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View Full Version : Opinions Wanted (New Blower)


ron mexico75
04-05-2010, 01:18 PM
Guys,

I have around $400 and need a new blower. I have had an Echo for 10 years and things just keep going wrong with it over the last year or so. Plus I want one that's more powerful then the one I have.

Here are 2 that a local dealer sells. If any of you are knowledgeable of either let me know the pros and cons or if any of you have either one of these, how have they performed for you?


1. Echo PB-620ST-$399.95

2. Stihl BR-550-$399.95

STL Cuts
04-05-2010, 05:34 PM
IMO spend a little more and pick up a Stihl BR 600 magnum. I picked one up for this season and it is a beast!
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gmcplowtruck
04-05-2010, 05:47 PM
look on ebay at redmax i have the ebz7001 and love it very powerful but one of those i would say the stihl

kemco
04-05-2010, 11:34 PM
The Stihl 550 and 600 are prone to problems, major problems. I have had one about 2 yrs, and when it works it cant be beat IMO. But google problems on these two models. I've had the same textbook problems and they are not cheap to fix. Seems like these problems start happening after about a year of solid use. (right after the warranty runs out) Sure some people dont have any problems with them but there does seem to be some problems with them that are more than just coincidence. After pushing my dealer on the subject he dealer agreed that they are prone to problems.

BINKY1902
04-05-2010, 11:56 PM
I like my 600 magnum so far, but I've only had it a month. Very quiet, easy to start, and powerful so far. Paid $479 I think.

mowerbrad
04-06-2010, 12:06 AM
The BR550 is a nice blower, lots of power and very comfortable, I have actually used one. I have a BR600 and couldn't be happier, I just bought it last fall (right before the magnum was available) so it hasn't withstood the test of time, but I'm sure it will.

Personally, I would spend a little extra money on a BR600...you will thank yourself when you need that extra power.

DodgeGuy18
04-06-2010, 12:30 AM
I have owned both Stihl and Echo backpack blowers, and the Stihl was nowhere near as reliable as the Echo. The Echo consistantly started on the 2nd pull cold, even without the choke. The Stihl flooded far too easily, and I was lucky if it started on the 6th pull, cold or hot. Keep in mind that the Stihl is a 4 cycle unit while the Echo is a 2 cycle. Any way you slice it, the 4 cycles have more parts, making it more probable that something will go wrong, and that, when it does, it will be more costly to repair. It is probably better to go with a 2 cycle model (all Echo and Redmaxes are 2 cycles, and some Shindaiwas) until they have more time to work out the kinks. If you can spring for an extra $100, the new Echo PB 770 is the most powerful blower out there....more powerful than the Stihl BR 600, Shindaiwa EB 8520, and Redmax EBZ 8001. Despite what everybody says about Echo, most of my equipment has been Echo, and have never had a problem with any of it, old or new. My Echo SRM 210 is nearly 10 years old and has never had the plug or air filter changed, but still starts on the second pull every time....

mobileboy
04-06-2010, 12:45 AM
My favorite is the Kawasaki KRB750B. Serious machine and a great value. I have 2 Kawasakis and wouldn't even think about trading them. 4.6hp, 205 mph, 720 cfm at the tube, for $375.00. Check out Russo's power equip. GREAT prices on everything.

kemco
04-06-2010, 12:56 AM
My favorite is the Kawasaki KRB750B. Serious machine and a great value. I have 2 Kawasakis and wouldn't even think about trading them. 4.6hp, 205 mph, 720 cfm at the tube, for $375.00. Check out Russo's power equip. GREAT prices on everything.

I just went to their ebay store to verify that price. Holy crap! That's a heck of a great price and free shipping.

Alan0354
04-06-2010, 04:40 AM
My favorite is the Kawasaki KRB750B. Serious machine and a great value. I have 2 Kawasakis and wouldn't even think about trading them. 4.6hp, 205 mph, 720 cfm at the tube, for $375.00. Check out Russo's power equip. GREAT prices on everything.

I second that. I have the maruyama BL8100 which is the exact one. Actually Maru make thisn blower for Kawi using the Kawi TK65 engine. Very light, and quietest of all the big blowers.

Although I notice price has gone up. I got it for $389 a year and half ago. You can't beat it if it is $375.

