Toro Powerlite 38172 Snow Blower (MODEL38172) Reviews

Toro Powerlite 38172 Snow Blower (MODEL38172)

2 consumer reviews
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Incredible Little Workhorse!

Dec 27, 2008 (Updated Jan 1, 2009)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Light, powerful, easy start, better than expected, with no problems at all.

Cons:Would be nice if remote chute adjustment, but not really a problem.

The Bottom Line: You simply can't beat how the Powerlite performs for consumer/residential use.  Even 8" or 10" of snow, and it will chew it up, and throw it, without complaint.


I live in the Great NW.  This is the second winter for my Powerlite.  Last year was a heavy snowfall year, and where I live, we just set a record snowfall for December: more than 4 feet and it's still coming down at this writing.  This has really put the Powerlite to the test, so I think this review will tell you alot about how it performs in the worst possible conditions.  I have a 2 car driveway, a sidewalk, and a perimeter walkway around the garage.  One day, I had to use it three times.  One time the snow was a little deeper than the intake height.

The Powerlite, with it's 3.25 h.p. power-plant never complained, and threw the snow farther than I thought it would; at least 20 feet or more even when very deep, depending on the discharge chute setting.  It never clogged, never stalled, and threw the snow effectively even with the chute turned to the max., left or right.  It cleans right down to concrete.  The only time it whimpered, was when I used it to try to remove the compact snow berm in front of my driveway from the snowplows.  I just took it a little slower, and it got the job done.

The Powerlite is light in weight and a gas miser.  I have yet to use a gallon of mixed gas, although I'm sure one more use, and I'll be making a trip the gas station, providing I get there.  It's easy to move around, even though not self-propelled as the paddles help pull it into the snow.  The two-stoke is a little noisier than a four-stroke, but that's always the case with two-stoke power equipment.  Turn the key, two pumps of the primer button, choke on, one or two quick pulls of the starter rope, and it fires right up.  They make one with an electric stater, which is not really necessary unless you lack the strength to give the rope a couple quick pulls.  The paddles have wear indicators, and I'm nowhere near reaching the point of having to replace them.

Now, I'm not kidding myself to think this will easily handle a deep, heavy snowfall of 12 or 14 inches.  But tackle the snow before it gets out of hand, and the Powerlite will not disappoint you.  It's a Toro, so it's build for the long-haul, without problems.  One thing: remember when the season is over to drain the gas, and run it until it runs out of gas.  With mixed gas, the oil will slowly separate from the gas, and settle at the bottom of the tank and carb.  Next season when you try to start it, the mixture will be too rich with oil, and will be hard to start.  Actually, even with four-stoke equipment, you should drain the gas and run it dry before putting it away for months.

Well, that's it for now.  It snowed another 8" last night and is still snowing, so I'm off to use the Powerlite!

Update: 01/01/09 A.M.

First, I wanted to say that I hadn't used a gallon of gas yet "this year".  I finally used up a gallon as the snowfall for December '08 finished out at a final record of more 60" (five feet), and I also did the neighbor's driveway.

The last major snowfall was 10" and wet and heavy.  The Powerlite did it's job removing the snow very nicely, and threw it better than 15 feet, which is quite far for that kind of deep snow.  I decided to just take 3/4 cuts, though, so it wouldn't have to work so hard.  But, it cleaned right down to the concrete.

It's Jan. 1, and snowing again.  I will wait and give you an update when the snow season finishes, whenever that might be!  Happy New Year!


Recommend this product? Yes

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