Snow blower...good prices?

Where should I go to look for a decent low level range snow blower? Dont want to pay $1000...somewheres around 300-400.
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<< Dont want to pay $1000...somewheres around 300-400. >>
Go for a used high line model. What with the mild winters the last few years you should be able to find one with lots of life left in it. Plus it will be much easier to use than a bargain type. If you need neighbor envy give it a fresh coat of paint before using. HTH
Joe
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I bought the Sears single stage unit new a few years ago for about $300. It has served perfectly for me. HOWEVER, it wouldn't be able handle more than about 7" of snow at a time unless the snow were very dry and powdery. I live in an area where we generally only get six or seven snowfalls each season and so I don't put a lot of hours on the machine. I also like the small size for ease of storage and maneuverability.
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At that range the only snow it could handle is snow you could do yourself. I purchased a 10hp 28" AT COSTCO a couple of years ago. First year didn't use it at all last year had 30" of snow! I did 5 driveways in my neighborhood plus the street. Heavy wet snow and it worked no problem. Buy a decent used unit before buying one that is too small.
I have pics here
http://groups.msn.com/AlaskaCruiseCrystalHarmony/newhome.msnw
Wayne

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I was hoping I'd get to plug my favorite little machine again today.
I just got done cleaning up 17" of snow with my Toro 1800 electric snowblower. I did do most of my driveway at about the 8-10" point, but I widened it up & lowered the snow-plow banks this morning.
My driveway is nearly 200 feet long, 2 cars wide & on a fairly steep grade. Half is concrete & half is gravel. I've been using this little electric for 3 years now & it is far easier to use than any of the 2-stage blowers that I've ever used.
To be fair, I haven;t owned a *new* 2-stage for 30 years, but I have had several good used ones & none could throw snow as far as this little machine, nor could they get my driveway as clean. It will definitely throw snow 30 feet, as advertised.
It is also far cheaper. It is $300 sugg. retail & I've seen them for $259. There is no yearly tune-up needed-- though you will want to buy some spare parts as the Toro dealers don't seem to stock them.
I buy mine through rcpw.com . I keep a rotor, a blade, a couple of belts, a coupler or 2 [takes place of shear pins] & 2 sets of skids on hand. [About $25-30 worth of parts]
A large hex wrench is the only tool needed that isn't in every tool box. [A phillips screwdriver & a crescent wrench will complete a Toro 1800 toolchest] The mechanics of these things are the ultimate in simplicity.
I timed myself this morning when I changed the rotor. [I do this *after* the first snowfall because of my gravel drive that chews them up pretty good. If you have a smooth drive you could probably go several seasons without changing the rotor.] Total time to change-- 6 minutes.
By the way- this can be done, literally, 'on the kitchen table' as this machine only weighs about 24 pounds & has no gas or oil to stink up the house.
For $400 you can get a great little snowblower, a hundred foot extension cord-- [and one of those little wheels for $5 that will keep the cord from always being a tangled mess.] and a handful of spare parts so you're only 'out of business' for 20 minutes if you manage to break one of the few moving parts on the machine.
Oh-- another advantage of this machine is that it is light enough and quiet enough that women and children enjoy using it.<g>
Jim
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LOL - that's too funny. Just last week, I bought a Toro 1800 at The Home Depot in Sunset Hills, MO (a suburb of Saint Louis). I got the last one in the store, the assembled display unit. However, because there were 15 more 1800s on the way to the store, I was not allowed any discount other than free assembly. $299.
I'll be ordering the spare parts in the next week. I think it's a great idea to have them on hand, just in case.
I await the first snowfall of the season with baited breath. We don't have a high average snowfall, but when we do get snow, we get 12-16" at a shot. This will be my first snowthrower. I plan on having a rrrrreal good time.
Best regards,
Tim =(substitute 'tcsys.com' for 'nospam.co.uk') _________________
Visit the Surrender Dorothy web !! (http://dorothyrocks.com ) Visit the Crunch Monkey web !! (http://crunchmonkey.com )
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I remember the one year we got bombed in snow. I'd been shovelling, and barely keeping the truck cleared. I stomped around back and got out the electric snow blower I'd found on the curb that summer. The gearbox was frozen, so I brought it in to set it on the heat vent. Some time later, I strung a cord out, and had a rip with it. I was amazed how easily it moved snow. And so I kept on working, including clearing out the van which had not been cleared out in weeks.
Since then I got a two cycle gas mixer, and I snow blow for myself and for a couple elderly neighbors.
--
Christopher A. Young
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I just bought a two stage Huskavana from kimcousa.com Fast shipping and great prices. I bought the 10.5 horse and it's built like a tank. They use real linkage not cables and it has many other nice features. I used it 4 times this weekend. So I saved 200.00 from what a plaw would charge. This was our first snow storm and it was a blizzard so I expect to really get my moneys worth out of the unit. They have a 5 horse unit for under 700.00.
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-snip-

From the looks of your weather forecast, better to have a $299 blower than a promise of one for less.

It is so easy to work on it probably makes more sense than hoping a dealer will have the parts on hand when you need them.

