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Old 06-14-2010, 05:47 AM   #1
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Gas Powered Blower/Vac


I'm in the market for a hand held blower/vac/mulcher for use in clearing clippings off my sidewalks and leafs off my lawn. A vacuum with mulcher would be a plus. This is strictly residential use.

I'd really prefer gas for portability sake. Was reading extremely positive reviews of the electric Toro Ultra vac and was impressed by the high quality metal impellor blades. So I went to HD and picked one up for only $69. Brought it home and tried it out. I thought it worked really well and seemed quite powerful. However I did get really annoyed trying to blow my front sidewalk off because I only have an outdoor outlet on the rear deck of my house and I had to lugg extension cords around the house while trying to keep them from ruining my landscaping. So in short I like the performance but hated dragging around a cord. In doing some research for a gas powered blower/vac I've seen models from Craftsman, Ryobi, Poulon, and Weedeater brand. I know those aren't at the commercial level that Stihl, Echo, Shindy are but I'm hoping I can find something under $150 that I can use for light duty around the house. I know echo makes a shred vac but it costs about $225 and Stihl also makes something similar which my dealer quotes $230 on. so those are really out of my budget.

Was in sears the other day looking at their selection and noticed their $99 gas model is the mirror image of the Poulon model being sold at Lowes, Sams Club, Wal Mart, etc. I've never owned a Poulan product but I've heard nothing but bad things about them. I have a Ryobi Miter saw that does an admirable job and a Ryobi lithium drill driver that works well. So I'm wondering if the $99 Ryobi from HD might be a better option than the Craftsman/Poulan model.

Anyone have a gas blower that also vacs and mulches?
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Old 06-14-2010, 08:51 AM   #2
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Gas Powered Blower/Vac


If you are lucky---You get what you pay for.
I have worked on small engines for about 50 years and I can suggest one thing to look for when purchasing a gas trimmer, blower, etc.
One reason many brands are cheaper is that they are made cheaper.
Look for a trimmer or blower that has the pull cord on the outside of the housing. In other words---the pull rope will not be between the powerhead and shaft.
Small engines that fit this catagory have crankshaft supported on both ends by bearings. Cheaper ones have crank supported on one end. These cheaper machines will last a long time if you can tolerate the extra vibration and keep all the attachment screws tight.
I have four higher end machines that are about 10 years old with "O" oil leakage and no repairs.
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Old 06-14-2010, 08:53 AM   #3
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Gas Powered Blower/Vac


I personally wouldn't buy Ryobi if you're serious.

I purchased a Ryobi drill and it was warped.
Ryobi Sawzall lasted 3 months then died
Chainsaw, the oil mechanism never worked

You get what you pay for, I get Ryobi for things I hardly use (like biscuit joiner, or orbital sander) but I would never get it for something that might suck up twigs, sand, mulch, and potentially small rocks and depend on its quality to handle them and last... just not what Ryobi is for. Because you will be sucking those types of things up in this device... this isn't a good item to skimp on. I'd skip the offerings you mentioned and save until you can afford something with a little more quality, I think it will cost you less in the long run and you will have more enjoyment.

Last edited by Piedmont; 06-14-2010 at 09:06 AM.
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Old 06-14-2010, 10:48 AM   #4
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Gas Powered Blower/Vac


Yeah thats what worries me. Called around this morning and got more quotes. Stihl 52 $230, Echo 210 $230, Redmax online for $209 plus shipping.

One unit I hadn't read about until this morning was the Husqvarna 125BVX thats $189 at Lowes so with the 10% I could get it for $169. Sort of an intermediate price. Reviews look far better than those of the Craftsman units. Might not be quite on par with Stihl or Echo but better than the Ryobi and Poulan units wouldn't you think. Anyone familiar with this unit?

http://www.husqvarna.com/us/homeowne...lowers/125bvx/
http://www.amazon.com/Husqvarna-125B...6530379&sr=1-6
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Old 06-14-2010, 04:30 PM   #5
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Gas Powered Blower/Vac


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Originally Posted by speedster1 View Post
Yeah thats what worries me. Called around this morning and got more quotes. Stihl 52 $230, Echo 210 $230, Redmax online for $209 plus shipping.

