How to Start an Echo CS 400 Chainsaw: A Guide

how to start a echo cs 400 chainsaw

Starting a chainsaw can be an intimidating task for beginners. As I gripped the pull-cord on my new Echo CS 400 for the first time, I felt a thrill of excitement tinged with nervousness. This powerful tool could help me fell trees and cut firewood with ease, but I knew I needed to treat it with care and respect. In this comprehensive guide, I’ll share the knowledge I’ve gained after many hours of sawing with my trusty Echo. From proper starting technique to maintenance and safety tips, you’ll have all the information you need to operate your chainsaw like a pro.

First, I’ll go over the preparation required before starting the saw. Then, I’ll outline the actual starting procedure step-by-step. I’ll also troubleshoot some common problems like a Stihl chainsaw not oiling properly. In addition, you’ll learn how to keep your Echo CS 400 running strong with regular maintenance. Finally, I’ll share some important safety reminders, because proper handling and protective gear could save life and limb.

So switch off that chainsaw ballad! It’s time to pull the starter rope and hear the satisfying burr of a well-tuned engine. Whether you’re a homeowner cutting the occasional branch or a professional logging acres of timber, this chainsaw guide will set you on the path to success.

How to Start an Echo CS 400 Chainsaw?

How to Start an Echo CS 400 Chainsaw: A Guide

Before yanking that starter rope, it’s crucial to make sure your saw is ready for action. Taking a few minutes to check components and fluids will ensure easy starting and peak performance.

Preparing the Chainsaw

I always start by making sure my Echo CS 400 has adequate fuel and chain oil. Nothing’s worse than trying to cut halfway through a log only to have the saw sputter to a stop! The CS 400 has a generous 20 ounce fuel capacity, which gives me plenty of cutting time before refilling. I use a fuel designed specifically for 2-stroke engines. For the oil, Echo recommends its premium Power Blend XTM, and I follow that guidance to keep my chain and bar lubricated.

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Next, I examine the chain itself for any damage and check that the teeth are adequately sharp. A dull chain makes cutting difficult and can overload the engine. The chain on the CS 400 stays sharp for a long time thanks to the superb Oregon® chain. But running my finger along it periodically lets me catch blunting before it becomes a problem.

It’s also essential to check the chain tension by pulling it away from the guide bar. I want just a little sag, about the thickness of a dime. Tensioning the chain is crucial because a loose chain can pop right off the bar! The CS 400 makes it easy with a side access tensioner knob.

Starting Procedure

Once I’ve completed my pre-start checklist, I’m ready to bring this powerful beast to life! I make sure to do the following:

  • Engage the chain brake by pushing the front hand guard forward. This prevents the chain from spinning during start up. Safety first!
  • Move the choke lever all the way to the “Cold Start” position. This richens the fuel mixture for easy starting.
  • Prime the carburetor by pressing the rubber bulb a few times. This sends fuel into the carb for immediate ignition.
  • Grip the front handle firmly with my left hand and pull the starter rope hard with my right. It may take a few strong pulls depending on how cold the engine is.
  • Once the saw starts with a roar, let it warm up for a minute before disengaging the brake and beginning to cut.

It may take a few tries to get the starting sequence down. But once I got a feel for it, I found I could consistently start up my Echo CS 400 with ease. Listening to the satisfying snarl as it leaps to life never gets old!

Echo CS 400 Chainsaw Maintenance

To keep my Echo CS 400 running smoothly for years to come, I follow some key maintenance practices. Well-cared-for saws start easier, cut faster, and experience fewer unexpected breakdowns.

Regular Maintenance Tasks

Cleaning the air filter – I remove and wash the filter in warm soapy water regularly. Letting it get choked with sawdust will restrict airflow to the engine.

Checking the spark plug – I examine the spark plug once a season or after 25 hours of runtime. Look for fouling, damage, and proper gap.

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Inspecting the fuel filter – This fine mesh screen can get congested with debris. I check it periodically and replace when needed.

Chain and Bar Maintenance

Sharpening the chain – Using the built-in depth gauge, I periodically file down any blunt cutters. A sharp chain is safer and more efficient.

Cleaning the guide bar – Built up sawdust and resin get scrubbed off regularly. This keeps the oil holes free-flowing.

Adjusting chain tension – I check tension every time I refuel and tighten or loosen as needed. Proper stretching reduces wear.

Doing preventative maintenance makes starting and using my Echo CS 400 much more enjoyable. I don’t have to wrestle against a balky chainsaw. Instead, I can rely on smooth cutting power every time I pull the starter rope.

