WootBot


quality posts: 14 Private Messages WootBot

Staff

Toro 1800 Power Curve Snow Blower

Speed to First Woot:
4m 31.117s
First Sucker:
ahbuhjee
Last Wooter to Woot:
chopperblack
Last Purchase:
a year ago
Order Pace (rank):
Top 14% of Sellout Woots
Top 33% of all Woots
Woots Sold (rank):
Top 19% of Sellout Woots
Top 13% of all Woots

Purchaser Experience

  • 32% first woot
  • 9% second woot
  • 27% < 10 woots
  • 15% < 25 woots
  • 17% ≥ 25 woots

Purchaser Seniority

  • 28% joined today
  • 0% one week old
  • 1% one month old
  • 9% one year old
  • 62% > one year old

Quantity Breakdown

  • 96% bought 1
  • 3% bought 2
  • 1% bought 3

Percentage of Sales Per Hour

2%
1%
1%
0%
1%
4%
8%
13%
16%
18%
15%
11%
11%
0%
0%
0%
0%
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12 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Woots by State

zero wooters wootinglots of wooters wooting



Quality Posts


greezyg


quality posts: 9 Private Messages greezyg

So sad that my area hasn't had much of a winter at all! Austin has been in the 70's and 80's most of the year!

conanthelibrarian


quality posts: 3124 Private Messages conanthelibrarian

lots and lots of good reviews (4.2 out of 5.0) over at amazon

http://www.amazon.com/Toro-18-Inch-Electric-Thrower-38025/dp/B00005OQMG

frojoe2004


quality posts: 2 Private Messages frojoe2004

This would SUCK.

when several inches of wet heavy snow falls (when you actually need a snow blower), pushing those tiny unmotorized wheels through the heavy snow would suck suck suck.

Do yourself a favor and spend the extra money on a self propelled one with tires that have real traction.

jpsyche


quality posts: 6 Private Messages jpsyche

I've had mine for six years, and this is not true. Northern Chicago suburb, we got six inches today, cleaned it off w/no problems. I had a gas self propelled. You know what sucked? Going through all these contortions to store for the off season, only to have to send it for a yearly 'tune-up' (to the tune of $90-125) because it wouldn't turn over. My only expense over six years has been to invest in a cold weather cord - easier to wind when it's ten below..

frojoe2004 wrote:This would SUCK.

when several inches of wet heavy snow falls (when you actually need a snow blower), pushing those tiny unmotorized wheels through the heavy snow would suck suck suck.

Do yourself a favor and spend the extra money on a self propelled one with tires that have real traction.



frojoe2004


quality posts: 2 Private Messages frojoe2004
jpsyche wrote:I've had mine for six years, and this is not true. Northern Chicago suburb, we got six inches today, cleaned it off w/no problems. I had a gas self propelled. You know what sucked? Going through all these contortions to store for the off season, only to have to send it for a yearly 'tune-up' (to the tune of $90-125) because it wouldn't turn over. My only expense over six years has been to invest in a cold weather cord - easier to wind when it's ten below..



I live in North Wisconsin. Every once in a while, that'd be fine. But get heavy 8" snow falls 3 days a week for 3 weeks, followed by 35 degree days, and pushing through that with a gas powered snowblower is a challenge. If you do your research you'll find good gas blowers that don't need to go in for tune-ups at all. They also make electric ones that are self propelled and have decent wheels. Pushing that through icy slush is much different than powder.

djheater


quality posts: 1 Private Messages djheater

Totally agree with jpsyche. I've had mine for 4.5 years, live in the Western suburbs of Chicago and cleaned off the very heavy wet snow with this little guy. There's a minor amount of effort involved in pushing it through the snow, manipulating the cord and orienting the chute, but it's really minor. I think it's a great machine and seems very sturdy.

Smokey26


quality posts: 2 Private Messages Smokey26
jpsyche wrote:I've had mine for six years, and this is not true. Northern Chicago suburb, we got six inches today, cleaned it off w/no problems. I had a gas self propelled. You know what sucked? Going through all these contortions to store for the off season, only to have to send it for a yearly 'tune-up' (to the tune of $90-125) because it wouldn't turn over. My only expense over six years has been to invest in a cold weather cord - easier to wind when it's ten below..



