ECHO and Husqvarna are two companies well known for both their professional and consumer lines of power tools for the yard. ECHO has a reputation for innovative products, such as their 2-stroke engine-powered string trimmer, while Husqvarna is the world's largest manufacture of powered outdoor tools. Both trimmer lines are well-regarded.
ECHO consumer trimmers range from $160 to $400 as of December 2011. Some of the features that they have include see-through fuel tanks, rubber throttle control handles, harness rings with an optional harness and specially torqued engine that delivers power that exceeds most competitor trimmers. Some models accept attachments that turn the trimmer into a hedge trimmer, tiller/cultivator, dethatcher and sweeper.
Husqvarna consumer trimmers range from $150 to $230. It has features that include an easily removable shaft for transportation and adjustable comfort handle, and it is designed for easy starting. The Husqvarna accepts many of the same types of yard attachments as the ECHO. Its consumer line is recommended for small- to medium-sized yards.
Head to Head Testing
"Popular Mechanics" and "This Old House" tested both trimmers side by side and gave both high ratings, with the ECHO barely beating out the Husqvarna in the "Popular Mechanics" test. "This Old House" noted the extended five-year warranty for the ECHO, which is almost twice as long as competitors. The lighter weight, smaller engine of the ECHO produced more power than the Husqvarna. A mark against the ECHO was that it did not accept other-party attachments while the Husqvarna did.
The Husqvarna engine performed well from the start, while the ECHO had to settle in slowly, according to "Popular Mechanics." The Husqvarna was 4 pounds lighter when fueled than the ECHO, which makes a difference in the comfort after an extended period of use. The ECHO was much better at cutting more difficult grass with its greater power.