PDA

View Full Version : Stihl BR500


Moose's Mowing
11-27-2012, 08:45 AM
Anyone else using one of these?

Long story long, I had a routine leaf clean up to do yesterday but my Scag Z is already winterized. So I was going to just ride around with my ghetto Craftsman rider with bagger rigged up with a tarp. Works OK but I used to use the Scag and blow everything to the center of the yard while mulching the leaves, then suck them up with the Craftsman. I'd use my handheld blower to do the beds and get stuff out away from the house. So yesterday I show up to do the final cleanup thinking I had gotten mostly all of the leaves in the past few weeks. Well this place was a mess and at 2+ acres, was way more than my handheld and crapsman was gonna handle. So I sucked it up, called around and the biggest Stihl backpack I could find NOW was the BR500. I was looking for the 550 or 600 but nobody had one in stock. So I checked on my iPhone quick to see the specs and it seemed to be big enough to suit my needs. Later did I find out the 500 is some kind of "quite" model for noise sensitive areas. I could care less how loud it is, but it is what it is.

I used the backpack and handheld together and it worked OK, but for $500, I was expecting the backpack to work a little better and have more blow. It almost feels like the engine has a governor on it and won't spool up as fast as I expected. Are these backpacks the 4 mix engines like the trimmers have or are they a traditional 2 stroke? Is there any way to de-pussify this thing to make it blow harder or am I stuck with it as it sits?

Darryl G
11-27-2012, 09:17 AM
Stihl has a 7 day return policy. I'd call the dealer right away and see if you can return it.

Moose's Mowing
11-27-2012, 09:35 AM
Stihl has a 7 day return policy. I'd call the dealer right away and see if you can return it.

I was thinking of calling them and seeing if I could return it and swap it for the 550....I wasn't aware they did a 7 day return, thanks for sharing I'm calling them now.

Spring Valley Lawn Service
11-27-2012, 09:39 AM
Br 600 cost me 500 new

Darryl G
11-27-2012, 09:39 AM
May as well step up to the 600 Magnum, no?

Moose's Mowing
11-27-2012, 09:46 AM
Well Stihl's customer service is amazing....Called the dealer, said no problem. Bring it in and we'll get it swapped out for a BR600!!!!! Lesson learned I guess, I shoulda just ordered the 600 to start with, but I was in a pinch. I guess the sound control also comes with performance control.

BR500 $495 with 3bhp 181 mph
BR600 $499 with 4bhp 201 mph

I hope I don't have the same problem with the 600....for 500 bucks I want it to blow the stink off ****, that 500 was only slightly stronger than the handheld. thanks for the quick reply, I'm thrilled they're going to swap it out for me.

Darryl G
11-27-2012, 10:06 AM
Their return policy isn't well advertised. The BR600 isn't the most powerful blower out there but people seem to love them due to their power to weight ratio and comfort. It is a 4-mix though and will need periodic valve adjustments. They recommend one after 139 hours of operation.

Moose's Mowing
11-27-2012, 10:18 AM
Their return policy isn't well advertised. The BR600 isn't the most powerful blower out there but people seem to love them due to their power to weight ratio and comfort. It is a 4-mix though and will need periodic valve adjustments. They recommend one after 139 hours of operation.

My wife says I'm not the most powerful thing on the market either, but I still get it done :weightlifter:

I'd never heard of their return policy, so I'm really glad you mentioned it. I'm still a pretty small solo outfit, but I've been making due with a handheld so far. That's fine for tiny yards and mowing cleanups, but I finally had enough, got fed up and grabbed a back pack. I'm also looking for a used walk behind blower for next year. Other than skimping on the size of the blower, my biggest mistake was not buying one at the BEGINNING of leaf season and waiting till the END....what an idiot:hammerhead: Hope the boss doesn't fire me

Darryl G
11-27-2012, 10:25 AM
This song came to mind, lol. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_r9AnvHLjk

Ridin' Green
11-27-2012, 10:43 AM
You'll be more than happy with the power of the 600. It has a lot more actual performance than it's exhaust note would suggest. Like Darryl said, it isn't the most powerful blower out, but it's right up there and it will more than hold it's own for all but the worst clean ups and even then, it's no slouch.

My only complaint is that the shoulder straps want to slide off my shoulders too easily compared to most other blowers, and I'm not what you'd call round shouldered at all. I did buy the optional chest strap for mine and it made a big difference. They are very light, have an excellently designed pistol grip throttle, and they do far better on fuel than the big 2 strokes do.

Exmarkboy13
11-27-2012, 06:38 PM
in real world applications, and having used most every bp blower out there (maryuama, jonserd....) the 550 is really close to the older 420. Its great for your basic light grass and leaves on pavement, but really lacks in comparison to the 600 on and heavy type of debris. I have a 600 magnum, and absolutely love it. About to buy another 1. Like others have said, it may seem weak at first due to the engine tone, but trust me, it will do just as much as you 770 or 8500 out in the feild. I have used them side by side.

Jimslawncareservice
11-27-2012, 07:29 PM
in real world applications, and having used most every bp blower out there (maryuama, jonserd....) the 550 is really close to the older 420. Its great for your basic light grass and leaves on pavement, but really lacks in comparison to the 600 on and heavy type of debris. I have a 600 magnum, and absolutely love it. About to buy another 1. Like others have said, it may seem weak at first due to the engine tone, but trust me, it will do just as much as you 770 or 8500 out in the feild. I have used them side by side.

