Expired Hot Deals

Snowblower/Snowthrower Watch 2017-2018

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  • Sep 5th, 2019 10:39 am
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Deal Fanatic
Dec 12, 2009
5337 posts
2834 upvotes
Toronto
l69norm wrote: The Toro 721 is pretty much the go to machine for any snowfall less than 12”, widely used by commercial snow clearing companies (fits in the back of a truck, one person can lift/ load) ...
The big advantages of single stage machines are speed and maneuverability due to the light weight, performance in small snowfalls. Could be more 30% to 2x or more faster than a two stage
That is a good summary.

Here is my review:
I recently replaced my 18" Toro single stage and 27" 10HP 2 stage Husqvarna with a 21" single stage Cub Cadet.
I think the Toro was better designed and built than the Cub Cadet.
@ 3" of light snow, the CC is not being torqued enough for the engine to increase RPM's
My little Toro threw further with greater control of snow placement. Although the CC does the job, I'll be keeping my eye out for a local deal on a 721 Toro so I can replace the CC. My thoughts are leaning towards the 721 commercial because of the heavier belt and paddles at the loss of remote chute controls.
The Toro handled EOD better than the CC, probably because of tighter paddle to body/chute clearances.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Feb 8, 2014
24610 posts
9975 upvotes
Socially Distanced
l69norm wrote: The Toro 721 is pretty much the go to machine for any snowfall less than 12”, widely used by commercial snow clearing companies (fits in the back of a truck, one person can lift/ load)
Are all Toros superior machines or is the 721 unique? I notice the 528 is lower cost, it is in the same league?
In fact in Rand McNally they wear hats on their feet and hamburgers eat people
Deal Expert
User avatar
Jun 12, 2007
18082 posts
5913 upvotes
London
Quentin5 wrote: Are all Toros superior machines or is the 721 unique? I notice the 528 is lower cost, it is in the same league?
Many Toro machines have excellent performance, but they have produced duds as well

The 721 is the latest evolution of Toro's 21" machine. Every few years, there's an improvement. The latest improvement was the the upgrade to 212cc 7hp Loncin engine from the previous 163cc 6hp loncin. There was also a new commercial version of the 721 with heavy duty paddles and a wider drive belt (721RC)

The 518 is a much smaller machine (18" 98cc 5hp loncin). While the 518 "punches way above it's weight" in performance (20 ft+ throwing distance), it's not in the same class as the 721 (30-25' throwing distance)
Deal Fanatic
Dec 12, 2009
5337 posts
2834 upvotes
Toronto
@l69norm , you seem fairly knowledgeable on the Toro line. I'm tossed between the 721QZE and the 721R-C.
(I'll explain the model codes for those not familiar with Toro)
Q = Quick Shoot = side to side chute control located on the side of the handle
Z = Zip Deflector = easily adjustable and locking up and down chute control located on the chute
E = Electric Starter (also has recoil start)
R = Recoil Start = Manual pull
C = Commercial = heavy duty parts like the paddle and drive belt

For the QZE, I don't need the electric start. The Quick Shoot would be nice because of fine control needed to put snow in limited spaces. I had the Zip Deflector on an prior Toro 18" and it was rock solid - easy and did not drift.

For the R-C I'm OK with the Recoil Start - that might pose a problem for the wife in a couple of years. Having the heavier duty Belt, Paddles etc should extend the life of those components and make maintenance less. I'm not sure how easy it would be to adjust the chute and maintain position (fine control is important to me). Which of these would you suggest and why?
Deal Expert
User avatar
Jun 12, 2007
18082 posts
5913 upvotes
London
I’m no expert on these machines.

The regular paddles should last 4-5+ years in consumer service. Commercial guys can go through 3 sets of regular paddles per season, however they run their machines 8-10 hours per snow fall whereas we might run only 30min .

