looking for opinions on hs724wa honda snowthrower

ridonkulusSeptember 19, 2007


would like any opinions thoughts criticism on the honda HS724wa snowthrower. am looking to pick one up this week for 1799 free delivery and dealer prep.

in case you care: 80' driveway, 18' wide except in front of my 3 car garage where it is 30' wide. need to blow snow a good distance to get it out of the way.


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Maybe it's too new a machine for anyone here to have
any experience with one. Personally, I think $1799
is an awful lot of money for a 24 inch machine,
even with free delivery. I would think you could
get one of the other major brands for under $1000
that would serve your purposes very well.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2007 at 11:24AM
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$1,799.00 is way over priced.

You can get a Toro with more horses and a bigger cut for $500.00 less.

I would not be enthralled with the machine just because it says Honda on it. And I own a Honda Accord!!

You really need to do some more shopping around and comparisons. Toro, Simplicity, Ariens are three major snowthrowers.

Enjoy the journey.

eal51 in western CT

    Bookmark   September 22, 2007 at 6:01PM
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was curious as to what population of consumer are buying these expensive honda snowblowers? commercial use?

    Bookmark   September 22, 2007 at 9:20PM
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In regards to the question as to consumer population, I would think, always a problem, that those purchasing Honda snowblowers are buying because of the name and reputation. Consequently, Honda's carry a higher price tag.

A comparable Toro (826) has an MSRP of $1,295.00. This means a Toro dealer has wiggle room to adjust the price. Honda lists the 724wa for $2,099.00. So based on your initial post, they have price wiggle room.

Outside of Honda's hydro tranny, I don't see anything worth the big price difference. The Honda has 2 inches less width and only can take 20 inch high snow. The Toro is 26 inch width and takes a 24 inch depth.

I have a Toro 826 that is 4 years old. I have it serviced regularly and have had no problems at all. I paid $1,000.00 from a dealer 4 years ago. My previous Toro was a 3521 that lasted 24 years.

Enjoy the journey.

eal51 in western CT

    Bookmark   September 23, 2007 at 12:10PM
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what kind of regular service does your toro require? i received a mailing for a 99.99 dual stage snowthrower tuneup special from a local dealer. are people spending 99.99 every year to tune up?

my dealer was not pushing honda. he was actually offering ariens or simplicity and didn't say too much about honda. but when i asked, he said they were a cut above the other brands. he we telling me that the 6.5hp 724 could throw snow 40+ feet and has similar performance characteristics to other brands with more hp.

i guess some also find the quieter smoother engine honda supposedly has to be worth paying extra for.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2007 at 3:21PM
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ridonkulus -

Had my Toro serviced last year for $75.00. That included oil change, carb adjustment (if needed), spark plug, service to tranny and augers and pickup/ delivery. This year I'll change the oil. I have mine serviced every other year. Part of the reason is because I now have a 42 inch snow thrower that goes on the tractor. I use the Toro to clear out my side of the garage to get the tractor out. Then I use the Toro to clear the walkways.

Your dealer sounds like an honest one, and that's good! He may be right that Honda is a cut above the rest but not sure that would justify the extra $500.00 for me.

Enjoy the journey.

eal51 in western CT

    Bookmark   September 23, 2007 at 3:48PM
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used my honda 724wa wheeled snowblower today on 5" of wet snow, some drifts a little higher. it's a virgin. started on the first pull.

took me some time getting used to the controls...my first two stage. after a couple lengths up and down the driveway got the hang of it. takes some effort to turn it 180 and the end of the runs, but got easier after a few times. gotta put more weight on the inside wheel by pushing down on the handle and then swinging around the outside wheel with the opposite handle. not a problem, but i think there are probably more user friendly systems out there.

the tires are 8psi and are very soft. i think if they were had a little more air it would be easier to turn, but that is the recommended pressure. traction never became issue, but had some very minimal wheel spin a couple times that resolved instantly when the auger sucked the snow out of the way.

was able to shoot the snow sky high and quite a good distance. no snow piles around the driveway anymore. there is a thin layer of residual snow and it does not clean down to the bare concrete. i'm sure that could be adjusted with the skid plates.

