ECHO PPT-2620 vs. STIHL HT 103 Pole Saw – Which is Better?

Trying to choose a gas-powered pole saw? Compare the ECHO PPT-2620 vs. STIHL HT 103 Pole Saw to see how their features measure up.

ECHO PPT-2620 vs. STIHL HT 103 Pole Saw – Which is Better?

If you are looking for a quality pole saw, you might be trying to decide between the Echo vs. STIHL pole saw.

As gas-powered pole saws, the ECHO PPT-2620 2-Stroke Cycle Telescoping Pole Saw and the STIHL HT 103 Chainsaw/Pole Saw Combo Tool both deliver the power you need for heavy-duty jobs.

While these products are similar, there are some key factors that differentiate them.

In this guide, we will break down the features and specs for you and also offer you perspective from real-life buyers. That way, you can figure out which product will fit your individual needs.

The Echo vs Stihl Polesaw comparison - closeup of each pole saw

The Basics: ECHO PPT-2620 vs. STIHL HT 103

Before we jump into the details of our head-to-head comparison, let’s briefly introduce the ECHO PPT-2620 and the STIHL HT 103, along with their manufacturers.

The ECHO PPT-2620 Pole Saw

The ECHO PPT-2620 Pole Saw is a gas-powered product by a company that describes itself as a “global leader in low emission engines.”

A few of the standout features of this pole saw are the loop-shaped handle designed for ergonomics, telescoping shaft, and easy start and professional-grade engine.

Interestingly enough, back in the 1970s, this pioneering tool brand even came out with the first power blower ever.

Today, the company offers a wide product range, always with that focus on keeping emissions low and protecting the environment.

The STIHL HT 103 Pole Saw

Full view of the Stihl Gas powered polesaw

Model HT103 of the Stihl brand pole saw has a few great features of its own. It also has a powerful motor and a telescoping pole.

In addition, the Stihl features a large fuel tank and weighs in at just under 16 pounds, so it handles well in the field.

STIHL is also a company with a long history, dating all the way back to 1926. While the company is based in Germany, it has a global presence. In fact, while STIHL offers a variety of products, its main focus is on chainsaws.

Something else that is cool about STIHL is the fact that the company does not outsource for its guide bars and saw chains. No other chainsaw company can currently claim that. So, when it comes to comprehensive quality control for all components, STIHL is hard to beat.

STIHL designed the HT 103 pole saw to minimize fatigue and allow for excellent ease of use.

Side-by-Side Feature Comparison: ECHO vs. STIHL Gas Powered Pole Saws

Now that you know a bit more about both of these pole saws and the companies that produce them, we can explore power, pricing, ergonomics, maintenance, and more.

Power & Price Point

The ECHO PPT-2620 is powered by a two-stroke, single-cylinder gasoline engine that is air-cooled. The engine displacement is 25.4 cc. No other telescoping pole chainsaw by ECHO offers as much power as this one does, operating at 1.35 HP.

The STIHL HT 103 Pole Saw operates at 1.4 BHP, and features reduced-emission engine technology.

Do not forget though that while ECHO may not talk as much about this on its product pages for the PPT-2620, low-emission technology is part of the brand’s focus across its product range.

To compare the power between these two pole saws, we need to do a quick conversion.

I BPH = 1.013869 HP.

So, let’s multiply 1.35 HP x 1.013869. This gives us 1.36872315 BPH for the ECHO. That means that the ECHO pole saw is just a little bit less powerful than the STIHL model.

Make no mistake—these are both very powerful pole saws. But for maximum power, you want to choose STIHL. So, the STIHL comes out ahead for this criteria.

In terms of price, these models are roughly comparable, with the STHIL costing just a bit more than the ECHO.

Weight & Balance

Trimming trees is hard work. And while both tools weigh less than twenty pounds, every ounce counts when you are holding it over your head.

The ECHO PPT-2620 weighs 17.4 pounds, while the STIHL HT 103 weighs 15.9 pounds. So, this is another area where the STIHL is superior, producing less fatigue while you work.

On the whole, both products are well balanced, which should make them comfortable to use. That said, you might find that balance suffers a little bit on the ECHO when you have the shoulder strap on.

Product & Special Features

Now, let’s see how these two gas-powered pole saws compare with respect to their features.

  1. Cutting Ability

Whichever model you choose, you will have a 12-inch bar. Both should be able to handle branches ranging up to a 12-inch diameter.

  1. Pole Length and Reach

The telescoping design of both products lets you adjust the height to exactly what you need to reach the branches you want to cut.

Feature details of the ECHO PPT-2620 pole saw

With the ECHO PPT-2620, you can extend the shaft of the pole to up to 12.1 feet. As for the STIHL, it extends up to 11.6 feet. So, it comes up just a little short but still is almost comparable to the ECHO.

