Complete Review of the Echo Backpack Blower PB-755ST
Shopping for a backpack leaf blower like the Echo leaf blower that fits your needs can seem as easy as picking the one with the highest miles per hour and the lowest price and calling it a day. But a powerful, reliable blower is an expensive purchase. A purchase often made with long-term thinking in mind. Because of that, you should consider a whole list of factors before handing over your credit card to the cashier:
Echo Backpack Blower PB-755ST
Pros & Cons
Echo Backpack Blower PB-755ST
Is the Echo leaf blower comfortable?
If you have a sizeable lot that needs cleaning, this blower may be on your back for an hour or more, so it’s crucial that the design is light and ergonomic. Even a reasonably fit person can get tired after an hour or so of wearing a 25-pound backpack.
How loud is the Echo leaf blower?
Hearing loss due to excessively loud noise is the most common occupational hazard faced by people today. For reference, an average conversation can get as loud as 60 decibels (dB) and typically does not cause any hearing damage. Yet if a sound gets up to 85 dB, or about the loudness of an idling bulldozer, your ears will be permanently damaged after one hour.
How well is the Echo leaf blower constructed, and what’s your intended use?
A $100 backpack blower may sound like a steal, but each time it breaks down your costs go up, as you pay either for constant repairs or an eventual replacement. At the same time, a $1000 blower that never breaks down if you take it out of storage for just a couple of days each season may not be worth it.
Echo Leaf Blower Overview
Echo is a company with a long history in the forestry and agricultural machinery industries. It offers a wide range of products, from wood chippers to chainsaws to power blowers. It manufactures products both internationally, primarily in China, and domestically, in Lake Zurich, Illinois. In fact, in 2017, Echo announced an expansion of its Lake Zurich manufacturing plant. Some consumers take pride in purchasing only from domestic manufacturers. If that’s the case for you, check with the Echo directly as to where it manufactures any specific product.
After taking an Echo leaf blower out of the box, you only need a little assembly. The backpack itself will be set up and ready to go. You’ll only need to put together the blower pipes and the stick handle (which allows you to point the blower). These come together in a literal and figurative snap. While there may be some need for lubrication if parts aren’t fitting together quickly, you should have your blower up and running within minutes of opening the box. Many reviewers online stated assembly was so straightforward that they didn’t even need to consult the manual to get the machine working.
Assembly of the Echo leaf blower
When powering this Echo leaf blower, you’ll need to mix gasoline and oil or purchase a product like TruFuel, which offers already blended fuel that combines gas with synthetic lubricants. If you’re new to mixing fuel, always check online or with nearby experts, as the local government regulates the storing and dispensing of fuel. If they discover you handling fuel in an unsafe or environmentally unfriendly way, you could be looking at a major fine or even bodily harm. As with any flammable substance, be careful.
Once the machine is ready, turning it on is a breeze. It should start with one or two strong pulls, and once started you will immediately feel its blowing power. The air nozzle is long enough to sweep the ground, even for a taller user, and the throttle is tube mounted, meaning it’s easy to point and blow with one hand. You’ll also have the ability to engage a “cruise control” of sorts, meaning you can maintain high velocities for long periods of time without needing to continuously squeeze the throttle tightly.
If you prefer a hip-mounted throttle, Echo also offers the PB755-SH model, whose only significant difference from the reviewed model is the throttle placement. Since we don't want to wade too deep into the hip-mounted versus tube-mounted debate, we will just say that preference is really up to the individual. If you’re not sure which to choose, or if this is your first time purchasing a blower, head down to your local hardware store and give both a try to see which feels more comfortable.
Once the machine is running, you’ll get 233 miles per hour of blowing power that’s capable of moving 651 cubic feet per minute. With speed and power like that, leaves will be quaking with fear before you even turn on the blower.
There isn’t necessarily one feature or specification that makes the Echo leaf blower PB-755ST unique. Instead, it’s the combination of elements that set it apart from some highly worthy competitors. From raw engine power that is perfect for commercial settings to an ease-of-use and reliability that also makes it a solid long-term investment for residential purposes. This product provides a high level of customer satisfaction in a wide range of cases.
Regarding pure power, the Echo leaf blower achieves higher speeds (measured in miles per hour) than others in its price range. Husqvarna, a competitor to Echo, offers a similar product with a maximum speed of 180 miles per hour. A solid 50 miles per hour behind Echo's blower. Makita, another competitor with a wide range of well-built products, fits solidly in the middle, with a speed that maxes out at 30 miles per hour slower than the Echo.
When you’re blowing leaves at around 200 miles per hour, that extra speed may not seem like much. But you’ll see the results if you transition from blowing lighter things, such as leaves and snow, to stickier debris, such as gum or leaves stuck in grates or thick underbrush.
Knowing that a backpack blower is supposed to rest on your back, Echo also offers ergonomically padded shoulder straps and a backrest. While this still will not give the 28-pound machine light-as-a-feather status, it will help on long or hot work days.
