View Full Version : Handheld Blower OK for Startup?

06-29-2007, 12:02 PM
I was thinking with starting with a quality handheld for startup- something like a Stihl 85 or Echo 230 (or Echo Shred/Vac 230).

This will be mainly for residential grass clipping after mowing (only about 10 accounts per week now)-no leaf or other large cleanup.

I know a backpack is much nicer but my thought is when I feel I need a backpack the handheld will become my backup (and Shred/Vac if ever needed). That way I'm not really wasting money but purchasing a decent long-term backup.

1. Does anyone use handhelds to clean clippings? Does it do a decent job?

2. Is my "backup" plan reasonable or do most of you guys skip the handheld altogether and buy two backpacks if you want a backup?

Thanks for any input.

TNT LawnCare Inc.
06-29-2007, 12:07 PM
Hand helds are fine for start-up,the stihl bg 85 works great most of all the tree guys here use them.So if they'll blow around chainsaw debri I'am sure it will clean up grass clippings.Sorry cant help you with the Echo..

06-29-2007, 01:27 PM
A lot of guys around here use handhelds for daily use. I use a small backpack, but it isn't any more pwerful than a half decent handheld.

06-29-2007, 01:34 PM
Thanks guys-

Sounds like a handheld would do the job for now.

But if I think I'll get a backack in the future am I wasting my money or would the handheld be a good backup.

Also, do you ever find a need for a Shred/Vac to clean tight spots? I don't hear many LCOs talking about them.

06-29-2007, 01:35 PM
I have a small echo back pack and it does fine but I wish I had a Hand held for dry days when things are easy and I wish I had a Sthil 600 or some other super powerful back pack for the days when I got clumps. The small back pack is time consuming for such work.

06-29-2007, 01:43 PM
Handhelds are ok but I found that a good backpack cuts your blow off time way down. Your first year a handheld should be ok though.

06-29-2007, 02:35 PM
I have an ES230, and love it. I don't think it would be up to commercial leaf clean up, but I use if for that at my place, and use it to blow off drives and walks a my customers. It's great for that.

06-29-2007, 03:41 PM

Do you use the 230 much as a shred/vac. Is it that tough to convert?

06-29-2007, 03:42 PM

Also, do you remember the price?

06-29-2007, 04:41 PM
The Echo 230 handheld blower has plenty of power for daily lawn work and should be fine for what your wanting to do. We use them everyday on our mowing crew and they handle everything we need to do. I have used the 230 for cleanups in spring and fall but only for cleaning in tight places, flower beds and for cleaning up during shrub trimming season. You will need a more powerful backpack blower if your going to be moving around alot of fall leaves like the Echo PB755.

06-29-2007, 04:43 PM
I bought it on sale at the Iowa State Fair, I got it, and a six pack of Echo pre-mix, for $230 or so out the door I think. Easy to convert one to the other, you need a screwdriver and about 2 minutes. Stay away from sticks that are too big for it to chew up though, they get caught in between the fan and the housing, and the you're screwing around pulling the tube off so you can get the stick out.

06-30-2007, 08:40 PM
I just bought a new echo handheld pb-251 on ebay for 160.00 delivered. it's the new one, blows great and also quiet. do a search in ebay and check it out.