leaf blower, chainsaw, hedger or single tool

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letsgobobby
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leaf blower, chainsaw, hedger or single tool

Post by letsgobobby » Mon Oct 31, 2016 4:03 pm

I have ~ 2 ac to maintain and after the first round of leaf raking this fall will definitely be getting a leaf blower next year (or this winter).

I also need an electric hedger for shrubs and such, and maybe a chainsaw. I already have a lawn edger (heavy duty one) that I bought used for $80 so I don't need that.

My question is about these single motor tools, such as the one Stihl offers, which then have lots of attachments and claim to do the work of many individual tools. In theory it is a little cheaper because you only have to buy one motor/engine. On the other hand I wonder if you end up with something that doesn't do anything well.

ByThePond
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Re: leaf blower, chainsaw, hedger or single tool

Post by ByThePond » Mon Oct 31, 2016 5:12 pm

My view is to get separate tools. You never see professionals using the multi-tool devices, and there's a reason. Jack of all trades, etc... At a couple of acres to maintain (I'm in a similar situation), you'll want good tools. I learned that cheap tools are no bargain, and good ones make the job go much easier.

I'm a big fan of Stihl, btw.

Whatever you do, just be sure to get gloves, hearing and eye protection, and leg-protecting chaps. (Don't ask how I know about that last one.)

user5027
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Re: leaf blower, chainsaw, hedger or single tool

Post by user5027 » Mon Oct 31, 2016 6:41 pm

To finish the saying...
ByThePond wrote: Jack of all trades, etc...
Master of none.

pshonore
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Re: leaf blower, chainsaw, hedger or single tool

Post by pshonore » Mon Oct 31, 2016 6:47 pm

letsgobobby wrote:I have ~ 2 ac to maintain and after the first round of leaf raking this fall will definitely be getting a leaf blower next year (or this winter).

I also need an electric hedger for shrubs and such, and maybe a chainsaw. I already have a lawn edger (heavy duty one) that I bought used for $80 so I don't need that.

My question is about these single motor tools, such as the one Stihl offers, which then have lots of attachments and claim to do the work of many individual tools. In theory it is a little cheaper because you only have to buy one motor/engine. On the other hand I wonder if you end up with something that doesn't do anything well.
How many trees do you have? Blowing leaves can be counter productive once the pile gets too big. You may want one of these: https://www.cyclonerake.com/ They work really well but you need a lot of leaves to justify it.

Some of the rechargeable tools work well but the batteries get heavy. Of course the batteries are usually interchangeable across the whole family.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: leaf blower, chainsaw, hedger or single tool

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Mon Oct 31, 2016 7:22 pm

Go to a Stihl dealer and ask them to test out the combo tool. Stihl is one of only 2 brands who I'd ever buy a chain saw from (I have 2 Husqvarnas) but am skeptical about the leave blower. I've had a number of blowers and finally gave up on the garbage ones (my name) and bought an intro level Echo backpack unit. It's 2 cycle and does a great job. (I also have an echo pole chain saw)

With only 2 acres, why do you need a chain saw? Is it all trees?
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southport
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Re: leaf blower, chainsaw, hedger or single tool

Post by southport » Mon Oct 31, 2016 7:29 pm

I've actually got two Stihl Kombi motors, I liked the first one so much and found another for cheap on Craigslist. I've got a bunch of attachments, - blower, edger, trimmer, hedge clipper, pole saw, etc. Terrific for me.
Last edited by southport on Mon Oct 31, 2016 7:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.

retiredjg
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Re: leaf blower, chainsaw, hedger or single tool

Post by retiredjg » Mon Oct 31, 2016 7:30 pm

I bought an Ego battery powered lawn mower. I liked it a lot.

Then I bought the weed whacker. I liked it too although I have only a limited use for it.

Then I bought the leaf blower (but not another battery because I already have 2 batteries). I LOVE it! And think I might be able to blow some snow with it. Stay tuned.

If you can find a good brand that offers several tools that all use the same batteries, I think it is a good deal. However, I've only got 2 years invested so far. It could turn out differently.

But so far, I really like this system.

