Pros: Lite, starts the exact same way everytime, low vibration, quality
Cons: Leaf bag hard to keep situated when vacuuming
My shopping began when the practically new McCullogh Kmart weed eater and blower I owned finally drove me crazy. I finally had enough arm yanking trouble getting them started all the time and dealing with the poor performance and cheap construction. The cheaper models had warranty but I got tired of trips to the repair shop that never helped. So I went shopping to find the BEST. I didnt want to be buying more tools 2-3 years from now again.
I first purchased and Echo weed eater and edger and was so impressed with the smooth engines and quality of the products I decided to buy the blower as well. I was not dissappointed. The salesman at my local Ace hardware (excellent service there) talked me out of buying the Stihl products and get the Echo. He said for me to look at what all the professionals are using. And sure enough I see alot of pros using Echo. At first I resisted his hints, now I'm glad I finally listened. I really was set on Stihl brand.
The biggest factor about these Echo products is that ALL THREE of them start the exact same way and reliably every time. You simply enable the choke, push a little bubble 3 times, then pull start once or twice until you hear the engine almost start. Then you disable the choke switch and pull ONCE and it is started. This works like clockwork on all my echo products. This CANNOT be said for any other brand I have seen.
The engine also runs very smooth which translates into less vibration and no carpal tunnel syndrome or fatigue. The quality and feel of all the Echo products is very evident when you pick up your old models or other models.
I was a little surprized at how much trouble it is to vaccuum and bag leaves with this product. It seems as good as any other brand but it can really only do a good job on dry loosely unpacked leaves. Not sticks, pine cones or any objects. The bad wants to twist a little or come off when carrying it around the yard. I think the only way to use this feature is to blow all the leaves into a pile and use this unit to mulch and bag them. For that it works well.
My first feelings about a blower were that it looks stupid blowing leaves around but after owning this one I will never do without one. It makes a wonderful broom for blowing out my garage and driveway as well as blowing loose grass and leaves in my yard. I also blow all the loose dirt and rocks out of my curb that runs down the street. It is so strong it actually blows large rocks, sticks, cones and anything else.
The product is much quieter than other models I have tested.
This product rocks and Echo rules ! I am very impressed.