STIHL improves brushcutter kit with BR600 Blower nozzle -

About a year ago, a head gardener in Warwickshire asked me whether anything could be done to make it easier to control the pipe end of the Stihl BR600 backpack blower. She had bought it after reading my test report in What Kit? and agreed that it is quiet and fuel-efficient and has power that will "blow your socks off".

But she complained that less-muscular members of her team tired quickly from fighting to keep control of the pipe. "It's the last thing you want to be doing when you are already feeling the strain from a day's hedgetrimming," she said.

I replied that the majority of backpack blowers exhibit some gyratory force resulting in the outlet trying to twist away. With the BR600 generating 1,720cu m/h, with an air speed of 90m/s (324kmph or 200mph), then the twisting force is likely to be strong.

At the time, Stihl brought out a bike-style handlebar that could be retrofitted to the pipe. Looking like a brushcutter handlebar, it is designed to make it easier for the operator to steer the pipe and nozzle against the force of the wind rushing out. In effect, the handlebar distributes the twisting force from the blower onto both arms rather one. The handlebar (order number 4282 790 1700) is priced at £70.64 ex VAT.

I am pleased to say that Stihl has taken this problem seriously and has gone one stage further to find another solution. In addition to the handlebar, it has also developed a new straight round nozzle. One was immediately despatched to Warwickshire for testing by the professional gardeners.

"Wahey! Great piece of kit," the team reported after using the new nozzle throughout the winter and spring. "You still have the power but you are not fighting it." The straight round nozzle for the BR600 (order number 4282 708 6350) is priced at £5.53 ex VAT. Thanks Stihl.

Sally Drury has reported for HW and its forerunner GC&HTJ for 27 years and has spent more than five years testing machinery for HW and What Kit? The advice in this helpline is independent.

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