gas blower with flexible discharge tube

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by dakota2112, Jul 20, 2008.

  1. dakota2112

    dakota2112 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 55

    I just bought a Scag Tiger Cub (thanks to those in the commercial mowing forum for providing feedback on that machine btw... I just now realized there is a homeowner forum on here, I should've been posting here instead of the commercial forum so I apologize!). My shop-vac operates as a blower, and the flexible hose works great for blowing debris out from all the nooks and crannies on the Scag.

    However, I hate dealing with extension cords so I'd much rather have a gas blower. I've never purchased a dedicated blower, so I don't really know anything about them. My main requirement is to have a flexible discharge hose. The shop-vac setup is GREAT because the hose is long enough that I can sit the blower unit on the ground and just aim the nozzle wherever I need to in/around/under the Scag. I'd like to find a gas powered blower with the same ability (or better yet, one that accepts standard shop-vac type hoses, since I already have that). Any suggestions? Thanks in advance...
  2. heybruck34

    heybruck34 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 300

    Buy a Stihl BR550 and you won't ever use your Shop Vac for blowing again. There is so much air coming out of the tube on a BR550 that you don't need to aim or connect a shop vac hose. Just point it at the deck and let it rip. Do the same for the other side or angles and you are set. I blow off my walkbehind without removing the deck cover and it looks fine. Takes under 30 seconds and does just as good a job as my air hose on the compressor.
  3. fishinpa

    fishinpa LawnSite Senior Member
    from SE PA
    Messages: 293

    I think any nice, well built blower will serve you well.

    I personally prefer RedMax equipment, but I'm not here to start and argument or speak down about someone else's opinion.

    Spend a few more dollars than you were thinking of on your first blower, buying a well known name brand, just below their commercial model. Take good acre of it and it may be the last one you ever purchase.

    STIHL GUY LawnSite Fanatic
    from CT
    Messages: 5,226

    STIHL BR340 would work fine for you
  5. mngrassguy

    mngrassguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,167

    I used a small "Crapsman" for many years that I paid $100.00 at Then I went to an Echo backpack type and never looked back. I know Echo macks a nice handheld but I'm sure they are more spendy. You get what you pay for. Buy from a local dealer rather than a big box store to get better service and it will last you a very long time.
  6. heybruck34

    heybruck34 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 300

    I did the same as Grassguy- used a Homelite backpack blower (basically a handheld mounted on a frame with straps) until I upgraded to a BR400 that was given to me not running. 5 years later my friend is moving and I picked up a BR550 CHEAP. What a difference from the 400 and no comparison to the Homelite POS.

    This is why I recommended the BR550. I also agree with Fishinpa- don't worry as much about brand- just get what you decide is best for you. Ford/Chevy type of argument.

    No matter what brand of commercial grade you buy- you will own it for YEARS with regular homeowner use. I think I read it on this site- When do you want to cry- ONCE when you buy it (and pay the big bill) or EVERY time you use it wishing you had stepped up to the next level.

    To me there is no comparison between the $200 Lowes blower and a $450 commercial grade Stihl. The Sthil is completely worth the additional money- no doubt in my mind. Quality, parts, dependability, and performance are all exceptional in most commercial brands.
  7. dakota2112

    dakota2112 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 55

    I've narrowed it down to the echo pb251 and the stihl bg85, and I think I'm going with the stihl. That should be plenty of air for my needs. :)

    I still think someone should make a truly flexible discharge for these things. I'm not talking about like a backpack type, I'm talking about something like the shopvac hose. Blower in one hand, nozzle in the other, letting you quickly aim that thing anywhere you need to... under the deck, above the deck, straight down around the pumps and wheel motors, etc... without moving the heavy part anywhere. I don't think the backpack type would really offer that level of flexibility. (the shopvac blower does this perfectly, except for being tethered by the electric cord :rolleyes:)
  8. mngrassguy

    mngrassguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,167

    Obviously you are saying this without trying one. As a person who uses them EVERY DAY I can tell you a more flexable hose would not be good. Our blowers are so powerful they can move small children. It would "whip" you in the face or the nads everytime you went to full power!!! Our bp blowers do have somewhat flexable hoses.

    Handheld blowers are heavy? Picked one up lately? I think not. Try one for real and you will put that shop vac away for good.

    Do you have any idea how many pro's are out there using these things EVERY day? If there is a better way, believe me, its been tried.
  9. dakota2112

    dakota2112 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 55

    The shopvac hose whips around like a cut airhose too if you let go of the thing. Granted that is likely the reason they don't make such a thing for dedicated/more powerful blowers (legal/safety issues).

    If your backpack blowers are as strong as you describe, I'd never even want to point the thing near the wiring etc on my Scag in the first place - so what good would it do me? I don't need to blow small children away, I just need something to blow the grass & debris out from all the places it gets trapped on the Scag. That does not require the brute force of your blowers. It requires the finesse and flexibility of being able to aim the airstream exactly where I want it, in tight and confined areas. Actually what I need is more akin to an air compressor w/ a trigger nozzle - but that would be tethered just like the shopvac, which is why I'm just looking for a gas blower to achieve the same thing in a portable unit.

  10. mngrassguy

    mngrassguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,167

    Use your shop vac on your mower for 10 mins, then use a real blower for 2 and see how much more comes out. You will be surprised how much stuff hides in funny places.

    Don't use it at full power on your wiring if thats what your worried about. 20+ years of doing this and I've never had a problem. Shop vacs have two speeds, on or off. Blowers (most) are variable.

    You will be surprised with all the uses the extra power comes in handy. Gutters, drying the car, blowing leave out from under the shrubs, blowing rocks back into shrub beds, ect, ect. Heavy grass clippings? Just "fluff" the lawn real quick and the clipping seem to just disapear. No more bagging.

    You will never "sweep" your drive, garage floor or rake the lawn again! Need to clean out your car? Open the doors and "wosh", detailed in 2 mins flat.

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