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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
now that there's a decent amount of snow in some states, please get some review vids up on youtube. All I found so far of the machine work ing besides the promo clips is this one which doesn't really show anything.

I was all set to buy a new ~$600 toro single stage 212cc 721 but then just remembered about the snowmaster and it's around the same price for the smaller 212cc version as the single stage 212cc. My plan was to get the single stage 721 for most snow here in NJ but then get a dual stage for larger storms and also have a back up since I use them for work.

Basically I'd like to know if it clears down to the pavement well and if it can handle deep heavy snow like a dual stage. I don't think it does clean to the pavement as well as a single stage though according to specs and the overview since the auger is not contacting the ground. Because most storms here are small enough that a 212cc single stage is fine plus it gets down to the pavement cleaner than a dual stage and probably better than the snowmaster but just asking. If I can get away with just buying a snowmaster and then just for backup, I can get a used 179cc or for like $150 usually.


If it doesn't get down to the surface like a single stage, why did you even buy it? It's not an actual dual stage. It seems like a step backwards in design. When they first invented snowblowers that became the dual stages we know today, they probably just had a single auger stage spinning quickly which is what the snowmaster is. But better results apparently caused them to create the common design of all modern dual stages which is instead of having one fast spinning auger (like the snowmaster), let's make the main auger go slow (possibly more torque) and add a faster second stage to propel the snow out. In other words, it's more work and engineering to make the modern dual stages, so why "go back" to just a single fast auger?

I'm skeptical of anything Toro 'master' because I have the lawn Timemaster 30" and it has no balls, waste of $1,300. It's only 190cc. Most small 21" mowers are 190cc. With a 21", you have all 190 cc concentrated to that smaller size of 21" instead of 190cc over 30". Plus the 21" blade is directly on the crankshaft = more power than the timemaster 30" has a system of cogged belts that drive two 15" blades. If you cut your lawn every week, the timemaster is fine and should mulch it up without bogging down. But the deck design is shallow or something because it cakes up unbelievably bad. I have been through maybe 50 push mowers, and none ever caked up like this. I have a ~450cc 36" commercial mower that will mulch up almost anything without bogging down. I can probably mulch up the timemaster with it. I wanted something lighter than my 36" though and for fitting through smaller gates so I got the toro 30". If you mulch the grass every two weeks or add in a bunch of leaves to mulch in Fall, the timemaster just bogs down and you will be inching along like a fool. I have the engine running optimal RPM and everything, no problem there, just underpowered. Sure you can wait two weeks between cut and side discharge the clippings and it won't slow down too bad but it will be a mess of clippings. Anyway, just saying, the Toro "master' machines has been a big let down so far. My preferred 21-22" mower is the toro personal pace though. I have used all types of small 21-22" john deeres and Hondas etc, I love the 22" toro. You'll get done much faster mulching a two week lawn vs the 30" timemaster.


 

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Could you join us on mylawnmowerforum.com, if you're not already a member? Your review of the Timemaster would be appreciated over there too.
 

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I was having the same debate as you and opted to go with a dual stage Toro Powermax HD and the single stage toro 721. There have been quite a few negative reviews of the snowmaster from consumer reports and other websites. From initial reports, the snowmaster appears to be suffering a similar fate to the timemaster. The largest complaints seem to be a jumpy personal pace transmission that pushes the unit over top of the snow, an inability to handle wet and heavy snow, and an auger that seems to spin too fast resulting in it just hitting the snow rather than moving it. Toro's intentions are good but their new products are simply not working out well. The funny thing is that the products they had that were excellent like the lawn boy 21" commercial units, the toro superbagger, and the toro 22156 commercial units have all been dropped for inferior products. Finally, while the quality of their products is decreasing, their prices are rising rapidly. Something will have to give soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
that timemaster mower review pretty much sums it up. I told it to Toro also. Whoever loves the timemaster is cutting it once a week for the most part and thus not cutting a lot of grass off at once. It won't bogg down so bad when bagging but who bags anyway? That's even more work. Much better to just mulch the clippings. And if you bag into paper leaf bags, all other 22" mowers' bags are small enough to go inside the paper bag and then shake them out 1 2 3. Timemaster bag is too wide to fit paper bags and a nightmare to try and fill paper bags with. So are the metal catcher cages on larger commercial mower too though.


