Leaf vaccum purchase

I'm considering purchasing a leaf vac/blower to shred up the maple leaves that are beginning to fall around my house. I'd like to get some feedback from anyone who uses one regarding which brands, models, features are desirable. I have looked at what Home Depot has to offer and the two main contenders are the Echo Shred-n-Vac or the Homelite "Vac Attack". I read some online reviews and the Echo got better marks.
-JasonW
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JasonW wrote:

Forget the others. Echo is the best - hands down. Or you can learn the hard way and buy the other shit and you'll be back here complaining cuz it won't start and Home Cheapo won't refund your money.
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Jason,
Are you looking at a blower/vac that is essentially a leaf blower that can run in reverse to shred the leaves? If so, I hope you don't have a lot of leaves. The small blower/vac's just don't have the capacity to deal with a large volume of leaves.
I've seen what is called a "Billy goat" that is a genuine leaf sucker. It is essentially an outdoor vacuum cleaner. I may rent one a couple of times this fall to deal with all the leaves my trees create.
Good luck on whatever you choose.
KB
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times
Capacity in the sense of motor power, or bag volume? I'm basically looking for a way to get the leaves out of every nook and bush that they fall into around the house without having to pick them out by hand. The ones on the lawn can just be raked. Do you have a brand on that "Billy Goat"?
-JasonW
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Sorry, no brand name on the billy goat. Check with your local rental store. I have the impression that they are moderately expensive items (maybe $500-$800), but that's just based on seeing one, not on any pricing I've seen.
On the blower/vac, if you're just using it for nooks and crannies, you should be fine. I had the impression that you were going to use it for picking up big 'ol piles of leaves.
KB
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Billy goats? Never rode one of those. I have years of experience with sheep, pigs and donkeys. What the hell I give them I try. Always looking for something new. Thanks for the tip.
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On Thu, 14 Aug 2003 04:06:12 GMT, "Kyle Boatright"

Bill Goats are for open lawn. Sounds like you don't need one.
Bob
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ECHO is reliable and works
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I have 3 Echo products. Leaf blower, straight shaft weed wacker and their electric hedge trimmer. They've all given me faultless service for 4 years now. Having taken care of them properly by keeping them clean and inside a shed has no doubt helped.
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You dont want Homelite, they are out of business and from what I hear, parts are hard to get now !!!!

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After "saving" money and buying a Homelite, then a WeedEater, having them break after one season of light use, I finally got an Echo ES2400 (I think that's the model). Cost me around $300 IIRC, plus the $200 I coulda saved by not buying the others first. They have lesser models (of Echo) (like the ones at HD) and you may not need the features that come with the more expensive model. But, you should also consider the backpack style models if you can afford them and justify the expense (i.e. if you're only vacuuming a couple cubic yards of leaves, it's not worth it) cause it's easier to haul it around on your back than by hand.
Works great, good size bag, no complaints.
For yard leaves, if I wanna shred 'em, I rake 'em into piles then run the Echo on the pile. But, if you're gonna do this a lot, you should look into alternatives (like this garbage can mounted shredder my neighbor had).
Also, do not use gas/oil mixtures more than a month (or so) old. You can ruin the engine.
Renata

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