Toro Power Curve Snow Blower Review
There are several choices you have when choosing a snowblower or snow thrower. Aside from the gas-powered and battery-operated tools available, there are the ever-popular electric snow blowers. These snow eaters are lightweight, easy to operate, and they use clean energy. The Toro 38381 18-Inch 15 Amp Electric 1800 Power Curve Snow Blower is one of the most popular choices every winter because it’s a snow-hungry beast that chews up driveway and sidewalk snow easily and quickly.
With so many choices, though, how can you be sure Toro’s snow blower is the one for you? Let’s look a little closer at the Toro Power Curve snow blower – one of the bestselling electric snow throwers on the market.
If you’re passionate about power tools, you have something in common with Toro. The company has been making tools and machines meant to make your job outdoors easier and better for more than 100 years. When it comes to clearing the heavy white stuff, this electric tool munches down on up to 12-inch deep powder and spits it back out where you want it.
Toro doesn’t overlook important details on its thrower, such as the ability to direct the material from left to right, but also to deflect the snow upward or downward. The handle folds down for easy storage, and the 6-inch back wheels make it easy to push, whether you’re headed straight down a path, curving a winding walkway, or making your way up a steep driveway. Plus, it helps protect you from any defective units with its two-year warranty. Most electric blowers don’t put as much as 15 amps of power into its motor.
- Power: 15 amps
- Weight: 24 lbs.
- Clearing width: 18 inches
- Clearing depth: 12 inches
- Plowing capacity: 700 lbs./min.
- Throw distance: 30 feet
- Warranty: 2 years
An electric snow blower is a good choice if you don’t have to deal with three-foot drifts. This Toro Power Curve snow thrower is meant for light to medium snowfalls. Even if you get more like an 18-inch snowfall, this powerful little muncher will work its way through what’s there, but it may take a little more effort on your part.
The power source is a big reason for why some people choose this blower, and why others avoid it. The more snow, and the heavier it is, the more likely you’d prefer a gas snow thrower because they are simply more powerful. However, gas-powered snow blowers are often expensive to buy and maintain, and compared to electric options, they’re far worse for the environment. In fact, you could store your Toro Power Curve snow blower indoors with no issue because there would be no fumes, and no harsh smell at all. It’s slightly larger than a vacuum cleaner, so it could go in a closet, if needed.
You don’t have to be super eco-conscious to appreciate all the benefits of Toro’s Power Curve snow blower. It’s easier to store when you don’t need it; it’s lightweight, so easy to carry and push around; and it creates less noise pollution, too. An electric model isn’t capable (yet) of taking on the same amount or type of white stuff as effectively as a gas model, so it’s important to know exactly what you need, and the benefits and drawbacks of each.
- Easy to use
- Won’t scratch surfaces
- Easy to store
- No maintenance required
- Great for powdery snow
Many blowers have chutes that go straight up, but Toro took a different approach. A single-stage snow thrower uses the auger, or blades, to chew up snow, and then swallows it into the impeller, which pushes it into the chute, which then spits the stuff back out to a different spot. A slight curve to the chute, helps prevent clogging, according to Toro. It’s this technology that helps keep you moving right along without having to stop to see what’s plugged up your machine.
At only 24 pounds, the Toro Power Curve snow blower is easy to use for almost anyone. Compare that to a gas-powered snow blower that typically weighs about 175 pounds, and you’ll see why so many people choose an electric snow thrower. Of course, this machine isn’t self-propelled like many two-stage snow blowers, but the Toro snow-eating machine is easy to maneuver. The 6-inch wheels help make it easy to move it from spot to spot, and it won’t require you to do heavy dead lifts in the gym just to pull the tool out of your garage every time there’s stuff falling outside.
When you start searching for an electric snow blower, you’ll find that most of them hover around 12 or 13 amps, but the Toro Power Curve offers you a full 15 amps of power. What this gives you is a more powerful motor and auger, which means the machine can chew through packed stuff better than other devices, and it throws it farther.
Usually, you can buy a low-temp extension cord that’s 100 feet long and rated for 11 to 13 amps for most electric throwers. In this Toro’s case, you’ll want to purchase a similar heavy-duty cord, but look for one that’s rated for 15 or 20 amps – a 12 or 10 gauge cord. Also, buying one that’s specifically made for low temperatures would be best to make sure the cord stays flexible in cold weather.
