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Mine usually get stolen before they break, so I buy whatever the nearest place sells. Right now I have an Echo 2100, its ok but not much guts and its not comfortable to hold. I used to use the $100 crapsman/poulan/weed eater specials, actually they were very powerful for what they were, and much easier to hold due to the horizontal fan position. The vertical fan in the Echo gives it a weird "gyroscope" type of feel which is hard for me to get used to. <p>Bill
the best hand held in existence is the echo PB210E they have been making these for a long time, there perfessional duty and last! there not cheap... they run about 280 bucks but are worth it. the 2100's are homeowner quality and are not built to hold up to commerical use.. the engine isnt very powerfull either... they are about 130bucks. i have both and i dont even use the 2100 anymore because of the lack of power and the fact that something is always breaking on it.... i use a back pack for most lawns but just like you i perfer a handheld for those little jobs.... its faster to just crab it and be out in 1 minute.
I bought 2 of the Stihl handhelds this year and they work great. They have significantly more power than the other handhelds we've had. I agree that it is nice when you have a small spot to be able to pick up a small blower instead of using the backpack.
I have some of the Homelite models as well. They have half the power of the Stihls but normally can do a quick job if its not wet. The good thing about the Homelites is they are easy to replace since they are so cheap. Get the $75 model at Home Depot. It is not worth the extra $25 for the vac/bagger accessory. If you can be sure they are secure, I still think it is better to go with the Stihls but if theft is a problem then the Homelites are a good choice.
I love Homelite products,I have a trimmer and a handheld blower,Ive used the trimmer 15 years commercially,and the blower 7,the only thing ive replaced is the trimmer head assy,a few times.I use them because my summer help dont care for them and Ive bent the shaft back about 5 times from these idiots hitting them against trees when they are in the work cart.They are lightweight,and thats reason enough to use one,we trim for 6-8 hrs straight,at times.If they break,69 bucks at H-depot and I got a new one.We have 2 snappers,too.We all fight over the old Homelite,its light and more powerful,the snappers were 300+ apeice.<p>----------<br>John D<br>
I use homelite too, and haven't had any problems at all with the blower or the trimmers. They have 25cc motors on them What can I say. I use my blower to blow the grass clippings and lite dirt that you get when you edge.<br><p>----------<br>Ken...Lightcap's Landscape Service<br>
Stihl BG 79; hard to beat, & only $169 new. Blows away my echo I started with. Some may put out a little more cfm's but nothing outlasts a Stihl- it's in the engine design.<p>----------<br>Smitty ô¿ô<br>