I used it on and off all summer for work, what a drag. I should just stuck with my 22" 190cc but I was in between fixing them for a while. Next season, I'm getting a 420cc range 33 or 32" mower. That 3" or 4" difference from my 36" will actually get me through most gates. But I contacted toro because the timemaster is so light but the other commercial 32-33s" aren't and I use a truck bed with ramps instead of a trailer and I don't want to drive the heavier mowers up the ramps every time. The timemaster is light enough to just push, up ramps but the engine needs to be much stronger if the frame and other components can even handle it. Someone tried to repower a timemaster with a legit 420cc range engine but couldn't get anything to line up. There are older Toro 420cc range single blade 32" mowers and they make gator blades for it also (love them for mulching). For such a narrow deck (32"), they can get away with only one blade apparently but with 36" and larger, a single blade would be too wobbly I guess. I think the single blade gives less clippings blow out when mulching, and better bagging results (for the rare instances I bag like for excess leaves that are too much to mulch in at once that would smoother the lawn or after dethatching a lawn or something), and I think the single blade is less likely to cake up the deck.


Anyway, I read up more on the snowmaster and I'm not too excited. Need to see some reviews though but I think I already know what it is. I was in a rush to decide when I made this thread because I though snowblowersdirect had the $670 212c toro 721 single stage on blowout sale for $570 but I realized it was only the 135cc (or so) model.


someone said about snowmaster: "The SnowMaster is trying to be both a single stage, (partially), with it's center rubber strips and a 2 stage EOD eater with the hybrid metal auger... Probably won't clean all the path to pavement. My issues with it are price, no reverse and tiny wheels. Prepare to still do some pushing when you hit the EOD because those wheels will slip. You have to decide what is more important, cleaning all the way to pavement or chomping up the EOD...That's why some of us in the snow belt have two machines."

^ pretty much sums it up.
Another thing is yes, the toro personal pace gear box trans is probably plastic and are those are known to break. I'm pretty easy on my toro gear boxes though and am getting almost 3 years out of one no problem and I bought the mower used. The snowmaster trans is probably like $150 or more even on ebay. 130-9642 is the trans part I can't even find anything online, toro probably wants like $250 for it, a third of the cost of the machine!. The mower trans can be had on ebay for like $30 shipped new sometimes. It's like why get the snowmaster and risk the trans breaking, with any other similarly powered dual stage, you can basically part out the auger etc on ebay if the trans breaks and go and find another $250 used machine on craiglist and break even or even make profit after parting out the old one. Instead of spending a third of the cost of a new snowmaster for another plastic gear box plus half of a day installing the new trans is the same time it takes to take pics and make listings for parting out a used dual stage with broken gear box (if the metal ones even break as often).

I think toro claims snowmaster's 'better cleaning to the pavement compared to similar dual stages' only because it has that spring loaded pivoting scraper that forces its way tight to the surface unlike most other scrapers. The same pivoting scraper is on the single stage toros 721.


The snomaster auger isn't even serrated. Serrated will chomp up icy hard stuff better but if you hit a little edge on something sticking out, serrated is more likely to break a shear pin key (hopefully just that breaks and not the auger gear box). you might be able to grind out some notches in a non serrated metal auger though.


Bottom line is it's not a paddle type single stage that constantly contacts the surface for cleanest results possible. Probably 80% of snow I can use a 721 212cc single stage in but the EOD stuff would be nice to have a dual stage for but can just tough it out with the single stage. You can get a new $500 212cc 721 single stage toro and then a used $250ish dual stage and spend as much as the lower end 212cc snowmaster and have a back up and a blower for larger storms. That's what I'm likely doing. You can't even put an imperller kit on a snowmaster, I don't think, so although it has faster auger RPM than all dual stages, the impeller stage of a dual stage plus impeller kit will probably have it shooting farther anyway. I see no advantage of a snowmaster over a regular dual stage except weight if you're using truck ramps and that pivoting scraper.



What would be slick is a regular dual stage metal auger and then behind that a regular rubber single stage, would need two chutes or at least route both into the same chute and would possibly need a dual shaft motor or at least a series of pulley and belt on a strong motor, and it would be bulky but it would give the best result.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
edit: I found the timemaster (lawnmower) new transmission for about $90 shipped on ebay. It is larger than the trans in the smaller 22" toro mowers which I said I have seen go for around $30 shipped new, sometimes more, and usually less if used but good condition. So I think this same size trans is in the snowmaster and eventually you might see them go for $90 new on ebay but for now, I can't even find the snowmaster trans part other than straight from toro so you're lookin at probably $160ish shipped for a new trans. I'll still wait for some real reviews of snowmaster but looks like I'm getting a 721 212cc single stage and a used $250ish dual stage.







