Snowmaster videos please and/or analytical reviews - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 36 Old 12-25-2015, 03:19 AM Thread Starter
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Snowmaster videos please and/or analytical reviews

now that there's a decent amount of snow in some states, please get some review vids up on youtube. All I found so far of the machine work ing besides the promo clips is this one which doesn't really show anything.

I was all set to buy a new ~$600 toro single stage 212cc 721 but then just remembered about the snowmaster and it's around the same price for the smaller 212cc version as the single stage 212cc. My plan was to get the single stage 721 for most snow here in NJ but then get a dual stage for larger storms and also have a back up since I use them for work.

Basically I'd like to know if it clears down to the pavement well and if it can handle deep heavy snow like a dual stage. I don't think it does clean to the pavement as well as a single stage though according to specs and the overview since the auger is not contacting the ground. Because most storms here are small enough that a 212cc single stage is fine plus it gets down to the pavement cleaner than a dual stage and probably better than the snowmaster but just asking. If I can get away with just buying a snowmaster and then just for backup, I can get a used 179cc or for like $150 usually.


If it doesn't get down to the surface like a single stage, why did you even buy it? It's not an actual dual stage. It seems like a step backwards in design. When they first invented snowblowers that became the dual stages we know today, they probably just had a single auger stage spinning quickly which is what the snowmaster is. But better results apparently caused them to create the common design of all modern dual stages which is instead of having one fast spinning auger (like the snowmaster), let's make the main auger go slow (possibly more torque) and add a faster second stage to propel the snow out. In other words, it's more work and engineering to make the modern dual stages, so why "go back" to just a single fast auger?

I'm skeptical of anything Toro 'master' because I have the lawn Timemaster 30" and it has no balls, waste of $1,300. It's only 190cc. Most small 21" mowers are 190cc. With a 21", you have all 190 cc concentrated to that smaller size of 21" instead of 190cc over 30". Plus the 21" blade is directly on the crankshaft = more power than the timemaster 30" has a system of cogged belts that drive two 15" blades. If you cut your lawn every week, the timemaster is fine and should mulch it up without bogging down. But the deck design is shallow or something because it cakes up unbelievably bad. I have been through maybe 50 push mowers, and none ever caked up like this. I have a ~450cc 36" commercial mower that will mulch up almost anything without bogging down. I can probably mulch up the timemaster with it. I wanted something lighter than my 36" though and for fitting through smaller gates so I got the toro 30". If you mulch the grass every two weeks or add in a bunch of leaves to mulch in Fall, the timemaster just bogs down and you will be inching along like a fool. I have the engine running optimal RPM and everything, no problem there, just underpowered. Sure you can wait two weeks between cut and side discharge the clippings and it won't slow down too bad but it will be a mess of clippings. Anyway, just saying, the Toro "master' machines has been a big let down so far. My preferred 21-22" mower is the toro personal pace though. I have used all types of small 21-22" john deeres and Hondas etc, I love the 22" toro. You'll get done much faster mulching a two week lawn vs the 30" timemaster.



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post #2 of 36 Old 12-25-2015, 08:52 AM
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post #3 of 36 Old 12-25-2015, 10:44 AM
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Could you join us on mylawnmowerforum.com, if you're not already a member? Your review of the Timemaster would be appreciated over there too.

I'm pretty much retired from the forum thing, but I check in every now and then.
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post #4 of 36 Old 12-25-2015, 11:51 AM
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I was having the same debate as you and opted to go with a dual stage Toro Powermax HD and the single stage toro 721. There have been quite a few negative reviews of the snowmaster from consumer reports and other websites. From initial reports, the snowmaster appears to be suffering a similar fate to the timemaster. The largest complaints seem to be a jumpy personal pace transmission that pushes the unit over top of the snow, an inability to handle wet and heavy snow, and an auger that seems to spin too fast resulting in it just hitting the snow rather than moving it. Toro's intentions are good but their new products are simply not working out well. The funny thing is that the products they had that were excellent like the lawn boy 21" commercial units, the toro superbagger, and the toro 22156 commercial units have all been dropped for inferior products. Finally, while the quality of their products is decreasing, their prices are rising rapidly. Something will have to give soon.