Thank you for giving a honest review of the product... I wish this woot was a bit cheaper or at the beginning of the winter season though.




ThunderThighs


quality posts: 545 Private Messages ThunderThighs

Staff

Here's a review from someone that bought it last time:

yatzr wrote:I got mine yesterday just before Winter Storm Q hit. I was honestly surprised how well this thing worked. The deepest I had to deal with was about 10 inches, but this handled it just fine. Sure, it was a little harder to push through 10 inches than through 4 inches, but I still had no problems.

I had seen some comments (can't remember if here or if on amazon) about problems with the extension cord coming unplugged from the blower. These people obviously didn't read the owner's manual. There's a hook on the handle that you jam your extension cord into specifically so that it doesn't come unplugged. I accidentally stepped on the extension cord a few times and it never came unplugged.





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ThunderThighs


quality posts: 545 Private Messages ThunderThighs

Staff

Smokey26 wrote:Thank you for giving a honest review of the product... I wish this woot was a bit cheaper or at the beginning of the winter season though.



It if was at the beginning of the season, we probably wouldn't have it. We kinda specialize in getting deals at the wrong time of year. That's how we get them.



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gregbowman


quality posts: 44 Private Messages gregbowman

Home Depot had these on clearance a few weeks ago in my market (metro KC) for $99 - we had been enjoying a very mild winter . . . Then it snowed like hell, and I had been kicking myself ever since for not picking one up. However, my opinion changed radically earlier today, coincidentally, as my neighbor did buy one on sale (it worked great with the first big snowfall we had a week ago) and with the heavy, wet, almost slushy type of snow we got here in round two of the great snowfall of 2013 (the most snow I can remember in KC since I was a child, and I'm an old fart), his Toro (this exact model) couldn't make it three feet in this mush before bogging down and making a terrible screeching noise . . . Finally, he gave up as I was shoveling away and almost done with my driveway, offering to help him out when I finished - when suddenly he unplugged it, gave it a good kick, sent the chute flying across the yard and proclaimed loud enough for the entire neighborhood to hear as he yelled out to his wife that he was taking the piece of $#^! back to Home Depot.

I would have appreciated this blower when we had the light powder a week ago, but I have now seen first hand what this CAN'T do in wet, heavy, snow and as much as I want to pull the trigger, I have to pass.

I'll hold out for a bigger unit with an auger (for less than the $1000 woot! wanted for the Yard Machine gas snow blower recently). Woot!, get your hands on a decent gas unit from a better manufacturer and bring it in for sale at $4-500 and I'm in.

whatsamattaU


quality posts: 1068 Private Messages whatsamattaU

The link to the previous woot with a lot of comments, $129.99 then and now

http://www.woot.com/forums/viewpost.aspx?postid=5345448

desynergy


quality posts: 7 Private Messages desynergy

Wow, if this was for sale yesterday, I would of made a video of my neighbours today just for this. Kansas City got hit by another snow storm, this time with very heavy, wet snow. One neighbour using an electric Toro (not sure if it was this model but it looks pretty close) snow blower and the neighbour two doors up using a 2 stage Craftsman gas snow blower. The electric one had problems throwing the heavy snow at a distance. Plus it seemed it got clogged a couple times. He also had 3 cars in the driveway and he had to go get the cord unstuck from his car tires several times. The gas powered one was like a boss. Even with this heavy snow, it was throwing the snow clear up in the middle of his yard. The only time it bogged down was when he was hitting the piles of snow from last week's snow storm that the city plowed up at the end of his driveway. At the end, by the time the neighbour with the electric snow blower got finished with his driveway, the other neighbour with the gas powered one had his driveway clear and had half of our cul-de-sac cleared off. Our cul-de-sac is all hill, and to leave we have to go uphill. Only one neighbour has been able to get up the hill today, and that was due to he had chains on his truck's back tires. After thinking about this all evening, I've determined that I will be purchasing a gas one like his when Sears starts putting them on clearance. He got his last spring when they had them on clearance when the normal price was around $900 and they had them marked down to just above $500. Now I'm not saying this snow blower is a P.O.S. or anything, but after witnessing this today, I know which one I am going to purchase.