The funny thing is that the products they had that were excellent like the lawn boy 21" commercial units, the toro superbagger, and the toro 22156 commercial units have all been dropped for inferior products. Finally, while the quality of their products is decreasing, their prices are rising rapidly. Something will have to give soon.

agreed. They are making toys now under the 'Master' line. I bet the snowmaster is a flop and those who stand buy it are in denial to look like they don't make bad purchase decisions. You made a smart move I think with that powermax dual stage and the 721. I would get the extended life paddles on ebay. The extended life paddles last twice as long according to toro but they cost only like $9 more for the set on ebay.
 

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"I bet the snowmaster is a flop and those who stand buy it are in denial to look like they don't make bad purchase decisions."

I guarantee I wont be one of those types because they irk me to no end too. Select BMW and FoMoCo Powerstroke owners come to mind.

If/when the snow comes I'll be here posting a very good video of it operating so as to help people form their own opinions.

no fluff, bs or denial
 

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I've heard from day one that the timecutter is underpowered and those that use one should know that for some it is and for others it's just fine
as for the snowmaster ( and any other snowblower you haven't used ) how do you know it is bad
 

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Really? I have seen nothing but good reviews of it.. Links?

I was having the same debate as you and opted to go with a dual stage Toro Powermax HD and the single stage toro 721. There have been quite a few negative reviews of the snowmaster from consumer reports and other websites. From initial reports, the snowmaster appears to be suffering a similar fate to the timemaster. The largest complaints seem to be a jumpy personal pace transmission that pushes the unit over top of the snow, an inability to handle wet and heavy snow, and an auger that seems to spin too fast resulting in it just hitting the snow rather than moving it. Toro's intentions are good but their new products are simply not working out well. The funny thing is that the products they had that were excellent like the lawn boy 21" commercial units, the toro superbagger, and the toro 22156 commercial units have all been dropped for inferior products. Finally, while the quality of their products is decreasing, their prices are rising rapidly. Something will have to give soon.
 

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Me too. I will do a direct comparo to my mint Honda HS621. The best single stage out there.. If it come anywhere near the Honda, its a win.


"I bet the snowmaster is a flop and those who stand buy it are in denial to look like they don't make bad purchase decisions."

I guarantee I wont be one of those types because they irk me to no end too. Select BMW and FoMoCo Powerstroke owners come to mind.

If/when the snow comes I'll be here posting a very good video of it operating so as to help people form their own opinions.

no fluff, bs or denial
 

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Really? I have seen nothing but good reviews of it.. Links?
Here are a few:
Toro 36003 Gas Single Stage Snow Blowers Reviews & Ratings @ Snow Blowers Direct.com

Toro 36002 Gas Single Stage Snow Blowers Reviews & Ratings @ Snow Blowers Direct.com

Toro SnowMaster 724 QXE 24 in. Gas Snow Blower-36002 - The Home Depot
(Read the lowest rated ones)

Consumer reports also did not have a lot of good to say about the snowmaster but you can only access the review if you subscribe.
 

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I've been following these threads (as an unregistered lurker) since I started shopping for a replacement snowblower this summer, and since this is the most recent thread I guess this is as good of a place as any to post.

My Location: Maple Grove, MN (northern Minneapolis suburb)
Typical snowfall: 1-6" per storm, with occasional heavier snowfalls

2003 - 2012 snowblower: Toro CCR3650 -- This was retired because it was my last 2-cycle engine, and got sick of smelling like 2-cycle exhaust after clearing the driveway. I didn't mind strong-arming this single stage blower around because it was so light -- my only complaint is that I'd have to re-start it a dozen times clearing the end of the driveway after heavier storms because it would grab onto chunks in the pile and stall out trying to hurl them through the chute.

2012 - 2015 snowblower: Husqvarna ST-121e -- After being really happy with my Husqvarna lawn tractor, I took another chance with the brand since this unit had a larger displacement engine than the Toro 4-cycles at the time, and LED lights to boot! I ended up disappointed in the chute control that froze up constantly, its limited 180degree rotation (more like 165 in reality), and constant carb issues that were a pain from the start of finding the right Torx driver to get the ridiculous shroud assembly apart.