EastCoast
04-06-2010, 07:22 AM
I like RedMax products, but if choosing between the two I would go with the Stihl... also upgrade to the BR600.
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mowerbrad
04-06-2010, 01:17 PM
The 4-cycle engines (like the stihl 4-mix) have been out for quite a number of years. I have owned 4-mix engines for going on 3 seasons, and not one problem. They all start easy, my BR600 will start in one pull (the occasional 2 pulls) whether being started cold or hot. Don't let people tell you that these 4-mix engines are crap, because they AREN'T...they are very good engines (I have 3 units that are 4-mix engines).

I know some have mentioned the kawasaki blowers. I have demoed one, supposedly their biggest one (whatever model that is)....it was a horrible blower. It was very uncomforable to wear, didn't seem to have much power despite being the largest blower they offered. I demoed the blower while doing a very large leaf clean-up job...I had a couple stihls going and had this demo unit. I put it on and started to work, and in no more than 20 minutes I was taking it off because my back was killing me. I put back on my stihl and continued to work. And I had that stihl on my back for several hours, only taking it off to refill. I would not recommend the kawasaki....even though the origianal poster wasn't even considering them.

Pennington Lawncare
04-06-2010, 02:04 PM
If you aren't getting one of the top of the line models then why not get a Husqvarna BT-150 from Lowes for $300? That's probably the best bang for the buck in a decent sized blower.

mobileboy
04-06-2010, 02:41 PM
I have worn them both and couldn't disagree more. My 750 is very comfortable and just as powerful as the BR600. Could it have been the older KRB700 that you tested? It was smaller, and only moved 600cfm (as opposed to 720) at the tube. Also quite uncomfortable if you needed to wear for it long periods of time. KAW fixed the shortfalls of the 700 with the 750. It's a beast, and starts on the first pull every time. Prob not as good on gas as the BR600 though.

ProcsLC
04-06-2010, 03:10 PM
I love our maruyama BL8100... Not as noisy as the echo's and we hardly ever use the Echo PB 620 for anything anymore... The Maru is WAY more powerful, little lighter, more comfortable to use and always starts on the first or 2nd pull... We bought ours "on sale" for $375.00 last year and our dealer sold us another one this season for the same price, no doubt my echo will probably be on ebay soon and I am tired of our local echo dealer, he never has anything in stock and takes weeks to order even an air filter... claims echo has raised the minimum order requirements this season once again... I would think twice before buying anything echo nowadays...

mowerbrad
04-06-2010, 03:33 PM
I have worn them both and couldn't disagree more. My 750 is very comfortable and just as powerful as the BR600. Could it have been the older KRB700 that you tested? It was smaller, and only moved 600cfm (as opposed to 720) at the tube. Also quite uncomfortable if you needed to wear for it long periods of time. KAW fixed the shortfalls of the 700 with the 750. It's a beast, and starts on the first pull every time. Prob not as good on gas as the BR600 though.

It might have been the KRB700...I demo'ed it last spring and the unit was the previous year's model I believe. So it would have been a 2008 model maybe.

I just remember that the pad for your back was as hard as a rock, the shoulder straps dug into my shoulders and the weight distribution on my shoulders and back was horrible. I was comparing the blower side by side to a BR550 and the BR550 was moving far more leaves.

dodgerfan
04-06-2010, 06:36 PM
Stihl BR600 is well worth the extra $$$. I like everything about it but we have good cs for Stihl around here.

genesis215
04-06-2010, 07:57 PM
The new BR 550 that was released in October '09 has the valve troubles fixed. So no more of the old issues of pre-09 BR 550's and 600's. My '07 BR 600 has been ok, and my friend's BR 550 has done well, they are both 2+ years old. The brand new ones are a lot more reliable. You will be fine with either one.

FuturePilot4u
04-06-2010, 08:14 PM
ill just tell you this. save another 100 and get a echo 755 or the br600. preferably the 755. you will be glad you did, dont dink around with anything less than the best. i just went big and let me tell you it was worth it, 755 paid itself off in the first week. just dont take a chance of something less than the best.

mobileboy
04-06-2010, 08:28 PM
If a 550 was moving more leaves, it had to be the 700. the 750 is a dead heat with the 600 in the volume department.