Echo CS 490 vs Echo CS 590 | Which One Should You Buy?

Echo chainsaws are made by Shindaiwa Inc. in Japan, USA, and sold through Echo America Corp. They are considered to be one of the best quality brands available today. Since Shindaiwa also manufactures its own saw chain (branded as ‘Starcut’) that is uniquely suited for their products, I find it interesting to compare the different saws offered by the company.

Echo is a very popular brand in the outdoor power equipment industry. They have good quality products and they last a long time if properly used. Some of the models on the market today offer more features than others, but it’s hard to decide which one to buy. 

Echo cs-490 vs cs 590 chainsaws are designed with an easy starting system and these types of saws start on the first pull every time.

Comparison Chart

The Echo CS 490 and the CS 590 are both great chainsaws for folks to get into chainsaw ownership. They both offer a lot of power in a lightweight package, but they have some marked differences that may sway you one way or the other. I’ve put together this comparison to help you figure out which will be best for your needs.

Model

Echo CS-490

Echo CS-590

Image

Engine Size

50.2 cc

59.8 cc

Engine Technology

Standard 2-stroke

Standard 2-stroke

Handle Material

Plastic

Plastic

Fuel Tank Capacity

16.6 fl.oz.

21.8 fl.oz.

Bar Oil Capacity

9.5 fl.oz.

10.1 fl.oz.

Weight

10.6 lbs.

13.3 lbs.

Magnesium  Sprocket  Guard

Yes

No

Standard  Dual  Bumper  Spike

No

No

Wrap Handle Option

No

No

Price

Echo CS 490 Chainsaw

echo CS-490 chainsaw

The Echo CS-490 is a popular chainsaw because of its low weight and excellent power-to-weight ratio. It represents an improvement over the earlier CS-460 by re-positioning the carburetor, making it easier to access for maintenance or rebuilding.

This saw is very light (at only 10.6 lbs), and fast (total time for assembly of fewer than 10 minutes); it has three speeds; its bar has 12 teeth; the chain runs very well; it doesn’t produce any smoke while running, nor does it need any specific maintenance.

The CS-490 has a 40 cc 2-stroke engine. The cylinder is made from iron and the piston from cast iron. The compression ratio is 6: 1. The carburetor is 20mm Bing with slide throttle, made in Germany. It features a centrifugal clutch and a chain brake.

Pros
  • Noise Gate/Suppressor
  • Compressor/Sustain
  • Low Input Noise
  • Amp Modelling
  • Good Factory Presets
  • Built Like A Tank
  • Lots Of Connections On The Back
Cons
  • No Built-In Effects
  • Lacking A Separate Volume For Clean Sound
  • Switching Might Be Noisy Under Some Conditions

 

Echo CS 590 Chainsaw

echo s 490 vs echo cs 590 chainsaw

The Echo CS-590 chainsaw is what you want if your goal is to get the most out of every dollar spent. This model has amazing engine power, which penetrates through even the toughest wood. When it comes down to ergonomics, this product provides a top level of comfort and ease of use for its user. 

For someone who does not have any experience using chainsaws, this model’s low price will be an added bonus. It works well on many types of trees as well as on various levels of soil hardness. 

You can easily transport it without too much effort because it only weighs 12 pounds. Its storage size is very modest so that means you will not have trouble storing it away at home or anywhere else. This chainsaw has a great cutting bar and chain, but we recommend replacing them with higher-quality alternatives.

Pros
  • Have Long-Lasting Components
  • Has A Large Fuel Tank
  • Great Oiler
  • Equipped With An Air Purge System
  • Has A Side Chain Tensioner
Cons
  • Causes Discomfort 
  • Defective Chain Brake System
  • Some Parts Wear Down Easily

 

Similarities Between Echo Cs-490 And Echo Cs 590 Chainsaws

The housing

The Echo CS-490 and the Echo CS-590 are very similar models in terms of their design, with both possessing a long metal bottom section that houses the engine. The bottom part is divided into three different sections:

  • Oil tank (similar parts)
  • Air filter (muffler included)
  • Engine control knob (similar parts)

Note the similarity between these two chainsaws’ housing ends, which both have large front wheels attached to them. Note also how they keep to small details like this, even including matching knobs placed similarly by type on top of their larger shafts.

Handlebars & Grips

The grip section of the Echo CS-490 and the Echo CS-590 is also very similar. They both have a metal sleeve that holds the handlebars, which are made from wood, in place. 

