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Backpack blowers

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Markf, Jan 31, 2005.

  1. Markf

    Markf LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 407

    Any preference as to what backpack blowers you guys use? Why? Cost? Also the same goes for weed whackers.

  2. sgoalie23

    sgoalie23 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 195

    Under my Dad's name once again.
  3. locutus

    locutus LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NC
    Posts: 1,266

    Brian, I dare say that this question has been hashed and rehashed on this forum ad-nauseum. Click on Search and use the word "backpack blower" or "trimmers" and you will get more info than you are capable of reading in one night.
  4. BMFD92

    BMFD92 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 698

    i always go for my redmax and try to stay away from the echo as much as possible, I also always go for my shindy 260 weed whacker before I go for the echo.
  5. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Posts: 4,739

    After two years in the business, going on 3rd, and my very picky standards and preferences, and feedback i get from my helpers, here is what seems to work great for us.
    Stihl FS80 trimmer- lots of power, no problems. have had this one since 2002 and not a single thing done to it except one carburetor adjustment done under warranty. Been great. We really like the bump head on it, never clogs up or malfunctions, very easy to reload. Price $269 is what i paid in '02.
    Stihl FC85 stick edger- lots of power, works great. bought new summer '04 to replace older Echo unit. we love this one so far and definately prefer it over the older Echo one, but I can't speak for newer Echo's. Paid $329? for this one maybe or maybe a little more I can't remember. It is a bit heavy though, but its fine since the end is sitting on a wheel.
    Echo SRM230S trimmer- nice unit, lightweight, powerful enough for regular trimming. When we need more power for thick or heavy work we grab the Stihl, but for regular trimming, we grab the Echo first. quieter than Stihl, lighter weight it seems (maybe just the balance of it). nice little unit, but the string head is annoying. Doesn't really get stuck, but the way its made its a pain to load string compared to Stihl heads, and it can sometimes jam up if you're not careful loading the string properly. Don't know the price on it new, I got it used. I think its around $229 new? maybe.... purchased because it was cheap and barely used, we wanted to semi-retire the old Shindaiwa that is ancient but reliable (low on power).

    Now onto blowers-
    Echo PB650T backpack blower, works great we love it alot. Plenty of power for grass cleanup and works great in leaves as well. Price $475 (just over $500 after tax) bought it new summer '04 to replace older Kawasaki 46cc blower (reliable but not much power).
    RedMax EBZ8000RH backpack blower- just awesome what more can I say! In grass cleanup its pretty much same power as the Echo 650 but once you get into leaves, its obvious the RedMax has more power (as it should, since its 10cc larger). This thing is massive on power, but good on fuel for the power. It's pretty comfortable with the waist strap and nice backpad, and its the same weight as the Echo. A little bulkier than the Echo and not quite as quick and easy to strap on, but usually thats not an issue for leaf cleanups, and for mowing its fine too. The only discomfort with it is after using it a while, the extreme air force blowing out the tube tends to make your right shoulder sore and the upper arm area. Thats just because it has so much power! My body could not get stronger in that area even after using it all leaf season. Maybe not a problem for larger guys (i'm 6' and 195#) but everyone still grabs it first for leaf cleanups. Purchased this for $479? I think, and got it out of state so no taxes. Downside: no local dealers. Would have purchased another Echo 650 but wanted to see what the Red-Rage is all about, now I joined them :) We got it mainly for leaf cleanups. If not for that, we would have kept with the old Kawasaki and new Echo for mowing cleanup. I would prefer to only use equipment with dealers relatively close but I made an exception this time, no regrets so far but keep in mind its only a few months old and only used a month and a half of that time. If you can buy locally and don't need massive power for leaf cleanups, definately check into the RedMax 7001 blower, from what I understand, it is between the Echo 650 and Redmax 8000 on power and a little lighter on weight, price about same I guess. Would be a nice unit, we would have one on the trailer but again local dealer support matters to me.

    Good things about Stihl and Echo equipment- local dealers that treat me well and the products are good.

    I have some other small equipment but will not list it because I don't beleive it is the best thing, just that we have it and it does everything needed, no need to spend the money to upgrade. But I would definately endorse the above products.
    Good luck and hope my experience helps you at least a little. Remember there are many other products out there, that are great and comparable specs and prices. I chose these due to that this is mainly what we have for local dealers, and this stuff has been working great for me and my company.
  6. packerbacker

    packerbacker LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,433

    Sthil backpack blowers and toro or echo trimmers
  7. lawnprosteveo

    lawnprosteveo LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tulsa
    Posts: 1,930

    I use Shindaiwa EB630's. Lots of power, use lots of fuel, and are pretty heavy. I have never used Stihl but hear only good things about them.
  8. The C Man

    The C Man LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Posts: 527

    If you're talking about reliability that's one thing, but as far as power goes their Magnum 420 isn't even close to being in the same league as the top offerings from Redmax, Echo, or Shindaiwa. There are many threads on here discussing the Stihl's lack of power.
  9. ince8728

    ince8728 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 249

    Redmax Backpacks 100%, yea baby!!!

    Echo string trimmers, I like the heads more.
  10. carbon737

    carbon737 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 46

    I would stay as far away from stihl blowers as possible. We use them at the apt complex I work at and the body breaks easy as well as they break down often.
    Good luck

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