The Toro Power Curve 1800 38381 is part of the snow blower
test program at Consumer Reports. In our lab tests, snow blower
models like the Power Curve 1800 38381 are rated on multiple criteria, such as those listed below.
The snow blower's clearing width, or swath, in inches.
How quickly models could remove snow without laboring; We push single-stage machines as quickly as possible before the machine labors.
Plow pile removal:
How quickly the snow thrower can remove a simulated pile of snow left by a municipal plow at the end of a driveway.
About This Brand
One of the market leaders in snow-blower sales, Toro sells a variety of electric models in addition to single- and two-stage gas models at outdoor power equipment dealers and Home Depot. It markets the electric models under the Power Curve and Power Shovel line names and the gas models under the Power Shift and Power Max line names. Electric modelshave snow clearing widths of 12 to 18 inches. Gas models have snow clearing widths of 16 to 28 inches and available electric start.
Engine size The engine displacement, measured in cubic centimeters for gasoline powered engines. Most manufacturers no longer give a horsepower rating, so engine displacement is now the only universal way to compare relative engine size. Electric motors are stated in amps.
Electric start Most models offer a plug-in starting device that saves you the hassle of pull-starting the engine, but you need to be near an outlet.
Multiple speeds For two-stage models, most come with multiple forward speeds and two reverse speeds. The ability to vary ground speed according to snow conditions gets the job done faster. Some of the least expensive two-stage models have only one forward speed.
Single hand controls Most two-stage models have individual lever controls on each side of the handlebar: one engaging the wheel traction, and the other for engaging the auger/impeller. This feature lets you hold down both control levers with one hand, leaving the other hand free to adjust the chute controls.
Single hand controls
Freewheel steering For two-stage models, this feature--which usually consists of triggers under each handlebar--disengages either or both the left and right drive wheels for easy, sharp turning.
Single lever chute adjustment Only on two-stage models, a single lever or "joystick" on the control panel allows for quick changes to the horizontal discharge direction (the alternative is a hand crank) and to the vertical discharge height (the alternative is leaving the operator position and adjusting manually), all with a single lever.
Single lever chute adjustment
Headlight Eases snow throwing at night or in low-light situations.
Heated handgrips While they're inessential and don't replace a good pair of gloves, they're handy for keeping up blood circulation in your hands.
Warranty (yrs.) Manufacturer's stated warranty in years of coverage. In most cases it applies only to consumer use and not commercial use.
For this 72 year old, a better choice than a gas blower
Clears to the Pavement
Do not underestimate this blower. <br /><br />A few days ago I used it to successfully clear 16 inch deep snow from a 4 car driveway. No doubt it would have taken a lot less time with a gas blower, but then gas blowers are too heavy for me to handle, at age 72, and too much trouble with constant needs for maintenance and draining the gas and changing the oil. <br /><br />It is so much easier than manual shoveling. Manual shoveling you have to keep bending and throwing. With this blower, you keep standing upright moving the blower, mostly forwards, sometimes backing up.<br /><br />It also slowly chews through heavy soggy piles of snow at the foot of my driveway deposited by my township's snow plows. Not quick, but much less stressful than doing it by hand.<br /><br />And the other big plus is that it is easy to store without major hassle. <br /><br />NOTE: I wish Consumer Reports would state the *weight* of heavy products like snow blowers and electric generators.
How long have you owned it:
Yes, I would recommend this to a friend.
Good but it died
Can't Handle Wet Snow
Bought in Dec 2010 - wanted a small footprint, no maintenance, no emissions, light duty snow blower. I live in western north carolina and normally only get a few 3 to 8 inch snow events. It worked great and even pretty good on wet snow. However it recently seemed to overheat and it appears the motor is toast. The part isn't repairable and a new motor costs more than a new model. My 'eco' solution doesn't seem so 'eco' now.
How long have you owned it:
More than six months
No, I would not recommend this to a friend.
from Queens, New York.
Totally practical for small driveway city dwellers
A Back Saver
Clears to the Pavement
Easy to store
Easy to use
Poor On Compacted Snow
Scraper Wears Out Quickly
Before Snow Is Compacted
Up To Ten Inches
Very convenient where power is reliable. This machine takes the sweat out of clearing snow on driveways and sidewalks. I would suggest you clear a space before your driveway and before the the city plow creates a snowbank. Your neighbor will be happy and you won't be up at five with a real shovel. You will not be the neighborhood hero with this machine but your clear sidewalks will be appreciated.