comments on Toro Power Shovel?

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The first we've ever seen of this item was in this week's Lowe's ad, but after looking around on the internet for reviews and comments, it seems they've been around for years. My husband's eyes lit up, so I thought I'd ask here if any of you have ever used one and have any commentary about the item? Lowe's sale price is $89.88, which looks to be a very low price on this item, compared with what I saw online.
We'd be using it for a short, narrow walkway from the front door to the driveway, then in the driveway itself. Driveway is only about three car-lengths long, one car wide. Two cars parked in it, so we shovel around the perimeter of the two cars, and the end of the driveway, which is occasionally packed in pretty good from the snow plow. Rochester, NY area, where the past couple winters have been a lot milder than the ones I remember as a kid.
So I'm interested to hear about overall reliability/longevity of this item, and using it to help deal with the snow plow packed end of the driveway. It seems from other comments I've read online that you can slowly chip away at the packed end as you would with the regular shovel, as opposed to being able to really cut through it as you can with a proper snow thrower, which would be fine. It seems this item would contribute to making that job easier, and if it's really bad, neighbors on either side have proper snow blowers and have shown me how to use them.
The snow blowers made me nervous though, because of the self-propelled feeling of them pulling forward so strongly. I felt like I could lose control very easily, and it felt really dangerous to me. How does that compare to this machine, especially with it being held more like a weed whacker? Does it really function as the write ups claim, somewhere between a trusty shovel and the all-out snow blower?
Thanks for any helpful comments,
Karen
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It is a VERY light duty unit that is okay for clearing an inch or two of fresh fallen snow from a sidewalk. Totally useless on wet, and especially, packed snow such as that left by passing plows. Not really designed for anything wider than a walkway, either. Let me say this agin... VERY light duty.
And, yes, I've used one!
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I had one and found it useless. It could only handle a couple of inches of dry snow. It was quite heavy to use and I found it easier to use a hand shovel. I tried to sell it at a yard sale and ended up taking it to the dump.
---MIKE---

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---MIKE--- wrote:

We were able to take ours back to Home Depot for refund. Didn't find it heavy so much as ineffectual; it cut about a 18" swath by throwing snow for a width of about five feet, covering all the 18" swaths we had already done.
--
One meter, to within 0.0125% accuracy (off by just under .005 inches):
Three feet
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Well, silly, you start in the middle of the driveway. Work your way out. So, you have to throw the snow twice. No big deal.
--

Christopher A. Young;
.
.

"clifto" < snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com> wrote in message
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

Tried that. Also tried only pushing in one direction. No matter what you do, it still unavoidably blows snow into the path you've already cleared.
--
Angry American flags attack Hillary Clinton!

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KLE wrote:

I wouldn't even consider something like that in the NE. Those are toy units designed to remove a "heavy dusting" of snow. Snowfall tends to be cyclic. You may not need a snowblower evert time but it is a great thing to have ready.

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-snip-

-snip-
I did my 50 foot walk and 150 foot by 2 car widths driveway with the Toro 1800 for 3 years. [near Albany, NY]
I liked it so much I picked up a powershovel at a garage sale to give to my dad to clean off his porch.[$10.] Last winter I tried it in several different kinds of snow and found it heavy, awkward and ineffective. I've been trying to come up with a use for the motor cause I'm too scotch to throw it out.
I'd save my money and buy a $300 Toro 1800. [$280 on Amazon.com- free shipping]
Jim
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It all depends on the kind of snow you have. We always get heavy wet snow due to Lake Effect. If it snows half a foot everyday, that is normal for my area. If you have fluffy snow and no too much of it the power shovel should be OK.
OMG, I just read your message again. You live in Rochester? Forget that shovel thing. You'll waste your money. It can't handle the snows.
Snow blowers have a safety feature. They won't move unless you squeeze the thing on the handle. They also have speeds, so just use the low speed.
Yes, blowers can be dangerous. Learn about them and you have no problems.
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-snip-

My old Bolens blowers don't have that. [mine are from the 70's- but I don't think the safety handles came on the scene until the late 80's or so]

My Toro 1800 [electric] - and my Toro 4hp single stage only have one speed- 'go'. [but it eats some snow, and it is my go-to blower for up to a 12" snowfall no matter how wet it is. Over 12 I go for the 26" Bolens- but I did several 24" snowfalls last year with the little Toro because the Bolens was laid up.]
The 4hp has all the controls on the engine. I can see where it might take a bit of getting used to.
But the electric one, IMHO, is perfect for the squeamish. The squeeze thing on the handles controls the power to the paddles. Let go & it stops. Squeeze & it pulls itself through a foot of snow with ease. [and throws it a country mile] 2 feet of snow becomes a chore, but with a drift cutter and taking 6" off at a pass it gets the job done much easier than shoveling.
Another thing I like about both these little machines is that they can be lifted to cut the tops off high snowbanks.

