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Stihl and ECHO are two of the most well-known brands in the world when it comes to powered yard tools. Each company has a long, rich history, huge dealer network, and above all else, excellent products. But which brand is superior? We’ve got a complete side-by-side breakdown in this article but here’s the quick and dirty:
Stihl vs. ECHO – Stihl offers the best choices and reliability with chainsaws. ECHO has better residential options for trimmers, blowers, and edgers. Both offer exceptional multi-attachment tools.
Now I realize that consumers have deep brand loyalties when it comes to the tools used on personal possessions like a home.
Both companies and their products do a fine job in both residential and commercial settings.
Stihl may have an advantage in some areas, while ECHO is better in others. So let’s start the process of breaking this down.
First, a look at the corporate structure of each of these companies.
|Number of Employees
|Corporate – OME, Japan ECHO-Lake Zurich, IL.
|700 Corporate Employees
|Corporate – Virginia Beach, VA.
10 Primary Distributors
Clearly, Stihl has the largest footprint. Both companies market both gasoline and electric products and offer products for residential and commercial users.
Now, let’s dive deep into each of these companies so that you have a full understanding of their size and influence and see if they deserve your confidence as a buyer.
ECHO has been in business for over 70 years, founded on 9/08/1947 by the Kyoritsu Noki Company LTD. The company built a revolutionary manual duster for pest control and a power-duster.
After World War II, Japan was experiencing a massive shortage of the necessities of life, including food and clean water. The company seized on the opportunity and invented a hand crank spreader for delivering dry chemicals to much-needed crops.
In 1955 the company’s first back-pack power duster was introduced in 1955. The first-ever chain saw with the ECHO brand was introduced in 1963. Year after year, ECHO continued to introduce innovative products to make commercial consumer’s life easier.
Chain saws and curved shaft edgers were invented and met with huge success. ECHO continued to innovate across an array of commercial and residential yard tool systems. One of the more practical inventions occurred in 2002 with the company’s Rapid-Loader Trimmer Head.
A merger of Kioritz and Shindaiwa corporations in 2008 created a world force in power tools. Headquartered in OME Japan, the corporate brand includes Shindaiwa and ECHO.
Andreas Stihl became preoccupied with the tools that could make the back-breaking work of forestry easier. In 1926 Stihl built a two-person electric chain saw that revolutionized the industry. Today, Stihl is well represented in more than 180 countries in varied industries, including forestry, construction, landscape, and agriculture.
The major expansion came in the seventies when the company built plants in Brazil and the United States. The number of Stihl products also greatly increased. They were growing the product base from chainsaws to edgers, line trimmers, and blowers.
The international headquarters of Andreas Stihl AG and Company KG, are located in Waiblingen, Baden-Wüttemberg Germany, near Stuggart.
The United States headquarters is located in Virginia Beach, Virginia and employs about 2000 people. Worldwide, Stihl employs over 18,000 employees.
Each company offers a comprehensive line-up of landscape, pest control, and forestry products, catering to commercial and residential consumers.
Around the world, the quality of each product grouping is well-known. A vast number of consumers swear by each company the products they use every day.
Stihl vs ECHO – Chainsaws
Stihl and ECHO both offer a full line of professional and homeowner chainsaws. However, STIHL started their company with a two-person chainsaw product; naturally, they are going to have an extensive line-up in this category.
ECHO has placed a lot of R&D engineering and consumer feedback into their product and fare very well against STIHL. Here’s a side-by-side comparison of similar offerings from each company:
|80.7 CC / 4.92 cu. In.
|24″ to 36″
|Stihl MS-880 Magnum
|121.6 cc / 7.42 cu. In.
|17″ to 59″
Where ECHO really stands out is in its consumer warranty:
|Butter-Fly Carburetor/Automatic Oiler 1-Year Commercial/5-Year Consumer
|Stihl MS-880 Magnum
|Compensating Carburetor/Decompression Valves/Side Access Chain Tensioner 1-Year Personal-2-Year Commercial
Both the ECHO 800P and STIHL 880 Magnum offer plenty of power for any commercial or residential job. The STIHL 880 Magnum is purely a heavy-duty commercial product, while the ECHO 800P is ideal for commercial landscapers and homeowner use.