Wow-- I didn't think St. Louis got that much snow ever. When we [upstate NY] get 12-16 it is usually pretty fluffy stuff. I've done several 6-8 inch wet, heavy, snowfalls with mine, but if your 12" is wet stuff, I'd love to hear how it works for you.
BTW-- my method which seems to work best with the long cord is to start out with a path through the center of the drive from the garage to the street and go to the end of my first 100 foot cord.. Then I widen it going back and forth & always shooting the snow to the right.
Then I do my turn around by throwing the snow straight ahead & pushing the blower into the space, then pulling it back.
Then I attach my second 100 feet & attack the end of the drive just like the first 1/2.
Enjoy-- If you have a neighbor with one of those huge gas machines, be sure to give him a hand when you're done. You can pick that little blower up by the balanced handle and use it like a scoop to lower those huge snowbanks where the plow dumps snow at the end of your driveway.
Jim
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wrote:

How would you approach a double wide driveway (really, two driveways right next to each other, one mine, one my neighbors) bounded by a house on each side? Where/how would you blow the snow?
I'm also in upstate (western) New York, no snowblower yet, but thinking about that Toro 1800 if my sister doesn't give me her old Toro 3.5 HP single stage.
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snipped-for-privacy@suds.com wrote:
-snip-

I'd do the same thing. Start in the center with a trip from the garage to the street. Turn around and come back up the right side-- turn around and go back down the right side. . . . .
Even if the first few passes don't throw the snow clear of the driveways, once a path is cleared it is easy to adjust how much snow you take on subsequent passes. The trick is to adjust how much snow you take and how fast you walk to keep the 'hopper' full of snow. [I nearly jog if we just get 3" of snow.<g>]
My old 2-stage always seemed to clog up if I moved snow twice like that. The 1800 doesn't seem to mind. I don't know if it is the plastic parts, or the difference in the way it throws the snow, but I rarely clog this even in the slush the plow throws back.
The Toro1800 scoops and throws snow all with one movement. The old 2-stage had an auger that scooped the snow back to a chute where a spinning impeller tossed it out a much longer [metal] chute. [which in my Ariens was further compromised with an exhaust warming it up all the time.]

I'd never turn down a freebie [that's how I got my 1800], but you shouldn't feel bad if you end up buying that electric.
Jim
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-snip my praise of the Toro 1800 electric snowblower-

-snip- I was way off on my estimate of what I consider 'ought to have on hand' parts.
Since I ended up ordering a wrong part myself, I'm going to compile the list part numbers & [ www.rcpw.com ] prices to put with my TORO manual;
Here's my adjusted 'emergency parts list'- Rotor, blade, and skids will wear out from normal use depending on how rough your driveway is and how much snow you get. [see my guesstimate below]
The drive hex bolt & 73-0160 belt will only break under duress. The drive hex bolt, 73-0990, not the coupler as I erroneously said, acts as a shear pin would in a bigger blower. [I don't think the coupler will wear out or break, but for 3.50 I left it on the list.]
My long drive belt, 61-8802, has over 100 hours and 4 years on it and looks brand new.
[1] Rotor    73-8590     $9.74 [1] Blade 73-3690        $9.68 [1] Drive Hex [Rotor driver] 73-0990 $8.90 [1] Coupler 73-0860        $3.34 [1] Timing [Idler, Drive- Small ]Belt 73-0160 $9.79 [1] Drive Belt [long one] 61-8802 $9.79 [4] Skids 73-1570 @$1.15        $4.60
[Wow- I was way off with my $25-30 guess. $55.84 +shipping. If money is tight, I'd probably pass on the 61-8802 belt and the coupler 73-0860. That's about $15 & gets you back to $40. If you've got a smooth driveway or it is much smaller than mine, then pass on the blade for this year. - see below for my estimates-
You're not likely to break a blade. You can break a rotor by accident, though, if you try hard enough. I did one this year through shear stupidity. I laid a sheet of plywood down over a ditch & didn't see a 3" screw sticking up through it. Because my blade was worn, the screw cut 1/2 way through the rotor when I cleared the snow off it. Then I tried to blow a 3" rock through the machine & managed to break a rotor in half. I actually duct-taped it to finish the little bit I had to do that day- and brought the blower in to warm up before I put the new rotor on in the morning. Was glad I always wait until after that first snowfall to put the new rotor on.]
On my 1/2 rough concrete, and 1/2 gravel 4000 sq foot drive in upstate NY I replace the rotor, blade and skids every year. Average snowfall here is 65" & I tend to blow my drive every 6" or so, so a guestimate would be that I clear 4000 sq feet -plus sidewalks- 11 times a year. [though now I remember that last year we got 105", so I guess the blade & rotor made it through 17 clearings, or about 70,000 sq feet. I thought it looked extra worn this year.
A macadam drive would probably double their life.
In four seasons I've replaced one Drive Hex[Rotor Driver] and and one of the small drive belts- 73-0160. Both were somewhat the result of operator abuse. A more cautious operator would probably have avoided them. [I prefer to work it hard & pay the occasional price.]
Hope this helps-- Jim
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I have a single stage push blower and a 2 stage tractor mount. the single stage is absolutely worthless in wet snow. The key to single stage success is to max out the rpms and slow travel. With the 2 stage you still want to max rpm but it allows more travel speed because the snow is more efficiently moved through the system.
One of the best small blowers I ever saw work as a husqvarna push type (@ 400 I think). I had really fast impeller rotation. The 1 stage with B/S type motors generally have slower rotation and a little extra power and try to force the snow through. good for dry sucks for wet snow.
whatever your choice go for high rpm you'll be happier in the end.
Later, Byrd

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