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Kenkat
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Re: leaf blower, chainsaw, hedger or single tool

Post by Kenkat » Mon Oct 31, 2016 8:22 pm

I have a Stihl combi motor that is great. I have found for attachments you use infrequently, the combi system is great. But if you regularly use each tool, it is kind of a hassle to switch the attachments out frequently. So I have a string trimmer attachment that I use most of the time, and an edger attachment I use infrequently. But rather than buy the blower attachment, which I would use frequently, I went ahead and bought a dedicated Stihl blower because, gosh darn it, I'm worth it.

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TxAg
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Re: leaf blower, chainsaw, hedger or single tool

Post by TxAg » Mon Oct 31, 2016 8:51 pm

I would get separate tools. Stihl is very nice. I have an Echo chainsaw and weedeater that I'm impressed with.

letsgobobby
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Re: leaf blower, chainsaw, hedger or single tool

Post by letsgobobby » Mon Oct 31, 2016 9:56 pm

thanks folks,

leaf blower is first and foremost, especially if I can find a decent one after season on sale. Probably can get away with the handheld as opposed to backpack since I'll probably only need to do it about 3 times per fall for leaves, and here and there to spot clean the driveway and sidewalk otherwise. We have two very large oaks that drop a lot of leaves but the rest of the property would be manageable with a rake and some elbow grease, so I don't think I need the Cyclone rake. Although it begs the question, after I pile up all the leaves, I'll need to pulverize them somehow for my compost pile.

The chainsaw is a maybe. I have a couple good sized trees to take down. No climbing required, but big enough that a handsaw would be too much work. Don't really want to pay $500 per tree to a pro, plus one of them is a dogwood and the wood should be good for burning.

hedger for sure.

I already have an edger and weedwacker. Think I'll lean toward separate tools.

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queso
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Re: leaf blower, chainsaw, hedger or single tool

Post by queso » Tue Nov 01, 2016 7:00 am

I went through the same decision and ended up with a backpack blower, Stihl hedger and Stihl chainsaw. I liked the idea of the combination system since it was a couple less engines to maintain (of course the flipside to that is now one engine is a single point of failure..), but in the end I just wasn't sure it would be as good as the standalone tools. Others have pointed out that they are good so I suppose that's not a concern. I think my biggest hurdle to going with the Kombi system is my experience with battery pack tool lines. I got tired of the packs dying and the technology changing and ending up with 2-4 tools that are now essentially junk because I now need a new battery/charging system that isn't compatible with the old tools. I figured the Kombi might end up that way if the main/motor dies and now my attachments are all junk because whatever new version of the Kombi has come out in the meantime isn't backward compatible with my attachments.

MI_bogle
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Re: leaf blower, chainsaw, hedger or single tool

Post by MI_bogle » Tue Nov 01, 2016 8:11 am

I don't know if it makes sense in your exact situation or not, but a composting mower is all I use on my leaves. Saves me from raking and leaf blowing, which I hate, and also doubles as fertilizer for the lawn.

I echo what everybody else said about separate tools. Can't go wrong with Stihl or Husqvarna

Jack FFR1846
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Re: leaf blower, chainsaw, hedger or single tool

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Tue Nov 01, 2016 8:25 am

Do you already have a bagging mower? I'm currently raking my yard (13+ acres of property but only 6000 square feet of lawn) because with wind and rainstorms, there are lots of branches and twigs. When the real bulk of leaves come down, I'll use my bagging mower. I use the bagged leaves on trails in the woods to help smooth out rough spots (rocks and such). If I have more than I can use, I either put it into a pile in the woods or bring it to our recycling center (less than a mile away).
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lthenderson
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Re: leaf blower, chainsaw, hedger or single tool

Post by lthenderson » Tue Nov 01, 2016 8:41 am

I too have several acres and would recommend getting separate tools. I don't have hedges or bother with edging but I do have a Stihl chainsaw that I have used to cut down over 30 trees on the property in the last five years and has served me well. The trick to maintaining any small engine I have found is to always buy fresh gas to use in it two or three times a year. Using last fall's gas in the spring is just a recipe for a engine that doesn't want to start easily or run smoothly.

