Toro SnowMaster or 2-Stage & Selections Advice - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 16 Old 10-14-2019, 06:36 PM Thread Starter
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Toro SnowMaster or 2-Stage & Selections Advice

I am new to the website and new to snow blowing in general (first time homeowner this year) so first and foremost I appreciate any and all advice given!

I am looking for advice/recommendations for a new snowblower for my unique driveway.

A little background:
I live in Utah where the snow can be both wet/heavy or dry/light. Lately, the winters haven't been too crazy (most storms 1-4" with a few scattered "bigger" storms each year that are more like 6-12" per storm). Finally, and probably the most important consideration, my driveway is 12' wide and 93' long. Unfortunately, the majority of the driveway's length (~50-60' of the 93') is wedged between my house and my neighbor's. So, starting from my garage, I need to throw the snow straight out towards the street ~50-60 feet before I can start throwing sideways into my front yard. I am imagining that I will need to throw snow more than once to get past my house/my neighbor's house - so I certainly need something with good throwing power.

My generic questions/thought process is as follows:
1. I've done some brand research and am leaning towards Toro. Honda would be my first choice but $2k+ is outside my budget.
2. Toro offers 3 types of blowers: single stage, 2-stage, and something called snowmaster. Based on my limited research and due to the length of my driveway and necessity to throw past my house it seems like I need something stronger than single stage. I'm a little unclear what snowmaster is/does, but it seems a hybrid between single and 2-stage. Would snowmaster be able to handle the length of my driveway? Or am I better off sticking to the 2-stage.
3. Within the suggested type (2-stage vs snowmaster) is there a specific model (Toro or otherwie) which stands as the clear "bang-for-your-buck" choice?

Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 16 Old 10-14-2019, 06:45 PM
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If you have to move it twice you don't want a ss blower.

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post #3 of 16 Old 10-14-2019, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by micah68kj View Post
If you have to move it twice you don't want a ss blower.
I figured as much. What about the SnowMaster style?
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post #4 of 16 Old 10-14-2019, 07:17 PM
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A snowmaster is a single stage. Since you have to move the snow at least twice you will almost certainly be disappointed with it. Here's a photo from Home Depot's site:

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Toro-Sno...6002/206125346

By all accounts Toro makes good to excellent machines but that is not the one for you.

From your description it sounds like you will want a larger size two stage. The "three-stage" machines are a marketing gimmick and at best don't work any better than a good two stage. At worst they're not even par so skip those.

In your shoes I'd be looking at the 24" or wider, with the big engines - I'm familiar with the Ariens brand, that means the Deluxe or SHO blowers, or the Toro equivalent.
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post #5 of 16 Old 10-14-2019, 07:41 PM
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post #6 of 16 Old 10-14-2019, 09:17 PM
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Get the Toro 1028 for $1649 and it comes with a $100 Visa rebate card if you sign up for a Toro credit card.
Get it from a Toro dealer and NOT homedepot.
A Toro dealer will put it together and bring it to your house for free and
will show you how it works.With Homedepot you have to pay shipping and put it
together yourself...…….JT
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post #7 of 16 Old 10-15-2019, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses guys. Sounds like a 2-stage is the way to go. I'll start looking around at some of the options mentioned above.

EDIT: I'm not too sure I want (or need) to make the price jump to the 1028 series. Any thoughts on Toro PowerMax 826 OAE vs Toro PowerMax HD 928 OAE? Personally, I'm not really interested in the additional 2" of clear width (with as narrow of a driveway as I have I'd almost prefer the 26" clear) and it even seems like the larger auger on the 928 would offset any power pickup you might expect when moving from a 252cc engine to a 265cc engine. So you're really just paying another ~$250 USD to get an extra 2" of clearing width? Or am I missing something else?

I've also seen some conversation that the Airens Platinum 24 SHO is a good machine but I have been extremely hesitant to do an Airens machine after reading reviews that they tear through shear pins and are a ongoing maintenance/repair nightmare that can be costly down the line (profitable for the local dealer who is hoping to do all your repairs year over year) .... which seemed to lineup with the experience I had when I went into a local snowblow store last weekend. The store had a lineup of both Toro and Airens machines and the salesman focused ENTIRELY on his Airens lineup and only mentioned Toro when I explicitly asked about it. Even then, he didn't have much information and generally concluded (without compelling reason) that Airens made a better machine so not to bother with Toro. With several years of sales experience in my past I'm admittedly skeptical with those conversations and as a result have been leaning towards a Toro machine.

