Abby's Guide to Outdoor Power Equipment (Lawn Mowers, Snow Blowers, Chain Saws and more)
Username Password
Discussions Reviews More Guides
Abby’s Guide > Outdoor Power Equipment (Lawn Mowers, Snow Blowers, Chain Saws and more) > Discussions > What specific aspects of the Toro SS makes it better than the competition?

Outdoor Power Equipment (Lawn Mowers, Snow Blowers, Chain Saws and more) Discussions

Search For:
slinger


Joined: Sep 22, 2010
Points: 151

What specific aspects of the Toro SS makes it better than the competition?
Original Message   Oct 19, 2013 1:04 pm
Let's break it down. Apart from saying it's the overall design of the machine, what particular design features contribute most to the success of this SS blower? Any way they could improve it even further (realistically)?
Replies: 3 - 12 of 12Next page of topicsPreviousAllView as Outline
aa335


Joined: Nov 29, 2008
Points: 2392

Re: What specific aspects of the Toro SS makes it better than the competition?
Reply #3   Oct 19, 2013 8:02 pm
MN_Runner wrote:
It is a very good machine.  Better quality control so don't have leaky gas issue.  Fuel ON/OFF switch. 

I think the fuel leak issue is well sorted out now.  That recall was almost two years ago.

I installed a fuel shut off valve on my Toro SS.  Although when brought it to the dealer to fix a fuel leak, the dealer removed my shutoff valve and rerouted the fuel line.   There's a reason for rerouting the fuel line, so I'm going to trust Toro on this one.

I haven't put fuel shut off valve back on since.  I used it last winter without it and to be honest, I haven't really missed it at all.

Where a fuel shut off valve is of any value, at least to me, is having a thumb nut on the bottom of the float bowl to drain the fuel.  This is convenient to summerize the snowblower by closing the fuel valve and drain the float bowl.  It takes less time to run the engine dry of fuel before putting it away for storage.
slinger


Joined: Sep 22, 2010
Points: 151

Re: What specific aspects of the Toro SS makes it better than the competition?
Reply #4   Oct 25, 2013 9:59 am
How about the cast aluminum piece at the axle area which runs the width of the unit? Does it contribute much to the performance? less vibration? more solid feel? Is the auger housing metal or plastic?
aa335


Joined: Nov 29, 2008
Points: 2392

Re: What specific aspects of the Toro SS makes it better than the competition?
Reply #5   Oct 25, 2013 1:41 pm
slinger wrote:
How about the cast aluminum piece at the axle area which runs the width of the unit? Does it contribute much to the performance? less vibration? more solid feel? Is the auger housing metal or plastic?

Pertaining to the axle and engine mount, to some extend there are some benefits.  It is cast aluminum which is the same conductivity and expansion rate as the engine block, helps in cooling the engine.  It is rigid while staying lightweight, and doesn't rust.  Other than that, I don't see any other differences when compared to my old Honda 621 SS which has solid metal bracket.  I don't see the cast aluminum axle/mount being a determining factor when comparing which SS to buy.  If it's racketty and weak down there, it's a design/cost issue, not so much of material.

The auger housing is both plastic and metal, well thought out usage of material.  The areas that would be subjected to impact and abrasion of pavement and curbs, it is metal.  Other parts are high impact plastic which is slippery so snow doesn't stick to it and lighter in weight.
This message was modified Oct 25, 2013 by aa335
oldcrow


If it ain't broke, try harder

Location: Northern MI
Joined: Jan 15, 2008
Points: 63

Re: What specific aspects of the Toro SS makes it better than the competition?
Reply #6   Oct 28, 2013 2:21 pm
+1 for the Quick-Chute. Looked gimmicky in the showroom, learned to love it after the first snowfall. 4 years later, it's still working like new. A vote for reliability as well. I've abused a 2000CCR, 3000CCR, and a 421Q -  but couldn't kill any of them. These things are tough!

I'd hesitate to add a whole lot more to Toro's SS package. My 421Q is pretty heavy for it's size - yet balanced well, fairly compact, and easy to maneuver. Upsetting that balance would be a big step backward. Of course more power is always desireable, as well as larger wheels, tougher augers, etc. Question is: At what point does a single-stage become a baby 2-stage?

I think Toro got it right, for the most part. Minor improvements are OK, I just don't want to see a '55 Thunderbird turned into a '66. Capiche?
slinger


Joined: Sep 22, 2010
Points: 151

Re: What specific aspects of the Toro SS makes it better than the competition?
Reply #7   Oct 29, 2013 10:50 pm
Does the Toro give up anything to competing SS machines offering 208cc engines? Throw distance? Ability to bite into deep or EOD snow?
oldcrow


If it ain't broke, try harder

Location: Northern MI
Joined: Jan 15, 2008
Points: 63

Re: What specific aspects of the Toro SS makes it better than the competition?
Reply #8   Oct 30, 2013 1:04 pm
You can fetch throwing distance from each manufacturer's website.These figures are not standardized, and often inflated - but you knew that. Dry snow figures only give you a rough idea of what to expect.  In the real world...meh

I don't put much weight on individual featuresets - or even engines. Chute controls are the one exception - those can vary a lot. Toro has my vote on that one. Every mfgr pretty much offers the same options list, and all the reputable engines are built well. You need to do your homework to decide if you really need an extra 50cc on the same machine. Most likely, you don't.

No SS handles EOD very well. They're all similar in auger design and paddle material - I'd expect performance to be about equal when new. Not a whole lot to go wrong with this type of system, but I give Toros the nod when it comes to durability/reliability.

