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SH 86 C-E

A professional-grade shredder vac/blower with top-of-the-line power.

SH 86 C-E
Rated 4.1 out of 5 by 73reviewers.
Rated 4 out of 5 by Very nice unit Powerful and easy to start.The zipper on the bag should be several inches longer which would allow easier emptying of the bag. The bag slightly chokes the contents and you have to shake the bag vigorously to empty a full bag. February 12, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by I have my fall back! Wife and I spent the better part of two days raking leaves last fall. Five big truckloads to the city compost. This year we're doing our own composting, so I bought this to really shred the leaves (and hopefully save time). A two day, two person job is now a few hour, one person job!I was worried about twigs and little bits of gravel messing up the machine, but didn't seem to phase it at all. It even sucked up some dog poo I didn't see...stunk for a few minutes. So watch out! :)Switching from blower to vac is easy. Took me a while to get the hang of starting it, but now I can usually get it started in 3-4 pulls from a cold start, 1 pull when warm. My only gripe is the bag fills pretty quickly even though it shreds most types of leaves to near dust. With dry leaves it's not like it's that heavy when full...so I wish the bag held twice the volume so I wouldn't have to stop as often... But, overall, excellent! January 15, 2015
Rated 4 out of 5 by A Good Product Have owned this blower/vacuum for several years. As a vacuum, it works best sucking up material from like a drive way. Use in flower beds and the like is problematic because if you pick up a stick, it is likely to break the plastic blower blade. This is the only drawback about the machine. If the blade was metal, it would be a great machine. What it does chop up, is small enough to add to the compost pile. This a good feature, unlike other vacuums I have used.As a blower, it is great. Easy to use and works great around the yard/garden. Strong enough to move leaves/etc, but not do a lot of damage to plants. December 22, 2014
Rated 3 out of 5 by Works well as a blower, but doesn't function well as a leaf vac I'm on my 4th season using this product for massive leaf pickup from our 75yr old Red Oak tree. As in previous seasons, it works well for blowing leafs around, but not so great as a leave vaccuum. Unit clogs and jams very easily. Even the smallest of sticks, which the leaves are sometimes attached, get jammed very easily. Clogs occur frequently when to much material is funneled through the narrower right angle tube. One solution to the jamming and clogging problem in vacuum mode, is to NOT use the right angle tube. Just connect the leaf bag directly to the output hole, and the jams and clogs will happen less frequently.And, I'll have to agree that It's difficult to change from blower to vacuum.My suggestion to Stihl is to redesign the steel chopper blade (maybe also called an impeller) to more thoroughly shred the leaves and chop the smaller sticks. I'm Stihl a Hopeful Customer, it's a good product that just needs a bit of improvement to make it a top notch great product.Sincerely, Stihl a Hopeful Customer December 3, 2014
Rated 3 out of 5 by Not a Great Design I've used this blower/vac twice. As a blower it works great. Changing over to a vac is not difficult, but not easy either. The impeller guard is spring loaded, so it must be held back when attaching the vacuum suction tube. If you turn it loose, it will lock back in place requiring you to release it with the screwdriver again. The vacuum tube is too long unless you're seven feet tall. It tires you having to hold the vacuum up. The bottom of the tube is shaped so that it will grab the ground until you back off the throttle. The bag only has a zipper on the end instead of on around the side. This makes it difficult to empty since the vacuum packs in the leaves. You have to reach in and pull the packed leaves out. The bag strap will not stay on your shoulder. The blower/vac starts easily and vibration and heat are minimum. November 24, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by Lack of basic troubleshooting guide I bought an SH 86blower/shredder today. It shredded well for 2 bags full, then when attempting to restart, the pull rope stuck...as in it does not move at all. I triple checked all settings, ensured unit was in start mode. Then I removed intake tube and ensured nothing was stuck in the impellar area. It was clear, but pull starter still did not budge.I sent a message to customer support, and am hopful we'll get this resolved. However it is very disapointing that there is no troubleshooting guide in the product manual or on this website. November 23, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Extremely Satisfied Purchased my SH-86C today. Used it for an hour or so and enjoyed it as much as I can say I enjoy blowing leaves. My comparison is with an Echo ES-210. The Stihl has about 76 percent more cfm. Plenty of power for my purposes. Only used blower function so far. Like being able to get parts and service from local dealer. This is one reason why I chose Stihl. I wish I'd bought Stihl products year ago. November 19, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by SH68 a good blower/vac My short experience this late into the fall found the SH86 to be a good performer, as a blower