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Name Steven Tallides
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Date Joined Oct 31, 2007
Date Last Access Oct 6, 2009 12:02 am
kona9's last  
Re: Toro 221 vs 421
#1   Sep 28, 2008 4:27 pm
You probably won't be able to tell the difference b/n the two besides having to mix fuel for one and having to change the oil every X number of hours on the other.  Do they both have the same controls?  Is there a weight difference?  Toro's 2-cycle single stage blowers are legendary, the new 4-cycle models have quite the challenge of maintaining that record. 
Re: Makita 4-cycle leaf blower at Home Depot
#2   Nov 20, 2007 9:40 am
Wow, this machine must be really new or really bad that no one has responded.
Makita 4-cycle leaf blower at Home Depot
#3   Nov 18, 2007 1:13 pm
I was at HD today looking at hand-held blowers and saw an interesting 4-cycle model made by Makita.  Upon closer look, I found that the engine is a Robin-Subaru which are good engines generally.  Anyone know anything about these Makita 4-cycles...are they new on the market?  The tag on the engine stated that it is a very low polluting engine and that it is a category A engine, rated for 300 hours.  Weight seemed comparable to the 2-cycle echo sitting next to it.  It is selling for $199.99.  Let me know if I should try it or pass it up for a Husquavarna or Echo 2-cycle hand-held blower.  Thanks.
Re: Help with a Single-Stage purchase (Toro, Ariens, Honda)
#4   Nov 18, 2007 1:08 pm
Malms7 wrote:
I'm also in the market for a single stage snowblower. After years of looking at 2 stage and never pulling the trigger on one I decided this year to seriously look at single stage models.

I've gone to three shops to look. Shop #1 carried Honda and Toro. Salesman said Honda engines are the best on the market, neither need electric start so save the money, he liked the new Toro controls, said Honda chute control can sometimes extend too far out to the side and get in the way. Bottom line: he preferred Honda.

Shop #2 carried Simplicity and Toro. He said Toro has been in the market a long time and is real popular. Nothing wrong with them. He pointed out the auger on the Simplicity and said that the amount of metal on the auger of the Simplicity really helps. I asked him which brand and he said "Simplicity 2-stroke". I personally didn't like the way the chute crank worked on the Simplicity. It seemed kind of stiff and cheap when rotating 180 degrees.

Shop #3 carried Toro and Ariens. Again, he said nothing wrong with Toro and many people buy them and in fact he had the largest single stage Toro available which he likes except that for having to reach over the blower to swing the chute (similar to Honda) as this model didn't have chute controls near the handle. He talked about both the 5 and 7hp Ariens and said if I was looking at blowers of this size then he'd go with the Ariens over the Toro and he'd spend the extra $60 and go with the 7hp over the 5hp.

So, 3 shops, all carried Toro and "something else" and everyone said that they'd go with "something else".

What I'm leaning towards is the 7hp Ariens as I really like the lever that controls chute rotation vs. the crank on the others in that price range. I also believe that they'll replace (parts only) the rubber auger when and if it wears out. My 2nd choice would be the Honda based on it's great engine reputation.

Sounds like good researching you are doing.  I've only used the Toro single-stage so I can't speak to the Honda and Ariens models.  If I was buying early in the season as you are planning I'd look at the Arien's model as well.  If you wind up not buying one until later in the season (late Jan., early Feb.), Home Depot marks their blowers down 50% and that is how I got my Toro 2450 for $279.  It's a great machine for what I paid, but If were paying $600-700 I'd research the other brands real heard.  I wish I had remote chute control, but for my driveway and sidewalk it isn't totally necessary.  Good luck with whatever machine you get.
Re: Help with a Single-Stage purchase (Toro, Ariens, Honda)
#5   Nov 9, 2007 11:23 pm
I don't think your decision of going with a single stage is a bad idea.  Sure they have their limit, but a single stage will take care of 90-95% of the snow you will deal with.  I live in Amherst, NY which is a suburb of Buffalo.  We get our share of lake effect snow here and most homes have a snowblower.  The past two years I've been using a Toro 2450 manual start and it has not let me down.  It handles whatever you throw at it including what I get at the EOD.  Granted, I don't get a ton of snow dumped at the EOD.  You do have to work at it more than with a 2 stage.  The Honda unit you are looking at is probably the one I see sold at Home Depot around here.  It is about the same size as my 2450, so maneuverability is probably the same.  I would stick with Toro and Honda for a single stage.  You can now get the Toro singe with a 4 cycle engine but I'm not sure how the HP measures up to the Honda.  Mine has the 2 cycle engine and besides being a bit smoky at first start up, it runs very well and it is nice not to have to worry about oil levels and oil changes.  I would personally pick one of the new Toro single stages with the new chute control set up.
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