Echo Chain Saws: Rear Handle or Top Handle – Which One is Right For You?

Echo specializes in chain saws and provides both rear handle and top handle models. It is important to select the correct chain saw for the project. Only a qualified Echo dealer can offer you the best selections and newest models. The chain saw’s unique differences are most noticeable during their application. Proper choice selection is extremely important for safety and overall project excellence, timeliness and precision.

The Echo chain saw is designed with a number of important features that ensure a long life of powerful performance and high level of productivity. The air filtration system is designed with a large air intake for bringing in the maximum amount of cooling air. The pleated or felt type air filter prevents dirt entry which maximizes the life of the engine. The vibration reduction systems utilized in the Echo chain saws promote higher levels of comfort. The electronic ignition allows for easy and quick starts.

Echo chain saws come in a variety of engine sizes, lengths, and handle configurations. Selecting the right tool for the user and the job is vitally important. When making a saw selection, the individual should determine what the saw will be used for 75 to 80 percent of the time. The user’s knowledge level should also be taken into consideration. There are three levels of users: professional, experienced and beginner.

Two basic configurations for chain saws:
• Top handle
• Rear handle

Echo Top Handle

The top handle saw allows the user to control the direction and operation of the chain saw unit from the top. This powerful tool is primarily used for working within the tree or on lower lying branches. This saw design offers a well-balanced center and an agreeable grip. Some Echo top handle models include the CS-271T, CS330T, CS341 and CS360T.

Top Handle Pros and Cons

The top handle saw is most beneficial when utilized for professional tree care. The pro is the professional and powerful design. Another pro is the balance ability. The con is its lack of versatility. It must be used for above ground limb cutting or in a bucket. This saw design is restricted to working at heights. The top handled saw should not be used at ground level and lacks the versatility that is achievable with the rear handle saw. Another fundamental difference between the rear handle and top handle saw is the top handled saw’s ability to be used with one hand. One-handed operation must be handled with expertise and knowledge.

Echo Rear Handle

The rear handle chain saw is designed for versatile use and is beginner friendly. This unit features both front and rear handles which allow for better mobility and versatility. The two handles are spread apart for easier application. The rear handle design is the most popular saw. There are a number of reasons why it’s so popular. Some available Echo rear handle models include the CS-310, CS-352, CS370, CS400, CS450 and the CS450P.

Rear Handle Pros and Cons

A pro for utilizing the rear handle saw is the easy manageability due to the front and rear widely spaced handles. This saw design is easy to manipulate and performs at the highest levels in the hands of beginners, intermediates and professionals. This saw can be used for felling and bucking and firewood. The balance of this saw makes a single-handed operation impractical and unwise.

Professional, Experienced and Beginner Selections

• Beginners should be sure to select a rear handle in a 30 to 40cc. This is the adequate engine size and power outage for a beginner level.
• Experienced individuals working on larger projects generally require a 40 to 60cc chain saw.
• Professional loggers usually use a 70cc chain saw or higher.

Bar Length Selection for the User and the Job

• Choose a unit with a bar length 1 to 2 inches longer then the objects that will be cut 75 to 80 percent of the time.
• Be sure to use bar and chain combinations based on the recommendations from the Echo chain saw manufacturer.
• The user can check the balance of the saw by holding the saw by the left handle alone. Holding the saw by the left handle only with the chain in place will ensure that the user selects a proper weight and length. A properly balanced saw will remain horizontal to the ground rather than being back or front heavy.

Common Uses

• Felling and bucking
• Cutting firewood
• Cutting and trimming limbs

Selecting the best saw for the job will eliminate fatigue and ensure that the job is completed proficiently and in excellence. Purchase the right saw for the job. Be sure to choose a top quality, durable top or rear handle saw from your authorized Echo dealer. Your Echo dealer can also assist you with determining which rear or top handle saw is right for you.

 is a proud dealer of outdoor power equipment for many popular brands like STIHL, and Echo. For more information and money saving coupons, visit us online at, call or visit us at any of our two convenient locations: Elgin, IL (815) 788-1616 and Crystal Lake, IL (847) 695-1616.

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3 Responses to Echo Chain Saws: Rear Handle or Top Handle – Which One is Right For You?

  1. Cassie says:

    Excellent article. I read the review of Echo CS 330T top handle saw online and bought it on the author’s advice. I never ever regretted that decision, Echo saws are really very powerful and are not at all bulky.

  2. Thanks for the great article. Echo seems like a great brand. Do they have any electric chainsaws?

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