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07-10-2009, 20:43   #1
GERMAN ROCKS
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leaf blowers

are leaf blowers anygood. i want it to blow all grass which i would have strimmed in off the path/road. will it be strong enough for this. what cc would i want. would it be as good as a yard brush. will it remove stubborn dirt stuck to the ground and push it to a side. would €250 get you a decent one.
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13-10-2009, 00:00   #2
Hangsangwich
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Originally Posted by GERMAN ROCKS View Post
are leaf blowers anygood. i want it to blow all grass which i would have strimmed in off the path/road. will it be strong enough for this. what cc would i want. would it be as good as a yard brush. will it remove stubborn dirt stuck to the ground and push it to a side. would €250 get you a decent one.
Leaf blowers are excellent. I recently got one on sale for €105. It is 26 cc, and believe me, this is powerful enough for any heavy duty leaves job. Shop around, and dont listen to the salespeople trying to offload expensive "brand" names to you at exorbitant prices. My one is a cheap Chinese generic one, but works great.
There is no need to fork out €250 as you only use your leaf blower a few times each autumn, and maybe again in April when blossoms are scattered everywhere. If you are a keen gardener, it is worthwhile to make leaf mold from all your collected leaves and store them in a little corner for use next year.
Leaf blowers will blow away most dirt and grime, and can even be used to clean out the gutters. The relief of no more tedious sweeping and raking of leaves cant be overstated
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14-10-2009, 18:58   #3
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As a professional gardener I would suggest that use will use a blower a lot more than you think. I use one on every job, every day. A Stihl blower will last you forever & always start first pull. The option to fit a suction pipe & bag is good - especially for lifting leaves out of planted borders/beds.

Look on the net as you may get a good deal.
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15-10-2009, 22:46   #4
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i hired out a vaccum/blower on monday for the day - have to say i was very impressed, cleared around the house and farmyard that was covered in leaves. it was an echo shred n vac plus, petrol driven. was thirty euro for the day. tempted to get one...
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16-10-2009, 08:42   #5
Sonnenblumen
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Originally Posted by GERMAN ROCKS View Post
are leaf blowers anygood. i want it to blow all grass which i would have strimmed in off the path/road. will it be strong enough for this. what cc would i want. would it be as good as a yard brush. will it remove stubborn dirt stuck to the ground and push it to a side. would €250 get you a decent one.

Leaf blowers are terrific labour saving devices not just for clearing fallen leaf, but a range of other household chores eg cob webs, dust, grass cuttings etc etc. I'm not sure about the vacuum function, believe this to be more hassle with clogging than it's worth. I'd recommend blower only, Stihl are popular brand, good range from handheld to backpack types. Pricey mind you but reliable. For a more affordable but reliable option especially for DIY, you might consider Shindawia. They offer good power, light handheld versions and reasonably quiet for around €320.00 inc VAT.

IMO many of the DIY store models will not last, so better to spend the extra € and get reliability and longevity.
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16-10-2009, 20:33   #6
krazyklown
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was in a hardware store today and priced a stihl blower- €485
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16-10-2009, 23:55   #7
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The local hardware store aint the place to go. €242 here & that's the first & only price that I have checked !.

http://www.abbeygardensales.co.uk/su...s-0002607.aspx

The Stihl vacuum attachment works very well - never blocks. I used it for a hour today. The only thing to watch out for is that the fan should have a metal three bladed shredder attached.

You can buy cheap blowers but check out parts & service very carefully.
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17-10-2009, 21:30   #8
krazyklown
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Originally Posted by Discodog View Post
The local hardware store aint the place to go. €242 here & that's the first & only price that I have checked !.

http://www.abbeygardensales.co.uk/su...s-0002607.aspx

The Stihl vacuum attachment works very well - never blocks. I used it for a hour today. The only thing to watch out for is that the fan should have a metal three bladed shredder attached.

You can buy cheap blowers but check out parts & service very carefully.
yah i know online prices and that but i am trying to buy stuff locally cause recession yada yada keep jobs here but its impossible with such price differences.

can you get a shredder attached to it? The stihl you used is it the bg86 or bg56? not much difference in the two going by that website...
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18-10-2009, 00:29   #9
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You can get a blower & then fit accessories to make it into a vacuum or get a vacuum that can convert to a blower. Good guide & even cheaper prices here:

http://www.classic-lawns.co.uk/acata...html#asblowers

For the sake of a extra £25 I would go for the 86. Mine is about 9 years old so totally different model. I have never changed the plug or air filter. I use it every day & the only thing that I will need at sometime is a new impeller as some of the vanes have lumps out of them from vacuuming. I won't have any trouble getting the part, it won't cost much & will take 20 mins to fit. I think that I paid about £280 - so much for inflation !. So if it died tomorrow it would of cost me less than 10 cent per day & I wouldn't be surprised if it lasted another 9 years.
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18-10-2009, 19:26   #10
bund
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I got a leaf blower in aldi it was 39.99 and brilliant for picking up and shredding leaves well worth the money but wouldnt pay any more for one
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22-10-2009, 21:35   #11
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Dolmar do a very good Handheld unit, the great thing about his unit Its a 4-Stroke engine (25cc) so no mixing oil. You can buy one for €229 which is very good value for 4-stroke.. Regarding leaf collection, no really a great job on any blower,regardless who makes it, leafs have to be bone dry, plus if you start sucting up stone its not great for the blower as this could brake the fan inside...
I would not recommend a 4 stroke - you will find very few contractors using them. As for leaves needing to be bone dry I have never found that to be the case with a Stihl. I often suck leaves off wet decking - the only drawback is that the bag gets wet. In 16 years of sucking up leaves every week from gravel I have never sucked up a stone.

