<< 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
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.
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
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
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--
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>
LOL - that's too funny. Just last week, I bought a Toro 1800 at The Home Depot
Hills, MO (a suburb of Saint Louis). I got the last one in the store, the
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
on hand, just in case.
I await the first snowfall of the season with baited breath. We don't have a
snowfall, but when we do get snow, we get 12-16" at a shot. This will be my
snowthrower. I plan on having a rrrrreal good time.
Tim =(substitute 'tcsys.com' for 'nospam.co.uk')
Visit the Surrender Dorothy web !! (http://dorothyrocks.com )
Visit the Crunch Monkey web !! (http://crunchmonkey.com )
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
-snip my praise of the Toro 1800 electric snowblower-
I was way off on my estimate of what I consider 'ought to have on
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
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
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.
 Rotor 73-8590 $9.74
 Blade 73-3690 $9.68
 Drive Hex [Rotor driver] 73-0990 $8.90
 Coupler 73-0860 $3.34
 Timing [Idler, Drive- Small ]Belt 73-0160 $9.79
 Drive Belt [long one] 61-8802 $9.79
 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--
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.
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