avoided using it on my paver walkway. didn't want to deal with the possibility of destroying the pavers with the skid plates.

didn't fill up the gas and ran out while i was halfway down the driveway. without the machine running, you have to flick the transmission release switch to move it manually. but that's a joke. it's impossible to push it even with the release. i had to side step it all the way back to the garage. it was precipitating very hard and didn't want to open the gas tank and risk snow/sleet getting in.

city plow did not come by yet so have not evaluated end of driveway performance.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2007 at 8:31PM
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canguy(British Columbia)

You can buy a larger machine with more bells and whistles for less money but the Honda will last forever with reasonable care. It is the Rolls Royce of snowblowers, smooth, quiet, and easy to start.
'The bitterness of poor quality will remain after the sweetness of low price is forgotten'
John Ruskin.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2007 at 11:57PM
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canlawn(zone 5 Canada)

I run my blower over my paver path with no ill effects. However I like to keep my scraper bar about 1/8" off the ground to leave a slight cover of packed snow. I have the same size machine in the Ariens brand.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2007 at 4:01PM
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i have a thin layer throughout my driveway that the 2 stage won't pick up. i remember with a single stage you can clean it down to the cement. i guess you can't with a dual?

this weekend, it snowed then warmed up. the thin residual layer melted into slush and then froze up into a sheet of ice throughout the whole driveway. maybe this was unavoidable in this instance as my neighbor who cleaned his real well with his single stage seems to have a similar but less noticeable layer.

canlawn, i see with my setup i could try the pavers like you are saying.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2007 at 8:30PM
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For 10 years I worked with an MTD/Yard Machines snow blower with an 8hp Tecumseh engine purchased at Home Depot for $800. Every couple of years I change the oil, clean and gap the plug. Changed the plug around year 6. At year 10 one of the reverse speeds stopped working. The manual indicates it is probably time to change some belts, clutch pressure plate rubber, grease etc. Including oil and pickup/delivery, I had quotes in the $200-300 range. Repair or upgrade?

For the past year I have been using a Honda HS724WA 6.5hp 24 inch path wheel drive blower for which I paid $2000. The Honda engine is quieter, smoother, and handles the heavy loads more readily. Despite having 1.5hp less than the MTD, it throws snow further. It also uses much less gas and according to the manual burns very clean.

The Honda is a no frills machine - no electric start, hand warmers, power shoot etc. All the power goes to throwing snow. Thanks to the hydrostatic drive and relatively light weight, it is also more maneuverable than the MTD. Construction is impressive. A bonafide worm gear on the shoot, a metal gas tank with a cap similar to motorcycle caps, thick metal where needed. You get what you pay for.

If you have the money, go for the Honda, you won't be disappointed. If you are on a budget, MTD/Ariens/Husqvarna will do. I kept my MTD for 10 years before having any problems, though it was difficult to start on cold mornings, and in general ran rough. My father has a 30 year old Snapper with the Tecumseh engine that he still uses.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2009 at 4:08PM
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After many long days of self-debates and re-debates, I finally purchased a Honda HS724WA on 11/26/2010. Prior to this purchase, I had an 8HP-24" MTD snowblower that was given to me as a gift when my friend moved to a warmer area. I wanted a snowblower that performed a lot better than the MTD. The main reason for not getting a Honda HS520 was the end of the driveway limitations. The HS724WA is a nice unit and does blow the snow very far and handles EOD well. I could have gotten a Toro (Model 726) or Ariens (Model 924) for 50% less but I did not want to a repeat of MTD experience. I did feel a bit stupid for spending that much on a snowblower but after snow blowing my driveway this morning I did not feel that stupid anymore. My neighbors had more powerful/bigger units but they did not look more efficient and effective. Snowblowing with my new Honda was FUN and quick.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2010 at 2:24PM
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Mn: You get what you pay for . The Honda and Yamaha Blowers are the Best of the Best . I have ran and repaired numerous American made Blowers and they are strong performers at a very reasonable price. The Older Models 1970 Vintage were Bullet Proof . Ariens , Snapper , Cub Cadet , Toro are the Best of the American Made Units Today. Sears (Craftsman) or Mtd and Troy-Bilt or Husky are Box Store Clones and have questionable history. There are other units but same story some models are strong performers and others rather disappointing. So to sum it up you made a good purchase , yes rather pricey but I doubt you will regret it after numerous yrs of dependable service . My 1st Blower was a JD back when a Deere was a Deere lol . Happy Snowblowing Dude !

