Echo PB251 Blower versus Stihl BG55

buford2bSeptember 28, 2007

I need a gas blower. I can't take the tangled xtension cords. There's a reason why the word tension is in extension cord. After looking and researching all of the throw away brands, I have narrowed it down to the Echo PB251 or the Stihl BG55. Echo has a great informative web site with parts diagrams to see whats inside. Stihl has a crappy website that states only the dealers are worthy of viewing their parts diagrams, not the general public. That's all of us that are buying their equipment. The Echo has ball bearings on the crankshaft. Thats good. The Stihl dealer said the BG85 has ball bearings but he does not know what the BG55 has. The BG55 does however have 2 piston rings where the PB251 only has 1. Funny, most all of the other Echo blowers have 2 rings. I e-mailed them and Suzie the company spokeswoman quoted their exact vortex hype in the literature and also stated the 1 ring was also a commercial engine. She did also state that the engine was manufactured by their Kioritz Japanese company. If the Japanese actually make it and not farm it out to Taiwan , then I would consider that a big plus. The BG55 is completely made in the US by Mexicans or West Virginia Rednecks. Not that I have anything against Asians. The stihl dealer said the diference between the 55 and the 85 was a commercial engine and a different impeller/venturi design. From what I can see, the flat tube versus the round tube is the big difference in air speed. I believe the stihl models are tried and true as they have been around for some time now. The Echo is a new model with relatively no viewer reviews and possibly made to compete with the crap brands ,possibly skimping on the commercial quality that seems to be inherent with the Stihl brand. Any gut feelings on which on is better. Thanks all

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canguy(British Columbia)

Both are good units for the intended purpose. The Stihl is more popular here because of the price and plentiful dealers. Most Echo is sold by H-D in the box. IMHO, it is the better quality unit.
The flat tube that comes standard with the BG85 is optional on the BG55. Some people prefer the flat fan pattern. Customers that are used to the low power electric and gas blowers insist on this nozzle.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2007 at 9:52AM
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harold650(7)

I own a PB-251 and posted some comments here a couple of weeks ago. I preferred it to the Stihl and have been very pleased with it so far. Until I actually bought it, I had planned to choose between Maruyama, Red Max, Shindaiwa and Kawasaki since all are sold locally here.

For home use, it is good. For anything else, I would have paid the extra $50 or so and bought the others. No complaints about it, and it is a one-pull starter which works well.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2007 at 1:37PM
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buford2b

Thanks guys for your thoughts. I e-mailed Stihl and they got back to me the same day. They said the BG55 has ball bearing mains also. They also said that the mufflers on the 55 and the 85 are different. That gives the 85 more hp, more air speed. Thats the only difference between the two other than the xtra options . A two ring piston should definitely give more engine life because there's less rocking going on. The ignition module only has a 2 year warranty though, and I'm sure that they are expensive. I read that in dry climates the static caused by the blower can tend to blow out the sensitive electronics in the module. Thats why a some manufacturers offer a lifetime warranty on just that part. Any other thoughts on this. Thanks

    Bookmark   September 28, 2007 at 9:06PM
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fritowrdo

I also recently bought a Echo PB251 and find it a nice unit. It starts on the second pull and runs well.

I have only used it for grass clean up and have not even used a full tank of gas but it seems rock solid.

The dealer I bought it from said it needs a few tanks fulls before it fully breaks in.

Thumbs up by me.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2007 at 9:40PM
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nevada_walrus(Boulder City)

Unless Stihl has changed their warranty policy recently and I haven't got the word yet, they also have a lifetime on the ignition coil. Like Echo and the rest, after the general 2 year warranty expires you have to pay for the installation. But this is a minor job for the dealer on the BG 55.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2007 at 10:01PM
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buford2b

The Stihl rep e-mailed me and said the ignition module is 2 years + 3 extra years parts only. I don't know what they cost or if they are likley to die often in dry climates, but the lifetime warranty on Echo sounds good and honest. I wonder if the consumer , after determining if it is dead, could replace it himself and avoid the labor?

    Bookmark   September 30, 2007 at 12:33AM
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shermers

"The BG55 is completely made in the US by Mexicans or West Virginia Rednecks. Not that I have anything against Asians."

That's Virginia Rednecks thank you very much.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2007 at 8:40PM
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zymurgist

I have the SH55 by Stihl. It does what I need it to do.

Echo's engine appears to be on the opposite side. I was thinking that being left-handed, that might be a nice thing for *me*, but a problem for right handers. On the Echo, the side pulling in air would not be next to my leg. I have to pay attention to that when I'm using my Stihl. If I get lazy the air intake starts to pull at my pants or shirt.

I could have this completely wrong. Can any of you current owners comment on this?

    Bookmark   September 30, 2007 at 10:57PM
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harold650(7)

The echo PB251 can pull in your right pants leg, too.

However, it is not anywhere near a real problem, and the unit does have a dandy sort of stand on the bottom which can be used to hold it with two hands if you want. It works well held with two hands.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2007 at 12:54PM
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buford2b

Sorry Virginia and West Virginia for that matter. It was just a little tom foolery not meant to offend anyone. That goes as well for our friends to the west in Taiwan as well. It's just that I own a pressure washer with a 5hp Honda engine, and I just have to say that it is the nicest little running engine that I have ever owned. And I think that the farmed out Taiwan engines might lack a little on the quality compared to the Japanese ones. I did however have to add a thicker gasket to the plastic manifold in between the carb and the engine due to heat distortion. That one took me a while to diagnose.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2007 at 2:02AM
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wizart3d_gmail_com

I've been running my BG55 for over 4 yrs now, use it almost daily at full power and never a problem. I can say it is a very powerful unit and blows away any of the previous "cheaper" Homelight units I bought x 3, which I had to replace yearly due to muffler bolts constantly coming lose or melting the plastic housing around it when it happened.

I stick with American made products ONLY! just to keep the money circulating on our home turf and not contribute to the Jobless rate here in America. BUY AMERICAN! and let other countries support their own personal lifestyles.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2010 at 10:14AM
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rm_hm_msn_com

I have 3hrs in 3 months on my new bg55 and the ignition went kaput.
It had fuel and good compression. The on/off switch tested okay but no spark with new plugs. I had to go buy a dirt cheap blower while I wait 2-3 weeks for my bg55 to get back from the dealer.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 12:55AM
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ladylake(minnesota)

You'll find more quality in the Echo. Steve

    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 4:14PM
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rcmoser

I got BG55 and am not impressed with it. It's hard starting and it take for ever to warm up to get any RPMs out of it. Course the carb. adjusts have stops on them. Maybe it will get better in time. Once I get it warmed up works good. I'm guessing the carb. way too lean thanks to the EPA????

    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 10:25PM
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Homechicken(7b/metro-Atlanta)

Shop around. The Home Depots around here are selling the Echo PB251 for $169. The MSRP on it is only $159.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2011 at 9:55PM
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