You might also be curious about what the minimum length is for both products. Fully collapsed, the STIHL HT 103 measures 7.6 feet. The ECHO PPT-2620, on the other hand, is just shy of 9 feet. So, you get a bit more flexibility on this end with the STIHL as well.

  1. Adjustability

Speaking of adjustability, neither of these products boasts an adjustable handle or head. But the ECHO comes with an adjustable shoulder strap for comfort.

  1. Oiling the Chain

The ECHO PPT-2620 features an automatic oiling system for the saw chain and guide bar. If you need to adjust it while it is particularly dry, you can do so to increase lubrication. The STIHL HT 103 features a similar system, called the OILOMATIC® chain.

Performance & Reliability

You can count on either of these gas-powered pole saws to provide you with reliable performance for trimming trees in your backyard. Customers provide high ratings and glowing reviews overall.

The ECHO model sometimes struggles to spin up even with relatively narrow tree limbs. Given that fact, this pole saw seems to suffer in the torque department a bit. The torque seems to be a little more reliable on the STIHL HT 103.

With the STIHL, customers do report a few issues involving oil, including leaks and malfunctioning bar oiling. Most units are not affected.

And this is fairly common with gas-powered pole saws. It is just a fact, gas-powered tools require a little more maintenance than their electric counterparts.

Read Related: The Top Electric Pole Saws Of 2022.

Ease of Use, Comfort & Assembly

Make no mistake—both of these pole saws are on the heavy side. So, comfort and ergonomics are important. In this category, we will also talk about how easy it is to assemble these pole saws.

  1. Ergonomics

The STIHL HT 103 does not seem to have any features specifically designed to make the product more ergonomic. But the ECHO features an ergonomic looped handle design. The rubber over-mold increases comfort while using the tool. So, this is one area where the ECHO comes out ahead.

  1. Comfort

Both of the pole saws were designed to operate with minimal vibration for user comfort. Note that vibrations may increase for a few moments once you extend the STIHL’s head. But after a few seconds, the extra vibrations should pass.

  1. Assembly

Either of these saws should be relatively fast and easy for you to assemble. There is a detailed user manual that you can use for either one.

With that in mind, the ECHO PPT-2620 receives superior marks in this category for the simple reason that so many customers have lauded the ease of assembly. The tools you require to put together the three pieces and get the pole saw up and running all come with your purchase.

Starting the Saw

Whichever of these two saws you purchase, you should find your product easy to start. The ECHO was designed with hot climates in mind and dusty conditions. So, if that describes your location or worksite, it may be the ideal product for you.

What about the STIHL HT 103? With this product, the company put the emphasis on getting up and running after you take time off from yard work. Typically, you may be used to having to pull again and again to get the saw going. But with the special Purge Pump Primer feature, this pole saw doesn’t take as many pulls to start.

So, if you are someone who just takes out your pole saw about once a year to do some trimming around your yard, the STIHL might be a good fit for you.


We already discussed the automatic oiling feature that both products include. What else should you know about maintaining the ECHO PPT-2620 or the STIHL HT 103?

With both pole saws, it is relatively easy to adjust the tensioning. Both on a few units, the STIHL’s chain tensioner seems to jam. Most customers do not complain of this issue, however, so it must be an occasional quality control problem.

Despite this potential issue, both the ECHO and the STIHL have for the most part received praise for their overall ease of use.

The ECHO also includes another feature that is great for maintenance, which is a two-stage air filtration system.

The Stihl gas powered pole saw cutting a high tree branch - closeup of the blade in action.

The Bottom Line – Which is Better?

We have just discussed the features, pros, and cons of each of these pole saw models in detail. Now we can sum up what we’ve learned and make some final recommendations.

Both gas-powered pole saws are high in quality and worth considering for your projects around the yard. You can use either one to tackle the same size branches.

The biggest differences between these two pole saws were:

• The STIHL has an engine that is slightly more powerful than the one in the ECHO.
• The STIHL gives you a little more flexibility with pole length both at the minimum and maximum.
• The STIHL is slightly less heavy than the ECHO, and arguably a little better balanced. Still, the ECHO may be a little better with regard to ergonomics and comfort.
• You get better torque with the STIHL, but more reliability for oil features with the ECHO.
• The ECHO is particularly easy to assemble, and may also be a little easier to maintain as well.
• Both pole saws are easy to start, but the STIHL is ideal for those who go a long time between uses while the ECHO is suitable for dusty and hot conditions.

You can see that most of the distinctions between the ECHO vs. STIHL pole saw are pretty subtle. So, you will need to decide based on your priorities which product is right for you.

If we had to pick a winner overall, we would choose the STIHL HT 103 Pole Saw because of its more powerful engine, reliable torque, lower weight, and increased pole height range.

Nonetheless, the ECHO PPT-2620’s ease of assembly and maintenance as well as its ergonomic features make it a close competitor.