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speedster
06-12-2010, 11:10 PM
I'm in the market for a hand held blower/vac/mulcher for use in clearing clippings off my sidewalks and leafs off my lawn. A vacuum with mulcher would be a plus. This is strictly residential use.

I'd really prefer gas for portability sake. Was reading reviews of the electric Toro Ultra vac and was impressed by the high quality metal impellor blades. But just can't bring myself to get an electric model. In doing some research for a gas powered blwer/vac I've seen models from Craftsman, Ryobi, Poulon, and Weedeater brand. I know those aren't at the commercial level that Stihl, Echo, Shindy are but I'm hoping I can find something under $150 that I can use for light duty around the house.

LarryF
06-14-2010, 08:09 AM
I'm in the market for a hand held blower/vac/mulcher for use in clearing clippings off my sidewalks and leafs off my lawn. A vacuum with mulcher would be a plus. This is strictly residential use.

I'd really prefer gas for portability sake. Was reading reviews of the electric Toro Ultra vac and was impressed by the high quality metal impellor blades. But just can't bring myself to get an electric model. In doing some research for a gas powered blwer/vac I've seen models from Craftsman, Ryobi, Poulon, and Weedeater brand. I know those aren't at the commercial level that Stihl, Echo, Shindy are but I'm hoping I can find something under $150 that I can use for light duty around the house.

I'm also a homeowner, and I'd recommend against the ones you identified (Craftsman, etc.). I have had a Redmax HBZ 2601 for a couple of years, and it's great. But I paid quite a bit more than the $150 limit you mentioned. This site (http://www.wisesales.com/redmax_blowers.html) has mine plus some other Redmax hand-held blowers that seem to be in the same performance range as the one I have. The HB280 for $170 looks like it has even more oomph and the HB280SV for $210 would give you the shred and vac feature you seem to want. Good luck.

speedster
06-15-2010, 07:15 AM
$210 for the redmax is a little better than the $230-$250 quoted for Echo and Stihl blower vacs. However I do not have a Redmax dealer anywhere near me. I used their dealer locator and they showed place in a neighboring town but when I called them the guy acted like they didn't deal in redmax products.

One other option I read about was the Husqvarna 125BVX thats $189 at Lowes so with the 10% I could get it for $169. Sort of an intermediate price. Reviews look far better than those of the Craftsman units. Might not be quite on par with Stihl, Redmax, or Echo but better than the Ryobi and Poulan units wouldn't you think. Anyone familiar with this unit?

http://www.husqvarna.com/us/homeowner/products/blowers/125bvx/
http://www.amazon.com/Husqvarna-125BVX-2-Stroke-Gas-Powered-Handheld/dp/B00280MUZ8/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1276530379&sr=1-6

LarryF
06-15-2010, 09:11 AM
I haven't a clue why the Amazon price could be so high ($400), but the Lowes price sounds like a bargain. I've never used the Husqvarna blower. but it seems like it should be a good one. I believe Husqvarna products are reasonably high quality. My current chain saw is a Husky, and I like it more than the Stihl it replaced, but then again, I had gotten that Stihl saw more than 40 years ago, so it was pretty old technology. A couple of other Stihl machines I have (string trimmer and mini tiller) are first rate in my opinion.

In regard your remark about not having a Redmax dealer nearby, that wouldn't bother me at all. The only lawn equipment I currently have that came from a dealer are the two Stihls and my Exmark ZTR; all of the others came from places I found on the Internet. And the ZTR dealer has now gone out of business, so that leaves me on my own should I ever need service. I doubt if I'll ever need another ZTR, but if I do, I certainly will check out websites that sell them. And if you buy the blower from Lowes, you'll be in the same no-dealer-for-service boat with that item.

speedster
06-19-2010, 09:44 AM
I went ahead and ordered a Husqvarna 125bxv from Lowes. Had a 10% coupon and got it for $169. Did a lot of research and I'm positive that it's identical to the Redmax HB280-VK which I could find online as low as $209.