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View Full Version : Best backback blower?


colbyjh
06-09-2011, 05:29 PM
I own a small landscape business in VA. I maintain residential and 1 commercial building. I have noticed that a good portion of my time is wasted on sweeping the driveways, walkways, and parking lots.

I have been looking around on the forums here and redmax seems to be the prefered brand.

I dont need to move any buildings with my blower, I need to move grass clippings, pinecones, and small debris from a parking lot.

Thanks in advanced,

Colby

ffemt1271
06-09-2011, 05:51 PM
I'm running shindaiwa EB500's that are 9 years old. it's the smallest they made and i'v used them on apartment complexes. they have been very good machines, however i am about to replace them with stihl BR600 magnums.

THG
06-09-2011, 06:21 PM
I would go with the dealer you like the best. I run Stihl but I have a very old Redmax. I think if you stick with Stihl, Redmax, Echo, Shindaiwa then you will be fine. If this is your fisrt backpack then you will be impressed with all of them.

Mac B.
06-09-2011, 06:22 PM
I just went through this same thing and I am happy with my decision on the Echo PB770. I had a Stihl BR600 and sold it because of the plastic cams and problems. I then bought a BR420 Magnum and was not satisfied with the power output so I sold it. I then bought the PB770 and I have been smiling ever since. It has very good power and starts on the first or second pull when cold. I am a Stihl guy but this blower is better than anything Stihl had.

Mac

93Chevy
06-09-2011, 06:31 PM
Buy the biggest you can; you'll thank yourself later.

DanManofStihl
06-09-2011, 06:48 PM
If I wanted a smaller blower it would be a br420 I have had great luck with them in the past. I am running a shindiawa 802 now and no way I would get a smaller blower now that I have run the big one. Def get the biggest blower you can afford money well spent. The faster you can finish the more you can make and the more competive you can stay.

jtsnipe
06-09-2011, 06:48 PM
Shindaiwa 802,Do a search.

cpllawncare
06-09-2011, 06:56 PM
I have a small stihl BR380 and am very satisfied with it, after figuring out that I needed to run at least 89 oct fuel with a 50:1 mix of premium oil to fuel, The Echo's seem to be a popular choice around here as well. I will probably upgrade come fall for leaf blowing with a 600.

lawnboy dan
06-09-2011, 07:13 PM
i second the sthil 420-the one product sthil got right-bullitproff

derekslawn
06-09-2011, 08:21 PM
I would definately recommend the Stihl BR600 over any Echo. I've had 2 Echo blowers in the past, but I personally like the Stihl better.

nightshutter
06-09-2011, 08:47 PM
Get yourself a redmax
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colbyjh
06-09-2011, 09:03 PM
anyone know the prices of these blowers. I'm guessing the price varies by location, but I'd like to get an idea of about how much they cost. I've tried several Internet searches but I cant seem to find prices.

I agree with what yall have said. I'd like to get as large of a blower as I can. I've made very little profit recently thanks to stolen equipment, vehicle and equipment repairs, a van with 8mpg, and spending alot of time sweeping. I'm hoping a large blower will help me make enough to purchase a new work vehicle very soon.

I don't want to spend more than $500 and since I am a small business I'd like to get the most for my money. An extra $100 dollars for an extra 2mph velocity isn't worth it. I want something cheap (preferably in the $300-$400 range), but I also want enough power that I don't have to bend down to blow leafs.

So far I haven't had any jobs where I've had to clear an entire yard of leafs, but I also don't want my equipment to limit me. From what I understand though a walk behind blower is better to do an entire yard.

Sorry I keep going off topic, I've got alot of questions.

Thanks alot for all the quick replies :)

93Chevy
06-09-2011, 09:05 PM
anyone know the prices of these blowers. I'm guessing the price varies by location, but I'd like to get an idea of about how much they cost. I've tried several Internet searches but I cant seem to find prices.

I agree with what yall have said. I'd like to get as large of a blower as I can. I've made very little profit recently thanks to stolen equipment, vehicle and equipment repairs, a van with 8mpg, and spending alot of time sweeping. I'm hoping a large blower will help me make enough to purchase a new work vehicle very soon.

I don't want to spend more than $500 and since I am a small business I'd like to get the most for my money. An extra $100 dollars for an extra 2mph velocity isn't worth it. I want something cheap (preferably in the $300-$400 range), but I also want enough power that I don't have to bend down to blow leafs.

So far I haven't had any jobs where I've had to clear an entire yard of leafs, but I also don't want my equipment to limit me. From what I understand though a walk behind blower is better to do an entire yard.

Sorry I keep going off topic, I've got alot of questions.

Thanks alot for all the quick replies :)

Going cheap doesn't make anything any easier. Spend $500-$550 on a big blower and you'll never have to upgrade to a bigger blower.

