The Toro 38361 ranks at the #1 spot on our top 10 electric snow shovel list and has a lot to offer.
Wanting to use real testing conditions, I’ve used the Toro at home throughout one whole winter, clearing our wooden walk path of foot-high snow. It’s something that has to be done so my mother is able to get around on her own with her quad cane.
Half an hour – that’s the time it takes to clear out that path and the sidewalk it connects to if I use an ordinary snow shovel. It’s important to promptly deal with any snowfall or it turns hard into compacted ice which makes it harder to clear out. Apart from the physical work and strain on the back, a power shovel saves half of that time each morning.
Power shovels are great for light-duty yardwork where a full-fledged snow blower is not needed. That makes the Toro Power Shovel very portable and compact. It’s almost half of a regular size home snow blower and you can actually operate it with one hand if you want to. At 12.5 pounds, it is easy to carry it one-handed and push it around like a vacuum cleaner.
The Toro’s 12-inch wide opening clears out a good chunk of snow each time you move the blower into even a foot-high mound. The solid auger carves out snow chunks at high speed and uses the inverted funnel housing to expel the snow out from the same opening, reaching a distance of at least ten feet. According to my measurements, it actually reaches up to twenty feet.
At 7.5 Amp, the motor is strong for a power shovel. it can move 300 pounds of snow per minute, clearing 4-inch snow off a 50-by-20-foot driveway in twenty minutes.
Ease of Use
The second thing we appreciate about the Toro is that it’s so easy to operate. It’s practically plug-and-play. The model only has a very short cord where you’ll need to buy and connect a power extension cord to it. A hundred-footer extension cord should work just fine for your driveway, pathway, and sidewalk.
Given that power shovels are electric (unlike, say, a gas-powered snow blower), it does not require fuel or mechanical maintenance. It’s just about plugging it to an outlet and it works. It’s certainly helpful the Toro has a loop and hook where you can secure the cord. That keeps the cable from getting snagged as you tug it along.
When you’re ready to operate the Toro after it is plugged, you’ll need to press a red button on the handle grip and squeeze the other red button trigger to starts the machine. For safety, the button arrangement is meant to stop the shovel from running when you release your fingers off the buttons.
The Toro Power Shovel is the width of a vacuum cleaner. If you were to compare it to a typical snow blower, it’s slim. It has the dimension of 15 x 12 x 52 inches, the right size to fit behind our tiny coat space by our door to our walk path. I just grab it along with the coil of the extension cord, plug it, and go.
The handle and its metallic stem are slim, just the size to slip between the coats and jackets in our coat space. The stem is also height adjustable with an over handle on top for a steadier, more stable double handling of the power shovel when you need that extra push over more compacted snow.
Different types of snow
The Toro Power Shovel does a great job with fluffed snow. It carves off chunks of snow all the way to the ground.
Just make sure the work area is free of bigger stumps and branches or stones. You don’t want them wedging in with those moving augers in the opening. Stones can get spewed out and hit some car window or dent car doors. Like anything with machines, you’d want to put care in what you do.
Working on compacted snow is a little bit more difficult. You’ll have to do two or more passes over these with a little more push. That’s why getting the snow off your path, steps or driveway first thing in the morning or right after a hard snowfall is a great habit for everyday winter routine.
While the Toro 38361 is surprisingly handy for fast in-and-out snow clearing, it’s got some limitations. Unlike typical snow blowers, the Toro only has one direction for blowing out snow – up and over in the direction of where you point it. So watch where you are going. Other than that, as long as you know you’re blowing out snow, it’s fine.
- Light, compact and portable
- Ease of use
- Electric start
- Very effective
- Low maintenance
- Well built and reliable
- Full 2-year warranty
- Only forward clearance
The Toro 38361 is light and affordable at a low price point, even compared to other electric shovels. This is partly because of its durable plastic construction. It gets the job done when it comes to clearing pathways and driveways of fresh overnight snow.
The unit is fast and easy to operate just by plugging it to an extension cord and pushing the start button. The rest feels like vacuum cleaning the snow off the path and sidewalk. It’s also easy to store because of its slim body and handle stem.
With these benefits that come with the affordable price and a 2-year warranty on top of it for any accidental damage, the Toro 38361 still leads our top 10 list of the best electric shovels.
It is no surprise to us that even on Amazon, this model has over 2000 customer ratings and is vastly more popular than other power shovels.
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Electric Power Shovel
- 12” width, 6” depth
- Electric start
- 7.5 Amp electrical motor
- 300 lbs snow per minute