I bought the ECHO 355 top handle from Bill at Coastal Equipment about 3 months ago. So far it has been a great saw; at this point it's certainly broken in. I bought this saw since I couldn't get the new Husky 540 at the time and didn't want to buy the Stihl 201 since it doesn't seem to get good reviews. I do run two Stihl 200T's and was having carb problems with one of them and decided I needed another top handle, so I went with the ECHO 355 since it was cheaper and seemed to get great reviews. The only other ECHO top handles I've owned are the 341 and a 330 which made me hesitant to buy another ECHO since they are really slow compared to the Stihl 200T I'm used to. They are extremely slow compared to the 200T I'm used to. We do use them for cutting saplings 4" and under - they are ok.
Dennis T., S. Wellfleet, MA
So the 355 has been a great saw that's not too far behind the 200. It would be nice if it would hold a higher rpm in the cut. I've heard a 6 degree timing advance will remedy this, but I've yet to try it. I did have the screw that holds the air filter cover break. It was dropped 3-4" onto the asphalt, so it could of just landed right. The only real gripe I have is the handle is a little on the fat side. The plus side is there's still enough room to hold the saw with thick gloves on. It would be nice to see a small handle. After running the Stihls, I have a bad habit of engaging choke and high idle when trying to shut off the saw since the ECHO is backwards from what I am used to. I'm sure time with the saw will remedy this. The absolute worst thing about this saw is the tiny gas/oil fills. I almost always over fill the gas since the gas can spout is the same size as the fill hole. Bigger fills would be a great addition.
This saw does get equal use to the 200T. So in all, it's a great saw and with a few tweaks would be an awesome top handle. I will keep my fingers crossed to see a new one that will: hold a higher rpm in the cut, have a smaller handle, have a stronger screw for the air filter, and larger fill holes. But until then, I will with pleasure run the 355 regularly.