In the realm of power tools, few tools stand as iconic and essential as the chainsaw. It’s the backbone of any serious lumberjack or homeowner’s toolkit, and when it comes to reliability and performance, the ECHO CS-490 Chainsaw reigns supreme. With its long-standing reputation for excellence in the world of outdoor power equipment, ECHO has consistently delivered top-tier products, and the CS-490 is no exception.
In this comprehensive review, we’ll delve deep into the ECHO CS-490 Chainsaw, exploring its various model versions, features, specifications, pricing, and performance. Whether you’re a professional arborist or a weekend warrior tackling tree maintenance, this guide will help you make an informed decision when considering this exceptional tool.
Different Model Versions
The ECHO CS-490 Chainsaw was available in several versions, mainly differing in bar length. These variations cater to a wide range of cutting needs, from light pruning to heavy-duty felling. Here are some of the model versions available:
- ECHO CS-490-18: This version comes equipped with an 18-inch bar and chain, making it ideal for general-purpose cutting tasks, such as limbing, bucking, and small to medium tree felling.
- ECHO CS-490-20: For those requiring a bit more reach, the CS-490-20 boasts a 20-inch bar and chain. This variant offers improved cutting capacity, making it suitable for larger tree cutting and more extensive forestry work.
- ECHO CS-490-24: The CS-490-24 takes it up another notch with a 24-inch bar and chain. This is the choice for serious professionals tackling sizable trees or challenging forestry projects.
Each of these model versions shares the same robust engine and many core features, differing primarily in their bar and chain lengths. Therefore, when selecting a CS-490 Chainsaw, it’s essential to consider the specific cutting tasks you’ll be handling to make the right choice.
The ECHO CS-490 Chainsaw is renowned for its array of features that enhance its usability, durability, and overall performance. Here’s a closer look at some of the standout features:
- Powerful Engine: At the heart of the CS-490 is a 50.2cc two-stroke engine that generates impressive cutting power while remaining fuel-efficient. This engine is built to withstand the rigors of heavy use, ensuring longevity and reliable performance.
- i-30™ Starting System: Starting a chainsaw can often be a frustrating endeavor, but ECHO’s i-30™ Starting System simplifies the process. It reduces the effort required to start the engine, allowing for quick and hassle-free starts every time.
- Automatic Oiler: To keep the bar and chain properly lubricated, the CS-490 features an automatic oiler. This ensures consistent oiling for smooth cutting and extends the lifespan of the chain and bar.
- G-Force Air Cleaner: ECHO’s G-Force Air Cleaner is a heavy-duty, automotive-style air filter that provides superior filtration and protects the engine from dust and debris. This results in improved engine performance and longer maintenance intervals.
- Tool-less Air Filter Cover: Changing the air filter is a breeze with the tool-less air filter cover, making routine maintenance a less time-consuming task.
- Vibration Reduction System: Operating a chainsaw can be physically demanding, but ECHO’s vibration reduction system minimizes user fatigue. This feature is especially beneficial during extended cutting sessions.
- Inertia Chain Brake: Safety is paramount when working with a chainsaw, and the CS-490 incorporates an inertia chain brake that activates in the event of kickback, reducing the risk of injury.
- Metal Bucking Spikes: For increased stability and control, metal bucking spikes are integrated into the chainsaw’s design. These spikes grip into the wood, providing better leverage during cutting.
To provide a clear understanding of the ECHO CS-490 Chainsaw’s capabilities, here is a comprehensive table of its specifications in both imperial and metric units:
|Bar Length (Available Versions)
|18″, 20″, 24″
|45.7 cm, 50.8 cm, 61 cm
|Weight (Without Bar and Chain)
|15.2 fl oz
|9.5 fl oz
The price of the ECHO CS-490 Chainsaw can vary depending on the specific model version and any additional accessories or bundles offered. The base model (CS-490-18) typically ranged from approximately $349 to $399, with the price increasing for the longer bar versions (CS-490-20 and CS-490-24). Prices may have fluctuated since then, so it’s advisable to check with local dealers or online retailers for the most up-to-date pricing.
Now, let’s dive into a comprehensive review of the ECHO CS-490 Chainsaw, considering its performance, usability, durability, and overall value.