New for 2015 snowblower: Toro Snowmaster 824QXE

My expectations going in: I've never felt the need to have a 2-stage unit. My key objective is to get the driveway cleared quickly, and for the snowfall we typically see I can clear the entire driveway up to our 3 car garage and be back inside before my neighbor gets half his driveway done with his Craftsman 2-stage. What sold me on the Snowmaster was the rated speed and no-fuss turns of the personal pace transmission coupled with the Auto-Lok differential.

It's tough to review the Snowmaster because I've only had it out for 2 snowfalls so far this season. One snowfall was 1" of heavy slop, and the other was 3" of average snow. While the 3" clearing gave me a better feel for the handling overall, I still don't know how this blower is going to handle heavier end-of-driveway piles. (I have no reason to suspect it won't do well, but there simply hasn't been enough snow to comment on this aspect)

My initial impressions:

* The transmission is more natural than I thought it was going to be. Reading the review about the "bucking bronco" I know a little where that is coming from. One of the first things I did was adjust the skid shoes down so the scraper would be in constant direct contact with the ground. My driveway is smooth asphalt, and the way Toro designed the scraper it will be ridiculously easy to replace when/if it wears down. When I was playing around with the Snowmaster after it was delivered in a 65 degree November heatwave, I found myself pushing down on the handle to prevent the scraper/shoes from grinding on the hot pavement too much -- and because of the balance over the wheels the front end of the blower pops right up. In actual use, I haven't had it pop up on me at all. After years of tipping single stage units forward slightly to have the auger engage and pull them forward, it seems like I instinctively pull up on the drive handle a bit to keep the front-end down.

* It's just as fast as any other single stage I've owned. The 3" snow clearing was probably the best test of what we typically get around here. Enough snow that you can't just use a pusher shovel to clear the driveway, but not enough to really feel justified in pulling out a snowblower. It was really easy to do row after row walking up and down the driveway keeping things moving in the direction of the wind.

* Going up the driveway is way easier. I don't have a huge hill to climb, but pushing my former single stage units up the driveway was my least favorite part of clearing the driveway. The most noticeable difference is it keeps tracking straight instead of wanting to wander like auger propelled single stages do, and it doesn't feel like you're pushing something uphill (well, because.. you're not).

* It throws the snow really far. This is the first unit I've owned that even with a light 3" of snow can shoot a plume of snow to the yard clear across the widest part of the driveway where it meets the 3 car garage. I will say I move at a pretty good clip when I'm clearing the driveway, so keeping enough snow on the auger wasn't a problem. Without an impeller, snow throwing distance all comes down to how much you can load into the auger -- if you're not planning to move fast enough to keep a good amount of snow moving through the bucket, this probably isn't the right unit for you. For me, this this is awesome.
Even in the first time out clearing 1" of slush, I cleared part of the road that the snowplow missed -- the Snowmaster was spitting out a stream that was more water than slush and still getting it 4-5 feet into the yard.

* This looks really easy to maintain. I've already completed the first oil change on the unit. It's nice to see that someone actually designed this unit so that basic maintenance tasks are as easy as they can possibly be.

I don't have video of the unit in use, unfortunately. I expect as we get later into snow season some more enterprising folks will get some videos up on Youtube.
 

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Thank you for your review of your new Snowmaster SpaethCo. It's especially valuable given your experience with other machines. Like you said, somebody else will come along with a video of one being used.
 

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Here are a few:
Toro 36003 Gas Single Stage Snow Blowers Reviews & Ratings @ Snow Blowers Direct.com

Toro 36002 Gas Single Stage Snow Blowers Reviews & Ratings @ Snow Blowers Direct.com

Toro SnowMaster 724 QXE 24 in. Gas Snow Blower-36002 - The Home Depot
(Read the lowest rated ones)

Consumer reports also did not have a lot of good to say about the snowmaster but you can only access the review if you subscribe.

Did you actually READ those negative reviews? They make no sense. You can adjust the heights of the shows to scrape all the way to the ground on one, the other is a 73 year man that obviously has no clue and the other is one bad review of of 11 excellent reviews. Whats that tell you? Another person who has not a clue. The auger speed on a single stage is MUCH faster then a 2 stage.. Wow. This guy should not be operating a blower.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
I read the reviews, So many people gave it a positive without even using it in snow yet, and some only did a couple inches of snow thus far.
One mentioned setting the auger tight to the driveway and says it cleans to the pavement!? I thought that was a big no no with a metal auger but it's his driveway.

