• Online Events For Landscapers!
    With GIE+EXPO cancelled, virtual education and product launches are filling up the fall. Check out dates for Caterpillar, Exmark, NALP, and more. Click here to learn more.

Backpack vs walkbehind blowers


LawnSite Silver Member
Northeast Ohio
I'm trying to decide on what I want to do for a larger blower just for cleanup jobs.

I've used large walkbehind blowers in the past (i believe they were 10 or 11hp ones) and they are nice, but they do wear you down pretty quick. Even the large ones I used would only blow 10-13 feet i'd say (the one was a billy goat with the tip that was cable operated other was a 10hp giant vac or little wonder I cant remember). Now I'm compairing getting a 8-10hp walkbehind unit or just getting a redmax 8000 backpack.

For those of you that have used the redmax in leaf cleanup, roughly how far would they blow the leaves ( I know i'll be asked what conditions, so dry leaves, just a layer of leaves enough to cover the grass, not like 3" thick or anything).

I think the backpack would be easier to work with but i don't want it if its going to be alot slower then a walkbehind unit. I have a echo 650 backpack and it does a pretty good job with leaves, but I've only used it on one very light cleanup earlier this year and the redmax should have quite a bit more power so I can't compair. As for price I know its a big difference. I was given a price on the 8000, it was 470 out the door which i thought was a killer deal, haven't checked out the walkbehinds but saw a small 5hp one for 480 so I know a 8-10hp one is going to be pricey.

Thanks for the help.


LawnSite Member
cleveland ohio
although i don't have an 8000 (i have a 7000).... (but getting one this fall)

Walkbehinds are the ultimate in moving huge piles and covering large areas quickly. They are also excellent at moving wet leaves. The only downside is they are heavy. Somtimes a backpack is more efficient (light leaves). I have an 8.5 HP giant-vac. We run both at most cleanups. If you decide to get the walkbehind, get the whisper-jet seires or the EXTREME II Seires. I used both a billy goat and a giant-vac whisperjet with the exact same engine and the giant vac is by far more powerful.

hope this helps, if you have any more questions let me know.

just my $.02