In ideal conditions, which means soft, powdery white stuff that has freshly fallen on your driveway, deck, or walkways, this Toro Power Curve snow blower can make its way through more quickly than you thought possible. How fast? How about 700 pounds of snow per minute? Good luck doing that with a snow shovel, especially if you suffer from lower back pain or other back issues.
To get an idea of how much material you should be able to move with this machine, realistically speaking, that’s about half a foot or so of snow. Theoretically, you could plug this blower in and have a fresh fall of about 6 inches cleared from an average driveway in about 10 to 15 minutes, taking your time.
The average two-car driveway for a residence is about 20 feet by 24 feet; Mother Nature drops about 8 inches on your neighborhood; that’s equal to just a few pounds shy of a ton of snow. Literally 1,997 pounds of heavy white stuff– that’s just 3 pounds shy of a ton.
The wider your blower, the better because you should be able to get through all the snow on your driveway or deck much faster. Toro’s Power Curve snow blower offers a full foot-and-a-half of clearance, which means you can make about 16 paths to get it clear. On days when you get a light fall, it could be as simple as one pass to clear everything. How long does it take you to walk a 24-foot long path, but 16 times? Probably about the same time as it takes you to walk the dog in the morning.
The Toro Power Curve claims it can cut through a full foot of powder, and the mouth of this blower certainly seems like it can handle that much at once. However, with all things like this, it depends on conditions. If the stuff you’re tackling is light and powdery, this Toro will make quick work of it – even if it’s 12 inches of it.
And then there are those days when the stuff is wet and slushy, or icy if you don’t clear the material right away. That’s where this machine may have trouble – and especially so with packed snow. In these cases, you may need to help your blower along by kicking down some of the stuff or thrusting the machine into a pile of snow and let it eat at the snow a little at a time.
An electric snow thrower is a great tool to have, but if you can’t direct the snow once it goes through the auger and impeller, it could be kind of useless to you. The Toro Power Curve lets you choose whether you want the chute to point to the left or right. Just turn the chute the way you want it in a 160-degree range to shoot the stuff from your driveway to your yard – or your neighbor’s yard. I’m not judging. It’s easy to change direction, too, in case your neighbor catches you. Just turn a lever, rather than crank, like many blowers,’ and you’ll be casting white stuff all over your front lawn.
Often overlooked is the deflector – there are even some blowers with fixed deflectors, so you don’t get to choose the height of where your snow is thrown. You can easily choose whether you want to send the snow from this Toro Power Curve snow blower high up, low, or somewhere in between. The benefit of this is that you can send the snow farther from you or closer to you, depending on where you want the powder to end up. And this powerful little machine can throw the material up to 30 feet – and depending on the size of your yard, that could mean sending snow to another neighbor’s yard. That’s not necessarily a suggestion.
Whenever you buy a power tool, you should make sure it comes with a warranty. Defects happen, but you don’t have to keep a defective blower and go back to using a manual hand shovel. As long as you’re using your Toro Power Curve snow blower for your residence and not for commercial use, you get a full two-year warranty. This means that Toro is committed to repairing your tool if it doesn’t work or stops working because of a defect in workmanship or parts.
The Bottom Line
Snow is going to happen. Some years you may have a little more or less compared to previous years, but you know that winter is coming. You also have to get to work on time, and that means keeping your driveway clear. And many cities and counties require you to clear sidewalks in front of your house because of the danger snow and ice present for others. Do your part but do it smartly.
The Toro Power Curve snow blower packs enough power in its small, but effective body to handle light to medium snowstorms. If you typically get about 3 to 8 feet of snow when the powdery stuff falls, then this could be the snow blower of your dreams. It’s lightweight, easy to push, and there’s no maintenance involved, unlike a gas-powered machine. Even if you get a heavier snowfall here and there, this Toro snow beast can get through it, but you may have to wake up a bit earlier in the morning.
Whether you’re sure that this is the machine you want, you should at least put it on your list of the snow blowers to check out. With 15 amps of power, an 18-inch wide mouth, and the ability to chow down on a foot of snow at a time, the Toro Power Curve is worth considering. Just ask yourself again how long it would take you to shovel 700 pounds of snow. If it’s under a minute, then stick to your snow shovel – and stop by my house this winter, too, thanks!