I was pleased when TCIA asked me to write a review on a chain saw they would have shipped out to me. I thought, “Sure, why not?” But I was even more excited when Echo sent its CS-7310P rear-handled saw, because I had been considering checking out that saw since it came out. I’ve been running the smaller Echo top-handled saws for climbing for a while, and have so far been pretty happy with the equipment. So the chance to finally run one of the bigger saws in its line was going to be great!
The first thing I noticed when I picked it up was how solid it felt. It doesn’t really feel any lighter than any of the other saws I’ve used for felling, but when you get into the bigger wood, you want a powerful saw to feel solid – like it will make it through the tree. This one feels solid. To me, this CS-7310P would compare to a Husqvarna 372 or the new 572, or the Stihl 462. You get around 72 or 73 CCs of power, which is just fine for anything we have here in New Hampshire. Good chain on it, too. The chain that comes with it is one of the tough, Oregon commercial chains, and we haven’t had any issues cutting with it. The saw pretty much just chews through our pine and red maple.
The next thing I was really impressed with was the bar-oil efficiency. We can run a tank of oil quite a bit longer than with the older-model saws. We used to go through one tank of gas to one tank of oil at every refill, whereas this Echo gives us maybe half a tank of oil to a tank of gas. We save a lot on the oil.
Another thing I noticed was how fast this chain saw broke in. It didn’t take long at all for it to settle into the work – maybe a couple of tanks of gas. And by that, I mean that the engine parts started to really mesh together and loosen up quickly. There was no sputtering or sluggishness, and you could feel the responsiveness improve as it broke in.
One thing I noticed, though, is that it doesn’t rev as high as what I’m used to running for Husky or Stihl, but that’s not really a deal breaker. The power-to-weight ratio is especially good.
You’ll see in the video we made of this review that the chain was frozen to the bar that day because, well, New Hampshire in winter. But we found that the motor starts right up, even in cold temperatures. It was 10 degrees on the morning of this trial, and there were no concerns for the saw. It was really nice knowing we could count on the saw to start up when we needed it. Just like any motor, though, you have to let it idle a bit to warm up.
My one suggestion to the Echo engineers is that – to me – the trigger seems a bit long, meaning it isn’t as responsive as I would prefer. You have to pull the trigger back a ways before it engages the motor. Maybe there could be an adjustment for that in the future? Again, not a deal breaker, just something we need to get used to. Just the nature of this saw.
The Echo CS-7310P – for the price, you can’t beat it. It could be a great entry tool if you’re just starting out in the field, as well as a daily-use saw for
medium-sized trees. You get your money’s worth with this saw, no doubt about it. I’ll be running it straight through until it doesn’t run anymore.
Chris Girard is a Certified Treecare Safety Professional (CTSP), a Certified Arborist, a Society of Professional Rope Access Technicians (SPRAT) Level 1 Technician and owner of Girard Tree Service, a 12-year TCIA member company based in Gilmanton, New Hampshire.