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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 14 year old Toro 2450 2 stroke that has served me well. It's aged well (better than me) but struggles with anything over 6-8". A 15 incher really taxed the thrower and myself earlier this year. We got the job done but it took a while. The paddles and bar took a beating from running plunges (both hard on the machine and me) and need replacing. I generally go out and do several removals before it gets too deep when possible. Nightime snow blew that option this time. I live in Denver and most of our snow falls are 2 to 6 inches with several 6"+ plus a season and then the occasional big one 15-18" with drifts. Most tend to be on the heavy wet side as well. I was thinking of getting a small (cheaper) 24" two stage (craftsman or troy-bilt) to handle the occasional deeper stuff and keep the Toro hoping it won't poop out any time soon for the little stuff. The other option is a more powerful single stage like a Toro 821 QZE (or even a Toro 721E?) and sell or give away my small Toro. Anything I get will have to have electric start. I'm in a dilema on which way to go. I'd like to make a decision soon to take advantage of any summer sales. I'd prefer to only have one machine but will accomodate two if necessary. I know a more powerful single stage will handle the smaller stuff and take a bigger bite in deeper snow than my current machine, I just don't kow how big of a bite. I also know a 2 stage is overkill for the 2 inchers but shines in deeper snow. I'd appreciate any advise or recommendations as I might be overlooking something. PS I'm 72 and not getting younger or stronger and have a 26 x 28 driveway and 180 feet of corner lot sidewalk to clear. Thanks!
 

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The Toro 2450 is a great snowblower, I wouldn't replace it with a larger newer Toro, instead I would use that money to buy a 2 stage, definitely not Craftsman, preferably not Troy-Bilt. Look at Ariens or Simplicity 208/212cc or even 250cc, 24", or if you can turn a wrench buy used, preferably Ariens or Simplicity, or one of the older Toro. MTD will do the job also but never one without gears, NO on 1 speed snowblowers.

AND Welcome! This is a great site, hang around for a while, lot of smart people on here, I taught them all I don't know! ?????
 
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did you mention how much snow you receive most winters? at 72 I would recommend a self propelled 2 stage. a Honda 724 or Ariens 24 incher.

also , around here you have to give people more info. how much snow, wet/dry/both. your budget? r u mechanical to maintain/repair older machines? sloped drive or flat? gravel/dirt/asphalt?

you'll get better answers this way.
 

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Keep it and buy yourself a two-stages snow blower. One of them can be used as a backup snow blower.

I have a Toro 2450. It is a great snow blower. I keep it to blow snow under 8". For wet and heavy snow, I have a two-stages snow blower.

  • Single-stage is lightweight, easy to handle, low maintenance and clean snow to the pavement.
  • Two-stages snow blowers throw snow far and go through deep snow.

Each one of them have their own advantages and can be fun to use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Here was some of my thought process. I agree that the two machine route is optimal. My concern with this option is space. I have a typical 20x20 two car garage. One side currently has the lawn mower and Toro 2450. In the off season I fold the handle of the unused machine to optimize as much space as I can. There's room for one more machine but it will be very tight. Then there's the negative comments about cramped space from my better half and the sell job that will be needed to convince her as to why this is a much better option. She just sees the crowded garage and how that impacts her and not how this will make my life easier. I'm sure you have dealt with similar issues.
I started looking at bigger (aka more powerful single stage) as a potential compromise. My reasoning is that they do not weigh all that much more than my current machine but have more displacement and increased torque. I assumed this would allow me to move more snow especially the heavier wet stuff where my current machine bogs down. The single stage also clears to the pavement and manuvers a little easier. A single stage will require more effort in the deeper stuff but that's where (hopefully) more power will help. My Toro can also be stubborn to start on some occasions. My poor back can't take much yanking on a starter rope any more. My son has a basic Troy-bilt 2410 storm. He's young and shovels the light stuff and pulls out the blower for the big stuff. I've gone over and used it when he's away. This is when I fell in love with electric start. It certainly gets the job done and that's really all I care about. Anything I get will be new. My mechanical skills are decent but I'm not willing to chance a used machine even if it saves me a little money. I'm trying to stay under $1000.00. Thanks again.
 

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New single-stage snow blowers are heavier, because they have 4 cycles engines, which are heavier than 2-cycle engines.

You will be able to move more snow with a new bigger engine single-stage snow blower, but don't expect it to move wet snow, or the pile of snow at the end of your driveway. It is not about the engine size, but the single-stage design won't do it for you.
My neighbor has a new Toro single-stage. It still struggled in 10"-12" of snow, especially at the end of his driveway. He still got the job done, but it was not as quick and easy. Most snow fall here are under 8", so single-stage snow blowers work just fine and used by most people.

