Which Bear Cat Log Splitter is Right for You?

thumbWhen it comes to log splitters, you can depend on Echo Bear Cat. They’re known for building equipment that’s high quality and simple to use so you can get the job done faster without any headaches. Which model is right for you?


This log splitter is powered by a Subaru SP170, which has more in common with the engine in your car than it does with engines typically found in small equipment. This 169cc motor uses a chain-driven overhead cam, allowing for better cooling, better flow through the head, higher compression and less noise. A cast iron cylinder wall ensures durability, while the lightweight drivetrain makes it easy to start, even in cold weather. Continue reading

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Woods Snow Blowers Overview

sb84_applicationWoods builds quality products for landscaping professionals and that includes tools for snow removal. Their line of snow blowers is built to attach to tractors ranging from 15 to 175 hp, delivering maximum performance with the power available.

Features Included with All Models of Woods Snow Blowers

These blowers are ASABE quick hitch compatible for fast, easy attachment — just line up the three points to your tractor and lock in the pins.

Even the smallest model uses a two-stage snow throwing system. Instead of relying solely on the auger, there’s a separate four blade fan inside the chute to propel snow, increasing throwing force without requiring increased power. Continue reading

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Bear Cat GN5200 and GN7100 E Generators

605378Do you need a portable power generation system that can supply enough electricity for a large RV or as a backup for home power? Do you want a system from a brand you can trust? Bear Cat has a reputation for building quality professional-grade equipment, and their GN5200 and GN7100 E generators both use engines from Honda’s ubiquitous GX series. Everything from engine noise to grounding was taken into consideration to make these generators easy to use, while they’re built to a standard that Bear Cat will guarantee for one year of commercial use or three years of consumer use. Continue reading

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Bear Cat IG2000 and IG3500E Generators

thumbEcho Bear Cat may be best known for their wood cutting tools, but the same expertise that lawn care professionals have come to depend on carries over to their line of generators. The IG2000 and IG3500E offer electric power that’s safe to use with electronics and appliances in a portable package that’s easy to use and durable.


This generator is powered by a 79 cc four stroke engine that is compliant with California emissions, making it legal to operate across the U.S. and Canada. If the oil level gets too low, the engine will shut off automatically to protect internal components.

Instead of making alternating current directly, the motor drives a DC generator. The electricity is then converted from DC to AC using a computer controlled inverter. This extra step lets the IG2000 generate power with a “clean” waveform, switching polarity smoothly as the current alternates. The result is electricity that functions just like grid electricity, safely powering sensitive electronics like TVs, media players, and computers. Continue reading

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Shindaiwa Chainsaws Overview

s-l1000If you’re looking for a new chainsaw, it’s hard to beat a Shindaiwa. Which one is right for you, though? With 7 models available, there’s something to fit your needs, whether you just need to do some work around your home or you cut trees professionally.

Why Shindaiwa?

Shindaiwa has built a reputation for building top quality equipment, offering some of the most reliable two-stroke motors on the market. Although their chainsaw range has something to offer for everyone from homeowners to professional arborists, they’re all built with the same state-of-the-art features, and they’re all backed by the same warranty covering 1 year of commercial use and 5 years of residential use. Continue reading

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Bear Cat Chipper Overview

thumbDo you need a commercial quality chipper? Do you want something that’s towable, easy to use, and easy to maintain? ECHO Bear Cat makes a range of high quality devices that will fit your needs, whether you want to clean up a small acreage or you need something that can be used for commercial tree service.

CH4400 4 Inch Chipper

The smallest model in Bear Cat’s lineup, the CH4400 is ideal for someone who owns a small acreage or needs an easy-to-use device for rentals.

A 404cc Subaru EX series engine spins a 49 lb. disc equipped with a pair of oversized heat-treated chipping blades. Linked together by a heavy duty double-banded belt for maximum power transfer, the motor can spin the rotor at speeds up to 3,000 rpm.

The disc is cantilever-mounted, which helps prevent material wrapping when chipping stringy, sappy, or wet wood. A four-sided adjustable anvil ensures reliable cutting performance no matter the type of wood being chopped. Continue reading

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How Are Troy-Bilt High Lift Blades and Mulching Blades Different?

037049947362What mower blades are the best to use in your Troy-Bilt mower? It depends on the type of mowing you need to do. There are several names used for mower blades depending on their purpose, but when it comes down to it, there are only two designs you should consider for the best performance.

Standard Blades

A standard blade is designed to cut grass cleanly and push the clippings into a grass collection system or out of a chute to be deposited on the ground. To do this, the blades are angled in such a way that clippings are flung almost horizontally after being cut, sending them directly at the chute or bag opening.

Mulching Blades

To make mulch, the grass is trimmed, then the resulting clipping is cut several more times by the blades. Older mulching systems used a pair of blades in a cross pattern to cut the clippings at least twice before they hit the ground. Modern mulching blades use a curved surface that flings the clippings upward. Clippings cycle through the mowing chamber, bouncing up into the deck and falling back down into the blades several times. At some point, the clippings become small enough that they can pass between the blades and fall to the ground. Continue reading

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Replacing the Drive Belt of Your Snowblower

It’s that time of year again: winter’s on its way, and that means getting your snowblower ready to clear the pavement. While you’re checking the engine and blades, it’s a good time to inspect and perhaps replace the drive belt. After all, if it breaks, your snowblower won’t work, and there’s no worse time to get a new belt than in the middle of a snow storm.

