Being based in Minnesota snow country gives Toro engineers a wicked good understanding of what a snowblower is expected to do. That also explains why Toro offers quite a mix of models — from heavy-duty two-stage blowers that can churn and toss wet and packed snow more than 40-feet to the light-duty Power Clear 180 that is perfect for light snows and clearing off sidewalks and decks.
The Toro Power Clear 180 shares a rich heritage that began in the 1960s with the creation of the Toro Snow Pup, which Toro advertising of the day said was “The first, honest-to-goodness snow thrower designed to sell for less than $100.” Well, the day of the $100 dollar snow thrower may have passed, but the need for a durable, lightweight snow thrower with power to clear a sidewalk or small driveway still remains. Today’s Power Clear 180 retains the feature-rich aspects of Toro’s single stage models that include the unique Power Curve technology of a curved rotor with inverted, funnel-shaped housing. This exclusive to Toro design allows this lightweight snow thrower to move wet snow that might clog a lesser design.
The Power Curve system incorporates a rugged rubber paddle that not only helps move the unit forward but works to clear your driveway or walk down to the pavement, making it less likely packed snow will turn to slip-inducing ice.
If you look at Toro’s line up of lightweight snowblowers you’ll find a heritage of small, yet highly efficient machines that trace their ancestry back to that first Snow Pup. Instead of a two-cycle engine, the modern Power Curve 180 features a gas-sipping 87cc Toro 4-cycle single cylinder motor that can toss upwards of 1100 pounds of snow up to 25-feet while clearing an 18-inch path. Although the modern Toro lightweight weighs a bit more than that good ol’ original 2-stroke Snow Pup, homeowners will appreciate the fact that the newest version runs on regular gas — with no need to mix oil as in the “old days”. Plus the 2010 Toro Power Curve 180 is quieter and “greener” than that 1960s original.
If you live in heavy snowfall areas, the Toro Power Curve 180 is not the answer as your main snow removal tool, but we’ve found that it excels as a quick and ready “power shovel” for clearing the back deck, walkways and even the front stoop. The Power Curve can take a serious 18-inch wide bite out of snow up to 12-inches deep and toss it up to 25-feet away. We’ve used one of Toro’s lightest gas-powered snow throwers for “clean up” since the advent of the original Snow Pup. The strengths of this curved paddle snow thrower are its lightweight maneuverability, its long term durability, and in the case of the new 4-stroke Power Curve 180, its incredible ease of starting and its stingy use of fuel.
The Toro Power Curve 180 is a case of not only bringing the concept of the Snow Pup into the future but making it a better product overall. Of course, the latest iteration will cost a bit more than $100 in today’s money!
|Manufacturer & Model||Toro Power Clear 180|
|Capacity per Minute||Up to 1100 lbs|
|Snow Throwing Distance||Up to 25 ft|
|Clearing Width||18 in|
|Auger System||Toro Power Curve Rotor with rubber paddles and inverted funnel housing|
|Weight||54 lbs (recoil); 58 lbs (120-volt AC electric start)|
|Engine||Toro 87cc 4-cycle with overhead valve and electronic ignition|
|Starter||Recoil rope (optional electric starter)|
|Fuel Capacity||1.4 qts (regular gas)|
|Drive System||Rotor propelled|
|Curved chute with Toro zip deflector|
|Chute mounted handle|
|Collapsible handle for storage|
|2-year Toro warranty|
|Suggested Retail Price||US $399.95 (recoil) / $439.95 (electric start)|