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Leaf Blowers Echo Or Stihl?


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#1 dodge trucker OFFLINE  

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Posted November 16, 2014 - 10:11 AM

I am tired of Ryobi Weedeater Poulan Crapsman etc... I need to buy me a good gas powered blower, but not sure which one to get. Not really wanting a backpack version, no "sales people" seem to be of any help/ ask if it's worth spending the extra $$ between different models of a given brand and get a shrug.

One thing I notice is a given model of either brand, they are the same price "to the penny" between farm and Fleet, Big-R  or the lawn and garden dealer.

 

I am looking at 2 different Echo's and  2 different Stihl's.  I know that the BG 86s have a spring loaded "suspension" for less vibration where the BG 55s are a solid housing. the 86s are claimed "professional" while the BG 55 is listed on the display as "home owner"  They have the same displacement engine,

(the Echo's are slightly smaller displacement than the Stihl's do, but again both Echos have the same displacement as each other)

The Echo's are like $160 and $200 (instant rebate included)  and the Stihls are $160 and $250... no rebate or sale.   I dont need a shredder or bagger, just a blower and maybe a gutter kit (which is extra$ for either brand) 

 

I went thru a"box store brand"  weed eater a year, until ~12-15 years ago when my wife got me an Echo straight shaft weed eater for Fathers day and it is still going...


Edited by dodge trucker, November 16, 2014 - 02:32 PM.

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#2 KennyP OFFLINE  

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Posted November 16, 2014 - 10:25 AM

That 'suspension' on the one might be a blessing. I can't take a lot of vibration anymore!


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#3 Bolens 1000 OFFLINE  

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Posted November 16, 2014 - 10:33 AM

I am an Echo fan personally (Have used Both brands over the years)

 

Echo makes some great stuff, I just bought a blower a few weeks ago actually and love it. They make 2 hand held versions, I got the smaller one as I dont really use one enough to justify the Professional series one.

 

My Echo chainsaw has to be at least 8 years old now and have had no troubles with it and I use that thing alot!

 

Cant beat Echo's 5 year warranty either!



#4 KC9KAS OFFLINE  

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Posted November 16, 2014 - 12:47 PM

Not up too much on these, but the 2 year old Huskavarna (spelling) we have was a really good blower at 1st. The 2nd year it was hard to start and keep running, now it won't start at all!

Oh, and I use SEAFOAM in every drop of gasoline I put into my small internal combustion engines!


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#5 IHCubGuy ONLINE  

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Posted November 16, 2014 - 01:47 PM

I can't help you out too much on hand held units.  I have an Echo string trimmer and dad has 2 Stihl's and they are good units.  I have not used any of their leaf blowers.  At the township though we have two backpack blowers, a Husqvarna and a Shindaiwa.  They are both good units, but I prefer the Shindaiwa over the Husqvarna.  Whatever you decide to purchase pay attention to the CFM volume of air that they each move.  That is what is most important in blowing the leaves and not the MPH of the air.  The higher the air volume moved equals the more leaves moved.


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#6 dodge trucker OFFLINE  

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Posted November 16, 2014 - 02:53 PM

Not up too much on these, but the 2 year old Huskavarna (spelling) we have was a really good blower at 1st. The 2nd year it was hard to start and keep running, now it won't start at all!

Oh, and I use SEAFOAM in every drop of gasoline I put into my small internal combustion engines!

somewhere I thought Id read that STIHL is now part of Electrolux which owns the names Husquavarna, AYP, etc (years ago used to be Roper)



#7 David Brown OFFLINE  

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Posted November 16, 2014 - 03:06 PM

I just bought a Stihl BG55 this fall and I absolutely love it.  There isn't all that much vibration that I've noticed.  My dealer had them for $150.  Money well spent in my book.  I had a Crapsman blower that I really liked.  It never made it to its second fall.  As far as I know, Stihl owns nobody and nobody owns Stihl but that's just what I know.  Johnsored owns Husquavarna from what I have heard and made Husquavarna their low end brand.  I'll stick with the Stihl myself.  Always had good luck with them.


