While the electric snow blower market is filled with newer brands, it’s nice to encounter a familiar name. The Power Curve 1800 (Model #38381) is currently the only electric snow blower offered by Toro (the Power Curve 1500 was discontinued). It’s one of the most powerful machines in its class and offers a build quality that is superior to most competitors.
15 Amp Single-Stage Electric
The Toro Power Curve 1800 features a 15 amp electric motor inside. This is the maximum amount of power available in an electric snow blower in the United States. The motor is strong, well-built, and incredibly quiet. Not much louder than a vacuum cleaner. You could probably use this early in the morning without waking up the neighbors.
As with other electric machines, there is no maintenance and it will start up in the extreme cold. No oil changes and no need for those messy gas fill-ups. Simply plug it in and it’s ready to go. This unit has no battery and needs to be plugged in to operate.
Power Curve Technology
The marketing lingo is “Power Curve Technology” for the rotors. This is just how Toro curves the rotor so that snow is funneled in toward the middle. It prevents clogging in the chute and allows the machine to move up to 700-pound of snow per minute.
The auger is composed of a hard plastic with no rubber tips. Durable enough for all types of snow. I wouldn’t trust it with ice and certainly would not use it on a gravel surface. The plastic tends to get more brittle in extreme cold temperatures. But it does clear down to the pavement and tosses snow a good 20 feet under ideal conditions.
How much snow can the Power Curve 1800 handle?
Every electric snow blower has its limitations due to limited power. The Toro Power Curve 1800 can handle 3-8 inches of lighter snow in a pass thanks to its 12-inch intake. It actually seems to work better with day old snow that has hardened a bit. People have mentioned this model handling up to a foot of powdery snow, but that’s putting a lot of stress on a motor that isn’t built for it. Plus the chute size isn’t large enough to handle that amount of snow passing through at one time.
Heavier snow will bog things down a lot and limit you to only a few inches. You will struggle with larger snow drifts and piles at the end of the driveway. This is common with all electric snow blowers available today. Your best bet is breaking some of the snow up first with a shovel.
Lightweight 18-inch Snow Blower
Despite its 18-inch clearance width, the 1800 Power Curve is incredibly lightweight. At just 26 pounds, both young and old should be able to operate the machine with relative ease. Tight turns are easy and it can get into smaller spaces. A perfect choice for clearing a wood deck.
With longer use, you can get tired. Especially in heavier snow where the machine tends to ride up on piles due to its smaller wheels. Holding down the ergonomic handle to keep the motor running can also be tiring after a while. Because of this, I wouldn’t recommend it for longer driveways unless you’re willing to take breaks.
Remote Chute Control with Zip Deflector
A quick chute lever extends toward the back and allows for left to right rotation of 160 degrees. The lever could be a tad longer to avoid reaching down but you will be able operate it without stopping the snow blower. A well-designed zip deflector on the chute allows you to lock in the angle.
The smaller chute is plastic but of typical Toro quality. There is some vibration with the motor that can rattle the chute. This isn’t a concern for breaking, but I can see it becoming loose over time. You’ll want to make sure everything is tightened down between uses.
Minimal Assembly, Cord Not Included
The Toro Power Curve 1800 has been a popular model to order online due to its size. And thankfully Toro sends it almost completely assembled. It should take no more than 10 minutes to attach the upper handle and chute lever.
Like most electric snow blowers, Toro does not include an extension cord. You will need to purchase one that is made for outdoor use. It is important that the cord is rated for 15 amps. Otherwise you won’t get the full power from the motor. I am a fan of Iron Forge Cable or AmazonBasics extension cords. But anything that meets those requirements at a hardware store will do.
What is the Toro Power Curve 1800 best for?
Toro clearly states that this unit is for light snow removal. If you’re in a region that gets light snow (under 30 inches a year), this should get the job done. Just as long as you’re not dealing with storms that regularly dump a foot or more.
This snow blower should only be used on paved or flat surfaces. Driveways, walkways, wood decks, and patios are perfect. I’ve even heard of people clearing their roof with this (I would not recommend that at all). Rocks and gravel will damage the plastic rotor. Its lightweight enough to handle a sloped driveway, although will require more exertion going uphill.
A 2-year warranty covers the 1800 Power Curve. You will likely need to take the machine to an authorized Toro dealer. It should be noted that replacement parts for this model can be more difficult to acquire on your own than the Toro gas powered machines.
The Toro 1800 Power Curve is arguably the best quality electric snow blower available today. It features a reliable motor and quality parts (even if they are mostly plastic). If you’re just looking for the best in its class, this is it.
However, the 1800 is expensive. Almost double the price of the Snow Joe Ultra SJ623E and not far off from a decent single-stage gas snow blower (like the Briggs & Stratton 1022E). If you’re committed to using an electric snow blower for years and feel it will get substantial work, Toro is the choice. If you’d be happy just getting a few years out of a machine during the occasional snowfall, go with the cheaper option.
Model: 38381 (Operator’s Manual)
Stage Type: Single-Stage
Engine: 15 Amps
Fuel Capacity: N/A
Plowing Capacity: 700 lbs/minute
Clearing Width: 18 inch
Intake Height: 12 inch
Throw Distance: 20 feet
Tires: 6 inch
Weight: 26 pounds
Starting Method: Electric
Power Steering: No
Chute adjustment: Remote (160º turning radius)
Heated handgrips: No