Snow Throwers

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The ones you are looking at are just above the toy category. If you have a 20' long driveway, it will do. If you have serious snow, you can do better. Much better. Two stage is far superior and does not leave the residue you speak of. They may be sufficient if you have a small area. They are definitely better than a shovel.
Go to a real outdoor equipment store, not the stores you are looking at, if you are serious. These models won't easily remove the plowed snow left by the town trucks. I recall clearing my entire driveway with a single stage in 15 minutes, then spending 30 to 45 minutes trying to do the last couple of feet.
The electric start is nice to have though. My next one will have it.
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

I am sorta shopping to replace my off-brand 2 sstage 5 hp. Requirements are:
2 stage Minimum 6.5 hp Powered chute rotation. Electric start? Haven't decided. Sounds good but I somehow see being caught with a dead machine out in the state's plow berm and a dead battery. Track drive? - Dunno. I don't like the horseing around needed to get it into the shed.
Harry K
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Some electric starts are 120V with an extension cord in the garage. You still have the option of a pull start.
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snipped-for-privacy@snet.net says...

I have a 120V electric starter on my 8HP HomeDespot special (Yard Machines). The only time I use it is the first start of the season. It's pretty easy to pull start after.

--
Keith

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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

Aha. That is the type I will for sure go with.
My current one is an old off-brand that I bought for $50 as a basket case. Shot motor but I already had a motor that wasn't in use so... Good machine but small and underpowered for the plow berm. Being on a state highway, I get 15 to 20 ft of highway snow piled into my drive.
Someone did mention that single stage throws farther. True. I found that a two stage will throw well but they want to be 'crowded', i.e., keep the blower chamber full. Makes for fast clearance up to about 4" then I have start slowing down to what the motor will pull.
Harry K
Harry K
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One other thing that's nice about the single stage blowers are that they are a lot easier to maneuver and man-handle around. Ligher, not transmission to deal with for forward and reverse.
My single stage has electric start but I never use it. I guess I can see an elderly person taking advantage of it though.
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I have a Honda 4 cycle 6.5 HP single stage. It is fantastic. Light and easy to use during 90% of the time. If we get 2' it is harder as that is over the top of the machine, but it still throws the hell out of it. That only happens once every few years at best. I live on a busy road and get a lot of crap at the end of the driveway. This thing handles it with no problems at all. Nice and quiet. I didn't get the electric start as it is a Honda and I only have to pull a maximum of 2 times at the start of the year and only one pull during the season. It is a great machine.
marybeth wrote:

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I'm planning to buy a new Snow Thrower and I'd like to know your experience and advice.
I have narrowed it down to a few models at three stores, Lowes, Home Depot and Sears. ========================= Why have you narrowed it down to three dealers who can't give you the type of service you'll need in the future? Do you know how to maintain these things yourself?
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I'm going to jump in to defend the single stage machines. I owned a Toro 2 stage first, and switched to a smaller Toro single stage. Here are the benefits: Small and light to use and store. Throws snow farther than 2 stage type. 2 stroke engine starts on first pull, even first use of the year. No crankcase oil to change, just run it dry of fuel and put it away for the off-season. Not self propelled and does not need to be. I push it at whatever pace I want. Old 2 stage had it's own speeds. Usually too slow or fast for the conditions. I mostly drove it in one direction and had to drag it back manually to make another pass. Small unit can be used to do driveway, walks, and deck. Fits in trunk of car. Handles Boston area storms fine. Fist pass down our 40' driveway in 26" deep snow is slow. After that, you just take half at a time and it clears to the pavement with no problem. I totally agree with the advice to buy from a specialty supplier. Big box is not worth the downside of the money savings.
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You need to first say, how long is my driveway. If its between 20' to 50' and something like 20' wide a good single stage snowblower will work ok.
I am not a big fan of sears stuff myself. If you can find a good deal on a Honda HS520 (hs520as (electric start)) that unit will keep up just fine with (and probably beat) the el cheapo dual stage cheap units. Just beware, honda powerequipment is not cheap and neither is their quality.
If you are going to go with a 2 stage unit I would recommend either a deere, ariens or toro. Generally they make decent equipment, but most importantly they make parts years down the road.
If you have a murray (same as mtd, yard machines etc) they were all made by the same manufacturer (Murray) for Sears, Troy and a few others. Parts for the older units (between 5 - 10 years old) are becoming hard to get now that briggs bought them out. Dont believe me?? Take a look at the www.murray.com and select parts. You'll get a message like this..
"Recently, Briggs & Stratton purchased some assets from Murray, Inc. Briggs & Stratton is currently working on migrating these assets (i.e. parts, accessories, etc.) to our parts numbering system. Unfortunately, not all Murray parts will be available for sale through Briggs & Stratton. To purchase Murray Parts:"
While looking for parts for a 5 year old blower I found a message about older parts having limited availability and stuff from 1996 being no longer manufactured.
Sort or screws people with older units that might need a minor part. At least toro, honda and ariens offer parts for machines that are 25 years old. I give them lots of credit for that!
Tom

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