Husqvarna Blower/Vacuum/Mulcher (125BVx): Product Review
An excellent blower - if you can get it to start and to stay running
Available on Amazon
When spring or fall rolls around and you need to get the yard cleaned up, rakes and tarps are great but quite frankly aren’t as fast as a blower and vacuum mulcher. That’s not to say retire your rake, but rather use it in combination with a leaf blower.
I tested the 125BVx gasoline powered (28cc/1.1hp, 2 cycle – gas and oil mixture) blower / vacuum / mulcher from Husqvarna. The 125BVx blower comes complete with a flared nozzle for higher air speed and a Vac-Kit for vacuuming / mulching lawn debris.
|Airflow in pipe:||425 cfm (cubic feet per minute).|
|Air speed:||170 mph|
|Sound level:||107 dB|
Some Nice Features
At first glance, it’s clear that the Husqvarna 125BVx is a little different from most blowers. It has an ergonomic, inline design (the blower tube is directly in line with the handle) that minimizes rotational force on the wrist and makes for a comfortable, compact unit that’s easy to handle.
It’s relatively lightweight and has a nice power to weight ratio.
The controls are easily accessible, and the priming bulb and chock are located at an easily reachable position behind the engine assembly. The self-resetting engine “kill switch” is easy to access and press, and the easily adjustable soft-grip handle is comfortable to hold for extended periods of time.
Excellent Leaf Blower
The Husqvarna 125BVx is a very powerful blower, both with and without the flared nozzle (the nozzle is used to concentrate the airflow for higher air speeds). During my tests, it blew a variety of lawn debris with ease thanks to its 170 mph/425 cfm motor / fan combo. It’s very maneuverable and easy to swing from side to side.
The leaf blower tube sections assemble easily and are adjustable in length, making the tubes shorter or longer depending on your preference.
It also has a handy “cruise control” feature that allows you to set the fan speed at whatever speed you like without having to hold the trigger.
Good Vacuuming Power
The unit is also a good leaf vacuum and mulcher. As a vacuum, it sucked up small sticks, pine needles, leaves, small pine cones, and even sand / small pebbles. It also mulched the leaves, needles, cones and sticks very well.
The mulching ratio (according to Husqvarna) is 16 to one. In other words, if I had 16 cubic feet of yard waste, the mulcher would reduce it to 1 cubic foot. As an industry standard this is a very good reduction spec.
The mulcher bag is constructed of heavy-duty material and has a good quality zipper. Like virtually all mulcher bags, it emitted a fair amount of dust when in use, particularly when sucking up dry material. I’d recommend using a dust mask when working with dry materials.
The sand and pebbles passed through the impeller with no problems and didn’t damage the unit.
The innovative curved vacuum tube (attached to the engine assembly) made it easy to wrap the unit around my body so that the collection bag was off to one side and out of the way.
The handle at the base of the engine assembly (used to hold the unit in the vacuum position) was both comfortable and well placed.
The Husqvarna 125BVx comes with a wide shoulder strap for the mulch collection bag. The strap is comfortable, fully adjustable, and easy to clip and unclip from the bag.
While there are a lot of things to like about this combo blower / vac / mulcher, there were also some significant problems.
First, there was a real problem keeping the engine running, even when the unit was warmed up for several minutes. The engine would stop running at idle and low speeds each and every time I used it.
Starting it was also problematic – it took so many pulls to get it started that I had to switch hands. The only way it would start was to leave the throttle in the ½ way position. When I let-off the throttle (to its idle position) after I got it started, it would stall. This was a total pain and a real deal breaker for me.
I owned a tree company for years and had a Husqvarna backpack blower. That thing was a beast and started on the first or second pull, never stalled, and ran for years. I am surprised at the Husqvarna 125BVx blower / vacuum / mulcher and its sub-standard quality when it comes to getting it started and staying running. And I’m not the only one who has had this problem – there have been many other reports of the same issue.
The tension bolt and retention nut assembly (to hold the first section of the blower tube or mulcher tube) was difficult to tighten and loosen due to the large slot in the bolt compared with the size of the screwdriver blade that was provided with the unit. This retention nut was NOT inserted into the molded engine housing when I initially unpacked it – I had to use my personal tools to force the nut into molded housing as the supplied screwdriver was virtually useless.
The vacuum / mulcher tube that attached to the engine assembly (right in front of the mulching impeller) was not as easy to install as I thought it would be. I really had to push hard to get the tube to “seat” inside the impeller area. I would like to have seen some of the tolerances loosened just a bit in this area. I’m a pretty strong guy and had some trouble – folk who are less physically capable may have much more difficulty here.
The mulching bag tube was not easily removable from the engine assembly due to the attachment system (a nut and retention bolt attaching it to the engine body).
The door that protected the impeller area (where the vacuum / mulching tube attached) was sealed closed when the unit came out of the box. I had to use the supplied screwdriver as a pry bar to open the door. When doing so, a plastic retention clip broke off. This didn’t render the door inoperable, but it made me wonder whether this clip had any purpose at all. Since this door is spring loaded, it stayed closed when used as a blower or while standing still when the motor was off. I wouldn’t have expected the door needed to be forced open and I’m wondering if some people would just give up after trying to open the door to no avail.
Husqvarna offers a limited 2 year warranty that protects against defects in materials and workmanship. But there’s a whole lot more to it than that. I could go on for a page on all those items that are not covered (and some that are). If you want the full monty, have a look at the Husqvarna website (warranty area). The link will give you some idea as to what you’re looking for. Bottom line, if you purchase it, read the warranty closely. Do exactly as it says or you might be disappointed if a failure occurs.
Unfortunately the minuses outweigh the plus.
To be fair, the unit is both a good blower and vacuuming mulching machine – when the engine stays running. It has some nice ergonomic features, including good balance in the hand while blowing and vacuuming/mulching and a set of comfortable handles. I liked the curved tube that attached to the engine assembly. It wrapped around my body and kept the mulching bag out of the way. As far as a mulcher, it picked up everything from leaves, small pinecones, small twigs, grass, and pine needles. The mulching impeller had no problem with any of these materials and ground them up into a fine mulch. It even picked up small pebbles and sand, none of which seemed to affect the impeller.
The Husqvarna 125BVx’s biggest drawback is that the engine does not stay running at low speed and constantly has to be restarted. This is not only physically exhausting (having to crank the starter rope dozens and dozens of times), but it really made me mad that I had spent a good chunk of change on what is supposed to be a premium brand.
Additionally, the nut and bolt assembly to hold the leaf blower and mulcher discharge tube to the motor assembly was a real problem to tighten and loosen – the supplied screwdriver nearly stripped the end of the bolt. I finally had to resort to using my own ratchet and open-end wrench to tighten and loosen this nut and bolt assembly. I also didn’t like that the retention nut as part of this assembly is not seated in the plastic molding in the engine housing as it is supposed to be. It was yet another area where my own tools solved the problem, but what happens with folks who don’t have additional tools to fix the problem?
Where to Buy
The Husqvarna 125BVx Blower/Vac/Mulcher can be purchased at big box stores like Home Depot, Lowes, Sears, etc. It can also be purchased on Amazon Prime for $179.00. Note that this is not the same model as the $149 Husqvarna 125B which by all accounts doesn’t have the same problems starting and staying running.
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