4 stroke vs a 2 stroke backpack with the same CFM & MPH?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing Equipment' started by roody2333, Aug 14, 2018.

  1. roody2333

    roody2333 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nj
    Messages: 1,019

    In simple: 2 stroke 185MP 510CFM vs 4 stroke 184MPH 516CFM backpacks. Is there a difference?


    Using a Ryobi backpack (185 MPH/ 510CFM) for a while and it works good enough and no mechanical problems. I don't have mountains of leaves to move across the yard and I'd probably tarp drag instead of blow if I had to. It moves wet leaves and decent piles of leaves quite well and I never felt I needed anything much much stronger. I mulch leaves anyway.

    Been wanting a 4 stroke backpack though because they're cleaner and less high pitched.

    Only 4 cycle backpacks are Craftsman/Troybilt which are basically garbage (something deep inside plastic keeps breaking and PITA to repair) but even if they've since revised that, they're only about 150MPH 500CFM.

    Dolmar 4 stroke backpack is a good brand, but I'd rather get a Makita since Dolmar is harder to find or parts. I think they merged into just Makita anyway.

    Makita has a new mini EB5300TH for $330 which is basically the same CFM and MPH as the Ryobi.
    EB5300TH: 184MPH + 516CFM
    RYOBI: 185MPH + 510CFM

    Ryobi: 18lb dry
    EB5300TH: 19.7lb and probably a larger gas tank which is worth the added weight wet. Ryobi straps are thin and the Makita's padded and probably much more comfortable even with more weight.

    Ryobi = 73.4 dB
    EB5300TH = 70dB and might be less annoying of a sound being a 4 stroke despite similar decibel levels.

    Maybe Makita takes those specs with the tube reduction nozzle? I guess I'll have to ask Makita.
    I'm not really a fan of reduction nozzles. Feels like it focuses on one narrow spot.

    Anyone have a EB5300TH and does it work good enough for just cleaning grass clippings off walkways etc?

    4 stroke usually means more torque but less RPM zip of a 2 stroke but not sure how this would compare with two blowers having the same MPH and CFM specs. (or if the reduction nozzle was used to cheat Makita's specs).

    I had a 251MPH 434CFM Husqvarna 150BT a couple years ago, and felt the Ryobi 185 MPH 510CFM was more effective, had more zip and less ramp up or something and sold the 150BT.

    Or should I just skip the EB5300TH and get Makita's $490 EB7660TH.
    EB7660TH = 206MPH 706MPH, 24.1lb dry, 76dB.

    I just figure if the mini Makita is good enough then might as well get the smaller lighter version, but I did return a 25cc 4 stroke Honda trimmer for the 35cc version and very glad I have that extra 10cc power if I need it but trimming is different I use that Honda on vines and saplings etc whereas the Ryobi backpack specs have always been enough power,

    Even the larger EB7660TH Makita backpack doesn't have specs like the most powerful redmaxes and stihls so if I ever find that I want more power I'd probably get the mini Makita for regular use and a top of the line redmax or something for just leaves and not even bother with the EB7660TH.

  2. Valk

    Valk LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,282

    I like my Dolmar 4-stroke for lighter weight and easier on gas w/ no mix/stench. Manual calls for 87 octane.
    During leaf season, RM-7500 for easily 1/3 more power.
    I could do leaf season w/ the Dolmar, but wouldn't want to.
    hort101 likes this.
  3. OP

    roody2333 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nj
    Messages: 1,019

    They have 4 stroke handhelds, fine for just grass clippings on sidewalks but I don't like handhelds.

    The smaller Makita for just $330 shipped is enticing but 4.4lb lighter than the larger model isn't much, neither is 6dB quieter, so I don't want to maybe keep wishing I got the larger one for more power.

    I could rent (demo) the larger makita from home depot for about $50 but that's kind of a waste of time and money I'd rather just put that money towards a second 4 stroke backpack. Actually I will probably just buy both Makita models. If the smaller Makita is not strong enough I can sell it barely used for a $100 loss.
  4. dishboy

    dishboy LawnSite Fanatic
    from zone 6
    Messages: 7,275

    Race to the bottom......
    Ridin' Green likes this.
  5. OP

    roody2333 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nj
    Messages: 1,019

    ^ I don't see it as a race to the bottom if you mean they're forcing 4 stroke for cleaner emissions at the sacrifice of power.

    I know it's not a 1000 CFM 2 stroke blower but 206MPH 706MPH, 24.1lb dry, 76dB are pretty good specs for the EB7660TH and not as heavy as I'd expect a 4 cycle to be.


    Personally I'm not even gonna bother with the EB5300TH 184MPH 516CFM
    For $160 more, 6dB more, and 4.4lbs more the EB7660TH 206MPH 706MPH seems like a better choice just to have that extra power just in case, or just in case as the title asks, if the Ryobi was good enough maybe those same MPH CFM specs as 4 stroke won't be as effective.

