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View Full Version : Chilehead Review: Echo PB-251 blower


Chilehead
01-21-2010, 06:36 PM
After using this blower for a full 12 months, I can easily say that it is quite possibly one of the best values on the market today in a hand-held blower. My previous blower, a Shindaiwa EB-500 was a great machine. Yet at nearly $400.00 and with similar performance numbers, it is in no way a value.
So how did I come across the Echo? Well there I am....blowing down a sidewalk after a mow, when my Shindy gives up the ghost. So now I'm in a pinch. I head down to an Ace hardware store that I knew sold Echo. I pick up a PB-251 for $169.00, drive back to where I left off, filled her up, and was expecting a less-than-optimal performance of a hand held blower. "BWAAHH! BWAAAAHHHHH!!" ;) Whoa, this is a hand-held? This little thing put out more air than my backpack ever did. Official numbers are 145MPH and 509CFM. That would be about average for a backpack, but exceptional for a handheld. It does struggle if you have large amounts of wet leaves, but for the daily maintenance crew you can purchase 2 of these for the price of one backpack blower. Mechanically, I have had no problems with it. One time it started to bog down when it got hot, but a quick cleaning of the muffler cleared it right up. This is certainly one little blower that I am glad to have working for me.:)

joel29m
01-21-2010, 06:50 PM
After using this blower for a full 12 months, I can easily say that it is quite possibly one of the best values on the market today in a hand-held blower. My previous blower, a Shindaiwa EB-500 was a great machine. Yet at nearly $400.00 and with similar performance numbers, it is in no way a value.
So how did I come across the Echo? Well there I am....blowing down a sidewalk after a mow, when my Shindy gives up the ghost. So now I'm in a pinch. I head down to an Ace hardware store that I knew sold Echo. I pick up a PB-251 for $169.00, drive back to where I left off, filled her up, and was expecting a less-than-optimal performance of a hand held blower. "BWAAHH! BWAAAAHHHHH!!" ;) Whoa, this is a hand-held? This little thing put out more air than my backpack ever did. Official numbers are 145MPH and 509CFM. That would be about average for a backpack, but exceptional for a handheld. It does struggle if you have large amounts of wet leaves, but for the daily maintenance crew you can purchase 2 of these for the price of one backpack blower. Mechanically, I have had no problems with it. One time it started to bog down when it got hot, but a quick cleaning of the muffler cleared it right up. This is certainly one little blower that I am glad to have working for me.:)
i bought one starting my business last year and for the quietness and price, it helped me out alot last year and got my money out of it. they are good blowers, just keep the maint. on it done and no problems.

LALawnboy
01-21-2010, 06:54 PM
I agree with you. I've got the PB-255 which is the same engine, but comes with both the round and flat pipes. I had an Echo PB-403t before I bought it and I couldn't believe that a little handheld was moving the same amount of debris as that backpack.

I now only use the handheld as a backup (use a PB-755). This blower made me finally realize that mid-size backpacks are truly a waste of money. Most of them have at least a 45cc engine vs. the Echo's 25cc, but after using them side by side, they pretty much have the same power.
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joel29m
01-21-2010, 07:01 PM
i also have the bp 413, and the difference is the weight off your arms

Alan0354
01-21-2010, 07:20 PM
I am glad you guy verify that pb is not alway stronger like a lot of people said without actually compare.

pb have a longer tube that bent a few bents. That really kills the power. With the same engine, the hand held is going to be stronger no matter what.

People confused when comparing a 25cc hand held to a 64cc bp. Of cause the 64cc bp is going to blow the 25cc hand held out of the water. But I have a suspicion a 44cc Echo PB413 with 175mph and 380cfm at the tube is not going to blow any hand held out of the water, in fact some bigger hand held can out blow them. In fact I am pretty sure my 34cc Shindy EB3410 is going to out blow the PB413.

Hand held is not all bad like a lot of people claimed. I have the Shindy hand held and Maruyama 64.7cc BL8100. Yes the Maru blow the hand held out of the water. But other than the leave season, I don't use the bp and just pull out my hand held. Lot of time the time it takes to put it on your back, you can finish a small job with the hand held!!!!

It is tiring using a hand held, but for small blow job( take your mind out of the gutter!!!), it really don't make a difference.

Chilehead
01-21-2010, 07:28 PM
Love these comments, guys. Keep them coming.

bobcat48
01-21-2010, 08:28 PM
Got one when i started out, and just love it but i dont use it annymore

wimpy
01-21-2010, 10:01 PM
pb251 is rated at 390cfm. The cheapest Stihl will outblow it. Echo is not known for performance.

LALawnboy
01-22-2010, 12:13 AM
pb251 is rated at 390cfm. The cheapest Stihl will outblow it. Echo is not known for performance.

Here we go......

joel29m
01-22-2010, 12:54 AM
Here we go......

Lmao! I know whatcha mean!!!
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LALawnboy
01-22-2010, 02:25 AM
This is completely off topic, but Wimpy's post and signature made me think about it: Why is it that most (not all) people who run Stihl and are members on Lawnsite always type Stihl in all caps ("STIHL"). I mean, I can understand capitalizing the first letter, such as in Echo or Redmax, or maybe even Shindaiwa. But no, they must capitalize every letter as if that piece of equipment is a gift from some higher being.

Yeah, totally random, but I have noticed it numerous times on here.

