Great Choice For: Paved Driveways That Rarely See More Than A Foot Of Snow

Last Updated On October 9, 2019
Overall Score: 9.4 out of 10
9.4/10

What We Like:

  • A powerful 15 Amp motor that effectively moves up to 700 pounds of snow per minute.
  • The 18-inch width clears larger areas with fewer passes but is narrow enough to fit through the shed door.
  • Power Curve technology limits clogging and the saves time by moving snow faster.
  • Throw the snow in the direction and height you want with the Zip Deflector control and locking ratchet control.
Other Helpful Guides:
Compared To Other Snowblowers We Reviewed:

If time is of the essence when clearing mild to moderate snow, then you’re looking for a single-stage snow blower that has the power to clear snow fast and efficiently. You also need a wide enough clearance width to decrease in turning times. The Toro 18-inch 15 Amp Power Curve electric snow blower would be an excellent choice for people who have limited time to clear their 25-foot driveway or walkways.

In addition to all its features, the Toro 38381 weighs about 25 pounds, which is light enough even for small framed people to carry using the lift handle. It’s adjustable handle folds toward the machine to minimize storage space.

As this is a corded electric snowblower, you will need to provide an extension cord to use this blower.  Some people don’t like hassling with a cord, but in our experience it’s not that big a deal.  It’s best to get an extension cord made for cold weather.  This makes dragging the cord a lot less difficult in the snow because the extension cord is pliable even in cold conditions. Do yourself a favor and get one if you go corded electric.

Toro is the number one electric snow blower brand in the United States. Therefore, you would expect that any Toro snowblower would be a great machine that would not only get the job done but benefit the user too. What makes the Toro 18381 unique in preference to the other Toro electric snow throwers?

The Toro Power Curve is an electric single-stage snow thrower designed to move snow fast end efficiently. To accomplish this task, it has a powerful 15 Amp series wound motor, an 18-inch clearing width, 12-inch clearing height, and Power Curve technology.

The 15 Amp motor can move up to 700 pounds of snow per minute with a 12-inch intake height to maximize efficiency. It’s powerful enough to compete with gas-powered snow blowers. With the integrated cord lock system, the cord doesn’t hinder the user by pulling out more than necessary. For a 100-feet outdoor-rated extension cord, a 14-gauge is recommended, and 12-gauge for 150-feet, which is the maximum suggested length.

The 12-inch clearing depth improves the speed of clearing the snow that is more common on gas-powered snowblowers than single-stage electric snow throwers designed for light, fluffy snow. It allows for greater versatility when the snow measures more than the average depth you would expect from mild to moderate snowfall.  The Toro’s motor and clearing depth are capable of moving heavier snow; it makes take a few passes to clear deep snow.

Power Curve technology increases the speed of clearing the snow. The inverted funnel housing and curved rotor design also prevent unnecessary clogging. With a 160-degree adjustable chute, the operator can change the direction with the crank handle. The Toro can throw snow up to 30 feet either to the left or the right of the path. The Zip Deflector control regulates three heights of throwing the snow. With the touch of the hand, the locking ratchet deflector immediately adjusts the height from low to medium or high.

Many single-stage snow throwers have a clearing width of 12-inches in contrast to the wide 18-inch clearing width of the Toro 1800 Power Curve snow thrower. It means clearing a wider path of snow, which decreases the number of turns at the end of the driveway. The 18-inch width is narrow enough to fit through a shed door and to clear sidewalks, walkways, decks, and patios. The snowblower can remove snow from exposed aggregate concrete driveways, but like most single-stage snowblowers it’s not recommended for use on a gravel driveway.

The safety mechanism requires a two-step process to start the engine to avoid accidental startups. The starter system requires pressing the trigger while holding down the safety button. It may be tricky to start the engine while wearing a thick pair of gloves. The safety process, however, ensures that kids can’t accidentally start the motor without supervision and injure themselves.

The full-bail ergonomically designed handle will ease the discomfort of operating in the cold weather. The padding protects hands and wrist from the machine vibration. The handle adjusts to the operator’s height, which lessens the strain on your back.

Areas To Watch Out For:

  • The starter has a safety mechanism that makes it tricky to start wearing gloves.  On the flipside, this does prevent accidental startups.
  • 6 x 1.5 Plastic wheels are small, which limits maneuverability. The snowblower is light enough to drag if wheels lock however.
  • All corded electric snowblowers require a cord.  These can be a pain to drag along on longer driveways.

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