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Vacuum attachment for Stihl Br400/420

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by josjac, Dec 8, 2003.

  1. josjac

    josjac LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    Hi all forum users

    Do any of you on these forums use the Stihl BR400 or 420 blowers with a vacuum attachment?

    Have just enquired as to the price of the necessary parts from a Stihl supplier here in England. VERY expensive! But possibly worth the outlay if it allows me to use my BR400 blower as a EFFECTIVE vac`.

    But, will it?
    Any of you out there using a Stihl blower as a vacuum too? How do you rate it?

    Any thoughts/experiences would be gratefully received...

  2. bob

    bob LawnSite Platinum Member
    from DE
    Messages: 4,260

    I had a vacuum on my Echo hand held blower. I didn't like it because the bag filled up real fast and the dust from the bag blew out right next to you. Yes it did a good job, but you were limited to only a few minutes of vacuuming.
  3. josjac

    josjac LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    Yeh, thanks Bob

    Thing is, i actually cut quite a lot of conifers over here (i assume you call them the same?)
    Now i`m working on my own, i could really do with a faster/more economical way to collect the cuttings that i don`t catch (with the plastic sheeting i lay down) Mostly the cuttings will have fallen around shrubs etc, making picking them up a time consuming & tedious job

    Just wondered if there were any users out there that could pass on their experiences using the BR400 as a vac - good or bad. Perhaps no-one has ever done this conversion?

    But i thank you again Bob for taking the trouble to advise. You`ve highlighted one potential problem likely to affect all `vacs` i feel.


  4. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Messages: 4,899

    You chaps from england have got to be the most polite people on earth. Heck even when you cuss someone out it sounds polite:angel:

    UNISCAPER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,426

    WE had a Stihl vacuum when we did maintenance...I too did not care for it. The biggest issues came from the customers, who saw their mulch get sucked up. Then I started keeping better records of job function times. We did not save any time over using traps on the ground, and then we would rake the trimmings.
  6. Martino

    Martino LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 1,788

    The vac attachments for all backblowers (not just the Stihl) are very ineffective, unless all you want to do is vac up cig butts. It's because they all use a Venturi system.

    If you definately want an effective vac, use the hand held variety that vacuums through the impeller, however you need to careful or you'll have the same result as Uniscaper described.
  7. idugaholez

    idugaholez LawnSite Member
    Messages: 42

    I did iquire about the vac attachament on mystihl br400. My dealer checked with stihl about it. The guy from the Stihl corp. told my dealer that the attachment for that blower is not very good. I ended up buying the stihl blower/vac instead. I forget which one though. I think it works great, unless your in alot of little sticks, or if the leaves are real wet. It only cost about 100 more to get the whole blower vs. the attachment on the br400. If want to know anything else let me know.

  8. josjac

    josjac LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    Thankyou all

    It seems the consensus is that the BR400 doesn`t lend itself very well as a vac.
    If Stihl were still supplying the vacuum attachment as a £97 ($169) kit i might be tempted to see how good/poor it really is.
    But they don`t.
    Instead they expect me to stump up the £187 ($326) for the 15 individual parts that make up the kit. I love Stihl gear - but THAT`s a lot to ask a loyal customer for a few bits of obsolete stock. I doubt they get too many requests for the vac attachment for a superceeded model.

    I guess the bottom line is...if the Br400 could be turned into an effective vac, then Stihl would have done it & pushed the fact.
    Instead, they kept pretty quiet about it`s vac abilities, mentioning it very little in the product`s literature - then dropping it altogether when the BR420 came out.
    Because of it`s design, the only way stihl COULD make this blower work as a vac was by designing a venturi type system. And, as already stated, this is an obvious limitation.

    So, thankyou to you all for making me see it as it really is...

    ...looks like i`m $326 closer to a Stihl 200T

  9. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,183

    I had the little hand held blower and converted it to a vacuum and loved it. The case has since worn out from picking up too many pebbles so it sits in the barn.....one day it'll get fixed or replaced when everything else gets fixed or replaced.

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