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  #1  
Old 10-24-2011, 07:48 PM
Darryl G Darryl G is offline
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New Husqvarna 580BFS Blower

I've been looking at new blowers lately. I have 2 Shindaiwa EB630s, one of which is 10 years old and getting a little tired. The 630s were near the top of the charts back when I bought them, but the new generation of blowers seems to have raised the bar a couple of notches. They're fine for the mowing route, but I wanted something with pure brute strength for fall cleanups and for blowing clear the roadway and trails on my back acreage.

I considered the Echo PB770, the Shindaiwa EB802 and the Shindaiwa 854. This is mostly due to dealer preference, the Echo/Shin dealer the next town over from me is excellent. The only one I had tried out was the Echo, which seemed nice, but I have had gotten excellent service from my Shindaiwas and was leaning toward them. They don't carry the 802, just the 854. I'm still not sure they've gotten all the kinks out of the C4 engines so was reluctant to get the 854. So that pretty much left me with the 802 which they don't carry, but of course could get for me.

I wasn't really considering the Husqvarna 580 until I walked into the rental yard/Husqvarna dealer this afternoon and they had one on the shelf. I seemed nice but I wanted to come on her and elsewhere online to research it a bit...I figured it was a Redmax but wasn't sure what model.

It turns out it's the EBZ8500, so I went back to take a better look at it. I tried it on and really fell in love with the fact that it has a waist belt. I don't know why more of these big backpack blowers don't. I walked around with it for a while and decided it was coming home with me. It felt light on my back despite it being a giant heavy machine. I'm used to a hip mounted throttle and this one has the tube mounted one but I figured I'd go for it. I just don't like having those exposed wires there but I guess I'll just have to be carefull not to snag them and rip them out...$529 plus tax = $563.60 out the door.

Of course I couldn't wait to try it out so I got home and took it out on my back acreage. I have about a mile of roadway and trails out back that I keep clear. I can use my walk behind blower on the roadways but I need to use a backpack on the trails. Being that they're through the woods, they get a lot of leaves and sticks on them. The 580 handled it easy. I was able to keep a pretty brisk pace while walking along and blowing everything clear and was able to blow back the accumulated twigs along the edges that the 630s couldn't move any further too. I was able to do what would have taken me 2 tank fulls with my 630s in one tank full of gas...granted the 580s tank it bigger. But it absolutely blows my 630s away as far as power and productivity goes. It makes them seem like toys.

After I got home I did a side-by-side test with the newer of my 630s with me on the Shin and my son on the Husky. There is just no comparison, a world of difference between the 2 of them. The Shin is perhaps 5 years old but it really hasn't seen much use. I mostly use my older one and use the newer one as a spare and as a second blower for when I have a helper with me.

I'll add some more about my likes and dislikes later...wifey is calling me for dinner.

Here are some pictures. You can see how much bigger it is than the Shin, which isn't exactly a small blower.
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  #2  
Old 10-24-2011, 08:31 PM
Ridin' Green Ridin' Green is offline
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Nice! That hip belt is a handy feature too. (Not a lot of guys seem to be aware that you can buy one for the BR600's as well. I didn't get the hip belt yet, but I did buy the chest strap attachment which really helps).


I have a dealer here that can get me the Husky 580 for $519 or just a tad less, and that's a big reason I am considering one even though I had better results from the Echo and Stihl when I demo'd them all side by side. I am more than willing to give one a chance to really get broken in and see what it can do then. I like the tube mount throttle myself, and can't see why anyone would ever want the hip mount type. I have never even come close to snagging any of my throttle cables on anything, and I blow in some tight areas with lots of brush sometimes. I doubt you'll ever have any trouble either. It's just a lot handier to be able to control the throttle with the right hand, and be able to bend down and pick up trash/sticks etc with the left hand IMO.
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Old 10-24-2011, 09:54 PM
Darryl G Darryl G is offline
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Yeah, as far as the throttle. My hand tools go in the truck bed and that's where I'm afraid I'll snap the wiring. It comes with a semi-circular formed "clamp" to hold the wires in place but my guess is that will fall off at some point. I think I'll probably loosely zip-tie the wires to the tube. I think the theory with the hip mounted throttle is to reduce the work load and fatigue on your right hand, but I agree it's a bit of a pain to have it there and have that hand unavailable for anything else.

One major consideration in my purchase was that not only do I do a fair amount of business with this rental yard, but they have really come through for me when I've been in a bind. They will work on any of my equipment for me if needed, whereas the equipment dealers will only work on what they sell (not saying I blame them). The mechanic and general manager have both been there 20 plus years and they run a tight ship. Besides that, I know the owner personally, he's my next door neighbor's best friend who I am also good friends with. The owner and I aren't exactly buddies, but we're friends. He also owns the heating oil company that supplies both me and my neighbor.

Back to the blower...yeah it has some serious power. It puts out a much broader field of air than I'm used to.

I've only run one tank of fuel through it so far, so I certainly can't give it a comprehensive review, but my first impressions are:

Likes:
1) Starts really easily, and I don't just mean rapidly, which it does. The pull is surprisingly light. It's almost effortless. Does this thing have auto compression release or something?

2) Hip belt and sterum strap keep the machine close to your body and makes it feel much lighter than it is....able to distrubute weight according to your preferences

3) Plenty of power. I actually found myself throttling it down at times rather than WOT. Considering that I was blowing trails in the woods, that says something.