Also LOL @ the map. Seems the states that's been getting smacked with snow the last couple of weeks are the ones buying this woot.

iguana71


quality posts: 4 Private Messages iguana71
frojoe2004 wrote:This would SUCK.

when several inches of wet heavy snow falls (when you actually need a snow blower), pushing those tiny unmotorized wheels through the heavy snow would suck suck suck.

Do yourself a favor and spend the extra money on a self propelled one with tires that have real traction.


frojoe2004 wrote:I live in North Wisconsin. Every once in a while, that'd be fine. But get heavy 8" snow falls 3 days a week for 3 weeks, followed by 35 degree days, and pushing through that with a gas powered snowblower is a challenge. If you do your research you'll find good gas blowers that don't need to go in for tune-ups at all. They also make electric ones that are self propelled and have decent wheels. Pushing that through icy slush is much different than powder.



Wrong. The only thing that SUCKS is for U livin' thru WI winters. This blower is more than adequate for most snow areas here in the states. Uneducated comments the last time woot sold this were proven wrong and yours are no exception.

BTW, if UR using the wheels on this model while blowing snow UR doin' it wrong so you obviously have NO experience with it. U actually tilt the unit slightly forward so the blade contacts the driveway and the spinning rotor eases the blower forward "pullng" it thru the snow. The wheels R just 4 moving the unit from where UR storing to the snow.

And no need for...



Love UR comment about a gas blower needing no maintenance. Especially after sitting idle for months at a time. But then again maybe UR using one 11 months out of the year! ROTFLMAO

zorrex


quality posts: 2 Private Messages zorrex

My parents have had an older model of this for YEARS. I used this as a kid frequently. It only gets bogged down on the super heavy stuff in excess of ~6". And no, you don't wheel this thing like you would a gas snow blower. As was stated, you tilt it slightly forward so the wheels come off the ground as you push through the snow. This actually throws farther than most gas blowers if you use it intelligently.

jmbunkin


quality posts: 28 Private Messages jmbunkin

Bought one of these last time they were here and just put it together(7-8 minutes) so have not tried it yet. I think you have to be realistic,no it's not going to be the machine to throw very heavy wet snow but my 10 HP gas machine will clog sometimes on that stuff.If you get 8-10 of the light stuff this will be great.I bought mine to clear my 12 x 15 deck and I'm sure it will do the job. I have never seen this model anywhere cheaper and in fact not even close to Woot's price

wizwor


quality posts: 21 Private Messages wizwor

A lot of people live in an area where something like this is all that is necessary. If you look up 'suck' in the dictionary, it is not the same as 'not for me' (though, for some reason, there is a picture of Northern Wisconsin near the definition). For someone with a short, flat driveway who does not routinely get 8" of wet snow three days a week, this may not suck at all. In fact, the reviews and this price are very good.

frojoe2004 wrote:I live in North Wisconsin. Every once in a while, that'd be fine. But get heavy 8" snow falls 3 days a week for 3 weeks, followed by 35 degree days, and pushing through that with a gas powered snowblower is a challenge. If you do your research you'll find good gas blowers that don't need to go in for tune-ups at all. They also make electric ones that are self propelled and have decent wheels. Pushing that through icy slush is much different than powder.



Creeper1313


quality posts: 8 Private Messages Creeper1313

I've had one of these for 4 years and I can recommend these. I use it with a 100-ft 14 gauge insulated/outdoor extension cord on a spool and this works well (~$60+$10). If you have a very large driveway and/or frequently get >1 foot of snow, I'd go with gas, but if not, this works great.

Tips:
1) Learn a good zig-zag path starting closest to the outlet and working away towards the end of your driveway so the cord stays out of your way.

2) If you do get the occasional very deep snow that would be taller than this blower, this blower is actually light enough to lift up and let it work it's way down a deeper snow pile.

