Most helpful positive review
170 of 172 people found the following review helpful
This is the one to get
on September 13, 2011
This is a quality machine - and is the same as the Tanaka, a brand used by many pro gardeners and landscape maintenance persons. I've had McCulloch, Ryobi and a Sears Craftsman (that I returned after the first use). This machine is lighter, runs much quieter, and has quite a bit more power than any of the others. It isn't really in the same league. This one runs flawlessly, has a ton of power, and a quality feel.
Be aware of the mph ratings on some of these yard blowers. They get those ratings by including a worthless little tiny nozzle. That's how the Craftsman got its impressive ratings. But the thing had very poor real-world performance. This Hitachi doesn't come with gimmicky nozzles. You get ONE nozzle, that you always leave on, and that one works very well. For normal yard cleanup where you can't justify one of the expensive backpack units, this one has plenty of grunt.
I originally wanted a blower-vac. No longer. The vac units all get mediocre reviews at best. The Sears blower I had for week was a poor performer, and the vac feature was useless. If you're like me and think you need the vac, re-think it. You probably don't need that worthless feature, and besides, it is a pain on most of these to convert from blower to vacuum. I suggest that you will be much happier with a quality blower-only.
Some of the newer machines have a trigger lock so that you don't always have to hold the trigger. Unless you have a huge yard and are going to use the blower for an hour nonstop, that's another feature that you don't need. In this case it would be nice to have, but don't base your buying decision on it.
I think this one is a great choice. It's not too much money - actually about $25 less money than the Echo at the local home improvement store, has a 7 year consumer warranty, starts easy hot or cold, and really moves some air.
Update - As many have noted, the fuel lines on these have a problem. Mine wouldn't start. the problem was the lines that ran to the primer bulb. Changed them, and now it runs like a champ again. It is too bad that this otherwise great tool has this problem, but it is still so much better than the other blowers in this price range (or even substantially more expensive) that I give it 5 stars and can honestly say I wouldn't have anything else.