4) Large fuel tank/long run time. I didn't time it but well over an hour, guessing 1.5 hours, whereas I get 50 minutes to an hour run time out of my Shins.

5) For a blower with this power, I was surprised that it wasn't a strain on my arm to hold the tube with the standard bottom tube on...in fact you can let go of it and it doesn't go flying.

6) Runs smooth, not a single hiccup.

7) Covers a large area yet is still able to scour the stuck leaves, maybe not quite as well as my Shins do.

8) Doesn't readily rip up moss

9) Really nice air filtration system...hopefull will increase engine life

Now for the dislikes:

1) It's loud! Even with my Peltor Work Tunes on it was almost unfortably loud. I'm used to loud blowers but this seemed LOUD.

2) Throttle response is a little sluggish...adequate but it's not instant by any means...perhaps break-in will improve that.

3) I wish the detent for the engine cut off was a little more pronouned like is on the Echo 770...I shut it off by accident 3 times while taking the cruise control down. Granted I'm used to a hip mounted throttle with a kill button so hopefully it's just beginner error. But once you hit the kill, even if you realize it and put it back on, it still kills it...why is that?

4) I found the fluted flat nozzle or whatever you call it for the tubes to be unuseable. It's too far off the ground to really serve it's purpose of getting the air right down at ground level and it really pushes your arm outward hard. I swear if you didn't resist it you'd just spin around in circles.

5) Speaking of the tubes, it was a 2 person job to switch the tubes and even that was a struggle, they're really really snug. I sprayed them with silicone...hopefully I won't regret that. The plastic is also kind of thin, but given their diameter I think they'd be too heavy if they were any thicker...remind self not to crush them.

6) Wires to the throttle seem to be begging to get caught and ripped out and are only held on my a single semi-circular "clamp" thats kind of like a spring steel pre-formed wire that I expect will fall off and get lost. I think I'll zip tie them on loosely. This is probably my biggest concern but I guess it's a common thing with tube mounted throttles.

7) The padding on the shoulder seems thin, but I didn't find them to be uncomfortable...they are curved nicely. I had most of the weight on my hips anyway thanks to the well padded hip belt.

The bottom line. I really like it. Easy starting, comfortable and light feeling, plenty of power and moves things without excavating the things you're not intending to. I'll secure the throttle wires better for my own piece of mind and try not to shut it off by accident and I think I'll skip the fluted nozzle.

I still need to try it more on turf and in some thick leaf accumulations.

Oh yeah, I forgot...I only ran the Echo 770 for a limited time in light leaf conditions, but they seem pretty similar in power...too close for me to call having run them a week or 2 apart and in totally different conditions. The Echo throttle response seemed quicker though.
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  #4  
Old 10-24-2011, 10:01 PM
Gianninilandscaping Gianninilandscaping is offline
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Hey, nice purchase... I too bought one in the begining of summer, I work at a rental store that is a husqvarna dealer aswell.. I love it.. all my handhelds are husqvarna due to me paying out of my paycheck weekly instead of all up front. the first time my dad (56 years old) tried it on he nearly fell over because he wasnt expecting the wind force to be that great, which i fount to be quite funny to me...
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Old 10-24-2011, 10:25 PM
Ridin' Green Ridin' Green is offline
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I don't know why they still shut down once you hit the off switch and immediately turn it back on, but my BR600 does the same thing. I can reach back with my left arm and restart it right on my back though, so that's a plus. Every big BP I have tried that was of recent manufacture has been exceptionally east to start, and I think that's a good thing.

As for loud, while I didn't mention it in my review that I can recall, but I did notice that the RM 8500 was louder than the 770, and especially the BR600 which is really quiet for what it is/does. I run that at the half throttle setting for 90% of my leaf removal work, and it blows everything away- sticks, leaves, small stones, whatever. These big BP's are simply amazing to watch work.

My BR's tubes were a real SOB to get apart too. I had to have my wife hold the upper tube in place while I wrenched the lower tube off. Now that I have done it a couple times, they do come of easier, yet are still nice a snug when in place.

I bought the curved nozzle for my 600 after reading and chatting here with another member about them, but I took it right back off. I have one on my BR 320, and love it for leaf removal/clean-up, but the 600 moves so much air that it literally blows the tune and your arm straight back, which you have to constantly fight, and eventually your arm gets fatigued. It works great at lifting and shoving the leaves forward, but the strain against the arm just isn't worth the gain IMO.
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  #6  
Old 10-24-2011, 11:35 PM
Darryl G Darryl G is offline
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Check this out!

I found a youtube video of the blower in action. Must see! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFR4e-Fm45Q
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  #7  
Old 10-25-2011, 12:13 AM
Darryl G Darryl G is offline
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That's Weird

The model number sticker on my unit clearly says 580BFS but that's the designation for the frame mounted throttle. The tube mounted throttle model is the BTS. It appears they put the wrong sticker on mine.
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  #8  
Old 10-25-2011, 12:22 AM
madisonpressurewashing madisonpressurewashing is offline
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Is that not also a Redmax now?!?!
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  #9  
Old 10-25-2011, 12:41 AM
Darryl G Darryl G is offline
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It's the Redmax EBZ8500RH in orange.
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  #10  
Old 10-25-2011, 11:29 AM
Ridin' Green Ridin' Green is offline
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Darryl-
one thing I like about the Husky you have over the RM version, is the fact that the Husky utilizes quick release snaps on the air box cover, while RM uses the twist knobs. Much simpler and easier to use.
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