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Review of Echo, Stihl, and RedMax Backpack Blowers

Joseph has had a lawn and irrigation business in Florida for almost a decade and has experience with many brands of lawn equipment.

Backpack Leaf Blowers

Echo, Stihl, and RedMax are widely known as the top of the market in backpack blowers. Although personal tastes do come into play, which backpack blower is generally considered the best, strongest, most comfortable, and easiest to use? We will break down each of the three backpack blower brands' offerings and compare their pros and cons in the following review.

Echo Backpack Blowers

Primarily made in USA, Echo began making blowers in the early 1980s and is based out of Illinois. Their line of backpack blowers offers a wide range of power and comfort and boasts having the most "certified low noise blowers" of any brand.

With 11 different backpack blowers available, any buyer can find the blower that fits their particular needs and their wallet. Below are a list and synopsis of the blowers available from Echo:

  • PB-265LN- Offers a 25.4cc engine with an "i-30" starting system that makes the pull start a breeze. The gas tank only holds 21 fl oz of fuel, but that is more than enough for most small jobs. The output is 375 cfm at 158 mph and all with a decibel level of 64. This blower is very light at only 13.3 lbs. The MSRP for the 265LN is $269.99.
  • PB 500H and PB 500T- These two models offer the same engine but one has a hip-mounted throttle and the other has a tube-mounted throttle. They have a 50.8cc engine and the fuel cell holds 51.8 fl oz. Output on the PB 500s is 465 cfm at 195 mph. These models are slightly louder but still only 70 dB and they weigh 23 lbs. The MSRP for the PB 500's is $329.99.
  • PB 580H and PB 580T- Another hip/tube-mounted throttle pair, the 580's have a 58.2cc engine that puts out 510 cfm at 210 mph. These models will hold 62 fl oz of fuel and weight just under 23 lbs. The noise level is the same for these models at 70 dB and their MSRP is also $329.99.
  • PB 755SH and PB 755 ST- Don't let the 'S' fool you, this is another hip and tube-mounted throttle pair. The 755 offers a 63.3cc engine that puts out 651 cfm at 233 mph. They can hold up to 67.6 fl oz of fuel and weight 24.7 lbs. These models have a slightly louder engine that puts out up to 74 dB of noise. The MSRP for the 755s is $449.99.
  • PB 760LNH and PB 760LNT- These models, another hip and tube pair, offer the same size engine as the above model, but with less noise. The 760 has the 63.3cc engine with an output of 535 cfm at 215 mph. The noise level on these models is lower at 65 dB, and it holds slightly more fuel at 68.3 fl oz. These models weigh 26.5 lbs and their MSRP is $529.99.
  • PB 770H and PB 770T- An upgrade from the above model, the 770 model line also offers the 63.3cc engine but after improvements has a higher output. This model puts out 756 cfm at 234 mph. It is still fairly quiet at 73 dB and weighs less at 24.3 lbs. It has the same 68.3 fl oz fuel cell. The MSRP on the 770 models is less at $499.99.

Stihl Backpack Blowers

With their eight backpack blowers, the most powerful of which features a 64.8cc engine, Stihl has some impressive models to check out. Stihl began as a company around the turn of the 20th century and began manufacturing in the 1920s in Stuttgart, Germany. Shortly after beginning sales in the US in the 1970s, Stihl captured the awe of most handymen and yard workers with their precision and strength.

Check out the specs of all eight models of the Stihl Backpack Blower:

