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Discussion Starter #1
Was at a dealer today that had both of these models side by side. Very tough decision and need some comments from some of you ( especially contractors or ROBERT from Honda ) about them.

1) The Honda remote chute control for left to right was very stiff and squeaked a lot during use. The up down was good. Surely Honda must see this when their own people try the unit. Could it be that it will loosen up over time, is it a lubrication issue, will this be a problem for the life of the machine ?????? The Toro chute control was much better but does not control up down, only left right.

2) The Honda control handle folds down for "Convenient" storage, but you need a wrench to undue the bolts in order to fold it down. The Toro had large wing nuts to undue for the fold down, but the dealer said they can vibrate loose and fall off.

3) The Honda has to have the auger engaged and be TILTED forward in order to make it move, the Toro bites in and moves forward as soon as the auger is engaged but the dealer said does not clean as close to the pavement as the Honda due to the Tilt.

4) The Honda engine and the whole machine are made in the USA, the Toro has a Chinese engine ( concerned about this as I do not trust Chinese manufacturing, and favor giving work to USA workers if possible ).

5) The Honda does not need to be PRIMED when starting, the Toro has a primer bulb and has to be pushed 3 times. I do not like priming, always a hit and miss thing about flooding the engine. Is it true the Honda can do it without a prime, if so how, why does Toro not do this ???

6) The Honda is one inch less wide and has a 190cc engine vs a 212cc engine in the Toro. Can the Toro throw more snow ??

7) The shroud and the auger blade are larger on the Toro then the Honda, does this allow more snow to be collected and thrown?

8) Some contractors say the previous Honda's clog up easier than the Toros.


Please comment on the issues that I have mentioned and do not bring in other machines like the Ariens, Simplicity, Husqavarna, etc ... I really like both machines, but some of the issues are deal breakers either way.

Thank You,

BMR
 

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The Honda has the auto-choke system. It's on my HRX217 mower and it's great! Just go full throttle, pull the cord and she fires right up! I'd bet a little white lithium grease on the Honda chute control and it would butter right up. I recommend adding 2oz of Marvel Mystery Oil to your 5 gallon gas can every time you fill it up. Keep's your carb spotless and adds a little top end lube which can't hurt.

I know my 928 chute control brand new out of the box was a little stiff and I hit all the joints with some white lithium grease and it's significantly smoothly. There's minimal lubrication applied from the factory.
 

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Another vote for the Honda HS720C. I have two Honda Single Stage Machines (HS621 and HS520). The 190cc engine in the HS720C is VERY robust. Same engine in my Honda mower and I have yet to get that engine to bog down even in the tallest rain soaked grass. That engine is a beast! If the HS621 was still available in the US, I'd point you towards that machine, however the HS720C should be every bit as strong however instead of the Honda Commercial GX160 engine, the HS720 comes with the "consumer grade" GC190. Don't let the consumer grade "label" fool you. The 190cc engine is a Very...Very...robust and capable engine. You will not be disappointed. Don't worry about the chute controls being too stiff. That's how they come from the factory. As previously suggested just use a little bit of white lithium grease or some anti-seize (that's what I use) and after a couple of uses the chute controls will operate silky smooth.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
ONE more issue

Thank you so far to Kpax and Freezn.

I have one more issue to add to the original post.

As far as I have been able to research, it seems that the Honda GC190 engine produces 5.2 HP and 8.3 lb-ft torque. I have looked hard and only found one site that claims the Loncin engine in the Toro produces 7.0 HP and 10.3 lb-ft torque.

If this is true then would not the Toro be much stronger in its ability to throw snow ??
 

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1) The Honda remote chute control for left to right was very stiff
The rubber seal around the base of the chute is a tight fit (probably too tight) and a squirt of silicone spray will do wonders.

5) The Honda does not need to be PRIMED when starting, the Toro has a primer bulb and has to be pushed 3 times. I do not like priming, always a hit and miss thing about flooding the engine. Is it true the Honda can do it without a prime, if so how, why does Toro not do this ???
All engines with carburetors need more fuel than air when starting up. Honda does this with a push/pull choke that blocks off air flow, but Toro does it having the operator push a primer bulb a few times to boost fuel. Both systems work fine.

6) The Honda is one inch less wide and has a 190cc engine vs a 212cc engine in the Toro. Can the Toro throw more snow ??
The closest comparable number isn't so much width or horsepower, but tons-per-hour. The Honda is rated to move 55 tons per hour and the Toro 57...pretty darn close.

