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slinger


Joined: Sep 22, 2010
Points: 158

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)?
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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: 2434

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: 2434

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: 622

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: 158

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
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