14 Mar Toro 3861
Toro 7.5 Amp Electric Power Shovel
I’ve never been sold with the idea of an electric snow shovel. These strange little contraptions look like more of a gimmick than anything else, but they’re extremely popular, so there must be something to them. The Toro 3861 Power Shovel is actually one of the 10 most popular Amazon purchases in the snow blower category. A lot of people are buying these and most of them are generally satisfied.
What’s the most attractive aspect of this simple little electric snow shovel? Undoubtedly its price – this machine can be purchased for $100 – $150. If you’re on a tight budget and you’re sick of shoveling snow the old fashion way, you may want to give one of these a try. You probably won’t be too impressed with one of these machines if you live in northern Minnesota, but it will likely do just fine if you live in an area with relatively limited snowfall.
This little machine by Toro isn’t going to clear a path like a top-of-the-line gas-powered snowblower, but it does do a surprisingly good job. It’s only recommended for snow falls under 6 inches, but many users claim to have used it in deeper snow by simply lifting it off the ground and cutting through the top level of snow before moving further down. That might be a little awkward, as this machine weighs in at about 12 pounds, but I guess it depends on how much of a workout you’re up for.
Starts with the Push of a Button
Perhaps one of the most frustrating things about a traditional gas-powered snowblower is that you have to wrench on a cord to start it. With the Toro electric Snow shovel there are no such worries. This little machine starts at the push of a button and will continue to work as long as you’re holding on to that button. It’s powered by an electrical cord plugged into your house’s outdoor outlet, so as soon as you’re plugged into the power the machine is ready to go. It’s simple, easy to use, and generally starts every time.
This Power Shovel is extremely lightweight, which makes it easy to store when you’re not using it, and convenient to travel with when needed. It weighs in at less than 13 pounds and it’s no bigger than a traditional snow shovel. The great thing about such a lightweight device is that you can store it just about anywhere, such as up on the shelf in your garage. You don’t have to worry about it taking up a lot of room, whereas traditional gas-powered snowblowers are way too heavy for easy storage.
Maintenance Isn’t a Real Issue
My brother-in-law has a fantastic snowblower that cost him well in excess of $1000. There’s no doubt that this machine can cut through snow like butter, but the problem is it seems to be breaking down on him just about every other week. I guess the more moving parts that a machine has the greater the potential there is for issues. He also has to take it in for a tune-up every fall and get the oil changed at the same time. If you purchase one of these compact machines by Toro you don’t have to worry about tune-ups or oil changes – in fact, there is very little maintenance required at all.
Some Miscellaneous Benefits
There are a couple of more things that this machine has going for it. It comes with a two-year warranty, which isn’t bad for such an inexpensive item. It also has a handy adjustable handle to set it for the right height for you. One of my biggest pet peeves about traditional manual snow shovels is that you constantly have to bend over in unnatural positions as the handles are not adjustable, so I was pleasantly surprised to find out that this machine had this adjustable handle.
And Now for the Bad
For all of the positives we’ve discussed above there are some major drawbacks with this machine. First of all you have to have an outdoor extension cord to plug into the wall, and it has to be quite long if you’re going to use it on your driveway. The machine also tends to blow the snow in a straight line instead of to the side like more expensive models. Furthermore, you have to hold the button down the entire time you’re using it as the minute you release your hand from the button the power is cut to the machine. It’s also very small, so it only clears a six-inch path at a time, it will probably take you a fair bit of time to clear a large driveway with this machine.
Still Looking for the Perfect Shovel
I love the affordability of this Toro Electric Snow Shovel, but I’m just not convinced that it has enough power for my needs. I live in a northern climate and we tend to get our fair share of snow. If I was to purchase one of these machines I can see myself getting pretty frustrated when the heavy snow starts to fall. For now I’m going to stick with the good old-fashioned manual snow shovel, but I’m definitely looking for an affordable alternative – I just haven’t found it yet.