7) The shroud and the auger blade are larger on the Toro then the Honda, does this allow more snow to be collected and thrown?
Auger shape, speed, materials, etc. all probably contribute to the overall tons-per-hour spec.
 

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Just for the sake of the choke discussion, I recently worked on a 7hp B&S, that had a thermostatically controlled choke. It had a rod that went across the engine, that linked to a sealed unit attached to the exhaust.

First time I had seen that, and it was 2011/12 troy built push mower.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The rubber seal around the base of the chute is a tight fit (probably too tight) and a squirt of silicone spray will do wonders.


All engines with carburetors need more fuel than air when starting up. Honda does this with a push/pull choke that blocks off air flow, but Toro does it having the operator push a primer bulb a few times to boost fuel. Both systems work fine.


The closest comparable number isn't so much width or horsepower, but tons-per-hour. The Honda is rated to move 55 tons per hour and the Toro 57...pretty darn close.


Auger shape, speed, materials, etc. all probably contribute to the overall tons-per-hour spec.


Thank you Robert for your reply, I was hoping that you would chime in, as your input is much appreciated. The only thing that bothers me about you assertion that we should just consider the number of 55 tons a minute, is that if you look at this video about the Honda HS520, the rating is also 55 tons a min.


How can it be that a previous machine with a 160cc engine that has less torque and horsepower can throw the exact same amount of snow as the new Updated HS720 with a 190cc engine that has more torque and more horsepower ???

Are the number changes ( HS 520 to HS 720 and the engine changes from 160cc to 190cc ) just marketing hype by Honda and Toro ( 621 to 721 ) to sell more machines even thought nothing significant has been done to them ?? I am a bit confused here. Could you please clarify. Is there even an advantage to having these newer machines with larger engines, if there is no appreciable difference in them ??

BMR
 

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the 621 toro has a smaller motor rated at 6hp. there are a lot of company's that under rate there machines, 55 tons a minute would be under ideal conditions. with light fluffy snow you might move 55 tones of snow in a minute but not so in wet heavy snow
 

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I wouldn't get too caught up in the "tons per minute rating". As pointed out by Detdrbuzzard, "tons per minute" is a rating based on optimal snow conditions (light, fluffy, dry). My Honda HS928 also has a 50 ton per minute rating. Doesn't really mean much??? Same thing with the 33ft throw distance rating on the HS720. Yes, both my HS621 and HS520 will throw snow 33ft.... but only if the snow is light & dry and the discharge shoot is pointed directly forward. Same thing with the Toro 3650 (Two Cycle) Single Stage unit I sold a couple years back. Crank the chute all the way to the left or right and that 33ft throw distance is more like 20ft. Add a little moisture to the snow and the L/R throw distance is more like 15ft. Snow blower performance largely depends on snow conditions. Better conditions = better performance.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I wouldn't get too caught up in the "tons per minute rating". As pointed out by Detdrbuzzard, "tons per minute" is a rating based on optimal snow conditions (light, fluffy, dry). My Honda HS928 also has a 50 ton per minute rating. Doesn't really mean much??? Same thing with the 33ft throw distance rating on the HS720. Yes, both my HS621 and HS520 will throw snow 33ft.... but only if the snow is light & dry and the discharge shoot is pointed directly forward. Same thing with the Toro 3650 (Two Cycle) Single Stage unit I sold a couple years back. Crank the shoot all the way to the left or right and that 33ft throw distance is more like 20ft. Add a little moisture to the snow and the L/R throw distance is more like 15ft. Snow blower performance largely depends on snow conditions. Better conditions = better performance.
Do you think then that the engine changes made by Honda ( 160cc to 190cc ) and Toro ( 621 with 160cc to 721 with 212cc ) then make much of a difference ??
 

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Do you think then that the engine changes made by Honda ( 160cc to 190cc ) and Toro ( 621 with 160cc to 721 with 212cc ) then make much of a difference ??

I haven't had a chance to try out the Honda HS720, but I imagine the 190cc will give you slightly more power to handle the heavy wet rain-soaked snow storms. I'll be honest, with the exception of the "end-of-driveway snow berm" left by the street plows, my HS520 can handle just about every storm with ease. My driveway is 17' wide and 30' and I've never had an issue with 160cc on the HS520 and that's with the original rubber paddles from 2005. So I can only image the HS720 with the stronger more robust 190cc engine would be a beast. The only issue with the HS520 is that the engine does have a tendency to "bog down" in heavy wet deep snow. You just have to take it slow and back-off the amount of snow you're pushing throw the intake. That's the one big difference between my HS520 and HS621. The HS621 with the commercial GX160 (5.5 HP 163cc) never breaks a sweat even in the deepest rain-soaked snow. That engine is a work horse and I'm sure the GC190 in the HS720 would be every bit as powerful as the GX160. I wish I could provide you with more insight on the Toro 721, but I don't have any experience whatsoever with that machine. Good Luck!
 

