SnowMaster for Boston area? - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 14 Old 03-11-2019, 04:59 PM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Waltham, MA
Posts: 4
Post Thanks / Like
Thanks (Given): 0
Thanks (Received): 0
Likes (Given): 0
Likes (Received): 0
SnowMaster for Boston area?

After last weeks' foot of wet snow, I've been looking to upgrade my snowblower from the Ego 56V lithium-ion single-stage I have now. It does ok as long as the snow is not too heavy and only 6-8" deep or less. Unfortunately, we get more than that frequently.

I've read good things about the SnowMaster here, on movingsnow.com and thewirecutter.com, so I went to the local independent Toro dealer to check it out. None in stock and the guys there strongly recommended against it. They said several people had purchased it and returned it after it couldn't handle EOD snow and by ramming it into that stuff, the "plastic" gearbox would break. This doesn't quite jive with what I've read here, but I'm interested in hearing some more real-world feedback on this. He suggested a traditional two-stage from Ariens or Toro. One neighbor gets by with a Toro PowerClear, while most others have two-stage blowers.

I live in Waltham, just west of Boston, near the Mass Pike/128 junction. Driveway is about 75' long and one car wide for most of it. It widens to two cars wide for the last 20' or so. The ease of use and potential speed of the SnowMaster appeals to me a lot compared a regular two-stage.

Thank you for the great forum by the way! I've learned a ton already!
zward is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 14 Old 03-11-2019, 07:15 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 1,522
Post Thanks / Like
Thanks (Given): 12
Thanks (Received): 100
Likes (Given): 101
Likes (Received): 242
I had picked up the 724 QXE for my girlfriend figuring it would fit her as she is smaller in size at 5’ tall and surprisingly it actually wasn’t much smaller at all than my 24” Sno-Tek, I found it real cheap so whichever fit her better the other got sold, We actually did not like the snowmaster as the personal pace option made it feel rather jerkey and not feel as in control if that makes any sense but it wasn’t what we expected, IS a nice machine but I guess it’s more personal preference so you may like it but it wasn’t our choice and not as compact as we thought it would be.

Sno-Tek Modded, 15"X-Track tires (Now has same X-Track tires but 13"x4" for better fit), 254cc engine LED light and hand warmers.
Snapper 6/22 sold but not forgotten. Was my first.
Ariens ST1027LE workhorse and going strong.
New 2017 Ariens Deluxe completely rebuilt after losing a fight with a forklift.
Dauntae is online now  
post #3 of 14 Old 03-11-2019, 07:35 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 20
Post Thanks / Like
Thanks (Given): 0
Thanks (Received): 0
Likes (Given): 0
Likes (Received): 12
Your average snowfall is 44 inches. We had like 54 inches of snow this year in the Omaha area (almost a record), and my 724 QXE had NO PROBLEMS clearing that snow. This thing was a dream to use all winter in a very hard winter both in wet snow and dry and it never clogged or even thought about it once. Fastest, easiest to use snowblower I've ever seen! Love the personal pace which I quickly adapted to. I could easily walk along with the left hand and move the chute with the other.

You might consider the 824 QXE for just a little more power.

One thing I'm looking at is


so it glides better over irregular pavement.
carterlake is offline  
post #4 of 14 Old 03-11-2019, 07:43 PM
Senior Member
 
leonz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: New York State
Posts: 1,111
Post Thanks / Like
Thanks (Given): 72
Thanks (Received): 85
Likes (Given): 75
Likes (Received): 152
If you pushed one of their lawn mowers you would see the same reaction as its sensing the pressure on the handle as you push forward and walk.

With the snow mush you and I get with the use of too much salt its more a case of going out and clearing several times during an event or using a lot of fluid film to make the paddles and the spout slicker-this is what I use with my TORO CCR3000 and the TORO S200.

Anybody that rams a snow master into a heavy half frozen end of driveway mess head on deserves to pay for the repair.
Taking half cuts with the wet crap that you and I end up with is always a good idea as it is less taxing on the drive belts and you can just take your time.

If time is an issue the need for power is paramount and the larger TORO'S have steering brakes which help avoid getting tired or twisting something you have no desire to twist and end up lame for a few days.
Having a can of Fluid Film Aerosol Spray does wonders for making the surfaces contacting snow slick and can double your casting distance.
leonz is offline  
post #5 of 14 Old 03-11-2019, 08:47 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Lowell area, MA
Posts: 3,214
Post Thanks / Like
Thanks (Given): 118
Thanks (Received): 271
Likes (Given): 354
Likes (Received): 621
Welcome to the forum!