On the 721 (and 621), there are wear indicators in the paddle (little holes). I checked my buddy’s 621 bought fall 2011 (seven winter seasons) and it’s still well above the wear hole. My other buddy just replaced his paddles on a 621 bought fall 2012 so he got about 5 years on the regular paddles

The Toro extended life paddles are supposed to get 2x the life and there are aftermarket commercial polyurethane paddles from Kage industries that get 4x the life

I’ve only had one occasion when the belt slipped and that was trying to force the machine through a heavy windrow.
Deal Fanatic
Mar 10, 2004
6809 posts
4053 upvotes
Lowes has a single stage gas snowthrower on clearance for $299 (discount of $200 off) in the latest flyer - if you can combine it with their 15% off discount code of FAMILY15 - it's a pretty decent deal:
https://www.lowes.ca/snow-blowers/front ... m=frontier
196cc 21-in Single-Stage Gas Snow Blower

Ideal for removing powdery snow from sidewalks and smaller driveways
Use with flat surfaces
Lightweight design
Specifications:

Type: Single-stage
Clearing Width: 21-in
Intake Height: 12.5-in
Throwing Distance: 26-ft
Chute Rotation: 180°
Pitch Control: Manual
Engine: PowerSmart 196cc 4-cycle
Start Type: Manual recoil
Drive Type: Self-propelled
Fuel Type: Gas
Materials: Plastic, Steel
Listing: EPA
Warranty: 2 Year Limited
Deal Expert
User avatar
Jun 12, 2007
18082 posts
5913 upvotes
London
I think theres a previous thread in hot deals on the same machine. It’s a Lowe’s rebrand of the Powersmart db7005.

lowes-266-hot-frontier-x-196cc-21-singl ... r-2155100/

https://forums.redflagdeals.com/lowes-h ... 2167727/2/

I think the Powersmart 196cc is produced by LCT and is a Chinese clone of the Honda GX200

Other than that, Don’t know much about the rest of this machine

Edit.. added old rfd threads
Newbie
Apr 12, 2008
7 posts
9 upvotes
NinjaOrbs wrote: local Canadian Tire is blowing these guys out for $500 - http://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/certi ... 0184p.html
reviews are not great, also not too plentiful. Does anyone here have personal experience to share?
Unfortunately I purchased this snowblower just before Christmas for $599. I deeply regret not sending a couple hundred more to buy a name brand QUALITY machine. The 1 star reviews were NOT posted yet at that time, but they all sound oh so true compared to my experience. I've never owned a gas lawn mower or any type of snow blower, so I'm not exactly mechanically inclined when it comes to these things (well not for anything). The first time I used it I thought it ran pretty good other than the chute moving by itself due to all the vibration. Since then it seems like it something new each time. I definitely should have taken this back right away, but not having a vehicle equipped to do that made it easy to say that the vibration and chute moving were not a big deal. However it seemed, almost as soon as the 30 days were up things are occuring. The cable (like another review) does not move the chute up & down any longer. The chafing/grinding sound described in another review happens all the time now in the auger area.

All of that being said, this unit is a piece of garbage -- Yes it can blow snow (sometimes). Even in light snow it seems that on the initial start it will not bring the snow up through the chute (guessing the 2nd stage auger inside doesn't always turn)? It is always empty and not full of snow when started. It seems like it is only a matter of time before this thing is unusable. Only thing I can say is that it starts very easily and it may have a good motor.

I don't have experience dealing with Canadian Tire in issues like this but is there any hope for me getting them to take this piece of garbage back? How does it work if needs repair under warranty? Do I take it there and then they send it out for repair?

In conclusion --- DO NOT BUY THIS SNOW BLOWER. Not for $500, $400... Waste of money!

