342 of 343 people found the following review helpful
Snowblower comparison: Toro, Worx and Snow Joe,
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This review is from: WORX WG650 18-Inch 13 Amp Electric Snow Thrower (Lawn & Patio)
Bottom line: while the new Toro model (the one with the larger wheels) is better at moving snow, the Worx is no slouch and is a better value. Snow Joe just didn't cut it for me.
I grew up in Western New York, so I'm not a stranger to having to deal with a lot of snow. But, while a big, hulking snowblower got a lot of use there, it's not something that really is worth the expense and storage space now that I live in Virginia. An electric seemed like a good idea, so I spent some time trying out differed models.
For the winter of 08/09 I tried a Snow Joe. Liked the price and the specs on paper seemed pretty good. But performance was horrible. Rather, I should say performance was fine for the brief time it worked -- Joe lasted all of 30 minutes before dying from a cracked auger shaft. Impossible to get anyone at the company to provide me with info on a repair. Fortunately, it was bought with an American Express card and they stepped in and gave me my money back (they have a warranty/replacement type benefit). So long Joe.
(As an aside, it seems Snow Joe has a new model out that is getting decent reviews. So no one should completely dismiss Joe from my bad experience).
For this past winter I got the Worx mainly because of my positive past experience with their chain saw and blower/vac. A friend who lives several houses down got the new Toro model (the one with the bigger wheels). Being guys, we of course had to compete to see whose was the best. Mother Nature was kind enough to give us way too many opportunities to try them out.
Both are pretty easy to put together, but the Toro has better instructions. On the other hand, I really like the cam bolts that the Worx uses. Takes a few minutes to figure them out, but if installed correctly they allow you to loosen and fold the handle for storage without any tools. Flipping the cam when the handle is extended ensures everything stays tight regardless of the amount of bouncing around it gets on the pavement.
Both have grips that are comfortable and safety switches that can be used with gloves on.
Both also deal with the rarely seen fluffy snow like a champ. But, what we normally get in VA is the wet, heavy stuff. That's a bit more challenging. I didn't notice any difference between the Toro and the Worx with snows of up to 6 inches. Once you pass the 6 inch level, the Toro started to have the edge - threw it further and didn't bog down as much. At the 10 inch level the Toro really pulled ahead. The Worx got the job done, but the Toro was faster, threw further, and never clogged. The Worx is rated for 9 inches max; the Toro is rated for 12 inches. Both can tackle deeper snows if you take it slow.
But there are some key advantages to the Worx. It has a 13 amp motor versus a 15 amp in the Toro. While more is usually better, I ended up tripping the breaker twice with the Toro, since the only circuit I have outdoors is a 15 amp. The Worx is also more forgiving when it comes to an extension cord. A 12 gauge is best at the 100 foot length, but you can get by with a 14 gauge. With the Toro, you absolutely must have a 12 gauge that is rated for 15 amps.
I found the Worx easier to fold and store than the Toro. Takes up less room as well.
The Worx also has a metal auger that has rubber tips/scrapers. The Toro has an all-plastic auger. But, while the metal seems like it would last longer (the rubber tips are replaceable), the Toro design is more clog resistant. I had to spray the Worx with WD40 to keep the chute from clogging (and it still did clog on me once). Didn't have to do that with the Toro, and no clogs. Since it was the same amount of snow on the same driveway, I have to assume the difference is in the Toro design.
The Worx wins out in terms of price. I happened to get it on a price dip, but even the usual Worx price is lower than the Toro.
Toro wins out with regard to replacement parts. Sooner or later you'll need a new belt or a new bottom scraper due to wear and tear. Toro seems far easier to deal with than Worx to get parts - there are Toro dealers in my area, and I've seen Toro parts from online vendors (including Amazon). No one seems to carry Worx parts, so replacements will need to be ordered directly from the company, which can be tedious and expensive.
So, if you absolutely want to get the most powerful, most capable electric snowblower, you'll want the Toro. But, the Worx offers a great blend of features at a lower cost, and the 13 amp motor is easier to deal with than the 15 amp on the Toro (unless you have a 20 amp outdoor circuit). Both are 5-star products, but I'm glad I went with the Worx.
Now, if it never snowed again to the extent that I have to use the Worx, I'd be one very, very happy camper!
PS: Regardless of which one you get, some tips that apply to both are:
1. Get a cold-flexible extension cord (the blue ones). You'll appreciate how easier it is to maneuver when the temperature really dips down.
2. Make sure your extension cord is suitable for the amperage of the model you use. 12 gauge is always a good bet, but be sure it can carry 15 amps if you get the Toro.
