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This may be a little controversial for my first real post but I have been reading about and seeing a lot more "proper" single-stage electric units hitting the shelves and I was wondering how effective they are. I realize the main limitations to these machines but I am interested in hearing from anyone who has actually used one. I must admit that I am intrigued by the simplicity fo these things.
 

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This may be a little controversial for my first real post but I have been reading about and seeing a lot more "proper" single-stage electric units hitting the shelves and I was wondering how effective they are. I realize the main limitations to these machines but I am interested in hearing from anyone who has actually used one. I must admit that I am intrigued by the simplicity fo these things.
I have never used one, but most of these units are running a 13A - 15A motor. This means you are getting about 2.0 - 2.3 HP of power as an absolute maximum.

Since power measures the rate at which work can be done, the laws of physics already have these at a serious disadvantage to a gas powered unit with 5 HP or more.

Something has to give.. They either can't move the snow as far or can't move as much..

That said I am sure they might work ok in small spaces with smaller amounts of snow.
 

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I've never experienced using one but my neighbor bought one last year and seemed to have a dickens of a time with the power cord. It was a true electric blower not battery operated. I was done with three residences by the time he got part of his sidewalk done. Admittedly, this was obviously his first time operating it and I felt bad for him but he soldiered on and finally got done. Just watching him though, convinced me to stay the heck awy from them. I know Toro makes an electric "Power shovel" that seems to have a decent legacy. Just not for me. Well, if I had only a small sidewalk to do and was a little older I would possibly consider getting one.
AND......:white^_^arial^_^0^_
 

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I've never experienced using one but my neighbor bought one last year and seemed to have a dickens of a time with the power cord. It was a true electric blower not battery operated. I was done with three residences by the time he got part of his sidewalk done. Admittedly, this was obviously his first time operating it and I felt bad for him but he soldiered on and finally got done. Just watching him though, convinced me to stay the heck awy from them. I know Toro makes an electric "Power shovel" that seems to have a decent legacy. Just not for me. Well, if I had only a small sidewalk to do and was a little older I would possibly consider getting one.
AND......:white^_^arial^_^0^_
I had a Power Shovel many years ago, in my first small house, single driveway, one car long. Got it for Christmas that year, and it didn't snow until March, Off I went, secret weapon in hand. Turns out it was about 3" heavy, wet snow. Power shovel was begging for mercy in about 6 minutes, internal thermal protection tripped, I went looking for a blown fuse, found none, and by the time I got back to it, it has cooled and worked again, for about 6 minutes. Tried it one other time in dry snow, and it sort of worked, but it only shot snow forward. Long story short, I dunno where it is, if it moved with us and I don't care.
 

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3 Residences Joe ! Sounds like me sorta...

I do the neighbor to the right of me and I also do the neighbor to the left of me 2 houses over.
Ones older and the latter, her husband passed away suddenly one day after walking into the house from painting the fence...

The immediate neighbor to the left of me, I skip and would rather push the snowblower against the grain of snow rather than even cut a path to get to the other neighbor.
 

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3 Residences Joe ! Sounds like me sorta...

I do the neighbor to the right of me and I also do the neighbor to the left of me 2 houses over.
Ones older and the latter, her husband passed away suddenly one day after walking into the house from painting the fence...

The immediate neighbor to the left of me, I skip and would rather push the snowblower against the grain of snow rather than even cut a path to get to the other neighbor.
I don't charge anything either. Just do it because I'm the youngest retiree on the street and one neighbor has bad knees, one is 88, one nobody lives there and the nephew who maintains the place lives a mile or so from the house and is in his 70's. Also do anlther one across the street for a nurse who lives alone. She probably doesn't even know who does it for her.
 

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I have never used one, but most of these units are running a 13A - 15A motor. This means you are getting about 2.0 - 2.3 HP of power as an absolute maximum.

Since power measures the rate at which work can be done, the laws of physics already have these at a serious disadvantage to a gas powered unit with 5 HP or more.
Word!

It's nice to see someone who knows science and doesn't fall for marketing B.S. Sears can stamp "5 HP" on their shop vacs all they want (in blatant violation of truth-in-advertising laws, but apparently nobody cares about that any more), but it doesn't change the fact you can only get a little over two horsepower out of a standard electrical outlet.

