ECHO DCS-5000 Chainsaw Review
ECHO DCS-5000 56V eFORCE 18″ Chainsaw Review
Echo‘s latest battery chainsaw offering is a powerful and well-thought-out performance monster. This tool review will examine the Echo DCS-5000 56V eFORCE chainsaw and compare it to Echo’s previous offerings. In 2020 ToolBoxBuzz published our first Best Cordless Chainsaw Head-2-Head. During that testing, the legacy Echo 58V saw shined as our best overall value saw as well as our fastest cutter. However, the 58V saw was clunky and lacked refinement. The new Echo 56V eFORCE saw builds on its predecessor and provides outstanding power and performance with completely revamped ergonomics and design.
- Voltage: 56v
- Motor: Brushless
- Battery: 5.0 Ah eFORCE
- Recharge Time: 75 Minutes W/ Echo Rapid Charger
- Bar Length: 18″
- Chain Pitch: 3/8″ Low Profile
- Weight: 14.6 Lbs. W/ 5.0 Ah Battery
- Tool Warranty: 5 Year Consumer / 2 Year Commercial
- Battery Warranty: 2 Year Consumer / 2 Year Commercial
Echo 56V Chainsaw Features
Using the Echo saw during the testing process showed me that the DCS-5000 was clearly designed by chainsaw people. There is an assortment of features with the Echo that enhance the user experience and cater to professional users.
Clutch Cover With Captive Bar Nuts
The plastic clutch cover of the saw features molded felling guidelines as well as captive bar nuts. Captive bar nuts are a fantastic feature to prevent losing the nuts in the field or shop when doing maintenance or service. I often flip my saw bars when refueling or sharpening to ensure even wear. I have lost more bar nuts in the woods doing this than I care to admit. The Echo’s captive bar nuts prevent this from happening. Additionally, the clutch cover features a molded plastic tab to assist with reinstalling the cover. Battery saws are often awkward to attach the clutch covers. This small tab makes lining up the cover effortless.
Flip Lever Bar Oil Cap
The folding lever on the bar oil reservoir cap is easy to use, especially when wearing thick gloves. One small feature that stood out to me was the sloped front face of the bar oil reservoir. This slope goes away from the handle towards the nose of the saw. It provides a clear path for filling the reservoir from a jug of bar oil. The front handle of many saws partially obstructs this area, making refills somewhat messy. A small detail like this is a great example of how Echo clearly has real chainsaw users helping with the design of their tools.
Chain Tensioner and Bar Mount
The 18″ bar is supported by two steel bar studs. The chain tension adjustment stud is also made out of steel and is stouter than most electric saws I have used. These two features make a very strong and stable mounting platform for the bar. I have not had a chain slack out during use either.
The chain tensioning system requires a tool. Any flat-head screwdriver can be used, however, Echo includes a compact scrench with the saw. The tool is stored in a molded slot on the underside of the saw. Also pictured is a large drain port for the battery compartment to allow dust and woodchips to flow through.
Battery Power and Performance
The Echo 56V eFORCE battery platform is a great upgrade for their battery OPE. Echo claims that the DCS-5000 is capable of making up to 200 cuts through 4×4 timber on a single charge with the included 5.0 Ah battery. Rather than cutting expensive framing lumber, I took the Echo into the woods and used it to cut up some storm-blowdown maple trees. I found that the 5.0 was capable of bucking an entire tree into rounds that ranged from 6″ in diameter on the top end to 12″+ at the trunk on a single charge. There was enough charge left after this task to fell another smaller maple tree and remove the limbs.
The chain speed on the Echo saw is very fast while still maintaining an excellent torque band. I averaged about 6 seconds cutting cookies through the approximately 6″ diameter portion of the tree.
Echo DCS-5000 Intended Users
The Echo DCS-5000 56V chainsaw would make an excellent homeowner general-purpose tool. It is fully capable of felling small to medium-sized trees as well as clearing limbs and brush. When making crosscuts on trunk sections it performs very well in wood up to about 12″. Any larger and there is a major drop in capability due to the extra drain this places on the battery system.
This saw excels as a complementary tool to a larger gas-powered chainsaw. I used the DCS-5000 mainly in conjunction with my Echo CS-7310P saw. Having a smaller, lighter, and easier-to-start saw is such a welcome bonus. The Echo 56V eFORCE also has enough power and performance to keep up with demanding professional tasks like working out of a bucket or cutting limbs to fit in a chipper.
Overall Impressions of the Echo DCS-5000
The DCS-5000 is an outstanding offering from Echo and a great addition to the world of battery-powered chainsaws. The new Echo eFORCE 56V battery platform provides formidable power and cutting performance for a high-demand tool like a chainsaw. Overall this saw really impressed me. It is comfortable and ergonomic, although it does have a very long body. In fact, it is close in length to my CS-7310P saw. Regardless though, it is well-balanced and easy to use in any position or at any angle.
The only area of improvement I can suggest for this saw is a more aggressive angle on the felling spikes. Currently, they are rounded points. A more aggressive and pointed tip would allow for greater bite and stability. Larger amp-hour battery packs would also increase the potential capability for high-demand commercial users. Overall the DCS-5000 is an outstanding option for anyone, from backyard lumberjacks to tree care pros, looking to try a battery-powered saw.
The Echo DCS-5000 56V Chainsaw is currently available for $299.99 as a kit or $199.99 as a bare tool. In my opinion, this is an excellent value for a saw that performs on par with some of the high-dollar pro-grade offerings currently on the market. Follow the Buy Now link below to purchase the Echo eFORCE from our friends at ACME Tools.
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Do you prefer it over the Stihl msa 220c-b that you also reviewed?
Oh man – both good but prob yes
Wes, I have a DCS 5000 with an 18 inch bar and using 1/4 inch chain. The chain derails very easily. Is 3/8 chain, bar and sprocket available for this saw? Thanks for your time. James
I am surprised to hear that your is throwing the chain so often. I have not experienced this issue personally, even clearing small-diameter brush and saplings which are notorious for causing this issue. I do not think that a 3/8″ sprocket is available for this saw. In fact, I am not aware of any battery saw that could be switched over to a different sprocket. I would reach out to Echo directly for more information.
What is the recommended hard saw case for the Echo DCS-5000? The long saw body is almost 20″, and it doesn’t look to fit in either the small or 20″ Echo case. Any suggestions?
Unfortunately, I am unaware of any plastic cases for the DCS-5000. If you must have a plastic case, I would suggest looking at the boxes Husqvarna makes for the larger gas-powered saws. Would likely work well for the DCS-5000. Don’t worry, the Echo won’t melt touching a Husky box!