I've used the 600and 770 side by side they are close, but the 770 is a tad faster. But will run out if gas first. In snow I think the 600 OS a tad better with the cone tube. But lighter stuff its slower.
Posted via Mobile Device

Moose's Mowing
11-27-2012, 07:37 PM
Dropped off the 500 at the dealer. They ordered me a 600 magnum. Only gotta wait till next fall to really try it out thanks for all the info and the quick save

Ridin' Green
11-27-2012, 07:44 PM
Dropped off the 500 at the dealer. They ordered me a 600 magnum. Only gotta wait till next fall to really try it out thanks for all the info and the quick save

Oh no you don't.

If you have any clients who have dirt roads in front of their lawn, or those with gravel driveways where snowplows have pushed gravel into the turf, the 600 will blow that stuff out (gravel and dirt both) with relative ease. I do it every year with my 600 and Husky 570. I haven't raked gravel or dirt in a few years now.

Darryl G
11-27-2012, 07:45 PM
Glad to help. Nothing more than being disappointed with purchase and being stuck with it.

Darryl G
11-27-2012, 07:54 PM
in real world applications, and having used most every bp blower out there (maryuama, jonserd....) the 550 is really close to the older 420. Its great for your basic light grass and leaves on pavement, but really lacks in comparison to the 600 on and heavy type of debris. I have a 600 magnum, and absolutely love it. About to buy another 1. Like others have said, it may seem weak at first due to the engine tone, but trust me, it will do just as much as you 770 or 8500 out in the feild. I have used them side by side.

My experience was different. I have used my Husqvarna 580 (same mechanicals as the 8500) side-by-side with both a 770 and a BR600 and the 580 is significantly more powerful. Different units shine more in different areas, but for moving large quantities of material I don't think any backpack matches the 8500/580.

SECTLANDSCAPING
11-27-2012, 09:14 PM
My experience was different. I have used my Husqvarna 580 (same mechanicals as the 8500) side-by-side with both a 770 and a BR600 and the 580 is significantly more powerful. Different units shine more in different areas, but for moving large quantities of material I don't think any backpack matches the 8500/580.

I agree with this. The 8500 will out blow all the others. I cant speak for the shindy 8520. Even my old 8000 out blows the br600. I run a br600,8500,8000 and a 770. On paper the 770 looks to blow the most but thats on paper only.

corey4671
11-27-2012, 09:28 PM
First I've ever heard of that return policy. Good to know although I've never had anything I bought I'd want to return.

Ridin' Green
11-27-2012, 10:58 PM
Retrodog posted this here a short while back, and it is about the best visible test that there is right now for straight up head to head blowing power. It isn't debris that they're blowing against, but it is fair and indicates what you'd see in the real world. It also goes along pretty closely with what I've experienced the last couple seasons using quite a few top end blowers on real world debris for more than just a few minutes like we get to at the dealership.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePqL085xf-g

herler
11-28-2012, 12:12 AM
They need to discontinue that sorry thing or at least sell it for the original MSRP of $400.

lawnboy dan
11-28-2012, 07:55 AM
what kind of sthil dealer dosnt stock the br600?

Moose's Mowing
11-28-2012, 08:27 AM
what kind of sthil dealer dosnt stock the br600?

1 out of the 3 local ones to me anyway. one shop is closed on Mondays, the other one had 3 but some guy bought all of them over the weekend so they didn't have any when I needed it.

rlitman
11-28-2012, 11:18 AM
They need to discontinue that sorry thing or at least sell it for the original MSRP of $400.

Why discontinue the BR500? It has all the same parts as the BR600, and more, so there is no reason it should cost less. I don't need a blower strong enough to push cars down the road, and I like being able to use my backpack without hearing protection, and not suffering permanent hearing damage.

If it isn't what you want, don't buy it.

Darryl G
11-28-2012, 11:36 AM
The BR500 has about 40% less power than the BR600. That's a pretty high performance price to pay just to be quieter. If quiet is important to you then I can respect that, but personally I don't think I could make that sacrifice in performance unless it was mandated by noise regulations....i.e. I had to.

Ridin' Green
11-28-2012, 01:14 PM
The BR500 has about 40% less power than the BR600. That's a pretty high performance price to pay just to be quieter. If quiet is important to you then I can respect that, but personally I don't think I could make that sacrifice in performance unless it was mandated by noise regulations....i.e. I had to.

I agree with Darryl.

Besides, how much more quiet a blower than the BR600 does anyone really need? That's why I keep mine around- for places my 570 might be just a bit too loud.

Just because a blower doesn't hurt your ears doesn't mean it's not doing permanent damage to them. Some sounds that cause damage to your hearing you simply can't hear because they are out of our range.

Jimslawncareservice
11-28-2012, 01:18 PM
I agree with Darryl.

Besides, how much more quiet a blower than the BR600 does anyone really need? That's why I keep mine around- for places my 570 might be just a bit too loud.

Just because a blower doesn't hurt your ears doesn't mean it's not doing permanent damage to them. Some sounds that cause damage to your hearing you simply can't hear because they are out of our range.

That's why on any power equipment for any amount of time I have my head set or ear plugs in.
Posted via Mobile Device

Darryl G
11-28-2012, 01:43 PM
That's why on any power equipment for any amount of time I have my head set or ear plugs in.
Posted via Mobile Device

What? Speak up please!

I actually have some hearing damage in my left ear from my days working with drilling rigs...140 pound hammer slamming on a steel collar over and over and over, literally thousands of times a day.

lawnboy dan
11-28-2012, 07:07 PM
the low noise 500 must be for the california market. the 600 is allready pretty quiet