Leaf Blowers

Tilpots

macrumors 601
Original poster
Apr 19, 2006
4,192
71
Carolina Beach, NC
Yes, yes, folks, this thread is finally happening here at MacRumors. I know you've all been chomping at the bit waiting for it, especially considering fall's just past and there are no more leaves to blow around...:confused:

Anyway, I got a couple of Gift cards for Christmas to Lowe's and Home Depot and need some recommendations. This thread was extremely useful in my decision to purchase a vacuum so I figured I'd give it a shot here. I recently moved in to a new house and while I have some leaves to blow, my primary purpose would be to move sand and hopefully mulch. The yard is not big so I could go gas or electric. I also would probably go handheld over backpack. Looking to spend around $200 range. So far I'm leaning towards these models based on reviews:

Husqvarna 125BVX - Gas - $199

Toro Ultra - electric - $70

Any experience or advice you can offer? Thanks! :)
 

Mr. McMac

Suspended
Dec 21, 2009
2,968
357
Far away from liberals
I have an Echo backpack blower and a Toro electric hand held. The Toro is great for small cleanups, but when it comes down to serious fall cleanups, nothing beats a backpack blower
 

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prostuff1

macrumors 65816
Jul 29, 2005
1,484
18
Don't step into the kawoosh...
get a gas one or one that runs off a battery. The plug-in electric ones are a complete pain in the arse for anything but the smallest of yards.

I love my stihl backpack blower, but since you are talking about Lowe's or Home Depot I would suggest a gas powered Echo backpack model.

I had a handheld gas leaf blower and it worked fine, but a backpack is SO much nicer when trying to get leaves around and cleaned up in the fall
 

Mousse

macrumors 68020
Apr 7, 2008
2,154
3,459
Flea Bottom, King's Landing
if you go with electric make sure it has a battery. If you have to keep it plugged in it's a pita. I tried leaf blowers and eventually found just plain old raking to be more convenient
That's because you're not blowing your leaves on to the streets like an obnoxious neighbor.:rolleyes: [rant]Shell shocked outta a nice dream by the roar of a leaf blower at 6 am ain't my idea of a good time. It's worst when you look out the window and the culprit is you neighbor blowing leaves on to the street.:mad:[/rant]

I rake the my leaves as well...12 bags and counting... I've got a Homelite (the cheapest of the cheap) blower. I only use it to clean up the driveway after raking. It's faster than sweeping, easier on the back as well.:)
 

jk111

macrumors regular
Oct 12, 2007
107
1
Definitely recommend Echo as well, I've had several of their products from blowers to weed wackers and never have had a problem with them. Go with gas, you won't regret it. Much more convenient than having to be trailed by an extension cord.
 

Tilpots

macrumors 601
Original poster
Apr 19, 2006
4,192
71
Carolina Beach, NC
Great stuff so far, thanks for the input, folks.


With the gas mowers, are you all using ethanol-free gas? I've been reading many stories of bad gas ruining these machines. I like the power here, just trying to factor in maintenance and upkeep costs. My mowers, while good, need constant service. But at the same time, I'd never plug in to cut the grass.

With the electric, the cord seems to be the biggest complaint. I don't think I'd go with a battery, due to the time constraints and diminishing power over time. I'm imagining blowing being similar to vacuuming and the cord limitations. For a third of the price, is it that much of an issue?
 

bobr1952

macrumors 68020
Jan 21, 2008
2,040
39
Melbourne, FL
Great stuff so far, thanks for the input, folks.


With the gas mowers, are you all using ethanol-free gas? I've been reading many stories of bad gas ruining these machines. I like the power here, just trying to factor in maintenance and upkeep costs. My mowers, while good, need constant service. But at the same time, I'd never plug in to cut the grass.

With the electric, the cord seems to be the biggest complaint. I don't think I'd go with a battery, due to the time constraints and diminishing power over time. I'm imagining blowing being similar to vacuuming and the cord limitations. For a third of the price, is it that much of an issue?
I live in Florida so yard work is a 12 month chore--not sure how much ethanol is in most of the gas I get but it seems the mower frame wears out long before the engine.
 

adk

macrumors 68000
Nov 11, 2005
1,937
21
Stuck in the middle with you
Great stuff so far, thanks for the input, folks.


With the gas mowers, are you all using ethanol-free gas? I've been reading many stories of bad gas ruining these machines. I like the power here, just trying to factor in maintenance and upkeep costs. My mowers, while good, need constant service. But at the same time, I'd never plug in to cut the grass.

