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Is electric start worth it?

Tara

LawnSite Member
Location
Grand Rapids, MI
I'm a single mom/homeowner and not a professional, so this is a little out of place, but I figured that you all could give me some good advice.

I live in snowy Michigan and I'm planning to buy a snowblower, new or used, either this year or next. I don't have money to burn. I'm wondering if electric start is something I should pay extra for. Normally I can handle pull-starts but the machine will sit in an unheated garage.

I appreciate any advice.
 

PINEISLAND1

LawnSite Member
Location
WEST MI
Hi Tara, Welcome! We are from just North of you in Sparta.

If it was me, I wouldn't worry about electric, especially on the smaller units. They start so easy, even in tough situations that it probably isn't worth the extra hundred bucks or so.

Do a search here in the snow plowing forum on snowblowers for some excellent recommendations on brand and model numbers. Hondas and Toros are the favorites, and one thing almost everyone mentions is how easy they start!

Good luck finding one around here though! Seems to be a hot seller lateley!!
 

plowking35

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
S.E. CT
If you were going to use the blower on many different places like most of us do, then no not worth it. But if it is for your personal use( and I believe that it is) I would get the electric start. Just make sure you have a plug in your garage, as the electric start on snow blowers is handles with an extention cord from an outlet to the snow blower.
Not knowing what size you will be buying, a honda unit will start very easy, but any other 4 stroke machine in a cold garage will start much harder, and you will really grow to appreciate the electric start option.
Dino
 

Evan528

LawnSite Silver Member
My toro single stage snow blower starts in 1-2 pulls even after being stored for 9 months. My toro 2 stage wich has the tecumseh snow king engine (pretty nuch a standard engine for 2 stage blower) also starts in 2-3 pulls even after storage. I feel electric start is a waist of money!
 

Yardworks

LawnSite Member
Tara, you should talk to Pineisland1. He seems like a decent guy and it sounds like he lives close to you. You could probably talk him into doing it for you for next to nothing.
 

FIREMAN

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
n.j.
I'VE SEEN LOTS OF THINGS ON LAWNSITE..BUT A PLACE TO MEET WOMEN???HMMMM NEVER THOUGHT I'D SEE IT...LOL......SERIOUSLY THOUGH....ELECTRIC START ONLY ADDS ABOUT 100.00 DOLLARS TO THE COST..AND IS WORTH EVERY PENNY....ESPECIALLY IF THE MACHINE SITS IN THE COLD AND DOESN'T RUN OFTEN
 

eskals

LawnSite Member
I would say to go with the electric start. It makes starting the machine virtually effortless.

One thing to keep in mind, is that the guys giving you the advice are used hoisting that snowblower into and out of the back of a truck all night long. They may have a bit more upper body strength and pull starting a machine is no big deal. I know of a single mom who bought a machine and could not get it started when the time came. She returned it for an electric start model.

Eric
 

Alan

Member
I'm not trying to sound sexist here, and forgive me if I do, but I've noticed that most women, unless they have been in the trade and are accustomed to starting equipment, are inclined to have problems with pull starting. My recommendation would be to establish a budget for buying the blower, then buy the biggest/best you can get for that money WITH electric start. My reasoning is that a smaller blower that is running will do you more good than a big one that didn't start because you had trouble roping it over.
 

Greenman2ooo

Banned
Location
Illinois
I can't speak for anything other than a Honda regarding a single-stage thrower. If I had a little sister about age 8, I am confident she could start it within two pulls, everytime. I'm not being cute, just trying to illustrate my point.

If you were my mom or sister, I'd say buy the Honda with pull start. Mine starts on the first pull most times. If it doesn't start on the second, it is out of gas or turned off. Electric start on the Honda would only be needed, in my opinion, for someone older and pretty frail.

On the other hand, if you are going with a two stage blower, electric start is probably a must unless you are rather strong. The large eight and ten horse engines take more effort to turn over with a pull start, especially in cold weather when the oil is thicker than molasses. Hope I helped.

Synthetic oil helps with cold starts because it doesn't thicken as much as petroleum based products can due to cold weather. Synthetics cost more, but for small engines (mowers, snowblowers, garden tractors, etc.), with small oil capacities, it is economical enough to run and makes cold weather starting a snap.
 
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