the best chainsaw for you.

You might not have heard of this manufacturer before. And it stands to reason, a lot of people simply don’t care about chainsaw manufacturers. However, if you did hear about them odds are, the feedback was positive. In fact, the brand name is held in high regard by many in the industry. This is, in big part, thanks to the quality of their chainsaws.

They have been working on developing professional-tier power tools for over 4 decades. Ever since the foundation in Northbrook back in 1972 (under the name Kioritz Corporation of America).

When the company’s story began, they were just importing Japanese products. However, in 1979, they began shifting their focus to making their own products.

And today, they operate through over six thousand independent dealers in North America alone.

One of the points of pride for this company is the fact that they are the leaders of innovation. They are the ones who keep setting the new standards with new technologies.


The Echo CS-400 Gas Chainsaw Review + Features

Echo chainsaw reviews

This chainsaw is a perfect tool for everyone who expects to put it through a lot. It can even handle the needs of professional woodcutters. And, a big part of that is the fact that it sports a 40.2cc gas engine.

And the fact that the innovative design keeps the blade clean after an entire day of work. In fact, we went through over a dozen of hardwood trees without having to adjust the tension at all.

The 18-inch blade allowed us to clean up storm damage with trees up to 20 inches. With smart use, it could, of course, handle thicker, but we simply didn’t have thicker trees around to test the idea.

It is also very lightweight and comfortable to use. It starts quickly and doesn’t stop until you dull the blade completely.

The Basics

When purchasing a chainsaw, there are several things you need to consider. For starters, the dimensions and the power. Of course, if you expect to have to deal with heavy-duty cutting, you should consider the power source as well. For an example, a battery-powered saw is somewhat of a bad choice for prolonged cutting. We would always recommend going with a gas saw such as this one.

The professional-tier 2-stroke engine will provide incredible performance whenever you need it. And, the chainsaw is rather lightweight, keeping in mind that it is this powerful. Meaning that you are not very likely to tire yourself out while cutting. It is 32 inches long, 12 inches tall and 11 inches wide. And it only weighs in at 10.1 pounds making it really easy to handle.

They did trade off a bit of power to get it that light.  But we really couldn’t tell the difference. It went through pine like it was nothing. The first start was a bit difficult. However, after going through the manual, it actually does tell you it will be and there is no reason to worry. After that, as long as it was warm, it could start with half of a pull. Other chainsaw brands are covered here.

Quality

As we mentioned before, we didn’t do this alone, we actually brought in a couple of professionals. And the CS-400 was a pleasant surprise for us all. It handles itself like a professional saw. Even if we didn’t expect anything more than a bit better consumer product. This “prosumer” product will handle the needs of even long-term pros. Usually, the products between the consumer and pro ranges can’t take the abuse. But the CS-400 handled it perfectly and without any hiccups.

While a regular consumer would probably like a couple of frilly accessories on their chainsaw, we love that this one has none. A serious tool doesn’t want tool-less tensioners or separate switches. They all just make the machine less reliable in the long run. With this model, everything revolves around practicality and ease of access. If you buy this chainsaw, you know what you are getting.

And speaking of buying it - in the package, you will receive the saw with the bar and chain disassembled, a wrench you require to put it together, the manuals, the kick guard, and lastly, a bottle of their 2-stroke oil.

Just by taking a single look at this saw, you can see that it is very solidly made. And the balance is perfect, it doesn’t tip in either direction at all. And the steel cut-off switch is simple and reliable.

Warranty

When you are buying a power tool you want to know that the company is standing behind their products. And taking a look at Echo’s web-page shows that the consumer warranty is good for 5 years. And they have a 2-year commercial warranty. It shows that they believe that their products will last you for a good while. And that the chainsaw will continue with the high-quality performance.

Of course, if you want to know more, you can always visit their website yourself. They have a special section for warranties and you can get all the info you can potentially need there. Remember, your warranty might be void if you misuse the saw, so make sure to go through the manual.

Features

As we said, everything about this chainsaw revolves around functionality. So, while it doesn’t sport a number of fancy features, it has all the ones you actually want in a saw. For an example, the i-30 system that is there to make the starting of the chainsaw easier. Thanks to that system, it takes a lot less effort to start it, even cold-starting was not an issue. The saw also comes with the adjustment for idle mode via a single screw. This allows you to make sure the chain won’t rotate unless you hold the trigger.

We would also like to mention the high and low-speed needle adjustment limiter. After you go through a couple of tanks of fuel using this saw and break in the engine, you can change the settings of your carburetor.

The dampening anti-vibration system is also rather different than what we usually see. Instead of using springs, the CS-400 has a different approach. This chainsaw uses rubber bushings that simulate the coil. This way, you won’t have to worry about the spring losing its resistance over time. We didn’t think much of the metal switch in the beginning. However, while we were testing it, a rogue log struck it with considerable force. And it didn’t even leave a dent.

The chainsaw also has a screw that will let you adjust how much oil the chain is receiving. Which is incredibly useful when going through tougher wood.


What Is It Best For?

While this chainsaw can definitely take a lot of punishment we wouldn’t say it is perfect for pros. However, it is ideal for bucking wood, cutting down trees, and removing storm damage. We put it through some serious tests, and it did perform well. It is a lightweight saw that packs enough power for all the common requirements.


Maintenance

As you can probably imagine, proper maintenance is important for all power tools. It is the only way to keep it running for years to come. So, whenever we buy a new tool, we carefully inspect the manual to see what it has to say. And Echo definitely came through with this one. And, thankfully, for the bigger part of it, you don’t have to have any specialized tools.

The manual has a very useful table that tells you exactly when, and what, you should do. In fact, the manual will tell you everything you need to know regarding the operation of the saw.

You should also keep in mind that there are separate engine adjustments for different altitudes. If you are about to use the saw on a mountain, you should adjust the engine. For that adjustment, go to an authorized service provider. If you want to handle all of the maintenance yourself, you will have to get a couple of tools. However, for the big part, it is simple enough and regular tools should suffice.


The Pros and Cons

PROS

  • A lightweight chainsaw with a quick start and a powerful engine.
  • Perfect balance and simple, intuitive controls 
  • The anti-vibration system works surprisingly well 
  • Perfect for demanding projects and cutting timber 
  • Very affordable

CONS

  • It can get quite loud during operation, so we recommend using ear plugs
  • The bar is narrower than other best rated chainsaw brands.
  • In the process of making it lighter, they took away some of the power that would be handy. It would work better if it was at least 5% stronger

Final Verdict

Echo CS-400 Chainsaw

Of course, we don’t imagine we can tell you what to do. In the end, it is up to you whether or not you wish to purchase this chainsaw. However, we have gone through multiple Echo chainsaw reviews, and many recommend this model as the best chainsaw available. It is definitely powerful enough to handle the needs of a professional. At least for the day, we had spent with them. And it costs about half the price you would pay for a professional saw.

If you need a saw that will help you in everyday life, you can’t go wrong with this one. Whether you plan to use a chainsaw to take down trees or clear storm damage debris. What we can say, in the end, is that we were very satisfied with the performance of this chainsaw. We simply have to give it a 4.5 out of 5 stars rating.

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