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Yes, another blower thread

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by HawKen, Jan 17, 2007.

  1. HawKen

    HawKen LawnSite Member
    Messages: 34

    As a homeowner who is tired of hours of raking for each of several days during fall, I'm ready to make an "investment" in my own quality of life. I've searched this site regarding back pack blowers and have been resoundingly reassured that I'm looking in the right direction. But as is usually the case, the details can be more demanding than they seem to warrant. I'm looking in the $300 to $400 range, with hopes of being closer to 3 than 4.

    My situation is a heavily wooded lot, with several varieties of trees that all drop at different times. Each "drop" generates rather large piles of leaves. I am fortunate in that I can just clear them into the woods. Appears to be an ideal application for a blower. I killed two light duty homeowner hand helds that were limited in what they could move. Wet leaves were not an option. A rake has always been required to move the piles long before I reach the edge of the woods.

    So now comes the confusing part. Based on the what dealers are closest and seem the easiest to work with, I've narrowed my search to Stihl or Redmax. The information on this site seems to weight those two the best as well. The individual unit's spec's are where I'm not able to settle on a choice.

    I can get a new Redmax EB4401 for about the same price as a "demo" unit Stihl BR550. As the 550 is the second most powerful unit Stihl makes, it would seem to be the better choice. However, although the 4401 has a lower velocity (183mph vs. 199mph), it has a significantly higher volume (671cfm vs. 530). Even Redmax adds to the confusion with the EB5000. Presumably a step up from the EB4401. But looking at the spec's the 5000 is A LOT slower (142mph vs. 183mph) and A LOT less volume (590cfm vs. 671cfm). It seems that the advantage of the 5000 over the 4401 is that it is much quieter (65dbA vs 72dbA) and, due to the strato-charged engine, has a much longer runtime (1.8hrs vs. 1.2hrs). Both of those are desireable characteristics, but don't seem to justify a 25% higher price over the 4401.

    One further item is the EPA durability rating (4401 = N/A, 5000 = 300hrs(class III?), and 550 = class I (50 hrs?!)). Purportedly, these units are all going to last a homeowner a long time, so why such a span of ratings?

    Any recommendations? :confused: :confused: :confused:

    Thanks for any insight. Also, I really like this site. Nicely laid out and the participation is exceptional.
  2. Potchkins

    Potchkins LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 570

    Sthil Br 600
  3. HawKen

    HawKen LawnSite Member
    Messages: 34

    Potchkins, thanks for the reply. Unfortunately the BR600, as capable as it appears, is a hundred dollars beyond my means.
  4. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,460

    I would not go with either one of the two models, instead consider the BR420 Stihl which is a proven blower. It doesn't need valve adjusting or valve/valve seat cleaning and has been around for a long time. And, why not try mulching the leaves before you push them around? Since you have the woods then you could get a cheap bagger for you mower and clean up the mulched pieces.
  5. HawKen

    HawKen LawnSite Member
    Messages: 34

    ed2hess, I don't understand using a bagger. That would seem to be a great deal more work. Perhaps running the mower over the leaves would make them move easier? I had tried that with the cheapy handheld blowers and it took a lot longer.
  6. AndyTblc

    AndyTblc LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,480

    Definetly Br 600, one of the most powerful BP's in the market.
  7. josh1981

    josh1981 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 427

    stihl- cant really kill them and extremely reliable and plenty of power. Just change the plugs and filter and they will last a very long time.
  8. walkerowner06

    walkerowner06 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 79

    The 671cfm that you have listed for the redmax is without the tubes, with the tubes the cfm is around 400 for the redmax. the stihl br550 would definitely be the one to get. I saw a guy using one recently and it seemed to have a lot of power.
  9. HawKen

    HawKen LawnSite Member
    Messages: 34

    walkerowner06, Looking at the BR550 w/out tubes is 877cfm for comparison. That puts it all back in perspective. Too many spec's. Just figure this will likely be the first and last bp I get and want to make the best choice possible. Thanks
  10. roguesuerte

    roguesuerte LawnSite Member
    Messages: 105

    Consider nothing less than th Redmax EB7000, 7001, or better. You mentioned quality of life issues as a reason for researching and buying a backpack blower. I find that buying a piece of equipment that "totally kicks ass" while I am using it greatly enhances my quality of life, and I do this for a living.

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