    Bookmark   December 4, 2010 at 7:40PM
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this will be my 4th season with my 724. it has been nearly trouble free. at the start of this season, pulling out of storage, i realized there fuel was leaking from the fuel line at the base of the fuel tank. i changed out the fuel adapter that connects the line to the tank and that solved the problem. i'm not sure what caused it. i do fill the tank with stabilized fuel at the end of the season. i have to check the manual, but maybe the system needs to be run dry of fuel before storage. i'm still going to store it the same way, but this time run the machine monthly through the off season.

other than that, the machine has performed well. every season out of storage, it starts on the very first pull. i do the routine oil changes and lube. fill up the tires. touch up paint.

like the kawasaki on my JD, the honda engine purrs and is pleasant on the ears.

when i first posted i had not tried it on EOD snow pile. i can say the machine puts EOD to shame.

initially, i also felt a little foolish for spending so much on a blower when there are many other lower priced and good quality snowblowers but i'm quite happy with my purchase. was at the dealer this season and seeing it sell for $400 more than what i paid in 07 helped.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2010 at 5:11PM
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rid: The Honda is a very sound investment . As a friend of a Local Small Engine Mechanic , I picked up a used 1998 HS-828 Tracked Unit last fall for just over $300.00 . Same Price I paid for the 10HP Craftsman I got from him 5 yrs ago . I help him with repair and service of units whenever he gets overwhelmed . The Pricing is a inside Joke with us since everything from Mowers to Chainsaws I get for the same price . He hates to see me coming with Greenbacks lol . The Honda is actually just for back up . It looks like new , apparently the Story is that an Older Couple were in Florida and their Son who was house sitting did an oil change and somehow got a hyd. lock and starved the engine for oil and the rest is History . Buddy put in a New Engine (Hondas Clone) and I showed up and took it off his hands for the Price of the Engine basically . Took me a little while to adjust to the tracks vs wheels . But after a few Northern Heavey Blizzards , I like the additional Traction over the Craftsman . Would I pay $2000.00 for any Blower ...No ! Why , I'am Irish ..so you get the Picture . Are they worth the xtra $$ ? Long term..Yes ! Enjoy your Honda Dude , maintain it with Premium Oil and Service regularly and you will probably never need another ..E .

    Bookmark   December 11, 2010 at 8:53AM
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this is what i just repaired a few weeks ago. got this recall notice a couple days ago. they told me i should still take it in to be assessed by an authorized repair shop. that's gonna cost me $70 pickup and delivery :(

Here is a link that might be useful: Honda Snowblower Recall

    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 6:22PM
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rid: Thus ends The Lesson ! Everything Mechanical has a Weak Link ! $70;00 Should be covered as a Manufacturer's Defect ! It was a Recall Item Correct ? If not replace it Yourself Not Rocket Science lol . :)

    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 7:35PM
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the repair is free. getting it to and from the repair shop is $70. seems kinda steep to me.

i did do the repair. i did it before the recall came out. problem is i don't know if the new o-ring i put in is another defective one or a post recall part that is different.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 8:09PM
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I bought my 724 wa used off the bay in the fall of 05 for $700. It was brand new not even a scratch.It belonged to an old farmer he also had the larger 1100 series.This was just a backup !! The first time I used it I was not watching where it threw the snow too as I did the sidewalk.
I looked up to find it throwing it completely across the street on the neighbors sidewalk some 40 to 50 feet away in a perfect ark !!!The one downfall to it is the small 20 inch tub. When you get into the deep stuff you have to make more then one pass. But it is effective in all types of snow I even had no problems when a day or so later i needed to cut a spot for garbage pails and the snow had turned into Chrystal ice. The way I look at it is the price is cheap if your going to take care of it and keep it for a while. I buy Honda cars and rack up 300k miles before I sell em with no problems and I expect to sell this in 20 years for around what I bought it for.
After all its a Honda !!!

