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tomcat172002
04-21-2009, 10:03 PM
A co-worker of mine decided to try the lawn care business on the side. I told him about what I was doing and gave him some advise about starting up. He was looking for some side equipment a trimmer and edger so I sold him my Echo for just about what I paid for it last year... Not too bad. Then I was going to up grade to either better Echo equipment or go with Stihl. I decided to go with the Stihl. I found it was alot more expensive then I though. When I started it up the new 4 mix is different then the Echo 2 cycle. Anybody out there use both can tell me which is they think is better? Right now I am still undecided but I hope I don't get buyers remorse with my Stihl.

musician/lawnman
04-21-2009, 11:12 PM
I run all Echo, My father-in-law runs stihls & loves them, I find them heavy for one, awkward as far as the way they are balanced (when your holding them). Plenty of power I suppose but I was not impressed enough to buy one! I prefer the echo gear. Just my opinion though, I'm sure others may disagree.

realhuntin
04-21-2009, 11:12 PM
Last summer I picked up a echo now replaced by the PB-620ST (I use all stihl power tools) just to try, it cost $399 We used it 2 times and the 550 BLOW IT AWAY! I gave it BLEAVE IT OR NOT I gave it away to a trade buddy because he like echo and after he used it he said the same thing "this thing is a piece of JUNK" Echo chokes down the output tube to make up the difference in the amount of air flow output it has and they do this to ALL their BLOWERS.

Now here's WHY: When the airflow output tube is choked down it causes arm and elbow fatigue or other wise known as tennis elbow from the amount of back pressure it produces at the handle and it has no more air speed (185)using a small tube than the 550.


Stihl Specs:
BR 550 Backpack Blower Specifications
DISPLACEMENT 64.8 cc (3.95 cu. in.)
ENGINE POWER 3.0 kW (4.0 bhp)
WEIGHT 9.9 kg (21.8 Ibs)
FUEL CAPACITY 1400 cc (47.3 oz)
AIR VOLUME
With tube
Without tube
900 m³/h (530 cfm)
1490 m³/h (877 cfm)
AIR VELOCITY 89 m/sec. (199 mph)
SOUND PRESSURE RATING
73 dB(A)
Measured per
ANSI B175.2


ECHO SPECS:
Type Backpack
Engine Displacement (cc)58.2
Carburetor (w/Purge Pump)Butterfly-Valve Diaphragm Starting System Standard Fuel Capacity (fl. oz.)64See-Through Fuel Tank Standard Helper Handle Standard
Average Air Volume (cfm-pipe) 530
Average Air Volume (cfm-housing) 900
Maximum Air Speed (mph-pipe)185dB(A)*72 Dry Weight (lb)
**20.9 Consumer Warranty 5 years
Commercial Warranty 2 years
Rental Warranty 90 days
* Per ANSI B175.2-2002 ** With standard pipes


Now I let the specs and reputation of stihl Speak for itself.

Good Luck!

musician/lawnman
04-21-2009, 11:28 PM
Ok, I guess we didn't specify......

Trimmers I run all Echo......(that's what I was reffering to above)
Blowers ... I have 3:
an Echo PB-251 Handheld Blower ** Piece of Crap, I hate it.
Stihl BG55 - Love it, Best one I've owned, Reliable & It intakes air for the right side Which is awesome as I am right handed, it doesn't suck on my pant legs.
Shindiawa EB2510 four stroke- Good power, possibly a bit more thatn the stihl but weighs a little more too. hense I use mostly the stihl blower.

Little's
04-21-2009, 11:30 PM
Echo weed eaters and blowers. Stihl chainsaws. Never used the 4 stroke products of either.

lawn-guy
04-21-2009, 11:33 PM
stihl



i love my stihl productsi have both and to be honest my echos sit in the garage as back ups i use a stihl 55 trimmer and it is designed for rsidential and light profeshional use and it has way more power than the echo same with the blowers i HAD a br550 and loved it it was powerful smooth and always fired right up since i had it stolen from me i just replaces it with a small echo back pack that i found on sale for cheap and it is extremely weak so my vote is for stihl yes it is a little more pricey but you get what you pay for in the long run. stihl is top of line the best of best with echo behindslightly there are others also like shindawa husquvarnia to look into also

SuperiorPower
04-22-2009, 02:06 PM
Stihl Specs:
BR 550 Backpack Blower Specifications
DISPLACEMENT 64.8 cc (3.95 cu. in.)
ENGINE POWER 3.0 kW (4.0 bhp)
WEIGHT 9.9 kg (21.8 Ibs)
FUEL CAPACITY 1400 cc (47.3 oz)
AIR VOLUME
With tube
Without tube
900 m³/h (530 cfm)
1490 m³/h (877 cfm)
AIR VELOCITY 89 m/sec. (199 mph)
SOUND PRESSURE RATING
73 dB(A)
Measured per
ANSI B175.2