I'm going to offer an opinion despite not having had the opportunity to try a SnowMaster. So forgive me, and take it for what it's worth (hint- it's free). Background, I've owned several 2-stage machines, and recently got my first good single-stage (a Toro 2-stroke Power Clear).

You already have a rubber-paddled single-stage, so you have a tool that's good for the little storms.

To my mind, the SnowMaster kind of bridges the single-stage / 2-stage gap. But you *have* a single-stage already. So to add a SnowMaster feels like it would have a bit of overlap with what you have now.

I'm really like my single-stage so far. It's really quick in small storms, is easy to handle, and clears all the way down to pavement. But it can't do everything. We got 7" of wet stuff last week, and it did well with the driveway, but struggled with the packed piles that the plows left behind in the street. Even taking partial-width cuts, it wasn't really the right tool for the job, and was having a hard time.

So that night, I went back with the 2-stage, and cleared that stuff without trouble, though even the 2-stage was working hard. It was heavy snow.

I really like the combo of single-stage & 2-stage. Each is a "dedicated" tool, if you will. One for light storms, one for heavy stuff. They can overlap, but each has its own area of "expertise". Since I have both available, I won't use the 2-stage for a 3" storm, and I won't use the single-stage for 15".

If you want to have just a single machine, I think the SnowMaster is a nice compromise. Easier to handle than a 2-stage, but should be more capable than a typical single-stage (metal augers for icy stuff, and can drive itself forward). But only the center of the auger is rubber-tipped, so it won't clear all the way to pavement like a single-stage. And it's still a fast auger RPM (like a single-stage), reducing the torque available to the augers.

If you're going to add a second machine, I'd consider a small 2-stage, maybe in the 22-24" range. It should have more ability to chew through tough stuff than a single-stage or SM, while still not being too bad to maneuver. I'm not far from you, just a little further north, but I'd be a little uncomfortable only having a single-stage type machine available. When we get an 18" storm (especially if overnight, etc, where you can't clear it in stages), I want a 2-stage around.

If you go for a SnowMaster, I'd consider the 824, as carterlake said. It's tough to have too much power available, especially if it's what you're relying on for bigger storms.

Just my $0.02.

Ariens 1024 Pro
Toro Power Clear 221QR
Toro Power Curve 1800

Last edited by RedOctobyr; 03-11-2019 at 08:50 PM.
RedOctobyr is online now  
Post Thanks / Like - 0 Thanks, 3 Likes, 0 Dislikes
Likes Dauntae, gibbs296, classiccat liked this post
post #6 of 14 Old 03-11-2019, 09:00 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 1,522
Post Thanks / Like
Thanks (Given): 12
Thanks (Received): 100
Likes (Given): 101
Likes (Received): 242
RedOctobyr makes a very good point, I also have a newly acquired single stage I planned to keep just for that reason, light snowfall but enough to cause a mess the single stage will be nice to clear to the pavement, just need a little more snow to try it.

Sno-Tek Modded, 15"X-Track tires (Now has same X-Track tires but 13"x4" for better fit), 254cc engine LED light and hand warmers.
Snapper 6/22 sold but not forgotten. Was my first.
Ariens ST1027LE workhorse and going strong.
New 2017 Ariens Deluxe completely rebuilt after losing a fight with a forklift.
Dauntae is online now  
post #7 of 14 Old 03-11-2019, 09:42 PM
Member
 
LawnToro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Eldridge, IA (Quad Cities)
Posts: 30
Post Thanks / Like
Thanks (Given): 1
Thanks (Received): 1
Likes (Given): 1
Likes (Received): 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedOctobyr View Post
Welcome to the forum!

I'm going to offer an opinion despite not having had the opportunity to try a SnowMaster. So forgive me, and take it for what it's worth (hint- it's free). Background, I've owned several 2-stage machines, and recently got my first good single-stage (a Toro 2-stroke Power Clear).

You already have a rubber-paddled single-stage, so you have a tool that's good for the little storms.

To my mind, the SnowMaster kind of bridges the single-stage / 2-stage gap. But you *have* a single-stage already. So to add a SnowMaster feels like it would have a bit of overlap with what you have now.

I'm really like my single-stage so far. It's really quick in small storms, is easy to handle, and clears all the way down to pavement. But it can't do everything. We got 7" of wet stuff last week, and it did well with the driveway, but struggled with the packed piles that the plows left behind in the street. Even taking partial-width cuts, it wasn't really the right tool for the job, and was having a hard time.


So that night, I went back with the 2-stage, and cleared that stuff without trouble, though even the 2-stage was working hard. It was heavy snow.

