Sh 86 c-e leaf shredder vacuum professional shredder vac stihl usa f gas logo

Rated 4 out of 5 by Riefer01 from Great shredder in Small Package I have a very wooded lot in the South. Meaning I have just about every leafy thing imaginable in my yard. Anything from pine cones, ivy, chestnuts, hickory nuts, sticks and so much more. I was looking for a small blower i could work in between my flower beds. I purchased a cheaper unit which had a plastic shredder. The first hour I had broken the unit due to a smaller pine cone that was hidden in the leaves. So I made a rookie mistake. Took the unit back and got the more more expensive unit, which shredded very well and I’ve been very pleased worth the extra money for a simple upgrade. The only issue I have with this unit is the Bag quality is very poorly made. For those who are sucking up just leaves you’ll not experience the same issue as i did. But for those who have small sticks and any pine cones the bag does not last long. I ended up re-sewing the zipper with stronger fishing line, which has worked so far.I still recommend to purchase this unit from the competitors simply to the great reliability of the unit versus the bad construction.

Rated 1 out of 5 by CanuckStig from No comparison to its previous model. 23 years ago I built my home on a wooded 2.5 acre property. This is no simple residential yard. It requires top quality devices to tame it. Because of that, I purchased only Stihl products. Chain saws, extension trimmer, Weed trimmer, and a Blower Vacuum. All were excellent! After 19 years of vigorous service, the Blower Vac finally gave out. It owed me not a dime. So 3 years ago I purchased its replacement. The SH 86. What a huge disappointment. As another reviewer perfectly said, its a ghost of its former self. My biggest mistake was to not return it immediately. Today I was informed that it has had an internal bearing failure, and to repair it would be around two thirds of the original unit cost. (UPDATE: Stihl has agreed to supply the replacement parts needed at NC. Much appreciated, as I now only have to pay the labor costs.) Let me tell you why this is in no way a surprise. Out of the box, the build "quality" is sad. Where the previous unit used easy to use, and easy to replace hose connectors to attach the various nozzles, this one uses fiddly and incredibly inconvenient tabs that require a screwdriver to depress them to remove accessories. On the previous design, if one of the hose clamps were to fail, which they never did, it would cost next to nothing to fix. With this, when the tabs fail, the complete housing is toast. Ironically, the new setup is called "Tool Less". But you have to have a tool to depress the tabs to change the accessory. In the past, I simply set the tension of the Hose clamps once to a level that allowed the accessories to interchange easily. With NO tool! The plastic used on the accessories also pales in comparison to the quality of the previous generation. Also, this thing is an ergonomic mess! When using it as a Vacuum, which I do about 40% of the time, the angle that you have to hold the unit is horrible, but at least you do get the cheap thrill of having to hold it against your crotch to get the proper pick up angle on the vacuum tube. For myself, the angle on which you have to hold the unit is very uncomfortable for my back and shoulders. I could use the previous version for hours with no such problems. Fun too is that after every few hours of use, the power suddenly dies off to the point of it almost stalling. That means that the spark arrestor has clogged up. Again. So every two to three tanks of gas, you have to stop, remove and clean this piece. This demands a redesign. Here is a final example of the level of corner cutting on this piece. The leaf collector bag on the original had a zipper that went around the corner of the bag. The new one features a zipper that is about 4 inches shorter, only opening the very end of the bag. So what? In use it means that if you actually allow the bag to get more than say 90% full, the contents become jammed, requiring that you shut down the machine, and wrestle with the bag, digging out the collected contents. What did Stihl save by making the zipper that much shorter? Next to nothing, but it makes such a difference on the usability. What all of this told me, and has now proven to be completely true, is that if Stihl cut corner after corner on the externals of the design, that the engine itself would suffer the same fate. And my fears have been confirmed. Knowing that this thing is delicate, I have treated it with the utmost care. But it has mattered not. In use you can just feel the significant drop in solidity and build level throughout. I am now left with a dilemma. To put good money after bad to fiix a poorly designed product? Or to look to another companies product? One thing that I can’t do is reward Stihl by purchasing another of their disappointments. It would have been unfathomable that I would have had anything other than glowing recommendations about Stihl, until this machine. My message to Stihl is to get the bean counters out of the product design flow. Would I have spent more on this product upon purchase to have something built to the Stihl standard of old? Absolutely! I never even looked at an offering from another tool maker. I just went and picked up a Stihl, because it was the best. Period. Now I just hope that my other older devices continue to serve me as well as they have over the years. UPDATE: I received a very prompt call from a Stihl area manager regarding my concerns. It was very good to have such interest in my experience. Here though is the biggest takeaway from that conversation, that I share here in hopes that someone in a position to care about it at Stihl takes notice. I was told that it is fruitless to continue to compare the products of old to the new. Most worryingly, I was told that "nothing that either myself, or he (the area manager) could say would make any difference at all with Stihl". What a shame that is.