Toro Power Clear 621 QZR 38458 Snowblower Thrower
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- 163cc OHV 4 cycle engine
- Blows snow 35'
- 21" cut width
- Guaranteed to start
- Exclusive Toro chute controls
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Toro's top of the line single-stage model, the Power Clear 621 QZR features the innovative Quick Chute control that allows you to instantly change the direction of the chute while you throw the snow and Zip deflector control so you can position the deflector high, low and anywhere in between. It's 21-inch wide swath and the amazing Power Propel™ drive system make it easy to clear snow right down to the pavement throwing it up to 35 feet away. Also featuring a powerful Toro premium 4-cycle 163cc OHV engine to plow through the deep snow.
Top customer reviews
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 are convenience factors, the size of the snow chute, and the handle shape. They will all clear snow just about the same. To me top of the line was important. I knew I wanted the curved handle. The Quick direction device was not complicated to add. After using this for a while, I'm glad I made this choice. On the other hand, 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.
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.
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.
I've just covered, 4 different models of Toro snow blowers - with Quick or without; and with Electric start or not. Nice to have those options.
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 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
Base Electric Start MSRP $620
TORO Power Clear 621E Ele
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
Myself, I just bought mine today, and went right to work having a good time clearing snow off my driveway. I gave away an old legendary Toro S200 that had served my family well for about 30 years, so I had something "good" to compare it to. And this machine works significantly better than my old S200. Now I realize that it's brand new, so to be fair I should update this review in a year or two. But so far... It's clearly... Easier to Start,... Clears My Driveway Faster,... is Stronger & Throws Snow Farther,... Simpler & Quicker to Adjust... and I Don't have to Mix Oil with the Gas anymore. I honestly found it a real joy to use. The construction is very good and after doing quite a bit of studying, I would be surprised if this machine does not perform at a very high level for the next 25 to 30 years.
Also, I've had a Toro mower for about 15 years and have always followed the recommendation to run it dry before putting it away for the season and that has worked well. The same should be done with the snow blower.
One other thing I particularly like is the knob for changing the chute throwing direction (not available on the cheaper Toro). It works smoothly and quickly and I barely need to pause when turning the snow blower around.
All in all, this isn't the perfect machine for everyone, but it does exactly what I expect of it.
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