If you buy a $350 mid-grade blower, soon enough you'll want something bigger. So you'll spend $550 on another blower.

Just buy the big blower once and be done.

Golfpro21
06-09-2011, 09:19 PM
you get what you pay for
stihl is light with lots of power
husq 380bt has a bit more power but is heavy as heck
make sure you like the dealer you go with.....they can make or break your week if something goes down

Mikegyver
06-09-2011, 10:24 PM
BR-600 mag...both myself and my guys LOVE THIS THING! it will blow off a side walk as fast as you can walk. Tank of gas lasts a good while (much longer than my trimmers :cry:)....its also lightweight which is a plus....
count on $550 out the door
Mike

cpllawncare
06-09-2011, 10:33 PM
Going cheap doesn't make anything any easier. Spend $500-$550 on a big blower and you'll never have to upgrade to a bigger blower.

If you buy a $350 mid-grade blower, soon enough you'll want something bigger. So you'll spend $550 on another blower.

Just buy the big blower once and be done.


I totally agree, but my budget doesn't LOL

colbyjh
06-09-2011, 11:10 PM
so far this is what i have found:

husqvarna 180bt 77cc $529.95
husqvarna 380bts 71.9cc $529.95

Redmax 8001
7150 64.9cc $479

echo pb770 $499

Stihl BR600 64.8cc $489
br420 58.6cc $429
I'm going to check local dealerships near by to take a look at them tomorrow. I am not finding anything on the redmax 8001, but I saw a redmax 8500 for $539

Aaronnc
06-09-2011, 11:42 PM
I completely understand that your question was on backpack blowers, but if all your doing is clippings, pinecones, and small debris, then I would so recommend a strong handheld blower. Maybe a Stihl BG-86 or something along those lines. Easier to transport, better on gas, etc........ You could even buy two and have a backup for the price of a big backpack. I just don't see wasting the $$ on a huge backpack if your never gonna utilize it.

If you see yourself getting into leaves or huge parking lots, then yeah, definitely go big backpack or walk-behind. I would recommend Shindaiwa. The 802's are awesome. We ran them for a couple of years before switching over to Fradan Walk-Behinds. Also, if your area is anything like mine, check and make sure your high-end residentials/HOA's aren't whining about the big backpacks. I have two high-end HOA's that have asked me if I could tone down the blowers. I basically told them no, and they haven't outlawed it yet, but I feel it's coming. Good Luck.

cpllawncare
06-10-2011, 12:17 AM
Doesn't Stihl have a low noise model?

Aaronnc
06-10-2011, 12:51 AM
I think they do CPL, but I'm not sure. The only Stihl I've ever messed around with is the 600 Magnum, and I'll admit, it performed great. But it just seemed like a toy compared to the 802.

Alan0354
06-10-2011, 03:28 AM
I don't want to spend more than $500 and since I am a small business I'd like to get the most for my money. An extra $100 dollars for an extra 2mph velocity isn't worth it. I want something cheap (preferably in the $300-$400 range), but I also want enough power that I don't have to bend down to blow leafs.


Check out Maruyama BL8100 or Kawasaki KRB750 on ebay. They are the exact same blower, you should be able to get it for about $400. It is 64.7cc, it is consider a big blower. It is the cheapest of all big blowers, lightest and the quietest. I have the Maru and I am very happy with it. 2 pull start, 20 second warmup( soon as you can put it on your back). It might not be the strongest blower, but if you don't have big piles of leaves, it is plenty strong. It is not a medium size blower, but it is priced like one, weight like one. Maruyama is the only brand offer 5 years COMMERCIAL warranty.

If you are willing to go to $500, get the Shindaiwa EB802, it is 79cc, 3 years of perfect review here.

93Chevy
06-10-2011, 05:15 AM
I totally agree, but my budget doesn't LOL

If you're in this business and can't afford $500 for a standard piece of equipment, then you're not doing something right.

I'm only saying this because I could afford that much for a blower my first year and I barely broke even that year.

But don't listen to anything I say; I failed at business so my decisions probably weren't the best. :laugh::laugh:

colbyjh
06-10-2011, 07:18 AM
I completely understand that your question was on backpack blowers, but if all your doing is clippings, pinecones, and small debris, then I would so recommend a strong handheld blower. Maybe a Stihl BG-86 or something along those lines. Easier to transport, better on gas, etc........ You could even buy two and have a backup for the price of a big backpack. I just don't see wasting the $$ on a huge backpack if your never gonna utilize it.

If you see yourself getting into leaves or huge parking lots, then yeah, definitely go big backpack or walk-behind. I would recommend Shindaiwa. The 802's are awesome. We ran them for a couple of years before switching over to Fradan Walk-Behinds. Also, if your area is anything like mine, check and make sure your high-end residentials/HOA's aren't whining about the big backpacks. I have two high-end HOA's that have asked me if I could tone down the blowers. I basically told them no, and they haven't outlawed it yet, but I feel it's coming. Good Luck.