Bottom line is I really doubt it can clear to the pavement like a single stage or tackle heavy icy stuff like a dual stage. Maybe if it's real fluffy it will clear to pavement and basically vacuum up the fluff, but overall, of course a rubber paddle constantly contacting the pavement should clear it better.


You'll probably never need to push the personal pace all the way in and go that fast, that's probably why some people are saying it bucks and pops over what they're trying to clear, but I could be wrong, maybe it's the high speed of the auger and the light weight housing that makes it pop around.

Parts are pretty easy to find for the machine and pretty cheap as with most Toros, so that's a plus.


It shoots snow far but you can put a $25 impeller kit on a new $450ish dual stage with same size engine, and I'd put my money on the real dual stage for tougher snow removal. I'm sure we'll see some vids eventually of it compared to a dual stage in EOD and heavy snow.



I woulda waited right until big snow was coming to buy the snowmaster, and had time to return it if it didn't perform better than a regular dual stage you can easily get a nice used one off craiglist for $300 or a high end mint new one for like $500 or for $50 more you coulda gotten the powermax dual stage toro with the joystick and headlight.
 

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One mentioned setting the auger tight to the driveway and says it cleans to the pavement!? I thought that was a big no no with a metal auger but it's his driveway.
It doesn't work like that? Even if you took the skid shoes completely off, the bucket would rest on the poly scraper bar first, then you'd dig the edges of the bucket into the pavement for a while until you ground off 1/2" of metal, then you'd maybe start to make contact with the rubber edge in the center section of the auger, then after you ground another 1/2" of that material away you'd get to the metal auger itself.

All you're really controlling with the skid shoes is how much pressure the poly scraper bar will apply to the surface you're sliding it across. No part of the auger (even the rubber edge in the center) is going to contact the ground on a flat surface.

Bottom line is I really doubt it can clear to the pavement like a single stage or tackle heavy icy stuff like a dual stage. Maybe if it's real fluffy it will clear to pavement and basically vacuum up the fluff, but overall, of course a rubber paddle constantly contacting the pavement should clear it better.
It's not really a vacuum effect -- I believe Toro's claims that it clears to the pavement better than other units is because it uses a poly scraper bar instead of metal, so it can better contour to the surface it's scraping. There's a pretty extensive picture review of the unit here:

2015 Toro SnowMaster 724 QXE, 824 QXE Picture Review - MovingSnow.com
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
^ sorry, I misspoke. I thought you meant the auger, not the scraper bar when you said: One of the first things I did was adjust the skid shoes down so the scraper would be in constant direct contact with the ground. My driveway is smooth asphalt, and the way Toro designed the scraper it will be ridiculously easy to replace when/if it wears down.



Maybe toro claims it 'clears better to the pavement than traditional dual stages because like you said, the scraper bar, but I said in another thread already maybe they claim this because the scraper is spring loaded and constantly pressing into the pavement (same with toro 721 and possibly their older 621 single stages), it's possibly a patent they have.


Worst case scenario if anyone has regrets about the snowmaster and you're out of the return time window, you can part it out on ebay and you'll probably make 1.5X back. Then I would get a 212cc single stage toro 721 (basic model is $500 new shipped no tax online) and then for around $250 you can pick up a nice used dual stage off craigslist. Use the single stage for all the common smaller storms, it will get down to the pavement better than a dual stage or snowmaster, and then use the dual stage for the end of driveway wall or for the big icy/wet storms that the metal auger of a dual stage grinds through better than the single stage rubber paddles. Get an impeller kit for the dual stage and the impeller kit will prevent clogged chute and will throw the snow much farther.



The timemaster mower is very overpriced too I can clearly say that. For $370 you can get a 190cc personal pace model 20333 mower with all the same specs basically as the timemaster. 20333 has blade stop also so the engine stays running while you empty the bag, etc, it's all basically the same machine except the timemaster has two spindles and a blade belt system instead of one blade right on the crankshaft like the 20333 (which means more power to the blade for the 20333 because none is lost through a system of belts and pulleys). And there's a bit more metal needed to make the 30" deck and a slightly bigger transmission (but sells for only about $15 more so obviously not the reason of such a large price difference), so $370 for a 20333 22" vs $999 for the timemaster 30" is obviously way overpriced.
 
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