With the new offerings from Ariens, prices may start coming down to earth. That could really change the game. 750 bucks for a single-stage? That's crazy.

I've used SS Toros for many years, and they've all been tough little die-hards. You can routinely push them over the limit without breaking. I suspect I'm not the only one who pushes their machine beyond those limits. If that's important to you, the Toros should be on your short list at least. I haven't used enough other brands to really compare each Toro model model to the competition, but I know Simp, Cub, Honda and Husky owners who wouldn't trade for anything. Wouldn't it be sweet if dealers let us try before we buy?
aa335


Joined: Nov 29, 2008
Points: 2392

Re: What specific aspects of the Toro SS makes it better than the competition?
Reply #9   Oct 30, 2013 2:31 pm
slinger wrote:
Does the Toro give up anything to competing SS machines offering 208cc engines? Throw distance? Ability to bite into deep or EOD snow?

Most of the time, the extra power of the larger engines won't make a difference.  EOD isn't going to be that different either.  All of them have rubber augers that have trouble chopping up the hard chunks and ingesting it so it can fling it up the chute.  That's why 2 stage have metal serrated auger, to break up the hard snow.

I don't see Toro as giving up anything.  Toro's innovation is what defines the performance bar.  Other manufacturers merely copy the curved paddle design and stuffing a larger engine. 

Where you see other manufacturers try to make the Toro look bad is trying to blow wet heavy snow or slush.  The Toro's tend to plug up at the chute, this is more prevalent on the older 2 stroke machines.  The powerband of 2 stroke is at higher RPMs.  If the RPM drops too much, it doesn't have any power.  This isn't a problem on the newer 4 stroke, it has plenty of torque at the low RPMs.   In either case, the plug can be easily cleared by easing back and let the paddles spin up to speed.  The snow plug will fall back and the paddles will hurl it upward.  The chute clears out without user invention.  Done.

In fact, two other competing brands have done videos of this highlighting the Toro's weakness.  Of course, they put in their 208cc SS against Toro's 2 stroke 221Q's.  That's a unfair situation.  You don't see them bringing equivalent spec machines to the table.   Anyways, the point is, when a manufacturer does a comparison, the fairness is always in question.  The tests are rigged and deck is stacked.  These tests should be conducted by impartial 3rd party with no motives, I don't mean test conducted by OPE dealers.  And I don't mean Consumer Reports either.  They have a weighing system heavily bias towards price, bang for the buck skewness.  But that's another matter, I digress.

I guess Toro could respond by putting in 208cc engines on the new SS.  It would get bigger, heavier, less maneuverable.  It's been 5 years now with no bump in engine displacement.  That says something.  They either don't need it, or they are working on the next best thing, while competitors lazily copy the old design and stuffing in larger engines, and undercutting price.  I do hope that Toro's is working on the next best SS.  :) 
This message was modified Nov 1, 2013 by aa335
aa335


Joined: Nov 29, 2008
Points: 2392

Re: What specific aspects of the Toro SS makes it better than the competition?
Reply #10   Oct 30, 2013 2:52 pm
oldcrow wrote:

With the new offerings from Ariens, prices may start coming down to earth. That could really change the game. 750 bucks for a single-stage? That's crazy.


It is much crazier when you look at SS 14 years ago selling at $600 to $900.  These prices were in 1989.  That includes Simplicity, Ariens, Toro, and Honda.  They didn't even come with remote chute dilliwacks. 

So in today's prices a Honda SS is going to be $1200.  Why buy one of these when a Sno-Fuzz is only $600, engineered in America with foreign parts? 
MN_Runner


Location: St. Paul, Minnesota
Joined: Dec 5, 2010
Points: 618

Re: What specific aspects of the Toro SS makes it better than the competition?
Reply #11   Oct 30, 2013 9:06 pm
slinger wrote:
Does the Toro give up anything to competing SS machines offering 208cc engines? Throw distance? Ability to bite into deep or EOD snow?


AA335 is correct about EOD and rubber augers. They are not optimal but it does everything really well. I don't think more HP will help that much on EOD situation. My wife liked the SS but she said EOD was very challenging.
slinger


Joined: Sep 22, 2010
Points: 151

Re: What specific aspects of the Toro SS makes it better than the competition?
Reply #12   Nov 1, 2013 5:59 pm
My old Craftsman SS has the older style rubber edged steel auger that more resembles a 2 stage spiral but with the short flat throwing section in the center. I think that auger shape actually works a bit better on the EOD, but gives up a lot in the throwing distance department. That thing was so easy to use and started first pull every time (after the initial winter start up). It had a crank for chute control which was fine (after I modified it!), and a friction deflector that worked ok, but was inconvenient.<BR>Living in central Ohio, a good SS is really the way to go. I have an Ariens Platinum and it is rarely needed. But I do appreciate the headlight and chute control operability from the dashboard without having to stop and re-adjust all the time. The wind seems to change constantly and having that remote capability is a big help. That's why I was hoping the new Ariens SS would be like a higher quality version of the Cub Cadet 221 LHP SS. (still built by MTD?) That thing gets a consumers choice award... I guessing it's mostly because it's got all the desired features on it. I don't know how well these work but that would be my ideal SS if it was a quality designed and built machine.<BR>
This message was modified Nov 4, 2013 by slinger
Replies: 3 - 12 of 12Next page of topicsPreviousAllView as Outline
Outdoor Power Equipment (Lawn Mowers, Snow Blowers, Chain Saws and more) Guide   •   Discussions  Reviews  
AbbysGuide.com   About Us   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Contact Us
Copyright 1998-2014 AbbysGuide.com. All rights reserved.
Site by Take 42