Andrew.
Deal Fanatic
Oct 6, 2007
9710 posts
7408 upvotes
Kootenays
Andrew, try talking to the manager at the Canadian Tire where you purchased it. Bring in a printout of the reviews. If he's smart, he'll accept the return. Nobody wants to sell garbage and it seems like this blower will just self destruct.
Deal Addict
Aug 14, 2004
2010 posts
92 upvotes
GTA - East York
Lowes has the Snow Joe cordless 18-in 40-volt is at regular price $399 but 15%-off saving brings it down to $339, the reviews are good - I am buying it for my wife, it is very light only 32lb and easy to handle, no maintenance like gas units and no cord behind you. Today is the last day of 15% off promotion, I am thinking to place the order.

https://www.lowes.ca/snow-blowers/snow- ... 54386.html
Member
Jul 17, 2010
321 posts
360 upvotes
Honda is currently having -$150 on single stage snowblowers.

$799 (From $949)

Honda Single Stage Snow Blower HS720C

Engine Type GC190 4-stroke; OHC; single cylinder
Engine Manufacturer Honda
Engine Displacement 187 cc (11.4 CID)

Is this a good deal?
Deal Addict
Aug 14, 2004
2010 posts
92 upvotes
GTA - East York
bundy5555 wrote: Honda is currently having -$150 on single stage snowblowers.

$799 (From $949)

Honda Single Stage Snow Blower HS720C

Engine Type GC190 4-stroke; OHC; single cylinder
Engine Manufacturer Honda
Engine Displacement 187 cc (11.4 CID)

Is this a good deal?
This is manual start, if you know someone who is Honda employee, you can get the associate price $658. The HS720CS which is electrical start is currently on $781 (associate price). I was thinking this model. The pro is its quality, could last 20-30 years, the con is (1) gas machine need to maintain every year, (2) much heavier than battery powered ones as I mainly buy a blower for my wife.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Jun 12, 2007
18082 posts
5913 upvotes
London
Don't forget that most Honda dealers charge extra for freight and dealer prep on their snowblowers

Edit.....US Home Depot has started selling Honda machines

https://www.homedepot.com/s/honda%2520snow?NCNI-5

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Honda-HS720 ... /205224243

..edit2 Never mind,,,The US model is not as good as the Canadian model (remote chute) and more expensive. .
Deal Expert
User avatar
Feb 8, 2014
24610 posts
9975 upvotes
Socially Distanced
l69norm wrote: Many Toro machines have excellent performance, but they have produced duds as well

The 721 is the latest evolution of Toro's 21" machine. Every few years, there's an improvement. The latest improvement was the the upgrade to 212cc 7hp Loncin engine from the previous 163cc 6hp loncin. There was also a new commercial version of the 721 with heavy duty paddles and a wider drive belt (721RC)

The 518 is a much smaller machine (18" 98cc 5hp loncin). While the 518 "punches way above it's weight" in performance (20 ft+ throwing distance), it's not in the same class as the 721 (30-25' throwing distance)
Very interesting, thanks. I'd prefer to go for the simplicity of electric (i have a corded Snow Joe now) but would also like heavier duty in the future. That said I assume neither the 721 or 518 are self propelled, how difficult are they to handle for someone with very limited upper body strength?
In fact in Rand McNally they wear hats on their feet and hamburgers eat people
Deal Expert
User avatar
Jun 12, 2007
18082 posts
5913 upvotes
London
Quentin5 wrote: Very interesting, thanks. I'd prefer to go for the simplicity of electric (i have a corded Snow Joe now) but would also like heavier duty in the future. That said I assume neither the 721 or 518 are self propelled, how difficult are they to handle for someone with very limited upper body strength?
Most paddle auger style single stage machines are "self propelled" by design. This applies to most brands, not just Toro. The rubber paddles are meant to touch the ground in order to clear snow right down to bare pavement. This actually drags the machine forward, pulling you ahead. The 721 can pull itself forward so hard while throwing snow that you literally have to jog behind to keep up.

The rubber paddles wear as a byproduct of dragging against the pavement. They wear out after about 5 years of usage and are replaceable (along with the scraper assembly).

