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Hey all.

I have been reading a lot of reviews, posts, etc. and have narrowed it down to a Toro HD...but which one I can't decide. I was hoping you all might be able to give me some thoughts.

I had initially looked at the Ariens, Cub, and Toro. I cut the Cub out pretty quick with the 3 stage, shear pins, and some other things. I was then looking at the Ariens. I currently have a Compact 24 from ~ 2009 and just not happy with how it performs. I tend to fight it a lot which gets really old really fast, and it feels a little..."loose". Some of this could probably be fixed with some extra maintenance, but it was a little off putting since it was that way since i bought it. I was looking at the Ariens Deluxe 28 SHO but dont like where the chute adjustment is. If my wife would ever have to use it that would make it really hard for her to turn as she is short. That pushed me toward the Platinum 24 as an option. I was also looking at Toro. We have a Toro lawn mower and know someone who works at Toro so we have always been a little biased. I saw some non-HD versions and kind of liked what i saw but I liked the extras from the HD and better engines. The balance felt great and didnt feel like I had to manhandle it like it do my current blower.

So here I am, determined to get a Toro Power Max HD. But I cant decide which one. In reality I probably only need the HD 826 (if even that). My driveway is 3 car garage wide all the way down, maybe ~50' long ~26' wide and has a decent incline. There isn't a ton of space between my driveway and my neighbors so i usually do a few passes between driveways then blow across to the other side. I live in the southern suburbs of MN, approx snowfall around 50 inches. I'm not a huge fan of spending all day blowing snow so the faster I can get done the better. The end of the driveway can get pretty deep because of the way culs-de-sac and wide street I live on it seems to accumulate quite a bit. Because of the width of the street i tend to do one pass along the curb as the plow doesnt get very close. The easier the machine the better as my wife is pretty small and may need to use it if im traveling.

I can afford any of them, but don't want to go too crazy if it wont really give me many gains. I hear the 1028 is a monster and I don't want to have to buy a new machine again for years. I am a little nervous if i buy the HD 826 and it struggles ill be craving the 1028 in a few years and kicking myself for not going big from the start. But without first hand knowledge it is making the decision really difficult. I could split the difference and go for the 928 (And get hand warmers).

Anyone have any thoughts based on my situation? Any input would help.

HD 826 - 1300
HD 928 - 1500
HD 1028 - 1800

Thanks!
 

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Go Middle of the road. That's what I did.
I've only used it once, but liked it.
First blower for me.
 

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Go Middle of the road. That's what I did.
I've only used it once, but liked it.
First blower for me.
I would also go that way if you want hand warmers, although in size they are all just as wide for storage. But I love HP so myself I would go 1028 and skip the Hand warmers.
 

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Get the 1028 just in case we ever get another Halloween style blizzard.:icon_whistling::icon_whistling: ALOHA from the paradise city.:smiley-rpg027::smiley-rpg027::smiley-rpg027::smiley-rpg027::smiley-rpg027:
 

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Another new Toro owner here...thought I respond to (kruz) in this thread with a comment or two (or three) on my new HD826, for others considering purchase of this particular unit versus the larger 928 or 1028.

Given your average snowfall of only 50 inches, I feel you really need not worry about having to buy the 1028. I live in an area that easily exceeds twice that amount of snow on average, and have little doubt the HD 826 can handle it after my third use this year.

Twice the snow depth exceeded the height of the bucket. Once was against a drifted snow pile that sat for a full day 4+ feet high and about 20 ft long alongside my house, and another time snow on a sidewalk up to the top of the bucket deep, mixed with heavier slushy spray from the plow on a busy main street which sees continuous plow traffic throughout the day. The HD826 Toro had no trouble handling either situation.

If there is any reason you need to consider the smaller machine versus a larger unit due to price or size considerations for example...this machine is made for you and a great choice. Unless maximum power is the chief requirement for your purchase, the 826 is a fine and worthy alternative to consider. The 26" size is ideal as I see it, and the perfect compromise between a 24" and a 28" or larger unit.

