Battle of the Blowers

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by mikeredd, Feb 3, 2003.

  1. mikeredd

    mikeredd LawnSite Member
    from NC
    Posts: 2

    First time posting, but long time reader.

    I'm in the process of buying a new blower. I've been to this site, and others to see what was the best blower out there. I've talked to my many friends that are in the industry, and got their opinions. What I got from them and this site was the big three, Redmax, Echo, and Stihl. Most of my friends in the industry use either Echo or Stihl. Redmax is not as popular in NC, simply put from the dealer, because there is not as many dealers selling Redmax as they do Stihl and Echo. I thought I was going to get my hands on these manufactures very best, and decide for myself.

    First step was to call around to the different dealers and ask them if they had demos to loan? While I had them on the phone, I asked to speak to their mechanics, to ask them what blower did they most have to work on, and why. Of course, they worked on mostly what the dealer sold. They never really elaborated on why. Asked them which manufacture was the most expensive for parts, and most all said Stihl, but it wasn't a very big gap between the three.
    I went Saturday morning to pick up the Stihl 420C Magnum, Redmax 7001, and Echo PB-650.

    Testing Methodology: Business Parking lot. What was I blowing: Parking lot debris (trash of all kind, leaves, and wheat straw; sand in the parking lot, and leaves behind the business. Temperature was about 38 degrees, probably about 3 to 5 mph wind, and the leaves and parking lot, when started the test, was still wet from the night before rain.

    I took each of the blowers and cranked them. Let me note, the Redmax was out of the box, and just serviced. They had just sold their Redmax 6200 demo, luck me! The Echo and Stihl were not out of the box, and the Echo looked like it had the most hours.
    Redmax cranked on the first pull. Stihl cranked after the third pull. And the Echo, cranked on the second pull, but when I went to rev the motor, it kind of bogged down first, and then picked up some RPM's.

    The first thing I did was start blowing the wheat straw off the parking lot... The straw was not bunched up, but scattered in pieces. It was behind at the docks of the business, like were they may unload something wrapped in wheat straw? All three blew the straw. All three have a lot of power!!!! After blowing the straw into the grass I then had to blow it another ten feet into a gully. Again, all three were great. Echo seemed to blow it better in the grass. In my opinion, it was because the tube is not as big around as the Redmax and Stihl? Again, all three blew the straw on the wet pavement all-equal... but in the grass I'd have to give the echo the nod.

    Second test: I found some bricks back behind the complex, were the loading docks were. I marked a line, put the brick on the line, took two regular steps back, and blew the brick with each blower. I did this maybe four times. Stihl blew the brick on average 10 inches. Echo blew the brick on average 15 inches. Redmax blew the brick 18 inches. I then took two bricks stacked on top of one another, and the Stihl could barley move them, and Redmax and Echo blew it maybe 4 or 5 inches. Again, not that much of a difference, but I'd have to give the nod to Redmax. Also, you can just feel the power of the Redmax when you pull the trigger.

    Third test would be the sand: If any of you have parking lots to blow, you know, this is the biggest time consumer of blowing a parking lot! What I did, was sweep up a little Dixie cup of sand. Throw it out in about a five-foot section, then timed how long it took to blow the cup of sand say, 15 feet. Then I kept adding more and more sand. They all blew the one-cup of sand about the same time, a few seconds here and there difference. The more sand I put out is when the power of the Redmax kicked in. It was by far more powerful at moving the sand than the other two. I'd also have to say the lesser cc of the Stihl would have to come in distant second, but the echo is right there! In my opinion, the tube being bigger on the Stihl and Redmax, gave it wider or bigger airflow.

    Fourth test, leaves: I had some trees behind one of the buildings that had finally lost all of it leaves. They were wet from the rain the night before.. Again, all did great! But by far, the Echo pushed the leaves the best.

    Fith test and last, just blowing the parking lot clean: The parking lot is broke up in five sections. All five sections are about the same size. By this time, the parking lot is drying out. I started out with the Echo, for the first section, Stihl with the second section, and Redmax for the third section. Hey! All three of them did great!!!! It was a treat from using my 6 years old Lesco, that has lost her power! Flexibility in the tube, Redmax was the best. The Stihl was stiff, and the Echo was a little too long. I'm 6 foot, and didn't think I'd have to pull off a section of tube? Comfort, BY FAR STIHL!!!!!!!!!!!!! Man that is one nice unit on your back! Very, very, very light!!!! Echo, very distant second. It was light as well. Redmax is bulky, and heavy! Not as heavy as my Lesco, but close! And I just couldn't get the straps adjusted right?