3) This lightness also lets you hang this from hooks set into the wall of your garage in the summer months to free up floorspace (don't try that with a 250lb gas blower!)

kjenkins31


quality posts: 0 Private Messages kjenkins31

I'm in - just need it to clean the deck off and an area for the dog to do her "business", so this will be perfect!

bblhed


quality posts: 6 Private Messages bblhed

I have been looking at buying one of these machines a lot lately. I own a really nice gasoline powered 1971 Ariens that I re-powered with a 7.5HP Brigs in 2009 and while it does a fine job I find it has some shortcomings that this machine could fill in. I look at this like a weed wackier to a lawnmower type of thing. The big machine is great for clearing the driveway and most of the walk, but there is a lot of walk and wooden deck that need to be done with a shovel and I believe that this type of machine is the answer to that. This machine weighs in at 26LBS so I can carry it up the steps to the deck, it has rubber blades so it will not chew up the blue stone walkway or wooden deck. I believe that this machine might be what I am looking for, now I just have to make sure I have the room to store it.

For those people that think they are going to move 18 inch deep snow with a $400 to $500 machine, that is a recipe for disappointment, either pony up the $1200 for a good machine or learn the skills to rebuild an old machine. I would not even think of buying a cheep snow-blower unless it was to supplement a larger machine or if I lived south of Washington DC.

Creeper1313


quality posts: 8 Private Messages Creeper1313
bblhed wrote:I have been looking at buying one of these machines a lot lately. I own a really nice gasoline powered 1971 Ariens that I re-powered with a 7.5HP Brigs in 2009 and while it does a fine job I find it has some shortcomings that this machine could fill in. I look at this like a weed wackier to a lawnmower type of thing. The big machine is great for clearing the driveway and most of the walk, but there is a lot of walk and wooden deck that need to be done with a shovel and I believe that this type of machine is the answer to that. This machine weighs in at 26LBS so I can carry it up the steps to the deck, it has rubber blades so it will not chew up the blue stone walkway or wooden deck. I believe that this machine might be what I am looking for, now I just have to make sure I have the room to store it.

For those people that think they are going to move 18 inch deep snow with a $400 to $500 machine, that is a recipe for disappointment, either pony up the $1200 for a good machine or learn the skills to rebuild an old machine. I would not even think of buying a cheep snow-blower unless it was to supplement a larger machine or if I lived south of Washington DC.



For just a deck or walkway, this one might be overkill and a bit bulky when not in use. My parents have one of these http://www.amazon.com/Toro-38361-Shovel-Electric-Thrower/dp/B000VU222S that I think would be perfect for a deck or walkway and can lean against a wall/in a corner taking up not much more space than a regular shovel after you're done.

Tallman610


quality posts: 0 Private Messages Tallman610

My first Toro 1800 lasted 8+ Vermont winters. When the belt and pulleys failed I replaced it with this seemingly similar model. It lasted 2 uses. The spinning blade is now made of harder, more brittle plastic. A chunk of ice that would have jammed the old one broke the blade of the new one. What is the warranty?

moparcarl


quality posts: 0 Private Messages moparcarl

I bought this same snowblower two weeks ago on woot. I was nervous about it being electric, but it works like a champ. I live in Chicago and have used it 3 times already, including this morning. In the crazy heavy snow the shoot will get jammed, just lift it up and give it a little bump on the ground and it will clear. This is a great deal and it works pretty good. Way better than shoveling.

SalsaShark42


quality posts: 9 Private Messages SalsaShark42

I originally purchased this so I had a quicker way of clearing off the patio in my back yard.

We got about four inches of wet, heavy snow in the western suburbs of Chicago yesterday, so I decided to see how this would handle my driveway and sidewalks.

The verdict: Exactly as I thought a 15amp electric snowthrower would, despite iguana's claims of "proof" to the contrary.

The good:

- It's light
- It clears off the "surface"/unpacked snow just fine.
- It's quiet
- It's fun watching the neighbors shake their heads at the guy trying to clear the walks with something that looks like a toy.
- It's even more fun when they see that it sorta works.

