LawnSite Senior Member
Northwest Ohio
What are the advantages of a backpack blower? Are they that much more powerful than a hand held blower? Are they hard to use? What brand would you all recommend. The dealers in my area handle Stihl,Husky,and Echo brands. Thanks for your input.

Eric ELM

Husband, Father, Friend, Angel
Chicago, IL USA
After using a backpack blower and pick up a hand held, you will know all the answers to your questions. There isn't any comparison in power. The back pack is easier to use than a hand held blower. A hand held is handy to have also for very small jobs. I would just go look at them all and see what fits your needs best.


LawnSite Platinum Member
I use a hand held for very small jobs. But on 99% of my jobs I use a backpack blower. Did you ever try to blow wet grass off a driveway with a hand held? You just stand in one spot. With a backpack, it moves wet grass like its dry! I use a Redmax EB6200 and a Shindaiwa EB630.


LawnSite Senior Member
I have a Homelite backpack blower that I bought to use mainly at a apartment complex because I thought I would not want to carry my hand held around on such a big property.

The Homelite backpack does not have as much power as a Makita, Stihl or Echo. But, it was only $120 vs $399 and up for the other more powerful ones. Glad that I went the less expensive route. I hated that thing.

After using my hand held Homelite for so many years, I found the backpack setup very cumbersome. You have to move your whole body to change direction more than a foot or so. It seems that the angle is not quite right, seems like the taller you are the more you are blowing down, not away. With a hand held you just tip it down and it can actually touch the ground if you want. I can do a full sweeping motion of about 300 degrees by just using my wrist and switching hands once. It took me about 15 minutes longer with the back pack then the hand held at the apartment complex.

I found that the longer it was on your back the more you sweat. My back was soaked. Made it just too uncomfortable, can not imagine wearing it very long on a hot day.

I have noticed that many of the big company crews are using more hand helds all the time. Maybe they are figuring out what I did that there is a slight fall in production with using one. My just sits in the barn.


LawnSite Member
I use a redmax 6200 BP, one of the best I have ever used,lots of power and easy to control
Over the years I have had 4 handhelds, various manuf.
I have owned 3 BP's Echo (good)craftsman (Poor)and now the redmax..(outstanding)if you have more than a 5 min blow job..parden the pun..get a name brand BP they are easy to control, and well worth the extra cost.


LawnSite Member
New York State
I agree with Eric. Hand held for small jobs, Back Pack for bigger jobs. I carry both at all time. Back packs are a bit clumsy when you are in the middle of a flower bed, especially up against a house. Hand held works better there as it is much more manuverable. But to move a volume of debris, Back Pack is the tool.


LawnSite Bronze Member
Pittsburgh, Pa
We use the handhelds for cutting all year. Easier to get in and out of the trucks and take up less room. Have two back packs for fall and spring though, no question on power, back pack all the way. I have all shindaiwa, two handhelds and two back packs. eb480, eb630. 630 has power to burn!!!


LawnSite Senior Member
I just cranked up my old crapsman handheld blower the other day ,haven't used it in over a year but was the only one i had at home. I used to use this thing on every job(about 7yrs) until 3 years ago i got a Br400, i never brought the handheld one on a job again. It's worth the trouble to have more power!


No one in my area has a blower of any kind. So blowers were kind of foreign to me. I couldn't see the need for one but everyone here was raving about them, so I bought a Stihl BR400. What a machine! I was amazed at what it could do. Blows anything. Last year it took me 15 hours to rake a property into a big pile so the owner could burn it. This year ... 5 hrs with the packpack. They are easy to use. Great for cleaning gutters too. One girl that works for me claimed the packback as her tool. She suggested that I attach another handle for the other hand, kind of like a U-bar trimmer, because after several hours of blowing your right arm can get sore.

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