When we moved to the hill country, we needed a chainsaw to do work we normally did with a hand saw. After shopping around, we found the 14 inch Echo CS-300.
This chainsaw is powerful for its size. It manages to cut through branches as if it were a hot knife cutting through butter. Tree trunks are easily tackled also.
As a woman, I am able to start and operate the chainsaw without the assistance of my husband. This says something about the Echo CS-300 because I am barely able to start most of our lawn equipment.
The chainsaw pictured is ours. Note there is a safety guard. This eases my fear of slicing my fingers off if I use it. There is also a chain stop feature that keeps the chain from moving as you reposition yourself for cutting.
Since we have owned our Echo CS-300, we have had one problem with the pull cord it broke. The fix was easily done without taking it into the shop. However replacement cords are not readily available. We had to rig up a universal replacement cord. This is why I only rate the Echo a 4 out of 5.
Maintaining the Echo CS-300 is easy, just give it a little chain oil, feed it some 2:1 fuel and oil mixture, and wipe it down after use. This baby will fire right up every time.
One thing I was asked to rate was noise. Okay, this is a chainsaw. Chainsaws are noisy. However, this Echo CS-300 is not near as noisy as our neighbor's Craftsman model.
Update On May 22, 2009: I added a video of the Echo CS 300 in action. The tree needed to be removed because it died and was threatening to fall on the roof of the house during recent wind and rainstorms. After the tree was cut down, the chain needed to be sharpened before cutting logs for the fireplace. The sharpening process was extremely easy and only took 20 minutes. The Chainsaw performed like new afterward. We love this Echo CS 300 and will buy the Echo brand again should the need ever arise.
Enjoy the video!