or shred/vacuum.The plus’s:The unit has started very easily. Throttle response is very quick/good and the throttle detent control allows for a hands free consistent speed.As a shred/vac, the extra blade on the turbine chops up leaves and twigs into a fine material.The unit is light at 12lbs and is comfortable to handle, even with the bag. The bag is somewhat larger than previous vac’s I’ve used, but like all bags always seem to fill up fast.The units’ power does fill a bag up completely and material is compacted.An internal liner in the bag help keep the dirt away from the user.I was able to adapt the unit to a 25’ drain tile tube I’ve used for blowing the vacuumed leaves directly into the re-cycle bin, thus avoiding the bag altogether. The blower power and shredding capability has not resulted in the drain tile plugging up.A few minus’s:Changing the blower/vac tubes requires the user to have a tool (pocket universal tool works) to release the ‘catches’ which lock-in the tube collars or intake cage.The gas tanks empties fairly quickly; which is somewhat a known trade-off as compared to the SH56. November 16, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by Great power but small bag The tubes are difficult to put on and remove but not a huge problem after you get the hang of it.Power is the best I've seen in a gas blower/vac.The most frustrating thing is the coming up to a yard full of leaves with a vac that has such a small bag. There should be an optional accessory that has either a MUCH larger bag or attachment to a large garbage can.The bag is also hard to empty. The zipper should come around the corner and up the side a ways. November 16, 2014
Rated 3 out of 5 by Tube assembly dis-assembly incredibly diffiicult I've only used the vacuum shredder portion of the SH 86 C machine and was satisfied with the job it did. However, switching the machine to a blower is incredibly difficult and shouldn't be. Using the manual directions and tools supplied by Stihl with two seniors working on it we could not get the union nuts to release at the blower tube or elbow locations. I brought the entire unit back to the dealership and the mechanics there also had difficulty with dis-assembling the attachments.I appreciate the machine is light weight and pretty easy to handle as a senior aged female. The dis-assembly part of it is very discouraging for me and my husband. I feel I've got to choose one part of the unit.... either vacuum or blower and keep it that way. October 31, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by It Sucks But it sucks in a good way. I have used it three times now with no issues It works way better than electric one. Getting rid of the cord is a huge plus. I do recommend getting this as a vac and have a separate blower. Changing over the tubes is kind of a pain, but doable if you don't want to spend the money on both. So this has made my life easier in the yard and I do recommend it. I added a con not due to the machine, but to the fact that it grinds the leaves so much it creates dust. So wear a mask. October 30, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by More than meets home/cabin clearing demands I read reviews of all the major leaf blowers/shredders available. I have a large lot at my home In Minnesota, with large volumes of leaves to clear every Fall. In addition I have a cabin in NW Wisconsin with large amounts of leaves, pine needles and pine cones that need clearing every year. Getting tired of all that raking, piling and hauling.The SH 86 CE was my choice for a durable, hand held professional level blower shredder. I cleared my lawn at home in about 2 hours (1/2 acre). Piled leaves up with the blower first, then vacuumed up the piles. The vacuum is not as fast as the blower but if you take your time it does a great job. Others expressed concerns about difficulty attaching and removing the blower and/or vacuum tubes. All it takes is a small screwdriver to depress a plastic tab, about 30 seconds and good to go. I had no jams after using over 3 tanks of gas on the first usage. All dry leaves, and very small sticks, nothing larger than 1/4" diameter. The vacuum bag compacts the mulched leaves so tight you have to pull the debris out with your hands if you fill the bag too full. I quit filling the mulch bag when it was 2/3 to 3/4 full, Keeps the suction high until ready to empty the bag. I also left the zipper open after attaching the bag to the elbow attachment and ran the motor for 30 seconds before zipping it up after emptying the leaf mulch. This blew a lot of dust out of the bag and appeared to keep the suction strong during the next fill up. I put the shoulder strap over my neck and not just let it hang on my left shoulder as recommended by Stihl. Otherwise, as the bag fills it tends to slide off your shoulder all the time. The dealer said he uses this model to blow snow off his steps/deck/driveway in the winter rather than use a snow shovel/snowblower. Great idea and I plan to consider that this winter.Although I just purchased this blower I gave it a good first trial and expect it to more than meet my needs for many years. October 27, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by My First Impressions I bought the SH 86 C-E on a Friday, and used it on a Saturday. The bad,1st: Yes, the machine will clog. But, I find that the debris has to be hard as a rock to do this.2nd: The bag fills up