The bad:

- It doesn't have a scraper bar so it doesn't handle the packed snow very well. It doesn't make any difference how much you "tilt" it (which is the wrong way to use one of these anyway). I ended up making another pass with my gas blower to get down to the pavement.

- Almost everything is plastic so I don't expect this to survive for more than a few years. Plan on replacing the plastic impeller yearly, particularly if you think jamming it downwards is the way to use it. Toro sells replacement impellers for around $25.

- It's narrow...very narrow. Since this is electric, only 15 amps and lacks the torque of a gas motor, this is a design necessity. It also means you'll be running it quite a bit longer than you would with a gas blower. The narrower unit also means a smaller handle and your hands will feel the pain after using this for a while.

- The extension cord does come loose from the plug quite frequently, even if you do tie a knot and use the hook that's on the handle. The problem is that the connection between the extension cord and the plug is not snug. Seems like it's something that Toro could easily fix and perhaps they've done so in the latest model.

I wouldn't recommend this as the primary snowthrower for someone who lives in the Midwest. We've gotten off easy with comparatively mild winters the last years, but a typical Chicago winter would kill this thing.

This is, however, a great complementary tool. It works great on my porch, patio and narrow sidewalks. I think it's worth the price and it's light enough to hang on a hook in the garage when not in use.

Someone keeps posting some ridiculous comments about maintenance of gas-powered units. I've had my gas-powered Briggs & Stratton blower for over a decade. I spend an hour (and less than ten dollars) a year maintaining it. I've replaced the $12 belt once and the $25 auger assembly once. For a powerful piece of equipment, this is negligible.

While this Toro model won't require the typical gas engine maintenance activities, it will need parts replaced more frequently than a gas powered one- or two-stage thrower.

If you only use a shovel today, then I'd recommend getting this.

If you're replacing a single- or two-stage gas blower, skip it.

If you're looking for something to handle light snowfalls without hauling out the big guns, get it.

snosbig


quality posts: 8 Private Messages snosbig
frojoe2004 wrote:This would SUCK.

when several inches of wet heavy snow falls (when you actually need a snow blower), pushing those tiny unmotorized wheels through the heavy snow would suck suck suck.

Do yourself a favor and spend the extra money on a self propelled one with tires that have real traction.



AGREE!

techls


quality posts: 1 Private Messages techls

This a good high quality machine, have had one for 8 years. You have to use it appropriately, 8" or less, relatively dry snow. The last snow we had here on LI was deep and wet, not for this machine. I have a 19.5 hp tractor with chains, weights, and a 42" blade that couldn't push, stopped dead. Only thing that worked was my 25 yr old Toro Power-Shift snow thrower, and that was challenged.

snosbig


quality posts: 8 Private Messages snosbig

DEAL KILLER!>>>>Shipping Note: Shipping to Hawaii not available for this item.
I wanted to be the 1st on my block w/1

ThunderThighs


quality posts: 545 Private Messages ThunderThighs

Staff

Tallman610 wrote:My first Toro 1800 lasted 8+ Vermont winters. When the belt and pulleys failed I replaced it with this seemingly similar model. It lasted 2 uses. The spinning blade is now made of harder, more brittle plastic. A chunk of ice that would have jammed the old one broke the blade of the new one. What is the warranty?



Per the features:

Warranty: 2 Years Toro



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lichme


quality posts: 2663 Private Messages lichme

One of these days I'm gonna break down and get a snow blower. Could have used it this morning.

wollern


quality posts: 6 Private Messages wollern

still waiting on the one I bought from the woot off...got an email from UPS this morning: "YOURTOWN, United States 02/27/2013 6:00 A.M. Mechanical failure occurred."

Haven't had snow since I ordered it, but I've got my new $100 electric cord once it does.

bluemaple


quality posts: 66 Private Messages bluemaple

Anyone using the phrase "This would..." hasn't likely used it.

My parents lived in Northern Michigan and this thing did the job fine most of the time.

Key point: use the right tool for the job.

