When you’re in need of a new leaf blower, you might not be able to cut it with just an electric model. You might be a professional landscaper, a business owner, or someone who has a lot of property to cover. If so, the Stihl leaf blower family is going to be a name you’ll remember.
No matter what, when autumn comes, you’ll need a quality backpack leaf blower to handle the territory. So, we tested out the BR 700 model and are happy to endorse it as one of the best backpack leaf blowers we’ve ever strapped on.
Max air speed
Max air volume
Fuel tank capacity
Stihl BR 700
Why Would I Need a Backpack Stihl Leaf Blower?
While there are many variations of leaf blowers available on the market, you can only accomplish so much with the handheld variety.
Cordless electric and even gas-powered leaf blowers that you control with your arms have their limits. For those with a couple of stray trees that shed their leaves every fall, a handheld is just fine.
However, you’re here to find out if the backpack version of the Stihl leaf blower gets the job done for you. Anyone searching for a backpack leaf blower needs the most powerful kind of lead blower available. A backpack leaf blower is capable of lasting long and eliminating leaves and debris from large portions of any property.
You’ll find that the backpack version of a Stihl blower is more powerful than anything else you’ve used for the job.
It can be intimidating for first-time users, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll never go back. This model will be perfect for your business and employees, or the larger properties you maintain on your own.
Where Can I Purchase a Stihl Leaf Blower?
The BR 700 Stihl blower is sold through a number of different marketplaces.
The most obvious choice is Amazon, where the item can qualify for free Prime shipping if sold through the correct vendor. This could save you a ton on the shipping cost, as the BR 700 weighs over 20 pounds.
If you prefer to check out the Stihl blower in person to see how it feels, you can go to your nearest retailer who sells home improvement items and hardware. The Home Depot and Lowe’s are the most obvious choices for leaf blowers. You can also look into your local vendors and see if you can find a better deal through a smaller store.
How Much Will I Pay for a Stihl Blower?
The BR 700 retails for over $500. However, usually, you can find a model for much cheaper than this, as bigger stores tend to mark down the full price of a Stihl blower.
How Did We Review the Stihl Leaf Blower?
When looking at the Stihl backpack blower, we had to take a number of factors into consideration. These are not restricted to the BR 700, as we have reviewed other blowers and looked at the same vital features when evaluating performance.
Let’s get into the details and find out how the Stihl BR 700 scored:
If you plan on using a Stihl leaf blower that straps to your back, we will advise you to get some earplugs. These things are loud, and your neighbors at the end of the block will easily be able to hear you operating it. You might even have heard one of these devices on a city street, operated by professional contractors.
We will point out that the loudness level varies greatly depending on the distance of your ears from the BR 700. Right next to you, the dB level topped out at 103, one of the loudest ratings we’ve ever seen. Once you get 50 feet away, that number drops to 78.
So, don't skimp on ear protection when using a BR 700 Stihl leaf blower. Not only will your ears thank you, but you’ll also be able to use them after a week or two of uses.
According to OSHA, you can only use a device like the BR 700 for only two hours a day without ear protection. So, if you’re purchasing these for your employees, be sure that you issue them the proper ear protection as well.
There’s a distinct difference between the volume and speed of a leaf blower. You’ll notice we said volume for this measurement and not the detail on how loud the Stihl BR 700 is.
When discussing force, we actually want to refer to the measure in Newtons. The formal definition of a Newton involves formulas and chemistry, which we won’t bore you with. Basically, a Newton measures the ability of a force to accelerate an object.
Many times, you’ll find that manufacturers of leaf blowers like to switch back and forth between claims of mph and cfm (cubic feet per minute). The standard for measuring Newton force is given by the ANSI, and we’ll use that when discussing how the Stihl BR 700 performs.
The BR 700 performs admirably, pumping out a force of 36.7 Newtons. We were happy with how well this pumped out excessive force when compared to other leaf blowers from RedMax and Echo, especially given the history of other manufacturers in the leaf blower industry.
We enjoyed the handling of the controls on the BR 700, and never felt like we were going to lose control when activating the machine.
From an ergonomics perspective, the Stihl leaf blower is in the top of its class. No leaf blower is going to feel completely comfortable when strapped to your back, but things could be worse. If you’ve ever had a full semester’s worth of books stuffed into a backpack, you’ll be more than equipped to handle the brunt of the BR 700.
Now that we have the Newtons out of the way, let’s get into the raw power behind the backpack model of the Stihl leaf blower.