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post #5 of 36 Old 12-25-2015, 05:41 PM Thread Starter
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that timemaster mower review pretty much sums it up. I told it to Toro also. Whoever loves the timemaster is cutting it once a week for the most part and thus not cutting a lot of grass off at once. It won't bogg down so bad when bagging but who bags anyway? That's even more work. Much better to just mulch the clippings. And if you bag into paper leaf bags, all other 22" mowers' bags are small enough to go inside the paper bag and then shake them out 1 2 3. Timemaster bag is too wide to fit paper bags and a nightmare to try and fill paper bags with. So are the metal catcher cages on larger commercial mower too though.


I used it on and off all summer for work, what a drag. I should just stuck with my 22" 190cc but I was in between fixing them for a while. Next season, I'm getting a 420cc range 33 or 32" mower. That 3" or 4" difference from my 36" will actually get me through most gates. But I contacted toro because the timemaster is so light but the other commercial 32-33s" aren't and I use a truck bed with ramps instead of a trailer and I don't want to drive the heavier mowers up the ramps every time. The timemaster is light enough to just push, up ramps but the engine needs to be much stronger if the frame and other components can even handle it. Someone tried to repower a timemaster with a legit 420cc range engine but couldn't get anything to line up. There are older Toro 420cc range single blade 32" mowers and they make gator blades for it also (love them for mulching). For such a narrow deck (32"), they can get away with only one blade apparently but with 36" and larger, a single blade would be too wobbly I guess. I think the single blade gives less clippings blow out when mulching, and better bagging results (for the rare instances I bag like for excess leaves that are too much to mulch in at once that would smoother the lawn or after dethatching a lawn or something), and I think the single blade is less likely to cake up the deck.


Anyway, I read up more on the snowmaster and I'm not too excited. Need to see some reviews though but I think I already know what it is. I was in a rush to decide when I made this thread because I though snowblowersdirect had the $670 212c toro 721 single stage on blowout sale for $570 but I realized it was only the 135cc (or so) model.


someone said about snowmaster: "The SnowMaster is trying to be both a single stage, (partially), with it's center rubber strips and a 2 stage EOD eater with the hybrid metal auger... Probably won't clean all the path to pavement. My issues with it are price, no reverse and tiny wheels. Prepare to still do some pushing when you hit the EOD because those wheels will slip. You have to decide what is more important, cleaning all the way to pavement or chomping up the EOD...That's why some of us in the snow belt have two machines."

^ pretty much sums it up.
Another thing is yes, the toro personal pace gear box trans is probably plastic and are those are known to break. I'm pretty easy on my toro gear boxes though and am getting almost 3 years out of one no problem and I bought the mower used. The snowmaster trans is probably like $150 or more even on ebay. 130-9642 is the trans part I can't even find anything online, toro probably wants like $250 for it, a third of the cost of the machine!. The mower trans can be had on ebay for like $30 shipped new sometimes. It's like why get the snowmaster and risk the trans breaking, with any other similarly powered dual stage, you can basically part out the auger etc on ebay if the trans breaks and go and find another $250 used machine on craiglist and break even or even make profit after parting out the old one. Instead of spending a third of the cost of a new snowmaster for another plastic gear box plus half of a day installing the new trans is the same time it takes to take pics and make listings for parting out a used dual stage with broken gear box (if the metal ones even break as often).

I think toro claims snowmaster's 'better cleaning to the pavement compared to similar dual stages' only because it has that spring loaded pivoting scraper that forces its way tight to the surface unlike most other scrapers. The same pivoting scraper is on the single stage toros 721.


The snomaster auger isn't even serrated. Serrated will chomp up icy hard stuff better but if you hit a little edge on something sticking out, serrated is more likely to break a shear pin key (hopefully just that breaks and not the auger gear box). you might be able to grind out some notches in a non serrated metal auger though.


