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Solo 471-KAT backpack leaf blower

Review Summary

471-KAT (catalytic converter)
Backpack Leaf Blower
Suggested retail $549.95
Reviewed by Leon Frechette
09/11/00 (First Reviewed)
Updated 01/12/09 and 11/19/11

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The Solo 471-KAT (catalytic converter) gas-powered backpack blower quickly and quietly cleans grass clippings off the sidewalk and driveway. It works much better than the kitchen broom, garden hose, or blower attachment for your trimmer. This incredibly quiet machine moves a lot of air!

The air volume from this 2-cycle 3.4-hp unit is 705 cfm with air velocity at 235 mph. You would think that with this much air movement the machine would be noisy. Not so! At 50 feet away the noise emission is 64.5 dB (decibels), which is about 13 dB lower than other products currently on the market.

If this doesn't mean anything to you, just think about the last time you listened to a jet take off. The decibel level at take-off at a distance of 2,000 feet is 110; an auto horn only three feet away will reach the same level. Compare this to the normal level of human conversation, which measures at 50 to 60 dB. As you can tell, this is one quiet machine. Even so, I would still wear some type of hearing protection.

solo products, solo 471 backpack blower, backpack blower, backpack leaf blowers, solo leaf blower, quiet backpack blowers, quiet leaf blowers, powerful backpack blowers, powerful leaf blowersBecause of the new design and a technologically advanced engine that reduces engine speeds by nearly 50 percent (to only 4,500 rpm), this unit still achieves an air output that can handle leaves, wood chips, grass clippings, dirt road debris, and even powder snow. Consider wearing a facemask.

The air tube is 5 feet long with a 90-degree swivel elbow that's controlled by the on/off/throttle handle. Everything is controlled with one hand, and the unit is easy to operate. It weighs in around 21 pounds with the gas tank filled, and you can get up to two hours on one tank of gas. It comes with a comfortable backrest and its wide carrying straps with quick-release buckles are easily adjusted.

I noticed very little vibration from the Solo 471-KAT gas-powered backpack blower, mainly because the anti-vibration system absorbs engine vibrations before they are transferred to the user. I also found it very easy to start as long as I kept it at ground level when starting. This is a high-quality German-made product, and its quality is visible as you look at the unit and noticeable from its performance. Solo feels so strongly about this blower that it carries a two-year unlimited warranty.

Updated 11/19/11:

Areas of interest about the Solo 471-KAT blower!

Gas Mixture: This is a 2-cycle air blower and 2-cycle oil is no longer provided with the unit.

Use any major brand premium 2-cycle oil in a 50:1 mixture: 2.6 ounces of 2-cycle oil to every gallon of premium (89 octane or higher) gas.

There's no oil break-in for this unit—it's a straight 50:1 mixture. Caution: do not use automotive or boat oils in your unit because they do not have the proper additives for 2-cycle, air-cooled engines and can cause engine damage.

Throttle Cable: The most important setup on this unit is to make sure that the throttle cable runs along the inside of the blower tube, i.e., the cable is on the left-hand side of the tube and the right-hand side of the body. If the cable wraps to the outside (opposite side) of the tube and back up on top of the tube, then the cable will pull on the throttle causing the motor to rev up.

Note also that the multi-function handle has a 2-inch adjustment range so the unit can be adjusted away from, or closer to, the body. Once you locate the most comfortable handle position, tighten the multi-function handle on the blower tube using the two screws found on the underside of the handle.

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