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  1. #1
    Bronze Member
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    Gravely guy

    Default Backpack blower - Stihl vs. Husqvarna/Red Max vs. Echo vs. Shindaiwa

    Hi all.

    I am looking to pull the trigger on a backpack blower. I recently moved from Pennsylvania to Florida and sold most of my power equipment. The only things I brought with me are a lawnmower and a string trimmer. I had a handheld 2-cycle gas blower that I sold to a friend before I moved. I wasn't particularly attached to it and it wasn't anything special. It was good for blowing clippings off the driveway, that's about it.

    I like to buy stuff once and have it last. So, I am looking at the higher-end models. I am looking at the Stihl BR600, the Husqvarna 580BTS (along with it's twin the RedMax 8500), and the Echo PB770 as well as the Shindaiwa EB802.

    The situation isn't so much my own trees. There are only three leaf-shedding trees in my yard, but my property backs up to a golf course. There are tons of big oak trees planted behind my house as well as behind all the lots on either side of me. Consequently, I have a bunch of leaves piled up around the base of my fence, big piles around/behind the air conditioning compressors, a bunch piled around the pool filter, piled up in the flower beds, etc.

    I am getting complaints (from the wife) and apparently this is the next outdoor issue where I need to focus my attention.

    So far, I really like the Stihl. It's quieter and supposedly uses less fuel than the conventional 2-strokes. I got a good price from a local dealer. Tomorrow I am hoping to check out the Husqvarna/Red Max dealer. I saw the Echo and Shindaiwa at other dealers (who also carried the Stihl) and both seemed kinda unremarkable. Neither dealer directed me towards those over the Stihl.

  2. #2
    Super Star Member murphy1244's Avatar
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    Nov 2011
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    17,026
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    Ohio
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    Kioti DK 40-Massey ferguson 135-Ventrac 4500 Diesel

    Default Re: Backpack blower - Stihl vs. Husqvarna/Red Max vs. Echo vs. Shindaiwa

    I have the echo and when they say 2 pumps of prime they mean it.
    Murph ------------

  3. #3
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    1,713
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    Casey County, Kentucky

    Default Re: Backpack blower - Stihl vs. Husqvarna/Red Max vs. Echo vs. Shindaiwa

    John, I have a BR600 four plus years. I run the recommended 89 octane with synthetic oil. I took it in for a checkup last fall prior to the "big season". A spark plug and fuel filter and I was good to go. The rubber fuel line was still in good shape.

    While I use the blower sporatically throughout the year, my big season is in the fall when the leaves come down. Where as I ususall go through maybe seven gallons of gas, last fall was a killer. The wind blew leaves from the woods big time. I went through over 20 gallons of gas.

    Do a search though. There are some threads on blowers in other forums.

  4. #4
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    9,392
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    somewhere usa
    Tractor
    Deere 110tlb, 4520, x749, L130

    Default Re: Backpack blower - Stihl vs. Husqvarna/Red Max vs. Echo vs. Shindaiwa

    John,
    I think the BR600 does a great job for most residential jobs and is what I would recommend. I haven't checked out all the new models so it will be interesting what you find out. Keep us posted.

  5. #5
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
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    5,253
    Location
    NC
    Tractor
    Kubota Grand L3830

    Default Re: Backpack blower - Stihl vs. Husqvarna/Red Max vs. Echo vs. Shindaiwa

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnfromPA View Post
    Hi all.

    I am looking to pull the trigger on a backpack blower. I recently moved from Pennsylvania to Florida and sold most of my power equipment. The only things I brought with me are a lawnmower and a string trimmer. I had a handheld 2-cycle gas blower that I sold to a friend before I moved. I wasn't particularly attached to it and it wasn't anything special. It was good for blowing clippings off the driveway, that's about it.

    I like to buy stuff once and have it last. So, I am looking at the higher-end models. I am looking at the Stihl BR600, the Husqvarna 580BTS (along with it's twin the RedMax 8500), and the Echo PB770 as well as the Shindaiwa EB802.

