The snow you see behind me, is likely the last I’m going to see here in Ohio this year. Our winter brought me around 6 driveways full of snow, meaning I had 6 opportunities to try out my very first snow blowers. Specifically, this Toro 252cc 2 Stage Gas Snow blower, and the EGO 56V 2 Stage Electric Snow Blower. Today I’m going to tell you how these $1,300 monsters tackled my 450’ driveway. Let’s go.
At first glance, these both look like giant oversized snow tossing beasts, and they are. But while the price is identical, the details are not. They’re both 2 stage, meaning they have a second auger specifically for launching the snow into your neighbors yard, they are both self propelled with both forward and back modes, they both have bright LEDs for those dark snowy days, and their metal augers seem up for just about anything. But the devil is in the details.
Let’s start with the clearing width. The EGO is 24”, while the Toro is 28” That doesn’t’ sound like a lot, but the results, means I take 3 trips all the way down my driveway and back with the EGO. But the Toro does it in only 2. When you’re clearing 450’ of driveway in 5 degree weather, that extra trip is brutal.
And of course one of these monsters requires gas, oil, maintenance and leaves you smelling a bit like the fumes it emits. That’s clearly not going to bother some of you. Sarah is obsessed with that smell. But it’s still there. It’s also far noisier than the EGO. That doesn’t mean much out here in the country, but my wife mentioned it the first time I used the EGO. She said she hears the Toro the whole time I’m using it, but never noticed the EGO once.
They both throw snow FAR. EGO claims 50’ and Toro says 45’, but there are so many variables that can affect that number. The reality is, at more than one point I had a drive covered is VERY heavy, slushy snow, and neither one of these guys had any problem sending it far off into the woods.
Now of course the TORO, running on Gas, means you have to start it up. I used the pull start every time, and never once had a problem. But just in case, it’s got this clever electric starter built in. All you do is grab an extension cord, plug it in, hit a button and you’re up and running. And of course with gas, I’m going to clear my huge driveway several times before I need to gas up again. That’s simply not true for the EGO.
So the EGO just feels easier to take out and use, because it is. You grab two batteries, I would grab 2 10AH batteries that came with our Z6 mower, drop them in and off you go. No fuss, no muss. It just works. And the 2 10ah batteries were able to clear my entire driveway coming in, and about half of my round about. But of course, you mileage will vary based on the snow you’re slinging. I did that much when it was covered in almost 6 in of slushy snow.
I read online that other EGO users were having run time problems, but that’s when I learned the best kept secret of the EGO snow blowers. Lower the throttle. It’s fun to send the snow 50’ into the woods, but if it’s not necessary, you can throttle it back and get WAY more run time.
With gas it’s easy to always push the auger to it’s limit, and blow the snow all over the place, but a more measured hand on the EGO goes a very long way.
The other difference is with the auger system. The EGO uses a Shear pin.
It’s a small metal pin that goes through the auger and the shaft that drives it, and when you hit something too hard, Like I did when I hit a brick, the pin breaks instead of your auger.
Now snow blower veterans know about this. Being new, I did not. So I searched online, found an obscure hardware store that had a pack of pins, and waited almost 2 weeks for them to arrive. Only to realize that EGO puts two extra, right here on top.
Now the Toro, got rid of the shear pin system all together, replacing them with hardened gears, and a commercial-grade gearbox that can sense hard objects, and safely stop. At that point you just back up, speed the auger back up and go on. Super nice feature.
Now I didn’t have any problems with either of these guys, besides my shear pin replacement, so I went to their website to review the reviews posted by customers. Both are absolutely flooded with good reviews, and all of the negative tend to be about the same thing. For the EGO, it’s the run time which I addressed, lower that throttle, and the chute tends to float around. To fix that, EGO has a free upgrade kit that fixes it. They sent me one without asking, but you might have to hit them up for one.
The Toro, had more than a few complaints about this thing. That’s the drive link, which has a tendency to break. I have that one, and mine is fine so far. But to fix that problem they offer a heavy duty replacement for $3, which I’m going to pick up just as a preventative measure.
So after using both of these snowblowers for a full season, what do I think? Well, first you need to understand something. These are the only two snow blowers I’ve ever used. So keep that in mind. When it comes to power, here in Ohio, with my extra long driveway, I never once ran into snow that pushed either of these models to their limits. The deepest snow was only 6in, whereas the EGO can handle 20”, and the Torro 21”. I did however get to try them on both soft snow, and heavy snow.
On soft, neither snowblower felt like it was working at all. In the heavy slushy stuff, they were both clearly working harder, but never struggled once. They both threw the snow WAY further than I needed them to, even when the bitter wind forced me to blow over our roundabout.
The Toro, being a slightly bigger tool, felt bigger. It was a bit more difficult to maneuver, and I got nervous driving it between our vehicles, wondering if it was going to jump to the side at any moment and mark up our cars. The EGO on the other hand, just feels more manageable. If you’ve used both gas and electric chainsaws, you know what I’m talking about. Gas is powerful, but feels more volatile in your hands. It’s loud. It vibrates. Spits fumes and feels just barely under your control. But battery powered tools are on when you hit the button, and off when you turn it off. The EGO felt easier to control, and was just less intimidating.
My wife wanted to help clear our driveway, and I immediately suggested the EGO. It’s powerful enough to do the job, but it’s also just… easier.
You also can’t ignore the ultra quiet nature of the thing. If you have neighbors, you could come out and clear your driveway, and win some points by clearing theirs, and they’d never know you were out there. Plus, you don’t have to store gas in your garage, and it’s easier to store a battery powered tool in an attic, or toss it in the back of your minivan and go help someone across town.
But I don’t live in a neighborhood like that. I have a huge, winding driveway through the woods, and one of these can do it in only 2 trips instead of 3.
You guys know me. I love battery powered tools. They’re powerful, easy, and clean. Because of that, I want the EGO. But with this property, I need the Toro. The one you want and the one you need might be one in the same, depending on the size of your drive, the proximity of your neighbors, and of course, your climate. I feel REAL bad for
This review was not sponsored by either EGO or TORO, but they both send us these test units to try out, and we greatly appreciate it.
Last of all, it’s MARCH. Depending on how far north you live, you might be done with snow too for the season, but that makes this the BEST time to buy a snow blower. As of today Home Depot has the Toro available for only $1,199, and Lowes doesn’t have this guy on sale yet, but they do have the 21” single stage on sale for $549. So if you want to save a few bucks, now’s the time to do it.
Thanks for hanging out with me today. If you guys have a favorite snow blower you’d like to tell me about, please do so in the comments, and I’ll be sure to respond.
Don’t forget to join us this and every Friday for our Power Tool Week In Review. I’ll see ya then.