Last edited by hustler; 10-15-2019 at 01:51 PM. Reason: Did my research. Came back for more opinions.
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post #8 of 16 Old 10-15-2019, 03:59 PM
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Both make good machines, I have NOT heard anything about the sheer pin issue on Ariens blowers, I deal with many variants of Ariens and not seen any issues with sheer pins, Cub Cudet 3 stage on the other hand I have heard tons of issues breaking sheer pins. Only real issues I have seen on issues with Ariens is when the auto turn came out but the issue was fixed on the 2017 and up models but like I said either Ariens or Toro both make good machines but some better than others. Pick a model of either you like and search that model for any issues and make you choices from there, That way you find a right machine for your needs and not what random reviews tell you you need.

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post #9 of 16 Old 10-16-2019, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
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After doing a little more online research I think I have revised some of my considerations from above. Paying extra money for automatic steering features doesn't seem necessary for my situation... my driveway is narrow/long so I will be doing most the throwing in a straight line, probably only need to make 5-6 turns in total. If I'm going to spend more money I'd rather it be spent on a more durable machine rather than one with bells and whistles I don't really need.

So it seems like if I draw the line at that feature I'm left with the 2 lowest end options within Toro's 2-stage lineup: 1) Power Max 824 OE (37793) @ MSRP = $899, and 2) Power Max 824 OE (37798) @ MSRP = $949. After researching the differences between the models it seems the 37798 is slightly stronger (rated to throw 5' further) and offers slightly more torque (2" larger wheels). It also lists the drive system as "friction disk" whereas there is no mention of a drive system in the 37793. Does anybody have any insight into what a "friction disk" drive system is and what advantages/disadvantages it might offer to alternative drive systems (assuming there are alternatives?)

Edit: For what it is worth, I am planning to go into my local dealer again tomorrow get an hands on comparison of the two machines. As I've mentioned in a previous post, the salesman at this dealer didn't really bother with showing me ANY of the Toro machines when I went in last week. I'm doubtful he will have helpful opinions/thoughts this time around either. I'd welcome any considerations I should have when comparing the machines in person!

Thanks all!

Last edited by hustler; 10-16-2019 at 02:40 PM. Reason: additional thoughts
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post #10 of 16 Old 10-16-2019, 03:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hustler View Post
After doing a little more online research I think I have revised some of my considerations from above. Paying extra money for automatic steering features doesn't seem necessary for my situation... my driveway is narrow/long so I will be doing most the throwing in a straight line, probably only need to make 5-6 turns in total. If I'm going to spend more money I'd rather it be spent on a more durable machine rather than one with bells and whistles I don't really need.

So it seems like if I draw the line at that feature I'm left with the 2 lowest end options within Toro's 2-stage lineup: 1) Power Max 824 OE (37793) @ MSRP = $899, and 2) Power Max 824 OE (37798) @ MSRP = $949. After researching the differences between the models it seems the 37798 is slightly stronger (rated to throw 5' further) and offers slightly more torque (2" larger wheels). It also lists the drive system as "friction disk" whereas there is no mention of a drive system in the 37793. Does anybody have any insight into what a "friction disk" drive system is and what advantages/disadvantages it might offer to alternative drive systems (assuming there are alternatives?)

Edit: For what it is worth, I am planning to go into my local dealer again tomorrow get an hands on comparison of the two machines. As I've mentioned in a previous post, the salesman at this dealer didn't really bother with showing me ANY of the Toro machines when I went in last week. I'm doubtful he will have helpful opinions/thoughts this time around either. I'd welcome any considerations I should have when comparing the machines in person!

Thanks all!
Most two stage snowblowers use a friction disk drive system. The 37793 is friction disk. I'm thinking that the major difference
between the two models is that the 37793 is the older version of the 37798 because it has the plastic chute instead if the metal chute.

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