Both saws feature great designs and build materials. The ECHO 800P incorporates a vibration control system and aluminum construction. STIHL’s 880 Magnum is built for the commercial forestry industry, and the saw can handle up to five feet of cutting bar length.
Which Chainsaw Is Best?
Stihl has a competitive advantage over every other company in the world when it comes to the scope and availability of their chainsaws, and this includes ECHO.
The company has been building innovative chainsaw products for over 70 years, and it is evident in the design and technologies. But don’t overlook the value of that 5-year consumer warranty from ECHO.
ECHO vs Stihl – Edger
Edgers are the perfect tool for giving any yard or turf area a finished look. These versatile tools can make driveways and sidewalks look crisp and clean. Edgers are extremely useful for redefining flower beds and natural areas.
ECHO and Stihl offer a variety of different models for commercial or home use. A great feature of using established brands are the accessories, warranties, and extensive dealer networks available to consumers.
|20.6 fl. oz.
As you can see, both models stand toe-to-toe on most points. The only noticeable difference is that the ECHO offers higher fuel capacity. And their features are not that different either:
|Open Guard and Skid Plate and adjustable depth wheel
|2 Stage Air-Filtration, Debris Shield, and Adjustment Wheel
Both Edgers are capable products for either commercial or residential use. Stihl offers an efficient engine that produces low-emissions and noise, making it the perfect tool for commercial use where minimizing sound for customers is important.
The ECHO FC 56 C-E features an Easy2Start system, which incorporates an automatic choke lever. Tug at the start cable and you are ready to go.
ECHO’s Perfect Edge Edger delivers a lot of power in a durable and lightweight tool. The Perfect Edger provides 20% more torque through its Pro-Torque Gear Case. A clog-resistant shield and light powerhead make this an excellent tool for any use.
Which Edger Is Best?
Even though Stihl offers a more diverse choice of Edgers, the ECHO Perfect Edge Edger is the better choice for residential users. ECHO’s product has more built-in technology with its advanced gearbox and air-filtration systems.
Click here to check pricing and availability for the ECHO PE-2620S (Link to Amazon).
Stihl vs ECHO – Leaf Blowers
There is no more useful tool in a homeowner’s garage or landscape trailer than a quality back-pack blower. Blowing off the driveway once a job is finished or clearing the yard of leaves in the fall is just a few of the many uses.
Professional landscapers are looking for a lightweight tool with easy access to controls. Homeowners want long-term quality and low-maintenance.
Ergonomic design is a vital aspect when deciding on a blower to purchase. For homeowners, easy-grip handles and lightweight are important features fore blowers. For professionals, secure straps, trigger placement, and easy in-field maintenance are important.
Let’s look at comparisons between the gas models from each company.
These are both aimed primarily at commercial markets but can certainly find a home in residential use.
|83.8 fl. oz.
ECHO has a clear advantage in fuel capacity and displacement but the Stihl model is slightly lighter and that may really become noticeable after hours of heavy use such as in commercial landscaping.
For residential use, however, ECHO is our choice. The extra fuel capacity and power ensure that you’ll get the job done fast and not have to worry as much with fuel refills.
Click Here to check pricing and availability (link to Amazon). If the product does not show as available, be sure to search Amazon for ECHO PB-8010T. Dealer offerings change often.
Both Stihl and ECHO have an extensive line-up of quality trimmers. Several shaft configurations are available, and power options include gasoline and electric-powered models.
As another great option, both companies offer a multi-attachment toolset, which includes a string trimmer.
If you are in the market for a gas string trimmer, both ECHO and Stihl offer a multitude of options. If are not sure whether you want gas or battery, read Gas vs Electric: 6 Reasons To Use Battery-Powered Yard Tools.
By the way, don’t get bogged down in which premixed fuel you should use for your gas trimmer. I’ve researched this to death and have published my findings on this site. Read Stihl Motomix vs Premixed Alternatives: 4 Products Compared.