With the electric, the cord seems to be the biggest complaint. I don't think I'd go with a battery, due to the time constraints and diminishing power over time. I'm imagining blowing being similar to vacuuming and the cord limitations. For a third of the price, is it that much of an issue?
I would use pure gasoline instead of gasohol. Looking at the website http://www.pure-gas.org there are a couple of options in your town.
 

ejb190

macrumors 65816
My family owns an independent small power equipment shop. We service about everything, but sell only Stihl (Stihl requires dealers to also service the equipment, which is why you won't find them in a box store).

In our experience, with outdoor power equipment, you get what you pay for. There is a lot of equipment out there which is not designed to be serviced and will cost more to be worked on then to be replaced.

Don't expect any followup help from a box store. Lowes, et al will send you to a authorized servicing dealer. Why not get advice from the start from the guys who will end up working on it anyway? Besides, buying local is better for the economy!

For two-stroke equipment - READ THESE!
http://www.nbcnews.com/id/25936782/#.UsRBBCiaGSI
http://www.echo-usa.com/warranty/learn-about-ethanol
http://www.stihlusa.com/information/articles/gasoline-guidelines-outdoor-power-equipment/
 

Huntn

macrumors demi-god
May 5, 2008
19,108
20,715
The Misty Mountains
I have a leaf blower and am not convince it would be effective for moving lar quantities of sand or mulch. Mine is plug in electric. It also includes a bag and can suck in leaves. I don't find this efficient either. Best job is for blowing leaves.
 

Tilpots

macrumors 601
Original poster
Apr 19, 2006
4,192
71
Carolina Beach, NC
Thanks so much for the input, folks. Really helped my decision. I ended buying the Toro Ultra. I lucked in to getting it 50% off at Home Depot. For $35, it was an easy decision.

I was leaning this way anyway, for several reasons. First, assuming it was regularly priced, it was 3x cheaper. Secondly, it has no maintenance. As our maintenance shop owning friend could testify, one service call on a gas blower would be roughly the same price as buying a brand new electric one. No reoccurring gas and oil charges, either. No fuel lines disintegrating. Plus, very few other operating costs. And finally, it fit my needs. A gas blower for my yard would have been serious overkill. Unquestionably, the gas blower is more powerful and more convenient to use. If I had a bigger yard, or more debris to clear, I would've gone gas. But for my area, the electric's tethered range an power were plenty.

I tried the Toro out today and I was blown away. ;). We took down our Christmas tree today and it was so dry. Needles littered our porch and driveway. The Toro handled all of them well. It even moved the mulch that creeps on the driveway easily. Sand was blasted, too. I was quite happy with the power. The cord was a bit of a pain at times, but that was the trade off. Do want to mention also that good extension cords aren't cheap. If you go electric, get a a long one with the appropriate gauge wire.

Thanks again for all the help and advice, folks. I really appreciate it. It really made a difference for me.
 

Gregg2

macrumors 603
May 22, 2008
6,050
498
Milwaukee, WI
I hope the properties in your area are large. We live in a dense neighborhood, and there is one neighbor who is absolutely obsessed with keeping every single leaf off the yard. Both husband and wife have backpack blowers, and they are out every night with them. They wear ear protection, and seem oblivious to the peace they are disturbing.
 

adrengill

macrumors newbie
Feb 19, 2015
4
0
My family owns an independent small power equipment shop. We service about everything, but sell only Stihl (Stihl requires dealers to also service the equipment, which is why you won't find them in a box store).

In our experience, with outdoor power equipment, you get what you pay for. There is a lot of equipment out there which is not designed to be serviced and will cost more to be worked on then to be replaced.

Don't expect any followup help from a box store. Lowes, et al will send you to a authorized servicing dealer. Why not get advice from the start from the guys who will end up working on it anyway? Besides, buying local is better for the economy!

For two-stroke equipment - READ THESE!
http://www.nbcnews.com/id/25936782/#.UsRBBCiaGSI
http://www.leafblowercenter.com/
http://www.echo-usa.com/warranty/learn-about-ethanol
http://www.stihlusa.com/information/articles/gasoline-guidelines-outdoor-power-equipment/
I agree with the fact that Stihl is number one service providers in gardening tools. I now have experience in chainsaw, leaf blower, snow blower products of Stihl and i am more than satisfied with the products.
 

Mr. McMac

Suspended
Dec 21, 2009
2,968
357
Far away from liberals
Consumer Reports always gives the Toro electric top ratings. That's probably your best choice until Apple releases their iBlower.

i hope you're not serious about Apple making leaf blower. If you are, I think I'm going to puke... Apple, stick to making computers.
It's what you do best....
 
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