There it is.
Jim [check Ebay for resale on both these little machines- especially the 1800's. They sell new for under $300- and used on Ebay for $200+ when you can find them.]
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KLE wrote:

a couple of inches of snow on walk and drive with hand shovels but after damn near killing myself on a 20 inch snow a couple of years ago, got one of the two stage snow throwers. From what little I know of Rochester, I'd be prepared for the worst. Frank
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-SNIP-

I'll second (sixth?) what other posters have said here - those things are not nearly enough to deal with "real" snow.
I live in northeast MA, which generally gets less snow than Rochester. I have an 8HP 2-stage Ariens, my neighbor had (this is from a few years ago) a small Toro unit that was one notch larger than the power shovel.
In about 2/3 of the time it took him to remove the plow drift from the end of his drive, I did my *entire* 100' driveway, including the area near the garage that was large enough to park 7 cars!
As others have said, a power shovel's the right thing if you live in the kind of place that gets 6" of snow a year and you're only doing a sidewalk. Not for a driveway in Rochester!
Eric Law
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Forget it! Those things will not handle the amount of snow you get in that area even in a year that is considered 'light".
As for the big blower safety. It cannot run away from you. As soon as you let go the handles, everything stops...well if it was built in the last 30 years it will. The big thing to be careful about is where the snow plume is landing.
Harry K
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Forget that toy and get what we used to use to clear the runways in AK. It had one 12 cylinder diesel engine to power the vehicle and another 12 cylinder diesel to power the snow throwing augers. Threw the snow over the top of single story buildings!
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-snip-

Is that 2 stage snowblowers that you've tried or small electric or single stage blowers?
The electric Toro 1800 & gas powered Toro CCR's -like this; (Amazon.com product link shortened)
pull themselves into the snow, but stop the minute you hold them back. [the electric one has the switch in the handle so the motor stops when you release it.]
This morning I wrote the praises of my 4hp toro. I walked by it later & noticed it is 3hp- an older version of the one in the Amazon link.
That one and the 1800 are better buys for 3-400 dollars than the powershovel for $90.
Jim
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Beware using the ones with rubber flaps to self propel themselves, it works great BUT tends to polish any ice and make ice very slippery
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On Tue, 13 Nov 2007 20:21:37 -0800, " snipped-for-privacy@aol.com"

I haven't noticed that- my 3hp Toro has rubber flaps and I think they clean down to the pavement better the plastic that is on the electric. I don't tolerate any ice because my driveway is a pretty steep incline.
[come to think of it- I just replaced the flaps and scraper last week, and the flaps don't come within an inch of the surface so I don't see how they can polish anything.]
Jim
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I'm also in the Rochester area. Several years ago, we got bombed with snow. Several inches. I'd been out shovelling, all day. Before breakfast, and then after breakfast and so on. Finally I rememebred an old electric snow blower I had outside around back. Can't remember the brand, but it was about 16 inch cut. Yellow with a white chute. I tried it, but the gearbox was frozen. Put it over the heater, and thawed it out. Drain some water out of the gear box. Well, that was the best thing I'd experienced in years. Really made the work easier. I was able to snow blow the driveway and clear out both vehicles.
I havn't much experience with that device, but if you can get a heavier snow blower, I'd suggest to get a gooder one. Electric is less convenient account of the cord, but it always starts (unless the gear box is full of frozen water) and you don't have to yank and yank to get it going.
Self propelled isn't a big deal, you have to squeeze the handle to make it go. The moment you release your grip, it stops and stands still.
--

Christopher A. Young;
.
.

"KLE" < snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com> wrote in message
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Another Rochesterian posting here: I know that Toro power shovel you're talking about, and frankly, for what you want to do with it, I think you'll spend more time doing it than it's worth. You'd be able to shovel out about as fast with less hassle.
I think you should try a gasoline single-stage snow thrower, which is what I have for my 100 ft. long driveway that also directly abuts my neighbor's driveway. To do this job, I have to throw my snow down the driveway past the house to get enough clearance to toss it in its final resting place on the front lawn (need to avoid getting it on the neighbor's side). The nice thing about these machines is, if you get a Toro or a Honda (I have the Honda HS520), they don't require an oil/fuel mix, they're quite compact and easy to store, and they do a heck of a job. Mine easily clears my entire driveway, including the space in back in front of the two-car garage and the front sidewalk, in a half hour as long as I don't let the snow pile up more than about 8 inches. It's also light enough for me to pick up by myself and put it on my big 22'x26' deck and clear that off.
The Honda is kind of expensive, but it's cheaper than the traditional snow throwers, and it uses the same gas as the lawnmower (you do have one, right?). If you buy from Titus Mower up in Irondequoit, you'll save $50 over many of the other dealers, like Brooks-Gravely in Henrietta. Hope this helps!
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I had a single stage and really liked it except for the plow berm. I live right on a major highway (State Route 195 - Wa) and the state plows me in. I wind up with all the snow off about 14' wide strip of highway piled in my drive. The single stage just couldn't handle it. Even with my 2 stage I have to 'nibble' at it.
Oddly, opposite my expectations, the single stage would throw snow further than the 2 stage.
Harry K
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