Echo CS-490 Review (2023) — Horsepower, Chain, and Specs

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Most chainsaws today are built differently, and if you get the wrong type, it will be uncomfortable to use, making cutting tasks even more difficult. The Echo CS-490 is said to be built for the most demanding cutting jobs, but is it built for durability and longevity?

In this Echo CS-490 review, I’ll take a closer at its features, performance, and overall value.

What I Like

What I Don't Like

Design, Structure, and Weight

The Echo CS-490 features a sleek, modern design that is stylish and functional. Thanks to its magnesium crankcase, the chainsaw has a solid structure, which provides a sturdy foundation for the engine and other components.

Additionally, the chainsaw has a relatively long bar length of 20 inches, which allows for greater cutting capacity. However, this also contributes to its weight, which is 10.6 pounds. 

While the chainsaw’s weight may be a drawback for some users, others may appreciate its added stability when making cuts.

The Echo CS-490’s design, structure, and weight are well-suited for heavy-duty cutting tasks, making it a popular choice among professionals and DIY enthusiasts.

Echo CS-490 Features

Overview of Specs

Engine Power

The Echo CS-490 chainsaw boasts a powerful 50.2cc two-stroke engine that delivers ample power for even the most demanding cutting tasks. With a maximum horsepower of 3.9, this chainsaw can quickly work even the most challenging jobs. 

The engine is designed to be fuel-efficient, which means you can spend less time refueling and more time cutting. 

Additionally, the chainsaw comes with an i-30TM starting system that makes it easy to create, even in cold weather. This system is designed to make starting the chainsaw easy and hassle-free, even in cold weather.

The starting system features a spring-assisted starter rope that requires less effort to pull, which means you can start the chainsaw with less effort. Additionally, the design features a digital ignition system that ensures reliable starts, even in harsh conditions.

Another critical aspect of the Echo CS-490 engine is its exhaust system. The chainsaw is designed to comply with EPA emission regulations, producing fewer emissions than many other chainsaws on the market. This makes the chainsaw better for the environment and means you won’t have to worry about breathing in harmful fumes while you work.

Chain and Brake

The Echo CS-490 has a heavy-duty chain and brake system that provides maximum performance and safety.

The chainsaw features a 20-inch bar length suitable for a wide range of cutting tasks, and the chain is designed to stay sharp for more extended periods, which means you can spend less time sharpening and more time cutting.

The chainsaw also comes with a powerful inertia brake that stops the chain in milliseconds in the event of kickback, which can help prevent serious injuries.

The dual-post chain brake handle design allows the user to quickly engage the chain brake with either hand, which can be helpful when working in awkward positions or cutting in tight spaces.

This feature also helps to reduce operator fatigue by allowing the user to switch hands during prolonged use. Additionally, the engine is designed to emit less vibration, enhancing the comfort of using the chainsaw for extended periods.

Air Filter

The Echo CS-490 has a high-performance air filter to keep the engine running smoothly and efficiently. The air filter is easy to access and clean so that you can keep the chainsaw in top condition with minimal effort. 

The filter is also designed to last longer than traditional air filters, so you can spend less time and money replacing it.

This air filter uses both a felt filter and a nylon screen to ensure that even the smallest particles are captured before they can enter the engine. This dual filtration system helps improve the chainsaw’s performance and extends the machine’s life by preventing damage from debris and dust.

It is also designed with a large surface area to provide excellent airflow and reduce the need for frequent cleaning. With the Echo CS-490, you can trust that your chainsaw’s engine is protected by a high-quality air filtration system that is both effective and easy to maintain.


The Echo CS-490 is a high-performance chainsaw designed to tackle various cutting tasks easily.

Whether you’re cutting through thick branches, felling trees, or preparing firewood, this chainsaw is up to it. The chainsaw features a 20-inch bar length that provides ample cutting capacity, and the engine is powerful enough for felling larger trees.

The chainsaw is designed to be user-friendly, with features like an ergonomic handle and an automatic oiling system that make it comfortable for extended periods.

One aspect of the Echo CS-490’s performance that deserves special attention is its vibration reduction system. This chainsaw features a five-point anti-vibration system that helps reduce operator fatigue and discomfort during prolonged use.

This feature is significant for professional users who may spend long hours working with chainsaws. It can help reduce the risk of developing conditions like hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) [1].

Safety Features

The Echo CS-490’s inertia brake is a critical safety feature that stops the chain in milliseconds in the event of kickback, which can help prevent serious injuries. This feature works by sensing a sudden movement of the chainsaw and engaging a brake that stops the chain from rotating.

The chainsaw also comes with a chain catcher that prevents the chain from flying off in case of a broken chain. This feature works by trapping the chain inside the chainsaw housing, preventing it from flying off and causing harm.

The Echo CS-490 has several additional safety features, making it a reliable choice for homeowners and professionals. For example, the chainsaw features a safety switch that prevents accidental start-ups, which can help prevent serious injuries.

The chainsaw also features an anti-vibration system that reduces operator fatigue and helps prevent injuries caused by prolonged exposure to vibrations.

Finally, the chainsaw has a large rear handle that provides a secure grip and helps prevent slips and falls, even when wearing gloves. For your safety, here are the best chainsaw gloves we highly recommend. 


Maintaining the Echo CS-490 is essential to ensure optimal performance and longevity. Fortunately, this chainsaw is designed to carry easily with several user-friendly features. 

One of the most critical maintenance tasks is regularly checking and cleaning the air filter. The air filter is located on the side of the chainsaw and can be accessed easily by removing the cover. 

To clean the filter, remove it from the chainsaw and wash it with warm soapy water, then allow it to dry completely before re-installing it.

Another essential maintenance task is checking the chain tension regularly. Over time, the chain may loosen, leading to poor performance and even dangerous kickbacks. Inspecting the chain and bar regularly for signs of wear and damage is crucial.

In addition to the above maintenance tasks, you can take several other steps to keep your Echo CS-490 in top condition. After each use, clean the chainsaw thoroughly with a brush and rag, paying particular attention to the air filter, chain, and bar.

Store the chainsaw in the best way by placing it in a dry, well-ventilated area to prevent rust and corrosion. Also, keep it out of reach of children and pets.

Price and Warranty

The Echo CS-490 is priced competitively relative to other professional-grade chainsaws on the market. It typically falls in the mid-range price category, making it an excellent value for those looking for a powerful, reliable chainsaw without breaking the bank. 

Echo offers a five-year consumer and one-year commercial warranty for the CS-490. This is a generous warranty compared to other chainsaw manufacturers, which typically offer two to three-year consumer warranties.

It’s a testament to the confidence that Echo has in the durability and reliability of its products. The warranty covers defects in materials and quality but doesn’t cover normal wear and tear or damage caused by misuse or neglect.

Register your chainsaw with Echo within 30 days of purchase to take advantage of the warranty and have it serviced by an authorized Echo dealer.

Review Conclusion: Echo CS-490

My series of Echo CS-490 reviews and tests have shown that this chainsaw is a top-performing model that lives up to the Echo brand’s reputation for excellence. 

From its powerful engine to its safety features and ease of maintenance, the Echo CS-490 is an excellent investment for anyone who needs a reliable and powerful chainsaw. If you’re looking for a new chainsaw, consider checking out the Echo CS-490 or the Timber Wolf saw Echo CS-590

Robert Johnson is a woodworker who takes joy in sharing his passion for creating to the rest of the world. His brainchild, Sawinery, allowed him to do so as well as connect with other craftsmen. He has since built an enviable workshop for himself and an equally impressive online accomplishment: an extensive resource site serving old timers and novices alike.
Robert Johnson
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