STIHL versus Echo Backpack Blower?

Hexa Fox

LawnSite Member
Hey guys,

As you guys know, I have been in the market for a backpack blower for some time. So a couple months ago I asked a similar question and I was sold on the STIHL, I have been waiting until I hear about a deal like STIHL Dealer Days or get a similar offer. It is quite an expensive purchase when I have a battery one that gets the job done well enough now. However, I would like to have a backpack blower for some jobs and know it would help a lot on leaf cleanups and generally over the battery blower.

So today Home Depot sent me a $75.00 off of a $500.00 purchase and I was thinking that it might be a great opportunity to consider the Echo instead. I think the two most compared models of all time are the STIHL BR 600 and the Echo PB 770T. (correct me if I am wrong) So again I am looking for more feedback.

1.) This specific Echo is actually about $50.00 higher than the STIHL, so even with the coupon I am only going to save about $25.00 over the STIHL. I think Home Depot is price gouging it because other places sell it for the same price as the STIHL BR 600 so I might see if they will price match. Either way is it worth it?

2.) I pretty much only run STIHL equipment, not that I would mind Echo, just will the STIHL fuel mix I have work? I do not want to have to keep two different fuel mixes. A friend gave me his older Husqvarna chainsaw that calls for the same mix ratio, but it seems like it is always smoking/running funny. I always had it in my mind it was because of the STIHL fuel mix. Also we have no options for Ethanol free on the upper east coast where I live.

3.) I have heard that there are plenty of pluses on both sides of this battle. Like the STIHL being lighter and more powerful as well as the Echo being more fuel efficient and quieter. Is there any reason any of you guys 'hate' one over the other? Also is the power difference hugely noticeable?

4.) I was told to start out with a sort of 'starter' professional blower like the STIHL BR 600 and not go higher to like the 800 or PB 1080. Because I will probably start using this blower a good bit and they say the higher ups are more uncomfortable and people only usually use them of leaf cleanups. I think I am on board with this line of thinking, but thoughts?

As always I very much appreciate any feedback I can get and feel free to make any other suggestions.
 

Ridin' Green

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Michigan
The BR600 is NOT more powerful than an Echo 770. Just the opposite in fact. The Stihl is lighter for sure, but the 770 is a great BP. I have owned the 600 as well as all sorts of other BP's, and I own an 800 and 8010 right now. The 800 is far more comfortable to wear for long periods, but the 8010 is noticeably more powerful. The 800 X does not weigh much more than the 600, and is lighter than both the 770 and 8010. It is stronger than both the 600 and 770. None of the Echo's will be "quieter" than any Stihl 4 mix BP. They are all about the same decibels, but the Stihl's are much easier on your ears.

You can use any brand mix in any brand machine. if your friends Husky was smoking that much, I am guessing he did not have the mix ratio right, or was using a very cheap oil. Stihl HP Ultra is what Stihl recommends for their 4 mix engines, and in fact it was designed for them to avoid issues they were having with their other oils when the 4 mix engines came out.
Amsoil Saber Pro is a full synthetic and a LOT less costly to use, even when mixed at the same 50:1 ratio as Ultra. Saber can be safely run at 80 or `100:1 and was designed to do just that. Tons of threads and posts about all that here though, so just do a search and read for hours.
 

landscaper22

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
South Carolina
I have only used Stihl for many years. Used some Echo back in the day. They are both good brands. Sthil BR 600s are not starter blowers by any means. lol..I have 2 on my trailer now and that is what I have used for quite a few years. The 700's have not even been out too many years. 600s are powerful. They will do most any type of job you need. I never have any issues with them.

I can't give any input on any of the newer Echo products. I just stick with what works for me. If I have never had much trouble I tend to stay what has worked well. Same with mower brands. I have used EXmark since 2003 with almost no issues. I keep considering changing it up a little, but tend to go back with what has always treated me well.

As far as the 2 cycle oil goes, as long as its the same ratio, and not some junk that doesn't meet standards, it's the same. I think some have a little different tint to it than others, and I have heard of a dealer giving people a difficult time when they bring equipment in not running correctly, saying the fuel looks funny. But I use Stihl equipment and 2 cycle oil since I get it all at the same place.
 