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#8 oldtimer OFFLINE  

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Posted November 16, 2014 - 03:21 PM

Being a decrepit ol' geezer, I've been buying easy to start implements lately.  Both brands are darn good.  I have a Stihl  leaf blower with the suspension, and my neighbor asked how I could go so long and not have numb hands.  It's one of my favorite pieces of equipment. 


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#9 Kurtee OFFLINE  

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Posted November 16, 2014 - 03:38 PM

I own 2 Stihl blowers and have had no trouble with them. I own 2 Echo pole saws and have had no trouble with those either. My preference would obviously be the Stihl. Get the professional model as it blows more air. It takes long enough to blow a bunch of leaves with that. Even with the higher price I believe you will be happier with it. The things I have been most unhappy with are the things I bought on price. I included a picture of using the gutter attachment. It was a little short so I got a little creative.

 

PICT0866.JPG


Edited by Kurtee, November 16, 2014 - 03:52 PM.

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#10 The Junk Doctor OFFLINE  

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Posted November 21, 2014 - 10:27 PM

I have a STIHL Kombi Motor with a blower attachment, trimmer, pole saw, etc. I think it works really well, and when other people borrow it, they tell me it will outdo any other blower they've had.
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#11 dodge trucker OFFLINE  

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Posted November 23, 2014 - 11:05 AM

I looked at that "kombi" package (I do not think it was called that then) 3 or 4 years ago when my inlaws had a tornado hit, and I bought my Echo polesaw.... my experience with "jack of all trades" machines that claim to "do it all" with different attachments, is that these machines do not do as well as seperate machines each dedicated to one purpose...

though the idea behind an "all in one" is a good idea on paper..... 1 engine to maintain instead of several.

i  had the same thing when I had my  Sears Suburbans years ago... had the plow, the snow blower, several mowing decks, and the seperately-powered-by-its-own-engine 3 point tiller  and it seems that they never really mowed that great, and that seperate walk behind snow blower, tiller and mowers seemed to individually do a better job at their tasks than that "all in one" machine...

 

I wound up buying the Stihl BG 86 blower.   ran almost 2 tanks of fuel thru it as soon as I got it home... I still hate dealing with leaves.

Mowing? cool. but I mow and blow.. no bag, no mulching.  I just mow often enough to not have a hayfield, no big deal. every 3rd day or so in spring  down to once every other week by August when it's hot and no rain.... gotta stop and dump any sort of bagger way too often, what a PITA.... so I just mow a little more often so I don't have that issue

 

Weed wacking not so much (but don't hate it as bad as I do harvesting  leaves)

Shoveling/blowing snow? It has lost some "luster" from when I was younger but I don't mind it that much.... even though I'm cold and wet when done  and most often have to do more than just my own... and having to come in often to warm up on account of 3 fingers on my left hand going "numb" in the cold, these last 4-5 years....

 

but removing leaves? seems I have always hated that.  try to mulch, any mower I have ever had (walk behind or tractor)  just "plows" them and when it finally does go over the pile, it overwhelms the mower and if it don't stall, the belts slip/burn,  and i gotta shut down and clear the clog...

when my son was younger it was the most common task to have to get mad at him for "not helping with" around the house,  and yell for him to get his butt outside and help, (that never seemed to work either) before I realized that I'd been trying for 3 hours to get him motivated,.... and that daylight was burning

So I get outside and start on it myself and he'd  finally come out and "look busy" but not really help with the process much, if any.  I was still a 1 man leaf army.... at one time I bought a Trac vac, and it too would often plug up to a point of having to shut down and unclog.... before it was close to full. I have also had an MTD walk behind lawn vac at one time until it fell out of the back of a pickup, that was the end of that machine. until then it did seem to do a decent job. still not "great", if I didn't keep up on them.