Troubleshooting Common Echo CS 400 Chainsaw Problems

Even well-maintained equipment can occasionally act up. But armed with a little diagnostic knowledge, I can quickly get my Echo CS 400 back up and running. Here are some common issues and likely fixes:

Difficulty Starting

Checking the spark plug – I remove the plug and examine the electrode. If fouled or worn, a new plug is the solution.

Inspecting the carburetor – Adjusting the carb screws or cleaning the jets may help if starting is an issue.

Examining the fuel filter – A clogged filter not allowing fuel flow will prevent starting. Replacing it is the fix.

Engine Stalling or Running Rough

Adjusting the carburetor – I tweak the mixture screws to find the sweet spot. This smooths things out.

Cleaning the air filter – A filter choked with sawdust restricts airflow. Washing it in warm soapy water restores easy breathing.

Troubleshooting problems methodically helps me quickly get back to effortlessly slicing through logs. I don’t have to haul my Echo CS 400 to the shop for every little hiccup.

Safety Tips for Using an Echo CS 400 Chainsaw

Operating a powerful chainsaw demands caution. But with proper protective gear and safe handling techniques, I can avoid injury. Here are some of the safety essentials I follow when using my Echo CS 400:

Personal Protective Equipment

Safety glasses – Flying debris is a fact of chainsaw operation. Wraparound glasses with a mesh face shield keep my eyes protected.

Gloves – Sturdy, grippy gloves allow me to securely grasp the saw without fear of cuts. They also reduce vibration fatigue.

Hearing protection – The loud noise of a ripping chain quickly damages hearing. Earmuff style protectors block dangerous decibels.

Safe Chainsaw Handling

Proper grip and stance – Both hands firmly on the handles provides maximum control. Solid footing reduces risk of slipping or losing balance.

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Avoiding kickback – I’m careful to avoid pinching the bar tip in wood, which can cause dangerous kickback.

Engaging chain brake – I lock the chain before transport or when the saw is idling. This prevents accidental contact with the spinning chain.

Respect for proper safety protocols allows me to harness the incredible cutting power of my Echo CS 400, without undue risk to life and limb. I want to enjoy this useful tool for many seasons of wood cutting to come!


Starting and operating a chainsaw for the first time can seem daunting. But I’ve found the Echo CS 400 to be a great saw for homeowners. With proper preparation and starting technique, it roars to life reliably. Regular maintenance keeps it cutting strong. And following basic safety precautions means I can operate it with confidence.

Whether you’re gearing up for storm cleanup or harvesting cords of firewood, I hope this comprehensive guide provides the information you need to handle your chainsaw like a pro. The satisfaction that comes from felling your first tree or carving a log into a work of art is hard to match. So pull the starter cord and let the sawing begin!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I adjust the chain tension on my Echo CS 400 chainsaw?

Locate the side tensioner knob and loosen the bar nuts slightly. Turn the tensioner to tighten or loosen the chain as needed. Adjust until you have just a little sag when pulling the chain away from the bar. Then re-tighten the bar nuts securely. Check often!

What type of fuel should I use for my Echo CS 400 chainsaw?

Echo recommends a quality synthetic blend designed for 2-stroke engines. Look for oils specifically made for chainsaws. Always avoid ethanol blends, which can damage the carburetor.

How often should I sharpen the chain on my Echo CS 400 chainsaw?

It depends on your usage, but sharpening every 2-3 cords of cut wood keeps the chain in top cutting shape. Use the built-in depth gauge guide for the correct angle and file size.

Can I use my Echo CS 400 chainsaw for cutting large trees?

The 50cc powerplant can handle trees up to around 24 inches diameter. For larger cuts, look to one of Echo’s professional 90cc models like the CS 900P.

How do I clean the air filter on my Echo CS 400 chainsaw?

Remove the filter cover and lift out the pleated paper element. Gently wash it in warm water and mild detergent, then allow to fully air dry before reinstalling.

What should I do if my Echo CS 400 chainsaw is leaking oil?

First, clean the exterior to determine if it’s just residual splatter. If oil continues leaking, check for cracks in the oil delivery line or a damaged oil pump. Replace parts as needed.

How do I store my Echo CS 400 chainsaw when not in use?

Empty the fuel and run the engine dry. Clean the saw and bar thoroughly. Apply a corrosion inhibitor spray to the blade. Store in a dry location away from direct sunlight and moisture.


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