OP
Hexa Fox

Hexa Fox

LawnSite Member
The BR600 is NOT more powerful than an Echo 770. Just the opposite in fact. The Stihl is lighter for sure, but the 770 is a great BP. I have owned the 600 as well as all sorts of other BP's, and I own an 800 and 8010 right now. The 800 is far more comfortable to wear for long periods, but the 8010 is noticeably more powerful. The 800 X does not weigh much more than the 600, and is lighter than both the 770 and 8010. It is stronger than both the 600 and 770. None of the Echo's will be "quieter" than any Stihl 4 mix BP. They are all about the same decibels, but the Stihl's are much easier on your ears.

You can use any brand mix in any brand machine. if your friends Husky was smoking that much, I am guessing he did not have the mix ratio right, or was using a very cheap oil. Stihl HP Ultra is what Stihl recommends for their 4 mix engines, and in fact it was designed for them to avoid issues they were having with their other oils when the 4 mix engines came out.
Amsoil Saber Pro is a full synthetic and a LOT less costly to use, even when mixed at the same 50:1 ratio as Ultra. Saber can be safely run at 80 or `100:1 and was designed to do just that. Tons of threads and posts about all that here though, so just do a search and read for hours.
Thanks for the input. So in other words if I can save money and get the Echo PB 770 I will be just as happy?

Also what I was saying was my friend gave me the saw and I have ran my same STIHL mix in it since I got it. It still smokes like a freight train. In fact, all of my STIHL equipment runs a little smokey but it stopped bothering me a long time ago. I have a STIHL FS 56 that I used commercially for about a decade that still runs. I also ran Ethanol based fuel in to for the entire life of it. There is just no where around here to purchase Ethanol free fuel.
 
OP
Hexa Fox

Hexa Fox

LawnSite Member
I have only used Stihl for many years. Used some Echo back in the day. They are both good brands. Sthil BR 600s are not starter blowers by any means. lol..I have 2 on my trailer now and that is what I have used for quite a few years. The 700's have not even been out too many years. 600s are powerful.

They will do most any type of job you need. I never have any issues with them. I can't give any input on any of the newer Echo products. I just stick with what works for me. If I have never had much trouble I tend to stay what what has worked well. Same with mower brands. I have used EXmark since 2003 with almost no issues. I keep considering changing it up a little, but tend to go back with with what has always treated me well.

As far as the 2 cycle oil goes, as long as its the same ratio, and not some junk that doesn't meet standards, it's the same. I think some have a little different tint to it than others, and I have heard of a dealer giving people a difficult time when they bring equipment in not running correctly, saying the fuel looks funny. But I use Stihl equipment and 2 cycle oil since I get it all at the same place.
"Starter" was obviously not the right word. However, what I meant was sort of the 'best standard' that people tend to lean toward. As in they are suppose to be the best choice for someone like me that does not have a backpack blower yet right? Because they are a little lighter, slightly less expensive and should prove more comfortable if I decide I need to use one all day instead of the battery blower.

I am sure that the backpack blower will prove more uncomfortable than the handheld battery blower but if I can get the job done twice as fast with the backpack blower it will be worth it.
 

Ridin' Green

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Michigan
Thanks for the input. So in other words if I can save money and get the Echo PB 770 I will be just as happy?

Also what I was saying was my friend gave me the saw and I have ran my same STIHL mix in it since I got it. It still smokes like a freight train. In fact, all of my STIHL equipment runs a little smokey but it stopped bothering me a long time ago. I have a STIHL FS 56 that I used commercially for about a decade that still runs. I also ran Ethanol based fuel in to for the entire life of it. There is just no where around here to purchase Ethanol free fuel.
I would say yes, as the 770 is more powerful than the 600. On the other hand, the 600 is definitely lighter and easier on the ears, and the 600 is no slouch as far as performance, though Stihl did something to them a few years back to de-tune them ever so slightly. I have a fellow cutter that I work right next to and I was showing him the 800 while he and a helper were blowing leaves last fall. I ran my 800 on the same pile of debris he and his helper were moving to show them the difference. It was quite noticeable when the pile got deep and heavier, but until then, the 600's were doping just fine as did mine back when I had it.

