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Good Snow Blower, less limitations with heavy wet snow than originally thought.
Dec 12, 2005 (Updated Jan 3, 2006)
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:Ease of use, lightweight, easily moves light powdery and even wet snow, two-year warranty.
Cons:Can move some wet snow and slush. Motor struggles the wetter the snow gets.
The Bottom Line: Easily moves light powdery and some wet snow. Must have access to three-prong electrical plug. Lightweight, easy to use. Had to return first unit, but second OK. Two year warranty!
Update as of January 3, 2006:
Recommend this product?
In my original review I stated that based upon opinions from my parents, that this blower does not handle wet snow very well. This morning I had the opportunity to snowblow my deck, which had about 1 1/2 inches of slush, covered with about 4 inches of wet snow. I did not look forward to pushing and lifting this heavy mess, so I tried this handy-dandy Electric Power Shovel. Though the motor struggled, with good strong pushes by me, this little unit blew the snow pretty far (far enough to my liking). As I got into deeper snow, it struggled more, and I did not want to attempt it, because I was afraid to burn out the motor. Using this unit, I was able to clear my deck much more quickly, with less back ache. Like I stated in my original review, you still need to use a shovel for the corners, and in the real deep heavy snow. I suspect also that if I continue to push the motor, that it will not hold up during the winter, but you never know. I was quite surprised. Though I asked my wife if she wanted to try it, she told me that I was doing such a great job, she did not want to interrupt my enjoyment. Don't you agree that it was so kind and loving of her to allow me to get my exercise in this manner.
Original review below. Not changed when above update added.
I bought the Toro Power Shovel Plus after reading the reviews of the Toro Power Shovel, both the bad and the good. Like I have done in past reviews, allow me to outline my needs. I live in an area of Connecticut (Northeastern US) where we receive on average a moderate amount of snow. I own a Cub Cadet 8 horsepower gas powered Snow Blower for my driveway and sidewalk, but I have always shoveled my deck and wraparound porch. My deck is quite large, and it has always taken a lot of effort to keep it clean. I am a bit obsessed in keeping my driveway, sidewalk, and deck cleared of snow.
I had always seen these types of electric snow blowers, but always thought that they werent worth the investment. In the past few years however, I have found that many electric outdoor tools are worthwhile. I have indeed written a good review of a Black and Decker electric trimmer. So to get finally to the review, I decided to buy this Power Shovel. I paid $119.00 on sale at Targets. I got home, plugged it in, hit the switch and nothing happened. I checked the plug, the cord, etc
and YEP, the unit DID NOT WORK, brand new out of the box. So, I returned it, and tried again with the same model. I plugged this one in at the store however, and it at least ran.
I must have been in good spirits, because I still was hopeful. Recognizing that this unit is not anywhere as powerful as my Cub Cadet, during our first storm of the year, where on December 9, 2005, I got 12 inches of snow; I was outside trying out my new snow blower. Understand though that I tried it on about four inches of fluffy powdery snow, on my deck, and to be honest, it had little or no problems. Understand however a few limitations of this machine. This machine only blows the snow to the front of wherever the machine is pointed. You cannot adjust where the snow is blown, except by how you position the blower. If the wind is blowing towards you, DO NOT position the blower to blow snow against the wind. You will almost always lose, and indeed will get a face-full of snow. Also, you cannot adjust the how high or low the blower blows the snow.
Being that you must plug this blower into a 3-prong electrical outlet, you must be within a certain distance of one. I believe you can use a 100 foot 16-gauge or 150 foot 14 gauge (lower the number, the stronger) electrical cord. I used a 100 foot cord, and had no problems. When the snow gets deeper however, or becomes packed, you can hear the blowers motor struggle a bit, but it did continue to work. If the snow is too deep, I suspect it will not work as well or maybe not at all. The blower is light enough at least for an average man (sorry if this seems sexist), to pick the blower up and blow layers of snow, though your arms will eventually get tired. See ladies, this may be a reason why your male or stronger counterpart needs to be outside snow blowing, while you stay inside sipping on your tea or brandy.
Let me give you another story however about the same machine. I had told my senior-citizen parents about this blower, and they had also bought one. I told them however that they could not use it in heavy snow. Well, they tried using it to move very heavy water-laden snow, and were very dismayed that it did not work. I, nor you, should expect it to work in those conditions. It also will not move ice-encrusted snow, which my parents also tried. You cannot expect a $120 machine to do the same work as a $1200 gas operated blower.
When you first open the package, you will see a handle on top of the machine. This handle can be moved up and down the column. The column itself can also be extended for short or tall people. The electrical cord is inserted into an opening in the lower portion of the handle to connect to a loop, before plugging in. This feature helps keep you from unplugging when blowing. The electrical cords get quite stiff in the cold, so this feature helps a lot.
When you bought the blower, it says it is a power broom also. I cannot yet tell you if it works well as a power broom. I am not even sure if I will try it out as a power broom. If I want to clean / sweep something quickly like leaves or dirt, I would probably use a leaf blower instead. If I need to use the broom to scrub something, maybe a stain on my deck, then maybe I will try this machine. It seems that in order to change to the broom head it will require at least a wrench. From a design perspective, they probably could have designed it to more easily to change heads, but I am not yet complaining about this. One thing that is not clear, or maybe was not clear to me, because I did not initially read the instructions (yes, yes, typical male), is that when the machine is resting on the little wheels, it is not in the snow blower position!!! It is upside down. You can see a little sign on top of the machine that indicates the correct snow blower and power broom positions.
What else can I tell you? It seems to work pretty well, and I had initially bought it because the blades inside the machine are made of hard plastic, not metal. I have a trex deck, so I did not want to use metal blades on my deck.
When I left Target with the unit that worked, people were coming up to me asking if I had used one of these in the past, and how did it work. I must say that as long as the snow is not too deep or too heavy, it successfully reduced my back strain considerably, however the limitations that I have noted must be known. I still use a shovel to get ALL of the snow (out of corners, etc
), but I was able to move more than 90% of the snow with this machine. I CALL THAT A SUCCESS!!!!
Comments are welcome and encouraged.
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