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slinger


Joined: Sep 22, 2010
Points: 158

NEW Toro Snowmaster 24" Single Stage Self propelled Snow Thrower
Original Message   Aug 30, 2015 1:24 pm
What do you all think about this new machine from Toro 1. They call it a 2 stage. I think not. 2. Auger design. Departure from powercurve, back to a more helical shape w/center 'flat' section. There is Rubber on the center 'flat' section only as this new SS design utilizes skid shoes and the auger is not contacting the ground directly. That means that they are depending on the compression loaded scraper bar to clean down to the pavement. 3. Engine is 252cc Toro OHV design. Should be similar to Briggs 1150 series which was standard on my 24 inch Ariens Platinum 2 stage. Should be plenty of power. 4. Remote joystick control for BOTH chute rotation AND deflector angle. Hallelujia! If it's the same system used on their 2 stage machines it should be easy to use and fairly reliable. I know that the old school thought is 'the simpler the better' but I've come to appreciate some of these conveniences and would prefer to have them. 5. Personal Pace drive system. This is the question mark for me. I'm not sure how this CVT type drive, that was developed for mowers that have minimal rolling resistance will hold up when plowing into a dense pile of snow. I understand that it's a sealed, maintenance free unit with a glass-reinforced casing that is supposed to be very durable but I don't know how or if it's been modified for use in a snow blowing application. Also how does steering work? Is one wheel powered while the other one freewheels? On my Timemaster 30 inch mower (with personal pace) you just kind of stop at the end of a row and manually turn the machine without power to the wheels but they freewheel so a turn is easy. If that's the same way that it works on this snowthrower I'd be fine with it as the machine is only about ~130 lbs which is only 35 more lbs than most smaller SS machines. 6. Taller chute design like most 2 stage machines for longer, more controlled throw. In fact the entire machine LOOKS exactly like most 2 stage designs but simply can't be one, due to the lack of a second stage impeller. I need to replace my old SS and have been waiting for the 'perfect' machine to come out (I know...never going to happen) but I was looking for something that had plenty of power for EOD piles, decent throwing distance, remote chute/deflector controls, (a headlight would have been nice) and before you say just buy a Cub Cadet 221 LHP, my preference is not to buy an MTD unit. I wondered if this could also bridge the gap between SS and 2 stage performance and allow me to get by with just one machine in the garage for my Central Ohio winters that are typically 3-6 inch snowfalls with the occasional 6-12 storm. Even if this machine fits the bill is one still wiser to wait until the second season of production to allow any 'bugs' to be worked out in the design or does Toro usually get it right the first time? Any comments welcomed!
This message was modified Aug 30, 2015 by slinger
Replies: 4 - 13 of 13Next page of topicsPreviousAllView as Outline
NJhonda


Joined: Jan 9, 2014
Points: 25

Re: NEW Toro Snowmaster 24" Single Stage Self propelled Snow Thrower
Reply #4   Nov 9, 2015 7:43 pm
Yes it is..
aa335


Joined: Nov 29, 2008
Points: 2434

Re: NEW Toro Snowmaster 24" Single Stage Self propelled Snow Thrower
Reply #5   Nov 10, 2015 2:39 pm
I had looked at these Snowmaster at my local HD store.  It had the typical Toro build quality, which had the smart use of plastics and metals in all the right places.   I know some people equate plastic to cheapness, but intelligent use of plastic type and design is apparent here.  All I can say is try it before you knock it.  I have snowblower with plastic chutes, and one with metal chute and I can say that the metal one looks impressive and high quality, but the plastic one just performs better.  No melting and sticking snow on plastics.  The snow just glides right off.

I like how easy the Snowmaster was to move it around on the floor.  It has usual Toro snowblower balance, which is not so heavy on the front bucket.  At first I thought the 2 rubber tires were small, as they are small compared to a typical 2 stage snowblower.  However, upon looking further, I see that the size Toro has chosen just makes sense.  I mean the snowblower only weigh about 130 pounds with a 24 inch wide cut.  The tires aren't there to turn it into a snowplow.  The tires does have aggressive knobbies which provides good traction on snow.  I prefer a smaller tire that puts more pounds per square inch of weight over the snow, as opposed to the larger tire with less pounds per square inch.  If any of you have tried different snow tires on your automobile, you know that wide tires on snow doesn't actually bite as well as a tall skinny tire.

I'm liking the Smart Quick Chute control.  The joystick is a somewhat phallic object, but it is well placed, just the right size for most people, and works well.  Ahem..... :)   Toro knows that some people like to quickly and accurately aim the discharge of their snow, and it shows.  It's a one-handed operation.  Honda with engineering prowess could learn a lesson from Toro in simplicity and ergonomics.  Enough said here. 

I'm still not convinced that Toro's marketing calling this a 2 stage, specifically an inline 2 stage.  Aren't all 2 stage inline already?    I don't see any parallel or V, or W, configurations of 2 stage snowblower.  The Snowmaster is still a single stage in my book, but with an aggressive metal/rubber composite high speed auger.   It should be called a 1 and half stage.  Better than a single stage, but not quite a 2 stage. 

