Blowers have been one of the most intriguing OPE tools since the Li-ion phase, and people are trying to get a firm grip on them. The nature of this tool requires a lot of battery capacity to get the performance and runtime that Pro-minded homeowners and commercial teams need. The handheld EGO LB6500 56V Blower exceeds these expectations with its highly portable 650 CFM power supply. Product managers and engineers have now turned their attention to the commercial and large residential markets for the new EGO 56V knapsack blower.
This moves 600 cfm of air – that's 600 cubic feet per minute. It runs at 145 mph. Lest you think the EGO Backpack Hair Dryer is just an ordinary hair dryer with a remote battery – read on.
Backpack blowers are in the early stages of development in this field. There is a DeWalt 40V backpack blower, a 450 CFM, 145 MPH model that we recently reviewed, but not many others. They're able to get up to 45 minutes of run time from a pair of 7.5 amp-hour batteries. However, the design is heavier and has lower performance than most professionals require. Several other manufacturers are also developing products, and perhaps we'll learn more after this year's GIE Expo in Kentucky.
EGO 56V Backpack Blower First Impressions
The EGO 56V backpack blower came in at the same speed, 145 mph, but with 33% more air. With this blower pushing 600 CFM, it's a wonder how they managed to keep the weight under 13 lbs. EGO also pays attention to the user's ergonomic considerations, adding a chest strap and a waist belt. This would really help users who have to strap this thing down for hours a day.
EGO's improved performance from the 56V backpack blower is partly due to the elimination of air resistance in the curved tube design. At first glance, the inline design of the EGO Backpack Blower makes one wonder why they bother making it a backpack in the first place. After all, it almost looks like it's just a more powerful version of their handheld blower.
Belt – mandatory feature
Once you've adjusted the EGO Backpack Blower to fit your back, everything will fall into place. If you've ever backpacked, belt belts will be a familiar sight. Those of us who hike a lot want to transfer as much weight as possible from the shoulders to the hips.
The frame of the EGO 56V Backpack Blower neatly holds the included 5.0Ah battery. A larger 7.5Ah model is also available if you need longer runtimes. A hose connects to the blower motor housing, which utilizes a top-facing joystick control to complete the feel of a traditional backpack blower.
Backpack or handheld design?
Given the simplicity of the kit, will EGO stick with the handheld design on this unit? Maybe, but it'll miss the mark for its intended user base. Bearing the weight of the hips is a great advantage for the user, rather than doing jobs for a few minutes at a time. It also allows your right arm to control airflow without fatigue. Whether you're blowing leaves on a large homestead or performing clean-up duties on a commercial lawn crew, the design will work.
Editor's Note on Air Volume vs. Speed: When looking at a blower (backpack or handheld), you need to understand the difference between air volume and air speed. Think of airflow (cfm) as the amount of work you can do with the tool. High airspeeds allow you to move stubborn or stuck material off the ground. This includes wet leaves, mounds of dirt, etc. You need both, but cfm is probably the more important of the two numbers since it does most of the work.
EGO 56V Backpack Specifications
- Model: Yigao LB6000
- Brushless Motor
- Variable speed throttle with lock function
- Run time: 120 minutes (low), 22 minutes (high), 15 minutes (turbo)
- Airspeed: 145 MPH
- Air Volume: 320 CFM (low) to 600 CFM (turbo)
- Noise: 64 dB SPL
- Battery: 56V 5.0Ah Arc-Lithium, 280Wh
- Adjustable seat belt with lap belt
- Weight: 13 lbs.
- Warranty: 5 years
- Includes: Backpack Blower, 56V 5.0Ah Battery, Charger, User Manual
- Price: $199
How does the EGO Backpack Blower perform?
When visiting the Chervon factory in China, we took the EGO 56V knapsack blower inside for a test drive. We used it to blow a room full of 3 inches of wet wood chips. When I got home, I tested it again around my house and around the PTR store. After reviewing a dozen or so handheld and backpack blowers (including two other EGO models), I've developed a good feeling for these units.
While using the EGO backpack blower, I quickly found a very natural position for the backpack frame and vertical hand controller. Moving grass and dirt at high speeds was easier than I expected given my experience with other cordless blowers. In China, I easily blow a solid 4' path through wet wood chips. Even in denser, wetter areas, the powerful burst in Turbo mode helps the EGO Backpack Blower break down mass well. Once you get home, wetting the driveway and sidewalk clippings shouldn't be a problem.
EGO 56V Blower Power and Runtime
Runtimes are on par with what we've seen in the past. You should be able to get at least 15 minutes of high power from a 5.0 amp hour battery. In Low (EGO claims over 100 minutes) you get more than I wanted to test. Of course, it only gets better with one of EGO's 7.5 Ah batteries.
In our testing, the EGO 56V Backpack Blower demonstrated more power than we've experienced in any other Li-ion blower. While I think it's proven itself capable of keeping land-owning homeowners up for maintenance, it falls somewhere in the middle as far as air-powered backpack blowers go. Compared to commercial models like the ECHO PB-770T backpack blower, it will be slightly shorter, but it's close. It also doesn't require ear protection…or gas – that's it.
The 600cfm EGO 56V Backpack Blower is pushing the market towards utility specs. Professionals may want to get closer to 200 MPH before getting on a boat. At that point, they'll be forced to admit that lithium-ion blowers are at the top of what a pneumatic blower can achieve.
Here's a video of the EGO 56V backpack blower quickly handling some wet wood chips:
With every new model EGO produces, they push the limits more than anyone else at the time. Just when it seemed like someone else was going to catch up or pass them, they would immediately jump back into the lead, with a considerable gap to second.
Now they've done it again.