The problems may occur with cheap blower vacs but not, in my experience with Stihl.
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23-10-2009, 11:30   #12
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I have an acre of land that is covered in bloody leaves due to the 40ft Poplars out front and the 30ft Oak, Ash and Elm around the rest of my site. To give you and idea of how much leaves I've raked up so far, I currently have a pile of leaves about 6 feet high and 20 feet wide down the end of my garden. I spend about 3 hours raking up leaves from my gardens and driveway about 2 - 3 days a week and while I don't mind the hard work, there are a 100 other things I could be doing.

So what advice would you give me when buying a leaf blower:

1. What size machine should I be looking at

2. What is a good make (I'm not interested in the cheapo makes from Woodies etc as I've found that stuff to be practically disposable due to bits and pieces falling off lawnmowers (Mountfield) and brushcutters (Ryobi).

3. A handheld would probably pull the hand off me so is there a good one with a harness?

4. Is a collection bag necessary (for vacumming) or is the constant emptying a waste of time and defeats the purpose of this machine, i.e. in saving time.

5. Finally, where to buy as my local garden equipment specialists still live in the Celtic Tiger era and want top dollar for their gear.

Last edited by Kashkai; 23-10-2009 at 11:33.
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23-10-2009, 19:16   #13
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It is going to sound like I work for Stihl as I keep recommending them but I used to have a Grounds Maintenance business in the UK. We used literally dozens of machines. Now I am semi- retired but I still garden professionally.

The big problem with Garden Machinery is when it goes wrong or you need parts. This is especially true in Ireland. Whilst Stihl contract their Irish distribution via a company called Origo it is still very easy to get parts even for old machines. This is very relevant as Stihl machinery lasts for ever. My chainsaw is 11 years old, my handblower 9 years, & my combi strimmer/hedgecutter 8 years. I use this gear almost every day & apart for the occasional throttle cable I have never had a fault - I haven't even cleaned a plug yet !. Never buy a machine unless you have checked parts availability & don't believe everything that dealers tell you.

The disappearing post regarding 2 stroke versus 4 missed a key point. We contractors don't use 4 strokes because they have far more to go wrong. My other strong recommendation is to only use Stihl 2 stroke oil which is easy to get in a convenient 1 litre bottle with a built in measure.

When you have masses of leaves the quickest way to clear them is a good powerful blower. The secret is blow into small piles otherwise you will expend a lot of time trying to move the pile. Once you gather a certain amount of leaves you will find any blower struggling to move them as the weight of the pile causes friction on the ground. So you can make bigger piles on smooth drives than you can on grass.

Once you have the leaves in piles then you can easily rake, or if your good with your blower, blow them onto a sheet. A big tarpaulin works well as you can gather the four corners & drag your leaves away. Another alternative is to use a bin - I use a rectangular bin that was the grass collector on the back of a ride on. The technique here is lay bin flat, rake in leaves, tread leaves down & rake some more. It's amazing how many leaves will fit in a small space. The other option is to simply blast the leaves into areas where they get trapped & can be naturally left to rot down.

You can get wheeled blowers & collectors but you have to spend a fortune on a machine that only has one use. Backpacks are the best choice if you need a lot of power. Once you use a blower you will find other jobs for it like when you cut a hedge or clip the edge of a lawn. The last thing that I do before leaving a garden is to whizz around with the blower. It leaves the garden looking clean & adds a certain "polish".

So if you go for a backpack I would definitely buy online or up North. Remember that if you buy a Stihl you can get it serviced anywhere - we never serviced ours & they never go wrong.

Take a look here as it gives a good comparison:

http://www.classic-lawns.co.uk/acata...html#asblowers

You will note that unlike other manufacturers you get a power rating as in the amount of airflow. Gather a few prices & then give your local guy a chance to price match taking into account postage.

One further thought. The best way to compost leaves is in a pen. Drive 4 posts in a rectangle as big as space will allow & then attach some netting to 3 sides - leaving one open for loading & digging out compost when they rot down.
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23-10-2009, 19:49   #14
Kashkai
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Cheers for that Disco. Good sound info there. I'll definitely follow your advice re. buying a good make with ready availability of parts. I had a bad experince with a Mountfield mower bought in B & Q and when bits started to fall off it, it was impossible to get parts in this country and B & Q didn't want to know.

Have you any recommendations re. a particular model of Stihl that I should be looking at as I need a lot of power but my budget is not open ended!

Thanks
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23-10-2009, 20:32   #15
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Any Stihl backpack will be good so I would go by the best deal. You will see from that link that with each price rise you get a bit more power. I would tend to aim for the middle but you will get the best deal on a machine that is in stock.

The only downside with backpacks is they are bulkier to store & a little more cumbersome to use. So contractors tend to have a backpack for the big jobs & use a handheld most of the time. Having said that the Stihl back packs are very comfy & thankfully quite quiet.

The BG86 handheld is pretty powerful & weighs 4.5 kilos. That may sound a lot but you soon get used to it especially when it is has a good balance & low vibration. It's nearly half the price of a backpack. Wives like handhelds which can be a useful advantage.

A word of warning. As a favour I cut a neighbours hedge & used a handheld to clear up. He was so impressed that he bought one. Last week he went leaf blasting on the patio & didn't notice his wife opening the patio door. His wife was so incensed that she got me to come around & look at the damage - her lounge was full of leaves & dust.
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