STIHL BR700 Backpack Blower Review

We’ve seen speculation as early as 2012 that STIHL would introduce a new flagship back pack blower to the world.  As the time drew near, details emerged: indeed, the BR700 would be stepping into the top-end commercial blower game.

STIHL blowers, nestled securely in their market segment, were always known for being comfortable, easy to operate, and highly fuel efficient.  Now, the BR700 is making the push to challenge the REDMAX 8500 in the raw power department.  Is there a new crown?  We got our hands on one early to find out.

The people at STIHL were nice enough to drop this beauty off at our shop before it’s official release.  We went to work with it.

We were immediately able to notice the new power.  The BR 700 had no problems blowing any material in its way.  Opened up to full throttle, it was blasting asphalt grit up out of deep inset cracks in the parking lot.  It also operated at a surprisingly modest volume and was easy to wield and comfortable to wear.

BR600 Performance:

  • Air speed: 199 mph (89 m/s)
  • Air flow rate: 677 cf/min (1150 m^3/h)
  • Maximum air velocity: 237 mph (106 m/s)
  • Maximum air flow rate: 1012 cf/min (1720 m^3/h)
  • Blowing force: 32 N

BR700 Performance:

  • Air velocity: 165 mph (74 m/s)
  • Air flow rate: 912 cf/min (1550 m^3/h)
  • Maximum air velocity: 196 mph (88 m/s)
  • Maximum air flow rate: 1095 cf/min (1860 m^3/h)
  • Blowing force: 35 N

The stats paint an interesting picture.  With the same engine as the BR600, the BR700 has a higher air flow and a higher blowing force, yet a lower air velocity.  What explains these numbers?  Perhaps the engineers favored a design that would move more air over moving air faster.  Of most importance is the blowing force, where we clearly see the BR700 winning out.

You didn’t hear it from us, but in terms of raw power, it appears STIHL may be seeking to dethrone REDMAX at the top of the heap.  The flagship EBZ 8500 has always been known as one of the biggest, baddest back pack blowers money can buy.  But the singular focus on sheer output comes at a cost.  In the past, STIHL took advantage of this, slipping into the market where the EBZ 8500 comes up short, releasing back pack blowers with lighter weights, lower emissions, and higher fuel efficiency than the competitors.  Now, a new higher air-flow rate challenge the assumption that you can’t have the best of both worlds:

STIHL BR 700 Specifications:

  • Fuel tank capacity: 47.3 fl. oz. (1.4 l)
  • Dry weight: 23.1 lbs (10.5 kg)
  • Air volume: 25.8 cu. m / min (912 cfm)
  • Fuel consumption: 1.28 liters / hour (43.2 fl. oz. / hour)

REDMAX EBZ 8500 RH Specifications:

  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 77.7 fl. oz. (2.3 l)
  • Dry Weight: 24.7 lbs (11.2 kg)
  • Air volume: 25.7 cu. m / min (908 cfm)
  • Fuel consumption: 2.07 liters / hour (69.9 fl. oz. / hour)

As you can see, the BR700 fuel tank is 40% more compact than the EBZ8500RH.  The unit is also 1.6 lbs lighter dry, before considering weight saved by having less fuel on board.  These differences add up to a much more comfortable long term experience for professionals.  And the modest fuel tank is all you need, considering the STIHL BR700 only consumes 1.28 liters of fuel per hour.

The numbers are great, so what’s new with the STIHL BR 700 design?  Here are the upgrades and improvements to the BR 700 over previous models:

For starters, a new quick lock ring on the blower tube allows for infinite telescoping adjustments.  Slide the blower tube to the desired length and then simply twist a locking ring to keep it in place.  We appreciate the ability to go from maximum range to a minimum footprint effortlessly.

A new, ultra-duty base plate has been added to the bottom of the backpack unit for durability.  A sturdy, honeycomb-like design keeps the unit lightweight.  Also, a redesigned blower housing has been introduced to the BR 700, increasing efficiency.  The new design translates a higher percentage of engine power into air flow, giving more for less.  These elements come together to create a highly refined, high-end machine.

Whether you’ve got a large property to manage by yourself, or a landscaping crew that needs to operate with maximum efficiency, STIHLs new flagship BR700 has what you need to do the job right.  If you don’t want to hassle with lesser back pack blowers, get the BR700.

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