    Bookmark   December 29, 2010 at 9:55PM
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Here is a follow up to my June 28, 09 post:

It has been two years since the purchase of my HS724WA. Powerful, quite, smooth, maneuverable, fuel efficient - but not reliable.

Back in December I took out the Honda to prep for the coming snow. Filled the tank with fresh gas newly treated with stabilizer. Couldn't start the machine with the choke on. It would start with the choke off after many pulls, but wouldn't run for more than about 30 seconds. The local repair shop suggested it was a dirty carburetor. I doubted that since it is only 2 years old, I use stabilizer, and drain the tank at the end of each season. After forking over the $50 pickup-delivery charge, the shop tried cleaning the carburetor three times to no avail. They offered to tear apart the carburetor to determine the cause, but suggested a new carburetor ($47) plus labor ($50) would be a cheaper and safer route.

Furthermore I was infomed that I overfilled the tires, causing the back end to ride high, causing the auger to scrape. Apparently the Honda tires "don't have memory", so once overfilled, they remain enlarged even after letting air out. $200 to replace the tires.

So 2 years after spending $2000 on an HS724WA, I have to drop an additional $350 in repairs. Obviously I am a little disillusioned by the whole experience.

I'll take the blame for the tires, though I wish Honda was a little more vocal on how finicky they are. I am aware they require 8psi and religiously check the pressure throughout the season, using my bicycle pump to make adjustments. I have an analog VDO pressure gauge that works well for my automobile (32psi) and will register 8-60psi. Apparently it is not accurate at 8psi. I recently purchased a low pressure (0-15psi) gauge for $28.

Ironically the Honda receives better care than I ever gave my Yard Machines/MTD blower, which ran reliably without problems for 10 years. I like the machine otherwise, but will no longer be able to speak enthusiastically about "Honda reliability".

    Bookmark   January 9, 2011 at 7:13PM
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It doesn't sound as though the shop was trying to mislead you on the carb for what it is worth. The pricing seems fair also. Sometimes, one can keep every drop of fuel treated when fresh, clean as can be an a blockage comes up. It could really happen to anyone on any OPE carb. Do the best you can and report back. On the tires, I've seen tires crown that had been overinflated, but aren't the skids adjustable to keep the augar off the ground?

    Bookmark   January 9, 2011 at 7:43PM
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fredbarber(z4 CO & z6 MA)

Sorry to hear about your bad luck, Lset. I've never been all that careful about end-of-season fuel practices with my 828 and (knock on wood) I've never had a major problem. A little Sea Foam to help clean things out and, if it balks at starting the first time or two of the season, a shot of starter fluid and it's fine. Once it's limbered up for the season, it starts on the second or third pull every time.

It's my personal opinion that your shop was BS'ing you on the tires. I'm no expert, but I've never heard of "tire memory" and can't conceive of anything that would cause tires to run large once the pressure's reduced. I've found that my machine benefits from running the tires a little hard and from some deliberate side-to-side pressure adjustment to get it to run true, but the truth is that it's not all that finicky.

As I've said on this board numerous times, the one reliability problem I've had is with the drift pin in the final drive. Otherwise, this is a great machine. The controllability with everything up top is superb and there's nothing like the sound of that engine as it loads up and the torque comes in. Expensive as it was, I love it. I'm betting that you'll settle into a routine with it and find that the next ten years are (mostly) trouble free, even though you've had some teething problems at the start.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2011 at 9:15AM
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Yes the repair shop adjusted the front skids to compensate for the tires. They said the skids were at their limit though, and I decided to replace the tires.

Let's consider my mental state. Here I am, proud owner of a Honda HS724WA, besotted by the Honda mystique, on the phone with the repair shop. I am incredulous upon hearing of the numerous afflictions affecting my machine. In this state of total discombobulation, maybe I made the wrong choice, but here is my rationale:

I went ten years without a visit to the repair shop with my Yard Machines blower. My only maintenance costs over that time were three cans of oil and a spark plug, as I did all the work myself. My expectations for the Honda are twenty years of trouble free service. Here I am at two years with a major expense.

