Pros:Inexpensive, well built, easy to use
Cons:Electric cord can sometimes get in the way
The Bottom Line: If you're on a budget and want a relatively inexpensive snow thrower to clear off a short driveway or sidewalk, Toro's 1800 is a excellent choice.
The electric Toro 1800 Snow Thrower serves as a very nice inexpensive alternative to the gas-powered models available.
Recommend this product?
We were seeking a way to clear snow from our short two-car driveway and we didn't think we could justify the cost of a gas-powered snowblower.
The 1800 has performed admirably through two Michigan winters. Built similarly to its gas-powered bretheren, the 1800 offers an 18" clearing width, which is plenty good for what we consider small-duty work like our driveway or sidewalks.
Putting together and starting the 1800 was fairly easy. The unit is equipped with a cord lock to help the electric cord from getting unplugged. Ergonomically, the unit has an excellent handlebar mechanism that fires up the machine. My wife has remarked on how easy it is to use compared to Toro's Power Shovel.
Toro claims that since the 1800 has no gas motor, it does not require the same maintenance as its gas-powered equivalent. I can't substantiate that, but the 1800 is maintenance free and has no problem starting up in any temperature or condition.
The unit has a lever where the user can easily swivel the direction of the snow being thrown. A cone at the top also allows users to choose the height at which snow is thrown, but in our experience, the cone's direction tends to be more upwards as the snow hitting the cone pushes it up.
The 1800 also has a handle by the motor to make picking up and transporting it easier.
Troy Bilt also offers a model similar to Toro's called the Flurry 1400, which I'll review separately. Though the Troy Bilt version is close to the Toro, the Toro has a wider clearing capacity -- 18 inches compared to the Troy Bilt's 14 inches. The Troy Bilt also doesn't have the level the change the snow throwing direction, so users have to stop the machine and move the nozzle left or right before starting again. The Troy Bilt will, however, appeal to budget-conscious buyers as it retails for more than $100 less than the Toro.
The 1800 does an excellent job with most snowfalls. It's only when snowfall gets toward double-digit inches of snow that it begins to have some problems. The unit does not do well with ice, as its rotors are made of plastic. Heavy, wet snow will also sometimes "stick" to the inside of the unit, which can easily be cleared out and isn't a major problem.
Frankly, the only thing that presents much of an issue is the electric cord. The cord can get in the way and be a bit of a pain, but it is the price you're going to pay for a relatively inexpensive snow thrower.