Startup tips: Finding outdoor power equipment on a budget

March 14, 2018 -  By

We spend a great deal of time sharing how landscape professionals can get the most from dealers. But what about the little guy who is starting out in the industry, who doesn’t know the ins and outs, or even where the nearest dealer is?

That’s where retail stores come into play.

With hundreds of locations and competitive pricing, it’s easy to understand how these options are appealing to newcomers to the green industry, and maybe for even a few seasoned pros. With this in mind, I traveled to Tampa, Fla., to partake in Home Depot‘s outdoor power tool showcase to see what options were available for the average Joes looking to get started in the industry.

Here are a few of the highlights.

With more manufacturers entering the cordless segment, EGO said it sets itself apart with its battery design. While many other companies produce box-shaped batteries, EGO batteries were created in an arch design. The arched shape and Keep-Cool battery technology allow the battery to cool faster while in use.

The EGO 56-volt lithium ion cordless 24-inch brushless hedge trimmer comes with a 1-inch cut capacity.

The other model EGO reps had on hand was the 56-volt, 15-inch Powerload string trimmer. There are two important things to note about this model:

  1. It features a carbon fiber shaft that comes with a lifetime warranty.
  2. This string trimmer comes with the company’s Powerload technology, which allows users to feed line into the head, press a button and load the trimmer line automatically.

The Milwaukee M18 FUEL 18-volt lithium ion brushless, cordless string trimmer was designed with the motor in the back, for improved balance and maneuverability. Released in early 2017, it also has the power to clear thick brush, reaches full throttle in under one second and provides up to one hour of run-time per charge, the company representatives said. 

The other Milwaukee model on display was the FUEL M18 blowerThe blower can perform at full throttle in under 1 second and features increased control with a lock-on button, two-speed control and an ergonomic handle. It also includes an ambidextrous cruise control. It has the power to clear debris from 15 feet away and generates up to 30 percent less noise than a gas blower, the company said.

Echo representatives were on-hand to show off the company’s newest blowers: the Echo PB-580T gas backpack blower and the PB-2520 handheld leaf blower.

The Echo gas backpack blower features a 58.2 cc professional grade two-stroke engine that helps deliver air volume of 510 cubic feet per minute (CFM) and air speed of 215 miles per hour (mph). It features a full padded backrest for upper and lower back support, adjustable shoulder straps, a new grip on the tube mounted throttle and a vented back pad that allows air to circulate around the user for increased comfort in hot weather. Additionally, a translucent fuel tank enables users to keep an eye on fuel levels. 

Next up, the handheld leaf blower features an “s-pipe” design to reduce the gyro effect on the user’s wrists. Weighing in at 8.6 pounds, this model runs on a 25.4 cc engine and produces 453 CFM and 170 mph.

Blast from the past

While the main focus of the event was to showcase innovations, some of the manufacturers wanted to show off just how far their products have come. And what better way to do that than bringing out a few original models?


This Cub Cadet model—known simply as the Original—hit the market in 1960 and featured a 7-hp engine and a U-spring seat. Can you imagine spending hours sitting on a metal seat while mowing? No thank you.


Next up is the 20-inch Premier from Toro, released in 1938.


Also on display was the 1953 Whirlwind 2-cycle from Toro.


Echo also brought out its CS-452Vl chainsaw. Weighing in at 13.2 pounds, this model featured vibration reducing engine mounts, a 20-inch bar, a 44.3 cc Echo engine and a chain brake.


The Honda E300 portable generator was also on display.


This article is tagged with and posted in Mowing+Maintenance
Kelly Limpert

About the Author:

Kelly Limpert is a graduate of Ohio University, earning a Bachelor of Science in Strategic Communication from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. Her background in online journalism and advertising aids LM in developing a strong online presence.

1 Comment on "Startup tips: Finding outdoor power equipment on a budget"

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  1. Hi Kelly – So happy I found your article. I am the new business owner who is always looking for premium equipment at a budget friendly price – and still high quality. Can’t thank you enough for some tips on how to get this mission accomplished!

    Thanks again and take care.