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Professional and Platinum series and Deluxe 28 SHO are only sold through dealers.

The Deluxe 28 , 24 and Compact and Classic series are sold through big box stores.

Better decide soon, unless your dealers have a lot of 28 SHO's and 928 OAE's in stock.
 

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Eastern Ontario, Canada
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it isn't like most other machines with a pass through auger shaft?
No, it's not like many others (including the Classic line). Just stub shafts on either side. The center tube of the augers go over the stub shaft and are held on by the shear pins. The auger center tube fits into a bushing at the outer ends. Because there isn't a solid pass through axle, the gear case needs its own support.
gear.jpg
 

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PIOM-

I think you're getting deep into the state of "paralysis of analysis".

You might want to make a list of your needs and wants, cross off which model does not have the "must" features and then go bring something home. By the time you decide, you may end up looking at a empty sales floor or be driving 200 miles to pick up the chosen model.

Sounds like you should be looking at either the Deluxe 28 or the Toro 828 or Toro 928.
 

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Wondering also if @PIOM bought a machine yet . . . :cool:
 

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Wondering also if @PIOM bought a machine yet . . . :cool:
Thanks. I was about to report in!

Sat down yesterday and went through the positives and negatives etc., of the two brand/models as I see them. (Somewhat of a follow-up to the suggestion @BazookaJoe made.) Shortly thereafter the weather forecast changed significantly. Whereas I had felt I had time before the first heavy snow, the expectation now is for a possible significant event later this the weekend. Well, no, I'm not prepared to jump, and so ended up applying the brakes.

In reality, I don't "need" a new blower. My 2003, 28-inch Yard Works/MTD with its Tecumseh 318 cc engine is checked, serviced, and ready to go, and I have no reason to doubt it will do the job the same as it has for the past 17 years. Sure, it's nowhere near what the newer machines should be able to do, and some of it's relative deficiencies are bothersome, but it's still a very serviceable unit. (And based on some discussions here, I just might add chains to it's 16 inch wheels!)

Looking back, after seeing how well a neighbour's Toro 826 did with a very wet snow fall back in February (not unlike Paul's 8 inches with rain on top), I was intrigued and attracted by the features and capabilities of the newer blowers, but also concerned about some aspects of the two units I'm considering. There's still more I'd like to learn/understand about them.

Consequently, while I'm not stepping down from getting a new one, I'm slowing down on making a decision. I'll continue here (this is a great forum, lots of supportive members and information in the accumulated knowledge base), I'll keep an eye out for new reviews/videos etc., and I'll talk with the local dealers. I have a blower and don't have to worry about them being out of stock. If at some point in the near future the answers to my concerns, the availability, and price come together, I'll make the move to take advantage of their performance.

Incidentally, when I mentioned to my son the push down cap issue on the Quick Stick (HD demo unit) when simulating a long sweep, he came up with a great idea. There should be a "hold" button; i.e.,push the cap down and set the button, then continue to steer with the left hand while the right hand on the Stick has full control of the chute. This allows for extended smooth changes at the chute without having to press the cap down firmly all the time. Then tap the cap (or the "hold" button) to release it, and the chute is locked in position. Probably some down sides, but as long as I don't need two hands on the handles in order to keep the blower going where I want it to go, it might be an interesting mod.
 

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Probably some down sides, but as long as I don't need two hands on the handles in order to keep the blower going where I want it to go, it might be an interesting mod.
Sounds like a good strategy since you have a working blower.

Not sure about needing a "hold" button. My Craftsman chute control stick is the same and I've had no issues pressing and holding it down for +8 seasons.
The Toro Quick Stick is the same in that regard.
Maybe try a few other Quick Sticks at other stores or perhaps a cable or spring adjust on the Quick Stick would remedy it for those who want less pressure?
 

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Maybe try a few other Quick Sticks at other stores or perhaps a cable or spring adjust on the Quick Stick would remedy it for those who want less pressure?
That's the plan. I'm fairly sure that HD demo unit must have had a problem; I don't recall the release being that stiff on other Toro models I looked at in the past. But I thought the idea was interesting.
 
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