Chestnut

Leaf Blower Recomendations

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I'm looking at Stihl blowers and will either get a blower or a shredder vac. The blower is around $200 and the shredder vac is around $270. Is the shredder vac part of it worth the $70? It is also note worthy that the shredder vac blows harder and moves more air.

I know different brands are different so chime in even if you don't own a Stihl. The main reason I'm looking at Stihl is reviews and experience and i don't like electric, corded or battery. I'm mostly just wondering if the vac feature is worth it or not.

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It depends.   The vac works for getting stuff in mulched/rocked flower beds, or under a low deck.

At the end of the year when we pull up the tomatoes and other garden waste... and cut back our hydrangeas... as well as the leaves.   I just dump them in the grass and run over everything with my lawnmower.   Catch it in the bag and dump it in compost.

I just have a little corded toro electric vac/blower and haven't used it since I realized the mower works better.

 

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Stihl is a good established brand, I'm sure you'll be fine. I recently had a repair done on my Husqvarna mower, and spoke with the small engine repair shop guy who also runs a landscaping company. He said stay away from the cheaper store brands, because you can't get parts to repair them. Stihl, Husqvarna are good. 

He also recommended Redmax.  

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2 minutes ago, Minnesota Steve said:

It depends.   The vac works for getting stuff in mulched/rocked flower beds, or under a low deck.

At the end of the year when we pull up the tomatoes and other garden waste... and cut back our hydrangeas... as well as the leaves.   I just dump them in the grass and run over everything with my lawnmower.   Catch it in the bag and dump it in compost.

I just have a little corded toro electric vac/blower and haven't used it since I realized the mower works better.

 

I should have said the main driving factor for this is to get the leaves out of landscape rock beds. I'd love to be rid of the rock all together but that's WAY too much work.

I just don't want to spend extra for a feature that isn't worth it or doesn't work well at all.

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4 minutes ago, Chestnut said:

I should have said the main driving factor for this is to get the leaves out of landscape rock beds. I'd love to be rid of the rock all together but that's WAY too much work.

I just don't want to spend extra for a feature that isn't worth it or doesn't work well at all.

that's where I think the vac is useful.   Especially with rock.

Our neighbor just had his rock replaced as it had gotten so over grown... he spent about $8k hiring 4 men with a bobcat and it still took them three days.   It is a LOT of work.   I'm glad I have shredded bark mulch. :-)

We also have a shrub rake.   It's a small  leaf rake that's useful to getting into those stubborn places between plants.  I think we got ours at fleet farm or Ace, not sure...  looks like this:

https://www.amazon.com/Union-Tool-64197-Shrub-Rake/dp/B00004RBCA

 

13 minutes ago, Isaac said:

Stihl is a good established brand, I'm sure you'll be fine. I recently had a repair done on my Husqvarna mower, and spoke with the small engine repair shop guy who also runs a landscaping company. He said stay away from the cheaper store brands, because you can't get parts to repair them. Stihl, Husqvarna are good. 

He also recommended Redmax.  

Yeah, Stihl and Husqvarna is good.

I have an Echo trimmer I bought at Home Depot that is pretty decent.   But I'd avoid the Ryobi, MTD, Yard Machines, that kind of stuff.

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This is just a shout out to Honda Power Equipment.  My rule of thumb: if Honda sells it, I'm going with them.  I have a Honda mower and trimmer and a Stihl edger and blower.  I would gladly place my Stihl equipment on the curb with a "free" sign if Honda produced the equivalents.  After 10+ years of use, the Honda equipment starts, first time, every time.  This is with zero maintenance, other than changing the oil annually.  The Stihl equipment is finicky and doesn't start as easily.  I have never had my Honda equipment serviced; I just got my Stihl edger back from the shop.  

