This reviewer is a big fan neither of snowblowers nor of (generally speaking) corded equipment. His opinion is that the best snow-removal equipment for the able-bodied homeowner is the good old-fashioned shovel -- unless you have an extraordinarily long driveway. That is why he refers to this piece in the subtitle as "A Shoveler's Review."
The inference to be drawn from this admission of preference is that you can take to heart anything good he has to say about the Toro 1500 Power Curve electric snowblower.
It is simply not in his DNA to lavish profuse praise on such gadgets.
Whom This Electric Snowblower Is Intended For
Now that it has been stated whom these gizmos are not for (in this reviewer's opinion), let's say whom they are for -- especially in the case of this particular type of electric snowblower.
Buying a snowblower can be a sound choice for snow removal if you have physical problems that make shoveling difficult, or even impossible. For example, many people with bad backs clear the snow out of their driveways using snowblowers, because lifting a shovel-full of snow would put undue stress on their backs. Likewise, snow shoveling is painful for people who have suffered injuries to their hands, wrists, etc.
If snowblowers, in general, are a good alternative for such folks, then that goes doubly for electric snowblowers. The latter, an example of which is the Toro 1500 Power Curve -- the subject of this review -- are light-weight.
That means moving them around is a lot easier -- not only while removing the snow, but also before and after the job, since, remember, you'll be wheeling your machine in and out of storage. Moving a heavy snowblower in and out of a cramped garage or storage shed could, itself put stress on a bad back or wrist, since it entails maneuvering between all that clutter you've accumulated over the years.
Snowblowers, generally speaking, can also come in handy for people with long driveways. Shoveling could be quite an exhausting chore on such properties, especially if you aren't in peak physical condition. This is where gas snowblowers do have one advantage over electric snowblowers: with the latter, it can be a pain to lug the cord up and down a long driveway.
That's why the Toro 1500 Power Curve electric snowblower is ideal for people who are physically unable to shovel (or just don't like shoveling) and who have to clear one or more of the following (but not a long driveway):
- A walkway.
- A sidewalk.
- A small driveway free of obstructions such as parked cars.
The following are a few of the specs for the Toro 1500 Power Curve electric snowblower (more are presented later in the review):
- Clearing width: 15 inches
- Snow-cut depth (in one pass): 1 foot
- Motor amps: 12
Note that, although the snow-cut depth is only 15 inches, that doesn't mean you can't use this electric snowblower after bigger snowstorms. It just means that you have to approach your project the same way you'd approach mowing an overgrown lawn: namely, in several passes.
Good Points of the Product
You will love the fact that the need for gas and oil is eliminated thanks to this technology.
And start-up is a breeze.
As soon as you remove the unit from its box, you'll be able to tell how light-weight it is. When you look at the specs, you will see that, indeed, it's just 25 lbs. Assembly is easy, too. The latter requires simply that you attach the handle. If you've ever completed this task for a new lawn mower, you should have no problem with the Toro 1500 Power Curve electric snowblower.
Having assembled the unit, this reviewer's test began. Snowstorms in a region such as New England (U.S.), where this review was conducted, are frequently followed by days that bring clear skies but also -- as part and parcel of that clearing -- an awful lot of wind. Such was the case on the day of the test. Since the direction of the wind was changeable (and the idea behind snowblowing is to blow the snow where you want it to go), this reviewer found it difficult to get into any kind of rhythm.
But once he did settle into a groove, he found that the Toro 1500 Power Curve electric snowblower cleared the snow pretty smoothly. It throws snow for a distance of up to 25 feet.
For safety purposes, you can't start the engine without inserting an interlock key (it's a technology called "Qwik-Key™") and squeezing the bar on the handle. You're probably familiar with such safety features from the world of lawn mowers. In a review of a cordless electric mower that employs these features, it has been noted that the key (and the part in question really does look like a key, in the case of the cordless electric mower), since it is not attached to the unit, could easily become lost. This is not a problem for the Toro 1500 Power Curve electric snowblower: The key is built in, so you don't have to worry about losing it.
The interlock key is really more of a button than a key; so think in terms of pressing a "start button." And although you can't lose it, it does have one drawback: Periodically, it fails to line up properly with its hole. When this happens, since the engine won't start, you have to drop what you're doing and fiddle around with it until it lines up again -- a real pain.
During a follow-up test that was conducted, the weather was warmer and the snow slushy. The reviewer concluded that the Toro 1500 Power Curve electric snowblower handled the slush surprisingly well. No clogged snow had to be cleared out of the chute.
Again, don't overlook the pro that, because, it is light-weight and compact, the Toro 1500 Power Curve electric snowblower is easy to store. That's a significant advantage, when you consider that the machine will be in storage for the better part of the year (unless you live in Alaska or some such place). On small properties, in particular, it counts as a con to have a large piece of equipment taking up valuable space while serving no function for nine months of the year.
Bad Points of the Product
Of course, the major disadvantage you'll encounter with gadgets that must be plugged in is the accursed cord that you have to drag around.
It's all right to use an electric chainsaw to buck up a pile of branches, because this is stationary work. But anytime your task involves moving about while using the equipment, dealing with a cord is a serious headache (potentially dangerous, too). And using a snowblower obviously requires you to move around a lot.
While the mechanism for changing the horizontal direction of the discharge chute is completely intuitive (you simply move a handle left or right), the mechanism for adjusting its vertical angle is a bit less so. Luckily, the instructions in the manual clear up any confusion that the mechanically-challenged might experience, provided you can get past the rather awkward name for this mechanism: "discharge chute deflector trigger."
Example Where the Toro 1500 Power Curve Electric Snowblower Would Be Ideal
Consider the following scenario:
Let's say you live in the city and have a very small area to worry about when it comes to having to clear snow away. Your garage is, say, 20 feet from the street. So all you have to deal with after a snowstorm is that 20 feet and the walkway leading from your house to the garage. Health issues prohibit you from shoveling, and you can't find somebody else to shovel the yard for you.
In this case, the product reviewed above would be ideal for you. Buy the Toro 1500 Power Curve electric snowblower on Amazon.com.
Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.