    My wife asked me which did I like the best? I told her it would depend on what I would be doing with each one. I explained it to her like this. Lets say all three were either a truck or SUV. They all can haul and pull things, but some are just stronger, and then some are just more luxury.
    Redmax would be a Chevy Silverado 3500. Big and Powerful!
    Echo, Chevy Silverado 2500.
    Stihl, Chevy fully loaded Suburban.

    It's all in what you want. They all will blow the driveways off when you get done cutting grass. But for comfort, I'd choose the Stihl. They all will blow the leaves up in the fall, but if you had a lot of leaves to do, I'd have to pick the Echo. And they all will blow off a parking lot, but as I said, I took each unit and blew off a section with each, and there are five sections I have to do. I thought if I have to finish the next two sections as fast as possible, which one do I pull out of the truck... The Redmax! It was best at the sand, and debris.

    I don't think anyone would cry over any of these. I believe if you are a Stihl man, you will always carry Stihl, etc..... Also, take care of your dealers... they gotta eat like we all do. So if your local dealer sells one or the other, then keep buying from him. You take care of him; he'll take care of you. If your dealer sells all three, and you just don't know, like me... Take all three out like I did, to a property or business that you can play with them, and make up your own tests... then make up your own mind. But I doubt anybody would be unhappy with these three.
     
  2. freepoint15

    freepoint15 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 19

    Sounds like you conducted a very thorough test.We recently purchased a Redmax 7001-best investment we have ever made.It has great power-we previously used Echos.The Redmax has been such a timesaver-we plan to purchase another one soon.As far as the comfort issue-unless you are on a huge job-you wont have it strapped on very long.Like most other equipment,guys will have their favorites.We like the entire Redmax line-blowers,trimmers,and edgers.
     
  3. owman

    owman LawnSite Member
    from so. Il
    Posts: 9

    WOW what a test! I do like Redmax myself. Never had any problems with units. Stratocharged engines are very fuel effecient. If I ever need any testing done, I'll call you. Sounds like you are very thorough in your testing!
     
  4. Doogiegh

    Doogiegh LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 871

    Probably one of the best posts I ever read here on Lawnsite..

    Very informative, seemed to be un-opinionated and very real world situation..

    And it all makes sense why the people on here who use the 3 brands all argue who is the strongest, but as you pointed out, it all matters to the exact application at hand....

    Tip of my hat to you for a true quality post.

    This would be my first link to "Blowers - FAQ" if they ever re-design the format of the website. :)

    Gary
     
  5. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Senior Moderator
    Posts: 6,073

    Ditto on what Gary said. When I read this thread yesterday, I told Matt he had to read it. Being in the market for another blower this year, this was great reading. We currently run Stihl, and although we read on here all the time what everyone prefers, this thread breaks it down and actually shows each of the blowers strong points.
    Kudos to Mike :)
     
  6. Popsicle

    Popsicle LawnSite Member
    Posts: 189

    I don't think anyone would cry over any of these. I believe if you are a Stihl man, you will always carry Stihl, etc..... Also, take care of your dealers... they gotta eat like we all do. So if your local dealer sells one or the other, then keep buying from him. You take care of him; he'll take care of you. If your dealer sells all three, and you just don't know, like me... Take all three out like I did, to a property or business that you can play with them, and make up your own tests... then make up your own mind. But I doubt anybody would be unhappy with these three. [/B][/QUOTE]

    I absolutely agree. I didn't have a Redmax dealer to try but I did check out the Echo along with a Stihl. Ended up with the Stihl for comfort and dealer location. In our business, it's all about the service.
     
  7. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,360

    One thing that needs to be added to this that was missed. The Redmax was brand new out of the box. The others had some time already on them. It usually takes a few hours for a motor to break in and loosen up to make full power. Every Redmax or Stihl I have ever bought was this way. With that in mind, the Redmax should get even stronger with some hours on it.

    Just to add to the mix. By the way, I also own a Stihl.
     
  8. mklawnman

    mklawnman LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 634

    Its about brand loyalty at times and what is more reliable to each person in their preferance. I'm an Echo guy bought a PB603 last fall after demoing the PB 650, that thing had power blew leaves as good as the PB 603 I thought, though it seemed every time i pulled the trigger to full i could feel the whole motor twisting, either the motor mounts weren't tighten or something cause i could feel that big fan kickin-in. All my Echo equipment has treated me well and I've had no problems. It looks like I picked out a blower for years to come.
    Matt
     
  9. lawncare3

    lawncare3 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,981

    STIHL will ALWAYS be with me. I just like the color orange and it's the most power I have ever operated. JMO

    One more thing: NEVER buy a stihl off the internet they DO NOT honor their WARRANTY for internet sales.
     

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