One unit I hadn't read about until this morning was the Husqvarna 125BVX thats $189 at Lowes so with the 10% I could get it for $169. Sort of an intermediate price. Reviews look far better than those of the Craftsman units. Might not be quite on par with Stihl or Echo but better than the Ryobi and Poulan units wouldn't you think. Anyone familiar with this unit?

http://www.husqvarna.com/us/homeowne...lowers/125bvx/
http://www.amazon.com/Husqvarna-125B...6530379&sr=1-6
I used to have a Craftsman vac-blower, but it quit on me in the middle of blowing leaves.

I considered a Husqvarna at the time, as I had a great experience with my trimmer of the same brand, but Husqvarna did not sell vacs....only blowers. Apparently they do now.

I ended up buying the Stihl vac-blower and it's worked great for me so far. It's got a lot of power, especially if you put premium gas in it, but it's a thirsty machine.

If you're on a tight budget, go with the Husqvarna. Otherwise, go with the Stihl.

Last edited by handy man88; 06-14-2010 at 04:33 PM.
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Old 06-19-2010, 08:46 AM   #6
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Gas Powered Blower/Vac


I ended up purchasin the Husqvarna 125BVX from Lowes for $169. After doing a lot of investigation it appears to be identical to the Redmax HB280-VK which I could find online as low as $209. So I blevie it should be pretty good quality. We'll see.
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Old 06-19-2010, 10:45 AM   #7
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I ended up purchasin the Husqvarna 125BVX from Lowes for $169. After doing a lot of investigation it appears to be identical to the Redmax HB280-VK which I could find online as low as $209. So I blevie it should be pretty good quality. We'll see.
Husqvarna is probably top notch quality for big box. Anything better would be from a dealer.
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Old 06-29-2010, 01:10 PM   #8
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Gas Powered Blower/Vac


When I ordered the Husky from Lowes they stated it would arrive by July 2nd. So for $169 I figured no big deal I can wait. Got a call from Lowes today and I assumed they were going to tell me it came in early. No, They told me it has been back ordered and the new ship date it August 6th
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Old 06-29-2010, 04:11 PM   #9
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Gas Powered Blower/Vac


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When I ordered the Husky from Lowes they stated it would arrive by July 2nd. So for $169 I figured no big deal I can wait. Got a call from Lowes today and I assumed they were going to tell me it came in early. No, They told me it has been back ordered and the new ship date it August 6th
At least you know it's in demand vice sitting on the shelf collecting dust due to lack of interest.
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Old 06-30-2010, 07:35 AM   #10
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Gas Powered Blower/Vac


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At least you know it's in demand vice sitting on the shelf collecting dust due to lack of interest.
Yeah Just kinda sucks I need to wait longer to get it. I guess since I don't need it right now at this minute I can wait but I'm afraid when August comes around they'll saw it's back ordered until September. lol Hate to order it anywhere else considering this is easily the cheapest I could find it.
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Old 07-09-2010, 09:57 AM   #11
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Gas Powered Blower/Vac


After telling me the Blower Vac would not be in until august I stop by lowes to pick a few things up and I checked on the order. Turns out it came in on the 7th.

So I brought it home and tried it out. Seems to work really well. Truth be told though it doesn't blow quite as fast as the electric toro ultra vac that I returned. But I kind of expected that just from looking at the specs. It does move a lot of air though.
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Old 07-09-2010, 04:04 PM   #12
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Gas Powered Blower/Vac


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After telling me the Blower Vac would not be in until august I stop by lowes to pick a few things up and I checked on the order. Turns out it came in on the 7th.

So I brought it home and tried it out. Seems to work really well. Truth be told though it doesn't blow quite as fast as the electric toro ultra vac that I returned. But I kind of expected that just from looking at the specs. It does move a lot of air though.
You'd be surprised how harder the machine works with 93 octane vice 89. It does for my Stihl. Try it when you need to fill up again.
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Old 07-10-2010, 06:31 AM   #13
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Gas Powered Blower/Vac


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You'd be surprised how harder the machine works with 93 octane vice 89. It does for my Stihl. Try it when you need to fill up again.
Excellent idea. I was using the 89 octane 50:1 mniz I use in my echo trimmer. Next gallon I'll try 93!
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