Echo CS 400 Chainsaw Review

I couldn’t find a comprehensive review on YouTube for this chainsaw, so, I made one. I have been using this saw for 5 years, and I tried to hit all the point I like as well as the ones I don’t. I have 2 other Echo machines, a weed whacker, and a hedge trimmer. In general, I think this company has very good quality, but there are a few small things that are just so annoying.
Feel free to comment, or ask questions , if you feel I missed something.

Comments

Matt Caldwel says:

I’ve never heard anyone cry as much as you.

Isaiah's Lawn Care says:

very informative video. I’m looking into buying one I was originally looking at a Stihl ms 251 but this is a little cheaper and seems like quality I’m only 15 and this seems like a fit for me and my small lawn care company

Martin Van dellen says:

Het is een eerlijk verhaal.
Pofi zagen zijn gebruiks vriendelijker .
Ook een stuk duurder.
Stihl 261 heeft de trommel van de kettingrem in de motorzaag.
Dat werkt sneller met blad wissel.
Ik heb ook een husqvarna 254xp ook een super zaag.
Deze beide zagen hebben wel power!

oleg koi says:

Я из Украини.Уменя звездочка полетела и нигде немогу найти ее к CS-400

Viheavyequipment says:

i run a 385xp husqvarna ive had smaller saws and just really dislike under powerred saws i usally only cut 16 to 20 inch wood. 40 cc is just way to small in my opinon the wood your cutting is a 50cc to 55cc saw needed

Jeff Bingaman says:

I disagree with your statement that you would buy a couple of poulan saws.
Apparently you’ve never tried to start one or keep it running.
It wears out your ever wanting another one real quick.

Avid Water fowler says:

Sounds like a lot of personal opinions on the issues side, not actual. I never had an issue changing a chain. In fact I had a chain last 10 hours of non stop cutting untill it was dull enough for me to change it. You should have just bought a $500 Stihl instead of trying to make a $300 echo fit the bill. You have a 16″ bar and should have no power issues. I have a 16″ and 18″ bar. I will admit that the 18″ bar robs a little bit of power but still handles well. I’ve beat the living hell out of my cs400 for 3 years cutting huge oaks. Oaks so big I need an 18″ bar just to get through both sides. Maybe your expectations were a little high? Good luck with the new Stihl you get, just make sure to get a higher grade as their home owner stuff is garbage.

Charles Jones says:

STIHL ALL THE WAY!!

Pinky Blinder says:

I just bought this chainsaw and an aditional timberwolf 20″ bar .

1bigjohn11 says:

chain is too lose. damn, im a newbie and I can see that.

Rodney Pekarek says:

Finger tight only on the caps, Bar wrench only for saw if vibration causes the cap to over tighten.The chain is proper for the size of saw…your saw couldn’t turn a larger 3/8 size chain.

William Wilcox says:

I was looking for a durable and reliable chain saw that would last. After it dawned on me that my grass edger and blower was both Echo and were most durable for years. Cranks on one pull even after having set up for days or months. My decision after talking to other vendors and comparing, I resulted back to the Echo Chain saw Echo 490. Echo products period are excellent products as long as one keep them serviced and use the proper fluids required. They will last & last.

Chris Hester says:

Good review. I’ve had a CS400 for about 2 months now after my 10 year old Poulan decided to quit at the worst time. I decided to try the Echo because I love the Echo weedeater I have and so far I’ve been impressed with the quality of the saw. While I also have experience with Husqvarna and Stihl and will probably own Husky’s and Stihls also in the future, there were a few things I liked about the Echo that I didn’t like about Husky or Stihl. I like the old school metal toggle switch and separate choke control, Husqvarna now has a combined choke/kill switch that feels flimsy and Stihl makes you flip the switch UP for off, which is awkward and counter-intuitive. The Echo also has an aluminum handlebar, If you buy a Husky or Stihl in the same price range you’ll get a hollow plastic handlebar. Plus Stihl has the so called “Flippy Caps” which I’m not totally sold on yet, maybe they’ll grow on me. I also haven’t really had any problem with power on the CS400, it’s a 40cc saw, give it time to cut. I felled a dead 17″ oak just this afternoon and bucked it no problem. I know it’s not ideal for felling, I do plan on getting a bigger saw for that job but haven’t got the money yet. It all boils down to a matter of personal taste, personally I like the mix of old school and new school features on the Echo, it’s not “dumbed down” for the average Joe Blow that only needs a chainsaw maybe once a year.

