Husqvarna 570/ Stihl 600 BP blower review- warning pic heavy!!
For a while I have been interested in buying a big BP 2 stroke blower (to go along with my Stihl BR 600M that I've had for over a year) before they are either no longer made, and/or have a catalytic converter, or are watered down too far from all the stupid EPA regs. I like the idea of how simple they are, as well as having few moving parts internally.
A couple months ago I posted a review about demoing several big BP's including the Stihl BR 600M, the Echo BT 770, and the Red Max EBZ 8500. I was very impressed with the 770, and had been seriously considering one as a spare/back-up unit until a several weeks ago, when someone on here posted some comments about the frames being rather weak looking. So before buying one, I went back to the same dealer and looked them over a little better than I had before. I hadn't really noticed anything wrong with the frame previously, but after going back to look specifically at the frames, I started looking at the Stihl, Shindiawa, and Red Max frames on the blowers sitting only a few feet away. The Echo frame may be just as strong, but it did leave the impression that it was weaker overall.
I tried them all on to compare feel and fit (at least as I was dressed at the time, which was a sweatshirt and jeans). I absolutely hate the way the Shindy's feel on my back, and I mean hate! I tried on both the 854 ( part of their 4 Hybrid line, and similar to the 4 Mix from Stihl for those unfamiliar with them), and the 802. They are fine looking blowers, but they don't fit me at all, especially in the lower back area. They felt like something was wedged between the bottom of the blower and my back, and no, there was nothing there that shouldn't have been. Pass.
Next I tried on the RM 7500 and 8500. The 8500 is noticeably heavier to me than the 7500, and all of these blowers are noticeably heavier than the BR 600 M sitting there. The 7500 really appealed to me as far as fit, and what it offered, so that was the direction I started looking the most. On top of that, the numbers for the 7500 are very good, and while the 8500 has higher CFM's, the 7500 has noticeably more MPH. Before anyone starts telling me that the CFM's do all the work, I am one of the first ones on this site to preach that very thing, but.....
MPH has its place as well, as in scouring the ground better when trying to move small twigs that are stuck into the turf etc. Things like wet, stuck leaves, pine needles, etc come loose quicker with a little more MPH as long as the CFM's are there too. The 7500 is rated at 236 MPH, with 770 CFM's, both numbers taken at the tube end. The 8500 is rated at 206 MPH, and 907 CFM's at the tube end.
Since I have the Stihl 600M, and am extremely impressed with what it can do, I stated getting really interested in the 7500 since it is rated higher in both categories than the Stihl. (712 CFM and 201 MPH for the 600M)
This lead me to the Husqvarna blowers since they own Red Max, and Red Max actually makes the blowers for Husky. I say led me to them, because the Husky's offer a few things that the RM version doesn't. Like the quick release snaps for the air box. Not only are they easier and faster to use, they don't stick up off the top of the air box where they can snag on anything. Then, they have different shoulder straps. The RM version is slightly more padded, but the Husky's are ergonomically shaped, wider, more comfortable, and come with a chest strap to help keep them in place for longer run sessions. There is a padded waste belt on the 580 (same thing as the EBZ 8500), and padded waste "area with ears" on the 570 version (same thing as the EBZ 7500) that is not a true waste belt, but extends around each side a short ways, and it tends to help keep the blower's lower half in place right behind you while moving around, or bending down to pick up trash etc, as well as distribute the weight a bit better than not having it there would do.
Based on all this, a few weeks ago I bought a new Husqvarna 570 BTS blower. I was able to do a somewhat limited demo before buying it, and was pleased enough to go ahead and drop the coin on it. I chose it over the 580 for a coupe of simle reasons. One is the higher MPH, and the other is it is a couple pounds lighter, and last, it's about $50 cheaper on average than the 580.
I did almost all of my fall clean ups this year with my BP's (including an older but still good Stihl BR 320 that my wife likes to use when she helps out) and a tarp. I have a place to dump as of right now, so that wasn't an issue, and what better way to get real hands on experience with what these big BP's can do, than constant use for leaves, wet or dry? Blowing grass clippings doesn't really tell you much IMO. I can move any and all grass clippings that I have ever had to deal with, with my SH 85 Stihl handheld, or the BR 320.
Leaves, sticks, sand/dirt from heavy edging, and other yard debris is what I wanted the big BP's for, and they excel at that job.
I used the 600 for the first part of the season, and after buying this new Husky 570, I used it almost exclusively for the second half, both to gain info/experience, and to break it in good. I did get to run them side by side on a few occasions to compare them at the exact same time.
Both were used on the same lawns and types of debris, as well as the amount of debris I was moving at a time with each. These observations are also based on run times that ranged from 1/2 hour to several hours straight at any one time.
Here are some pro's and con's based on my experience this fall with both.
I am including info about the BR 600M that most here are at least somewhat familiar with, to use as a comparison to the new Husky.
The Stihl holds 47.3 oz of fuel, the Husky holds 74.4 oz of fuel. Both are right at 65 cc engine displacement.
