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Leaf Blowers - in the market for one.

Post in 'The Gear' started by Drifthopper, Oct 17, 2008.

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  1. Drifthopper

    Drifthopper Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2007
    Messages:
    90
    Leaf Blowers

    I’m in the market for a gas powered hand held leaf blower.
    The Craftsman blower (Made by Polan, I think) ) that I got 5-6 yrs ago as a gift finally wore out.
    I use mine quite a bit, as a blower all through the summer, blowing off the lawnmower everytimebefore putting it away, and then blowing off the patio and driveway from grass and leafs.
    And then this time of yr, use it all the time for the leaves and as a vacuum, so the new one will have to have the vac option.
    I think the one I have must of gotten off balance, I didn’t look at it yet, but when I was using it, it was shaking real bad, it has a plastic impeller on it, and I think the blades got damaged …(it must have been that pine cone I sucked in..:(

    A friend has a Stihl , # 85, ( ??? ) said it was the largest hand held they offered at the time, said it’s more then I’ll ever need.

    I'm open to any makes….but no more Craftsman or Yard Man type of blowers.

    I’d like to keep it around the $200 price range, then probably $250 with a vac attachment.

    Any and All input on this is Greatly Appreciated.

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  2. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    3,700
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    CNY
    I was just talking to a buddy today that has an Echo that generates 205mph wind at the nozzle ...I borrowed it last year to clear a swale hole clear of wet drainage blocking leaves. First time I ever used one and was really impressed. So I'm thinking of buying one too ...splash got his at a BB store but I'm looking to buy a pro model from George Kahler's...one that'll blow 250 mph or better. Maybe I'll check 'em out tomorrow.
  3. Iembalm4aLiving

    Iembalm4aLiving Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
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    260
    Loc:
    N.E. Ohio
    I burned through 2 Craftsman blowers in a period of 4 years. I got sick of throwing them out.

    I now have a Stihl SH 85D and I've been very happy with it. I suspect it will last much longer than the 2 craftsman units did.
  4. davenorthshorema

    davenorthshorema Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2008
    Messages:
    107
    Loc:
    northshore ma
    I have a Shindawa backpack blower that is VERY good. It's exactly what the landscapers use. It came recommended by a buddy of mine but it cost a pretty penny. I think i paid $500 for mine...if you get one don't get the one with the trigger on the blower end...they sell them with a seperate arm with the throttle to so as to lessen the weight on the blower arm.

    good luck
  5. bjkjoseph

    bjkjoseph Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
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    Loc:
    long island
    echo is the best blower worth the extra money
  6. skinnykid

    skinnykid New Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
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    Next to a lake in NH
    funny I saw this post, I just got done looking at them online at Home cheapo and Lowes.

    What is a good engine size on a blower? I have alot of land to blow with lots of different trees and pines.

    I would like a gas one.

    thanks
  7. syd3006

    syd3006 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
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    Loc:
    Northwestern Ontario
    I work for a railway company and part of our duties entail keeping the switches free of snow in the winter. We use backpack blowers for the job and of the different brands we have used the "Stihl" seem to be the all around best machines. We really put them through their paces,They are light, start well, maintain their power and last a long time with minimum maintenance. They have a decent system for dampening vibration but the arrangement they have for holding the backpack straps on is a little weak, they use a plastic snap on clip affair that will break. These are probably bigger blowers than you are considering, but if I was looking for one for home use I would definitely consider "Stihl".
  8. computeruser

    computeruser Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2007
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    337
    Loc:
    East Lansing, MI
    For handheld blowers, Stihl's BG85 (SH85 if you need/want a shredding attachment...I'd pass, but that's me) takes the cake. Solid, good balance, and very powerful for a handheld. The newer Echo handheld is OK, but doesn't seem to have the housing durability of the Stihl (Echo uses a crispier plastic that seems more prone to cracking if bumped/dropped, for example).