    The situation isn't so much my own trees. There are only three leaf-shedding trees in my yard, but my property backs up to a golf course. There are tons of big oak trees planted behind my house as well as behind all the lots on either side of me. Consequently, I have a bunch of leaves piled up around the base of my fence, big piles around/behind the air conditioning compressors, a bunch piled around the pool filter, piled up in the flower beds, etc.

    I am getting complaints (from the wife) and apparently this is the next outdoor issue where I need to focus my attention.

    So far, I really like the Stihl. It's quieter and supposedly uses less fuel than the conventional 2-strokes. I got a good price from a local dealer. Tomorrow I am hoping to check out the Husqvarna/Red Max dealer. I saw the Echo and Shindaiwa at other dealers (who also carried the Stihl) and both seemed kinda unremarkable. Neither dealer directed me towards those over the Stihl.
    I like the Stihl also. If you purchase either consider using 89 octane gas instead of 87. I think the Stihl specifies 89 octane and synthetic oil for the mixture.

  6. #6
    Bronze Member
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    Mar 2010
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    79
    Location
    Florida Nature Coast
    Tractor
    Gravely guy

    Default Re: Backpack blower - Stihl vs. Husqvarna/Red Max vs. Echo vs. Shindaiwa

    I went to the closest Husqvarna and RedMax dealer and it was a real tiny place, more focused on repairs than sales. They only had one backpack blower in stock and it was a small one, the RedMax 5150. I am considering hitting up the Husqvarna dealer in the next town over to see if they have any of the bigger ones. I really would like to get a good look at one for comparison before pulling the trigger on the Stihl.

  7. #7
    Bronze Member
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    Mar 2010
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    Florida Nature Coast
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    Gravely guy

    Default Re: Backpack blower - Stihl vs. Husqvarna/Red Max vs. Echo vs. Shindaiwa

    Got a new wrinkle in the situation. Came across a Dolmar 4-stroke blower at local Husqvarna dealer. I'm giving it serious consideration. It's got a Robin engine, and the same blower is sold under the Makita and Robin names as well. Haven't found any bad reviews.
    Last edited by JohnfromPA; 03-20-2013 at 09:04 AM.

  8. #8
    Super Member 94BULLITT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    7,487
    Location
    Frederick County, VA
    Tractor
    Kubota BX2360 & L4240 HSTC

    Default Re: Backpack blower - Stihl vs. Husqvarna/Red Max vs. Echo vs. Shindaiwa

    I love the BR600. It has tons of power and start easy. Here is a video showing the fuel efficiency, if that is important on a blower.


  9. #9
    Elite Member dfkrug's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    4,636
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    NorCal
    Tractor
    05 Kioti CK30HST w/ Prairie Dog backhoe

    Default Re: Backpack blower - Stihl vs. Husqvarna/Red Max vs. Echo vs. Shindaiwa

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnfromPA View Post
    Came across a Dolmar 4-stroke blower at local Husqvarna dealer.
    I have never owned a 4-stroke blower or trimmer, but they are interesting. Do you mix gas
    with oil on that unit? One 4-stroke trimmer I saw required pre-mix.

    My backpack blower works well, a Husky BT45. I have not owned the other major b/p blower
    brands, but the pros around here use Echo, Shindaiwa, Stihl, and Husky. I once had a homeowner
    Homelite, but it was weak. Shindaiwa is part of Echo now, and I love their chainsaws. Dolmar
    is an xlnt brand, too.

  10. #10
    Bronze Member
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    Mar 2010
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    Florida Nature Coast
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    Gravely guy

    Default Re: Backpack blower - Stihl vs. Husqvarna/Red Max vs. Echo vs. Shindaiwa

    No mixing. It has oil in the crankcase like any other 4-stroke engine and just takes straight gas. The Stihl 4-mix engines are really 2-stroke but have valves like a 4-stroke. They still use oil in the gas.

    I really am not sold on it yet, still kicking my options around.

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