Alan0354
01-22-2010, 04:27 AM
The BG86 should be stronger, it has a bigger engine and cost a lot more too. I am not so sure about the BG56.

In all fareness, Echo has a smaller engine than most of the others. Husky 125 is 28cc, Stihl all are 27.2cc. You should know what you are getting into. that's why I got the 34cc. It's rated 199mph and 399cfm at the tube, but I have a suspicion they measure with different tubes.........What is the word for that??............CHEATING!!!!:laugh::laugh:

Chilehead
01-22-2010, 10:17 AM
The reason I wrote about the Echo was not due to its performance numbers alone. It was about VALUE. For a lightweight commercial-quality blower that runs $169.00 with good performance numbers, the PB-251 is your VALUE leader. Just please don't equate value with CHEAP. There are many cheaper blowers out there, but not with the quality standards/durability of the Echo.

wimpy
01-22-2010, 11:00 PM
My post was relevant to the thread. I corrected the OP on the specs, and stated a fact that the BG 55 does outperform the PB 251. Couple of members made comments that contribute nothing to the thread.

joel29m
01-23-2010, 12:21 AM
The reason I wrote about the Echo was not due to its performance numbers alone. It was about VALUE. For a http://www.lawnsite.com/member.php?userid=147 commercial-quality blower that runs $169.00 with good performance numbers, the PB-251 is your VALUE leader. Just please don't equate value with CHEAP. There are many cheaper blowers out there, but not with the quality standards/durability of the
Echo.

And I understand you all the way. I used a homelite blower the first week of business due to budget and that is the worst piece of s$&t I ever used!!!! I wouldn't recommend it for just homeowner use, I garrantee you after using it once your hands will tingle for about 2 minutes due to the loudness and vibration of it, that echo blower is worth every dime.
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MONTE
01-23-2010, 12:26 AM
I have a friend who runs stihl and redmax. He was doing a job down the street from me and ran out of gas. I let him borrow my 251 and now he owns two of the echo 251's.

joel29m
01-23-2010, 12:29 AM
One thing I like about them is the quietness.
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MONTE
01-23-2010, 12:33 AM
And they start. Hot or Cold.

joel29m
01-23-2010, 12:41 AM
And that's the truth. I used it with my backpack blower for a leaf clean up and it got the job done, it works well for me, the mph don't make a difference for me with it, it's better than alot of other blowers.
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Dave0013
01-29-2010, 11:21 PM
Hello everyone. First post ever here, but I'm already really liking the ideas being traded. I have to agree that the Echos are awfully hard to beat for the money. We typically replace all of our handheld blowers every two years on the dot. For a long time, we were using the Redmax units: exceptional power, light weight, and quick warmup... but when the "reformulated" gas hit the Dallas market, I was having to rebuild the carbs every 6 months. They just weren't dependable. Similar situation with the Stihl BG85's but it was the crank bearings. Of the 4 I bought, the bearings went out in 3 of them. When they were running they were great, but when they had problems... it was catastrophic.

My men use our handhelds more often than the backpacks. So I figured two years ago when the new Echo's came out - what the heck. They were cheap, so my thought was to use them for a year and throw them away. With 4 of them now running for 2 years, NOT ONE of them has been to the mechanic. Unbelievable. I've finally got one that is not restarting quite as quickly, but that's it. At this point, I'm thinking I'll clean and fully service them, sell the units for a few bucks on Ebay, and buy some new ones. The Echos aren't quite as powerful as the Redmax's and can be little slower to reach full rpm (warm up), but let's face it - dependability rules. I'm not brand loyal and believe a piece of equipment is only as good as the number of jobs it will efficiently do.

joel29m
01-30-2010, 12:06 AM
Hello everyone. First post ever here, but I'm already really liking the ideas being traded. I have to agree that the Echos are awfully hard to beat for the money. We typically replace all of our handheld blowers every two years on the dot. For a long time, we were using the Redmax units: exceptional power, light weight, and quick warmup... but when the "reformulated" gas hit the Dallas market, I was having to rebuild the carbs every 6 months. They just weren't dependable. Similar situation with the Stihl BG85's but it was the crank bearings. Of the 4 I bought, the bearings went out in 3 of them. When they were running they were great, but when they had problems... it was catastrophic.

My men use our handhelds more often than the backpacks. So I figured two years ago when the new Echo's came out - what the heck. They were cheap, so my thought was to use them for a year and throw them away. With 4 of them now running for 2 years, NOT ONE of them has been to the mechanic. Unbelievable. I've finally got one that is not restarting quite as quickly, but that's it. At this point, I'm thinking I'll clean and fully service them, sell the units for a few bucks on Ebay, and buy some new ones. The Echos aren't quite as powerful as the Redmax's and can be little
slower to reach full rpm (warm up), but let's face it - dependability rules. I'm not brand loyal and believe a piece of equipment is only as good as the number of jobs it will efficiently do.

I'm like you, if I come across a deal on anything that I need or can use, I'm getting it. From stihl to shindawia, if the price is right, it's sold. I love my echo equipment.
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Alan0354
01-30-2010, 04:12 AM
Not to burst anyone's bubble. I just saw the Husqvarna 125 hand held in OSH for $149. That I call unbelievable!!! Husky should have more power than the PB251 that sell there for $169. It has a 28cc engine and Husky is a good brand.