ECHO SPECS:
Type Backpack
Engine Displacement (cc)58.2
Carburetor (w/Purge Pump)Butterfly-Valve Diaphragm Starting System Standard Fuel Capacity (fl. oz.)64See-Through Fuel Tank Standard Helper Handle Standard
Average Air Volume (cfm-pipe) 530
Average Air Volume (cfm-housing) 900
Maximum Air Speed (mph-pipe)185dB(A)*72 Dry Weight (lb)
**20.9 Consumer Warranty 5 years
Commercial Warranty 2 years
Rental Warranty 90 days
* Per ANSI B175.2-2002 ** With standard pipes


Now I let the specs and reputation of stihl Speak for itself.

Good Luck!

True, but compare your stihl to this: http://www.shindaiwa.com/usa/en/products_2/blowers/eb802.php

And no, I am not a Shindaiwa Dealer at this time. But I am a big believer in Shindaiwa equipment. There is a reason why Shindaiwa is (and has been for years) the preferred choice with landscapers like you guys (especially their trimmers). I know that not every Shindaiwa model is a better model than their competitors but I believe if you look at the models available you will decide they are as a whole better.

From a mechanic's point of view, Stihl (sorry guys) is living off name a lot any more. They still have good products but not all are. Among those I don't particularly care for are their trimmers. Some of their equipment is designed poorly. Some of it is designed purely like a piece of junk. Shindaiwa and I think most of Echo are Professional quality. Period. Stihl and some other brands have their consumer/"light commercial" crap.... what does that mean??? to me that means it is consumer grade and that it will not last long if you use it as a commercial product.

I would not own a Husqvarana or Jonsered trimmer or blower but would not back away from their saws. I would prefer any Shindaiwa over the Husky or Jonsered though.

Redmax is fast becoming a contender in the commercial market as well. Their products are good quality and can definitely be depended on. I am not sure about Redmax's warranty but I do know that no one can beat Echo's warranty right now.

Back to the topic of blowers, remember if you are going to compare blowers (or other products for that matter) make sure that you compare them to products of their own size/type (i.e. don't compare a 4 stroke blower to a similar size 2 stroke, there is a difference). I have a customer who owns several stihl blowers including a BR500C (or BR550C) which is a compensated unit. This means that they designed the blower tube to be "sound compensated" or quieter. Due to the design associated with making it quieter they also reduced it effectiveness and increased it weight slightly. The employees said they would rather use the older and smaller units than this one because of it performance. So this is one more reason to make sure you compare to a truly "comparable" unit.

SuperiorPower
04-22-2009, 02:17 PM
i had it stolen from me i just replaces it with a small echo back pack that i found on sale for cheap and it is extremely weak

Remember to be fair, compare only to a similar size product. You can not fault the Echo for not being as powerful when it is indeed smaller. Now it is possible that you ended up with a unit that is truly a weak model but like I said, you can't compare it to a larger unit.

That would be like comparing my little 1991 Nissan pickup to a full size 3/4 ton Dodge with a Cummins diesel in it.....


stihl is top of line the best of best with echo behind slightly there are others also like shindaiwa husquvarnia to look into also

See my post above. I know you may disagree, but there is a reason why the stats are as they are. I believe from my mechanic's perspective that this is due in large part to the mechanical design. I am not saying that Stihl products are all junk, but they are definitely not all top of line the best of best. Some Stihl saws are great, but many of their models are purely consumer grade. Most trimmers are light light commercial at best. Terrible cosmetic design that also doubles as terrible design for cooling which effects its EPA rating (but that is a whole other topic).

But if you like Stihl, use it. I am a big believer in "a man convinced against his will is under the same opinion still".

The best to you,
Eli

tomcat172002
04-22-2009, 08:47 PM
Well, I think I am going to stick with my Stihl this year. The Echo stuff was good no doubt but I want to move up to the next level. The 4 Mix seems to be a really powerfull engine. I'll see how it goes. The Shindaiwa Dealer here told me his backpack blowers are great but really heavy, and can slow you down. Its Stihl for me.

SuperiorPower
04-22-2009, 10:13 PM
The 4 Mix seems to be a really powerfull engine. I'll see how it goes.

You know that is a very interesting subject in and of itself. If you compare the 4 cycle engines with the 2 cycle engines in the cc to hp ratio you will find that invariably (at least in my research) the 4 stroke will have a lower ratio (meaning you get less hp from the same CC displacement) and they also tend to be heavier. I think it has a lot to do with the extra baggage that is required to make a 4 cycle work. 2 Cycles can literally operate on almost no moving parts other than the piston, rod and crankshaft where 4 cycles normally need at least several additional parts like a cam and valves.

