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edited 4:04AM in Off Topic
About to take the plunge on a snow blower and looking for advice or opinions on which to buy. I'm hearing Toro is the way to go but they sure are proud of them for the price they're asking.
Other options would be Craftsman or troy-built possibly. Single stage -vs- 2 stage? Here in Illinois I just cant see the reason for 2 stage as we really don't get 12inches of snow at a time very often not to mention i'd like to be able to easily put it in the back of my truck if needed.
I guess i'm leaning hard toward the new 4 cycle single stage Toro but I could buy a high end 2 stage Craftsman for the same money.
Just looking for opinions as "bigger doesn't mean better" and "You get what you pay for" seem to always ring true.
Thanks in advance.


  • RipnemRipnem Posts: 5,511
    Most of those little ones struggle with wet, crusty, drifted and deep snow. My 2 stage has none of those issues. Also has electric start (a must if you ask me)

    I have an off brand"Yard Machine" but it has a decent Tecumsah engine that hasn't had a problem in 3 seasons.

    Years ago, a customer of mine, Canadiana, then Noma, made them. They were bought out by Murray. At that time they produced Craftsman, Toro and many other brands. I was told there was little difference between them. I have one made by them that is twenty years old and still works like a champ. I added an electric start a few years ago.



    Caledon, ON


  • ZippylipZippylip Posts: 4,679
    are you tall enough to reach the controls :laugh:

    by the way, I bought a big Craftsman about 5-6 years ago, works well, but I burned out the electric start after 4 seasons, & I only use the thing maybe once-twice per year
    happy in the hut
    West Chester Pennsylvania
  • Ha Ha Ha, Yer killin me. I have elevator sowmobile boots. How's the back oldtimer? Compensache? I'll have you know that I humped that thing into my muchtootallfor me Toyota Tundra.



    Caledon, ON


  • ZippylipZippylip Posts: 4,679
    not thinking about the back right now, had a couple mishaps last evening out at the old fire pit, it was dark out there & there were a lot of tripping hazards, trees & stuff kept jumping out in front of me, I tell ya, its safer just to stay inside with the lights on & far away from the beer fridge
    happy in the hut
    West Chester Pennsylvania
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 22,874
    i just use the 4 wheel drive on the truck :laugh: havent done the driveway in years and have had some really good snow storms over here in newengland.
  • RRPRRP Posts: 21,921
    Two years ago I popped for this 2 cycle, 21" single stage Toro called a Power Clear with electric starter. Think it came to about $500. I'm like you we seldom get nasty snows here in central Illinois requiring a two stage. This puppy has handled the drifts we do get. My driveway is 170 feet long and this Toro works like a charm. What I really like about it is the "Quick Shoot" whereby moving that blue thing on the handle changes the direction of the chute. My old MTD had a crank which was slow and a pain!
    L, M, S, &  Mini
    And oh yes...also a 17" BlackStone gas fired griddle! 
    Dunlap, IL
    Re- gasketing AMERICA one yard at a time!
  • That looks nearly identical to the one i'm looking at only they now (maybe always?) offer it in 4 cycle as well as 2 cycle. I'm sure both work fantastic but leaning toward the 4 cycle here just for ease of use without mixing fuel and such (hopefully wife will be more inclined *wink*) and from what i'm reading Toro is tough to beat.
    Love the Honda 4 cycle. When there is heavy snow or really heavy deep fall we just hit the fall before it gets too deep.

  • CanuggheadCanugghead Posts: 6,174
    I agree with GG (assuming he's talking about Honda HS520A or HS520AS single stage 4-cycle). My buddy and his brother each has one of these, and are very happy, they both live in Chicago.

    I bought a Craftsman single stage with 4-cycle Briggs and Stratton engine two years ago, last year (2nd season) the muffler fell off and melted the plastic housing :evil: . I got it fixed under warranty and sold it this year. Last month I drove over to Bufffalo (I live in GWN) and bought an HS520A (recoil start) for $599 USD, even after paying all taxes at Canadian customs and currency conversion, I still saved $400 CAD compared to buying locally. In fact, I cannot buy it here even at the inflated price because they were sold out almost two months ago.

    As for Honda vs. Toro, Toro is a great product but their bread and butter engine is the 2-cycle R-Tek. Tecumseh went bankrupt(?) last year, so Toro's 4-cycle engine is made in China I think.

    My Chicago buddy bought his from this place few years ago. They ship free and non WI residents are tax exempt.

  • Thanks for the input and advice. I'll have to look into the Toro 4 cycle engine and where it's being made and what the reviews are for it.
    As for Honda, I really didn't have it on my radar as I haven't seen any local for sale. Thanks for the heads up on that one!
  • Here is the one i'm leaning toward at my local dealer.
    Power Clear™ 421Q
    (38588 - Recoil) : ( 38589 - Electric)
    • Power Curve Rotor and Housing
    • Quick Shoot™ Control System
    • Power Propel™ Drive System
    • Two year warranty
    • 2 year guaranteed to start

    • 5.5 HP Tecumseh 4-Cycle Engine
    • 21" clearing width
    • 35' throw distance*
    • 1,800 lbs per minute*
    • Recoil or electric start

    Email for sale prices
  • CanuggheadCanugghead Posts: 6,174
    you can't go wrong with either toro or honda. toro's fancy chute control is really nice but it also risks cable seizing/freezing and linkage failure down the road, i'd rather have honda's KISS chute control. the honda engine is also a definite plus for me. good luck with your purchase!

    couple of reviews i found:
  • CanuggheadCanugghead Posts: 6,174
    just talked to speedwaysales and am surprised that they still have HS520A ($599) and HS520AS ($699) in stock, with free shipping. these were sold out here more than two months ago. also their price is possibly the cheapest anywhere.

    by the way, my HS520A is still in the box, i'm going to open it to see if i can figure out whether the engine is made in USA, Mexico, Japan, China or India!
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