Essentially, the mph measurement details the speed at which air can exit the end of the leaf blower. Meanwhile, cfm is the actual velocity and measure of how well the BR 700 can shove leaves and other pieces of debris to the side.
Stihl claims that the BR 700 can move at 197 mph. We cranked up the settings and measured ourselves and came away with the expected difference.
Despite their claim, we clocked the Stihl BR 700 at 179 mph. Although this might seem like false advertising, we have seen a lot worse and have come to expect exaggeration. In fact, we looked at a Shindaiwa leaf blower that claimed to be 42 mph faster (245) than it actually measured (203).
Our theoretical peak mph for the Stihl BR 700 is 206, which will only happen in an absolutely perfect setting. This involves very specific conditions of heat and humidity. And without access to a closed environment, we can’t predict exactly how this will measure.
On the other hand, we have the cubic feet per minute measure. Thankfully, Stihl doesn’t blow smoke (or leaves) on this number. Their targeted claim is 912 cfm, and we’re happy to report that we measured at 903, one of the smaller differences we have noted in our reviews of leaf blowers.
Oddly enough, we have encountered leaf blowers capable of more cfm than their manufacturers boast. A recent test with a Makita model produced 62 more cfm than originally mentioned by the makers. While this might seem like a nice bonus, we would rather know exactly what we are getting with our leaf blower upon opening the box.
We were able to use the Stihl BR 700 in a hot and muggy environment. Most importantly, we had a couple of options on exactly how to test the Stihl leaf blower. These included using soaked leaves and thick grass full of dew and swampy material. Finally, we decided to go with a bag full of grass clippings, cut open and splayed out across the asphalt.
We wanted to ensure that the starting point held fast for the measurement, and boy, were we impressed. The Stihl BR 700 outclasses anything else we have reviewed.
A total of 888 square inches was covered by the BR 700, an amazing feat when you consider that there are more powerful blowers out there. We didn’t expect the Stihl BR 700 to cover such a wide area, and it makes our final review score even more justified. The less you have to move back and forth on the job, the quicker you can finish.
Speaking of quick finishes, how long will it take you to finish the job with the Stihl leaf blower?
That’s an important question, especially for contractors who aren’t charging by the hour. We wanted to know how often you would need to add fuel to the Stihl BR 700, and we have to admit, the results were a bit disappointing.
With a wide-open throttle on a full tank of fuel, the Stihl BR 700 runs for less than an hour, needing a refill after 53 minutes. If you have enough left in the truck while you’re on the job, this won’t be a problem, but it’s an inconvenience.
When compared to other leaf blowers that can go well over an hour on one tank, this is a big letdown when looking at the overall score for the Stihl backpack blower.
What Do We Think of this Stihl BR 700 Blower?
When stacked against the competition, we think that the BR 700, overall, is an incredible piece of landscaping hardware.
We’re hard-pressed to give a recommendation on anything that performs better in so many different areas. The volume, speed, and coverage area of the Stihl leaf blower is practically unmatched when you compare it to other products at a comparable price.
We did speak about our disappointment with the fuel efficiency, and that’s what keeps us from giving it a perfect score. We can’t shake the feeling that efficiency was sacrificed for raw power. While this is fine for a motor vehicle, this leaf blower should have been a bit more conservative in its usage. The problem that we ran into involved refilling the fuel more consistently in the Stihl than anything else.
As we thought more about other leaf blowers in a similar price range, the price itself made us realize we were happy with recommending the Stihl BR 700.
The only thing you’ll want to remember in the future is the fluctuating cost of gas. You’ll be making multiple trips to the gas station if you have a few of these on the job.
Conclusion and Recommendations for Another Stihl Leaf Blower
If you don’t need a backpack, there are several other options for picking up a Stihl leaf blower. We’ll point you in the direction of other electric and gas-powered options below.
Stihl BGE 61
If you have a small yard and don’t plan to use a leaf blower too often, this is a great option.
The BGE 61 is quiet thanks to the electric power. All you have to do is keep the battery charged, and you’ll be distributing the leaves on your lawn as evenly as possible. On top of this, you won’t be contributing any pollutants to the environment with any spent fuel.
Stihl BG 50
For those who need a bit of an extra kick to their leaf blower, we recommend the BG 50.
This member of the Stihl family runs on gas but still gives you plenty of efficiency. You can access the air filter with no tools required, and the tank is easily refilled thanks to a convenient access point.
You’ll Always be Happy with a Stihl
No matter which style you choose, any Stihl leaf blower is going to work out well for you.
It’s one of our favorite brands to work with, and we think you’ll be happy with your purchase.