The average yard I maintain is about 1/4 to a 1/2 acre. I have one commercial building that I maintain. There is a 1 1/2 lane road down both sides of the building about 75 yards long with parkingspots adding another 10 feet or so on 1 side for 70% of that distance. plus a 50 x 25 yard parking area on both the front and back. Do you think I could do this with a handheld? Im sure for the average yard a handheld would work fine. If I get a handheld now, i could get a walkbehind in the fall for cleanup. Or do yall think I should just do everything with a backpack.

I'm sure a walkbehind makes things even faster for fall clean up, but if I get the backpack now I probably won't have the money for a walkbehind come fall. Is the walkbehind worth it, or is the backpack enough. I have up to 2 other guys helping me and in the fall I could get a second backpack if necessary. Sorry if I'm losing you :P basically should I:

A) Get a backpack now and maybe a second one in the fall
B) Get a backpack now and maybe a walkbehind the following fall
C) Get a handheld now and maybe a walkbehind in the fall


Unfortunately money is a very limited resource for me. I have been in business about 2 months (I've done the work for a few years, only recently made everything legit) and I don't have very many "stable" accounts yet. I have mostly temporary maintain the place until it sells sort of deals. I have had to replace/repair atleast 80% of my equipment recently. I used to by junk, now I only really get things of the best quality, with a warranty) so hopefully I will see everything paying off soon

cpllawncare
06-10-2011, 07:47 AM
If you're in this business and can't afford $500 for a standard piece of equipment, then you're not doing something right.

I'm only saying this because I could afford that much for a blower my first year and I barely broke even that year.

But don't listen to anything I say; I failed at business so my decisions probably weren't the best. :laugh::laugh:

It was just a timimg thing, I had just put out a large sum for a big mulch job, and hadn't been paid yet when my handheld went out on me, I had to buy a blower and really wanted a backpack, so I had to go to the credit card, I HATE using that damn thing so I skimped with the small blower, like I said I'll be in better shape come fall and will just go pay cash for a 600 and now will have a back up.

edgelawncare1
06-10-2011, 10:25 AM
I just bought a stihl br550 for around $450 and i love it. Starts easy and light weight compared to older stihl model i had.

Aaronnc
06-10-2011, 11:45 AM
The average yard I maintain is about 1/4 to a 1/2 acre. I have one commercial building that I maintain. There is a 1 1/2 lane road down both sides of the building about 75 yards long with parkingspots adding another 10 feet or so on 1 side for 70% of that distance. plus a 50 x 25 yard parking area on both the front and back. Do you think I could do this with a handheld? Im sure for the average yard a handheld would work fine. If I get a handheld now, i could get a walkbehind in the fall for cleanup. Or do yall think I should just do everything with a backpack.

I'm sure a walkbehind makes things even faster for fall clean up, but if I get the backpack now I probably won't have the money for a walkbehind come fall. Is the walkbehind worth it, or is the backpack enough. I have up to 2 other guys helping me and in the fall I could get a second backpack if necessary. Sorry if I'm losing you :P basically should I:

A) Get a backpack now and maybe a second one in the fall
B) Get a backpack now and maybe a walkbehind the following fall
C) Get a handheld now and maybe a walkbehind in the fall


Unfortunately money is a very limited resource for me. I have been in business about 2 months (I've done the work for a few years, only recently made everything legit) and I don't have very many "stable" accounts yet. I have mostly temporary maintain the place until it sells sort of deals. I have had to replace/repair atleast 80% of my equipment recently. I used to by junk, now I only really get things of the best quality, with a warranty) so hopefully I will see everything paying off soon

While it wouldn't be ideal, you could do it with a handheld, but since you've already mentioned fall cleanups, I would ixnay the handheld idea.

With how you've described your properties, I would just go with a backpack, maybe even two since you've mentioned that you have employees. You could go with one big backpack or two smaller ones. For the price of a $400-$500 big one, you could always go with two smaller ones like this (just an example.) http://www.amickssuperstore.com/RedMax_EBZ3000RH_Blower_p/redmax%20ebz3000rh%20blower.htm
(It just boils down to personal preference and strategy.)

