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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Just sold my Ariens 8526LE today and I'm looking to downsize
Deciding between these two machines Toro 721 and Honda HS720

It is to my understanding that these are both relatively new models

before anything, can anyone comment whether the electric starter is necessary for these machines? I had electric start on my Ariens but never used it, the Tecumseh snow king engine is awesome! is it worth paying $100-$150 extra for the peace of mind in case it doesn't start on a cold day?

Can anyone comment how these machines would do on snow banks that are left by city snow plows at the end of the driveway?

if I'm going with the 721, I'll be going with the QZE model, if the HS720, I'll probably go with the HS720C model

Pros of the 721
Higher CC
Toro Patented augers
Cheaper price

Cons of the 721
Chinese engine
Plastic Chute

Pros of the HS720
Honda GS engine
remote controlled chute angle
Metal Chute

Cons of HS720
More $$
some people complain about the chute control being stiff
less CC

Any help or feedback would be greatly appreciated. I'm not sure if I'll miss the power and throwing distance I've had with my Ariens though. These single stage machines are pretty pricey considering a Toro 724OE is in the same price range (I might go with this model if I want a 2 stage, but the B&S engine is now made in China)
 

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if you plan on the EOD stuff with either of them. FORGET ABOUT IT. they can not take the abuse. better off getting the two stage for the job. ALOHA to the forms..:cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool:
 

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before anything, can anyone comment whether the electric starter is necessary for these machines?
For a single-stage Honda, electric start is great if you have a disability/can't easily pull the rope. Otherwise, the engine starts up 1-2 easy pulls. Many people who buy the e.start version never use it, as it more effort to wrangle an extension cord that it is to pull the rope.

(I might go with this model if I want a 2 stage, but the B&S engine is now made in China)
The Honda HS720, including casting and machining of the engine, is manufactured in Swepsonville, North Carolina.
 

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I would add, that if a pull start is a concern, go to the dealership explain your concern, and ask to try pull starting with the engine off. I have found that Hondas are the easiest to pull, but I am also not concerned with that.

I would also throw out there, if mobility is a concern, then you may also consider a self propelled machine. As maneuvering an un propelled unit may not be difficult in the showroom, there is also no resistance due to snow and ice.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
pulling the rope was never an issue, my Ariens started in the first/second pull every single time. I was wondering if electric start is a good 'insurance' in the case the machine acts up on a cold day

I believe both single stage units I looked at are somewhat self propelled with the paddles. I'm more concerned with which machine does a better job and is more reliable.

Can anyone comment on the Chinese engine in the Toro 721 or the Chinese briggs engine in the 724OE?
 
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