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7 minutes ago, SeventyFix said:

This is just a shout out to Honda Power Equipment.  My rule of thumb: if Honda sells it, I'm going with them.  I have a Honda mower and trimmer and a Stihl edger and blower.  I would gladly place my Stihl equipment on the curb with a "free" sign if Honda produced the equivalents.  After 10+ years of use, the Honda equipment starts, first time, every time.  This is with zero maintenance, other than changing the oil annually.  The Stihl equipment is finicky and doesn't start as easily.  I have never had my Honda equipment serviced; I just got my Stihl edger back from the shop.  

My Husqvarna mower has a Honda Mower. Works great.

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2 minutes ago, mat60 said:

I like Honda also but they are overpriced on allot of there products  in my opinion. 

First of all, thank you for your response and I respect your opinion, as it is valuable.  Overpriced, in my view, is a matter of opinion.  When I'm mowing my lawn, in July, in Texas, where it's 104 degrees Fahrenheit, and it's a joy to work with, my friend, it's worth every penny.  All of my neighbors are spending $25-$50 per cut while my kids are watching their dad putting in the sweat equity to produce the best landscaping in the neighborhood. I'm willing to pay a premium for equipment that just works.  That being said, I respect your opinion as well.

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8 minutes ago, SeventyFix said:

This is just a shout out to Honda Power Equipment.  My rule of thumb: if Honda sells it, I'm going with them.  I have a Honda mower and trimmer and a Stihl edger and blower.  I would gladly place my Stihl equipment on the curb with a "free" sign if Honda produced the equivalents.  After 10+ years of use, the Honda equipment starts, first time, every time.  This is with zero maintenance, other than changing the oil annually.  The Stihl equipment is finicky and doesn't start as easily.  I have never had my Honda equipment serviced; I just got my Stihl edger back from the shop.  

Well honda doesn't make a leaf blower any more.

5 minutes ago, mat60 said:

I like Honda also but they are overpriced on allot of there products  in my opinion. 

I do love my HRX 217 and you can tell me that i over paid for it at $700 but my dad has one that's 25 years old and its outlasted all the neighbor's John Deer mowers that cost more.

 

3 minutes ago, Isaac said:

My Husqvarna mower has a Honda Mower. Works great.

Leaf blower sir you are offtopic! :D:P That being said i looked at those but i figured if i was going to get a honda motor i'd just go whole hog and buy it from acme for their service benefits. I also much prefer the Honda user interface if you want to call it that. Also my #2 requirement was the clutch blade drive so i don't have to restart the mower every 5 seconds when i go to pick rocks from the @($&@ rock beds out of the yard. I HATE ROCKS! but not geologists.

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And I remember correctly (which I might not after several Lagavulins), I spent over $400 on the Stihl combi-motor blower edger combo.  It wasn't exactly chump change.

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Yeah, that's a problem with Honda - they do not have a complete product line.  They should.  But they don't.  I assume some soul-less number cruncher accountant over in Japan has decided that it's not worth the market share.  Shame on you, sir!

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Another idea is to watch your local Home Depots (if you are looking for a mower).  I have purchased several severely discounted Honda tools from them.  When I asked, I was informed that some contractors "buy" equipment for a few days when theirs is getting repaired, only to return it once done.  I have purchased several sweetheart deals from Home Depot for used Honda outdoor equipment.  A word to the wise, don't pay the ticket price either.  Without asking, they'll gladly drop that price by $50.  They'll drop it by more if you argue.  

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1 minute ago, SeventyFix said:

Yeah, that's a problem with Honda - they do not have a complete product line.  They should.  But they don't.  I assume some soul-less number cruncher accountant over in Japan has decided that it's not worth the market share.  Shame on you, sir!

They used to have a leaf blower i found one when i searched but no longer. They also didn't used to have a string trimmer but do currently. Their offerings are interesting. I don't know that i really care all of my yard equipment takes the same battery fossil fuel DRILL BABY DRILL!

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1 minute ago, Chestnut said:

They used to have a leaf blower i found one when i searched but no longer. They also didn't used to have a string trimmer but do currently. Their offerings are interesting. I don't know that i really care all of my yard equipment takes the same battery fossil fuel DRILL BABY DRILL!