Brendan Moran says:

I muffler modded mine (plenty of videos here on how to do it) and it really brought the saw to life. Its a solid saw for near any non-professional user. Including frequent users.

Brendan Moran says:

Do a simple muffler mod on the the saw and you will be amazed at how much more power it has. I did on mine, and it’s an impressive little beast.

Patrick Wagz says:

Nice thorough review.  Have you decided further on which saw you would buy when it is time for a replacement?  I have around 40 hours on a Husqvarna 455.  Nice all around saw for what I’ve needed so far.

rooster says:

Man……. tighten the chain……………………….

John me says:

BEWARE Stihl’s “No Tool” caps! God, they can be a PAIN!

Mike Fu says:

I love Echo, I keep them around when my Stihls start to feel Heavy.

Seth Watson says:

Thanks. Interesting opinions. The flip caps on the Stihl is one of the things that I would be after. As far as the switch flipping up for off, I agree, not the best choice. On the plastic handlebar, also agreed, not the best. The saw I will buy will be above that, hopefully.
Have you had trouble changing chains like I mentioned?

Fueled Iowa says:

thanks for the review. most people do a review they just got and sound like they are selling themselves on why they bought it.
I have 40 acres of timber so I have had a few saws over the past 30 years. I agree and dislike an outboard clutch. especially on a larger saw. I find the 50-60cc saws to be very useful in firewood and land management. I just got a new 60cc saw to replace my 15 year old 029. I hope you find a great fitting saw when you get your next one.

Marshall Smith™ says:

Your chain should be tight enough that you can still wiggle it a bit but should not be able to pull it off the bar even trying really hard. You are gonna either end up throwing the chain constantly or 86’ing the drive gear and brake

Dev/Ops Engineer says:

WTF!!! This guy talks like a machine. I do not care your personal history just how the damn thing works. Be more to the point!!!

Kamil Kus says:

half of the problems you name were do to users lack of knowledge and the other half were common among all chainsaws

Jeff Bingaman says:

My poulan has got you beat. It has a never start switch. And it’s apparently always choked…..
I have a small echo chainsaw a echo weed eater and an echo leaf blower. love em.
But I do hate the chainsaw fuel and bar oil caps. Apparently somewhere,? caps must have kept coming off.

Patrick Hume says:

Thank you for your review. I just purchased an Echo CS 400, and haven’t even assembled it yet. Been checking out reviews to see if I made a good decision. I have already gone through Poulin and Homelight saws..one lasted a year, the other 2 years. Tired of being stuck with disposable saws.

Benjo says:

Most Home Depots actually stock the fuel caps (they’re common to many echo models).

Chain wise, just do a quick search about chain gauges. Has nothing to do with being a Stihl or Husqvarna or anything else. You’re running 3/8LP (low profile), the smallest (smallest in terms of cutter dimensions) commonly employed size. .325 is the next step up, followed by full size 3/8 (there are other sizes, but they are not commonly employed). A 40cc saw is really best with that small chain, as making a wider kerf (cut) uses up too much power. .325 comes in a narrow kerf version that I like on small saws, that would also work well. To change gauges you need to change your bar, chain, and drive sprocket (which could be a rim or spur type, rims are better but less common on small inexpensive consumer saws.)

If you’re throwing chains, your tension is either incorrect, the nuts aren’t tight, or there’s a problem with the sprocket or bar. It should be pretty rare to throw a chain unless you’re cutting a bunch of brush.

My experience with toolless chain adjustment is “fine, if you have an electric saw you use once a year for 10 minutes.” Otherwise, they’re plastic and do not handle real use for very long.

Inboard clutches are nice for changing chains, definitely true. Dolmar has them even on their tiny little saws like this.