I'm liking the Personal Pace drive.  The drivetrain looks like the more rugged heavy duty TimeCutter mower, not your usual Personal pace on 21 inch mower.  It would be nice if Personal Pace can have reverse also.  OK,  I'm lazy, but dragging a 130 pound snowblower backwards isn't something I'm looking forward to. 

Now this is where it starts to become controversal.  The price !  It is priced in upper echelon a premium single stage, but at the lower rung of a budget 2 stage.  There are people who doesn't want a big honking snowblower, and some who prefer to go big or go home.  For the price of the Snowmaster, it could be a gamechanger, or a neglected middle child.  
joed


Joined: Sep 1, 2008
Points: 84

Re: NEW Toro Snowmaster 24" Single Stage Self propelled Snow Thrower
Reply #6   Nov 14, 2015 11:07 pm
I already have a toro 826 OXE snowblower.  It's 5 years old.  I was thinking of adding a smaller blower to go with it for smaller snowfalls.  Would this new snowmaster be a better choice over the single stage 721 that toro makes?
aa335


Joined: Nov 29, 2008
Points: 2434

Re: NEW Toro Snowmaster 24" Single Stage Self propelled Snow Thrower
Reply #7   Nov 15, 2015 1:58 am
Thats a tough call.  I think the 8 hp Snowmaster has the remote deflector, would throw snow further and dig EOD piles better than the SS 721, but it will not maneuver as easily as a SS.    If you already have the 826OXE, you may find that the Snowmaster is not aggressive at EOD and maybe disappointed. 

The safe choice would be the SS 721.  It's proven design, has lots of power.  If only Toro make it with Quick Chute and remote deflector, I'd jump on it.  Maybe Toro will make it on the next generation of single stage snowblower.
joed


Joined: Sep 1, 2008
Points: 84

Re: NEW Toro Snowmaster 24" Single Stage Self propelled Snow Thrower
Reply #8   Nov 18, 2015 9:28 pm
aa335 wrote:
Thats a tough call.  I think the 8 hp Snowmaster has the remote deflector, would throw snow further and dig EOD piles better than the SS 721, but it will not maneuver as easily as a SS.    If you already have the 826OXE, you may find that the Snowmaster is not aggressive at EOD and maybe disappointed. 

The safe choice would be the SS 721.  It's proven design, has lots of power.  If only Toro make it with Quick Chute and remote deflector, I'd jump on it.  Maybe Toro will make it on the next generation of single stage snowblower.

Thanks for the reply.  It is a tough call.  I really do like the snowmaster.  The 724 model is almost the same price as the 721 qze model up here in Canada where I live.  I just don't know if the addition of a snowmaster to my 826 OXE makes sense.   As for the single stage units, is the commercial 721RC unit any different than the qze version?   Last, what have you heard about the honda ss snowblowers.  They look interesting too.  Thank you.
aa335


Joined: Nov 29, 2008
Points: 2434

Re: NEW Toro Snowmaster 24" Single Stage Self propelled Snow Thrower
Reply #9   Nov 19, 2015 11:51 am
joed wrote:
Thanks for the reply.  It is a tough call.  I really do like the snowmaster.  The 724 model is almost the same price as the 721 qze model up here in Canada where I live.  I just don't know if the addition of a snowmaster to my 826 OXE makes sense.   As for the single stage units, is the commercial 721RC unit any different than the qze version?   Last, what have you heard about the honda ss snowblowers.  They look interesting too.  Thank you.

As a snowblower enthusiast, any snowblower can make sense, even if they are close or have overlapping qualities.  Same with shoes, automobiles, and woodworking tools, camera lenses, etc...The Snowmaster is, in my opinion, one good design.  But it is somewhat an in-betweener, a cross-over, hybrids, CUV.   IF you chose it for what it was designed for, you won't be disappointed.  It doesn't specialize in any category, and it has smart compromises in performance and handling.

For the current model 721QZE, there is no difference to the 721RC.  They both have the same engine.  The RC does not have Quick Chute, but has thicker paddles.  You can add Toro's thicker rubber paddles or aftermarket polyurethane paddles to make it into a 721QZE - C.  I think this adds to about $50-$80.  The thicker paddles lasts longer and can beat up on EOD piles a bit better, but you will notice increased vibration and noise.

I heard that Honda recalled or put on hold last year's HS720 models.  They tweaked something to take care of vibrations and noise.  I'm still disappointed about the chute and deflector design and finesse, and I'm expecting that next generation Toro SS will trample over the Honda.  There's some teething pains with Honda new SS and 2 stage models built in USA, but Honda is working on it.  :)  I'm excited of the new models, I may update my fleet sometime in the future.  I was a guinea pig in one of Honda's products in the past and I am not buying first production year again.
joed


Joined: Sep 1, 2008
Points: 84

Re: NEW Toro Snowmaster 24" Single Stage Self propelled Snow Thrower
Reply #10   Dec 19, 2015 6:23 pm
aa335 wrote:
As a snowblower enthusiast, any snowblower can make sense, even if they are close or have overlapping qualities.  Same with shoes, automobiles, and woodworking tools, camera lenses, etc...The Snowmaster is, in my opinion, one good design.  But it is somewhat an in-betweener, a cross-over, hybrids, CUV.   IF you chose it for what it was designed for, you won't be disappointed.  It doesn't specialize in any category, and it has smart compromises in performance and handling.