In terms of handling, the 721 is the same as a gas powered push mower. The 518 is much lighter and looks almost like a toy

In terms of gas engine maintenance, the big things are simple:
1) Always use ethanol free gas such as Shell 91 Ultra premium
2) Drain the tank by running the machine dry of gas at the end of each season
3) Change the oil one a year

If you want to remain electric, you might want to think about the Ego cordless machine. The machine seems to outperform the Toro 518 and should handle heavier snowfalls. It's expensive, unless you are already part of their ecosystem. The battery packs are interchangeable with their mowers (twin 5AH or twin 7.5AH battery packs).

The cool thing with the Ego is its battery management technology. The two battery packs it uses don’t have to be the same rating or even have the same state of charge. It uses one battery under light load and switches to two batteries under heavy load

Edit ... gas mtce and ego battery comments
Deal Expert
User avatar
Feb 8, 2014
24610 posts
9975 upvotes
Socially Distanced
l69norm wrote: Most paddle auger style single stage machines are "self propelled" by design. This applies to most brands, not just Toro. The rubber paddles are meant to touch the ground in order to clear snow right down to bare pavement. This actually drags the machine forward, pulling you ahead. The 721 can pull itself forward so hard while throwing snow that you literally have to jog behind to keep up.

The rubber paddles wear as a byproduct of dragging against the pavement. They wear out after about 5 years of usage and are replaceable (along with the scraper assembly).

In terms of handling, the 721 is the same as a gas powered push mower. The 518 is much lighter and looks almost like a toy

In terms of gas engine maintenance, the big things are simple:
1) Always use ethanol free gas such as Shell 91 Ultra premium
2) Drain the tank by running the machine dry of gas at the end of each season
3) Change the oil one a year

If you want to remain electric, you might want to think about the Ego cordless machine. The machine seems to outperform the Toro 518 and should handle heavier snowfalls. It's expensive, unless you are already part of their ecosystem. The battery packs are interchangeable with their mowers (twin 5AH or twin 7.5AH battery packs).

The cool thing with the Ego is its battery management technology. The two battery packs it uses don’t have to be the same rating or even have the same state of charge. It uses one battery under light load and switches to two batteries under heavy load

Edit ... gas mtce and ego battery comments
Very interesting, thanks for the info :)
I hope you were exaggerating about jogging to keep up with the snowblower Smiling Face With Open Mouth
I would like electric to avoid the oil changes and tune ups and so forth but having the power to go through plowed snow is a big consideration
In fact in Rand McNally they wear hats on their feet and hamburgers eat people
Sr. Member
User avatar
Mar 8, 2006
505 posts
77 upvotes
Montreal
balla1213 wrote: Unfortunately I purchased this snowblower just before Christmas for $599. I deeply regret not sending a couple hundred more to buy a name brand QUALITY machine. The 1 star reviews were NOT posted yet at that time, but they all sound oh so true compared to my experience. I've never owned a gas lawn mower or any type of snow blower, so I'm not exactly mechanically inclined when it comes to these things (well not for anything). The first time I used it I thought it ran pretty good other than the chute moving by itself due to all the vibration. Since then it seems like it something new each time. I definitely should have taken this back right away, but not having a vehicle equipped to do that made it easy to say that the vibration and chute moving were not a big deal. However it seemed, almost as soon as the 30 days were up things are occuring. The cable (like another review) does not move the chute up & down any longer. The chafing/grinding sound described in another review happens all the time now in the auger area.

All of that being said, this unit is a piece of garbage -- Yes it can blow snow (sometimes). Even in light snow it seems that on the initial start it will not bring the snow up through the chute (guessing the 2nd stage auger inside doesn't always turn)? It is always empty and not full of snow when started. It seems like it is only a matter of time before this thing is unusable. Only thing I can say is that it starts very easily and it may have a good motor.

