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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,
I recently moved into a house and this will be my first winter in MI ( Detroit suburbs ).
I have a 3 car wide concrete driveway , about 2.5 cars long , plus about 25 feet of sidewalk.

I am planning to purchase a snow blower and I have been reading this forum as well as Internet reviews.

I am hoping a single stage will do for me ..I am about 106 pounds and not too strong and some of the 2 stage ones look pretty intimidating.
Or are there any 2-stage lighter options that I should consider?

Some options I am considering are the Toro Power clear and Toro Snowmaster.
One of the concerns I have is that it be somewhat easy to handle,turn etc.

Does anyone else have any other recommendations? I am hoping to go to a dealer and see these before deciding .
 

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I chose a Toro Power Max HD 826 OXE. But I was impressed with the Snowmaster 824 also. The Snowmaster although is a single stage seems to be as close to a do everything snowblower on the market.
The Snowmasters are in Home Depot and are an excellent place to kick tires but I would only buy from a local dealer in case you need service down the road. Same price in the dealer too. Also go with the largest engine no matter what model you choose.
 

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Welcome Aboard!

The Toro Snowmaster is what I call "a stage and a half", it's a single stage when looking at the auger, no impeller, but has a tall bucket (18") that easily swallows 12-16" high snow. It has (The Personal Pace System) drive wheels like a two stage so you don't have to push it like a single stage. It's 24" wide like a lot of 2 stage machines and it has the Toro Quick Stick for chute adjustment. If most of your snow comes 6-8" at a time with occasional 10-12" it should be perfect. It may be a little bit of a struggle if Ms. Snowplow piles it up at the end of driveway higher than 18" but that's the only drawback I can think of.

:white^_^arial^_^0^_
 

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+4 for the Snowmaster

After one season with an 824 I think its the best machine for typical snowfalls (< 12")

It is light and nicely balanced

The snow discharge chute control is close, super smooth and quick (no bending down or rapid cranking).
If I were a kid again and looking to make money by doing the neighborhood driveways this is the machine I'd want because its so fast and easy to sling around

By being propelled by the wheels and not the paddle it doesn't require any forward tipping motions like a single stage does.

And it's small and easy to store. The Ariens in the pic is a Compact 24...

 

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Vishy, Hopefully member detdrbuzzard chimes in, but your area just doesn't seem to get the snow we get around the rest of MI. I think you'd be fine with anything Toro makes. Personally I think Toro prices are very high for their singles and would buy the Home Depot 724 2 stage as over kill. Storage is not much different comparing them off season as Toro SS blowers are enormous now and very expensive IMO..
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks all for your replies - going to check them and maybe some cheaper ones out this week. Ugh - decisions , decisions.


I have been here 3 years and so far I think we only got a foot of snow once maybe.
 

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If you're still looking and have some mechanical skills, look for a used 3650 Toro. They are Toro's version of the Honda 621. Lots of power, lots of distance on the throw and very easy to maintain. I'd suggest the Honda 621, but have had too many issues with them, whether mine or friends. They throw snow like a 2 stage and start on a dime with very little maintaining, however they are old now and now have issues. Cracked auger welds for one and what I think way over priced OEM paddle parts and belts. The aftermarket paddles suck and Honda uses specific bolts that cost too much. They made a great single stage and now are making more money off the parts than they ever did on the product. Around your area I think you should be able to find a good Toro3650 for a reasonable price. I personally don't think any single stage is worth $300+ if it's beyond 6 years old. They will sell for that on the eve of a 12" storm, but summer storage and carb issues make them a $150 item IMO. You WILL see them for $440 during the snow, but that's like generator sales when the power is out:roll3yes: My advice is pick up a Toro Powerlite for around $50 and then pick what you really want selectively on the used market. I don't think ANY of the current new models are worth the money in your snow area.:tongue4:
 
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