Monday September 23rd 2019

Toro Electric Power Shovel – Not worth it!

toroI purchased the power shovel (aka snow thrower) in February 2008 and used it during a number of storms. I live in New England and we get a lot of heavy wet snow and a lot of storms that will dump 12-18″ overnight. I did not like the power shovel at all and found it too heavy and unwieldy. It is worth noting that I am a petite woman and not the strongest person in the neighborhood. Someone stronger than me may not encounter the difficulties I experienced.

What is it?

To put it in basic terms the power shovel is a yard machine that you push along the snow covered pavement and it sucks up the snow and shoots it further down the path. It is electric powered so you need to have a very long, outdoor style extension cord and an outlet to plug it in. The power shovel runs on a 7.5 amp electric motor. It is made mostly of heavy duty plastic and has a metal handle. The shovel is 52″ tall when standing up right, 15″ wide and 12″ deep. The website says that it weighs 12.5 pounds, although it certainly seems heavier to me. Toro also provides a two year warranty with the product.

To use the power shovel you hold in the safety trigger and squeeze the lever with your hand. This activates the mechanism that sucks up the snow. You then start pushing the shovel into the snow. I found that it worked best to treat it like a vacuum cleaner and push it back and forth in patches. As the shovel sucks up snow it then shoots it 10-20 feet directly in front of itself.

What is it not?

It is important to make distinction between the power shovel and snow blower. The Toro Elecric Power Shovel is not a snow blower! Unlike a snow blower the power shovel does not have wheels and does not move under its own power – you must push it. This becomes quite challenging when you’re meered in wet slushy snow. Remember it is a shovel so you are just pushing the wet snow and the 12.5 pound shovel – the only advantage over a regular shovel is that you don’t have to lift the snow.

Another missing feature is a directional chute. The snow is always going to shoot out directly in front of the power shovel. If you are using a snow blower you get to point your chute where you want the snow to go. With the power shovel you have no choice. This becomes problematic especially if you live in a tight urban environment. It’s inevitable that you’re going to be shooting your snow onto your neighbors sidewalk, their driveway, or the street and there’s nothing you can do.

While it is nice not to have to deal with gasoline like you might with a snow blower, using in extension cord presents its challenges. You will need to have an outdoor plug (or run the cord out your window) and like a vacuum cleaner you have to continuously manuever around the cord without tripping or getting tangled.

Conclusion

In the end I realized the Toro Electric Power Shovel is not for me. I do not have the upper body strength to carry the shovel in and out of the house or the strength to push it through the snow. I also don’t have the patience to constantly detangle the extension cord and run it in and out of the house every few hours during a storm. Personally, I find it easier and less hassle to do my snow removal the old fashion way.

Also posted to Epinions

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