SO many design problems

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So much potential flawed by many design flaws.

Ego Snow Blower 21" - The design of the bottom scraper is horrible, it snags on every tiny crack, every bit of packed snow, plus the corners have horrible "guides" that catch on grass along the driveway edge.  This makes using this machine extremely frustrating, I was ready to send it right back where it came from.  My cheap plastic bottom scraper was pretty much destroyed after only 1 day's use.  EVERY snowblower I have ever owned has adjustable skid plates on the front bottom corners, allowing the user to adjust the bottom clearance.  I took one look at the design of this machine, and realized I could easily and cheaply remedy this issue, I built my own adjustable skid plates.  I took some 3/8" thick plastic pieces I had lying around, cut to size, drilled slotted holes to make adjustable, used existing screw holes on one side with longer screws, and drilled holes through frame on other side and mounted with stainless screws.  I adjusted the plastic pieces so that the lower scraper didn't get caught on cracks, yet was still very close to the asphalt, and the OEM edge guides didn't catch on everything.  Now that I have fixed it, it works like a charm, glides easily over cracks and any roughness in the surface I am clearing of snow.  Still gets plenty close enough to the asphalt, without jamming on every tiny obstacle.  The design of the machine is obviously to get very close to your driveway surface to remove ALL the snow, but it works TOO GOOD. The design of the scraper bar actually makes it suck down towards the driveway, assuring it will get stuck on everything.  Since my scraper was already damaged after the 1st use, I figured I had nothing to lose by modifying it, so I took the sharp edge designed to suck it down, and rounded the edge off with a Dremel tool.  Voila, another problem solved, it doesn't suck down any more.  I have to imagine that if you used this machine as designed on a pristine driveway with no cracks, no packed snow, no obstructions whatsoever, it would work great.  But that's not the real world snowblowers are used in.  

Next, the wheels are thin and flimsy, pure junk.  I'm sure they won't last one season.  

I also find the adjustable deflector at the top of the discharge chute to be flimsy and poorly designed.  It just feels cheap, is clumsy to operate, and the notches that hold it in place jam up with frozen snow/ice, making it even more frustrating - again, just a poor design.  

Finally, the battery lid won't stay open unless you hold it open, meaning you have to insert a heavy battery with one hand while you hold the lid open with your other hand.  Incredulously, this would have been prevented if the lid was designed to open even just 1/8" more to allow gravity to hold it open.  Did the engineers actually ever USE this thing?  If so, they would have certainly changed this design.  

There are SO many good things about this machine, it's a shame these big negatives exist.  

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Chuck Savall

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Posted 10 months ago

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Jacob, Champion

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I cannot argue with one thing you stated. 100% agree with it all.

Besides the lid. It's supposed to close always so it doesn't get covered with snow. But everything else yup
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Chuck Savall

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Well, the lid is quite easy to close after you put the batteries in, heck, all you have to do is move the machine a wee bit and it falls closed.  The point is, when you are standing with 2 heavy batteries in your hand, that you just carried outside from your warm garage, it would be quite easy to just slide them both in, but only if there was a way for the lid to stay open after you lifted it.  Designing the lid to stay open should not have been the priority, as it is quite easy to flip closed after you already have them batteries in, but impossible to open with 2 batteries in your hands.  Just 1/8" to 1/4" more opening room, and it would STAY open, but still easily flip closed.
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Ken, Champion

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But there are people who would then run the machine with the door open for whatever reason. The door is designed to keep those people from filling their battery compartments with snow and then filing a warranty claim.
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Michael G

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This lid feature (problem?) annoys me to. I was looking at it and it seems you could add a hinged/swinging arm like the bar that holds you car hood open.
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DJDDay

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The wheels have lasted me two seasons just fine, and it comes with a 5 year warranty so.. NO BIG DEAL.  I'm curious if modifying the chassis like that does void the warranty, though.. @EGO?

I prefer the scraper bar to scrape the concrete close, but most of my walk is in great shape.  I can see this being in issue for those with uneven pavement, though.  That said, the scrape bar is notoriously bad at wearing - and if you ever have to order bolts or screws direct from EGO, be prepared for a roller coaster ride (see my thread HERE).  I would imagine proper skids would alleviate a lot of the scraper bar wear.  That said, my past experience with plastic scrape bars (from manufacturers like Kenmoore, etc) have been similar.