fast. Sometime that's good; Sometimes that's not.3rd: The shredding/vac process is slow.The good,1st: The power is great. As a landscaper we were shredding not only leaves, but a mixture of different type leaves, small sticks and pine straw. It clogged twice on us, but the machine handled it all.2nd: light weight.3rd: It's comfortable. I'm 6ft tall. I thought I would have to bend over to use the machine. I can stand straight up and use the machine.4th: Easy to use. My guys learned to use the machine without any problems.These are my first impressions. Hopefully next year, if I do not forget, I'll post a long term review of the machine. October 20, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by This Product is GREAT for leaf pickup! We bought the SH 86 C-E only for the shredder vac. I already use a STIHL BR600 Blower for blowing needs. The SH 86 C-E was bought for my wife who uses it only for leaf pick-up. She is very small, 5ft 110 lbs. We looked around to try and find a good quality vac for leaf pick-up and this unit is perfect. If my wife can easliy use this unit for a hour at a time and it work great then I would think almost anyone would be very happy with it as well. As I read the reviews I noticed the couple low ratings were for sticks getting caught in the impeller. We use this stricly for leaf pick-up which is what I think this unit is suppose to be built for. It does shread leaves GREAT! We are very happy and continue to be a huge STIHL Customer! We also own a Stihl Trimmer. October 5, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Excellent Vac/Blower with power to spare! I purchased the SH86C-E early this past Spring and used it weekly all Summer long. I have four other STIHL Hand Held blower/vacs and they keep getting better. I run Premium Gasoline with STIHL HP Ultra Oil and it starts first or second pull every time! I use mine mainly as a Vac, and it picks up everything I have tried it on,even wet leaves. I HIGHLY recommend the SH86C-E Blower/Vac to anyone that appreciates PREMIUM QUALITY equipment that only comes from owning a STIHL! October 2, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Great blower/vac Easy to start, easy to use, high quality Stihl product. September 27, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Very much as expected very good overall. The blower can become heavy after a while. An accessory shoulder strap could help reduce this slight problem by taking some of the weight off the arm. September 24, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 Hated it at first but now I love it. Purchased 3/14 to use for some of my smaller clients in my landscaping business. At first the machine was really hard to start and would be a hassle to use. Initially, I only used it for a vacuum as I already have a very good Husqvarna backpack blower. My ex worker dropped that off of the truck and for a moment I had to resort to using the Stihl as my leaf blower. Well after I used it for about 6 to 8 hours without that mulching bag on it, letting the engine run at higher rpm's because its blowing and not sucking, this thing rocks now when I put the mulching bag on it! I think most of the users buy this because of the vac feature like I did but really need to run the engine as a blower to get it broken into before using as a vacuum. It starts up first or second pull every time as long as I prime it and set the choke. Also like to comment that the handles have the anti vibration features on them that makes it easier to handle in a commercial environment. July 30, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Powerful The SH 86 C-E has so much power, easy to start and great suction on the vac side. I would highly recommend this blower/vac could not be happier. July 15, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by worth the price Decided to spend the money after owning two cheaper brands of leaf vacs. They would fail me at the most inoppurtune time. After reading multiple review threads on the various brands, my opinion was confirmed. Stihl was the way to go. My dealer kept his doors open for me after closing time and also gave me the full demo following my purchase. As soon as I got home I put the vac shredder to use. I was like a kid on Christmas morning. There was no comparison between my new Stihl and the junk I had been using. Easy starting, comfortable, no vibration and the SH 86 CE digested all the landscaping debris that the last wind storm deposited in my yard. I have found that the debris bag was quite permeable to dust. However, if it allowed less air flow, it woud not have the amount of suction that it has. I went with my dealers recommendation and bought the Stihl fuel. This was another good investment. It extended the warranty another two years. I have found that using the Stihl fuel in my other yard equipment has reduced fuel related issues. However, if you have been using pump gas in an older piece of equipment then use this fuel, you may need to rebuild the carburetor. I did. But now all my equipment runs llike new. July 5, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by Great model, but room for improvement This unit will suck up all you need it too and more. And that's the problem: "and more" being sticks that are just a bit too solid for the plastic impeller fan. Use the SH 86 for less than 10 hours before the impeller fan was all busted up from the occasional ~2" long, 1/2" thick stick that would rattle around in the fan and chip off the plastic parts. It doesn't seem to impede the blowing/sucking function too much yet, but I can see that fan needing replaced before too long. I wish they'd just made an aluminum or stainless fan, but maybe there are problems with that route.That said, this worked great at clearing my yard and bushes of leaves. The only other drawback, for the vacuum, is that the bag can get a little heavy (maybe 30lbs). That's not terrible, but the nylon strap will have a tendency to dig in to your neck. A pad on the strap would fix this; it seems like an oversight. Other than the plastic fan and lag of pad on the strap, this thing is awesome.Oh yea I thought it was a little heavy at first, but I got used to it. Still, may be difficult to use for people with lighter builds. June 21, 2014
Rated 1 out of 5 by Its hard to believe that this was made by Stihl Machine sucks up a fair amount of dirt during the vacuuming process unfortunately the shredder vac is not up to dealing with this. I've had two of these die in less than two years in homeowner use. If this were used as just a blower it would probably be fine, but I would never buy another one of these to use as a shredder vac. Stihl claims that the dirt that it sucked up voids the warranty, May 8, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Great overall unit I have used this extensively as both a blower & shredder. It is very easy to use & works great in both roles. May 4, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Better than expected after reading past reviews I used this hard last fall and this spring....I have 3 acres+ and many deep garden beds to clean out. Also have a 300 ft drainage easement at edge of property that is a natural leaf collector.Has worked well on wet and dry leaves and can even take small sticks, straw, bark chunks, etc. It does jamb occasionally on wet leaves when you suck up a whole clump...and I mean clump....but clean out is simple and fast. 60 seconds and you are back at it.I have probably used 40 hours so far and it has jambed maybe 20 times. It looks like the three headed chopper has dulled from the occasional stone...will replace it in the fall.Would buy again. Only negative is bag size...but it is probably at the practical limit due to weight when full. You will empty often but compaction is probably 3-4:1 and results in great free mulch. April 30, 2014
Rated 2 out of 5 by Just out of warranty and crank bearing or similar is roaring This has been a great blower/vacuum until this week. I've always used quality premix oil and used it occasionally around my home but now it's got an awful "roaring" bearing like sound coming from the engine. At first I thought I put regular gas in it but it's my usual mixture and is doing fine in my Stihl edger, Stihl chainsaw and other 2cycle tools. It's out of warranty now but I'll make a trip to the dealer to ensure it's not a simple fix. March 31, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by Wore out I bought this to use for home. As a vacuum shredder it is disappointing and not very productive. I can bag leaves faster. It worked great as blower but wore out too quick. Had cylinder and piston failure right at 2 years. Had it repaired and it failed again in another 2 years for residential work. Used Stihl oil. Would not buy again March 21, 2014
Rated 1 out of 5 by Too unreliable, poor quality for residential use, even w/5 yr warranty This Blower is for my home use every week. It is hard starting, runs too lean, dies out when giving it throttle, & sometimes just dies out of the clear blue @ full throttle. This is not the great product Stihl claims it to be. I own a Stihl weed eater as well & it seems to work o.k. I use fresh gas w/ Stihl oil + stabilizer in my blower as well. I'm sorry but the blower does not perform well at all !!!!!!! This has turned me off from buying any more Stihl products. The blower is less than 1yr old, as well ! February 22, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Great blower even in winter Bought SH86-CE after X-Mas. First use was blowing snow off guest cars New Years Eve. It worked great. Been using it to clear light snow from driveway & walk easier & sometimes quicker than shoveling. I'm amazed on how well it starts, even in -5deg F temps, and easy start takes so little effort getting it running. Looking forward to use it this season to clear leaves & grass clippings. If it works half as well on leaves as it does on snow I'll save hours on yeard clean up. Used many other blowers over the years and the efficiency of air movement is well above others. Spent more than I really wanted to, but it looks like it will be worth it. February 19, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by Great addition to the collection I have 2 acres and as a blower and vac combo it is great. Blow the leaves out of tight spaces into a pile then switch over to the vac side and clean up the mess. January 20, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Lots of Power I use this product for vacuuming and shredding only. I have not used it for blowing.I have used other brands of vacuum/shredders and the Stihl has more suction and virtually no clogging. I have also had cases crack with other brands and so far the Stihl has not had that problem. December 14, 2013
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