Stihl BR500

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing Equipment' started by Moose's Mowing, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. Moose's Mowing

    Moose's Mowing LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 453

    Anyone else using one of these?

    Long story long, I had a routine leaf clean up to do yesterday but my Scag Z is already winterized. So I was going to just ride around with my ghetto Craftsman rider with bagger rigged up with a tarp. Works OK but I used to use the Scag and blow everything to the center of the yard while mulching the leaves, then suck them up with the Craftsman. I'd use my handheld blower to do the beds and get stuff out away from the house. So yesterday I show up to do the final cleanup thinking I had gotten mostly all of the leaves in the past few weeks. Well this place was a mess and at 2+ acres, was way more than my handheld and crapsman was gonna handle. So I sucked it up, called around and the biggest Stihl backpack I could find NOW was the BR500. I was looking for the 550 or 600 but nobody had one in stock. So I checked on my iPhone quick to see the specs and it seemed to be big enough to suit my needs. Later did I find out the 500 is some kind of "quite" model for noise sensitive areas. I could care less how loud it is, but it is what it is.

    I used the backpack and handheld together and it worked OK, but for $500, I was expecting the backpack to work a little better and have more blow. It almost feels like the engine has a governor on it and won't spool up as fast as I expected. Are these backpacks the 4 mix engines like the trimmers have or are they a traditional 2 stroke? Is there any way to de-pussify this thing to make it blow harder or am I stuck with it as it sits?
     
  2. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,033

    Stihl has a 7 day return policy. I'd call the dealer right away and see if you can return it.
     
  3. Moose's Mowing

    Moose's Mowing LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 453

    I was thinking of calling them and seeing if I could return it and swap it for the 550....I wasn't aware they did a 7 day return, thanks for sharing I'm calling them now.
     
  4. Spring Valley Lawn Service

    Spring Valley Lawn Service LawnSite Member
    Posts: 142

    Br 600 cost me 500 new
     
  5. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,033

    May as well step up to the 600 Magnum, no?
     
  6. Moose's Mowing

    Moose's Mowing LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 453

    Well Stihl's customer service is amazing....Called the dealer, said no problem. Bring it in and we'll get it swapped out for a BR600!!!!! Lesson learned I guess, I shoulda just ordered the 600 to start with, but I was in a pinch. I guess the sound control also comes with performance control.

    BR500 $495 with 3bhp 181 mph
    BR600 $499 with 4bhp 201 mph

    I hope I don't have the same problem with the 600....for 500 bucks I want it to blow the stink off ****, that 500 was only slightly stronger than the handheld. thanks for the quick reply, I'm thrilled they're going to swap it out for me.
     
  7. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,033

    Their return policy isn't well advertised. The BR600 isn't the most powerful blower out there but people seem to love them due to their power to weight ratio and comfort. It is a 4-mix though and will need periodic valve adjustments. They recommend one after 139 hours of operation.
     
  8. Moose's Mowing

    Moose's Mowing LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 453

    My wife says I'm not the most powerful thing on the market either, but I still get it done :weightlifter:

    I'd never heard of their return policy, so I'm really glad you mentioned it. I'm still a pretty small solo outfit, but I've been making due with a handheld so far. That's fine for tiny yards and mowing cleanups, but I finally had enough, got fed up and grabbed a back pack. I'm also looking for a used walk behind blower for next year. Other than skimping on the size of the blower, my biggest mistake was not buying one at the BEGINNING of leaf season and waiting till the END....what an idiot:hammerhead: Hope the boss doesn't fire me
     
  9. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,033

  10. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Posts: 13,753

    You'll be more than happy with the power of the 600. It has a lot more actual performance than it's exhaust note would suggest. Like Darryl said, it isn't the most powerful blower out, but it's right up there and it will more than hold it's own for all but the worst clean ups and even then, it's no slouch.

    My only complaint is that the shoulder straps want to slide off my shoulders too easily compared to most other blowers, and I'm not what you'd call round shouldered at all. I did buy the optional chest strap for mine and it made a big difference. They are very light, have an excellently designed pistol grip throttle, and they do far better on fuel than the big 2 strokes do.
     

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