I also have a leaf blower but just use it to blow leaves out of the landscaping (and gutters) and into the yard where I can run over it with a mulching lawnmower. Why rake all those leaves especially when you have oak trees which at least in my area of the world, drop their leaves all winter long up to when new leaf buds are forming in the spring.

Another good tool to get is a really good telescoping pruner if you have lots of trees. I have a manual one that goes out 20 feet and makes quick work of pruning lower limbs, especially on old oak trees. I think Stihl makes a powered version but I haven't felt it necessary if you stay on top of things every fall. Pruning lower branches really helps with running mowers under them during the summer.

random_walker_77
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Re: leaf blower, chainsaw, hedger or single tool

Post by random_walker_77 » Tue Nov 01, 2016 10:30 am

For the chainsaw, make sure you know how to use it. Read up on it, and be very careful.
Get protective chaps like this (see the reviews!): https://smile.amazon.com/Husqvarna-5313 ... 000X24TIO/

(if you do buy through amazon, use the bogleheads referral link at the top right)

It can go wrong many different ways.
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zkzkzk
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Re: leaf blower, chainsaw, hedger or single tool

Post by zkzkzk » Tue Nov 01, 2016 11:33 am

I vote separate. I have a Stihl chain saw and back pack blower. I stuck to the same brand and made sure each fuel/oil mix was the same so I didn't have to keep a bunch of different fuel cans around with diferent mixes. Going on 9 years and not one issue with either except a gas cap recall on the blower.
I live on a little over an acre of woods surrounded by woods on all sides. I have a ton of leaves. I use the blower to blow the leaves out and away from everything and a cyclone rake to suck it all up. Works perfect unless the leaves get really water soaked than I have to make 2 passes. I really hate spending beautiful fall days working in the yard. I spent the cash and freed up a bunch of time without a single regret.
Z

tacster
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Re: leaf blower, chainsaw, hedger or single tool

Post by tacster » Tue Nov 01, 2016 11:48 am

letsgobobby wrote:thanks folks,

leaf blower is first and foremost, especially if I can find a decent one after season on sale. Probably can get away with the handheld as opposed to backpack since I'll probably only need to do it about 3 times per fall for leaves, and here and there to spot clean the driveway and sidewalk otherwise.
I use a handheld Stihl blower for my leafy half acre property. It works very well but after a few minutes my hand starts going numb from the vibration. Wishing I would have just spent the extra money for a backpack style blower.
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ddurrett896
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Re: leaf blower, chainsaw, hedger or single tool

Post by ddurrett896 » Tue Nov 01, 2016 12:21 pm

Separate.

I'm a fan of Echo. Trimmer, chainsaw and blower - love them all!

BeerTooth
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Re: leaf blower, chainsaw, hedger or single tool

Post by BeerTooth » Tue Nov 01, 2016 3:31 pm

you will get better advice from the forums at arboristsite.com than at bogleheads for lawn and garden equipment

gmc4h232
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Re: leaf blower, chainsaw, hedger or single tool

Post by gmc4h232 » Tue Nov 01, 2016 5:32 pm

I've found that a good chainsaw can eliminate the need for a leaf blower when used properly...

clutchied
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Re: leaf blower, chainsaw, hedger or single tool

Post by clutchied » Wed Nov 02, 2016 9:08 am

Last year I more or less bought all the EGO tools.

Blower (awesome!)
Hedge trimmer (awesome!)
String trimmer (marginal)
Chainsaw (awesome!)


I love them all except for the string trimmer which is not powerful enough. I put blades on it and now the engine smokes... not good.


The rest of the tools are great! I have 3 batteries between them and I easily take care of everything I need without having to worry about gas or maintaining small engines.

If i'm doing my math correctly it looks like I paid about $800 for all of them as I didn't buy a battery with one of them. That's a lot of cash...