The lived on a small lot. Driveway two cars wide by 25 feet long. Short sidewalk from drive to front door. A two stage 10 horse thrower would have been massive overkill.

Tygress


quality posts: 6 Private Messages Tygress

Where was this thing a few weeks ago when we got 40" of snow?

benferrell


quality posts: 0 Private Messages benferrell

I bought this during the woot a couple of weeks ago as well. I've used it once (I'm in Iowa) and it worked very well for my purposes. I just need it to clear our parking slab by the garage, which accumulates high snow drifts from the alley. This little sucker is so light I can lift it up and take layers off the big drifts. This makes clearing the drifts so much faster and, more importantly, doesn't destroy my back.

Dealing with the cord will take some getting used to but it isn't too annoying. I can't imagine trying to use it all around the house on footpaths/sidewalks with the cord, though.

Also, I haven't tried it on the wet, heavy snow others are talking about so I can't comment on that.

Overall, I'd recommend it if you need it for an isolated area near an outlet. Plan on getting an cold-weather cord of 100-150 feet - a proper cord will end up costing you $50-60.

I found jamina1's suggestions on extension cords helpful from the last woot:

jamina1 wrote:Just remember this thing has a 15 amp motor, so your standard orange extension cord WILL NOT WORK. You will either burn up the cord or destroy the motor in your snowblower.

Considering also that it will be freezing, you need a cord that is still flexible in cold temperatures. I suggest http://www.amazon.com/Coleman-Cable-Low-Temp-Outdoor-Extension/dp/B00004SQFA/ref=pd_sim_hi_8

Keep in mind if you need a 100 foot cord, you're going to need a 12 gauge cord, as at 100 feet the 14 gauge cord only provides 13 amps and will create a fire hazard.

http://www.amazon.com/US-Wire-99100-100-Foot-Extension/dp/B001KY03FC/ref=sr_1_6?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1360934159&sr=1-6&keywords=12+gauge+extension+cord This one should work well.

ThunderThighs


quality posts: 545 Private Messages ThunderThighs

Staff

Tygress wrote:Where was this thing a few weeks ago when we got 40" of snow?


It was on Woot.



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yatzr


quality posts: 0 Private Messages yatzr

I bought this just a few weeks ago on woot and received it just before winter storm q hit. My driveway was covered with anywhere from 4" to 10" of snow and this thing cleared it all out with one pass. Sure, the 10" was harder to push through than the 4", but it wasn't a pain. I was very impressed. Then, when I was done, I got to hang it up on my wall. Perfect for my needs.

eraten


quality posts: 8 Private Messages eraten


This model is perfect for an area that gets a few snowfalls a year, and for folks with smaller driveyways. I've seen similar (if not identical) electric Toros keep up in the powdery dry snow, no problem there. But after a couple of weeks of heavy snow every few days, when your driveway looks like it has a wall on either side, these electric blowers, or any single-stage blowers can't keep up with the big guys. But if you live in an area that gets snow regularly, you know this already.

emonair


quality posts: 4 Private Messages emonair

Picked this up on woot a couple weeks back as well. I just blew eight inches of wet packing snow off an eighty foot long driveway without a problem. I only blew in 12 inch slices though so I could go fast. I would say just make sure you don't let the snow accumulate deeper than eight inches or you may have to pull out the shovel. This is my primary blower in southern Wisconsin.

lroller


quality posts: 13 Private Messages lroller

These snow throwers are great. I use it for those hard to get at areas such as my front walk off the driveway and my long covered front porch, which can still get a foot of snow during a nor'easter or blizzard. I also own Toro's largest gas powered (4 cycle) Power Curve. During our last blizzard (3 weeks ago) it removed 3 feet of snow multiple times as it blew back as fast as you cleared it. The rubber composite blades squeegee your pavement clean and the friction on the rubber blades contacting the surface actually pull the machine along. Before this we had a two-stage Toro (724). It worked great, but when we upgraded our driveway to decorative stamped concrete we opted for the Power Curve so as not to damage the drive using metal blades.