Having said that, I will also say my grandfather had an electric snowblower for many years and was very happy with it.

In spite of living in eastern MA where we get a decent amount of snow, he had a very short driveway (about 20'), was patient, and being retired he was able to go out as soon as a certain amount of snow had accumulated and remove it, rather than having to wait until the end of the storm or the end of the work day. So if it was heavy wet snow he'd go out when there was 2" or so, more with lighter snow.

When he got older and I started doing his driveway, I kept an Ariens ST824 in his garage as I wasn't in a position to clear the drive every time a couple of inches fell.

I did use that electric machine more than a few times and have to say I didn't find the cord to be such a big deal. You just have to come up with a system for managing it.
 

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I might not do the house 2 houses over with my new 2 stager.....
She's got PT wood for her driveway expansion joints.
One of them is split, raised at least 5-6 inch out of the joint.
When I use my 621, I make it my business to avoid that area.
Sometimes I forget as it's all covered in snow....and I'm like, let me just get this clean and proceed on.

I'd hate to ding my new SB for just being helpful ;-)
 

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I might not do the house 2 houses over with my new 2 stager.....
She's got PT wood for her driveway expansion joints.
One of them is split, raised at least 5-6 inch out of the joint.
When I use my 621, I make it my business to avoid that area.
Sometimes I forget as it's all covered in snow....and I'm like, let me just get this clean and proceed on.

I'd hate to ding my new SB for just being helpful ;-)
I've seen a couple homes around here w/pressure treated expansion joints. Never had to deal with them though. I broke a paddle last year on my Ariens 522ss. Perfectly clean driveway with about 5" of semi light snow. Not forcing the machine, just letting it eat and wham! This was the vacant home next to us and the driveway is new condition pavement. Have no idea what happened.
 

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... I realize the main limitations to these machines but I am interested in hearing from anyone who has actually used one. ....
I have a SnowJoe 40V 18" ss blower. It works fine for fresh snow and reblown snow. It is on the small side, half way between snow shovel and gas ss blowers. Pricey, but quiet. You can work away without disturbing your neighbours. Very light as well. The charge on one battery has a theoretical limit of 40 minutes. Experience reveals about 30-ish minutes in fresh snow, maybe twenty-ish in hard snow.
 

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I have a Toro 1800 power curve that is electric that I use just for my second story deck for a couple of years now. Sure is a back saver. Yea you have to work around a stiff extension cord, but I put my designated extension cord out in fall running it as straight as possible. This way it is a frozen straight cord, that really helps over a frozen coiled cored.
 

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I have a Toro 1800 power curve that is electric that I use just for my second story deck for a couple of years now. Sure is a back saver. Yea you have to work around a stiff extension cord, but I put my designated extension cord out in fall running it as straight as possible. This way it is a frozen straight cord, that really helps over a frozen coiled cored.
Thanks for the reply. That is the exact application I had in mind for an electric unit. You may want to look for a power cord with an SJ jacket (thermoset rubber jacket) they are flexible down to -40. I would also recommend a 12 gauge version.


I have never used one, but most of these units are running a 13A - 15A motor. This means you are getting about 2.0 - 2.3 HP of power as an absolute maximum.

Since power measures the rate at which work can be done, the laws of physics already have these at a serious disadvantage to a gas powered unit with 5 HP or more. Something has to give.. They either can't move the snow as far or can't move as much.. That said I am sure they might work ok in small spaces with smaller amounts of snow.
Thanks for the great and thorough analysis! You make some great points.
 

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Bonus: in the summer use it to knock the bird turds off the deck.

Anything more than that ie. real snow on real estate of any measure you'd get better results sticking out your tongue and putting the cord up your (cough)ss.

Imo... :icon_whistling:

Humor intended... there's a niche for everything... right? :wink:

:eek:ccasion14:
 

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I might not do the house 2 houses over with my new 2 stager.....
She's got PT wood for her driveway expansion joints.
One of them is split, raised at least 5-6 inch out of the joint.
When I use my 621, I make it my business to avoid that area.
Sometimes I forget as it's all covered in snow....and I'm like, let me just get this clean and proceed on.

I'd hate to ding my new SB for just being helpful ;-)
5-6 inches is more than the ground clearance of many cars! 4 inches is a high curb. She should get someone to fix that.
 

