Redback 40V Cordless Blower (106062): Product Review
A good all around blower that gets the job done
If you’re ready to make that leap into a cordless 40V leaf blower, Redback has a nice unit that may just fit your requirements.
I tested the Redback 106062 40V Lithium Ion (Li-Ion) cordless blower. Powered by a brushless motor, it made the grade in the ever-expanding market of battery operated lawn and landscape tools.
|Approx. Unit Weight (without battery):||5.5 lbs|
|Approx. Battery Weight:||2.0 lbs|
|Approx. Unit Weight (incl. battery)||7.5 lbs|
|Max. Air Speed:||121 mph|
|Max. Air Volume:||385 cfm|
|Battery Type*:||40V, 4.0Ah Li-Ion|
|Battery Charger Input:||120V, 60Hz (Hertz)|
|Approx. Charge Time:||30 minutes w/ 5A charger (EC50)|
|Warranty:||36 months for both blower and battery|
OUT OF THE BOX
The blower is securely packaged in a large box, with the charger and battery packaged separately inside it.
What comes standard with the Redback 106062 40V cordless blower is a 2Ah battery and a 2A charger (EC20). I also tested a 4Ah battery and the 5A charger.
The instruction manual is well written, although all measurements are presented only in metric (it would be nice to see inch measurements as well).
Easy to Assemble
The only assembly required is attaching the blower pipe to the blower itself. This is an easy process of simply sliding the blower pipe onto the blower tube that protrudes from the front of the blower. It has a bayonet catch that makes it a piece of cake to install/remove by simply rotating the blower pipe in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction.
Before using the blower, the battery has to be fully charged. The 4.0Ah battery that I tested (not part of the standard Model 106062 kit) took about 60 minutes to charge using the Redback supplied 5A (EC50 charger).
If you use the standard 106062 kit charger and battery (2A charger and 2.0Ah battery) then it takes about 70 minutes to achieve a full charge.
One thing I like about the Redback batteries is that they have an easy push-button and 4 LED lights that tell you exactly how much charge is remaining in the battery.
When the battery is fully charged, slide it into the battery compartment at the back end of the blower. One of the safety features I like is that the battery can only be installed one way, thereby preventing any mishaps. The battery will make an audible “click” when it’s installed, letting you know that it’s locked in place via a plastic lock/unlock tab located on the bottom of the battery.
WEIGHT AND BALANCE
One thing you’ll notice right away is that the blower pipe has a metal ring on the end of it, probably because the blower needs to be balanced at the tipping point where you grab the handle. Without this weighted blower pipe, the unit would tend to be rear heavy (due to the battery weight), which makes for an unbalanced blower. In my tests, the weight of the metal end didn’t interfere with the performance of the unit in any way and nicely counterbalanced the battery weight.
And according to Redback, the metal end also prevents undue wear on the plastic blower pipe.
Shoulder Belt To Lighten the Load
The Redback 40V blower comes with a shoulder belt (using it is optional) that clips onto the blower. It definitely took some of the weight off what was required to hold the blower without the belt.
Using the shoulder belt changed the balance point and made the blower pipe point more towards the ground even with the heavier 4.0Ah battery. This is not a big deal however – when blowing leaves and debris, you want to point the blower pipe toward the ground anyway. The belt kept the tipping point forward just enough to have the blower naturally hang at about 30 degrees when my hand was lightly holding the grip.
Virtually all my testing was done without the shoulder belt. It was not that I didn’t want to use the belt, rather the blower was light enough that I didn’t need the strap. For others who may not have the arm strength to hold a blower for long periods of time, the shoulder belt is a real advantage.
The Redback blower uses a series of push buttons to turn it ON/OFF and control air speed. The “control panel” also has 4 LED lights that indicate airspeed levels.
I found that this push button panel has a real plus and a couple of drawbacks. On the plus side, the push-button for both Start and Stop functions is a nice safety feature. Some other competitive models have a throttle trigger with a cruise control lever. If the cruise control lever is locked in an ON position then the blower can automatically start when the battery is inserted. Redback has engineered a failsafe against this type of accident by having separate Start and Stop buttons. Even with the battery inserted, the unit cannot accidentally start.
Although it has a high-tech look, the control panel is less intuitive to use than a trigger activated throttle. It has fixed air speed settings that are button controlled and need to be pushed each time you encounter different blowing conditions. I had to look at the display each time I wanted to make an airspeed change or turn the unit ON or OFF.
Another feature of the Redback 106062 blower is a turbo-speed mode. To activate it, keep pushing the increase airspeed button until you achieve turbo-speed (121 mph). The downside I found was that the microprocessor that controls the airspeed only activates the turbo-speed for 30 seconds before it cycles back down to a lower speed mode. It was frustrating to have to keep pushing the increase airspeed button every time I wanted the turbo-speed to last longer than its programmed time.