In my case, a physical disability made it necessary for me to consider a smaller, more easy to maneuver machine from the start. Having previously owned a powerful 10HP Simplicity unit about 15 years ago, I was a bit leery about whether the 8 series ToroHD would meet my needs or be a huge downgrade in performance. Well, it does meet the needs, and it isn't a big downgrade.

The Toro 826 is a capable machine your wife will enjoy using. It's very easy to maneuver since it's so well balanced. Compared to my previous heavy, larger 30" Simplicity machine, this unit is a relative lightweight, but feels equally rock solid. The performance difference is almost negligible....and the Toro simply does not clog. I'm convinced the Toro ACS design works as advertised, offsetting the need for larger displacement engines. The 26" bucket size works very well with the 252cc engine.

The 928 I believe is being discontinued, or perhaps not as readily available. If you need a little more power and size, it would seem a great choice for only $200 more with hand warmers. I think the 1028 is a super machine, but would be hard pressed to pay $500 over the 826 unless it was absolutely necessary and only if the 826 wasn't as capable as it is.
 

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I also chose the HD 826 for many of the same reasons. My 180 ft driveway slops almost for the entire length. The trigger steering and Shute control is another great feature.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks everyone for your input.

Lakeeffect, thanks for the great write up. It helped a lot to hear from someone who has the HD 826 and has used it to its full capability. I likely wont see many snows that are over the bucket other than cutting down banks or drifts. The areas I was most worried about was the end of the driveway plow cleanup (and by the mailbox). With my current machine (Ariens compact 24) it struggles in that area a lot. My wife has used the current snowblower once in the last few years (I was ill) and she couldn't clear the end of the driveway. It took too much man handling and fighting so I ended up out there to get the end done. My goal is the new machine wont have that problem.

Eafoxjr, it sounds like we have similar driveways so its good to hear the HD 826 is working well.

It is really helpful to hear from people actually using the machines and hearing that they perform well. It doesn't look like I can really go wrong, the HD 826 seems like it might be a good fit, maybe up to the 928 for the hand warmers.

If anyone else has any thoughts or experiences I would appreciate them!

Thanks again everyone.
 

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kruz......I just happened to be checking this thread the same time you've responded to my post. Keep in mind each of the HD machines you've mentioned comprise the best spec'd units in the Toro lineup. I can't imagine for homeowner use, that any of these would in any way be less than adequate or even ideal, for average sized driveways and snow conditions. That made me feel very confident in going with the HD unit even in it's smallest configuration.

I mistakenly thought it was the 928 which was discontinued, but it appears it was actually the 1128 model as another poster (Hanky) stated. So, given that the 1028 now becomes Toro's top spec'd machine, they must feel confident (and sales must indicate), that it's not necessary for them to continue to offer it.

To Powershift93: It is interesting that the 1128 has been dropped, because it would seem to make more sense and offer a broader range if the product line went from 826 to 1028 to 1132 instead of 826/928/1028. I wonder if the fact the 1128 used the Briggs engine that factored into that decision. Perhaps they seek to maintain greater uniformity across the brand now that they are using the Locin engines?
 

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I originally set out to buy the 826 this year
dont really need the extra 2 inches or heated grips

but after I got there looking at them I decided to spend the extra 200
and got the 928
Once I hd them side by side for the 200 bux
I got more power wider bucket (altho according to toro site they can move same snow / hour.)
heated grips and a bigger fuel tank.
Not to mention it looks meaner......

but realistically the 826 and 928 have pretty much the same snow
moving capabilities.
 

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I was given a 3 year old 2013 Powermax 826 model 37772 recently - spend the summer removing the rust, greasing, painting, etc.
I have 2 piece of advice for you in what to look for in a snow blower (any manufacturer).


1). Be sure it comes with grease zerks - or have it added - it's a pain having to remove the impellor/auger annually in order to remove the rust and grease everything.


2). paid extra and get the LED light feature (stator). It's worth the expense. You don't want the snow freezing overnight making it impossible to remove in the morning. Lights will help.
 
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