  • BR350 - The smallest Stihl Backpack Blower comes with a 63.3cc engine and puts out 436 cfm at 201 mph. This blower weighs 22 lbs and puts out 74 dB of noise. The 350 can hold up to 57.5 fl oz of fuel. Its MSRP is $359.95.
  • BR430 - This blower is made with the same 63.3cc engine but puts out 500 cfm at 219 mph. Weighing 22.3 lbs, this model also holds 57.5 fl oz of fuel. The 430 is slightly louder, emitting 76 dB of noise. The MSRP for the BR430 is $409.95.
  • BR450 - The 450 model, again, has the 63.3cc engine like the two previous models. However, its output is 642 cfm at 219 mph. This model weighs 23.4 lbs and holds the same amount of fuel as above. With one more decibel, the noise from this model is basically the same. Its MSRP is $449.95.
  • BR450EF- This model is basically the same as the above model, with one exception. It has an Electric Start. Yes, no need to pull a cord. It weighs slightly more at 25.4 lbs, but who cares? The MSRP for the EF model is $549.95.
  • BR500 - The 500 series has a slightly larger engine at 64.8cc and its output is slightly less at 544 cfm at 207 mph. But it does have some benefits. The 500 only weighs 22.3 lbs and emits 65 dB of noise. The fuel tank holds 47.3 fl oz. MSRP for the BR500 is $479.95.
  • BR600 - This model also has the 64.8cc engine but the output is a little higher at 677 cfm at 238 mph, and the weight is a little less at 21.6 lbs. It emits 75 dB of noise so it's on the louder side. The fuel tank is the same size, 47.3 fl oz and its MSRP is $499.95.
  • BR700 - The 700 series has the 64.8cc engine, however, it puts out a ton more air. The output for the 700 is a whopping 912 cfm at 212 mph. It is slightly heavier at 23.4 lbs but with the power it has, along with the 47.3 fl oz it is a work machine that leaves little to be desired. It does put out 75 dB, but the MSRP is $549.95.

RedMax Blowers

As a Japanese company that has been around since 1910, they have had multiple names: Komatsu, Fuji Motors, Zenoah, and others. They are now owned by Husqvarna from Sweden. They began with aircraft engines and they still have the ability to move a ton of air. RedMax has four backpack models that each have an option for tube mounted throttle and all pack a punch.

  • EBZ 5150 - The line starts out with a 50.2 cc engine powering its smallest blower. It puts out 434 cfm at 214 mph. The blower weighs 22.7 lbs and has a large fuel cell that holds 70.9 fl oz. Its MSRP is $349.95.
  • EBZ 6500 - A big step up, this blower has a 65.6 cc engine which can put out a 631 cfm at 232 mph. It's crazy that this company gets such power in a unit that only ways 22.7 lbs and has a 71 fl oz fuel cell. The MSRP for the 6500 is $459.96.
  • EBZ 7500 - With the same 65.6 cc engine, the 7500 steps it up with an output of 768 cfm at 236 mph. Slightly heavier at 23.4 lbs, the 7500 also holds 71 fl oz of fuel. MSRP for the 7500 is $519.95.
  • EBZ 8500 - Loaded with a massive 75.6 cc engine, the 8500 is huge. It can put out 908 cfm at 206 mph and only wieghs 24.7 lbs. With a 77 fl oz fuel tank, this blower can certainly grab the hose. The MSP is $589.99.

Best Backpack Blower

To Sum It Up

Now that we've seen the basic specs of each of the models provided by these brands of backpack blowers, how do they stack up in terms of who offers the strongest, lightest, quietest, and best-priced blower on the market?

  • Strongest - The edge here has to go to RedMax, since 3/4 of their models have a larger engine than any provided by Stihl or Echo. However, Stihl's strongest model, the BR700, has an output just a touch larger than that of the strongest RedMax model.
  • Lightest - Not only does Echo have the lightest model on the market at 13.3 lbs, it also has the lightest average of 22.4 lbs, compared to Stihl (22.9 lbs) and RedMax (23.4 lbs). But, Stihl's BR700 is the lightest of the three's strongest models.
  • Quietest - This is a difficult question to answer since the noise ratings for RedMax are difficult to find, but the Echo brand has both the single quietest model and the lowest average decibel output.
  • Best Priced - This is quite a subjective area. The RedMax blowers are more expensive on average, and the Echo has the cheapest and lowest average price, but depending on which Backpack Blower works the best in your opinion, you may feel their price is warranted.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.


lori yuan on December 06, 2017:

Great job. I liked the video. The recap at the end helps.