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Gas Powered Backpack Blowers

Discussion in 'Tools and Fixtures Ratings Threads' started by D-FENZ, Mar 22, 2017.



  1. D-FENZ

    D-FENZ Gold Member Gold Chaser Site Supporter ++

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    I was reminded once again yesterday of the utility of backpack blowers. There is nothing that works better for getting the gravel back onto the driveway after a winter of blading the snow/gravel mix onto the side. And quickly. Forget the rake- even power rakes for the job. Backpack blowers are the bomb. And all of it goes back. It defies logic.

    I paved about 600 feet of my driveway 10 years ago, in part to eliminate the annual spring chore of raking gravel. Definitely would have thought twice about it if I had a gas powered backpack blower for the job (but knowing about the $1500 annual property tax increase for the improvement would have put the kibosh on that deal anyway). Even so, there is about 400 feet of driveway to a machine shed that remains graveled with 1" road limestone. The backpack blower turns 3 hours of gravel raking drudgery into about 20 minutes of ease.

    Mine is a Husqvarna 350 something or other but I am sure any of the other quality machines out there would work too. I first bought it to blow mown grass off of the driveway and sidewalks but found it to be useful for many unlikely tasks. It works great for 'disappearing' cut grass from windrows and thatch in the yard after mowing, eliminating the need for collection. Spotlessly sweep the garage in a minute. Pinecones? Gone. Of course it efficiently blows leaves but unless you only have a light dusting, forget about using one for snow removal.

    It's one of those things that will make you wonder what you did without.
     
  2. ToBeSelfEvident

    ToBeSelfEvident Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    I have a top-quality Stihl 2-stroke handheld blower and it saves me tons of time and effort. The only thing I don't like is having to hold it on either my left or right side, as it screws up the body mechanics. I also have to keep my shorts from clogging the intake when holding it on the right side. A backpack blower would solve this problem but probably isn't worth the added expense.

    Other than that, it has been a godsend, especially in dealing with oak leaves. We have live oaks which keep their leaves all winter. In the spring, the old leaves drop off as new growth replaces the old. We used to get up on the roof with rakes, push brooms and leaf bags, damaging the shingles, stomping all over the roof for 5 or 6 hours and filling 20 or 30 big bags. Now I go up there with the blower and just blow all the leaves onto the ground and deal with them there. It takes about 15 minutes.

    I can also use the blower as a rake, but I try to avoid this, as it blows away too much topsoil. The neighbor's yard man rakes with a blower and all her topsoil is gone. My yard is about 1 foot higher than hers just due to this erosion. I gave up raking by hand years ago because the small heavy oak leaves are a bitch to rake out of a healthy lawn. Now in March and April when the oak leaves are coming down, I just use a mower with a rear bagger and it picks up most of the leaves.

    I feed the Stihl with special pre-mixed gas and oil that runs about $9 a quart! But it runs flawlessly on this stuff and none of my 3 Stihl yard tools have ever needed service or given me any trouble at all. So I splurge on a $35 gallon of the good stuff every year and have had no problems. I could make my own for less than $5 a gallon but the octane would be lower since I can only get 89 octane locally in ethanol-free gas, while the premixed stuff is 93 octane. I also talked to a guy running his own lawn service. He started with the expensive premixed stuff then decided to mix his own and had issues with his machines being hard to start and not running as powerfully. He went back to the premix and those issues went away.
     
  3. nickndfl

    nickndfl Midas Member Midas Member Site Supporter ++

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    I have a 40W electric Ryobi that kicks ass.. I use it instead of hosing or sweeping out the garage. One charge lasts for more than enough time and it blows everything out.
     
  4. glockngold

    glockngold Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    D-FENZ,
    I want to thank you for this post.
    I was getting depressed looking at (once again) all my stone spread 5' out on either side of my lane. (I need to plow my snow slower)
    I usually pick at it a little at a time, then just give up & sharpen my mower blades more often.
    I have a hand held echo, that while not in your league, is a whole lot better than raking into a corn shovel.
    Never thought of trying it before.
     
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  5. Irons

    Irons Deep Sixed Site Supporter Mother Lode

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    I have had this Stihl BR 420 Magnum blower for probably 16 years now and I bought it used.
    It's powerful, reliable and it freaking screams. I love it. I use it a lot too.
    I will be using it for the next couple days blowing sticks and acorns back into the woods now that the snow is gone and the ground has dried.
    Also I use it the day before deer season to blow the leaves and twigs off the trails leading to our hunting blinds.
    The funny thing is the deer don't like crunching noisy dry leaves either so they use my cleared trails to get around! . . . :2 thumbs up:


    stihlblower.jpg
     
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  6. D-FENZ

    D-FENZ Gold Member Gold Chaser Site Supporter ++

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    You are very welcome.
    I had my blower for a couple of years before I stumbled onto the trick myself. But it seriously works for that. And yes, I vividly recall the scoop shovel and rake trick. Even tried 'lightly' blading it with the 3-point blade on my tractor (of course you know better than that). Don't know if a handheld blower would be useful but you might want to give it a try.
    I checked and was mistaken on the model number for my Husky. It's a 150BT that I got 'reconditioned' on eBay. Good place to buy them too. Somebody has several available on there now- on your stoop and no tax for $269. It's money you've got to spend.
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Husqvarna-1...918473?hash=item35d15ed009:g:cUoAAOSwmLlX4AsJ
     
  7. Irons

    Irons Deep Sixed Site Supporter Mother Lode

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    Quick note for leaf blower users: KEEP YOUR FECKING SPARK ARRESTORS CLEAN!!
    Carb cleaner and a wire brush works great.
     
  8. D-FENZ

    D-FENZ Gold Member Gold Chaser Site Supporter ++

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    ...or just pop them out with a screwdriver.

    Another product endorsement alert...

    That bottle of Star Tron on your tailgate is the good stuff. Awesome for ethanol / moisture fuel problems. I swear the stuff rebuilds carburetors.
     
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