Ultralight and straightforward. Reviewers say the Toro Power Shovel 38361 has simple controls, and since it weighs only 13 pounds, it's easy for just about anybody to maneuver. It's also small enough to store easily, needs no gas or oil and requires little maintenance. Most owners say using the Toro is much less challenging than manually shoveling snow except that it throws snow straight ahead into the user's path. As one reviewer says, "You have to really plan how you are going to attack the situation, or else you'll be doing more work than if you had just shoveled the old-fashioned way." A poster at AceHardware.com recommends using the Power Shovel in a zigzag pattern to avoid lifting it, and says, "I felt it was a cross between a shovel and a vacuum."
Some owners wish for more power and the ability to direct snow off to the side, but say those perks wouldn't be worth the increased weight and cost. They'd rather have the 38361 as it is -- small, light and easily maneuvered by almost anyone, although a few have trouble juggling the requisite long extension cord. The Power Shovel is very quiet, so you don't need to wear hearing protection.
Best for 3 to 5 inches of dry snow. The Toro Power Shovel 38361's single electric auger shoots snow up to 20 feet, straight ahead, and clears a 12-inch path. "It was a lot more powerful than I originally thought," says one user at AceHardware.com. Hundreds of Amazon.com reviewers agree that the Power Shovel is great for clearing decks, porches and walkways, but not so much for larger areas.
One owner says she used the Power Shovel 38361 to clear her rather large driveway, but it took a long time. Some are happy to make multiple snow-clearing trips; the key seems to be tackling only small areas. "The last snow storm was 15 inches total, but I went out on the deck three times and it didn't take long at all," explains a HomeDepot.com poster.
Many users warn that the Toro can handle only about 5 inches of dry snow, but a smattering of enthusiastic reviews claim better results. Sometimes they're hard to believe, such as one woman saying at HomeDepot.com that she used the Power Shovel to cut a car-wide path through a snowdrift "as high as my shoulders." The reviewer who used the shovel to clear 7 inches of wet snow and says "it went through it like nobody's business" is more believable, but still the exception to the rule.
Use it when you'd use a shovel. If you don't get heavy snowfalls and need to clear only a small paved area, the Power Shovel 38361 will suit your needs. The electric Toro 1800 Power Curve snow blower (Est. $320) is more capable, handling up to 6 or 8 inches of dry snow over a larger area, but still struggles in heavy, wet snow.
Excellent The Toro Power Shovel is one of seven electric snow blowers tested by ConsumerReports.org for its latest evaluation. Subscribers have full access to this report; an overview and a few general-information pages are free online and worth a look.
Review: Snow Blowers Ratings, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, As of September 2012
Very good More than 400 Amazon.com users rate the Toro Power Shovel, giving it 4 stars out of 5 overall. A few users complain that snow can be directed only one way -- forward.
Review: Toro 38361 Power Shovel 7.5 Amp Electric Snow Thrower, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of September 2012
Good Here the Toro Power Shovel 38361 is rated by more than 80 owners, who give it an average score of 4.1 out of 5 stars. Most comments are quite positive, but a few users say it's hard to clear a path since the Power Shovel only throws snow forward.
Review: Toro 12 in. Electric Power Shovel Snow Blower, Contributors to HomeDepot.com, As of September 2012
Good More than two dozen reviewers give the Toro Power Shovel 4 stars out of 5. A few call it hard to use, but the majority say the 38361 is lightweight, relatively powerful and easy to maneuver.
Review: Toro Lightweight Electric Power Shovel (38361), Contributors to AceHardware.com, As of September 2012