I have a Honda trimmer, about 12 years old.  It's a complete freakin' beast.  It's 4 stage (separate oil and gas).  You are going to trim your lawn and work out your deltoids in the same operation.  Some men see this as a negative.  I do not.  It powers through everything that I put in front of it.  It also has a separate brush attachment and a harness (for weaker individuals).  When I bought the tool, the salesman asked me if I had a really large yard.  I replied "no, I just like larger equipment".  This is a real issue with tools and woodworking.  I have never regretted buying large, powerful tools.  I can think of many instances where I bought smaller, underpowered tools, thinking to myself "well, this will do the job", only to replace them down the road with larger versions.  But that's my experience.  Your mileage may vary (YMMV).

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Just now, K Cooper said:

Juan does an excellent job of mowing, edging and leaf blowing

Send Juan to my house and I'll send him back with the bill.... :D:P

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I've had the Stihl blower for years and it's awesome!  Hard to go wrong with that brand!

As for the shredder/vac portion, no clue..  

 

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I love my Black & Decker 36volt (now 40 volt but same battery) cordless blower. With 3 batteries & 3 tools there is always a spare charged battery. Good luck finding what you want !

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I did small engine repairs for 7 years at a hardware store, and for the first 5 years had the opportunity to work on many brands of equipment (after which, the store stopped servicing any brands we didn't sell). I did maintenance training with Stihl and was able to tour their Virginia Beach facility.  Stihl is all I will buy for small engine equipment, unless it's basically one-time-use item in which case I'll go for the HF special.

The vac portion would probably be pretty handy around the rocks, but I don't have much hands-on experience with the shredder vacs in particular.

Some of the higher end Echo stuff is decent, but their entry line is garbage. Husqvarna make some good equipment. All brands have their superstars and their lemons, though. If you don't use the equipment often, buy some of the pre-mix fuel. It's far more expensive than mixing your own, but it will save you from gummed up carburetors. Either use it all the time, or at least run it for your last tank before storing it away for the season. If you mix your own, I'd suggest adding fuel stabilizer even if you plan on using all the mix in a week.

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I have never used fuel sablizer and have never seen the point. My 2 stroke crapsman trimmer starts on the 2nd pull even after a long winter, it was free and works. Last time i mixed up 2 stroke fuel was when i bought my house in Bismarck oh 2014 ish. Honda lawn mower started on the first pull using gas from a year previous this spring. I either have the midas touch with small engines or i'm doing something terribly wrong.

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I don't use the stabilizer either.  I try to run them dry at the end of summer and start with fresh fuel in the spring..  I've never had an issue.

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11 minutes ago, ..Kev said:

I don't use the stabilizer either.  I try to run them dry at the end of summer and start with fresh fuel in the spring..  I've never had an issue.

That coupled with making sure to get them hot. I try and hold my 2 strokes wide open for a few good minutes to make sure they get fully heated up.

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I have owned two Stihls the first smaller one had the vacuum but when I sold it the bag had never been used so that's my thoughts on the vac. I now have a stihl backpack blower that has been used about every 5 days (during the non winter months) for 11 years and still going strong. Like Kev i just run them dry for the winter. If I had a residential yard the vac might have been more useful but in the country we just blow it into the woods.

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I'm one of Stihl's best customers, but when it comes to blowing leaves, we use a 13hp Billy Goat.   If you want to get rid of the rocks, it'll blow them into your neighbor's yard.   I've had ours since the mid '90's.  I bought it from a rental place that had only rented it twice.  It had a B&S 11 hp on it then, but that has long since been worn out, or at least to the point that I got tired of fooling with it, and replaced it with a 13hp Honda.   The first lady that rented it couldn't start it, and the second one blew some Boxwoods out of the ground with it that she had just planted.

The 13 hp one starts at 3:57 in this video.    We have a gulley in the woods beside our house that leaves get blown into.  It might take me 15 minutes to do the whole yard.  They make them self-propelled now, but it's not hard at all to push around.

 

 

 

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