I have tried the Trac vac on a couple of different mowers I have had  with same result. I do not remember the model that I have, but it is the one that is ~16" square X about 4' tall, I think it is like 8 cu ft capacity.   I didn't even bring it home from storage at my buddys farm this year. I have just modified the chute that goes on the deck that came with the trac vac for each machine at the time, welding tabs or cutting them off to conform to a particular deck "mouth"  look on Feebay they want $225 for each dedicated chute adapter. screw that.

Also it seems like every year one of the caster wheels breaks at least once, where I gotta stop where ever in the yard I am, take the rest of it off of the machine  go weld it up and reassemble,  before I can continue. and if I cant do leaves every other day  then the mower deck just "plows" them when they get too many built up on the yard grrrr... the way my yard is laid out even though I have a "small" trac vac the way my yard is laid out, it can be cumbersome to navigate the mower with that behind me.

Yesterday I spent ~3 hours out there again this time with the new Stihl blower,,,,,  it would be calm, and I'd just get a good start on a windrow,  and get a gust of wind to blow them back in the area I just cleared so I gotta backtrack.... so back to the rake and wheelbarrow... and then have to continually backtrack to pick up the "trail" that falls off the wheelbarrow...

the only good thing about leaf harvest is that I can still burn them where I live... I do not mind the smell of burning leaves and I don't have to buy those bags and bundle them  like they do in town a few miles from me so the garbage man will take them

 

but so many times I spend 3-4 hours out there and then look around and it looks like I didn't do anything.....just to start all over again/ the leaves are all down now,and after yesterday afternoon's labor,  I still have a few laying in the front yard and in the ditches. (I'm on a corner lot) I'll  probably say "screw it" on those, til mowing season starts again.

 

yet when I was out of work for a few years,  healing from that chain saw accident, some years back, I did all sorts of odd jobs for the neighbors to stay busy/ Which season did my phone burn up the most? Yup, leaf season....

 

I don't volunteer to help with leaves even now, but if someone needs their yard mowed or needs help with snow I'm out there.

Last year I had 2 old women call and ask me to do leaves  and I was "busy"//   it dont help, that they wait til the leaves are 10" thick, throughout the whole yard before they call "so they only gotta pay someone to harvest them once throughout the season"


Edited by dodge trucker, November 23, 2014 - 11:08 AM.


#12 The Junk Doctor OFFLINE  

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Posted November 23, 2014 - 12:01 PM

I know you may be suspicious, but I do 12 yards a week. This includes mowing, trimming, hedge clipping, and blowing. All of my different tools were just junk. So I asked a professional mowing company about what they used. They referred me to the Kombi system. At the time, I only had enough money to buy the homeowner model engine. But let me tell you, it will outperform any trimmer, clipper, and blower out there. I know my uncle had a junk one years back, but these new STIHLs really do the job. I have had the best of handheld blowers, and they just couldn't compete with it.
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#13 dodge trucker OFFLINE  

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Posted November 23, 2014 - 01:15 PM

At one time I mowed about 20 other yards a week mowed, trimmed, the whole bit. this was my "side job" at the time about 15-20 years ago.

and I know about using junk. at the time I went thru a Poulan or Craftsman or Weed Eater  string trimmer per year. my mowers were either  curbside finds (in the days before everyone in the area became scappers) or ones given to me because they had been sitting in someone's backyard collecting dust for umpteen years.



#14 jerseyhawg / glenn OFFLINE  

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Posted November 25, 2014 - 01:44 PM

STIHL,,,,,,,I bought a new one 2 years ago. Cant remember what model. It was there top of the line at the time. Works GREAT!
Thats my preference anyway.

Glenn

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Posted November 25, 2014 - 02:14 PM

I bought a JD backpack blower last spring from a customer who decided he was to old to be dealing with the leaves.  That thing is a beast it does a great job and around here I need something that will really blow the leaves.  The only problem is it really sucks the gas as well.  I just came in from doing the leaves and the only reason I stopped is I ran out of gas.  I'm only 1/2 way done. :wallbanging: :wallbanging: :wallbanging:






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