SalsaShark42


quality posts: 9 Private Messages SalsaShark42
lroller wrote:These snow throwers are great. I use it for those hard to get at areas such as my front walk off the driveway and my long covered front porch, which can still get a foot of snow during a nor'easter or blizzard. I also own Toro's largest gas powered (4 cycle) Power Curve. During our last blizzard (3 weeks ago) it removed 3 feet of snow multiple times as it blew back as fast as you cleared it. The rubber composite blades squeegee your pavement clean and the friction on the rubber blades contacting the surface actually pull the machine along. Before this we had a two-stage Toro (724). It worked great, but when we upgraded our driveway to decorative stamped concrete we opted for the Power Curve so as not to damage the drive using metal blades.



FYI--the impeller on this is plastic. It's not the reinforced rubber that you typically find on the gas blowers.

So I'd be concerned about breaking this if you accidentally nudge a landscaping brick or hit a rock.

The good news is that a replacement impeller is under $25.

araczynski


quality posts: 2 Private Messages araczynski

Here's my nickel on the subject, based on some of the previous comments.

My gas 2 cycle small 'china special' snow blower I bought at Menards about 12 years ago is still working ok (probably need to replace the belt on it though). It is the only remaining gas powered device in my garage, besides the cars (hoping to get the Tesla X down the line though).

I've never had to pay for any crazy "tune-up" on it (that's 98% of the time a scam on those that don't know any better, especially when it comes to snow blowers and lawn mowers, weed eaters, etc.) or do any 'post winter procedures' on it.

Here's some basic info. Most basic 2 cycle engines require the gas to be mixed with an oil for lubrication. That oil gets burned up at the same time as the gas of course. Gas burns much more 'cleanly' than does oil, nor does the gas leave much residue on whatever it comes in contact with. The one component that REALLY dislikes the presence of the oil, is the spark plug. It gets gummed up, sooted after regular use, acting as an insulator for the spark that is need to start the chain reaction of a piston engine.

Guess what a "tune-up" entails 98% of the time, taking out the spark plug, inspecting it for normal wear and tear and then taking a wire brush to it. That's it, $cha-ching for the 'experts'.

As for 'summerizing' a snowblower or 'winterizing' other summer tools, what you really need to do, is use a fuel mixture with a stabilizer in it. I believe 'sta-bil' is a popular brand, go to a hardware store or walmart, they all have it. Add it to your fuel mixture per instructions and it will keep the fuel 'fresh' even when stored for a year without draining the gasoline. Keeping it 'fresh' keeps it from 'decomposing' if you will and from some of the chemicals becoming tiny sludge that coats mechanical/electrical components that are then negatively impacted by said 'sludge'.

Now on to the item at hand. It would be more useful if the auger wasn't made of mere hard plastic (judging by the picture). As soon as you run into a solid piece of an ice chuck (courtesy of your city snow truck that throws the snow back into your driveway entrance) this auger will either shatter or just crack off pieces. Most 'bigger' snowblowers use thicker metals for the augers (pros and cons), and most less expensive blowers use thick stips of reinforced rubber (looks like a tire that's been cut into strips, but without the metal inside the tire) as the contact surface of the auger. This 'rubber' is both rigid enough to move the snow, but yet flexible enough to not shatter when it hits big ice chunks.

One thing I can't speak upon, is how annoying it might be to drag an electrical cable around behind you and worry about either running over it with the blower, or having it drag snow around when you're moving, or how rigid the cable might be in cold temperatures and whether that's just causing premature failure of the electrical cable (sheathing) from being flexed/unflexed in those temperatures, (probably depends on the quality of the cable).

As for 'screeching' coming from a snowblower, unless its a metal screeching, (and you'd know if you heard it) its most likely the belt on the unit (transfers torque/power from the motor to the move the auger). Could be that the belt is worn and isn't making enough contact when offered a certain level of resistance (snow density), or it fell off. If it fell off and you heard screeching, there's good chance its now damaged and at best its lifespan is severely impacted, or at worst (if its thick/reinforced enough) it will shred the housing that protects it from external contact when it breaks on you should you choose to reuse it. If your snow blower is new and you're hearing it, then yeah, something more serious is defective, take it back.