Even with the padded shoulder straps and backrest, it would have been nice if Echo included a waist belt for additional comfort and ergonomics. Outside of operating it on the moon, nothing will make 25 pounds of machine (plus fuel tanks and fuel) lighter, but every little bit helps. And if you’re going to charge a little more than $400 for a blower, extreme comfort should be a standard feature.
All the power and speed the Echo brings means an equal increase in noise. While all backpack blowers will be noisy (there’s no such thing as a quiet wind storm, after all), this product’s noise level can get as high as 74 dB. At that volume, hearing loss after extended use is almost a certainty. Now, you can purchase industrial-strength ear protection (or gamble with some noise-cancellation headphones, which is generally not recommended). But, again, if a product is going to cost several hundred dollars, there should either be preventative safety measures in its design. Or it should come with any required safety equipment. This may only affect a small portion of backpack blower users. But this machine can be very awkward to use if you’re left-handed. It seems as if it would be relatively easy to include customization that would allow the tubing to rest on either side of the body. Instead, the throttle, whether hip- or tube-mounted, will sit at your right regardless of your hand dominance.
The manufacturer’s suggested retail price for Echo’s backpack blower is around $400 mark. However, the actual cost covers a wide spectrum. Home Depot offers the machine lower, but Grainger and Amazon both sell the item for higher than the suggested price (perhaps due to third-party sellers). You can purchase the blower from Grainger. While Amazon sells it for just a hair (or a leaf).
Please note there is no price difference when choosing between the tube-mounted or hip-mounted blowers. However, it appears the tube-mounted model is available in a broader range of online retailers. As searches for the hip-mounted model were hit or miss.
If you purchase the blower as new, Echo offers a five-year consumer warranty or a two-year commercial warranty. This warranty adds a significant guarantee for an item you would prefer to only buy once.
What Other Reviewers Are Saying
Echo is a well-known brand within the leaf blower space and one that has become synonymous with sturdy, long-lasting products. In fact, they so well regarded Echo for its durability that it’s become a favorite brand on many websites. And that it focuses on products you’ll only need to buy once in your lifetime. In fact, its lengthy warranty speaks to the confidence Echo has in this product.
The fact that this product is durable doesn’t just mean that you’ll be able to grow old with it. You will still be rocking and rolling (or blowing and blasting, in this case). When other products may already be in the trash heap. Multiple reviewers from online retailers’ websites mentioned that even after months, or years, of relative constant use, the blower still starts on its first or second pull. With routine maintenance, its power stays more potent than a gale-force wind.
Several online reviewers also talked about the thoughtful features Echo designed into its blower. They do not just pad the straps but are also extra wide, supporting users’ shoulders. The ventilated backrest keeps air moving and results in fewer sweaty backs, as well. Because of the built-in ergonomic support, many reviewers also stated that the Echo backpack blower felt lighter. And also, more well-balanced than ones that weigh less.
How It Compares With Competitors
Many brands are equal, if not even slightly superior, to Echo when it comes to a specific feature or detail. But it’s difficult to find another model in this price range that sits beside Echo leaf blower across the entire set of features.
Husqvarna offers a lighter model for about $100 less than the Echo, but it falls short when it comes to power, topping out at 180 miles per hour. Multiple online reviewers also mentioned a lack of durability, with breakdowns occurring quickly and with high frequency. However, other reviewers suggested no issues with the product whatsoever. So these issues may only occur in just a small percentage of all machines. Still, it is important to note this specific complaint about breakdowns appears far more often with Husqvarna than with Echo.
Makita also manufacturers a similar product, but it retails at a slightly higher price than the Echo, It also packs equivalent power. And, offering a motor capable of blowing 200 miles per hour and moving 670 cubic feet of air per minute. Those numbers compare favorably with the Echo leaf blower model. In which, it manages to reach 230 miles per hour speeds but moves only 633 cubic feet of air per minute. Makita also brings an ergonomic-forward design to its manufacturing. But it only offers a hip-mounted throttle, which some online reviewers found less comfortable than Echo’s tube-mounted one.
Overall, the Echo Backpack Blower PB-755ST sits comfortably at the head of its class when it comes to leaf blowers in this price range. It offers more power and better ergonomics. Also, a level of durability so high that you literally may not need to buy another leaf blower ever again. These features make it the perfect choice for anyone who regularly needs to clear away leaves. Regardless of whether you’re a professional lawn care specialist or a homeowner just looking to clean your yard.
It’s good that you may only need to buy this blower once, as it does sell for a suggested price. If you’re looking to use a blower just in a residential setting, and your lot or yard is relatively small, it may be worth it to shop for a lighter, more inexpensive product offered by a brand like Hitachi or Black & Decker, even if it lacks the durability and extensive features of an Echo leaf blower model.
Featured Image via Amazon logo, text and banner added.