    I'm really glad they make these 4 stroke backpacks. Been waiting for the EB7660TH available in the states.
    Wish battery backpacks and trimmers lasted longer on a charge and had more power, but eventually...
  6. Scottdubya83

    Scottdubya83 LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Central, LA
    Messages: 373

    My late uncle was a dealer and worked on and sold outdoor power equipment his whole life. I talked to him frequently (until he passed away March 2017) about different equipment and issues I had etc. When I first started out, I asked what type / brand trimmers / blowers I should buy. (He sold Echo and Stihl). What he told me was, as long as you can buy a 2 stroke, buy 2 strokes. As far as brand, buy what the other pros in your area use and you’ll be ok. And always buy more than you think you need (regarding power, size, etc.) if you can afford it.

    That said, I’ve never once seen anyone, much less an LCO using a ruining a Ryobi BP. Or Makita for that matter, but at least I know the make pro grade tools
  7. OP

    roody2333 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nj
    Messages: 1,019

    ^ 2 stroke has more zip (RPM) good for a string trimmer, hedge trimmer, stuff like that, probably a blower too.
    4 stroke has more torque (like towing something heavy) but more ramp-up time and slower RPMs, torque is good for things like a tiller or bed edger.

    4 strokes generally last longer but 2 stroke will last very long if maintained, not really a lifespan issue IMHO.

    Not sure about cold weather 2 vs 4-stroke, but the Makita BP has a winter/summer dial air intake, good for high elevation too probably.

    2 Strokes used to have h+l carb adjustment screws (rich/lean), EPA basically removed those now (or capped them but you can still crack the plastic off and adjust with a specialty driver bit), which I think was dumb to regulate H+L screws. I'm not exactly sure why anyone would want to adjust the L+H screws out of the box (I've only ever done that to fix a used engine with either too high/low RPMs but I guess it will solve using a 2 stroke in thin air elevation. Probably H+L screws are set and removed/capped at the factory before the engine even reaches max potential but before it's even at the max safe RPMs, IOW the engine should be more powerful (burn more gas) than factory settings while not RPMs too high to where it could damage engine.
    H+L adjustments fixed a lot of used equipment for me but I imagine people now throwing the whole unit in the landfill with gas and oil and metal instead of fixing it since EPA removed L+H screws.

    4 stroke is usually heavier and bigger to get the same sort of power, if that, of a 2 stroke.

    2 stroke trimmers, hedge trimmers etc can be used any direction but most 4 strokes will burn oil if upside for example using a 4 cycle string trimmer as an edger, or a 4 stroke chainsaw sideways.
    But Honda patented a 360 degree splash oiler mini GX25/35 engine which can be used any direction without burning oil. Honda engine are in Husqvarna 4 cycle trimmers.

    Sound-wise, even if a 4-stroke has the same dB as a 2-stroke it might register in the ear less annoyingly or dangerously, less high pitched REEEEEEEE!!!.

    I think 2 strokes are better in that you get more power in a smaller lighter unit (and 360 degree won't burn oil), but the only reason I opt for 4 cycle is simply cleaner burning, that plus they just sound awesome.
    Oil mixing doesn't save much money or time unless you have crews of like 12 trimmers out there at once but that's another plus for 4 cycle.


    Ryobi I think is better than it used to be and much better than stuff like homelite, troybilt etc. I think they're about even with Husqvarna quality.
    There's people in all industries who use mid-grade equipment with no problems, or all high-end snazzy stuff, or a mix of both. Some mid-grade stuff works great, some high-end stuff doesn't always work so great.


    Ordering the EB7660TH now (unless there's a model with better specs I didn't see yet) and will do a review since I'm the only one on LS who's ever mentioned this blower yet according to search.
    I only have the Ryobi to compare it to and the 150BT though, I'm sure everyone wants to know (or bash) how it would compare to a similarly-priced 1000CFM 2 stroke but remember this if for those who want a cleaner burning cool sounding 4 cycle BP.
  8. OP

    roody2333 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nj
    Messages: 1,019

  9. OP

    roody2333 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nj
    Messages: 1,019

    I'm a bit skeptical of this video, seems deceiving or something. But maybe my thread titled question is in favor of 4 strokes with similar specs as a 2 stroke.

    I'm not expecting the EB7660TH (206MPH 706MPH) to compete with a 1000 CFM-range blower, because 706CFM is simply not 1000CFM,

    But according to this guy, the previous model EB7650TH (not 7660) which is 200MPH 670CFM is beating a RedMax EBZ8500 (206MPH 908CFM) in this test.

    Right away I thought it must be the reduction nozzle but he claims the test they (everyone) uses doesn't care what reduction nozzle or tube length etc you use. Maybe that's just MPH though. But regardless of that, BOTH blowers have reduction nozzles on.
    And this is the older 7650 670cfm, the new Makita is 706CFM.

    I emailed Makita to ask how they have basically the same 75.6cc engine, same weight and specs but older models are lower CFM, if it's because they test using a reduction nozzle or simply changed the fan and/or duct between fan and beginning of blower tube to get more CFM.

    You can hear some rather annoying 2 stroke stuff in the background BTW that's not a Makita you hear around 50 seconds.


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