lawn mower maintenance tips you must know

Spring Lawnmower Maintenance Tips

1. Change Your Oil

Just like the car you drive needs an oil change every 3 months or so, your lawnmower can use an oil change every season. This is necessary to be certain your equipment is taken care of properly along with ensuring it’s longevity.

2. Replace Spark Plugs

Spark plugs would be the second thing you need to make sure are replaced every season. While it’s true you may be able to get more use out of them after a season, the likelihood of damages and costly repairs drastically increases.

3. Replace Your Air Filter

Replacing your air filter is also a necessary yearly maintenance around spring-time. Gunk and debris can cause build up and deterioration that will eventually lead to the malfunctioning of your lawnmower and possibly shut the engine down for good. Make sure to stock up on lawn mower air filters so you have them when you need them!

4. Add Fuel Stabilizer

Fuel stabilizer will keep your mower starting right up along with keep gas out of your tank and fuel lines. We like Fluid Film Stabilizer specifically.

Snowblower Safety Tips (The Full List)

Being safe around a snowblower is a no-brainer. The only issue is sometimes your choices for clothing (or lack thereof) along with safety gear could be putting more in harm’s way. Not only that, but the common-sense tips are also equally as vital to have down pat.

Snowblower safety tips

Safety Gear

Safety gear should be a top concern. Make sure you are protecting your eyes, ears, everything! Simple things you need but most over-looked are goggles, earbuds & slip-proof boots.

Winter Wear

It is definitely a good idea to wear a warm jacket, gloves, but hold on there. If you are thinking about a scarf, think again. A scarf can easily come loose and the ends can fall into the snowblower if you are not careful. Forgo the scarf and wear a high collar or a full face winter hat.

General Tips

1. Make sure to read the manual before use, this goes for everyone that will use the snowblower. Make sure you and everyone understands how to use it and how to understand the warnings.

2. Keep clear of the discharge opening and keep bystanders a safe distance from the machine.

3. Shut the machine off before fueling or unplugging.

4. Do not put hands or feet near any moving components of the machine and do not attempt to operate the machine without all guards, and other safety devices in place and working.

5. Keep children out of the operating area and under the watchful care of a responsible adult other than you. Never allow children to operate the machine.

Friendly Reminders

Know where people & pets are

Operate only in good visibility & light

Turn corners slowly

Look down & behind when backing up

Run the unit a few minutes to prevent machine from freezing up

No smoking near machine


3 Snowblower Safety Tips You Must Know


Snowblowers are supposed to protect you from pains and soreness, not cause them. That’s why this year (which is already looking to be a record year for snowblower sales) you need to be on top of the most common safety risks when operating or being around a snowblower.

1. Snowblower Jams

One of the most typical risks of a snowblower, never use your hand to unclog it. Gloves will not help and hundreds of injuries a year happen because of this mistake. Instead, use the end of a rake or the end of a broom handle. The augers will remain engaged after the handle is released so don’t think because you’ve let go it won’t start moving once that pesky clog is clear.

2. Flying Ice

Commonly an overlooked risk of using a snowblower, flying ice from snowblower operation causes many injuries a year. Kepe young children and those without out eye wear insode or well clear of the snowblower. Make sure if you are operating the unit you are wearing safety glasses or equivalent so you will be fine even some ice goes a flyin’.

3. Heavy Snow

Reference number one here, why? Heavy snow is one of the main reasons for clogs. So, hands off! Make sure to take smaller strips of snow as the density increases with more water thus making smaller amounts of snow as hard or harder to move compared to the larger ones of the dry, fluffy varieties.

Although you have gone a huge way in relieving your back pain with the use of a snowblower, (oh yeah, and heart attacks too) don’t be too care-free. There certainly are risks to using a snowblower but as long as you are cautious and use common sense you will be able to keep snow blowing through any size storm.

Best Gas Leaf Blowers of 2014

Calling something the “best” is extremely relative. Your big thing might be price or weight whereas someone else may only car about cc amount and power. That being said, when shopping for your ideal gas-powered leaf blower it helps to have the advice of professionals at your side. Our customers consist of professionals and homeowners alike, making this list a reference for anyone on the market for a gas-powered leaf blower.