Bottom line is it's not a paddle type single stage that constantly contacts the surface for cleanest results possible. Probably 80% of snow I can use a 721 212cc single stage in but the EOD stuff would be nice to have a dual stage for but can just tough it out with the single stage. You can get a new $500 212cc 721 single stage toro and then a used $250ish dual stage and spend as much as the lower end 212cc snowmaster and have a back up and a blower for larger storms. That's what I'm likely doing. You can't even put an imperller kit on a snowmaster, I don't think, so although it has faster auger RPM than all dual stages, the impeller stage of a dual stage plus impeller kit will probably have it shooting farther anyway. I see no advantage of a snowmaster over a regular dual stage except weight if you're using truck ramps and that pivoting scraper.



What would be slick is a regular dual stage metal auger and then behind that a regular rubber single stage, would need two chutes or at least route both into the same chute and would possibly need a dual shaft motor or at least a series of pulley and belt on a strong motor, and it would be bulky but it would give the best result.

Last edited by snow2345ffs; 01-16-2016 at 10:54 AM.
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post #6 of 36 Old 12-26-2015, 12:25 AM Thread Starter
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edit: I found the timemaster (lawnmower) new transmission for about $90 shipped on ebay. It is larger than the trans in the smaller 22" toro mowers which I said I have seen go for around $30 shipped new, sometimes more, and usually less if used but good condition. So I think this same size trans is in the snowmaster and eventually you might see them go for $90 new on ebay but for now, I can't even find the snowmaster trans part other than straight from toro so you're lookin at probably $160ish shipped for a new trans. I'll still wait for some real reviews of snowmaster but looks like I'm getting a 721 212cc single stage and a used $250ish dual stage.







The funny thing is that the products they had that were excellent like the lawn boy 21" commercial units, the toro superbagger, and the toro 22156 commercial units have all been dropped for inferior products. Finally, while the quality of their products is decreasing, their prices are rising rapidly. Something will have to give soon.

agreed. They are making toys now under the 'Master' line. I bet the snowmaster is a flop and those who stand buy it are in denial to look like they don't make bad purchase decisions. You made a smart move I think with that powermax dual stage and the 721. I would get the extended life paddles on ebay. The extended life paddles last twice as long according to toro but they cost only like $9 more for the set on ebay.

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post #7 of 36 Old 12-26-2015, 10:55 AM
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"I bet the snowmaster is a flop and those who stand buy it are in denial to look like they don't make bad purchase decisions."

I guarantee I wont be one of those types because they irk me to no end too. Select BMW and FoMoCo Powerstroke owners come to mind.

If/when the snow comes I'll be here posting a very good video of it operating so as to help people form their own opinions.

no fluff, bs or denial

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post #8 of 36 Old 12-26-2015, 11:33 AM
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I've heard from day one that the timecutter is underpowered and those that use one should know that for some it is and for others it's just fine
as for the snowmaster ( and any other snowblower you haven't used ) how do you know it is bad

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post #9 of 36 Old 12-26-2015, 02:34 PM
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Really? I have seen nothing but good reviews of it.. Links?

Quote:
Originally Posted by joed View Post
I was having the same debate as you and opted to go with a dual stage Toro Powermax HD and the single stage toro 721. There have been quite a few negative reviews of the snowmaster from consumer reports and other websites. From initial reports, the snowmaster appears to be suffering a similar fate to the timemaster. The largest complaints seem to be a jumpy personal pace transmission that pushes the unit over top of the snow, an inability to handle wet and heavy snow, and an auger that seems to spin too fast resulting in it just hitting the snow rather than moving it. Toro's intentions are good but their new products are simply not working out well. The funny thing is that the products they had that were excellent like the lawn boy 21" commercial units, the toro superbagger, and the toro 22156 commercial units have all been dropped for inferior products. Finally, while the quality of their products is decreasing, their prices are rising rapidly. Something will have to give soon.
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post #10 of 36 Old 12-26-2015, 02:37 PM
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Me too. I will do a direct comparo to my mint Honda HS621. The best single stage out there.. If it come anywhere near the Honda, its a win.


Quote:
Originally Posted by tdipaul View Post
"I bet the snowmaster is a flop and those who stand buy it are in denial to look like they don't make bad purchase decisions."

I guarantee I wont be one of those types because they irk me to no end too. Select BMW and FoMoCo Powerstroke owners come to mind.

If/when the snow comes I'll be here posting a very good video of it operating so as to help people form their own opinions.

no fluff, bs or denial
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