I don't bother with ethanol free gas except for winter storage. I have never had a single issue with regular pump gas, though I do run premium- either 92 or 93 octane and Saber.

As far as the smoke.....no offense but are you sure you have your mix ratio right? I have seen guys who do this for a living get it wrong and have stuck with the wrong ration for so long that they keep re-mixing at it due to muscle memory. Another thing about Saber at 80:1 or higher is you will never get a clogged exhaust screen or port again. IME, Ultra will still do that being 50:1.
 

Ridin' Green

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Michigan
"Starter" was obviously not the right word. However, what I meant was sort of the 'best standard' that people tend to lean toward. As in they are suppose to be the best choice for someone like me that does not have a backpack blower yet right? Because they are a little lighter, slightly less expensive and should prove more comfortable if I decide I need to use one all day instead of the battery blower.

I am sure that the backpack blower will prove more uncomfortable than the handheld battery blower but if I can get the job done twice as fast with the backpack blower it will be worth it.
Just the opposite- the BP will end up making you leave the HH battery unit sitting idle. It will be far more comfortable than the HH. I also have a HH blower, so I know that first hand.
 
Last edited:
OP
Hexa Fox

Hexa Fox

LawnSite Member
I would say yes, as the 770 is more powerful than the 600. On the other hand, the 600 is definitely lighter and easier on the ears, and the 600 is no slouch as far as performance, though Stihl did something to them a few years back to de-tune them ever so slightly. I have a fellow cutter that I work right next to and I was showing him the 800 while he and a helper were blowing leaves last fall. I ran my 800 on the same pile of debris he and his helper were moving to show them the difference. It was quite noticeable when the pile got deep and heavier, but until then, the 600's were doping just fine as did mine back when I had it.

I don't bother with ethanol free gas except for winter storage. I have never had a single issue with regular pump gas, though I do run premium- either 92 or 93 octane and Saber.

As far as the smoke.....no offense but are you sure you have your mix ratio right? I have seen guys who do this for a living get it wrong and have stuck with the wrong ration for so long that they keep re-mixing at it due to muscle memory. Another thing about Saber at 80:1 or higher is you will never get a clogged exhaust screen or port again. IME, Ultra will still do that being 50:1.
No offense taken. So what I do is when I go to fill up I just use the little containers that say whatever ("makes one gallon or two and a half gallons"). Then as soon as I pull the pump off I wait until the pump tells me that I have exactly one gallon or whatever it is. Then I add the small container, shake it up and go about my business. Also I add a tiny bit of sea-foam to the oil container and shake it up and add that to the mix as well. I figure I am getting all the oil out and hopefully he sea-foam helps as well. My old STIHL mechanic that I trusted very much told me about the sea-foam. So far all I know is it is not hurting me any.

So this Saber stuff you keep mentioning do you use it at 80:1 instead of the specified 50:1? I might just try it out. I probably should not say this but I remove the exhaust screen on my equipment as soon as I get it. I try to pay attention when I am cutting really thick dry grass for catching it on fire. I have never had an issue though.
 

Ridin' Green

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Michigan
Yes, I personally use Saber at 80:1, but a lot of guys here use it at 100:1 and never have a problem either. A lot less stink due to less oil, and you get a little more power since you are burning more gas/less oil per stroke. As far as the mix ratio, sounds like you are doing it fine to me, although I add the oil first, then use the fuel pump to mix it in as I fill the can. I still shake it up good before use though.
 

snapper

LawnSite Senior Member
there’s a good reason the br600 is so popular. nothing against the echo, but the stihl starts easier, the starting procedure is simpler, the sound is more pleasing, and they are compact, nothing hanging off to get snagged. and in my opinion the stihl will hold up much better than an echo. and the most important part is dealer support. buy from a dealer not home depot. home depot will not be much help if you have issues.
 
Top