Stihl BR 600M-
1- light weight (21.6 LBS)
2- ergonomics of the throttle control handle
3- very easy on fuel, especially for how powerful it is
4- ease of starting, with a general lack of warm up time required
5- this thing really moves the debris
6- can move debris at 3/4 throttle as well as most other big BP's seem to do at WOT, and even at idle will move quite a bit of debris
7- very easy to throttle up or down smoothly in meaningful increments
1- the shoulder straps tend to want to work their way down off the shoulder when used for more than a few minutes at a time (but I have the optional cross chest strap for mine which really helps) and I am not what you would call round, or sloped shouldered at all. I believe part of this is due to the mounting locations of the shoulder harness/straps on the 600, both at the top, and at the bottom being a lot farther apart compared to the others in this class, and especially the bottom mount locations facing outward, which tend to cause pull/the harness's lower straps out away from the machine, instead of in towards it, which is exactly what the wider mount locations at the top do as well.
2- how hard it is to get the tubes apart for cleaning, adjusting for length, or changing nozzles
Husqvarna 570 BTS
1- large fuel tank for longer run times (and this one needs it)
2- excellent harness system/ wide shoulder straps that are ergonomically designed to keep the blower in place
3- lots of raw top end power
4- excellent air filter design, w/ ease of access
5- very few moving parts in the engine (3 total)
6- no catalytic converter
7- it has a back cooling system for warm weather that is different from what Echo has, and yet it doesn't cool off your back during cool weather like the Echo system can
8- multi position adjustable throttle mount handle, and the fact that it can be mounted above, and to the side, or directly alongside of the tube, which gives an extremely wide range of choices. Unfortunately as I mentioned before, non are as comfortable to me as the Stihl's.
1- heavier than the 600M by 3 lbs
2- uses more fuel than the 600 (though the much larger fuel tank makes actual run times very close). The usage may change as the machine is run more and more. We'll see
3- doesn't seem to move as much air as the 600 does at anything less than 3/4 throttle and above, and doesn't scour the ground as well at any throttle setting IMO, though they are very, very close at top end. Some of that is due to the fact that the Husky has a larger opening at the tube end
4- noticeably louder than the 600 regardless of the DB ratings listed for both (75 for the Stihl vs. 77 for the Husky- both taken @ 50' as per ansi specs), but no louder than any other 2 stroke, including my neighbor's BR400
5- I don't care for the design of the Husky's throttle handle, or the way it attaches to the tube, though it is very serviceable as is. The Red Max version is a better design, and the Stihl's much better yet.
I know this makes the Stihl look much more appealing based solely on the pro's and con's for me personally, but there's more to it than that, and no way to demonstrate it all in writing. On top of that, things may measure up differently for a different user.
Both are well made machines. Both blow like crazy. Once again, it proves to me that published numbers for these big BP's don't give an accurate depiction of what they do in the real world, on real debris, or compared to each other. Both will move any leaves, twigs, etc., that you will likely ever come across during fall clean ups, and are far more than enough for clearing clippings off of any surface. Many of the properties were an acre or so in size, and several had as many as 20 trees on them, mine included. I have exactly 20 trees on my own yard, 5 of which are evergreens, the rest being Oak, Maple, and Birch. I also have several giant Oaks right next door to me on the upwind side, so I get most of those leaves in my yard as well. I had no problem blowing them all from the front all the way to the back of these places before tarping them to be hauled off. Some of the walls of leaves were 2' high or more, and 6-10 feet deep, and 20-30 feet wide by the time I got them to where I would tarp them (or in my own case, blow them right on out the back gate into my compost pile).
Once the Husky is at full throttle, not much of anything can stand before it. The more I used it, the more I started liking it. Again, it isn't superior to the 600M in many ways that I can see (outside of the sheer simplicity of the engine's design, and general lack of engine maintenance required over its lifespan), but it is fully equal at 3/4 throttle and above, and may be slightly superior on a heavy wall of leaves. It's really very close.
I found that as the season wore on, I reached for the Husky pretty much every time, even after getting enough use from it to form a valid comparison. One of the biggest reasons is that it is far more comfortable to me for extended periods of use due to the superior design of it's harness. Another one is that I never have to consider how many hours I am putting on it before having the valves adjusted , and last- it flat out gets things done.
While this one isn't a performance issue, I really like the way it sounds, both at top end, and especially down low at, or near idle. It just sounds serious.
There is probably a lot of stuff I have overlooked here, but this at least hits many of the more important points. Below are pictures of it in comparison the the Stihl.
This has to do with #3 I listed in the con's for the Husky, and regarding the not scouring the ground as well-
The Husky's tube end measures exactly 2.75" across the inside for a total of 4.32 square inches of area, and the Stihl's measures exactly 2.5" across the inside for a total of 3.52 square inches of area. Obviously, only a quarter of an inch in width makes a noticeable difference in overall size of the area of the outlet hole. I believe it also is the reason the Stihl seems to scour better.
This one shows the end of the Husky's tube on the right, and the Stihl on the left as you are looking at them.
This is a couple of shots of the tubes side by side-
A shot of them from the back side by side-
The Husky's ergonomic straps-
The Stihl's wider strap mount spacing mentioned above-
And the Husky's-
The Husky's quick release air filter cover snaps-
The Stihl's throttle mount location and style-
And the Husky's-
A shot of the side air intake in the frame itself, for the back cooling system on the Husky
A shot of them side by side showing their relative size from front to back. The Husky is about an inch and a half deeper front to rear. Both are almost identical in height.
Last edited by Ridin' Green; 11-17-2011 at 11:17 PM.