You might want to build a two levels storage shelve (store one machine on top and store the other machine at the bottom). Use a ram, or lifter to move your machine up and down. My garage is just as messy as your, but I made it work. In the end, it is your choice (to please her). Anything is better than shoveling.

If I have to choose one, I would probably go with the single-stage as well. They are low maintenance, easy to store, ...
If you live in a place that has a lot of snow, then 2-stages is better.
 

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I have my original Toro S-620 and my Toro CCR3000GTS and they still work very well.
It sounds as if you need a tune up and a Toro 828 NOT FROM HOME DESPOT but
from a real Toro dealer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I would still have all four of my Toro snow pups but the first 2 died during snow storms.
I inherited an OEM Troybilt 28 inch two stage from y brothers as they purchased a lightly
used MTD/troy bilt storm 45 inch 2 stage 4 wheel monster for thier adjoining rental properties

You and your neighbor need warm aerosol cans of Fluid Film to get rid of the crap and kill off the
END OF DRIVEWAY MONSTER so you can feed the little moat monsters with its remains.

I would not let the issue go any further than parking the car outside of the garage in winter and
leaving it at that my snow blowers get left inside and the truck is outside and it has not hurt it one
bit in 13 years. I use a kerosene fired space heater to melt the ice and snow off the truck and warm
up my pups and also dry them to get the salt off of them.
They work wonders for warming up vehicles and getting rid of ice and snow off of them too.

The Fluid Film spray will double your casting distance and the little snow pups/mules will not bog down
as much either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I've convinced myself to keep my Toro 2450 and become a two blower family. Now the magic question is what to get. The new machine will primarily be for anything over 6-8". Based on my experiece it will probably be used lightly and probably infrequently. I'm concerned about size, weight, ease of handling, support and parts availability and staying under my all-in limit (price, tax, delivery (if any) etc.) of $1000.00. Fortunately most of the major manufacturers are represented in the Denver area. On the lower cost end are the Troy-Bilt 2410 and Husqavarna ST124. My son has the Troy-bilt and I'm familiar with it's operation. It's on the big side for me and my preference would be something smaller if possible. The Husky seems to be a simple basic machine at a very reasonable cost. At the high end of my budget, and only possible if I can find one on sale, are the Ariens Classic 24, Cub Cadet 2x24 and Toro 824. All are big machines (in my opinion). The Toro and Cub seem to have lots of bells and whistles making them a little more complex. Maybe more than I need. I tend to like the "keep it simple" theory. Two machines that are interesting are the Toro SnowMaster 724 and 824. I watched several you-tube videos and was impressed with their capabilities for a hybrid single stage. They are also considerably lighter than a standard 2 stage and appear more compact. The personal pace drive system is similar to my lawn mower which I like alot. It's conceivable these might be good all around machines for both light and moderate snow amounts. I'd be interested in any opinions anyone might have regarding any of these machines (pros and cons) especially the hybrids.
 

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I saw a review of the Personal Pace, do a search on here, he had a Personal Pace mower as I do, but didn't feel it belonged on a snowblower.

As far as choices, Ariens, Toro, then Troy-Bilt, Cub Cadet. I'd stay away from Husqvarna, prefer to stay away from anything MTD that is Troy-Bilt, Cub Cadet.
 

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If you are thinking of getting a machine for snow falls over 8", I would go with a real 2 stage machine, not the Toro Snowmaster. You have a single stage for smaller snow falls, so you want a machine that will handle the larger snow storms (even if wet heavy snow) and even the once every 20 year storm.

I would suggest going with the Toro 824 or the Ariens Classic out of the machines you listed.

Try to get hands on them and check them out in person. Buy from a dealer if you can. Which machine's controls feel better to you, which machine has better build quality, which dealer do you prefer?

Check Facebook or Craigslist for lightly used, like new machines over the next few months, it's the best time to buy and you should find some great deals out there.

Below is a video of the Snowmaster and the Ariens Crossover, neither is that impressive tackling the wet snow.

 

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If you want to save money, look at a 208cc or even 179cc 22" wide 2 stage, even a small one will do more snow than a single stage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I was thinking about a smaller two stage as well. In my research I stumbled across the Ariens 20 and 22" compact two stage machines but it looks like they are no longer made. Their downfall appears that they were priced not that much less than their bigger machines so slow sales. Are there any other similar small 2 stage machines out there?
 

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GKK - You are new here, if you feel slightly mechanically inclined, nothing wrong with a relatively new used machine or even an older machine. As long as the gearbox and impeller bearing are good, everything else is easy.

Also what you don't want is a single speed snowblower. They use a failed plastic transmission. You can recognize them as they have a bail on the handlebars, plastic wheels, and a plastic impeller. If you remove the bottom cover you'll see the transmission.
 
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