I do look forward to a "Revision 2" of the EGO snowblower that addresses all of these issues.  Still, I don't regret my purchase.  
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Blue Angel, Champion

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Agreed for the most part.

The chute elevation adjustment is clumsy and doesn’t feel like it belongs.

The wheels are tiny, yes, but I don’t see them wearing out THAT fast with normal and reasonable use.

Your side scrapers are an interesting idea. The only issue I see is when you’re pushing forward the machine will tilt as the wheels lift, and with your design the scraper will lift away from the ground and leave snow behind.

I personally like having the scraper scrape the ground; I want clean asphalt when I’m done. I have a concrete sidewalk in front of the house with expansion joints as well as interlock about two ft wide down one side of the driveway. The scraper does catch on a couple uneven stones and the joints, but I find sliding the machine at an angle works really well to allow the scraper to pass without dropping into the joints. The uneven interlock stones are something I should be fixing anyway, so I don’t blame the machine for that. :-)

Battery lid, agreed 1000%. It’s definitely intended to not stay open, the mowers are the same way. I feel like one single Chervon Engineer, probably a senior or lead, has some personal vision as to why the lid can’t stay open on its own. According to ALL the feedback from users on this site, that view is an unpopular one... everyone wishes these darn lids would stay open, and for good reason. The dual battery setup on the snowblower just makes this situation perfectly impractical: you have a battery in each hand, how the heck are you supposed to deal with holding the door open at the same time???
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David HD, Champion

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Blue, for most of us with only 10 fingers, this would be impossible.  You on the hand, have 12 fingers so this design limitation should not be an issue ... :)
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Blue Angel, Champion

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Michael G

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I was excited to get rid of my last gas powered tool - snowblower. I love all my summer EGO tools so I bought the EGO snowblower with 2x56V batteries. I used it a few times but even after grinding imperfections on my concrete driveway still couldn't stand the HORRIBLY catches at a few expansion joints and on the public sidewalk along with aggressive wear of the scraper bar.

I must say EGO customer service was great answering my questions about the snowblower (just like my other EGO tools). I was actually thinking of modifying my machine similar to what Chuck did but when I was told by CS that some users remove the scraper bar to avoid catches I thought EGO is far from solving the scraper issue so I regretfully returned the EGO for a gas unit. I really think a redesign of the scraper could solve this issue.
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Blue Angel, Champion

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Did you get a single or dual stage gas? If a single, I’d be interested to see pictures of the scraper bar setup to see how it differs from Ego’s design.
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Michael G

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I ended up with a single stage Toro 721 QZE (got spoiled with the EGO easy shoot rotation). The scraper bar is P/N 133-5585 you can google it but looks like similar material to EGO. The Toro scraper is pivoting and uses a couple of springs to do this. If you go to the Home Depot site and look up this 721 QZE there is an animation of how the scraper system works. This single-stage blower, like most gas powered blowers, is designed to have the paddles touch the pavement. I've used it a couple of times and it really cleans to the pavement and moves over pavement imperfections easily. The self-propelling feature is also impressive. This does cause some vibration and noise especially in shallow snow as the paddles hit the pavement.

I realize EGO's paddles are probably designed not to touch the pavement to extend battery life but how much does it extend the life? In my opinion the EGO design really overburdens the scraper bar unless you have close to completely smooth pavement. Like I said if the EGO didn't have the scraper bar issue for my usage I would have kept it.
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Michael Cortopassi

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I finally got to use the Ego blower.  Last year I had SnowJoe 18" LiION and earlier this year got the 2 stage SnowJoe.  The 18" was ok, actually, now that I think about it, automatic rotating chute, and decent power.  The 2 stage SnowJoe I just could not like.  Bogged in wet snow and the speeds were too slow for the way I walk.

