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NeilBlanchard 01-27-11 12:46 PM

I got to borrow my neighbor's Toro again, and I cleared the entire 90' long driveway, including the snow plow pile at the street; we got about 11" - 12" of snow. The width averages 9' or so, and the street is flared to almost 15-16' wide. I also cleared a 30' path.

All of that in just 30 minutes -- and using just 0.40kWh of power! Amazing.

hamsterpower 02-07-11 03:56 AM

so I finally discovered a problem with my Toro 1800. The auger is molded to the shaft instead of having shear pins as a "real" snow blower would. I hit the corner of a concrete pad and now there is some play on the shaft. The little Toro still works great but rattles quite a bit. I can see how this is going to get worse and eventually need a whole new auger.

NeilBlanchard 02-07-11 05:11 AM

Right, my neighbor's has a "tear" on one of the blades, but it still works fine. My Dad has had his for about 15 years.

Is yours the newer 15A model (38381), or the older 12A model (38025)?

hamsterpower 02-07-11 08:27 AM

Mine is the older 12amp. I've run it through two winters now. bought it at Amazon.

NeilBlanchard 02-07-11 12:06 PM

Thanks for the info.

I found out that Amazon sells them through True Value Hardware, so if you buy through them, you can get free delivery to your local store, and support them more directly. It costs about $320 for the new 15A model.

NeilBlanchard 12-05-11 07:27 AM

I got a Toro Power Curve 1800 electric snow blower, but as of yet, I have not had to use it.

We did get a lot of downed branches with the early super-wet snow at the end of October (while the leaves were still on the trees, much later than they usually are!) and I had a pile of smaller branches almost twice as big as my 1 car garage... And there are branches down on neighbors property, too. (My immediate neighbors are dealing with the mother Deb collapsing on Thanksgiving morning -- she was unresponsive for about a day, but she is back home now.)

So, I bought an electric branch chipper:
(click on image for link)

It works quite well. I have misplaced my Kill-A-Watt so I don't know what it consumes, yet. I have chipped about 3/4 of the new storm-downed branches, and then I have to work my way through the older branches. About four of my neighbors want to buy into it, and I'm happy about that. It fits up to 2 1/2" diameter branches, but in the real world it is the bends and curves of the branch that limits what you can chip.

Also, I want to save the larger sections for use in a wood stove or fireplace. The blades are not as sharp as when it was new, so anything above 1" or so takes careful feeding to not bog down the motor -- I have not blown the breaker yet. You have to hold *back* on the larger pieces to keep them from getting pulled in too fast. It is the smaller boughs that are so bulky and not worth burning, and these are a piece of cake for this chipper, even with about 7 or 8 hours of use on the blades.

The pile of chips is fairly impressive -- it's about 14' x 10' oval and over a foot deep in the middle. :-) I'll post a picture when I can.

By the way, it also shreds leaves and small twigs up to 1/2" diameter using the hopper, and it has a large (about 6' long x 2' dia) heavy duty filter bag, if you want to control where the chips go more precisely than just pointing the outlet.

Daox 12-05-11 08:07 AM

Wow, that sounds like a lot of chips. Whatcha gonna do with it all? Yours and neighbor's flower beds?

NeilBlanchard 12-05-11 05:52 PM

It will compost where it sits, I think. :) I've got a lot more to chip, as well.

The soil on my property is quite thin (there are several spots with ledge showing, and much of what is there is crappy fill -- where I dug the foundation for the mudroom addition I did about 14 years ago, there was about 18" deep of so-called clink which is the slag from the coke furnaces at the Maynard mill. There was also the wire frame of a mattress, and the steel frame of a baby carriage rusting in the bony gravel that made up most of the rest of the dirt.

NeilBlanchard 12-15-13 08:22 PM

Okay - a follow up on my Toro electric snowblower. It broke for a second time - a small piece of wood got jammed in the auger, and the hex aluminum nut spun in the plastic pulley - again.

This happened last year, and I tried to repair it, but it did not work. So, I bought a replacement part, and it happened again today. Grrrr. I sent Toro an email explaining the problem, and explaining how I think the pulley needs to be made out of aluminum, or have an aluminum hub, or be a reinforced plastic (it is ABS, I think).

So, I went to my local hardware store and bought the Snow Joe. It works better than my 2nd gen Toro, and it is a lot like the 1st gen Toro. It has a bit more power to push through deep snow and throw it farther. The handle is more sturdy.

It is lower cost than the Toro - $250 vs ~$310. I'll see how it goes for longevity.

Daox 12-16-13 10:16 AM

What model did you get?

Snow Joe / Sun Joe - Get Equipped ™ - Products

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