Once you get more commercial properties and/or huge cleanups, I would then possibly aim for a walk-behind if needed.

hackitdown
06-10-2011, 12:38 PM
Go with a backpack. It will be 2 or 3 times faster than a handheld. I own an old handheld, I use it to sweep out my garage, it never goes on the road. I own a BR600, and just bought a Redmax 8500 last week. The Redmax seems to have more power, but the ergonomics of the Stihl are way better.

colbyjh
06-10-2011, 02:30 PM
Thanks alot for the input guys. I went to the dealers and I tried out both the sthil 600 and the echo 770t. So far I'm leaning towards the Sthil. Its a little lighter and more comfortable, but it seemed to be the a little less powerful than the 770t. The 770t costs $457, the 600 costs $479. The prices are very close. The guy at the echo place said that the sthil runs into many problems because of the type of motor it uses. I can't remember exactly what he said. Something about the heads needing to be readjusted. When I asked the Sthil guy, he told me that that was a problem with previous models, but it was fixed. I plan on purchasing one of these today. Any last minute advice?

cpllawncare
06-10-2011, 02:43 PM
Just something to think about, I was earlier LOL! IMOP find a brand you like and stick with that brand for all your handheld stuff for me I'm sticking with Stihl from now on.

Aaronnc
06-10-2011, 02:58 PM
Y-Bravo 65? LMAO People seem to love both models. As long as both offer good dealer support, flip a coin. Maybe one of them will throw in a hat or koozies or something.

cole32
06-10-2011, 04:27 PM
I run a stihl br 550, and it is a great running machine.



13 years old, and making money:weightlifter:

colbyjh
06-10-2011, 05:33 PM
Thanks for all the information everyone. I decided to go with the Echo 770T. I figured if I'm going to spend the money I might as well get the extra power at the cost of a little comfort.

Ridin' Green
06-10-2011, 06:36 PM
Don't be misled by the fact that the Stihl doesn't sound as powerful as some of the other big BP blowers. The 4 stroke engine just sounds weaker. It isn't.

It is a great machine, and will move anything that ever needs to be moved.

I bought my BR600M off a LCO who went out of business last year due to our crappy economy here. It was only 5 months old (saw the receipt, and know the dealer he bought it from, and I saw his copy too), and I paid $225 for it. It looked like brand spanking new. I could have bought an FS 90R for $125 too, but I didn't have quite enough cash on me at the moment and someone else was coming to look at it before I could get to an ATM. :-(

CL can be a great place to find stuff like this for a lot less money than the dealers want.

Aaronnc
06-10-2011, 07:03 PM
Thanks for all the information everyone. I decided to go with the Echo 770T. I figured if I'm going to spend the money I might as well get the extra power at the cost of a little comfort.

Congrats on the awesome purchase man. Thumbs Up From what I hear, you'll love it. Great specs. Now get it dirty for 30 days, and come back and write a review!

Poontamer
06-10-2011, 07:06 PM
I would say the black n decker power boost fuahahahahaha
Posted via Mobile Device

Get Some...
06-10-2011, 07:51 PM
Don't be misled by the fact that the Stihl doesn't sound as powerful as some of the other big BP blowers. The 4 stroke engine just sounds weaker. It isn't.

It is a great machine, and will move anything that ever needs to be moved.

I bought my BR600M off a LCO who went out of business last year due to our crappy economy here. It was only 5 months old (saw the receipt, and know the dealer he bought it from, and I saw his copy too), and I paid $225 for it. It looked like brand spanking new. I could have bought an FS 90R for $125 too, but I didn't have quite enough cash on me at the moment and someone else was coming to look at it before I could get to an ATM. :-(

CL can be a great place to find stuff like this for a lot less money than the dealers want.

Good used equipment can be found, and save's alot of dough.......

osborneslawncare
06-10-2011, 09:42 PM
bought myself a echo PB770T today. Itll tear a fat lady away from the buffet! highly suggest it:)

DanManofStihl
06-11-2011, 06:58 AM
Get the 802 and it will push the buffet away from the fat lady. LOL

colbyjh
06-11-2011, 11:23 PM
So I used my 770T on 5 yards today. I must say this thing is powerful. In one case too powerfull. There was a weed growing in a crack of the sidewalk and this thing ripped it out haha. You also have to be careful about getting to close to the edge of the grass.

The only downside is the weight. For a quick just clean off the sidewalk/driveway its no problem. But trying to clear a parking lot (that fine gravel) with it after cutting 4 other yards in near 100 degree weather wasn't so easy. The air on my back coming from the blower felt great though :)

Overall I'm very pleased with the purchase. Made a 10 minute sweeping job able to be done in whatever speed I want to walk.
:drinkup:

lawnboy dan
06-12-2011, 08:06 AM
i would not buy a sthil br600 as my ONLY blower-too un reliable

vtkish7
06-27-2011, 06:21 PM
Don't the Stihl 380s and 420s have the same engine? In that case the 380s would be like a bigger mid-range blower for sweeping jobs in a value package. Congrats on the purchase anyway though.

Alan0354
06-27-2011, 10:07 PM
380 has smaller tube so you get higher mph but lower cfm.