Redback has engineered this cycling down feature to conserve battery life. In theory, it’s a good idea, but there were times when I needed the turbo-speed to stay on continuously, particularly when I was blowing large piles of debris.
Technology like the push-button panel is a real boon in certain applications, but for the Redback 40V blower I would have preferred a variable-speed, trigger-activated throttle. I’d also like to see the blower stop without having to push a stop button. For those who don’t mind pressing buttons, the 106062 is the perfect machine for you.
Overall, the blower worked well, with different capabilities at each fixed airspeed.
The low speed was good for very light material that was not stuck in grass. It worked particularly well when blowing out small leaves and twigs off a sandy path without moving the sand.
The middle speed worked for dry leaves and small twigs on a lawn or pathway.
The high speed was good for moving larger leaves, small pinecones, and medium sized twigs.
And the maximum/turbo-speed moved large piles of dry leaves and medium twigs/debris.
In general, I found the airspeed output was close to, if not better than, competitors but for some reason it didn’t seem to move as much material unless I was in turbo-mode. I think this has to do with the fixed airspeed controls more than anything, particularly in the middle speed range. With a variable-speed, trigger-controlled blower you can adjust the airspeed to better match conditions, rather than having only four options.
Battery Life / Run Time
As far as the battery life was concerned (and again, I used the 4Ah battery vs. the 2Ah one that is included in the kit), the blower consistently ran for about 60 minutes on a fully charged battery, allowing me to blow a little more then 1/4 acre.
The Redback marketing materials say that the blower will run about 90 minutes (4.0Ah battery). I didn’t experience this. It could be that the estimated run time is based on using the blower at the minimum airspeed. I used the blower almost exclusively at high to turbo-speed mode, which likely accounts for the lower number of useful minutes until the battery died.
For a 40V 2.0 Ah battery, plan on getting about half the run time.
>> Related Article: Q&A on Li-Ion Batteries
Blowing leaves and debris can be dangerous. Proper PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) is a must. I recommend wearing long pants, boots, hearing and eye protection (I recommend the safety glasses from John Deere/Wiley X).
Redback offers a 36 month warranty on all its 40V line of products. The warranty is a pretty standard one that covers against material defects and workmanship. It doesn’t cover consumables, misuse, abuse, loss, theft or unreasonable/outrageous customer requests. But Redback points out that, “Our customer service team tries to bend over backwards to handle reasonable customer issues. If a customer has an issue, Redback recommends calling them directly and they will try to remedy (within reason) the problem”. From my perspective, they are clearly trying to set themselves apart as a proactive, customer satisfaction based company. As Redback puts it, “we take it personally”. This is very refreshing in today’s buying environment where customer service is becoming more automated (and sometimes worse) and less personal. Redback is trying to step outside this box.
The batteries are warranted for 36 months as well. But, as Redback reminds its customers, Lithium-Ion batteries are considered consumables and as such have a limited lifetime warranty. The battery only holds 80% of its charge after 500 discharge cycles. This doesn’t mean that the battery is defective, it’s just wearing out and will need to be replaced eventually. The batteries are geared toward homeowners and not towards the commercial user, so someone who only has one battery and charges/discharges it every day, multiple times a day might wear out the batteries in just a year. Redback prides itself on customer service though, so they encourage anyone with concerns to contact the customer service department for help.
To reach Redbacks customer service:
- Toll Free: 877-487-8275 (Press “2” at the message to skip straight through to Customer Service)
- Real people are available 7AM-5PM Mountain Time Monday – Friday
- Email support is also available at firstname.lastname@example.org – that email goes to the entire Customer Service team.
The Redback 106062 40V cordless Li-Ion blower is a very good blower. I like the weight and balance and the amount of air it moves, particularly in the high and turbo-speed settings. It performed adequately in all our tests of blowing leaves and other debris. The shoulder belt is definitely a nice feature and the unit’s quality and safety features are excellent.
On a lesser note, I would have preferred a pull trigger throttle with variable speeds vs. a push button fixed speed electronic panel. I also would have liked to have seen a turbo-speed without an automatic timer that turned the unit down to a lower speed every 30 seconds. I understand the battery saving rationale, but having to frequently adjust the speed every 30 seconds when blowing larger debris or piles of leaves was annoying after a while.
But if you like high-tech button controls with fixed airspeeds, and a battery saving/lower airspeed feature, you can’t go wrong with this blower.
WHERE TO BUY
The Redback 106062 40V cordless blower is available on Amazon Prime for $199.99.
Extra 40V 2.Ah batteries are also available from Amazon for $61.99.
And now over to you – Have you tried a cordless blower? What did you think? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
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