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Hi.
New here but looking for some input.

I was set on buying a Toro 721 QZR snowblower this fall. Then I saw the Honda HS720AA about 5 weeks ago and ended up confused which to buy.

After owning Honda cars and currently owning a Honda HRX217 lawnmower I had decided I'd go with the Honda. There is a dealership I pass that sells both Honda & Toro. However, when I went into a dealership pretty much 90% sure I was buying the HS720 the dealer said they were having issues with vibration on them. That they vibrated so badly he called Honda and Honda said they know its an issue and for now the corrective action is to loosen the handle bolts up a bit. This fix seems oddly very "unHonda" like to me.

Has anyone else ran across this or heard about it ? I'm surprised to hear a Honda product getting to market with this type issue. Certainly factory testing would have addressed this I'd think.

Also, He said even if the Honda HS720 was vibration free, the Toro 721 does a better job at pulling itself through the snow and I'd be happier with it. That the Honda needs to be pushed more basically and the Toro will be itself across a bare driveway even. I had no idea they were that different. Thoughts on this also?

Thanks
 

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I'm sure "Robert from Honda" will chime in, but something just doesn't sound right with what that dealer told you. With the money spent on engineering and advanced testing, I can't believe a company like Honda would introduce a piece of equipment to the market with "vibration problems" and issue a dealer service bulletin to "loosen the handle bars as a temporary fix." Just sounds a little far fetched. Wonder if the dealer is on some kind of sales incentive program and is steering you towards the Toro. FYI. Both the Honda HS720 and the Toro 721 are very good machines. There's another thread comparing both machines about 10 or 15 threads down. You really can't go wrong either way. Good Luck!
 

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Yeah, if anything, they are usually known for heir relative smoothness.
 

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I heard the same from local power equipment honda dealer about vibration issue on HS720CC ( canadian light commercial with GS190 engine), which is basically the same as 2015 720AM in US (less the engine GC vs GS). Apparently it is due to increased speed of the auger (claiming to throw 55 metric tons per hour).
I ended up finding a deal on new HS520 and went with 520 instead. They made them unchanged for 10 years or more then it must be good enough design.

Honda trying to match Toro 721 specs, but auger design is not holding up to higher speed and power. Vibrations are coming from rubber (where unsupported by steel auger) hitting the ground flat due to increased speed according to honda salesman causing vibrations..

He had no HS520 in stock, so it is not like he tried to sell out old stock first to me, but he said if I can find 520 it would be better, so I did.
 

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Over-tightening the 8mm handlebar nuts will indeed cause excessive vibration to the handlebar. Dealers have been advised to use a torque wrench set to 52 in-lbs when tightening the nut, and bingo, no vibration:

 

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I am curious what the tightness of the bolts has to do with the amount of vibration that is passed from the lower arms to the upper arms of the blower.

Does tightening them too tight cause the two bars to become more like one long bar and thus change the resonance frequency of the total bar to one that in concert with the engine causes the vibration? An interesting engineering question.

BMR
 

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I am curious what the tightness of the bolts has to do with the amount of vibration that is passed from the lower arms to the upper arms of the blower.

Does tightening them too tight cause the two bars to become more like one long bar and thus change the resonance frequency of the total bar to one that in concert with the engine causes the vibration? An interesting engineering question.

BMR
While I am not a mechanical engineer, those here at Honda who are tell me having the correct torque makes a difference on the measurable vibration felt by the operator at he handlebars.

Any countermeasure(s) besides the exact torque specification would not be implemented until production of these models resumes next summer. Watch this space for updates.
 

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Maybe Honda is implementing a new vibration fix now and that is why online sites report "this product is on hold from Honda due to manufacturing issues".
 

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Anybody heard if and what Honda has done (beyond bolt torque) to address this issue?
Also any improvements on the reportedly stiff chute control?
 

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Not sure about the bolt torque but I played with an HS720AS in the Home Depot the other day and the controls were still very stiff. I think the model I was looking at was from this year as well as that Home Depot didn't carry the Honda's last year.
 

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As I replied in another thread, I checked an HS720AS out today and as far as chute controls go:
Chute turn lever was tolerable...not super smooth but not a showstopper. Chute didn't always come back to dead center when lever was moved back to center notch. Might need adjustment.
Chute deflector cable gets bent severely when chute is rotated all the way to the right. The deflector cable was so tight it would not move. Also the deflector cable runs through a hole in the cowling and rubs a LOT on the edge of that hole. I would think that the cable jacket's integrity will be lost (ripped open) after some time at that point in the cable where it rubs.
Didn't see anything obvious that was done to the handlebar itself so I can't comment about any fixes for that vibration issue or what was causing it.
The auger design differs quite a bit from the Toro 721 in that the flow of snow on the Toro paddle meets with very smooth curving paddles and a minimum of hardware which probably helps contribute to its decent throwing distance whereas the Honda has large bolt heads and a much less smooth flowing design in their auger. I also noticed that the Toro has solid metal sides to it's bucket whereas the Honda has metal halfway up and then turns plastic for the remaining top half of the bucket side panels. The Toro's cowling seems looser fitting/flimsier that the Honda. It is also longer overall. On a Toro it doesn't seem that one can adjust the chute deflector without walking around the handlebar to make the adjustment. They both seem well balanced and easy to maneuver on the floor and I'm sure they both handle well in the snow, although for some reason CR thinks the Toro handles a bit better. It's going to be a tough choice for me. They both seem to have their own advantages/disadvantages.
 
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