Confused about which brand of trimmers or chainsaws to go for? Hopefully, this Echo Vs Stihl comparison will help you make your choice.
Chainsaws and trimmers are a blessing to the world of tree felling and pruning. They cut much faster than an ax, and are a lot sharper.
There are so many models and brands of chainsaws in the market, however, two brands stand out as makers of top-of-the-range chainsaws.
These brands are Echo and Stihl.
What To Look Out For In A Chainsaw
Before I get into the comparisons, it is important that you first understand what makes a good chainsaw. I will list them out below.
Handling: Chainsaws are very sharp cutting tools that could spell danger if not properly handled. A good chainsaw should offer you comfortable and safe handling while in operation.
The ones with a guard at the top are what I recommend, as they can protect the user’s hands from injuries.
Operation: The less complicated the better. A good chainsaw should be easy to operate since it’s not a tool you plan to use every day.
A well-detailed instruction manual should be included in the package for easy operation.
Weight: A lightweight chainsaw would make the difficult task of cutting wood much easier, especially if you have a large amount of work to handle.
Heavy chainsaws will cause fatigue along the way and you may burn out even before you are done.
Vibration: The lesser the vibration, the easier it would be for you to steady your cuts. Too many vibrations will not only make your cuts rougher, but it will also mean using extra energy from your arms to keep it steady.
Assembly: For those who are new to using chainsaws, assembly might be a big issue. The user manual can help you figure out what goes where, but my recommended choice is the pre-assembled models.
Noise levels: If you’ll be working for long hours then I don’t assume you’d like to hear loud noises throughout.
Opt for chainsaws that produce minimal noise, that way your ears will be spared of all the stress and you can pick up other sounds from around your environment.
Lasting ability: What good is a powerful tool if it packs up after only using it a few times? A chainsaw, as powerful as it is, should be able to last for many years without issue, that is assuming you don’t try to cut a rock with it.
Starting: The pull handle should be firm enough to withstand hard pulling and be easy enough to pull. The trigger button should also be easy to locate. This is very important for those who are new to using chainsaws.
Capacity: Before you buy a chainsaw, you should be sure of the type of wood you’ll be using it to cut.
How thick the branches are or how large the stump is will determine the kind of chainsaw you need to buy.
Now that you’re aware of the most important things to look out for in a chainsaw, let’s head right into the comparisons.
I’ll break it down like this
Which Has Better Handling?
The operator’s ability to grip and control a chainsaw is very important. This has to be done safely too, considering how sharp and powerful the blades of a chainsaw can be.
Echo produces models that come with two-hand designs that have a guard at the top for the user’s protection.
Stihl also produces chainsaws with two-handed designs, although the rear of the handle is a bit exposed for the sake of controlling the trigger.
I’d go with Echo’s design, as I consider user safety more important than trigger accessibility.
What About The Power Source?
Echo models come with two-stroke engines in each chainsaw they produce. The engines come in different variations, with sizes ranging from 25 to 80cc.
It is up to you to go for the one that best suits your cutting needs. Of course, this decision should be made based on the capacity of work you want the chainsaw to handle.
Stihl Chainsaws also come with two-stroke engines, and they have both electric and battery-powered models.
The electric or battery-powered models are easier to use but are more effective for small yard work.
The electronic options are always my favorite since you won’t be spending any money on gas.
Starting The Chainsaw
Different models of both brands have different starting methods.
The models produced by Echo rely on traditional fuel to get started. Their models also come with pull handles that are easy to use. The same goes for the trigger button, which is also easy to reach and operate.
The method used by Stihl to start its gas-powered models is quite similar to that of the Echo’s.
The electric and battery-operated variations need a two-step process, first of which is a safety button that is pressed when turning on the chainsaw.
This mechanism stops the chainsaw from starting without your consent, so to say. This is an important function when working in a delicate area.
Unfortunately, Echo chainsaws aren’t built with anti-vibration handles. This makes it difficult for the operator to maintain a good grip on the saw.
This will mean the user has to hold on tighter and exert some extra energy in keeping the cuts steady.
Stihl has an advantage over Echo when it comes to vibration controls, as their handles are built with anti-vibration capabilities.
Length Of The Guide Bar
With Echo chainsaws, you will get guide bar lengths between 12 inches to 36 inches.
With Stihl models, the guide bars are 10 inches to 60 inches long.
Bigger chainsaws are meant for large-scale forestry work, so if you need a chainsaw for domestic home use then the 60-inch guide bar wouldn’t be necessary.
Although having a wide range of guide bar lengths to choose from is always welcome.
I’ll take the pre-assembled models any day. This is what you’ll get when you buy Stihl chainsaws. Models like these are less complicated to use, especially for rookies. Why waste time setting up the saw when the manufacturer can do that for you?
Echo loses this round, as their models are not pre-assembled. You need to set the saw up yourself. This could be time-consuming and confusing for someone new to using chainsaws.
Both these brands need some time for charging and fueling before you can use them, so you may use the time in-between to set up the Echo models.
The power of each of these brands and their models determine how noisy or how silent they will be during operation.
Most models will generate about 100 decibels of sound. The larger the chainsaw, the more noise it will produce.
I’d call it a tie as far as noise levels go between these two brands.
How Long Do They Last?
All Echo manufactured chainsaws are made of durable, long-lasting metal casings and are guaranteed to last long. You’ll use them for many years without issues.
As for Stihl models, the lasting ability will depend on the model you buy. The gas-powered models are made of more durable materials than the electric-powered models.
Cutting Different Types of Materials
Both Echo & Stihl chainsaws can cut through a wide range of materials, including some types of metal.
Many users have given Echo the win as far as cutting ability is concerned. This is not to say Stihl models are not reliable cutters, because they are. They just seem to be more suited for thick items.
Echo models seem to do better when all-round cutting is required.
Managing the Blades
Without the blades, a chainsaw would just be like a large metal toy. Without them, cutting is simply impossible. Which is why we have to look closely at the blades of these two brands.
Many models of the Echo chainsaw have replaceable blades. Although getting professional blade maintenance is still important to ensure optimum performance.
Most Stihl models do not come with replaceable blades.
There’s still some good news though. Stihl offers its customers professional blade maintenance services across several retailers, so keeping your Stihl blades sharp shouldn’t be a problem.
Which Is The Best: Echo Or Stihl?
With all these factors taken into consideration, you would agree that it is almost impossible to determine which of these models outshine the other.
Both manufacturers have done very well over the years to produce top-class chainsaws that make forestry and gardening work a whole lot easier.
I’d go for the Stihl models, mainly because they are pre-assembled. That alone wins it for me, but that’s just me, how about you?
Study the unique features of the models both companies produce and consider the type of work you will be needing the chainsaw for.
Doing this will help you know which model you should purchase. At the end of the day, some features may be more useful than others, and whichever you decide to go for should fulfill the purpose for which it was paid for.
I hope this Echo Vs Stihl Chainsaws comparison will help you make your choice. Don’t forget to buy it according to your needs.