The Shindaiwa Dealer here told me his backpack blowers are great but really heavy, and can slow you down.

Yes, especially when you compare the older ones. I compared one model that was about 5 lbs heavier and was less powerful than a certain model Stihl or Echo (not sure which) but then I found that the newest Shindaiwa backpack blower actually weighs only about a pound more than a Stihl of a similar weight and packs a lot more punch: more HP, 200+ more cfm, 25+ more mph, etc....

All that being said, and despite my opinion, apparently not all models of Stihl (or any other major brand) are complete heaps of junk because if all models of a particular brand were junk then you would find that the brand would no longer be a "major brand"......

majoe7
04-22-2009, 11:29 PM
I have both Echo and Stihl power equipment. I my opinion I will tell you what I like about both of them.

I use Echo power equipment for my line trimmer and edger. They are light weight and easy to handle. You can maneuver them in tight spaces and not wreck your upper body by handling then all day, lawn after lawn after lawn. LOL I have been using these two pieces for over 3 year and had little problems with them. They are easy for my mechanic to work on, so it cost me less in repair bills. I also have them maintained several times a year to keep them in tip top shape.

I use a Stihl blower and I have recently purchased the Stihl combo line trimmer, hedger and pole saw. It is the interchangeable one. I was a little hesitant about getting this due to the fact it might wear out quicker if you keep on changing out the pieces. So far so good. It was costly, about $780 after everything, but I strongly believe in you get what you pay for. At that price and to have basically 3 pieces of equipment for a fraction of the price is a great deal. If you bought them separately it would be over a Grand. This is my back up piece not my primary. The only thing I don’t like about the Stihl interchangeable is that it is a little heavy. When trimming bushes, hedges or using the pole saw above the head, it can become tiring on your arms. They give you a strap to go around your neck to lighten the load, but I haven’t used it yet.

Lastly, you should always do your home work when you are going to make some new purchases. We have a great informant here in the forums named Eli (Superior Equipment) and I enjoy reading his comments and his depth of knowledge in this field. Someone we can go to about equipment questions. IMO

SuperiorPower
04-22-2009, 11:46 PM
Lastly, you should always do your home work when you are going to make some new purchases.

Absolutely. Most of the manufacturers are posting technical data of sorts on their websites and this makes for some pretty easy research (beats having to run to all the different shops). Once you have narrowed it down to one or two brands/models I would suggest going to the respective shops and looking at the equipment. Holding the equipment like you would when using it is a great idea since it allows you to get a "feel" for the equipment.


We have a great informant here in the forums named Eli (Superior Equipment) and I enjoy reading his comments and his depth of knowledge in this field. Someone we can go to about equipment questions. IMO

Thanks for the shout out!!

hotwired
04-23-2009, 05:54 AM
What I've noticed is a discrepency of reviews based on age of equipment, especially since the new CARB standards came out a few years ago. For instance, I'd have shouted Shindaiwa from the mountain tops 3 years ago, but then I got one of those C-4 units and did not like it at all. Noticeable lack of power (about the same as T230), heavier, an oversized throttle grip, so even my extra large hands were exhauster after 30 minutes (most of my men could not use it as it exhausted their throttle hand after one lawn) - I liked the T230, but it had nowhere near the durability or power of the older T21, it's predecessor with 2 less ccs. My employee still has my old one and it's still running strong!

So I upgraded to T272x - fantastic power, but frankly, no more than the old T260's - and 2-3 pounds heavier. We're selling one, keeping one - downgrading to a lighter trimmer, most likely going to test the Stihl FS90r

we use echo split shaft as well as the HC1500 HTs and have great luck with them. We do use the BP 755 - but might try the Stihl (largest one they've been raving about in PRO magazine) - we do NOT use Echo string trimmes because they have the guard bolted to the head - we like the ones mounted to the shaft, so we can loosen, slide the guard up and extend the string about 12" on either side so we have the equivalent of a push mower - a good trimmer with fat mid range will handle this beautifully and we've foudn the longer the string the "smoother" you can blend the trimming into the mowing. Not to mention you eliminate the hideous stress-inducing high pitched whine of a trimmer with 3" of line on each side.

I've posted in the forums, cross checked, etc. and the "common denominators" I'm finding are the Stihl FS90r -
The grand-daddy holy grail of all trimmers?? But unfortunately no longer made? Shindaiwa T260 (NOT 261). I have to agree with this one. We had 2 of them for 5 years and they were by far the best, most powerful, reliable trimmers in our twenty-one years in business.