The Ego snowblower has almost everything right.  The chute rotation is awesome.  The chute up/down is so so, as described.  The ability to adjust the speed of the motor is fantastic.  Only 2" this morning and I ran it on low for ~20 minutes, certainly helps when the wind is blowing to not shoot as far!  And when I came back in, the batteries were still full -- the charger did not even kick on.

But, man oh man, the scraper bar on bad sidewalk joints was bone jarring.  I now have a mental image of where every bad one is it was so bad.  Fast walking to a dead stop when hitting them.  I'm considering putting up little flags at each one so I know where they are.  I know that's what I get with being able to clean all the way down, but I will look at adjusting the machine like the original poster did.
(Edited)
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DJDDay

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@Michael Cortopassi:  it's funny - most of the time I can keep the throttle at mid-way or slightly past and it clears fine.... but I love seeing my battery powered machine throw snow a million feet away so I usually keep it on full throttle - LOL!! 
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szwoopp, Champion

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MORE POWER
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Michael Cortopassi

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It was fun doing that on the street slush.  No problem at all.  I am amazed at what these motors and LiION batts can do. 

What I want Ego to make is an electric bike kit that uses the same battery and motor!
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DJDDay

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@szwoopp and @Michael Cortopassi - I doubt EGO makes barely any money at all from actual battery sales.  I'm willing to wager the majority of their revenue is primarily from the OPE tools that use them.  No real reason for EGO to explore the ideas presented in that thread you linked to, as cool as they are.
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mike

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I think maybe if the scraper bar was designed something like a hire clipper it would allow the snowblower to skip over imperfections and still cut through the snow?  It wouldn't need as many teeth and rounded on the bottom would probably be better but this is the best example I could find in my short time looking for an example. Also, if should be made of UHMW plastic for longevity.
(Edited)
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Jacob, Champion

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It actual is exactly like that. Look at th bottom. It's nearly identical to that. Maybe if the flat spot was longer.
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mike

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The bottom resembles that but I was thinking if the top/front edge had some rounded fingers it could help skip over the cracks but yet still be able to scrape down to the concrete. Though it sounds like most are making do with the way it is.
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David Hruby

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Living in Minnesota, I've used the snowblower about a half dozen times or so, in snow as deep as ten inches. I find the design to be very usable and not needing any serious adjustment. Coming from years of using a single stage Toro, everything about the Ego is an upgrade. But it does work differently. Rather than roll the snowblower as I did with the Toro, I find myself actually lifting and sliding the unit to take even more advantage of the scrapper. It cleans right down to the pavement. Love it. As for driveway cracks, I know where they are at this point and simply lower the wheel and roll over them without an issue. I'll never go back at this point. 
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szwoopp, Champion

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I am with you David.  I am loving the snow blower, the power, and how it cleans down to the pavement.  I do the same thing tilting the blower slightly and sliding it on the scrapper - works great.
My son and I were out last night and after finishing our drive and sidewalks, we went and took care of a couple neighbors. I cleaned the Drive with the snow blower and he cleaned their cars with the leaf blower.  Two 5ah batteries in the snow blower and we got all 3 driveways cleaned. 
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DJDDay

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@David Hruby and @szwoopp - I too love the performance of EGO's snow thrower, but make no mistake - because the scrape blade contacts the ground so closely, it wears super, super fast - much faster than any single stage I've ever owned.  Just plan on keeping a spare scrape blade on hand for the season (depending on how busy you are).  I've gone through 2 blades this season alone (2017-2018 season in Metro Detroit), and it's just February!
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Michael Cortopassi

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So now that I have the two added front wheels, in addition to the main two wheels, it would seem that should limit the wear on the scraper?  It will wear down to a certain level and then the wheels become the low point, stopping/reducing wear greatly?
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DJDDay

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@Michael Cortopassi - correct.  And at that point, any spots on the scrape blade that have been worn away will just make that much less contact with the pavement.  For the record, the scrape blades are only $18.72 USD from HD, so it's not like they're super expensive.  Still...
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Erik

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I have no more then 15 uses on asphalt driveways and a new 130ft sidewalk. My scraper bar is about ready to be replaced. I have one sitting in the garage. Plus the edges of the housing are looking pretty chewed up
(Edited)