Best Handheld Leaf Blowers

Stihl BG86 Handheld Leaf Blower

best stihl handheld leaf blowerThis blower wins big in one way, power. With a 27.2 cc power potential & air velocity that reaches 190 mph, this hog blows the competition away. Coming in at only 249.99 you can get the power you need for a nice low price point. An ideal handheld for larger properties. This is Stihl’s most powerful handheld leaf blower. Get your Stihl Gas Leaf Blowers from a certified dealer >>

ECHO PB-250LN Handheld Leaf Blower

best echo gas leaf blowerWhere the BG86 dominates with power, the ECHO PB-250LN wins with maneuverability and low noise. At only 65dB the noise level is comparable to that of light rain. If you live in a calm neighborhood or don’t have acres to clear, this would be your best bet. Shop ECHO Gas Leaf Blowers today >>

Compare More Current Handheld Leaf Blowers >>

Best Back Pack Leaf Blowers

ECHO PB500T 50.8 CC Back Pack Leaf Blower

best echo back pack blower 2014ECHO comes in again with the most popular and well-reviewed backpack blower of 2014. The PB-500T has power (50.8 CC) to tackle tough jobs while maintaining a very ergonomic design that makes for simple operation. The PB-500T is the perfect balance between professional and homeowner blowers. ECHO Backpack Blowers >>

Dolmar PB-7601.4 75.6 CC Backpack Blower

best dolmar backpack blower 2014Dolmar has been making popular gas powered blowers for a long time now. That’s why it is no surprise that the powerful yet economical PB-7601.4 is one of our most popular gas powered backpack blower models. Shop Dolmar Gas Leaf Blowers >>

Compare More Current Backpack Blowers Leaf Blowers>>

Carb Emissions Standards

One thing that you need to take into account if you live in California is small engine emission standards. Make sure that the blower you want is carb compliant. These blowers will still emit some pollutants but can be used and sold to customers in California. Overall, make sure your needs are being covered when choosing your ideal gas powered leaf blower. Where some may only care about power, others will want a more quiet option that still has the juice to tackle large tasks.

How To Grow Garlic Without Replanting Every Year

In Central European folk belief garlic will ward off werewolves, vampires and demons. Some still believe this today (and to be honest, i’d try it if in such dire circumstance), but most just love how garlic tastes. Whether you need it to stock up on werewolf protection or just to fill your cabinet and flavor your meals most people don’t realize that garlic can be grown (in your own garden!) to return year after year. Here’s how:

How to Plant Perennial Garlic

Make sure when planting your garlic that you give each seed adequate space to grow. Plant them pointy side up within an area that gets plenty of sunlight throughout the day. Not only does garlic love sun, but this will help if it rains more than you expect. Plant your seeds 1 inch below the surface of the ground while maintaining at least a 6 inch spacing in rows 12 inches apart.


How to Plant Garlic


Harvest Your Garlic & Prep for Next Year

Once your garlic plants grow to about 2 feet tall seed buds will form. Make sure you pinch off the buds to ensure the large plants form cloves. Allow the smaller plants to die and fall back (they will grow back in a later season and it will help fertilize).

Use a hand shovel to uproot the larger plants. After the late summer harvest, lightly till with a cultivator to uproot weeds that are growing. Then water the garden bed to allow weed seed germination and till once more to kill those young weeds.

In early autumn, lay down a 3 inch thick layer of mulch and lightly stimulate the surface to allow the garlic to sprout through. You may also want to lay a net down if you have birds or animals that are likely to dig and eat the garlic seeds/cloves. Don’t worry if it gets cold for a season as garlic needs a cold season to grow properly.

Garlic truly loves the sun and will rot in moist environments so ensure to be aware of your soil type and do not water in the rainy season. If you feel your soil is lacking nutrients add a 1 inch layer of very-well decomposed manure from time to time.

Best Generators for Tailgating

It’s that time of year again. The age-old tradition of filling up the car with great food, family, friends and heading to your favorite team’s stadium is back for yet another epic year of college/professional football. The most important aspect of any great tailgate is of course, food. After that, maybe a small TV for the die-hard fan that needs to catch the pregame, a portable radio, portable fridge, grill, maybe even a laptop to bring entertainment full circle. The only question remains, how will I make sure I can run all of my equipment? The answer: Portable Generators.

