Reviewed Saw: Husqvarna 125B 28cc 2-Stroke Leaf Blower
Look & Feel
Gas powered leaf blowers can be finicky beasts. On the one hand, they offer the freedom and power you need to move around your property, blowing away leaf and even heavier junk. On the other, if you have next-door neighbors, and strict municipal laws related to noise control, you might have some irate complaints due to all that noise!
Two-stroke machines, like the Husqvarna 125B Leaf Blower, offer a compromise. You get more power than an electric blower and a lighter than a 4-stroke blower. But like all machines, they also, have their bad sides. How does the affectionately named "Husky" 125B rank, when you weigh the pros against the cons? Let's find out in this in-depth review.
Below are some of the main features that the Husqvarna 125B has to offer:
Back in the day, Husqvarna was famous for making some amazing 2-stroke motorcycles. They have since carried over their expertise into the lawn equipment business. The 1.1hp engine on the 125B is capable of redlining at 8000 RPM, and create wind speeds more than 170 mph. At such high speeds, you can also expect larger volumes of air out of the tube, with CFM ratings close to 425. That kind of power straddles the line between light and medium/heavy duty leaf blowers. The engine burns fuel at a rate of 575 g/kWh. Combined with a 16.91oz fuel tank, that enables the leaf blower to function for hours on a full tank.
All that power is hidden behind a very slim design. At just 10 ounces shy of 10 lbs, this Husky model falls within the category of lightweight leaf blowers. The handheld design is also optimized for continuous use. The fan is housed towards the right, and the air stream is directly in line with the handle of the blower for improved control and ease of use.
All the control functions are neatly arranged on a master control panel located at the back of the blower. The main star of this panel is the cruise control function, which allows the user to lock the speed of the fan at a particular setting.
This allows for a consistent wind speed output over time with a minimal effort from the operator. The power switch is designed to automatically shift to the "on" position when used to shut the machine down. This enables an easy "on-and-off" functionality.
Adjusting the length of the tube enables you to reach tight corners and nooks in your lawn/property more efficiently. You also have the option to change the nozzles of the blowing tube. There are two variants to choose from. A round nozzle for normal use, and a flat nozzle when you need a more concentrated blast of air.
Above, you can see the Husqvarna 125b in action. On paper, the "Husqvarna 952711925 125b 28cc 2-stroke 170 mph gas powered handheld blower" does sound quite impressive. In real world usage, the performance aspect does stay true to those impressive numbers. But some key points do rob this particular Husky off a stellar rating. Let's see what those are in detail:
There is quite a lot of power available in this compact package; there is no denying that fact. Gas powered blowers have that advantage over their electric counterparts. If you want to handle heavier debris and not just leaves, the Husqvarna leaf blower 125B is a competent tool for the job. Leaves are simply no match for this blower.
Even heavier stuff like sticks and pine needles can be swept away effortlessly. You might even have some fun with it blowing light snow away in the winters.But all that power does come at a significant cost. And it is an entirely predictable one at that too. Two stroke engines are notoriously loud, and the Husky rates in at a not too shabby 94 decibels close to the operator's ear.
You know what that means if you plan to use it, get some ear plugs. And if you live a community where homes are not spaced far apart, expect noise complaints from your neighbors! There are some minor quirks though. The master control panel is neatly arranged and easy to reach. However, the choke placement could have been a lot more intuitive. It is quite easy to miss it, the way it is placed at the back.
The location of the fan unit does make it a fantastic option for right-handers while making it harder to use for southpaws.
The unit is quite easy to start, and when properly maintained and fueled, should start with three or four pulls. That sub-10lbs weight and slim profile mean that it is quite comfortable to hold. And as promised, there is little to no strain on the wrists, thanks to the positioning of the fan.
But it's time to look at some of the major issues that plague this unit. A lot of it has got to do with the 2-stroke engines and fuel mixtures. Now, the optimal Husqvarna 125b fuel mix is 50:1, as mentioned by the manufacturer. That means you need to 2.6 ounces of oil for 1 gallon of gas. That is also specified by the manufacturer. They also mention the need for high octane fuel (minimum 87). Below, a video of this leaf blower's common problems and solutions:
But what is not explicitly mentioned is that any gas with ethanol in it, (which is what you find pretty much everywhere these days) your fuel lines will get rotted away in next to no time. Take a good look at the scores of negative reviews this unit has received online, and pretty much all of its revolves around "low-quality fuel lines." The ones in this Husky uses plastic tubes for economy and lightweight, and the only way to prolong their life is to ensure that you only use the manufacturer specified fuel.