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How can it be that a previous machine with a 160cc engine that has less torque and horsepower can throw the exact same amount of snow as the new Updated HS720 with a 190cc engine that has more torque and more horsepower ???
The amount of snow a machine can move (tons-per-hour) is related to the engine's performance, but that's just one factor. Chute design, auger shape, paddle speed, materials uses, etc., etc., all add up to how well the machine moves snow. It is not just a simple comparison of horsepower and torque specs. It is the sum of the parts that makes one machine perform better and move more snow than another.

Put another way, if you gave an engineer a 5 hp motor, and told him to build an all-new snowblower with it that would outperform another 7 hp snowblower, it could be done, but at some very high costs. Think exotic materials, precision manufacturing and tuning, etc.


Are the number changes ( HS 520 to HS 720 and the engine changes from 160cc to 190cc ) just marketing hype by Honda and Toro ( 621 to 721 ) to sell more machines even thought nothing significant has been done to them ?? I am a bit confused here. Could you please clarify. Is there even an advantage to having these newer machines with larger engines, if there is no appreciable difference in them ??
The "5" and "7" are used to denote engine sizes; 5 = GC160, 7=GC190, and of course, the 190 provides more power and torque. From what I've seen from the development team on prior projects, I have little doubt the HS720 outperforms the HS520, and not just because of the engine. If you could run an HS520 and HS720 at the same location, same snow, I think you'd see a difference.
 

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i got my toro 2450e new back around '99 its been through every type of snow you can think of. when i got my house about a year later my neighbor had an old two stage ariens. on small amouts or light snow the toro was done with snow while my neighbor was still out blowing but in deep or heavy snow my neighbor was done while i was still out fighting through the snow. i don't thing that would / will change much with either the toro 721 or honda 720, its just the design of single stage machines. i went and found a used two stage toro for deep heavy snow
 

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Discussion Starter #15
PURCHASE MADE !!!

Well to all of you and Robert, I have decided to go with the Honda HS720C over the Toro. I just picked it up today.

$749 + IF Any of you have ever heard of this $40 for Freight and PDI.

I thought the guy was joking but he was serious. Honda charges this fee on top of the price of the snowblower. All dealers quoted this extra charge when I called them. The guy I purchased from was nice enough to reduce it by $20 because my brother-in-law is also buying one.

Thus $749 + $20 + 13% tax = $868.97

I hope to post a YouTube video when the snow falls to show how it does.

Thank you all for your advice,

BMR
 

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Great purchase! Enjoy you're new toy! Yes, please post a video on Youtube. Looking forward to seeing the HS720 in action.

Yeah, that $40.00 freight-PDI charge is probably a set-up or assembly charge. That's very reasonable and certainly money well spent vs. buying the HS720 at a Big Box Store. Did the dealer suggest an oil change after the first 5-10 hours break-in period? I typically change the oil out after the 5 hour break-in period, replace with 5W30 Mobil 1 Synthetic, and add a magnetic drain plug. Just curious what the dealer recommended.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Great purchase! Enjoy you're new toy! Yes, please post a video on Youtube. Looking forward to seeing the HS720 in action.

Yeah, that $40.00 freight-PDI charge is probably a set-up or assembly charge. That's very reasonable and certainly money well spent vs. buying the HS720 at a Big Box Store. Did the dealer suggest an oil change after the first 5-10 hours break-in period? I typically change the oil out after the 5 hour break-in period, replace with 5W30 Mobil 1 Synthetic, and add a magnetic drain plug. Just curious what the dealer recommended.
The dealer filled the oil in front of me to show me how and also showed me the level to fill up to. He did suggest that after 5 hours of use to drain the oil and replace. I asked him about synthetic. He was neutral on the subject, but did suggest that the synthetic would make the very cold weather starts go easier. He also suggested for Summer storage to burn all the gas away, and that if I was technically capable to look for a small screw in the carb area and give it a quarter turn in order to take out the bit of gas in the carb. He also said to use premium gas only.

BMR
 
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