Help with Leaf Blower decision!

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  #1  
Old 07-07-10, 01:13 PM
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Help with Leaf Blower decision!

I am in the market for a leaf blower, and this will be my first leaf blower purchase. I have narrowed it down to different backpack leaf blowers but I need some guidance.

First, here is what I will be using it for: Blowing off driveways, patios, deck, but most importantly, cleaning up in the fall for the SEVERAL large, mature trees that we have. I want to get one unit that will work for everything and am concerned about buying something that is too weak to do my clean. However, budget is a concern too. I would like to spend no more than $250.

I have looked at:
Husqvarna 130BT (not many reviews online). It has 30cc, 145 MPH, 431 CFM but about 380 CFM at the nozzle.

OR

Troy-Bilt TB4BP. It has 32cc, 150 MPH, and 480 CFM (but cannot find how much at nozzle).

The Husqvarna sells for $200 and the Troy-Bilt at $230 at a Lowes nearby.

What do you think? Any other suggestions I should be considering?
 
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  #2  
Old 07-07-10, 01:53 PM
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I'm not too famillar with the leaf blowers you mention, but when I buy almost anything, I look first @ where I can get Parts & service.. You say the Troy-Bilt comes from Lowes.. Do you have a MTD Dealer local??? Are you buying the husky from a dealer that can supply parts & warranty?? Just a couple of things to think about... Roger
 
  #3  
Old 07-15-10, 06:26 AM
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If you have to do any significant amount of fall leaf cleanup, do yourself a favor and spend the bucks to get a good, commercial blower.

I have an old RedMax EB431 (~40 cc) that has served me well. The only major repair I've had to do was an ignition coil. If I had to do it over again, I'd get something larger. It was too small to clean my 1/2 acre back yard. I ended up getting a Little Wonder a couple of years later

If I had to buy a backpack today, I'd get a medium to large Echo unit. They are tough to kill and they are easy to get parts for when something does break. Parts don't cost an arm and a leg either.

Google "echo usa" and browse the products on their website.

- Joe
 
  #4  
Old 07-15-10, 08:57 AM
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I have a Stihl BR400 that i have owned for 12+ years. very reliable, only maintenancehas been plug and filter changes, and a new lower tube from wear against concrete. f you're going to be using it for more than 15 minutes at a time, get a backpack type blower. hand helds only good for blowing down the driveway, IMO. Another consideration, what fuel mix are you using in your other equipment? Pain in the rear to require multiple mix units, i.e, 40-1, 50-1, etc. I made that mistake on a weed whacker.
 
  #5  
Old 07-16-10, 06:20 AM
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Good point - Stihl makes a good machine as well.

You won't have to worry about the various 2 stroke oil mixtures if you use a "universal", high quality 2 stroke oil.

The Echo Power Blend oil (available at big orange and at dealers) advertises that it will run any 2 stroke machine on a 50:1 ratio. I have tried it mixed at 50:1 on machines requiring down to 40:1 and it works as advertised. No lubrication problems. If you can't find the Echo stuff, other manufacturers make similar oils, though the brand names escape me at the moment.

If the higher-quality backpacks cost too much for you new, check eBay and Craig's List for a used one in good shape. I'd take a used commercial grade blower over a new consumer grade blower any day.

- Joe
 
  #6  
Old 07-17-10, 12:11 AM
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I second the motion. Don't buy a cheapo blower or it will cost you more in the end and you will be left wanting every time you use it. For blowers, I prefer echo. I also agree that you'd be better off buying a good used echo than a brand new troybilt. I buy some stuff from the pawn shop when I want quality equipment and don't want to pay the store price.
 
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