Bryan Ruby


Thoughts, Words, and Deeds

Outdoor Tools

My review of the Snow Joe Two-Stage 80V Cordless Snow Blower

This winter I'll be relying on my newly purchased EGO Power+ Snow Blower to clear the snow off the driveway. However, this EGO snow blower isn't my first battery-powered snow blower as that honor goes to Snow Joe's first two-stage 80V Cordless Snow Blower, the iON24SB-XR (Amazon affiliate link).

As far as I know, Snow Joe is the only manufacturer of a cordless electric two-stage self-propelled snow blower currently on the market. For two decades I had been using a MTD gas powered two-stage snow blower that I bought at the local K-Mart. Whether gas or electric, I prefer two-stage snow blower over a single-stage which is why I originally purchased the Snow Joe over EGO's single stage snow blower. So, during the 2016-2017 snow season I used the Snow Joe two-stage as my primary means of removing snow from my house. I thought it would be good to stroll down memory lane and give you my initial review and overall impressions of the Snow Joe ION24SB in case you're considering to make a similar buy.

The EGO Power+ Nexus Escape Power Inverter

Given my continuous obsession with the EGO Power+ product line, I couldn't resist buying this new product by EGO. The new EGO Power+ Nexus Power Inverter just arrived at my doorstep. This new 150 Watt Inverter should be a nice convenient addition for whenever I need need backup power indoors to run my smaller devices.

All of EGO's current line of 56 Volt Batteries will work with the Nexus. The power inverter provides two USB ports and one AC port. While 150 Watts isn't a huge amount of power it's enough to power a tablet and laptop while out and about, lamps in the house, and even your TV and router in a power outage. While run time will vary, there are a number of reviews showing people powering their television for a few hours off  a single 5.0 Ah or 7.5 Ah EGO battery.

As my wife reminded me, I already have a Honda generator I use when camping with my travel trailer or when I have need for backup power here at the house. So why did I buy this product if I already own a generator? The problem with my Honda generator is that it is gas-powered so it has to stay outdoors when it's running. It's a bit of a hassle to have to pull in the power from the generator through a number of very long power-chords. This EGO inverter will let me bring a power source right into the house without having to crack the door open every time I need power.

I purchased an EGO Power+ Self-Propelled Mower

For the past couple years I've had an obsession with battery-powered cordless tools. While I've bought a number of cordless power tools and even a cordless snow blower...what has been missing in my garage is an all-battery lawn mower.  For the past couple years, I've had my eyes on the EGO Power+ 56V Lithium-Ion Self-Propelled Mower.

The trigger for me to buy the EGO was Home Depot's recent price drop of $100 on the LM2102SP mower which brings down the price from $599 to $499. There is some discussion whether this sale price is permanent or not.  Last year, Home Depot's "New Lower Price" dropped the mower's price by $50 only to go back to its original price within a month or two. I never saw a lower price for the mower at Home Depot the rest of the year.

This year, I didn't want to take a chance so I bought the EGO mower in March with South Dakota snow still on the ground. The salesman at Home Depot said this was the first mower he personally sold in the 2018 season. Needless to say, I have at least a month to go before I see enough green on the lawn for the first cut of the season.

How YouTube and the Social Web Saved Winter

My back hurts. As with the rest of the United States, my neck of the woods has received more snow and cold weather than one could possibly want for the winter season. Due to the constant snowfall, I have spent a number of my days clearing my driveway from snow with the help of my 15 year old snow blower. Several days ago, the snow blower's auger died on me leaving me with a useless rusting piece of machinery.

Auger Belts

1. Remove the plastic belt cover on the front of the engine by removing two self-tapping screws. See figure 23.

2. Drain the gasoline from the snow thrower or place a piece of plastic under the gas cap.

The death of my snow blower couldn't have come at a worse time. Most stores in my area have already sold out their snow blowers for the season. The waiting list is long for seeing a small-machine mechanic to fix this heap of metal. I didn't even bother calling knowing full well I likely wouldn't even hear from the mechanic until March whether this snow blower was fixable or not.

3. Tip the snow thrower up and foward so that it rests on the housing.

4. Remove six self tapping screws from the frame cover underneath the snow thrower.

There was only one option left, I needed to fix the MTD 22 inch 5HP Snow Blower myself. I would need to start with a replacement part, Auger Belt OEM-754-0430.

5. Roll the front and rear auger belts off the engine pulley. See figure 24.

6. Unhook the idler spring from the hex bolt on the auger housing. See figure 25.

7. Unhook the support bracket spring from the frame.

The problem is that I'm not a mechanic but an information technologist. Not a single computer processor can be found on this snow blower. No keyboard, no user interface, and no scripting language came supplied with this equipment. They say manuals for computers can be confusing, but have you ever tried to decipher an owner's manual from Cleveland, Ohio for a 1996 snow blower?

Note: it may be necessary to loosen the six nuts that connect the frame to the auger housing to aid in belt removal.

8. Lift the rear auger belt from the auger pulley and slip belt between the support bracket and auger pulley. See Figure 24. Repeat this step for the front auger.

9. Replace both auger drive belts by following instructions in reverse order.

Before there was YouTube and before there was Web 2.0, I would have resigned myself to spending the rest of this winter shoveling my driveway without the aid of a snow blower. But this isn't 1991, this is 2011. I can't think of a better moment in time to show positive proof the impact the modern Internet has for improving our daily lives. For if you ever find yourself in need to fix your snow blower, you can thank the social web as well as YouTube's Donyboy73 for reminding me once again that there is purpose in Web 2.0, social media, and information systems.

Without a doubt, my snow blower would have landed in the junk yard and my back ruined if it hadn't been for that video. Instead, I spent my Super Bowl Sunday knowing that the next time it snowed, I had a snow blower fixed and ready to be called back to duty. I am tech geek, hear me roar.