For the current model 721QZE, there is no difference to the 721RC.  They both have the same engine.  The RC does not have Quick Chute, but has thicker paddles.  You can add Toro's thicker rubber paddles or aftermarket polyurethane paddles to make it into a 721QZE - C.  I think this adds to about $50-$80.  The thicker paddles lasts longer and can beat up on EOD piles a bit better, but you will notice increased vibration and noise.

I heard that Honda recalled or put on hold last year's HS720 models.  They tweaked something to take care of vibrations and noise.  I'm still disappointed about the chute and deflector design and finesse, and I'm expecting that next generation Toro SS will trample over the Honda.  There's some teething pains with Honda new SS and 2 stage models built in USA, but Honda is working on it.  :)  I'm excited of the new models, I may update my fleet sometime in the future.  I was a guinea pig in one of Honda's products in the past and I am not buying first production year again.

Thanks for all the great advice and wisdom.  I ended up getting the toro 721qze.  No snow to speak of now but the machine seems to run quite well.  I used the regular oil that toro supplied with the unit.  The manual calls for the first oil change at 2 hours.  Do you know if it's ok to use a synthetic 5W30 oil or do you need to stick to a regular oil for the first 15 hours or so?
RedOctobyr


Location: Lowell area, MA
Joined: Nov 5, 2011
Points: 282

Re: NEW Toro Snowmaster 24" Single Stage Self propelled Snow Thrower
Reply #11   Dec 30, 2015 12:01 pm
From what I've read about engine breakin, and synthetic oil, I would probably wait a little longer than 2 hours, before going to synthetic. You want to give the piston rings a chance to seat, using conventional oil, before going synthetic. To feel more comfortable, I would probably change with conventional at 2 hours, and try to give it 5-10 hours before going synthetic, but that's just me. I realize that a snowblower may take a long time to get to 10 hours, depending on the kind of winter you have :)

This is just my opinion; 2 hours could be plenty for the changeover. But if using a good, proper-weight conventional oil, you won't be doing the engine any harm using conventional for a little longer. Heck, most small engines probably run on conventional oil their whole lives, and if they're lucky, might even get it changed every 3-4 years!
slinger


Joined: Sep 22, 2010
Points: 158

Re: NEW Toro Snowmaster 24" Single Stage Self propelled Snow Thrower
Reply #12   Jan 13, 2016 10:28 am
Got my first opportunity to use my Toro 824 Snowmaster on about 4" of the fluffy stuff last night (cold temps here in the Midwest). Not much of a demanding test but enough to get some initial impressions. For your first few uses, the machine can seem kind of "jumpy" with the personal pace system. It takes a few passes before you learn how to initiate the drive by a gentle push along with some upward force on the handle to keep the front end in contact with the ground. It sound complicated but after a few passes it becomes second nature and extremely simple. Handling is as easy, if not easier than my traditional SS machine...truly effortless. The chute control moves SO easily that it takes a while to learn how to NOT overshoot where you are trying to aim at. I'm sure with time the joystick concept becomes second nature as well. The snowplow delivered me a moderate EOD pile of thick chunky stuff (but not big frozen ice chunks). The 824 handled that with no issue, although perhaps not as easily as my 2 stage would have. I never lost traction anywhere, but again this was only 4” of snow. I must say that the scraper bar did catch on a few places where my drive transitions from asphalt to concrete and where there are “step-like”, sharp transitions in pavement height. I have the skis shoes adjusted for a pretty aggressive scrape though. I drove my car out of the driveway to create some packed-down tire tracks and the machine did not clear those tracks to the pavement on a first pass or even a second pass. This is something that even my traditional SS would not always do cleanly and consistently, even with the direct-to-the-ground-rubber auger on that machine, so I’m not holding that against the 824 at this point. We’ll have to see with further snows and differing conditions but so far I’m a happy camper with this machine.
aa335


Joined: Nov 29, 2008
Points: 2434

Re: NEW Toro Snowmaster 24" Single Stage Self propelled Snow Thrower
Reply #13   Jan 24, 2016 1:35 pm
Here's a video of it in action in the East Coast.  I think it does pretty well for itself.  Moves like a single stage unit, tackles the EOD almost like a full on 2 stage. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMzI6Lt3VOs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIP2huvSB3Q


I like how the Personal Pace drive work.   Looks like there's no need to force the snowblower into the pile.  This is a plus over the Toro 721 QZE single stage model.
This message was modified Jan 24, 2016 by aa335
Replies: 4 - 13 of 13Next page of topicsPreviousAllView as Outline
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