Honda Snowblower Hs621a

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Satisfied ... but probably wouldn't buy another one ...

Dec 27, 2004
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Easy starting; powerful engine; the 3 height settings for the tracks

Cons:Fragile parts; expensive parts;

The Bottom Line: A powerful, good performer ... But 'consumable parts' are fragile, expensive, and only available through your dealer ...


I bought my 928TA two years ago after much research and deliberation ... My previous machine was a 5HP MTD machine (you know, the ones that they sell under about 5 different name brands) and I had been disappointed at the overall poor quality of the machine ... I had replaced nearly every internal transmission/clutch part at least once over the course of the 10+ years that I owned it ... So I was looking for something that I could buy and, aside from oil changes and the occasional lubrication, not have to touch for a decade ...

I settled on the Honda (it was a toss-up between the Honda and the Toro) because of its hydrostatic transmission ... I had decided that I needed a machine with tracks since i have a half-asphalt/half-gravel driveway and needed the ability to raise the augur easily to avoid sucking in all of the gravel as i moved from the asphalt part to the gravel part ...

So far, I am quite satisfied at the power and smoothness of the engine ... It starts right up (no need for electric start) and, since you can vary the speed of the drive very finely, you can adjust the speed to just apply the right amount of load on the engine without straining it too badly ... My biggest snowstorm so far was 20" and it performed flawlessly ... no straining, even at the end of the driveway ... I just let it creep slowly and chew through the heavy icy compacted crud that the snow plow left behind ... I have never had the problem one reviewer mentioned about it climbing up over the snow ... It always seems to keep the nose down ... It throws the snow cleanly and quite a distance ... no "snow dribble" (where half the snow it throws only goes about 4 feet like on my old MTD)

The tracks behave better than I had hoped ... it allows me to keep the augur about 1/2" to 1" above the gravel and grass ... I can easily drop it back down to asphalt-mode with the use of the foot pedal ... If you're looking to carve out pathways on your lawn, this is the machine for you ...

Now, onto the things that bother the hell out of me:

* I bust shear pins left and right ... Perhaps its the teeth on the augur or the shape of the housing, but if I don't bust at least one pin per snow storm (my personal best is 3 busted during one storm), I consider myself lucky ... Having said that, they're really easy to install (the ones for the augur, at least) ... You don't need to knock out the pin remnant with a hammer and center punch like you do on the MTD machines ... you only need one 10mm open end wrench ... I've resorted to carrying the wrench in my pocket when I'm out there along with a handful of new pins ...

* Shear pins are expensive ... They're over $1 each for the augur pins, and $6 for the pin on the blower (i've broken them all at least a few times each) and only available from your dealer .. The newer serial numbers require augur pins that are $3 each ...

* The skid shoes are quite flimsy ... This is season #3 and I'm sure I'll have to replace them by the end ... They're $40 for the pair (each one is a piece of angled steel plate, nothing fancy) or I may have to upgrade to the commercial shoes for over $100 ...

* The steel tubing that they used to make the handle assembly is only 3/4" and has a joint in the middle ... Every time I have to muscle the machine around, (either lifting the front end or turning it) it flexes and makes me feel like it's about ready to buckle under the force ...

* Sometimes, it feels like the machine has a mind of its own ... pulling hard to the left or right ... I've adjusted the skid shoes a bunch of times and have minimized the problem, but it's still not a one-handed operation to keep this sucker on a straight line ... It's worst on the asphalt section of my driveay; not too bad on the gravel ...

* The center of gravity is WAY too far to the front ... I weigh 160 pounds and I usually end up lifting myself off the ground when I try to push down on the handle to raise the front end

* You can't move it when the engine isn't running ... Even after "disengaging" the drive, (there's a lever down at the bottom that you have to hunt for) there's a TON of resistance to get it to budge ... This is probably partially due to the tracks and partially due to the hydrostatic transmission ..

Really, the biggest thing that peeves me is the cost of the 'consumable parts' ... Skid shoes, shear pins, shave plates ... They're all parts that everyone has to replace from time to time ... These should be extremely cheap and readily available ... When I have to plunk down $20 each time I pass by my dealer to buy a handful of new shear pins that I know were made in China for less than $1, that gets me bothered ... The day I need to do a more major repair will probably be the day I unload this machine (the cost for some of the internal parts are off-the-wall expensive)

The quality of the job after I'm finished is quite good, so I can't fault the machine's performance ... I just expected to be getting a Dodge Ram for a snowblower, not a BMW 3-series ...


Recommend this product? No

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