The Honda HS720AS snow blower is a compact machine that packs some punch. The best single-stage offering by the brand, it is built for light to medium snow on flatter surfaces. It comes with the quality build you can expect from Honda, but at a premium price.
190cc Four Stroke Engine
Powering the HS720AS is a four stroke 190cc gas powered engine. This has the traditional Honda craftsmanship and the same one found in their lawn mowers. It feels more powerful than its specs would indicate and is fuel efficient. Last I checked, these engines were being made out of North Carolina.
Maintenance wise, it’s easier than most. It runs on regular unleaded gasoline which eliminates the need to mix oil and gas together. The fuel cap and recoil cord are large so that they can be used with heavy winter gloves. And like their lawn mowers, they’ve designed the HS720AS with simple access to the spark plugs and fuel drain. Makes end of season maintenance much simpler.
9.5-inch Steel Auger
The 9.5-inch steel auger with replaceable rubber paddles does a solid job of sucking up light snow of 8 inches or less. Over that it can struggle. It works with heavier snow, although you can feel its limitations at a certain point. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have the power to handle huge piles at the end of a driveway. That’s expected with these specs.
Surface cleaning is impressive with the HS720AS. The auger makes enough impact with the ground to leave minimal snow behind. Important if you are concerned about ice forming on your driveway or walkways. Unfortunately the paddles wear a tad faster than other models I’ve seen. This may be due to how the tires operate which I’ll get to later.
Removes 1,800 lbs/min and Throws 33 Feet
With lighter snow, this Honda can power through quickly. 1,800 pounds per minute comes close to what you see from some two-stage snow blowers. This is particularly impressive for a 20-inch wide model with 12-inch intake height. And the throwing distance they market seems right at around 33 feet. These numbers drop off a lot when the snow is heavier.
Forward-Speed Auger Drive System
When it comes to handling, there is some confusion with how Honda markets this machine. What they call “forward speed self-propelled auger drive” is not the self-propelled we think of. It just means that the auger will touch the ground and pull the machine forward. This helps a bit, but don’t be mistaken, this is a push snowblower. With heavier snow, the 93-pound machine can be tough to move. Because of that, we do not recommend it for sloped driveways.
Tires sit at 7-inches in height with a width of 1.5 inches. This is average. However, the wheels can run into issues with snow buildup in wetter conditions. This makes the machine much heavier to operate. It can lead to more pressure being placed on the front part of the auger that makes contact with the ground. This leads to quicker wear of the rubber paddles as mentioned above.
Snow Director Chute Control
Chute controls are the one area I don’t like with the HS720AS. You can control both the direction (left or right) and the angle. While the lever is located in a convenient spot, it is really stiff. The chute control is something you want to be smooth so you don’t have to stop to adjust. I’ve seen people mentioning greasing it which helps, but it falls short of what other companies are doing in that area.
On the other hand, the chute is all metal which is a rarity these days. It helps prevent snow from sticking during use. This is built to last and I’ve never seen anyone come in with a broken Honda metal chute (occasionally an issue with a spring). When ice hits, plastic chutes can crack or become dislodged. You won’t have that problem here.
The HS720AS comes equipped with a 120-volt electric start option alongside the pull-cord. An important feature for those in colder climates or with limited strength. The handlebars can be folded down for easier storage. Unfortunately, you can’t adjust the height. There is no headlight or heated handlebars.
What conditions is the Honda HS720AS best used for?
The ideal conditions are light to medium snow in a climate that gets 30-35 inches of snow or less a year. The long throwing distance makes it suitable for 1-and-2 car driveways.
As a single stage snowblower with an auger that contacts the surface, you’ll want to stick to flat pavement. It is not advisable to use on gravel or your lawn. Sloped driveways can require some physical exertion. It can safely be used on wood decks.
Honda offers a 2-year warranty on parts and labor. Applicable for parts that are proven to be defective under normal use. Must take to a Honda Power Equipment dealer.
Arguably the best feature is the build quality. At a time when companies are cutting corners by adding plastic parts everywhere, this model doesn’t skimp. Almost everything is metal and it feels sturdy. This is built for the long haul. And with a Honda engine inside, it should last a decade and beyond.
My only problem with the Honda HS720AS is the price. Despite being a quality machine, there are better options at this price point. For a little more you can get the Toro 724 QXE that is more powerful and self-propelled. The Toro Power Clear 721 E has better specs and is cheaper. So unless you prefer the Honda brand over others, I think you can find better value elsewhere.
Brand: Honda (Operator’s Manual)
Stage Type: Single-Stage Gas
Engine: 4-Stroke 190cc
Fuel Capacity: 0.3 gallons
Plowing Capacity: 1800 lbs/min
Clearing Width: 20 inch
Intake Height: 12 inch
Throw Distance: 33 feet
Tires: 7 inch (1.5 inch width)
Weight: 93 pounds
Starting Method: Recoil and electric start
Speed/s: 1 auger-propelled speed
Power Steering: No
Chute adjustment: Remote (204 degree turning radius)
Heated handlebars: No