Snow blower recommendations?

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Awl --
Haven't seen CR reviews.... can anyone summarize Best Picks?
The new "style" seems to be the Honda/Toro, which look like old Hoover cannister vacs.
Don't want the big Sears/Ariens bulldozer types -- bad luck, and too big to store --, have seen neighbors pretty happy with these Toros.
Experiences? Do's/Don'ts?
Have had the worst luck with gas powered stuff. Mebbe electric? Wouldn't even mind swapping out a battery every 15 min/half hour, if the reliability was there.
--
EA



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Existential Angst wrote:

Entirely dependent on the size and characteristics of the area you need to clear.
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Pete C. wrote:

Well, I got a lot of frontage, but basically I just need a bitty path so effingYonkers doesn't drown me in tickets.
Those little Hondas/Toros would do me good, if people can vouch for their reliability.
--

EA



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On Thu, 11 Feb 2010 11:59:03 -0500, "Existential Angst"

They are only reliable in the hands of someone with a brain. Sorry.
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On 2/11/2010 12:07 PM, snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote in wrote:

Payback time huh? :-)
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Red Green wrote:

I don't know whuh fuh.... I really tried to teach him about LRC and bogus hp....
Mebbe he's more of a gas guy than an electric guy....
--
EA



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wrote:

Alot here use the Toros, but I question motor life. They are designed for a homeowner using them maybe 10 hrs a year so you might get 100-200 hrs out of it, from what I know of Honda designs you will get alot more than 300 hours. I have a small single stage John Deere going on 10 years, the JD and Honda are near 700, the toro is about 520$ but has a 2 year homeowner warranty. My JD sucks in heavy wet snow, it cloges the chute alot, the toros seem to be better and CR mag didnt test the JD in heavy wet snow 10 years ago or they would have rated it apropriatly bad, and I would not have bought it, maybe they redesigned it by now? A friend has a small JD and just put in new rings, years ago most 2 strokes were set to 32-1 mix, now 50-1 is what I see, Ive gone back to about 32-1 or 40-1 since I know the EPA had alot to do with the leaner-less polluting mixes, and use synthetic 2 stroke oil.
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On Thu, 11 Feb 2010 09:16:52 -0800, ransley wrote:

Does something outright fail due to bad design, though, or is it just that they need a little more regular maintenance than the Hondas to keep them running for years? (I grabbed the service manual for the B+S engine in our lawn tractor, and it says to pull the head and clean everything out every 100 hours - I bet hardly anyone bothers)
cheers
Jules
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wrote:

First the rings wear and you loose power.
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On Thu, 11 Feb 2010 13:40:05 -0800, ransley wrote:

I guess I wouldn't mind replacing rings every 100-200 hours if they're cheap - so long as cylinder bores aren't also toast by that point!
cheers
Jules
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wrote:

It doesn't matter which brand. Reliability is only as good as the preventive maintenence performed. Most people with Snow blowers and Generators don't use them enough and let them sit around with gas in them. Gas will evaporate, leaving behind a reidue that may clog or break free and clog somewhere in the fuel system.
Hank <~~~has cleaned fuel systems on 1 year old Hondas.
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Thats bs, my 2 stroke JD has a kawasaki engine, good for probably 3-400 hours, your old garden brand Techumpsee which is no loner made might get you 100 hours, its all in how well the motor is designed, bearings, piston sleeves are easy ways they save money and dont last as long. The cheap 4 stroke 2stage blowers might last 2-300 hours, a commercial grade B&S or honda maybe 2-3000 hours, you get what you pay for in motors.
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On Thu, 11 Feb 2010 17:22:36 -0800 (PST), ransley

when the rod started to knock -- and it got an average of 50 hours a year of fairly heavy blowing for the roughly 20 years I used it - replaced the engine and got another 10 or 15 years out of it before I replaced it - still running great and not needing oil added through the season. I have a 4 car driveway and 150 feet of sidewalk - also did 2 neighbour's walks and drives on a fairly regular basis for years. This year we've got next to no snow - so far - but over 8 feet last year and the year before.
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On Feb 11, 8:46pm, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

4 stroke were better than the 2 and they were built better 30 years ago, they went downhill before closing
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Not BS, I don't care what model you buy, if you don't maintain it, it won't last very long. Whereas a good maintenance program will make it last much, much longer than average.
Hank
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I missread thinking you meant all were equaly made. True, equipment needs maintenance, carburators are they least maintained item and the one that gives 90% of all problems
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I thought you might have mis-understood what I was saying, but I wasn't sure. I do agree that some products are better made and MAY withstand more neglect than others. That's why the are classified as commercial. :-)
I work on a lot of small engines, mostly dirtbikes, ATV's and riding mowers. There is a HUGE difference between the Chinese made engines and Japs, or even B&S. I can feel the sloppyness in the way the nuts&bolts fit together in Chinese stuff, whereas the others are machined to MUCH closer tolerances. I am in constant awareness of breaking off a bolt or stipping the threads.
Hank
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On Thu, 11 Feb 2010 11:59:03 -0500, "Existential Angst"

Get a f4 stroke engine though - not a 2 stroke (mixed oil and gas)
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Existential Angst wrote:

Try a shovel.
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