- Performance: The CS-490 is a true workhorse in the chainsaw world. Its 50.2cc engine delivers ample power for cutting through various types of wood, including hardwoods and softwoods. Whether you’re trimming branches, bucking logs, or felling trees, this chainsaw handles the job with ease. The various model versions cater to a wide range of cutting needs, making it versatile for both homeowners and professionals.
- Usability: One of the standout features of the CS-490 is its user-friendliness. The i-30™ Starting System simplifies the starting process, reducing the frustration often associated with gas-powered chainsaws. The vibration reduction system also makes it more comfortable to operate for extended periods. Additionally, the tool-less air filter cover and automatic oiler contribute to ease of maintenance.
- Durability: ECHO is known for its rugged and durable outdoor power equipment, and the CS-490 is no exception. The chainsaw is built to withstand the demands of heavy use and harsh working conditions. The metal bucking spikes add stability and longevity to the tool, making it a reliable choice for professionals who require a dependable chainsaw day in and day out.
- Value: Considering its performance, durability, and the brand’s reputation for quality, the ECHO CS-490 offers excellent value for the price. While it may be on the higher end of the price spectrum for consumer-grade chainsaws, it more than justifies its cost with its reliability and longevity.
While the ECHO CS-490 Chainsaw is an outstanding choice, it’s essential to explore alternatives to ensure you select the best tool for your specific needs. Here are a few alternatives to consider:
- Husqvarna 455 Rancher: The Husqvarna 455 Rancher is a formidable competitor known for its power and durability. It comes in various bar lengths and offers similar features to the CS-490, making it a suitable choice for demanding tasks.
- STIHL MS 271 Farm Boss: Stihl is another reputable brand in the chainsaw industry, and the MS 271 Farm Boss is a popular choice. It boasts a high power-to-weight ratio and is well-regarded for its cutting performance.
- Makita XCU03PT1: If you prefer a cordless option, the Makita XCU03PT1 offers the convenience of battery power. It’s a great choice for those who prioritize portability and low maintenance.
- Greenworks 80V: For environmentally conscious consumers, the Greenworks 80V Chainsaw provides a battery-powered alternative. It’s lightweight and emits zero emissions, making it an excellent choice for eco-friendly cutting tasks.
In the world of chainsaws, the ECHO CS-490 stands as a symbol of power, reliability, and durability. Whether you’re a seasoned professional in need of a workhorse or a homeowner looking for a dependable tool to maintain your property, this chainsaw delivers exceptional performance. With various model versions to choose from, you can select the one that best suits your cutting needs.
While the price may be higher compared to some consumer-grade chainsaws, the CS-490’s value shines through its performance, ease of use, and long-lasting durability. It’s a tool that’s ready to tackle any cutting task you throw its way and is built to withstand years of heavy use.
In conclusion, the ECHO CS-490 Chainsaw is a top-tier choice for those who demand the best in outdoor power equipment. Its power, reliability, and feature-rich design make it a worthwhile investment for anyone seeking a dependable chainsaw.
- Is the ECHO CS-490 suitable for beginners? The CS-490 can be used by beginners, but it’s essential to have some experience with chainsaws or receive proper training in their safe operation. Its power and features may be overwhelming for those new to chainsaw use.
- Can I use the CS-490 for professional forestry work? Yes, the CS-490 is well-suited for professional forestry work, especially the models with longer bar lengths (CS-490-20 and CS-490-24). Its power and durability make it a reliable choice for demanding tasks.
- How often should I perform maintenance on the CS-490? Regular maintenance is essential to keep your chainsaw in optimal condition. You should clean the air filter, check the chain tension, and lubricate the bar and chain before each use. Additionally, perform a more thorough inspection and maintenance as recommended in the user manual.
- Can I use ethanol-blended fuel in the CS-490? ECHO recommends using ethanol-free or low-ethanol fuel with an octane rating of at least 89 for optimal performance and to minimize engine damage. Ethanol-blended fuels can lead to carburetor problems and reduced engine life.
- Does the CS-490 come with a warranty? ECHO typically offers a limited warranty for their products, including the CS-490. Warranty terms may vary by region and may include different coverage periods for consumer and commercial use. Be sure to check the warranty details provided by your local dealer or ECHO’s official website.