Single stage for sidewalk cleaning - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 27 Old 02-07-2019, 08:32 PM Thread Starter
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Single stage for sidewalk cleaning

I have a nice 2-stage machine, but I'm thinking about getting a single stage too. I live in Chicago and we get quite a few small snowfalls around here. Usually I just shovel the sidewalk and leave my 100' side driveway (detached garage behind the house) when we just get a couple inches. I live in the city though, and if it snows on a weekday my sidewalk usually gets trampled on by a few dozen people before I can get to it. I have plenty of neighbors with blowers so I don't really need a backup for the 2-stage, but I would like something small and maneuverable that does a good job at cleaning pavement.

Are there any single stage models that are particularly good at clearing down to the pavement? Maybe some not so good models?

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post #2 of 27 Old 02-07-2019, 08:40 PM
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Toro.CCR 3650 or really just about any Toro, Ariens or honda. WAY faster than any two stage. Most of the time though, I have a angled plow that actually is reverseable and has a blocked off side that is even faster than the SS blower.

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post #3 of 27 Old 02-08-2019, 09:04 PM Thread Starter
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I really can't see getting a plow in the city unless you're taking about a big pusher shovel. My 24" 2-stage is big for around here.

The other thing I'm wondering is how much engine size matters for pavement clearing. The smaller Toros have a 99cc engine and weigh a little under 60lbs, while Ariens, Honda, and larger Toro models are more like 80-90lbs and have 200cc or so engines. I can just pick up and carry a 60lb machine around, but add another 20 or 30lbs and I have to actually think about what I'm doing. It would be nice to be able to easily pick a SS up and carry it across the street, take it down into the basement, or toss it in my car. So how are those little 99cc 18" Toros at pavement scraping?

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post #4 of 27 Old 02-08-2019, 09:59 PM
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I own a Toro 721 RC (2014). It's been very good to me and still going strong.
It is 90lbs, but for me it's not a problem, very easy to grab and lift into truck. It has a 212cc motor that I have used at times, pushing it through 10-12" of powder and honestly it doesn't think twice about it.
The thing is, if you buy one, you'll end up finding yourself grabbing it more often then not, because it will make quick work of it, the paddles propelling you forward. It will clean down to the pavement better then a shovel.
Having said that you'll appreciate the extra cc's.
The only negative is it is a manual shoot, so I have to lean across the side to change the direction, but Toro does offer remote chutes on similar machines.
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post #5 of 27 Old 02-08-2019, 10:05 PM
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If weight is a priority, you might look into older 2 stroke single stages.

I haven't gotten to use it in a storm yet, but I just got a used Toro 221, which seems to be kind of the successor to the 3650. Same 141cc 2 stroke, but 21" width, vs 20", and a quick chute aiming control, vs the crank on the 3650.

I read that mine weighs 74 lbs, it does not have electric start.

A 141cc 2 stroke should be significantly more powerful than a 99cc 4 stroke. You have the downside of the oil smell, of course.

I don't need to carry mine around, fortunately. Like with my 2 stage, I was trying to get as much power as was practical/affordable. I figured some extra grunt would make it more useful in bigger storms, maybe taking over more work from the 2 stage. That would be nice, anyways.

What I really wanted was the 212cc Toro 721, but I couldn't pass up the deal I found on this one.

There was a discussion the other day that the Briggs/Simplicity single stages are tough to handle, and don't pull themselves very well.

From what I understand, most rubber paddle single stages should do a good job of clearing down to pavement, since they are all hitting it with the paddles. I'm sure some are better than others.

The Honda HS621 has a great reputation, but are >90 lbs. Their current HS720, without electric-start, is 82 lbs.

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post #6 of 27 Old 02-08-2019, 10:07 PM
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I've had many single stage, they all do the job. If you are going to do only light snows, get the smallest engine. Also get used, they are cheap because they are plentiful. It's hard to even give them away.

Toro makes the best, I've had several; also Snapper, several MTDs, they all do the job. For a couple of inches, you won't notice the difference.

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post #7 of 27 Old 02-08-2019, 10:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zandor View Post
I really can't see getting a plow in the city unless you're taking about a big pusher shovel. My 24" 2-stage is big for around here.

The other thing I'm wondering is how much engine size matters for pavement clearing. The smaller Toros have a 99cc engine and weigh a little under 60lbs, while Ariens, Honda, and larger Toro models are more like 80-90lbs and have 200cc or so engines. I can just pick up and carry a 60lb machine around, but add another 20 or 30lbs and I have to actually think about what I'm doing. It would be nice to be able to easily pick a SS up and carry it across the street, take it down into the basement, or toss it in my car. So how are those little 99cc 18" Toros at pavement scraping?

I use both a Toro Power Clear 721 RC, and a Toro 518 99cc. The 99cc is super powerful. They run at a high RPM, so it can really fling the snow. The only issue I have with it is it's weight. It is very light. Almost too light. It bounces around alot if there isn't much snow.

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post #8 of 27 Old 02-09-2019, 10:37 AM
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Interesting, thanks. I looked up the RPMs, the 518 runs at 4500 RPM, vs 3700 for the 721. Higher RPM is one way to coax more power out of a small engine, if you aren't locked into a 3600 RPM situation, like for a traditional generator. My little 99cc Honda inverter generator runs from 3000 RPM, up to 5000 RPM, I believe, to handle the max load.

(For a point of comparison, I've seen the R-Tek 141cc 2-stroke list up to 4000 RPM, on the 3650. The lower-power-rated versions, like 2400, spun it slower, like 3700)

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post #9 of 27 Old 02-09-2019, 11:04 AM
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And I've wondered, when the higher rpms is recommended, is it a different engine that can handle the higher rpms? or a design change in the same engine so it can handle the higher rpms and not shorten it's life? or just a turn of a screw to get the higher speed that will shorten the life of the engine?

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Gravely Convertible, 12hp Kohler cast iron, 26" width, 600 lbs of cast iron & steel, 2 speed impeller, 4 ground speeds
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post #10 of 27 Old 02-09-2019, 11:14 AM
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If looking at a single stage, I'd have to recommend a Toro. My Dad had one he'd used for 25+ years till he passed away and it never missed a step. IIRC it didn't have an electric start, yet always started via the rope no matter what.
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