View Full Version : Backpack vs. handheld Blower ?

11-09-2002, 11:18 PM
I just started cutting a few residential lawns 12 to be exact. just a small part time /extra income thing that i am trying to grow a little.
I need to get a blower and cant decide between backpack or handheld!! Any advice would be greatly apreciated.
if needed i can spend 350.00-400.00 if it is worth the extra$$$.
Also who makes the Best Brand backpack/handheld and or model?
All i have to get started currently is a 48" EXmark & 21 John Deere push mower & Echo SRM-260 String Trimmer.

11-09-2002, 11:27 PM
Backpacks are great. Lots of blow for the money. Just pick one you like. All pretty similar in quality.


11-10-2002, 12:13 AM
Contact Captain Devo here on Lawnsite.

He has a Redmax 7001.. (Do a search for 7001 or Redmax)

The blower is currently one of the top 3 strongest blowers on the market backpack wise.

If you ask which one is the strongest, you'll get or 4 different answers just like in trucks (Ford, Chevy or Dodge...)

He's priced in the mid $400's. Unbeatable deal from any local dealer and it can be UPS'd to your house.. probably have it by Thursday or Friday of next week if you move quick...

I bought one from him..

You will NOT be disappointed..

Or check your local dealer for the top-notch Echo, Stihl or Shindaiwa.... They are all great from what everyone on here says..


LB Landscaping
11-10-2002, 12:30 AM
I would definatly go with a BP if you have the money. Doog was right Capt Devo has some good prices on some very good equipment. I have an hand held that I bought first and don't even use it since I bought my BP. The is no compartison. Alot more power and alot easier on the arms.

We do 4 U
11-10-2002, 12:43 AM
Go with the backpack. You will not be sorry. You can clean of sidewalks and drivw ways just as fast as you can walk, not to mention how much easier leaf clean up is as compared to a hand held and a good back pack is in your price range.
As for brand, I like Sthil, but you can;t go worng with echo, redmax, etc.

11-10-2002, 12:48 AM
I too bought the Redmax 7001. But there are several factors to consider.

First, do you plan on growing your business. Second are you pressed for time with these 12 accounts (I presume you have a regular 40 hour a week job) and Third, like you said, Money.

If you plan on staying the size you are and are doing it cause you like it and it gives you some spending cash, I would suggest a hand held, perferably stihls bg85. On the otherhand if you think you might add a few accounts, say 10 or so more definitely go with the backpack. JMHO:D

bubble boy
11-10-2002, 05:11 PM
back pack, even if your part time. the $ it costs you is peanuts really. you'll be glad you did the first time you cut in the rain and need to blow...

11-10-2002, 06:46 PM
Go to Lowes and get a Husqurvana(?) for $175. Mine has lasted for years with no problems. Mounts easy on your trailer so you dont have crap rolling aroung in your pickup bed as well.

11-10-2002, 07:02 PM
Back packs are great.... but if you only need to blow a little just like short sidewalks and small driveways and are only gonna run it for like a minute or two at a time... a hand held will be just fine... actually might be better b/c you don't have to put it on and all that. If you do clean ups and large jobs... get a bp

11-10-2002, 07:04 PM
I have a hand held Echo blower and it blows as fast as I walk when dry... if it is wet it takes a lil bit longer but it is still kinda fast.

11-10-2002, 07:13 PM
BP blower all the way, get a Echo pb-650 it'll blow down trees!:cool: They are kinda high though, home cheapo has the echo pb-260 which is not the strongest in the world but will get the job done $299 I think. Call me an idiot but I'm kinda an echo fan. GO HOGS!

Richard Martin
11-10-2002, 07:21 PM
In your price range (300 to 400) I think the Stihl BR420 is the winner hands down. There have been quite a few polls done here at Lawnsite and the Stihl usually comes out as the winner.

In fact, there is a poll of sorts going on in the What did you purchase this year thread.

In backpack blowers it's:

Stihl 8
Redmax 5
Echo 3
Shindaiwa 2
Homelite 1
Fradan 1

11-10-2002, 08:29 PM
Originally posted by summitgroundskeeping
Back packs are great.... but if you only need to blow a little just like short sidewalks and small driveways and are only gonna run it for like a minute or two at a time... a hand held will be just fine... actually might be better b/c you don't have to put it on and all that. If you do clean ups and large jobs... get a bp

Exactly my thoughts! If you are just doing a small amount of drive and sidewalk then handheld probably faster, but if anything is wet or if you wanna do much leaves, blowing dirt after edging, etc, or just using one for longer drives, longer periods of time, etc, a backpack blower is your best answer. Had a Homelite HB180 handheld blower (wouldn't recommend it, go for Echo or Stihl for handhelds) but it was freebie, then got a used Kawasaki KRB400A backpack blower, it's awesome. They make a KRB700 which is bigger, but the KRB400A and KRB400B (same but controls are different) is lighter and more powerful/more air flow than a Stihl BR340, and we all know Kawasaki's are great. My local Kawi/Husky dealer told me Kawi made the Husqvarna blowers if that helps you any. Seems like everyone loves the RedMax 7001 an awful lot! Don't consider Homelite, Poulan/WeedEater, etc. el cheapo brands, get Stihl, Echo, RedMax, Kawasaki, Husqvarna, Shindaiwa, Fraden, or other good one. Make sure it has a good warranty and definately check out the spec sheets for it!
Try them all.
Good luck,

11-10-2002, 09:30 PM
I have one Husky handheld, I also have a Husky BP but tomorrow its going to be replaced by a Redmax 7001. Personally, I would reccomend the backpack for larger areas as others have said. The only time I really use the handheld is when I blow smaller areas like the two foot wide walks and small driveways. No sense in starting and putting the BP on to use it for those 2 minute jobs.

11-11-2002, 01:55 AM
I have neveer liked backpacks. Just my personsl preferance. I never thought the extra power was enough for me to take the time to manuver into the straps, and lug around. What if it dies? then you got to take it off to restart it then back on.:mad:

You can get a good Echo, Stihl, etc.. for $200 or less.

And should keep up with your accounts easily.

My first blower I still think was the most blow for the buck$
a bottem line Weedeater gas blower for $49 new.
It blowes air. that's all it needs to do. I don't use it much any more but keep it at home. Started it up the other day after not running for a couple months, no problem.:)

You could think about getting a blow-n-vac, Dual purpose machine. then add a back pack latter if you still want one.

Just some thoughts

11-11-2002, 02:09 AM
Pawn shops! I know everything there is stolen but I faound a new echo pb 603 for $250 and they are normally around what? $450?

Expert Lawns
11-11-2002, 02:32 AM
from my experience:

hand held - easy to pick up and go. lighter, easier to start. you can start them while walking with no problem. great to blow off a quick drive or sidewalk.

backpack - GREAT for working in the rain. even better for leaf cleanup. incredible power, and you can blow as fast as you can walk.

I have both HH and BP. both are REDMAX. the HH is great for those small ''mow, blow n go'' lawns. i guess it boils down to how much you want to spend, and what type of lawns you have. (or plan on getting) hope this helps, and good luck ! :)