I really like the combo of single-stage & 2-stage. Each is a "dedicated" tool, if you will. One for light storms, one for heavy stuff. They can overlap, but each has its own area of "expertise". Since I have both available, I won't use the 2-stage for a 3" storm, and I won't use the single-stage for 15".

If you want to have just a single machine, I think the SnowMaster is a nice compromise. Easier to handle than a 2-stage, but should be more capable than a typical single-stage (metal augers for icy stuff, and can drive itself forward). But only the center of the auger is rubber-tipped, so it won't clear all the way to pavement like a single-stage. And it's still a fast auger RPM (like a single-stage), reducing the torque available to the augers.

If you're going to add a second machine, I'd consider a small 2-stage, maybe in the 22-24" range. It should have more ability to chew through tough stuff than a single-stage or SM, while still not being too bad to maneuver. I'm not far from you, just a little further north, but I'd be a little uncomfortable only having a single-stage type machine available. When we get an 18" storm (especially if overnight, etc, where you can't clear it in stages), I want a 2-stage around.

If you go for a SnowMaster, I'd consider the 824, as carterlake said. It's tough to have too much power available, especially if it's what you're relying on for bigger storms.

Just my $0.02.

The Snowmaster also has a metal auger between next to the paddles as well. I would say the Snow master is better than a two stage. They both perform extremely well, but the Snowmaster really throws well. I know the one I saw out threw a Toro Powermax by a good 10 ft. I do agree that the 824 would be better than the 724 for more power.

2015 Toro Power Clear 721 R-C


Find me on MyTractorForum and MyLawnMowerForum!
Same username.
LawnToro is offline  
post #8 of 14 Old 03-11-2019, 09:48 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 32
Post Thanks / Like
Thanks (Given): 0
Thanks (Received): 2
Likes (Given): 0
Likes (Received): 13
I also have the single-stage plus two-stage combo. My wife really likes the single-stage and uses it often. It's easy to use and doesn't have a bunch of complicated levers. She usually blows just enough to get her vehicle out of the garage, and I will finish up with the 2-stage when I get home from work.

So, I'd also suggest keeping the little electric blower and adding a capable 2-stage (24"?) to the fleet.
happycamper is offline  
Post Thanks / Like - 0 Thanks, 2 Likes, 0 Dislikes
Likes gibbs296, classiccat liked this post
post #9 of 14 Old 03-12-2019, 11:17 AM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Waltham, MA
Posts: 4
Post Thanks / Like
Thanks (Given): 0
Thanks (Received): 0
Likes (Given): 0
Likes (Received): 0
Thank you all for the thoughtful comments. Good points about adding a two-stage to the existing single-stage, which was my initial inclincation, but the great reviews of the SnowMaster made me reconsider. I expect this to be my primary snow clearing device for all but the lightest storms since the Ego is not the strongest single stage. Did I mention the paddles don't contact the ground to help propel you forward? It needs lots of pushing if the snow is heavy or deep. It can clear to pavement, but only because it has a scraper bar. If I had a really good single-stage, I agree that a two-stage would be the way to go.

I had hoped the Snow Joe two-stage lithium-ion would be a good device, but the reviews are not very good. Poor reliability, low maximum speed, long charge times, etc. Otherwise it would be a good size and I do not miss small gas engines at all.

I'll think on it a little more. Clearly I've got time right now! But I am leaning toward the SnowMaster for the ease of use, maneuverability, and speed. Sounds like EOD is doable if you break it up and take smaller passes, which is perfectly fine from my perspective.
zward is offline  
post #10 of 14 Old 03-12-2019, 01:16 PM
Senior Member
 
gibbs296's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Minneapolis suburb that is the sister city to Lomianki Poland
Posts: 843
Post Thanks / Like
Thanks (Given): 111
Thanks (Received): 47
Likes (Given): 880
Likes (Received): 207
Garage
When I looked at some of the photos of the plastic gearbox I thought no thanks. There is a thread here about some Craftsman plastic gearboxes not lasting very long. I think they are interesting, but I just don't know about their longevity.

Wake me up when the snow's done...
gibbs296 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Snowmaster 824QXE rack Toro Snowblowers 19 02-14-2017 09:53 PM
Question on Snowmaster Skids Michael303 Toro Snowblowers 3 02-23-2016 12:02 PM
So, Toro SnowMaster, what is up with that? CanuckEddie General Snowblower Discussion 52 02-06-2016 10:14 AM
Snowmaster videos please and/or analytical reviews snow2345ffs Snowblower Reviews 35 01-26-2016 12:13 PM
snowmaster 724 pictures from today NJHonda Toro Snowblowers 15 01-26-2016 06:21 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome