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TOP 100 REVIEWERon January 21, 2012
The Toro Power Clear 621 series of snow blowers are excellent. They throw snow a nice long distance, and handle nicely while under power.

There are six models in the 621 line - all are 21 inches wide (moderately wide), they have exactly the same engine and rotor for throwing snow. The only difference between models is convenience factors, the size of the snow chute, and the handle shape. They will all clear snow just about the same. There is about a $200 spread between the base model and the top of the line, and they both clear snow equally well.

January 27, 2014 Update: Well I learned my lesson - follow the instructions Toro gives on storing the snow blower over the summer to the letter - seriously, to the letter. At the end of the second season I left gas in the machine, didn't drain it or run it dry. I also kept all the old gas (although it had stabilizer in it). Well this winter it was really hard to start, but I got it going. It also took a long time to warm up off the choke. I ran out of gas and had to fill the gas can. I could not restart the snow blower. Took it in and $90 later, it runs perfectly. Perfectly isn't even the word for it, two pumps on the primer, choke and one lazy pull and it runs now. I'm sold - I will never leave gas in the thing again.

So the lesson - use only fresh gas, not more than a month old (if you have leftover, just put it in your car). Make certain the gas can is spotless. Use stabilizer if you are going to keep the gas longer than a month. At the end of the season, open up the Toro manual and follow those instructions to the letter (the manuals are available on line). Fill the tank with stabilized fuel and run the engine 10 minutes. Stop the engine, allow it to cool, and remove the gas (there is a plug at the bottom of the carburetor that makes this easy). Start the engine. Choke and prime the engine, keep starting it until it won't run any more. Remove the last bit of fuel in the carburetor with the drain plug (this gets rid of the last bit of gas that can foul the float and needle valves). Put all the waste fuel in your car. While the engine is warm change the oil (use synthetic oil - you'll only use one quart and it isn't that much more money - oil change is really easy on this thing). Remove the spark plug (you have to remove the red cover - it isn't as hard as it sounds). Put two teaspoons of oil in the cylinder and replace the spark plug. Turn off the ignition and pull the starter cord slowly one time to distribute the oil. It is now ready for storage.

The alternative - pay a guy $90 a year to clean the thing for you. There is something about the carburetor float and needle valves that is super sensitive to fuel gunk. I hated that the snow blower was gone for 2 weeks in the middle of winter, and we got snow in the meantime.

This 621E is the base model Toro snow blower with electric start. It is exactly the same snow blower as the 621Z, except it has electric start. The electric start option is not a bad one - pulling the cord is not horribly hard, but when it's cold, snowy, and I just want to get the driveway cleared - that electric start is nice. The snow blower does not come with an extension cord for the starter. A grounded outdoor cord is needed.

The big difference between this base series and the Z series, is the size of the chute (the base series is a little smaller), a straight handle, and the devices to direct the snow (left to right and up and down).

After 9 years, my Toro two cycle snow blower gave up the ghost. It refused to start, I killed the electric start, and it now leaks fuel at the fuel bowl. It worked hard in nasty Chicago winters for 9 years and it was time to retire the poor thing.

This is one beast of a snow blower. 21 inches is a nice wide swath, without being horribly heavy. I am so happy to be finished with mixing oil and gas - this is a four cycle, gasoline only snow blower. Simple to maintain, just like a lawn mower, and it doesn't stink to high heaven when it runs.

The essential thing with this, it will power through just about anything and it throws snow FAR. I was able to break through crusted over plow rubble at the end of my driveway. My old snow blower would have done the job, but it would have complained the whole time. This ripped through a good two foot high mound of nastiness, ice on top, snow in the middle and slush on the bottom. Powder, it manages to throw the snow a good twenty, maybe thirty feet. I have a very long driveway, where roughly 60 feet has to be blown all the way to the end of the driveway. The driveway is between two houses and there is no place to put the snow between our houses. I am able to easily throw the snow toward the rear and the front from the middle of my house. When the snow is wet, the snow doesn't make it to the end of the driveway, but there's more than enough power to do a second pass to toss the snow farther.

The six different model choices this year are not extremely complicated. Toro did a nice job making the Power Clear series pretty straightforward. Sadly, Toro messed up with the price points; there is a bit of overlap so that complicates the choices a little bit.
For the 621 series (probably their 6th generation snow blower, 21 inch wide swath):

R at the end is for Recoil start only; the E at the end means the model has Electric start. So a 621 QZE is exactly the same snow blower as a 621 QZR, except it has an electric start. It is easy to decide, do I want electric start or not, and it costs this much money.

The next letter is the Q or lack of Q. When a Q is in the model name this means there is a blue Quick direction lever on the handle. No Q and you have to lean forward to redirect the snow blowing. I like the Quick lever (yes it is one more thing to go wrong, there is a cable and big plastic lever that could get rusty or break). One thing I hate about clearing snow is walking down to the end of the driveway, and then turning around to do the next pass. With my old snow blower, I had to mess with a hand crank, and usually it was just faster to back up and clear snow going the same direction. With this Quick adjustment, I just put my right hand on the handle, press a button and slide the handle up or down to change direction. It works really fast, and really well. As I'm clearing snow beside my house, as I reach the end of the house, I need to redirect the blower to the yard while I'm moving. That Quick handle allows me to hit a bull's-eye every time with the snow.

The last option is the Z letter. This is the luxury model versus the base model. The Z option gets a plastic square snow chute (because it is square, there is more surface area in the opening, so more snow can fly and there is less likelihood of jams). The handle is turned up on the Z model (this is a little tiny but useful thing - that up turned handle allows me to push much harder and more comfortably than the straight handle). The Z model has a blue handle with a release lever for changing the angle of the snow blowing (how far do I want the snow to be blown).

The engine is reasonably quiet. Remember I used a 2 cycle insanely loud snow blower for 9 years, so I probably have no hearing left. I can hear my neighbor talking to me while I'm running this. On the other hand, it will wake up the neighbors if I use this at 4 in the morning before going to work. The power is way more than I expected.

The engine starts easily. The pull cord is not too hard to use, it is super long and I have to pull it pretty fast. It pretty much starts after two or three pulls. The electric start is a nice option.

The handle can be folded over by unscrewing two big plastic hand wheels. It makes the snow blower a bit smaller for storage. The chute can be removed pretty easily, it is held in place by three hex / Philips head screws.

From a maintenance standpoint, this is really well built. The owner's manual has great detail on how to make all the normal maintenance adjustments. The control cable has a large metal plate with multiple holes drilled in it to get the engagement tension just right (it takes moments to change the tension as the blower ages). Oil is really easy to change. The empty and fill plugs are easy to access with the blower tipped upward. The blower holds 20 ounces (0.6L) of oil. Synthetic 5W-30 is the smartest choice. Spark plug removal means taking off the chute and the red shroud (held down with 4 bolts). The newer shroud design is nice; the whole engine is accessible after that shroud is removed. The drive belt might take some time to replace after many years of use; the rotor pulley has to be removed. The plastic scraper bar has wear indicators on it, when the grooves are gone; it's time to replace the bar. That bar is held in by four self locking nuts and would be pretty quick to replace.

Here are the five other Toro snow blowers:
Base Recoil MSRP $560
TORO Power Clear 621R Sin
Middle Recoil Start (621ZR) MSRP $610
Toro Snowblower Power Clear 621 ZR 163cc (21") #38453
Middle Electric Start (621ZE) MSRP $710
I cannot find this model at Amazon.
Q model with Electric start (621QZE) $800 MSRP $800
Toro Power Clear 621QZE (21") 163cc 4-Cycle Single Stage Snow Blower w/ Electric Start, Zip & Quick Shoot - 38459
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on January 19, 2014
This is the worst piece of equipment I have ever owned. It rarely starts, and needs service *every* winter before it will start for the first time. Yes, I burn off all of the gas before storing it. I've had my mower for over 12 years, have never taken it in for service and it starts every spring with no hassle.
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on January 27, 2016
Got this four years ago to clear off the driveway and my large deck. For the two years under warranty it worked great. Started right up every time and tossed the snow nicely. HOWEVER, middle of the third winter, it would only run for 20-30 minutes before dying. After extensive checks, the dealer told me that the ethanol in the gasoline had affected the seal on the gas cap, not allowing it to vent properly and choking off fuel flow. New cap solved the problem for that winter.

The following winter, despite storing the machine the same as always, it did not start due to the carburetor failing. Dealer says I need to use gas preservative even during the winter and not just during storage due to the ethanol in the gas. This fix cost $170. For winter #4, I was able to find non-ethanol gas at a local marina, so I though this would be the end of the problems. Nope. Need another carburetor less than a year after replacing the previous one.

I likely will get it fixed again then sell it and get something much more reliable. Funny thing is that I also own a large Toro 1128 that has given be no problems at all and performs great using the same gas as I put in my car. I wonder why Toro can't get it right with the smaller units also.
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on February 13, 2016
When it works, it works well. But it has a faulty gas cap design. The gas cap has a spacer in it that allows the cap to vent. The spacer/gasket is held in place by a piece of plastic, the end of which you can see when you remove the cap and look at the underside. The spacer/gasket seats against the gas tank spout, and it sometimes sticks to the spout while you're removing the cap to fill the tank. Twice now, the gasket stuck to the spout, and when I twisted the cap off, the little plastic piece holding the spacer/gasket in place broke off and fell into the gas tank. First time, the piece clogged the fuel line where it exits the tank, causing it to stall. It was repaired under warranty. Just happened again, it's outside the warranty period, and I have to drain and pull the gas tank. Next time, it's a Honda.
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on January 27, 2014
This is my first snow blower. My research was inconclusive and the purchase was kind of impulsive. This is the blowers third season.
Each season the snow has been progressively worse. The Toro has started and performed well. One thing that I can say is that Toros advertising says it will throw snow up to 35 feet. Not quite! Twenty feet at best is my observation.

I stated earlier that it starts well but checking the oil (which you should do before each use) is a get down on your knees and bend over almost to the ground operation. The priming bulb is conveniently located as well as the ignition switch but the choke is down low below the priming bulb and ignition switch almost as low as the oil fill/check port. In order to use the electric start you have to purchase your own extension cord to plug the blower into a standard house outlet. Then starting is extremely easy. The Toro actually starts so easy with the recoil start, that I never use the electric start.

Snow removal is easy with the Toro. The motor surges at idle. When the snow is deeper and denser the better the Toro works. Reaching for the chute swivel handle is a slightly uncomfortable reach. The same goes for the shroud at the top of the chute which pivots to increase or decrease how high and far the snow is thrown.

I don't drain the gas and fill the spark plug hole with oil during the off season. I change oil regularly and start it every month.I use Stabil gasoline stabilizer year round. It seems as though reviewers have had trouble with the storage procedure. I've never done those procedures in any machines including my motorcycle.

Update 1-6-15 I am happy to say that the Toro started yesterday. It was -1 degrees F. First pull no need to use the electric start. At the end of last season I replaced the paddles, belt and scraper bar. I noticed that even with a brand new set of paddles snow is thrown backwards from underneath the blower. This requires that you make another pass to get down to the pavement. Still enjoying my Toro.

Hope this helps.
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on February 22, 2014
Purchased machine 6 weeks ago during a very snowy Ohio winter. Machine has been very difficult to start on multiple occasions. Followed the manual exactly and still have had multiple instances where blower will not start. Most recently on the snowiest morning of the winter causing me to have to spend an hour shoveling driveway. Would return it if I could. Had a Craftsman 4 cycle for ten years and had no starting problems no matter how long it sat with fuel in blower. Bought Toro for reputation of reliability and am disappointed.
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on January 26, 2015
Don't Buy ..... This isn't the Toro of yesterday .....

Overpriced..... Next to no power ...... Continues to blow snow under itself on to your feet. Ive put 3 scraper blades on it....each one just as bad as the other. Just a P poor design....
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on October 25, 2015
This machine always starts and doesnt stall.

Its powerful and gets rid of snow.

but if the snowfall is over 8 inches and heavy it will

not perform as well.

The other two stage machine may be a better choice but this one

is a better choice most of the time.

Its more manageable without the gearing and robot like action of higher priced machines.

It doesnt have the shear pin problem and jamming of other machines.

Its not bulky and heavy.
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on March 28, 2015
I purchased this unit with an electric starter - this thing starts on the first HAND pull - I never used the electric starter - don't need it! What a super fine product - fast starts on the first pull every time - lots of snow throwing power - I highly recommend this unit - no problems - I am writing this review on March 2015 and I purchased it in 2014 and used it through 2 winters very hard winters here in Cleveland and never a problem !
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on February 18, 2014
I was reading some of the reviews while trying to find out how to change my spark plug. (I misplaced my manual) and was astonished with some of the bad reviews. My Toro starts easily and has a lot of power but it has a slight miss that is annoying so I deemed it time to change the plug. I've been lucky enough to have no gas leaks and my maintainance schedule is worse than most of you. I don't add Stabil or run my gas out before storing it in a hot shed all summer nor have I ever checked my paddle condition because it seems to keep working okay. I have the electric start but seldom use it. Key on, choke pulled, 3 pumps on prime and 1 to 2 pulls and it starts. I drop to 1/2 choke for about a minute and the choke off. My garage is heated to about 60 degrees in the winter so that helps. I may have to change the drive belt as with all the snow blowing I do, in the Chicago area, it is probably worn by now. This will be my 1st plug change. My 1st oil change was this past fall. BTW did I mention This is the same Toro I purchased inj 2005.
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