Steel Workshop Tool Review: Toro Power Max 724 OE Snow Blower
This winter, Mother Nature meets her match. When the weather gets cold in your area and the snow starts to pile up in front of your steel workshop, ditch the shovel and take control of the white stuff. In this month’s Armstrong Steel Tool Review, I’ll take a look at the Power Max 724 OE, Two-Stage Snow blower from Toro.
Some of the medium range snow blowers have a lot of the same power as the large duty snow blowers, but also have the maneuverability of the smaller machines. Built to handle the toughest winters, these machines feature heavy-duty welded construction with a heavy gauge frame and auger housing.
This snow blower comes from a complete line of quality snow blowers from Toro. I saw Toro installed Briggs and Stratton engines in the Power Max line of blowers. Briggs and Stratton calls themselves the number-one name in snow blower engines, and I’ve had success with these engines in the past.
The Power Max 724 OE model features a 24-inch clearing width, which was suitable for tackling the 6-12 inches of snow on my driveway or your walkway in front of your steel workshop. It features a two-stage mechanism to throw snow up to 40 feet. Of course, the throwing distance may vary depending on type of snow and weather conditions in your area. Get ready to wield some power, because this model can handle a capacity of 1800 pounds of snow per minute. The snow blower also contains features made of special cold-weather material durable to -104 degrees.
The 724 OE model is extremely easy to handle, and features an electric starter for a hot start on frigid days, and recoil grip for backup. This particular blower holds 3.2 quarts of fuel, which is just under a gallon. Even the biggest, heavy-duty snow thrower only holds about 1.5 gallons of fuel at capacity.
Probably my favorite feature of the Power Max line of snow blowers from Toro is the Anti-Clogging System. With hard packed or settled snow, you can expect the chute to get clogged from time to time. This system regulates snow intake to eliminate clogging and maximize the impeller speed for better performance. The auger blades do a great job of cutting through crusty snow, but this model’s capabilities greatly depend on the dryness of the snow. While this snow blower works the best on freshly fallen powdery snow, I found it can still make swift work of heavy sleet as well.
This model comes equipped with six forward speeds and two reverse speeds. A choice of speeds, coupled with the Anti-clogging system, can help prevent clogs when you trudge through wet, heavy snow around your steel workshop I liked using the joystick control that operates the chute and deflector on the front of the machine. The chute turns 180 degrees, and can hurl snow in any forward direction.
One downside of the Toro 724 OE model is the lack of freewheel steering. Lots of two-stage snow blowers are equipped with triggers under each handlebar that disengage either or both the left and right drive wheels for easier steering. It also doesn’t have headlights, I only recommend using this snow blower during the daytime. In extreme cases, some users have complained the Anti-clogging technology works sporadically, and snow still backs up into the system from time to time. Weighing in at 172 pounds, a little strength is required to operate this particular model, but it does have a self-propelled drive system.
Toro offers a three-year warranty for this snow blower, while the cold weather protected chute, bypass and deflector are guaranteed for life. The Toro Power Max 724 OE Snow blower retails for about $900 on the company website and is available online and in several retail stores nationwide. If you live in an area with heavy snow, I’d recommend using this blower.
If you’re a power tool enthusiast like I am, check out our Contractor Central blog. We’ll review a new tool once a month, so check back frequently!Photo Courtesy: Toro