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Echo Top Handle Discussion

Discussion in 'Chainsaws' started by Spike60, Oct 2, 2018.

  1. Spike60

    Spike60 ONE OF THE GREATEST!

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    Hey, anybody feel like reading today? :)

    Don't want to take the Echo 355T thread that @rocco490 started off course, so starting another Echo top handle thread here. Primarily concerned with Echo top handle saws in professional tree company service. Laying this out with one of my long winded posts...……...sorry. LOL

    Let's eliminate 2 right off the bat and sort of begin with this unfortunate, yet undeniable reality: The 2 major players here, the Husky T540 and the Stihl MS201 m-tronic are both JUNK. No brand bashing or defending necessary here, they both rot. This discussion isn't really about them, but a brief, (for me), explanation of why I'm asking about the Echo stuff. The 540 and 201 have essentially the same technology, and both suffer the same or similar problems. Part of it is related to the AT and MT technology in an environment with excessive idle time, often in a bucket. Idle times on 550's and 562's in the 60%-70% range is considered a little high, and above that fuel and calibration settings can be affected. The 540's are coming in with idle times in the 80%-90% range; some above 90%. So we reset them, they go out OK and invariably come back "doing the same thing", "hard to start", "keeps stalling". Difficult to keep these saws out there preforming properly. And it's the same with the 201's. One guy who runs all Husky's other than his 201's came in to ask about the 540. Told me he has five 201's and they are ALL in the shop with the much the same problems as the Husky's. And it's a VERY good Stihl shop across the river, not a dealer who doesn't know what he's doing. For the most part, weather they are running 540's or 201's, nearly everyone around here is unhappy with them. I've stopped selling the 540 myself. As of now, I'm covering this market with the T435 and the T536 battery saw.

    There are other things that affect most top handle saws, that are simply worse with the 540. Most top handles don't like to be yanked on. Lot of the problem stems from the fact that each side of the intake boot is on either side of the AV system. So, ripped and torn boots are a common problem. But if you really yank on a 540, in addition to breaking a $115 tank, you run the risk of ripping all of those wires out and maybe needing a coil as well. Everything takes longer with these saws, so what I call "body work" type repairs can get expensive pretty quick.

    Husky does have the T525 coming out in Feb along with the 572. It's non auto tune, hooray, but pricey for a 27cc saw with a MSRP of $489. Let's just say that my dealer cost is higher than the MSRP of any of the 4 Echo top handle models. So, we are in the early stages of taking a close look at these Echo saws as an option for our pro guys. Same distributor that we get Exmark from, so it would be easy to do this if we decide to go that way. I am not considering any other lines. Echo has 4 models in their line up, all reasonably priced.

    I can check them all out at an Exmark meeting I'm going to next month, but I really want to hear some real world stuff from you guys here, rather than a sales pitch, although my rep is really good and not a "FOS" type. Again, the context here is primarily "toppers" in professional tree service use. Fire away men, and thanks for everyone's input.
     
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  2. CR888

    CR888 Pinnacle OPE Member

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    When I had to retire my MS200 in order to not run it into the ground and be able to keep it as a back-up I naturally bought a couple of MS201's. A TH & a RH version, but I chose to get them both in standard carb form despite everyone hooraying for the new MT. While I didn't know what I do now, I certainly had a hunch about MT on TH's and resisted the trend. But I have MT/AT big saws so I'm not a AT hater. My 201's have served me well, but so have a couple of Japanese (Yamabiko Corp who owns most Jap saws) Makita 231t's. These 23cc saws are not sold in the States due to EPA compliance but were the lightest gas saw when released some 4+ years ago. Today I'd buy Echo's newish 25cc class CS2511t. It kicks butt on paper specs wise and is cheap. Echo TH saws have some things I don't like like plastic oil tanks among other things but generally ALWAYS start, idle all day without complaint and perform acceptably well. I'd consider them Spike, they make sense & until the major 2 up their game will provide an decent alternative. AT/MT don't belong up a tree the way the systems are to date.
     
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  3. Derf

    Derf Pinnacle OPE Member

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    Not to take this off track, but I’ve always heard that the old MS200T was king of the hill for a top handle. It was reliable, durable, and capable. When the MS201T replaced it, people felt it was down on power, but muffler modded they said it was about as powerful as a modded MS200T. Of course you had mTronic, but also better AV. I’ve seen reviewers say the 202T has much better antivib than the older 200T.
    The Husqvarna T540 supposedly also has better AV than the older 200T.

    I’d like to hear how the Echo top handles you’ve used are in terms of AV, compared with any other top handle you’ve used.
     
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  4. Woodpecker

    Woodpecker Wooden Member

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    Chimed in on the other 2 echo top handle threads. I do a 50/50 split of both pruning and removals. I primarily climb with very little bucket work. I mostly use a 2511t, and a 201t, but have used a 355t a bit. The only thing I like better about the 201t vs. The 355 is the av. I don't generally let my saw idle between cuts though. I haven't noticed any problems with the MT, but I don't think I will buy another 201 when the 355 does 95% of what a 201 does and for far less cash.