Also just be aware they are playing games with their battery pack sizes. I bought all first gen so all my packs are 2.0 Amp hours. Some of the newer packs are 5.0 amp hours like on the chainsaw. Totally worth it to get atleast one big battery.

czr
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Re: leaf blower, chainsaw, hedger or single tool

Post by czr » Wed Nov 02, 2016 10:04 am

I have the Echo Pro Attachment Series PAS System, 22.8 cc for the last 3 years and I have them for:

Speed-Feed Trimmer (Great)
Edger (Great)
Blower (OK)

They have the following attachments available:
Straight Shaft Edger
Curved Shaft Edger
Speed-Feed Trimmer
Rapid-Loader Trimmer
Pro-Torque Trimmer
Curved Shaft Trimmer
Brushcutter
Articulating Hedge Trimmer
Hedge Trimmer
Power Pruner
Blower
ProThatch
ProSweep
ProPaddle
Tiller/Cultivator
3' Extension

I bought the blower attachment as a backup to my dedicated blower and it is not as strong nor nimble but serviceable. The system has been great so far as it starts up immediately and has plenty of power to get things done around my quarter acre property and will probably add more attachments in the future. If you are going to check out Stihl, check out Echo. I have a Stihl blower and went Echo for this system and it is easier to start.

tim1999
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Re: leaf blower, chainsaw, hedger or single tool

Post by tim1999 » Wed Nov 02, 2016 10:43 am

With that size property I'd want separate tools. Especially a big gas powered leafblower on wheels. Will save a ton of time vs. raking or a handheld blower if you have a lot of trees. I don't own a chainsaw. I use a Milwaukee Sawzall on small limbs, twigs I break up by hand, anything else I call a tree service.

Radjob4me
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Re: leaf blower, chainsaw, hedger or single tool

Post by Radjob4me » Wed Nov 02, 2016 11:06 am

I would second the EGO tools as a great battery powered option. I had been looking to get rid of having to mix the gas and oil for my old tools and when my 20 year old weedwacker died, I decided to take the leap.

As others say, they really are great if you want to make the investment. I got the trimmer first and like it just fine. I persnally think most trimmers are so-so, but it does the job fine.

Then got the chainsaw and was blown away. I have taken down trees and cut them up just as easy as with my neighbors big Husqvarna I used to borrow. And I love that it is not as loud, turns off instantly and also starts instantly. It honestly has amazing power for a battery operated tool (I got the 16 inch)

Got the blower this fall and it also works great - quite powerful. Can't recommend them highly enough as I am so pleased to just use the battery powered tools.

I'm down to my riding mower that uses gas - but guessing the Tesla version might be too pricey and might be delayed a while :wink:

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: leaf blower, chainsaw, hedger or single tool

Post by Doom&Gloom » Wed Nov 02, 2016 11:58 am

Our property is about the same size. We still have several large trees after losing most of ours.

We have everything separate and battery powered--with the exception of the chainsaw. After losing most of our trees, we replaced our heavily used small gas-powered chainsaw with a smaller electric chainsaw. I have been quite impressed with it. We do have an electric outlet about 50 yards from the house, so that is a big help. I am done with chainsawing anything other than fallen limbs, developing underbrush, and low-hanging limbs so a small chainsaw meets our needs. I debated between battery powered and electric before buying. Either is much more convenient than gas-powered for infrequent and light use.

The only drawback to the electric chainsaw I've encountered was when a neighbor's small tree fell on our house and AC condensers, I went out to cut it immediately to get most of the weight off the edge of the roof and the condensers. The ground was still soaked from the rain, and I was more than nervous even though I tried to keep the cord on dry ground. Of course, that wasn't a limitation of the chainsaw but of my brain. On that particular day I really wished I had either gas-powered or battery-powered.

SamB
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Re: leaf blower, chainsaw, hedger or single tool

Post by SamB » Wed Nov 02, 2016 1:23 pm

I use a Stihl backpack blower and I also use a chipper/shredder to mulch the leaves. I recommend getting professional quality equipment. You will only have to buy it once and it will last twenty years. The leaf mulch is used on plant beds near the house rather than wood mulch which might draw termites.

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Toons
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Re: leaf blower, chainsaw, hedger or single tool

Post by Toons » Wed Nov 02, 2016 1:38 pm

I have been using this workhorse today.
Get the Best Quality you can.
Stihl.
It pays.
:mrgreen:

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