Honda vs Toro, worth the extra $1500? - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 29 Old 01-23-2018, 12:17 PM Thread Starter
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Honda vs Toro, worth the extra $1500?

Hey everyone, I'm new to the forum and need some advice in buying my first snow blower. I moved from sea level in Southern California to 6,300 feet near salt lake City and the last storm we got stranded us at home until a neighbor with a snowblower could rescue us.

I've asked around and the consensus here seems to be that Honda is the king of snow blowers with Toro coming in second. However the cheapest Honda 2 stage I can find is $2,200 while a similarly sized Toro is around $700. I'm willing to invest in the Honda, but seeing as I could buy 3 Toros for the price of one Honda, I'm leaning heavily to the Toro. Would this be a mistake?

Also, do snowblowers go on sale toward the end of winter? Would it be a good idea to weather the rest of winter with just a snow shovel and ask neighbors for favors to snag a deal?

Thanks.

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post #2 of 29 Old 01-23-2018, 12:22 PM
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with that kind of snow, the ones that get u stranded, buy both as it would be nice to have a backup in your situation and/or have both machines running simultaneously, budget wise not much more to buy the toro after buying the honda.
then u can inform the rest of us which one is the better deal/worth the money

Bought a dead but now fixed 1980ish craftsman II 10/28....ITS ONE HEAVY BEAST

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Last edited by vinnycom; 01-23-2018 at 12:24 PM.
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post #3 of 29 Old 01-23-2018, 12:39 PM
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Shooting from the hip; If you are planning to stay in the home for any length of time I say it makes sense to buy a dependable quality machine. Problem is you don't really know your needs not having been there very long.

I'm a Toro fan and one should serve you well. Can you see your way to buying the Toro and using it for at least a year giving you time to really understand your needs? For instance wheels vs. tracks, cut width and power, controls etc? Is there gravel, do you have sidewalks and patios and on and on.

If the Toro isn't cutting it or you want to invest in more bells and whistles you could likely sell the Toro for close to what you bought it for. My concern would be spending >$2K and finding out it's not what I needed.
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post #4 of 29 Old 01-23-2018, 12:41 PM
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to SBF Jason

Wish I had the $$ to get a Honda so I could give you actual user info on them. But . . . Considering how long a Toro should last you I would personally find it hard to spend the extra money on a Honda unless I was in a very heavy snow fall area where it would get plenty of use and the extra money didn't really matter. Honda owners seem to really love their machines with the exception of the newer HSS models possibly having a problem with clogging. There are threads on this in the Honda section.

You might want to post in the Honda section asking when those guys found the best buys on their new machines.

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Make sure the windows are up before the snow plow goes by !!

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post #5 of 29 Old 01-23-2018, 12:46 PM
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I would also look at Ariens machines despite what the locals are using, unless you are concerned about a servicing dealer and there is none around your area. It all depends on your budget and what conditions you regularly face as to your question is it really worth the extra money. As other members mentioned the more info you can provide us with the better direction we can point you in. Size of driveway/area, surface type and budget all help. Best of luck on your search.

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post #6 of 29 Old 01-23-2018, 01:56 PM
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Agreed with everything so far. Well, except the thought of buying the Toro *and* the Honda. If you wanted 2 machines, and wanted a backup, a far cheaper solution would be 2 Toros, of course.

One consideration is that the Hondas appear to hold their value exceptionally well. So if you *did* decide to pony up for one, you may not lose a lot if you decided to sell it later. Now, my preference is to buy a good used machine, and let someone else take the depreciation, but that's admittedly not for everyone.

But I think more details about your snow-clearing situation would help people make more-informed suggestions. I don't think a Toro would be a bad machine, and they're certainly much more affordable. Just make sure that what you buy is suited to your situation. A 24" Honda could be a worse choice than a 32" (insert more-budget-oriented brand here) if you really needed the wide bucket.

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post #7 of 29 Old 01-23-2018, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
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Thank for replying so quickly everyone.

I haven't seen anyone using a tracked snow blower up here, but most people have a two stage blower.

I've heard the winters vary widely, where some years snow blowers aren't necessary, and other years 4-5 foot dumps are a regular occurrence. I have a two car driveway and a small, trapezoidal driveway (tapers to a car width due to street curvature) and only a small amount of sidewalk to clear. I do have a back patio that may need clearing from time to time, but I don't see the need since the dog has a blast in the snow.

I'm leery of buying a used snow blower as the neighbors across the street bought a used one (don't know the brand) and they had issues trying to use it the first time they fired it up during the storm. Luckily for them, the wind tends to blow the snow away from their driveway. Unfortunately for me, that snow tends to accumulate in my driveway lol

I do not plan on buying a backup. Our neighbors have been very kind and have helped us clear the biggest drifts, they seem to be each other's backup and I'm cool with that.

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post #8 of 29 Old 01-23-2018, 02:33 PM
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I recently had to make a similar decision (although mine was between a 3500€ Yamaha hydrostatic and a 1900€ Ariens friction wheel).

I chose the hydrostatic mainly for the ease of adjusting speed whilst on the go - I also thought that the friction wheel system was a little antiquated. There's no doubt it's a proven system and reasonably easy to work on, but then again, so is a Mk II Ford Escort, but I wouldn't want to drive one in 2018. So if changing speeds quickly and easily is important for you, you might want to add the transmission to your list of criteria.

You might also want to touch, see and feel both machines. For me there is definitely a difference in the "quality feel" between the Yamaha and the Ariens.
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post #9 of 29 Old 01-23-2018, 06:43 PM
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heres all you will need for your situation.......priced in the middle of your picks so far......big power for the big snow events, but compact enough to keep in the garage !
https://www.ariens.com/en-us/snow-pr...latinum-24-sho

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post #10 of 29 Old 01-23-2018, 07:18 PM
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Aren't there special carb issues at that elevation ?

So you would want to buy from a dealer who handles that whatever blower you choose.
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