Professional Tool Reviews for Pros
The ECHO CS-501P X-Series chainsaw is an absolute pleasure to use. It has the performance to cut through hardwoods with ease and low weight which makes it easier to manage. As long as the ignition switch isn't a deal-breaker for you (and it shouldn't be), you'll have a hard time finding a better combination of weight and power in the 50cc class. Strong Garden Shears
Our resident ranch foreman and country music singer, Eli Mosely called me up to see what we had in the way of chainsaws to deal with some downed oak trees he had on the property. We’ve had good success with battery-powered models, but he wanted something in the 50cc class to make the work more efficient. We gave our friends at ECHO a shout and got our hands on the CS-501P—an X-Series chainsaw that looked right up his alley.
As part of the X-Series, we expect higher performance and that’s what we got out of the chainsaw’s 50.2cc engine. As the guys were making quick work of a downed oak, the 20-inch Pro-Lite bar and 20LPX chain simply melted through the hardwood with all the confidence we could hope for in this engine class.
Note: You can also get this saw with a 16- or 18-inch bar if either of those sizes suit your needs better.
Helping out that engine is what ECHO calls its G-Force engine air pre-cleaner. It’s designed to extend the filter life and the amount of time you can have the chainsaw in service between maintenance intervals. When you need to access the filter, it’s a tool-free process. Just loosen the knob on the housing above the handle.
There’s also a digital ignition system along with a decompression valve, making starting easier.
ECHO’s X-Series isn’t just about performance. It’s also about weight savings. With a dry weight of just 10.6 pounds, the CS-501P stakes its claim as the lightest 50cc chainsaw available in North America. What that means for you is excellent cutting performance with lower fatigue on bigger jobs.
Chain tensioning is a straightforward process. Start by loosening the two bar nuts. A 1/2 turn each is plenty. Support the bar in one hand and use the scrench to adjust the chain tensioner with the other. Tight the bar nuts back up and you’re good to go.
When you do need to access the chain sprocket to clear out debris or change out the bar/chain, the bar nuts are captive, so you don’t have to worry about losing them.
The only thing we didn’t care for on this chainsaw is the ignition switch. It doesn’t automatically return to the “On” position after you shut the engine off. That might seem minor, but it’s actually a pain point for many chainsaw users. ECHO’s product team is aware of it, and their newest chainsaw models we saw at the Equip Expo (formerly GIE) back in October have the automatic return design.
Retail pricing for this ECHO X-Series chainsaw is $499.99 to $519.99, depending on which bar length you go with. It has a 5-year consumer warranty or a 1-year commercial-use warranty.
The ECHO CS-501P X-Series chainsaw is an absolute pleasure to use. It has the performance to cut through hardwoods with ease and low weight which makes it easier to manage. As long as the ignition switch isn’t a deal-breaker for you (and it shouldn’t be), you’ll have a hard time finding a better combination of weight and power in the 50cc class.
On the clock, Kenny dives deep to discover the practical limits and comparative differences for all kinds of tools. Off the clock, his faith and love for his family are his top priorities, and you'll typically find him in the kitchen, on his bike (he's an Ironman), or taking folks out for a day of fishing on Tampa Bay.
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