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Is electric start worth it?

Discussion in '<a href=http://www.plowsite.com target=_blank ?>Sn' started by Tara, Jan 4, 2001.

  1. Tara

    Tara LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    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
    from WEST MI
    Messages: 201

    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!!
  3. SlimJim Z71

    SlimJim Z71 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 691

    I agree, an electric start model would cost some hefty $$$. Read your owners manual very well. If you prime them right, you should get it up and going within a few pulls. I've heard a lot of good things about the Honda ones... for the record.

  4. plowking35

    plowking35 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from S.E. CT
    Messages: 1,687

    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.
  5. Evan528

    Evan528 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,144

    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!
  6. Yardworks

    Yardworks LawnSite Member
    Messages: 141

    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
    from n.j.
    Messages: 318

  8. eskals

    eskals LawnSite Member
    Messages: 210

    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.

  9. Alan

    Alan Member
    Messages: 1,185

    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.
  10. Greenman2ooo

    Greenman2ooo Banned
    Messages: 176

    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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