In a nutshell

A Gardeners' World Magazine Best Buy, this compact blower vac is easy to put together and surprisingly powerful. It's small, light and powerful but lacks variable speed settings and is comparatively expensive. It comes with a two-year warranty.

What we tested

  • Preparation
    A star rating of 5.0 out of 5.
  • Handling
    A star rating of 4.0 out of 5.
  • Performance
    A star rating of 5.0 out of 5.
  • Value for money
    A star rating of 3.0 out of 5.
Overall Rating
A star rating of 4.3 out of 5.


  • Easy assembly
  • Good vacuum power
  • Robust


  • One power speed
  • No shoulder strap

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What is the Stihl SHE71 Blower & Vacuum?

This mains powered electric blower vac blows leaves, grass and light hedge clippings, vacuums them up and shreds them into a large 45-litre collecting bag. We’ve classed it as single-use assembly, which means the individual attachments need changing for it to switch from blower to vacuum mode. It has no shoulder strap.

What is the Stihl SHE71 Blower & Vacuum like to use?

This model is easy to assemble with robust, well-designed fittings and accessories. It has extra tubes to attach for each job and you can also buy an extra flat nozzle (for a small additional fee) for more focussed blowing. The tubes come apart for storage and you can adjust their length according to your height and the job.

The machine unit itself is small and compact. It doesn’t come with a shoulder strap but the ergonomics are good. The two handles are well positioned and comfortable to use, plus the machine is very light at just 4.1kg. It has a comparatively small engine of 1100 watts but it feels powerful in both modes and it’s quieter than other larger machines we tested. The collection bag is not attached under the tube but is held by its shoulder strap and is emptied by simply undoing the zip at the base.

The Stihl SHE71 Blower & Vacuum has only one power setting so you need to move further back from whatever you’re blowing to reduce the power or switch aperture on the tube.
The cable is 10m long and has ‘integrated cable strain relief’ system, which is basically a hook you can loop the cable round and it prevents you accidentally straining too far and disconnecting the blower vac.

Who is the Stihl SHE71 Blower & Vacuum most useful for?

This is quiet, light and simple so it's ideal for gardeners of all abilities. Only the shoulder collection bag may be an issue. The single power mode may be a problem in bigger gardens as will the cable – on larger plots you would need to use an extension lead.

Is the Stihl SHE71 Blower & Vacuum good value for money?

This is expensive compared to competitors, particularly so given its lack of features and power. It did perform well, though, so we think it’s reasonable value for money.

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Product Specifications

NameStihl SHE 71 Blower & Vacuum
ModelSHE 71
Leaf blower typeBlower & Vac
Powered byElectric - corded
Cable reach10m
Collection bag45l