Howling Success: Echo’s CS-590 Timber Wolf Chainsaw
When I was asked to review the Echo Timber Wolf CS-590 Chainsaw, I’ll admit that I was a bit skeptical. I am used to some of the other big name commercial saws and Echo just is not a brand that is traditionally mentioned in that mix. As I began to take a close look at this chainsaw however, I went from being pleasantly surprised by the quality to flat out impressed with the intelligence of the design.
Features and Design
The first thing that I noticed when I picked up this saw was that there is actually some weight to it. Often consumer brands create a light weight saw that feels light enough for the average person to use around the home, but the lack of weight transfers all the workload to the arms of the user. A well weighted saw like this one balances that weight to work with the user.
As I took a closer look at the CS-590 it became very clear to me that someone actually talked to chainsaw users and used what they found to design the saw. I have seen many companies try to break into the commercial side of the industry and try to add something that the other companies don’t have. Most of the time, the addition is either unnecessary or actually detrimental to the tool. Echo avoided that mistake and while there isn’t really a feature that makes it stand out from the other major commercial brands, they did do a great job with some small things that make a difference.
A great example of the intelligent simplicity is the filter access. Simply unscrew a single nut on the back, which is affixed so you can’t lose it, and there’s the filter. There’s nothing else to unscrew, just take the filter off, clean or replace it, tighten the nut, and you’re good to go. Instead of using a nylon rope to keep the fuel and oil caps from going anywhere, Echo attached it with plastic. That may seem minor, but there isn’t a nylon cord I’ve owned that has outlived the tool’s usefulness. The plastic, on the other hand won’t fray and get cut over time like that nylon cord.
On most chainsaws, if you look underneath, you’ll notice a plastic chain stay that helps keep the chain from vibrating off during use. Taking the bar off will reveal that piece is actually two plates and helps to direct the oil to the chain where it needs to go. Being made of plastic and living next to a fast moving, sharpened chain means that it gets nicked, cut, and eventually loses the specific design it originally had. Engineers of the Timber Wolf designed these plates to be metal, and it will last much longer while still maintaining the design intent.
We tested the Echo Timber Wolf on a couple of stumps we needed removed before using it to tear down a pole barn. It started extremely easily and without hesitation. You’d certainly hope that would be the case with a new saw, but it has been just as easy every time we’ve started it since.
We needed the Echo to make cuts into the beams while we, in true redneck style, gently pulled on the pole barn with a heavy duty rope attached to an F-250 to direct the fall of the structure. The 59.8 cc motor made quick work of the beams, cutting smoothly with an ease that I honestly didn’t expect to experience. There was more than enough torque and no kickback whatsoever. As I mentioned before, the balance and weight worked with me rather than against me or forcing my arms into delivering most of the effort in making each cut. One by one, we cut each structural beam until we got a satisfying groan as the building gave way to gravity and an F-250.
Realistically, the Echo CS-590 can more than hold its own against my other chainsaws that I use for heavy duty work. More than once, I had to remind myself that I was holding an Echo saw and not my beloved Stihl.
Despite my initial skepticism, I am thoroughly impressed with the Echo CS-590 Timber Wolf. While it doesn’t stand out over and above other commercial chainsaws, it should absolutely be included in a performance discussion with them. If I could wrap it up with a single statement, it would be that this chainsaw just works, and I mean that as a compliment.
The intelligence and obvious attention to functionality in its design reminds me of the Echo tools I bought 20 years ago, which are still running. The simplicity of the design ensures that any parts that do break are easily replaced, though it appears that it will be quite some time before that happens.
The bottom line for me is that if Echo continues to produce this kind of quality in its power tools, I’m going to buy them. At an MSRP of $399, this saw keeps up with others that I have paid almost twice that amount for, so it gets excellent marks for value as well. I would recommend the Timber Wolf without hesitation and encourage you to give it some serious consideration if you’re looking for a commercial level chainsaw to add to your tool shed.
- Engine Displacement: 59.8 cc
- Fuel Capacity: 21.8 fl. ounces
- Oil Capacity: 10.1 fl. ounces
- Dry Weight (without bar and chain): 13.3 pounds
- Bar Length Options: 18 or 20 inches
- Oiling System: Auto/Adjustable/Clutch Driven
- Warranty: 1 year commercial/5 year consumer
- MSRP: $399
The Echo CS-590 Timber Wolf has found a sweet spot between simple functionality, intelligent design, and outstanding value. Users will be pleasantly surprised by the quality of this commercial level chainsaw.
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