Top critical review
164 people found this helpful
Go ahead and make fun of my electric snowblower.
on January 27, 2015
I'm writing this on the 'day after' the great Northeast blizzard of 2015 (it turned out to not be too bad) but I've got about a foot plus more in the drift areas. I live in suburban Long Island. I have a nice size driveway, realistically sized to fit maybe 5 cars, I just finished clearing it and my sidewalks, set up and putaway in about 45 minutes.
What you're expecting from this machine: you think its going to be low power because of the electric motor. Its really not, power isnt the biggest problem with this machine (keep reading). It does a decent job cutting thru the snow. When pushing into a big drift it struggles a bit, but it perseveres. Not unlike a gas blower you need to sometimes chip away at the big piles. Also if its struggling you can just do a half pass (not the full width) and it will do just fine.
"But I'll be tripping over the electric cord". If you're a complete moron, you will run over the cord likely while standing in a melted puddle barefoot and we wont hear from you again... so problem solved. :) But with about 10 seconds of forethought, you can keep the cord to one side and go in a pattern that doesnt make you run it over. One thing I'll say though is, if you can, invest in a cord that is made for low temperature. Just the struggle winding up the crunchy frozen cheap cords makes it worthwhile - and I'm sure there are some safety issues with it as well.
So what I love about this... First, you can go ahead and make fun of my electric snowblower while you turn over a full paycheck or save up a few seasons for your gas blower for 3 or more times the price. You cant beat the price. For the price my expections were to get 'something better than a shovel' - so it well exceeded these expectations. Though there is no self propulsion - realize the only reason that exists on gas blowers is because they are so heavy. You just dont need it. This thing sorta just slides along, and needs an occasional 'umph' to dig in a bit.
The best thing of all about this - is how quiet it is. As I write this, I'm on the second floor of my house and my neighbor just started the 2-3 hour affair with his gas blower. I can hear it growling and whining and vibrating my house on this otherwise peaceful calm snowy day. Personally, I hate to be 'that guy'. Sometimes I work late and like to do what I want when I want. I had no hesitation to use my blower at 10pm last night and I dont think any neighbors noticed, its about as loud as a vacuum, maybe a bit quieter. And it turns on and off when you want it to, it doesnt run constantly. You finish a row, and you can stop it and start it right back up. I've used gas blowers - the power is great, but after you're done using it you feel like you've got a workout. The headache from the noise, the fumes, the vibrating, dragging out 5 gallons of gas. I hate the maintenance, the gas, the oil, the pre and post season, and dragging the beast in and out of the garage.
So - it sounds like I love this machine? ... eh, it could be better. Performance is there, it does better than you'd expect. But this thing just has an issue.... I've used the machine 3 times, and I've lost nuts or screws 3 times (found 2). Other reviews say it too and I read it and ignored it - but its no joke. This isnt my first time assembling something - trust me, its not the nut behind the wheel... this time. Tighten everything super tight, and get some of that nut glue. I didn't, but will very soon. Anything that looks like it could come off (which is about everything on it), wrap it in tape or take some precaution.
One very minor design issue is the power/safety switch. It sorta barely pops out so its difficult getting out with gloves on. This shouldnt influence your purchase - but maybe a product engineer is reading :)
The design of the thrower piece is kinda chintzy - so turn it slowly and carefully. It WILL get frozen in place from melted snow, and then the connection on the gimbal piece will come apart when you force it (you gotta see it for yourself, dumb design)... I had to repair this the second time I used it. Frankly the whole unit, if it was $50 more and was made of metal of some sort, I'd love it and recommend it to everyone. I am doubting how long it will last being almost all plastic (aside from the blade and the handles) - but I live in an area that doesnt get THAT much snow, so I just need it to last me a few storms per season. IF the company would figure out the loosening nut issue, and consider making at least SOME more parts out metal, this would be a five star machine. That all being said, I'd buy it again - but I wouldnt recommend it to anyone who isnt willing to make sure it doesnt fall apart on them. If you read the reviews and follow some of the tips and suggestions, it'll work for you too. I'm hoping the company makes things right and improves the machine and offers replacement parts.