I've been waiting until leaf season to buy another backpack blower. The time had arrived and I've been researching them for about a week. My Stihl's have always done the job, but this time I kept an open mind. All the writeups about Shindawa, Redmax, Echo 650, Kawasaki, etc, I decided to go try all of them today. My main dealer carries Stihl, Shin, Redmax and Echo. Lesco carries Kawasaki. The new Kawasaki --700 is a pretty bad dude. Pretty nice piece. Left there and went to check out the others. The only Shindawa was a step down from the best avaliable, so it was good, but who knows about the next one up. It was kinda uncomfortable to me. Next was the big bad Echo 650. This thing is big and bulky. Tried it on, and man was the thing very very uncomfortable. The throttle control and the tube were very stiff. The padding on your back was terrible. I knew right away it would have to perform awesome for me to want it since it was already on my bad list. And talk about heavy. Anyway it performed pretty good. Better than the Shindawa I tried. Next the Redmax. Surprisingly comfortable. Tube and throttle very smooth. The same weight as the echo, but because of better padding it was less noticable. Talk about power! This thing did much more trash moving than the other 2. I immediately fell in love and bought it. The price was really right. Prices: Shindawa ? $439 Echo 650 $499 Redmax eb7000 $445 I used it on my leaves this afternoon, and was I impressed. Does better at 1/2 throttle than the Shihl BR400 does at full power. The helper will only be allowed the Stihl. I plan to keep the Redmax to myself.