Many, many years ago, I was excited to purchase my first blower, it was an echo. After about a month of use, it was losing power so I returned it to the dealer. The dealer told me that he gave it a cleaning and charged me $40. A couple of months later, it was acting up again. I took it back to the dealer for another $40 cleaning. By the third time, I figured this was getting costly so, not knowing anything about this, I cleaned it myself. It worked, the blower worked great for another couple of months. By the 4th cleaning, I started wondering about the spark arrester. That thing was always clogged up tight when I checked on it. So, I decided to remove it and see. Wow, what a difference. I could now go a year without cleaning(other then the filter, of course). I read here on a thread that the first thing many do when they get a new trimmer is take off the gaurd. It got me thinking, the first thing I do is take out the spark arrester. So, do any of you take it off or is this the first you have heard of this?