The main difference between these two chainsaws’ grips is in their surfaces: the Echo CS-490 has its grip wrapped with a thin wire mesh, whereas the Echo CS-590 has leather strips added for additional comfort during operation.

Combustion Engines

Both models possess an identical type of combustion engine: a single-cylinder one that runs on a mixture of gasoline and oil to produce energy for cutting through trees and other vegetation. 

This engine has a displacement of 49 ccs (cub centimeters), meaning that it can produce a maximum of 1.51 horsepower in standard operation, which is comparably less than the Echo CS-590’s output of 2 HP (horsepower).

The engine on these chainsaws is air-cooled via an additional fan that keeps it cool during use. This allows it to produce more efficient combustion so that the saws are not interfered with when they are being used.

Power Transmission

Both saws use a very similar gearbox design, with the only difference between them being in their numbers: the Echo CS-490 has 3 different speeds while its predecessor has 5 speeds for increased flexibility. 

The internal components of both chainsaws’ transmission mechanisms are also very similar to each other, with no notable differences in their design or functionality.

Additional Chainsaw Features

Both chainsaws possess the same additional features, such as:      

  • The engine idle speed knob
  • Two spring-loaded latches to hold the saw securely during transportation and storage

Note how these two models both have a large red emergency stop button placed at their center by type. Note also that they even use this button in exactly the same way, with no differences between them other than perhaps coloring (the Echo CS-590 is red while the Echo CS-490 is black).

Auxiliary Tools & Functionality

The auxiliary tools attached to both saws are very similar to each other and include: 

  • The depth adjustment knob (Echo CS-490 has its own depth adjusting system, which is located at its side)
  • A sawmill attachment (in the case of the Echo CS-590, it can be attached to where the depth adjustment lever would normally go)

Differences between Echo CS-490 and Echo CS 590 chainsaws

They may look similar at first glance, but there are actually several important differences between these two models.

Engine power

The first difference is the fact that the Echo CS-590 has a 2 HP engine, while the CS-490 has a 1.5 HP engine.

Oil delivery

The second major difference is in the way oil is delivered to both of these chainsaws’ bars and chains — the CS-490 uses full-flow technology, while the CS-590 uses pulse pump technology. This means that it will require more maintenance to keep your Echo CS-490 running smoothly than it would an Echo CS-590.

Though many owners of Echo chainsaws say you can go much longer without having to replace their high-pressure oil pumps than what’s recommended in their owner’s manuals.

Fuel and oil mixture

Echo recommends adding a 25:1 ratio of fuel to 2-cycle motor oil for your CS-590, while owners of the CS-490 are instructed to use a 50:1 ratio. The fourth difference between these chainsaws is that they’re slightly different sizes — the Echo CS-590 weighs 12 pounds, while the smaller Echo CS-490 only weighs 10 pounds.

Damping system

Like many chainsaws, both models come with anti-vibration systems integrated into them; however, the damping system on the Echo CS-590 has four times as much internal damping designed into it as compared to what’s found inside an Echo CS-490.

Chain brake cover

The Echo CS-590 has an orange plastic chain brake cover, while the CS-490 has a black chain brake cover; both models come with an inertia activated chain brake system built into them, but the one on the CS-590 is larger than the one on the CS-490.

Replacement accessories

Owners of either model will be happy to know that they can purchase additional items for personalizing their chainsaws, including reinforced bumpers and rear handles. 

They also have access to parts specific to each model — owners of an Echo CS-590 won’t have any problem finding replacement air filters for theirs in most home improvement stores, while owners of an Echo CS-490 may have trouble finding these items in some stores.

Warranty

The CS-490 comes with a manual choke and limited 3-year warranty (90 days on the bar and chain), while the CS-590 comes with an automatic choke, has a full 5-year warranty (180 days on both), and includes an extra spark plug.

Final Verdict

The Echo CS-590 and Echo CS-490 are both very similar chainsaws in terms of their design and functionality, with only combustion power being different between them. However, even this can be considered a minor difference by many people who would not need such an increased output from a chainsaw while working on trees or vegetation. 

In closing, both these models are great additions to any household or business that requires chainsaws for cutting down trees or performing other daily tasks.

The Echo CS-590 is more powerful than its successor, but it also costs more than the Echo CS-490 when considering that it has 5 speeds instead of 3 and comes with a bar and chain oil tank to keep it operating in peak condition during use. 

For this reason, the Echo CS-490 is considered by many people to be an excellent buy for anyone who does not need the increased performance from the company’s latest model.

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