A 40cc saw is pretty limited, even with changes like the common muffler/carb limiter mods. For a one size fits all saw, 60cc is my favorite. Echo’s CS-590 is a good cheap (~$400) option. I happen to use Husky mostly, their 555 (60cc) model is a less expensive and slightly detuned version of the 562xp, and is really all the saw I’d ever need. It was quoted at $530 shipped to me (local dealer wouldn’t budge from list) before I found a used 562xp for less. Stihl’s MS362 is an excellent saw as well. If you go down that route, know that Stihl very recently changed that model quite a lot without changing the model number, so if you want the latest and greatest (you do if you’re paying Stihl’s prices for them!), look for the one with slanted fins on the piston. Some areas of the US won’t have them in stock for a while yet.

My god, that comment got long, sorry about that!

mojo jojo says:

this Echo 40cc saw isn’t any less powerful than any other professional 40cc saw. Have you ran a Husqvarna, Stihl or Dolmar in the same size? You won’t notice much of any power difference. They all need muffler mods in order to get their full potential.
And you also know that you can run a stihl chain on this if you like Stihl chains so much? I have the CS 400 with an Oregon 16″ bar with a Stihl Chain, muffler mod and it kicks azz

John Clarke says:

why don’t you adjust the chain properly? that chain has more sag than an 80 year old woman.

bogdan bogdan says:

JONSERED
6 years

Peter Rant says:

The issue with the chain not coming off the bar, is the chain needs to be replaced, because it had come off the bar, (because it was too loose), and the sprocket drive, (grinding on the chain), ruined it.

Carlos Kanaan says:

Ive had the same saw for at least 5 years now and Ive sawed approximately 50 cords altogether and my saw is still running strong. Ive had to change the bar about 3 times now because of my own carelessness and just had to change the fuel filter, spark plug and the dealer sold me a $15 carburetor kit but the saw is back and i’m blocking more logs now! I love this saw and I would recommend it in a haeartbeat. Great review sir thankyou.

Rodney Pekarek says:

My gosh, the whole video is used to complain about a very nice little saw…Sounds like your one of those guys that very hard to satisfy .

Seth Watson says:

TWICE as fast? Skeptical. But I’m willing to try. I’ll see what I can do.

SW(is)M says:

Did you ever work out the chain throwing problem?

Doorguru says:

After searching locally and online for a chainsaw I could buy right away, I about gave up. I have a big pine tree that has been laying in the front yard since hurricane Irma passed. I decided to check another big box store on the way home.. same results..24 feet of shelves, all totally empty. No chain saws in stock. Heading for the exit door, I passed by the returns register.. on the floor, I saw it.. an unopened Echo CS 400 that some one apparently returned and was getting ready to be put back on the shelf. I figured it was fate! I grabbed it and after looking at all the reviews, I think I have made a good choice. I have only owned one new chainsaw in the last 40 years, a small McCulloch, which didn’t last too long. I have had numerous hand me downs, but nothing quality. I love my Echo weed wacker and am hoping this chainsaw will be no different.

mojo jojo says:

where do you get the pre mixed gas with no ethanol? Link?

Rodney Pekarek says:

As your showing us, your chain is Not anywhere close to being tight enough. also you must tighten the two bar bolts fairly tight.

Billy Mash says:

how do you tell the model what year it was made I love my saw first echo I bought it at flea market and don’t know model dam good saw

spetsnaz army says:

if u think it dosent have enough power then get a stihl ms 880 magnum , or something smaller stihl ms 290 farm boss great saw I’ve had one for jst abt 10 years now and never gave any trouble it’s a unbelievable chainsaw. or a husqvarna 365 special which is another great saw but I gave it serious abuse for abt 8 year and the piston went in it but an excellent saw

mr Tree says:

24 a gallon a trade off for not mixing ? You gotta be joking right

oliverm5sc says:

These saws cut about twice as fast when the muff is opened up and tuned right, if you haven’t pulled the limiter caps and tuned right your saw will be lean and way down on power also.  You better be buying a high priced pro Stihl saw, their lower models are junk compared to Echo

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