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I think 50-75 lbs heavier for the HD versions so guessing the sheet metal is heavier gauge in bucket/body.

Wheels are 15 x 5 wheels vs 13 x 4 for non HD. I expect heavier gauge gear housing.

Apart from the extra ease of use features like steering, hand warmers and lights, is there anything else that you know of that's different in terms of build quality between the HD's and non HD Power Max models?
 

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I think that the HD is worth it as the steering alone over the years of owning a new blower is a small price to pay a couple hundred $$ over 15 years is a flat of beer each year. And if your lucky you do a neighbours walk and get several boxes a year you money ahead.
 

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The differences you outline in your post are significant. When looking at these machines in person next to an Ariens there seems to be a considerable difference in construction quality. A lot of plastics/polymers used on Toro's Mexico built machines. That being said I do like the balance of their machines though Ariens modified unit balance last year. The Toro Quick Stik chute control is second to none in terms of ease of use for a mechanically controlled chute. Many users on this forum are big fans of Toro and use them in significant storms and praise their performance and engineering. If you haven't done so already Paul of movingsnow.com has a good pictorial review of A Toro 2 stage.
 

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The HD line also has a taller bucket with bigger gear case so it can handle larger, wetter snow better. Both are good setups. The HD is nice for bigger snow storms or if you have a larger area to do. The non HD is easier to store and use for a smaller person or for someone with less snow to move.
 
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