1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice

Snow Blower Buyers Guide

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by k1768, Nov 20, 2014.

  1. k1768

    k1768 Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 490

    I'm looking into the idea of going in with my two brothers to buy our father a snow blower as a gift. From my limited knowledge I'm thinking a relatively small and light weight single stage blower would suffice.

    Property consists of a single width 2-3 car long driveway and 20-30' of sidewalk. Any larger (6"+) storm I can clear with my truck (assuming my Mother can keep my Father in the house until I can get there).

    I'm thinking Toro or Honda based on brand reliability, would need to stay sub $500.

    What should I be looking for that I may not be thinking of? Drive train, paddle material, anything else?

    TIA
    Kevin
     
  2. k1768

    k1768 Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 490

  3. gc3

    gc3 Senior Member
    Messages: 713

    I just bought that the other day based on all the reviews on here. Haven't used it yet. I just needed a smaller, lighter single stage for the sidewalk. If I was gonna use one on the driveway I'd probably go with the 721QZE. It has bigger engine, the quick turning chute control, electric. It also can use the poly paddles from Kage that last longer. Just a awesome beast. And it's only 30 pounds more than the 518
     
  4. k1768

    k1768 Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 490

    Thanks for the thoughts. The 721QZE is nearly double ($769 vs $399) though and I think is a bit overkill for my Father's needs.
    I also think the narrower 18" width will be more beneficial for getting along the side of his narrow driveway.

    I can get an Ariens 938032 for $499, reg $599. It is 21" wide, but 2x the engine (212cc vs the 99 of Toro) and 3 year warranty vs 2.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2014
  5. TwiceStroked

    TwiceStroked Member
    Messages: 38

    Think into the future, is Ur father going to be able to pull the single stage backwards? A self propelled unit can back up with minimal human imput, Will Ur mom be able to use if the need arises?
    I love my Honda single stage 4stroke ~7 years, changed paddles twice ALWAYS ready to move any type of Snow I throw @the it.
    I had a Toro Singlestage for 1 season got tired of the smell so I traded it in on the Honda.
     
  6. k1768

    k1768 Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 490

    After additional research and discussion with my brothers we decided to bump our original budget and went with a Honda 720AS. Bigger engine, seems more solid, assembled in USA. I've got a Honda engine running my log splitter and pressure washer and a Honda generator; they've all operated flawlessly thus far for me. We did go with the electric start, just for added measure.

    I'm more than confident my Father will be able to handle it for years to come. No way my Mother would even consider it. She's retired and will not venture out in bad weather.
     
  7. gc3

    gc3 Senior Member
    Messages: 713

    You got tired of the smell of what?
     
  8. TwiceStroked

    TwiceStroked Member
    Messages: 38

    2 stroke, 2 me it's worse than getting Diesel fuel in me.
     
  9. gc3

    gc3 Senior Member
    Messages: 713

    The Toro 518 single stage is a 4 stroke that I bought. What was the Toro 2 stroke that you got rid of?
     
  10. TwiceStroked

    TwiceStroked Member
    Messages: 38

    Over 7 years ago, I suffer from CRS! LoL Honda 521as is the same except 4 electric start and 4 stroke.
     
  11. scottL

    scottL PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,603

    Your thinking like a young guy. :nono:

    As much as your dad may not want to admit OR have you admit he's getting older the fact is they are and that means change. They don't want to have to muscle anything more than a few seconds. More power is more headache and effort. They are happy to spend more time than effort on something. Should point out ... how many aches and pains does he have? bad back? Jerking around with shifting the power blower and maintaining his balance ....

    The single stage is easier to maneuver and manage. Get it with an electric start and you will be the golden child. Can't go wrong with toro or honda. Easy to to maintenance and never really die.