I've also read positive posts about the equivalent redmax, but some were mixed and I suspect that they are also victims of the new CARB standards.

I am curious though if anyone uses the Shindaiwa T261, and if they find it as good as the old 260s ??

tomcat172002
04-24-2009, 09:38 PM
Stihl is a 4 mix engine NOT a 4 cycle engine big difference. Its still 2 cycle, it takes a 50:2 gas and oil mix.

quickcleanlawn
04-24-2009, 10:01 PM
I use echo trimmers, I guess becouse they are so easy to repair and replace
I ran A husky I bought used, and could find A dealer for part anywhere, needless to say I sold that crap and bought two new echo with the cash.that was two years ago and I hadnt had A problem yet.

musician/lawnman
04-24-2009, 10:42 PM
I have 2 echo 210 string trimmers.... Yeah they want for power in real thick stuff, but are light enough to hold all day long & have enough power for most applications, I also have a 260 on the trailer for the really tall stubborn crap.
Muahahaha "Say hello to my little friend".

The echos have been pretty good, Though I'd like to ask a question of you guys.... When we are in the groove, my crew & I are doing properties in 9-12 minutes, shut the gear down, drive 2 minutes, run for 9 more, shut down, etc.... When they get heated up they can be a tempormental P.I.A. to keep running. Do you expericance this with these other brands? Are you running them Like I run mine? Or is this an echo problem!?

My guess is they all do it when abused like this. I know the 210 is really a light-commercial machine but... the 260 does it too sometimes.

SuperiorPower
04-25-2009, 09:46 AM
Stihl is a 4 mix engine NOT a 4 cycle engine big difference. Its still 2 cycle, it takes a 50:2 gas and oil mix.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but the ONLY part of your statement that is correct is that the 4-mix engine uses mixed fuel. The rest of your statement is incorrect, including the mix ratio. Now I am sure the mix ratio part could possibly have been a typo, but the correct mix ratio is 50:1, not 50:2. In your words, "big difference", one (50:2) is essentially 25:1, while the other is 50:1.

Now for the part where you are entirely incorrect:

Stihl is a 4 mix engine NOT a 4 cycle engine big difference. Its still 2 cycle,

Stihl's 4-mix engine IS a 4 cycle (aka 4 Stroke).

Stihl's website says:
The revolutionary STIHL 4-MIX® engine is the first mixture-lubricated 4-stroke engine from STIHL and combines the advantages of 2-stroke and 4-stroke engines in a single unit. Unlike conventional 4-stroke engines, which require separate systems for the fuel supply and engine lubrication, the new STIHL 4-MIX® engine is fuelled with the new 4-MIX® fuel mixture.......

Here is another direct quote from Stihl's website where it discusses their 4-mix engine:
Patented low emissions 4-stroke engine that uses 50:1, 2-stroke fuel-oil mix for engine lubrication, eliminating need for seperate oil reservoir


The engine does use fuel that is normally considered 2 stroke fuel. But 4 stroke deals with the way an engine runs, not the type of lubrication system it uses (gasoline+oil mixture). A 2 cycle (aka 2 stroke) engine fires every time the cylinder comes to top dead center. Thus its name, '2 stroke'. The piston goes dwn from top dead center and back up, that is 2 strokes.

On the other hand, a 4 cycle (aka 4 stroke) fires every other time the cylinder comes to top dead center.

Here is a little education for those folks who are not familiar with the operation of a 4 stroke engine. Once the engine fires (at top dead center on compression stroke) it pushes the piston down to bottom dead center. This is called the power stroke. The piston then goes back up on the exhaust stroke, pushing all the exhaust fumes from the "explosion" out through the exhaust valve and muffler. We are at 2 strokes so far. Now the piston goes back down to bottom dead center on the intake stroke (it draws a new mixture of fuel and air into the combsution chamber). We are at 3 strokes now. The piston now goes back up on compression stroke (so named because it compresses the fuel+air mixture in the combustion chanber) and fires near top dead center. The compression stroke was the 4th stroke. We now start over on our 4 stroke cycle: power stroke, exhaust stroke, intake stroke, and compression stroke.

With this being said, the 4-mix fires every other time the piston comes to top dead center. This is the only way an engine with conventional valves (like are used with the 4-mix engine) can operate.

And I still contend that 4 stroke engines, no matter the lubrication style, will be able to produce the same amount of power as a 2 cycle of the same size (not that anyone was disagreeing that I know of). This has nothing to do with oil ratio, etc, but rather with physics. Since a 2 stroke fires everytime the piston hits top dead center it receives power everytime it hits top dead center. Since a 4 stroke only fires every other time it only receives power every other time..... Sound simple? it is:)