3. When you're done using the snowblower, bring the machine inside and let the trapped snow melt. Put down a couple of old towels and just let it defrost on its own. Once it has fully defrosted and dried out, put it back in the garage. The reason you want to do this is that water can get into the nooks and crannies, and then freeze if the snowblower is stored wet in an unheated garage. The frozen parts can put a huge strain on the belt and/or motor when you start it up again.
4. Irish Coffee makes the job much more pleasant.
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Showing 1-10 of 26 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 24, 2011 7:56:12 PM PDT
Lady Ontario says:
Could you tell me the model of the Toro snow thower your friend and you used, as it is hard to tell the size wheel on the sites offering toro show throwers. I live in upstate NY, situated close to Lake Ontario where we can get LOTS of snow and I'm trying to figure out which might be better the Toro or the one you bought.
In reply to an earlier post on May 24, 2011 8:15:56 PM PDT
It's the Toro Powercurve 1800. I'm not 100% sure of this, but I think they did not change the model number when they added the new features (which, in addition to the larger wheels, include a different handle and others. The new features are highlighted on the Amazon product page for the Toro 1800).
Given where you are, I'd say if you want to go with an electric, the Toro would be the better choice since lake effects snows can be huge (as you no doubt know!). However, unless you have a very small amount of clearing that needs to be done (very small driveway, a deck, or something such as that) a gas powered machine would be the better option. Toro makes some great gas machines you may want to look at -- can't give you model numbers since I don't have first-hand expereince with their gas line, but I know they are highly rated. I'd be worried that an electric would not be able to deal with that amount of snow.
Hope this helps.
Posted on Nov 8, 2011 7:07:48 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 8, 2011 7:11:29 PM PST
Keith F. says:
I really enjoyed this review, and based on it I decided to get the Worx over the other models you mentioned. I felt the Toro was too expensive, particularly when you factor in the need for a 12 gauge power cord and a circuit that can handle 15 amps, plus the Worx was on a price dip. Thank you for the tips about letting the snow melt off the machine when done and applying WD-40 to the chute.
Along with the snow blower, I purchased US Wire 98100 14/3 100-Foot SJEOW TPE Cold Weather Extension Cord Blue with Lighted Plug.
Mine just arrived, and now I will patiently wait for it to snow... and I'll have the Irish Coffee ready too!
I also have an unrelated note concerning Amazon customer support - my order was never shipped even after receiving notification that it had been. I contacted Amazon customer support and they immediately offered a full refund, or another product with one-day shipping at no charge. I chose the replacement product, and sure enough, it arrived within two days. I've purchased a lot of products from Amazon over the years, and this was the first time I ever had a problem - I was very impressed with their customer support.
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2011 8:01:07 PM PST
Thanks Keith -- glad you found it helpful. Hopefully, neither of our snow throwers will get much use in the coming months! I'd be more than happy to just have it stay in the garage on its wall hook until spring.
Also glad to hear that Amazon made things right with the delivery problem. I've always been impressed with their customer service as well.
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 10, 2011 8:46:27 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 10, 2011 8:48:26 AM PST
Thanks for a great review. I purchased the Worx in large part based on your experience. were you able to find any place online that sells parts, belts, etc?
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 10, 2011 11:02:34 AM PST
So far I've not been able to find a place online to purchase parts. Places such as ereplacementparts.com or sears parts carry parts for the Worx trimmer, mower, etc. but not the snow thrower. The only thing I've found so far is a parts diagram at http://www.lawnmowerpros.com/Worx/WG650.p
If you find anyplace please post the info! So far I've not needed any parts, but eventually the scraper bar and/or belt will need to be replaced, and the only place I know of to get them is directly from Worx.
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 10, 2011 11:37:32 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Nov 10, 2011 11:37:46 AM PST]
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 10, 2011 2:00:34 PM PST
Thanks for the quick response. If I find anywhere I'll post it here. I usually like to buy the spare parts in advance.
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2011 10:08:48 AM PST
Keith F. says:
I assembled mine over the weekend. The instructions really are awful - but a little common sense goes a long way. The machine itself is quite simple. Assuming I only have to use it a few times a year, I suspect the parts will last - especially since the auger has a rubber edge instead of being all plastic like most electric models. I fired it up to test and it's got some power behind it. Bring on the snow, winter!
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2011 9:36:55 PM PST
I'm not so sure about the locking brackets that attach the two handle sections. (I forgot the technical name)- they're made of plastic and are bending already when tightened against the metal washer and handle. Otherwise it seems to be good quality. I guess we'll find out although it would be nice to not have to use it the whole winter.