I don't have experience dealing with Canadian Tire in issues like this but is there any hope for me getting them to take this piece of garbage back? How does it work if needs repair under warranty? Do I take it there and then they send it out for repair?

In conclusion --- DO NOT BUY THIS SNOW BLOWER. Not for $500, $400... Waste of money!

Andrew.
High end stuff from Crappy Tire:

https://youtu.be/2jveo2f8Jeg

BTW, there are a lot of Certified SB's on Kijiji for sale with only one hour use.

For you Five Bucks !!!!
Newbie
Jun 21, 2017
3 posts
5 upvotes
balla1213 wrote:
Unfortunately I purchased this snowblower just before Christmas for $599. I deeply regret not sending a couple hundred more to buy a name brand QUALITY machine. The 1 star reviews were NOT posted yet at that time, but they all sound oh so true compared to my experience. I've never owned a gas lawn mower or any type of snow blower, so I'm not exactly mechanically inclined when it comes to these things (well not for anything). The first time I used it I thought it ran pretty good other than the chute moving by itself due to all the vibration. Since then it seems like it something new each time. I definitely should have taken this back right away, but not having a vehicle equipped to do that made it easy to say that the vibration and chute moving were not a big deal. However it seemed, almost as soon as the 30 days were up things are occuring. The cable (like another review) does not move the chute up & down any longer. The chafing/grinding sound described in another review happens all the time now in the auger area.

All of that being said, this unit is a piece of garbage -- Yes it can blow snow (sometimes). Even in light snow it seems that on the initial start it will not bring the snow up through the chute (guessing the 2nd stage auger inside doesn't always turn)? It is always empty and not full of snow when started. It seems like it is only a matter of time before this thing is unusable. Only thing I can say is that it starts very easily and it may have a good motor.

I don't have experience dealing with Canadian Tire in issues like this but is there any hope for me getting them to take this piece of garbage back? How does it work if needs repair under warranty? Do I take it there and then they send it out for repair?

In conclusion --- DO NOT BUY THIS SNOW BLOWER. Not for $500, $400... Waste of money!

Andrew.
To provide an update (and closure) on this, my local Canadian Tire picked up the blower for me and took it to the company that does their warranty work. Unfortunately that company didn’t service this brand and it took about a week and a half to be taken to the shop that does. Tech looked at it and said among other things it needed a new engine — I don’t remember the mechanical terminology that I was told.

Fortunately the cost of a new engine exceeded the repair cap cost for this model. I was given an RMA form to take back to Canadian tire. I took the form there and was given a full REFUND back on my credit card. I thought it would end up being gift card but was able to get a full refund.

In the end I’m quite happy with how it turned out. This blower is on clearance again at some Canadian tires for $499. Stay away! It is not worth the headache.

Andrew.
Sr. Member
Apr 4, 2017
587 posts
463 upvotes
Given the recent ice/slush storm we had in the GTA, I'm curious as to how well a snowblowers would handle cleaning up the 6-10 inches of slush/ice/pellets and the associated wall of ice that the city snowplow dumps at the end of the driveway?
Any good suggestions? Are there any electric cordless ones that are recommended?

After this storm, I'm giving up and getting a snowblower
Deal Fanatic
Dec 12, 2009
5337 posts
2834 upvotes
Toronto
realtycoon wrote: Given the recent ice/slush storm we had in the GTA,
...
After this storm, I'm giving up and getting a snowblower
This storm was an anomaly. With the volume of ice pellets and being laden down with the subsequent rain. I don't think any snowblower would touch it.
Anybody that tried for anything other than a few minutes likely damaged their snowblower.

I don't know about you, but I spent a good 8 hrs the day after the storm, chopping with an ice scraper, loading it with a shovel onto a snow sled, then piling it up.
Maybe if I'd gone out mid storm, my paddle snow blower might have tackled some of it. Even then it would have been a small window of opportunity in lousy conditions.

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