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Believe it or not, there is a market for the Toro 1800 electric blowers, at least here in Mpls.

Spring of 2014 I picked up one of these off CL for $5.00, not working. A little time on the toro parts web site and $15.00 later and 1 hour of my time I had a working blower that was in good shape. I put it in my shed for the summer then listed on CL in Fall for $120. I ended up letting it go for $90

This past spring while cruising CL, I again found another flip. Same deal. $5 bucks, not working. Same problem, same $15.00 part and this time 20 minutes of my time. Tonight I sold it for $110.
 

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Believe it or not, there is a market for the Toro 1800 electric blowers, at least here in Mpls.

Spring of 2014 I picked up one of these off CL for $5.00, not working. A little time on the toro parts web site and $15.00 later and 1 hour of my time I had a working blower that was in good shape. I put it in my shed for the summer then listed on CL in Fall for $120. I ended up letting it go for $90

This past spring while cruising CL, I again found another flip. Same deal. $5 bucks, not working. Same problem, same $15.00 part and this time 20 minutes of my time. Tonight I sold it for $110.
Tough way to make a living. :icon_whistling: (smile)
 

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OT, but the cordless has been a game changer for me on many levels....
We have a landscaper but in between his visits, I do have a Husq. blower, etc on hand regardless.

I have not touched these in a year, when Dewalt came out with the cordless blower, trimmer, etc ! And I'm not even a Dewalt fan by far. I'm more a Milwaukee guy.

But these cordless tools are changing how I (we) use/own tools...
 

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I've used a 15 amp for 3 years. I've never popped the thermal breaker on it, and it's done all it's been asked to, going well into the realm of abuse. That said, it takes a couple of hours to do my drive, mailbox, and sidewalk after any kind of major snow. The whole time I was doing the plow piles, I was waiting for the Sparks and smoke. This year I got a great big Ariens. I'll use the the little electric for the light dustings. Mine's the 15 amp SnowJoe, by the way.

I also remembered why I hate to vacuume. It's that darned cord.
 

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When we arrived here in snow country a couple years ago, one next-door neighbor informed us that were were now partners/co-owners in a handy little electric snowthrower. Not much snow last year, and the couple times I tried the little electric, it didn't save enough work to make it really useful-- snow was light enough that a snow-pusher was useful instead.

This year it's different. Real snow in the days before Thanksgiving. Early snow, it was wet and heavy. I shoveled our driveway and one neighbor's as we were accumulating to about 6" at an inch an hour. Neighbor's hubby was in what turned out to be a six-hour line getting winter tires installed. It continued to snow into the night, and in the morning I decided that the electric snowthrower might help with the 8"+ overnight accumulation. Results were OK, but it really struggled with the depth and consistency. I cleared the paddles and chute too often, and it would go maybe fifteen minutes before the fragrance of hot motor windings would force a time-out and put me back on the shovel. Neighbor and I that mornig decided we needed to up our game some. I'm semi-retired, he and his wife are both still working, and the third partner and his wife are fully retired. A collection of heart-attack candidates in reality.

Today marked the third opportunity to use my/our new Husky snowthrower. The little Hobbs meter I put on it shows six hours of engine run time after clearing four driveways and the privately-owned little cul d'sac we are sharing. I'm getting the hang of driving the Husky now, letting the machine to do the work with me pretty much walking behind it more rather than wrestling/fighting with it as I was doing the first time.


So to the question of the value of the electric snowthrower: It's OK for light stuff, virtually no maintenance required. Good for walks more than real driveways even with the light load, since it doesn't throw snow very far. Wider stuff means the snow gets thrown several times on it's way off the driveway. The light weight makes it good for walks with steps and landings, as it's relatively easy to lift up and down to different levels. For just steps, a shovel works much better really.


Moving to the two-stage gas blower adds storage space, fuel and mechanical maintenance requirements to the whole snowclearing experience. I'm pretty sure the two neighbors/partners are not thinking about care and maintenance, but I'm not worried about keeping it in tip-top shape myself. It gets a full inspection after each use, tank refilled with sta-bil-ized fuel so it's ready if/when they need to use it. I need them to use it on my driveway when I travel on projects, so it makes sense for me to keep it in tip-top shape at all times.

If it doesn't work out for them they can always go back to the electric one in the neighbor's garage I guess.
 
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