echo cs 400 chainsaw specs

Discover the Echo CS-400 Review: 8 Essential Insights for Every Woodworker

After thoroughly conducting an Echo CS-400 review, I found it to be a quality chainsaw suitable for both casual and experienced users.

No doubt, my testing of this chainsaw was aided by my 35 years of woodworking experience, where I did more than my fair share of chainsaw milling!

Qualities that I judged to be particularly compelling in the CS-400 included its painless startup process, machine performance, and durable, intuitive design.

That said, I was less enthused with the saw’s lack of an accessible chain tensioner, along with its model age.

Read on for a detailed breakdown of my Echo CS-400 review!

Overview of the Echo CS-400

Chain Saw, Gas, 18 In. Bar, 40.2CC

Let’s kick things off with a quick background on the tool.

Included in the Echo CS-400 chainsaw specs are a 2.7 horsepower engine, a speed of 2,700 RPM, and a 410 mL fuel tank capacity. 

This combination of specs makes the CS-400 a good general-purpose saw, usable for a wide range of projects.

Now, let’s take a brief look at the saw’s most prominent strengths and weaknesses:


  • Easy startup. During testing, I was immediately struck by how quickly and easily the saw started up, which ultimately saved me time and energy.
  • Performance. The CS-400 performs at a high level, and is capable of common tasks like bringing down small trees, removing stumps, and cutting deck lumber.
  • Design quality. By utilizing a simple, intuitive design, the saw reduces its learning curve and provides more inexperienced users a safe choice.


  • Older model. Echo has released new models since the CS-400, and, with every new release, the chances go up that the saw will become obsolete and functionally inferior.
  • No tool-less chain tensioner. The absence of a tool-less chain tensioner creates a longer and more difficult maintenance process, as you’ll need a set of tools any time you check the chain tension.

Echo CS-400: Review and Guide

With that out of the way, it’s time for the meat of my Echo CS-400 review!

Below, I’ll break the chainsaw’s features down into separate categories, and give an overview of each one (along with 8 insights I learned during my testing.)


First and foremost, I was largely impressed with the tool’s design. 

The saw incorporates an air filter, easy fuel access, and a simplified cut-off mechanism, all of which work together to improve performance and minimize maintenance.

A less pleasant aspect of the design that stood out to me was the chain tensioner. 

While most modern chainsaws include a tool-less tensioner, Echo has opted for a classic tensioner. This makes maintenance more difficult on account of the added tool requirements.

Insight #1: An Easy, Simple Design

Though I have some gripes with the chain tensioner, the saw’s design is highly intuitive and overall very pleasant to use.

Weight and Balance

The CS-400 is on the lighter side, weighing in at roughly 10 lbs. This lower weight offers more mobility and improves the usability of the saw.

One quality that can’t be ignored is the balance!

While testing the saw, I was extraordinarily satisfied with its balance, which vastly increased performance and held up even with the larger, 18-inch bar.

Insight #2: Tool Balance Is Nearly Perfect

For a chainsaw, the balance offered by the CS-400 is as close to optimal as you can realistically get.


echo cs 400 review

In terms of raw engine power, this chainsaw doesn’t hold much back.

My testing showed that the 2.7 HP engine was more than sufficient to accomplish most sawing tasks, from slicing logs and branches to clearing out stumps and old wooden structures.

That said, for heavy-duty farm tasks, this probably isn’t the ideal saw, as there are more powerful options that can more efficiently get the job done.

Insight #3: The Saw Packs a Punch

Though a generalist saw, the tool offers no shortage of engine power to work with!

Ease of Use

Even as a seasoned woodworker, I’ve run into more than a few chainsaws that included confusing or overly-complex design flaws.

The CS-400, however, is not one of those saws.

Thanks to its readily accessible parts, trigger release mechanism, and included tools (like Echo’s T-wrench), the saw is straightforward to use and is a surprisingly good fit for beginners.

Insight #4: A Forgiving Learning Curve

If you’re a new woodworker just trying out a chainsaw for the first time, the Echo is a solid, user-friendly choice.

Startup Performance

Many of us are all-too–familiar with the irritating and time-wasting process of starting up a chainsaw.

Fortunately, all of that became a distant memory when I first started this tool.

The saw incorporates a gripping handle and single-pull startup mechanism that cuts down prep time and streamlines your workflow. 

Insight #5: Startup Is Painless

Owing largely to its well-designed gripping handle and single-pull starter, the CS-400 is quick, easy, and simple to get going.

Cutting Performance

chainsaw cs 400
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My experience with this Echo chainsaw ended up as a testament to the tool’s cutting precision, minimal vibration, and productive speed.

No job I tested (from sawing down a small tree in my yard, to cutting apart the leftover timber from an old deck I’d built) proved to be beyond the CS-400’s capabilities.

Maintaining the chainsaw also posed no real challenges, as the air filter is easy to clean and the main saw parts aren’t difficult to reach.

Insight #6: Echo Offers High Performance

Maintenance is a breeze, and the saw was easily able to complete every task I came up with to test it.

Noise Level

Some chainsaws end up sounding more like jet engines, but the CS-400 is thankfully on the quieter end of the spectrum.

On the other hand, it’s by no means the quietest saw you can buy, and, at higher speeds, ear protection becomes necessary. 

Overall, the noise is, in most cases, entirely manageable. 

Insight #7: The CS-400 Is Relatively Quiet 

No chainsaw is going to offer a silent experience, but Echo has produced a tool that isn’t likely to disturb your neighbors with its volume.


Given its extensive feature set, lightweight and balanced design, and heavy-duty cutting capacity, this Echo saw is quite reasonably valued at below $500.

The saw is just about at the lower limit of affordability without sacrificing any of its professional-grade features.

Insight #8: A Fairly-Priced Saw

Compared to other saws that offer the same or similar features, the CS-400 is well within a reasonable price range.

Final Thoughts

Despite minor shortcomings like newer, competing models and a frustrating chain tensioner, the CS-400 is an overall high-quality chainsaw.

Positive features that stood out to me during my Echo CS-400 review were the saw’s durable and beginner-friendly design, quick startup, and exceptional performance.

*This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure to learn more.

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