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NeilBlanchard 06-08-14 05:57 PM


Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard (Post 18087)
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.

Okay, I have a troubleshooting question: the 1.5HP 14A electric motor has a circuit breaker on the side of the motor housing that is shutting off prematurely. It is getting warm to the touch. Is this something I can fix, do you think? It never did this before.

Daox 06-09-14 08:47 AM

Is it pulling abnormally high amps? Or, are you thinking the circuit breaker is just bad?

NeilBlanchard 06-09-14 10:11 PM

I think the breaker on the motor housing is malfunctioning. The GFI outlet and the 10A house circuit breaker are not tripping. The motor is rated at 14A, so the local breaker should not be tripping.

hamsterpower 02-15-15 04:24 PM

I lost a good friend today.
My 1st gen Toro Powercurve electric snow blower has finally failed me. Originally purchased in 09, my Toro has been a trusted companion through many a winter. This year being especially challenging here in greater Boston. My Toro has handled everything I have asked of it even this years record setting blizzards, but today something was different. I have yet to tear it down to find the true problem but it smells like a fried motor. One thing I know is these are not really friendly to repairs so I doubt it would be cost effective to fix. Based on Neil's reveiw of the Snow Joe along with other reveiws on Amazon- I have a new 15 amp model on its way.
I'll open up the Toro in the warm of spring and if repairable, pass it on to my mother to help with her deck and walks.
For now you rest my dear Powercurve.

hamsterpower 03-07-15 09:49 AM

First impression of the Snow Joe.
So I received my new Snow Joe 18 inch, 15 amp electric snow thrower. And just like I had hoped, we have not gotten any snow since. The "bought a new snow blower" insurance plan worked perfectly.
My first impressions of the Snow Joe is I can see why it was so much less costly. The overall design is not as nice as the Toro I have. The handle has two folding joints that seem a bit too flexable and there is no lifting handle. The Toro has a handle behind the throwing chute that is at the balance point so I could easily pick up the whole unit and make passes through larger banks of snow, working top to bottom. I will really miss that on the Snoe Joe. The Toro felt like high quality fiber reinforced (strong) plastic, where the Snoe Joe feels soft. Much softer plastic with thin metal wear plates at certain rub points. The Toro was activated by a long button across most of the handle and was easy to operate with either hand. The Snow Joe has a lever with a safety button on only the right side. You need to depress the button and then pull the lever. I'm sure this will be a challenge with gloves on in the cold and with it only on one side it limits the angles the user can work. Last ly, the Toro had a strong plastic auger the slowly wore away but always made good contact with the pavement. After 5+ years it had certainly worn down but not to where it was a problem by any stretch. The Snoe Joe has a metal auger with a rubber "squeegee" that looks like scrap tire sidewall. I'm not sure how long this will work well. That's all for now, I'll update this when I get to actually use the Snow Joe.

NeilBlanchard 03-10-15 09:34 PM

I have had nothing but good results from my Snow Joe, and nothing but problems with my 2nd gen Toro. The handle of the Snow Joe is much stronger (despite the hinge points. The top handle of the Toro feels like it could snap off.

I sheared the hub of the main drive pulley in the Toro twice; when the impeller gets stopped by something, like a small bit of wood, or a chunk of ice. The 1st gen Toro is great, but the 2nd gen ain't up to snuff.

The balance of the Toro is a bit better, but you can use the lowest crossbar on the Snow Joe handle to pick it up.

Snow Joe has made it through two winters - and this one was a DOOZY. I had it working through several storms where just the top of the chute was visible above the snow, and it kept on working. If the air temp drops to the low single numbers, the clutch on the impeller slips a bit more than otherwise. But with a bit of smooth use, it warms up and keeps on going. Just don't leave it out in subzero nights.

The Snow Joe works as well, or better than the older Toro.

papitohead 04-14-16 11:16 AM

The oldest garden tool I have is a Black & Decker blower. Got it in 1988 when Kmart closed here in Puerto Rico for $15. Then I got transferred back to NY in 91 where I used it to blow the leaves in fall and Spring cleaning of the yard. Got transferred back to PR in 1998 and still use it here to clean the yard. Still works like if it was new.

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