    I usually start a climb with the 2511t and run that until the wood gets too big for it. I then move to a bigger saw. Sometimes that's a bigger top handle and sometimes it's a rear handle saw. The 2511t has been a real gem so far. Both echo saws need a muffler mod though to really shine.
     
  5. Wood Doctor

    Wood Doctor Edwin

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    The rear annular buffer on the Stihls is their Achilles heal. These commonly break apart when the saw is used by climbers. I've fixed four of them this year for tree removal companies, but I have never had to do this for any Echo top handle saw.

    When the Stihl top handle rear annular buffer gives up, there is only one thing left holding the handle to the case: the intake manifold boot. The sawyer keeps using the saw to get the job done, and the boot cracks apart. The saw then shuts down completely and suddenly becomes a gorilla to repair, even if no other damage exists.
     
  6. cus_deluxe

    cus_deluxe ONE OF THE WORST!!

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    Was just about to tag you in this thread lol.
     
  7. Spike60

    Spike60 ONE OF THE GREATEST!

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    This is good feedback guys, thanks. The price difference that @Woodpecker mentioned is something I haven't even give a great deal of thought to yet. The Echos being about half the price of the 540 or 201 is significant. Even if saws don't fail on their own, plenty of them get dropped and none of them win a battle with gravity. There isn't that pressure that you have to spend $200+ to repair a $650 saw. If it takes a good hit, the option to replace it is more affordable with the Echos.
     
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  8. moomer1848

    moomer1848 Super OPE Member

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    I am a husky fan,but i am about to purchase a CS 303t or CS355t,because the T540 is a POS just my opinion.....PS id like to find a nib 338xpt husky or CS 2139t jonsered...
     
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  9. Woodpecker

    Woodpecker Wooden Member

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    The other thing that I really like about these saws is that they say:

    20181002_161549.jpg

    Instead of made in China. In fact I believe the majority of their saws are made in Japan. I value quality equipment no matter who makes it. I'm not an echo fanboy, but it's hard not to sound like one after awhile with the quality I've seen out of them.
     
  10. Armbru84

    Armbru84 Pinnacle OPE Member

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    @Woodpecker has also dropped the 2511 from a decent height and only broke the flag. If I remember correctly you can get almost every part and replace them individually. Things aren’t one huge assembly.

    2511 is a cold blooded saw no doubt. In your case I imagine your not going to do a muffler mod before selling it...
     
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  11. 166

    166 Habada

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    Which meeting are you going to?
     
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  12. Spike60

    Spike60 ONE OF THE GREATEST!

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    Lancaster, Oct 23.

    How about you?
     
  13. 166

    166 Habada

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    I'm booked for the 22nd. Gotta decide whether to make the detour to Louisville on the way.
     
  14. Wood Doctor

    Wood Doctor Edwin

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  15. Woodpecker

    Woodpecker Wooden Member

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    I think a lot of the cold start issue was my stubborn refusal to use the purge bulb.
     
  16. drf256

    drf256 Dr. Richard Cranium (“RC” to Muh pals)

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    It may be off topic, but I used an echo330T as my primary saw for many many years. Darn most reliable saw I’ve ever had. Served me for 12 years and then I sent it down the road. Never a problem that wasn’t my fault with it.

    When I got into the hobby, I read all the hubbub about the MS200. I just don’t see why anyone would need more than what echo could provide at half the price.

    The saws are definitely very vanilla, but they perform well at an excellent price point. I have a 200T, but I’m considering grabbing the new 25cc echo wonder and sending the 200T down the road.
     
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  17. hseII

    hseII AKA - Kim's Husband

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    I have 3- MS200Ts that I use.

    The next time one of them goes down, I am contemplating not putting. Anymore money in it & buying a 355T instead.

    I also keep eying the 2511T that sits on the counter at the New Holland Dealership: they are the closest Echo & Makita Demo Saw Dealer.

    I understand after the MMM, (Mustang Mike Mods), both are on par with their German Counterparts.

    At 1/2 the price, what’s not to Love?
     
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  18. CR888

    CR888 Pinnacle OPE Member

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    The new 25cc class TH's have been a real hit in the industry whether its a MS150t or CS2511t. You start using them and then swap to a MS200 or 355 & they feel like a heavy brick. For small branches up to 8"ish they run well and start so so easy.
     
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  19. Derf

    Derf Pinnacle OPE Member

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    I didn’t know you climbed trees, Al! I have a couple I could use some help dismantling.
     
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  20. Spike60

    Spike60 ONE OF THE GREATEST!

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    Not off topic at all Doc. This is exactly the kind of info I was looking for. Never paid much attention to the little Echos, but I knew there'd be a wealth of knowledge here on the subject. So, thanks to you and everyone else who's chimed in.

    We're all power junkies, and most of my tree guys are the same way. But a little less power for a saw that stays on the job and isn't in the shop every other week is a trade off that most of them will be happy to live with.
     
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