    For backpacks, figure on 55cc+ to be worth the size/weight. Stihl, Echo, RedMax, Shindaiwa, and Kawasaki are all good choices, and the getting the right fit/feel is somewhat more personal than with handhelds.
  9. dumbodog00

    dumbodog00 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2007
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    Loc:
    NE Ohio
    My vote is for Stihl. The other nice part is that if you have Stihl chainsaws, you can us the same gas. For me easier is better. I have all Still power equipment and there is no gas confusion.
  10. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Sand Lake, NY
    Nothing like hearing the sound of a bunch of leaf blowers on a Saturday morning.
  11. steam man

    steam man Minister of Fire

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    Jan 19, 2008
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    Loc:
    Northern Maine
    My John Deere back pack blower has been around for 18 years and starts first pull everytime. It sets a high standard.

    Mike
  12. Drifthopper

    Drifthopper Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2007
    Messages:
    90

    I don't like the idea of a backpac cuz blowin' off the mower or the patio...its just a 2 - 3 minute blow job...so i don't want to be fighting with a back unit for such a short run.
    The hand held unit i have, well.. had, served me good for my size yard and what i want it to do, so that's why i'll stick with the hand held blower, plus I use the vac attachment quite a bit this time of year. Sure wish I had this past weekend….raking sucks.


    Stihl's seams more popular then Echo, but i'd look at either.

    Any one on here have any experience with Dolmar? Do they make leaf blowers? I’ll have to Google some specs.

    I was on the Echo site, and they make a unit called the "Shred -n-vac" looks like they market it as a vac unit that turns into a blower...model ES-230... looks nice ,,,but the CFM’s are a bit low.
  13. hornett22

    hornett22 New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2007
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    Loc:
    Glastonbury,CT
    i just bought the Husky 125 for $180.it came with the leaf vacuum kit all in the box.Stihl replaced the BG 85 with the BG86.the Husqvarna smokes the BG86 and it's quite a bit cheaper.if you can find a dealer who still has a BG85,grab it,they were nice units.still more than the Husky.this husky really impresses me.i bought it for when i need to do something quick.i normally use the Husqvarna BT-180 back pack which is absolutely insane!
  14. ameoba

    ameoba Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Twin Cities, MN
    Couple things to bear in mind. It's not about airspeed at the outlet. Anyone can choke down (or restrict) the outlet to boost speed (and they do). Look for a CFM number - that's more indicative of the power of the blower.

    I own two blowers - a Black and Decker LeafHog with Vac attachment (bought first) and a Stihl BR600 (bought a little over a year ago). The B&D;is a handheld electric and the Stihl is a backpack. I don't think I've used the B&D;since I bought the Stihl. It's easier to fire it up for 2 minutes to blow the driveway and deck off after mowing than it is to get the cord out, plug it in, blah blah blah. I think the B&D;is going to go away......

    Doesn't sound like you need a backpack (light use), but I will never go back. Just my .02.

    As for brands, I think most will swear by Stihl, I've also heard good things about RedMax and Shindawa (spelling?).

    Good luck!
  15. johnnywarm

    johnnywarm Minister of Fire

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    tanaka 2510 if memory serves me.they just redesigned the unit i have had for 10 years.i use it and other commercial lawn stuff for a living.
  16. iblonger

    iblonger New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2008
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    SE PA
    I own a lawncare company and I have both a Stihl BG85 and an Echo PB251. The Stihl cost less and is more powerful. The echo is quieter and easier to start. Both are very good pieces of equipment, so go with the dealer you like the most. If you do go with Echo make sure you buy it from a local dealer not Home Cheapo. The dealer will stand behind it if you do have a problem.
  17. 'bert

    'bert Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    East of the Rockies West of the Rest, North of 49
    Got rid of my stihl hand held blower / vac (SH 55) this year. Went to a BR600 back pack model. LOVE IT! Couple of extra $$ but worth it for the time it saves.

    I also like Dumbo have all stihl ('cept for the husky 61 left in a basket by my door) so that i use the same gas throughout. No mistakes, no sadness.
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