Beyond that, the engine may start to sputter a bit after some months, or a year. There are even reported instances where it happens right out of the box. Now, your chances of being dealt a lemon are quite slim, but be prepared for some tinkering in future to keep this Husqvarna 125B in top shape. The carburetor is usually the culprit.
In all honesty, the main issues plaguing the Husqvarna is prevalent in most 2-stroke engines. But by using sub-par quality fuel lines, they may have exacerbated the issue somewhat. Either way, despite its near flawless performance, the 125b blower is not very forgiving and does require constant attention regarding the type and quality of fuel used.
We found no major issues in this department, save for the issue above related to the fuel lines. The Husky uses a lot of plastic, to keep things light obviously, but that hasn't detracted from the overall sturdiness of the unit.
Compared to some of the other gas powered handheld leaf blowers in its class, the Husqvarna 125B looks positively petite. And it does look good in the bright orange and black. There are no major design flaws as far as looks are concerned. Except maybe that it looks deceptively small and weak, so be prepared to be taken aback by that powerful 2-stroke motor!
With such compact dimensions and light-weight, the 125b is a very family-friendly machine. Even teenagers and senior citizens can get this thing up and run in no time. It feels comfortable to hold and work with. There is no strap provided with the package, but you can install one if you feel the need.
The Husqvarna 125b is available online for under $200. The price may be lowered by discounts as well. In a sub-$150 range, this leaf blower is a good option, especially if you have a large property to maintain. It could also make sense if you want to buy it for professional use. The only real concern is regarding the use of the right type of fuel.
You can design the best leaf blower in the world and still fail in the market if you don't consider your opposition. And the Husqvarna 125B certainly has some tough competition, from other established brands in the lawn equipment market. Let's compare our highlighted product with its main rivals to see if it makes the grade. For the sake of fair comparison, we will only use gas powered or cordless electric blowers.
A cordless electric blower has some definite advantages over a 2-stroke gas powered blower like the Husky 125b. The GreenWorks blower will be practically silent in comparison to the 90+ decibels of the 125b. And it is also much lighter, cheaper, and easier to maintain as well.
You do not have to worry about the mess of oil and gas. If you have a small yard or lawn, and live very close to your neighbors, the GreenWorks 24252 G-Max is probably a better option. But it lacks the raw power of the Husqvarna 125B, and that is to be expected.
The air speed rating of 150 mph might seem not too shabby in comparison to Husqvarna's 170 mph, but that is in fact quite misleading. The volume of air involved is much less in the electric blower, with a CFM rating of only around 140, which is nothing compared to the 425 of the 2-stroke blower. If you have a lot of heavier and wet debris and live away from neighbors, the Husky is probably is a great choice.
The Hitachi is in the same class as the Husqvarna 125B, with a 2-stroke engine and 170 mph air speeds.
It also fits into the same price range as well. It has a stronger air flow out of the nozzle as well, with air volume rated at 440 CFM, which is 15 more than the Husky. The Hitachi is also around 1lb lighter than the 125, which makes it a superior product on paper.
And to make things even better for the Hitachi, it also has a better decibel rating close to 70, which makes it quieter than the Husqvarna. Add a longer consumer warranty period, and the RB24EAP looks like a much better choice than the Husky 125b. Sure it has all the flaws you can expect out of a 2-stroke blower, but it still has better specs than the 125b. Unless you are a fan of the Husky brand, the Hitachi may be a better choice if available at the same price.
This Makita 4-stroke is an interesting choice since it is a handheld design that is only 4 ounces heavier than the 125B. It has a slower air speed rating of 145 mph, but it still delivers a respectable volume of air (358 CFM).
The main advantage it has over the Husky is the fact that it has a four stroke engine. They are cleaner, more fuel efficient and greener than the older two-stroke technology. And you don't have to worry about mixing oil and gas either.
The Makita is a full $50 pricier than the Husqvarna, even with discounts. But it would be a better option if you are more environmentally conscious, or do not want to worry about the common issues of 2-stroke engines. On the other hand, if you need the extra airspeed and power to handle heavy debris, the Husqvarna 125B might be the better choice, and the cheaper one too.
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