Let’s compare models in the gas-powered area. Fuel capacity is a wash as both hold 24 fl. oz. but how do they compare otherwise?
|ECHO SRM 3020T
|Dry Weight 12.3 lbs.
|59-inch Shaft Length/Speed-Feed Cutting Head/Straight Shaft
|Stihl FS 311
|Reduced Emission Tech./Steel-on-Steel Clutch/Compensating Carburetor
Coming in a full three pounds lighter, the ECHO is more suitable for homeowner use while Stihl’s bicycle-style handlebar grips make it a great solution for commercial use.
Click Here for pricing on ECHO String Trimmers (link to Amazon)
Comparing apples-to-apples gets a little challenging in the electric yard tools arena. We want to find products that are comparable in features but also close in pricing. To do this, we had to put a corded electric trimmer from Stihl against the battery-powered ECHO.
|0.6KW/5.3 AMPS/120 V
|Polymer Housing/AutoCut Head/Built-in Cord
|Brushless 58Volt Motor
|10.5 lbs. with Battery
|102-Watt Battery Capacity/55 min. Run Time/Speed-Feed Head
ECHO has developed a handy technology for their cutting heads. The Speed-Feed Head lets consumers reload string in seconds with an easy process. No longer do users need to disassemble the cutting head, to reload string. ECHO offers two Speed-Feed Heads, the 400 model, and 450.
Stihl puts a lot of engineering into their line trimmers with different handle variations, and shaft lengths are available. The company also builds line trimmers for efficient use by homeowners and landscapers. Stihl features extremely fuel-efficient engines, anti-vibration technology, and durable components.
Which Electric Trimmer Is Best?
This category is a dead heat when it comes to choosing the right trimmer.
Most homeowners look at warranties and individual jobs and match the tool to that job.
Professionals look for long-term reliability and a tool that can do multiple jobs throughout the day. Both companies fit the bill nicely.
In this comparison, the Stihl is corded but they do have battery-powered trimmers as well. You can see their options on their website using the link below.
Stihl Electric Trimmer Options (link to Stihl)
Echo Electric Trimmer Options (link to Amazon)
Stihl Kombi vs ECHO PAS – Mult-Attachment Tools
ECHO offers its Pro Attachment Series, which is perfect for a growing residential customer. Landscapers are now seeing the value of these tools. The company offers three Power Heads and two Powerheads with an attachment.
The PAS toolset provides 15 separate attachments and two extensions. ECHO has put a lot of engineering and support into this product, and the Pro Attachment Series is suitable for both the Professional Landscaper and homeowners.
Stihl’s Kombi System is a rugged set of tools designed for a hard day-long work environment. The company offers three Kombi Systems.
- Electric – one Power Head
- Homeowner Series – one Power Head
- Professional Kombi – Four Power Heads
Each system can employ the full range of attachments and accessories.
The big advantage to the PAS Series and Kombi Systems is the fuel savings and maintenance costs. Having one powerhead to deal with instead of separate engines for each tool can really add up to savings in time.
I’ve owned the Stihl Kombisystem for a couple of years and have been extremely pleased with this multi-tool concept. Click here to read my complete review.
This feature is a vital consideration for professionals and homeowners alike. Another feature is the space savings, which is a major consideration for residential customers.
The Kombi System offers 14 attachments and one extension. Warranties, accessories, and maintenance products are extensive for Kombi.
For a comprehensive review of the top-recommended multi-attachment system yard tool manufacturers read Best Multi-Attachment Yard Tools & Kombisystem Alternatives.
Who Makes The Best Multi-Attachment Yard Tool?
Both systems offer solid performance for consumers, and each company provides an electric option.
ECHO’s Pro Attachment Series offers a broad array of tools to start building a long-term system.
Stihl’s Kombi System offers a few more Power-heads to choose from, and the ECHO system provides a few more attachments.
Stihl and ECHO see a huge market for this type of product, and each company is pouring a vast amount of support behind each system. Warranties for each series are very good, and there is no better dealer network on the planet than Stihl or ECHO.
And so, I’m comfortable recommending either of these. I have the Stihl Kombisystem and have been very pleased with it but I wouldn’t hesitate to invest in an ECHO PAS.
I like that it’s available on Amazon which makes purchasing new attachments easier. If I didn’t live less than 20 minutes from a Stihl dealer, ECHO would have been my go-to choice.
Read more about the Stihl Kombisystem (link to Stihl)
Check pricing and availability for the ECHO PAS (link to Amazon)