This guide will walk you through the basics. To get full instructions on how to replace the belt on your snowblower, check the included owner’s manual. Continue reading

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Is Your Snowblower Ready for this Season?

101647When will the first snow fall come? Who knows? Whether you’ll see the first flakes tomorrow or a month from now, it’s best to get your snowblower ready to work ahead of time. Here’s what you should check to be sure you’re prepared for the season.


If you performed proper end-of-season maintenance, the fuel tank and carburetor on your snowblower should be empty. If they aren’t, you should empty them and add fresh fuel before trying to start the engine. Continue reading

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How to Prep Your Lawn Equipment for Winter

Winter means taking a break from lawn care, but those months of storage can really take a toll on your equipment. These tips will help you get everything ready for the off-season so you’ll have a trouble-free start to the spring.


Modern fuel doesn’t stay fresh for long, even when a fuel stabilizer has been added. Ethanol-containing fuels will separate and gather moisture, while non-ethanol gas will degrade and lacquer the tank and fuel lines.

Unless you’ll be using it to power a snow thrower this season, use up any gas you have in storage. If it hasn’t been mixed with two-stroke oil, it’s fine to use in your car. As for the equipment, empty the tank and carburetor before putting it into storage. The tank can usually be emptied by disconnecting the fuel line and letting the gas flow into a suitable container. Some carburetors will have a bolt on the bottom of the float bowl that allow them to be emptied. If there isn’t one, add some fuel stabilizer to the tank and run the engine for a few minutes to ensure there’s only treated fuel left inside the float bowl.

Once everything has been emptied, start the motor and let it run until it’s completely out of fuel.

Engine Preparation

On a two-stroke engine, if you run it out of fuel, the remaining oil residue will keep the engine lubricated for next year. Inspect the spark plug and replace if necessary.

On four-stroke engines, remove the spark plug and put a couple drops of oil inside the hole the plug threads into. Pull the starter a couple times to circulate the oil around the inside of the cylinder. This will keep the engine spinning freely when you take it out of storage. Most plugs should be replaced yearly, so screw in a new plug and reattach the plug lead.

Change the oil and give the air filter a thorough cleaning. Paper filters can simply be tapped to remove dust, but foam filters usually need to be washed, dried, and soaked with clean oil. Check your engine owner’s manual for more information.

Cleaning and Preparing Surfaces

Every surface should be cleaned and dried before storing. Never aim high-pressure water near the engine, as this can force water into the oil sump or combustion chamber, damaging internal components.

Exposed metal should be protected with a light coating of oil. Penetrating oil or a water displacer like WD-40 is perfect for this. Spray silicone lubricant is the best choice for keeping pivot points and cables from stiffening over the winter.

Tips for Specific Equipment

Mowers – Don’t forget to clean out the bottom of the deck. Clumps of grass can gather moisture that will rust out the metal. It’s also a good time to sharpen the blade.

String trimmers – Sharpen the line cutting blade on the trimmer’s shield and make sure the spool is properly wound.

Chainsaws – You might need to pull the chainsaw out later to clear debris after a major snow storm, so keep a can of long life gas on hand. It will have the right amount of oil for your chainsaw’s engine, and, if left unopened, it will stay fresh for when you need it. If fuel isn’t available for your chainsaw, keep a bottle of oil with fuel stabilizer on hand for mixing with fresh fuel. It’s also a good time to pick up an extra chain so you can be ready when a storm hits.

Snow throwers – Like chainsaws, you’ll end up using your snow thrower when a storm comes, and for parts of the country that could be at any time. Save yourself from breakdowns by stocking up on shear pins and belts ahead of time. Even though they’re used in winter, snow throwers should be cleaned and lubricated just like the rest of your equipment.


Once your small engine equipment has been prepared, it can be put into storage. Ideally, this should be in a covered area.

  • Don’t store your equipment near anything corrosive, like pool cleaners and fertilizers. Over time, this casual exposure can damage metal.
  • Don’t put a tarp over your equipment: this can capture moisture which will promote rust. Instead, use a breathable cover, preferably designed for that specific device.
  • Don’t store equipment near sparks or open flame, including furnaces, saws, and welders. Even with the engine drained, there’s still a chance that fumes from leftover fuel could ignite. Furnaces also produce¬†ozone, which will eat away at rubber parts including tires and fuel lines.

Getting Parts and Accessories for your Equipment

If you need a new spark plug or air filter to get your equipment ready for winter, or you’re looking to add something to your arsenal to make next spring easier, come by Shank’s Lawn Equipment. We’re a certified dealer for a wide range of lawn care equipment and small engine manufacturers, so we have the people and parts to help you get ready for the off season. Our shop is at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway, Chambersburg, PA. That’s off Route 11, or you can take Exit 10 Marion from Interstate 81.

Not in south central Pennsylvania? You can still order parts from us over the Internet. Visit us at www.shankslawn.com.

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