Good Portable Generator for Tailgating

Generator for Small HomeThe Honda EU2000i Portable Inverter Generator is ideal for TV, Fridge, Satellite and more. It’s fuel efficiency is an impressive 9.6 hrs on 1 gal of gas. Because it is an inverter generator, the power stable enough for computers. This is ideal for your tailgating if you are traveling light and need to be able to run 2-3** appliances at once. MSRP: $1149.95

Better Portable Generator for Tailgating

The Honda EU2000i Companion open up the possibility of running two EU2000i Generators side by side. Not only does this allow you to run multiple appliances at once but doubles your power output. A simple cord is all you need to run the two simultaneously. Finally, doubling the power doesn’t increase the amount of noise being generated. If power per unit of noise was a measurement, this set-up takes the cake. MSRP: $1279.95

Best Portable Generator for Tailgating

At only 78 lbs, the Honda EU3000i packs a massive punch for its size and weight. Features offset handles to offer much easier lifting, while rear wheels make transportation a snap. Also super quiet, this unit separates itself from the pack due to power. With this portable generator you can run all of your appliances at once including microwaves & frying pans. MSRP: $2599.95
**Always read your owner’s manual on how to properly manage your appliances and energy use.

Choose The Best Fuel for Your Power Equipment (Part 2 With Checklist)

stale fuel problems power equipmentSTALE FUEL – Gasoline begins the gradual process of degrading and losing its volatility as soon as it leaves the refinery. Just like milk, bread and other food items, gasoline will eventually spoil or turn stale. You’ll probably get sick if you drink spoiled milk. Leaving stale fuel in an engine will typically first cause non-warrantable fuel system damage. Stale fuel is the number one cause of stiff carburetor metering diaphragms and a leading cause of carburetor replacement. Very often, engines will run on stale fuel for some time. Stale fuel gum & varnish will quickly stick the piston rings of a running engine causing its failure. Stale fuel is nothing new. We have had this problem long before there was any ethanol blended fuel. The difference is that today’s fuel can start to turn bad much sooner than in the past. In fact, today’s fuel can begin to turn stale in as little as 30-days. High temperatures, high humidity and poor fuel storage are all factors in fuel turning stale prematurely. However, the major factor in today’s fuel short shelf life is ethanol. Ethanol absorbs moisture which is a factor in the formation of stale fuel. In addition, ethanol adds more oxygen to the fuel, speeding up the oxidation (stale fuel) process.

Preventing Ethanol Blended Fuel Problems

ethanol fuel problems oxidation1. PURCHASE ONLY RECOMMENDED FUEL

– All ECHO products are designed to run on gasoline blended with no more than 10% ethanol (E10). Do not run your ECHO equipment on E15, E20 and especially not E85. These fuels can result in: poor engine performance, low power, overheating, vapor lock, improper clutch engagement, premature deterioration of fuel lines, premature deterioration of fuel cap gaskets and premature deterioration of carburetors. Using unauthorized fuel in ECHO two-stroke powered products will void your engine warranty.


– Never store fuel in containers with open or leaking spouts. Replace old fuel containers with separate vents. Leaking open fuel containers are a fire safety hazard that promote the absorption of moisture and cause fuel to turn stale quicker. Use only modern self venting fuel containers with “no spill” self sealing spouts.


– Shake the fuel container for 30 seconds just prior to filling your equipment. This practice ensures the fuel is mixed properly and helps to suspend any small amounts of moisture in the mixture.


– Cool controlled temperatures extend fuel life as it slows the aging process. Keeping the can in a dry area will also reduce the formation of condensation inside the fuel container. Caution: Fuel should never be stored in your house or by a flame or ignition source.


– This is one of the best ways to prevent using stale fuel. Only purchase fuel from name brand high volume stations to ensure you get the freshest fuel possible.

6. USE ECHO PowerBlend X™ or Red Armor 2-STROKE OIL

– These oils contain a small quantity of fuel stabilizer to extend the life of the gasoline mixture.


– The fuel stabilizers are effective only if they are mixed with fresh fuel (just bought at the pump) and proper fuel storage remains just as important. Remember nothing will properly rejuvenate old, stale fuel! 8. DRAIN FUEL COMPLETELY FOR STORAGE – If you do not intend to use your ECHO product within a 30 day period, drain the fuel completely from the carburetor and the fuel tank.

We hope that this information helps you understand the importance of proper ethanol fuel storage, helps prevent potential product issues, avoids costly & unnecessary repair bills and enables you to enjoy your ECHO product when you need it.

For additional information concerning fuel and oil please visit Echo’s website at