Having paid to get the machine to the shop, I decided just fix the whole thing and get it over with. Bring the machine back to baseline, reset the clock, and I'll start accumulating those trouble free years.

It's a blizzard out there and I am anxious to suit up and get blowing. This will be my first storm of the season with the Honda. I was fortunate to have a neighbor loan me his machine for the post Christmas storm. An 11hp Ariens - what a monster. I'll report back after I have those twenty years of trouble free service under my belt. Sooner if there are additional issues.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2011 at 6:02AM
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Another issue has arisen with the Honda.

Wednesday's blizzard brought about 20 inches of snow. Except for a 1 hour lunch break, I was blowing snow with the Honda from 10AM to 4:30PM. The machine ran strong the entire time. This is one area where the Honda beats the Yard Machines hands down. The Yard Machine would start racing, backfire, and bog down after about 2 hours of heavy snow blowing. I would have to shut it down and let it cool before continuing. The Honda can run strong all day.

I also like the large gas tank and fuel efficiency. This allows me to refill at my convenience. The Yard Machine would run out of gas at about 2 hours, usually while I was at the neighbors, forcing me to go fetch the gas can. Another nice feature is the accuracey with which I can place the blown snow. Here in the city I don't have vast expanses of yard to target. I have to position the blown snow between a shed and house, on a 4 foot wide strip between driveways, etc. The Honda is really good at this, with the controls readily accessible and tight.

On the down side I broke my second shear pin in two years. With the Yard Machine I never broke a pin in ten years. While installing the pin, I noticed that the auger blade can not be snugged right up to the B[racket] that A[ccepts] the S[hear] P[in]. There remains about a 2mm gap. When I thread the shear pin through the BASP, then the auger, only one or two threads protrude from the opposite side of the auger. I can barely catch those with the lock nut. When I tighten down, the auger bends and closes the gap. Is this normal? Seems like an awful lot of pressure to be constantly on the shear pin.

My repair shop sells the 6 x 16mm hex pin for $0.99 and the 6mm lock nut for $2.99. Seems rather steep. The Honda manual explicitly indicates not to use alternative pins. What about the nut? That shouldn't matter, should it? Anyone know the material the shear pin is made of?

    Bookmark   January 15, 2011 at 7:19AM
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01/21/2011: Just purchased a Honda HS724WA. This is the 4th snowblower I have owned during the past 40 something years and it is by far the best one. Expensive, yes, but well worth the money for the Hydrostatic Transmission alone. I can drive this machine into any snowbank and it just keeps on going. I fine that I don't have to fight with this snowblower. It doesn't keep climbing up the snowbank, rather it goes straight into it and doesn't get bogged down. All around an excellent machine.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2011 at 3:11PM
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Your neighbors must love you lset! It is a joy to use nice equipment. I too would think that the nut doesn't matter. Are there any markings on the head of the bolt? Bolt seems short to me. Lots of shear bolts are really normal grade 2 bolts. Toro drum augars used grade 5 (even harder).

    Bookmark   January 21, 2011 at 9:39PM
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fredbarber(z4 CO & z6 MA)

Don't bother buying expensive shear pins. Ordinary hardware store bolts work fine. If you can find aluminum bolts, so much the better. I usually buy a bunch of them before the start of the season then misplace them before needing them. And buy extra nuts -- they're awfully easy to drop in the snow with freezing fingers and slushy mess all over everything. Mine has a bit of a gap between the auger and the bracket, too.

You are so right about both the gutsy Honda engine and the huge gas tank. Both are key to easy, relatively effortless snow clearing.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2011 at 11:33AM
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Honda HS724WA shear bolt lock nut

I purchased from McMaster-Carr catalog number 94645A205, a Zinc-Plated Steel, Nylon-Insert Hex Locknut Class 10, M6 Sz, 1mm Pitch, 10mm Width, 6mm Height, Pack of 100. These locknuts fit the Honda OEM shear bolt catalog number 92101-06016-0A.

At $13.75 (including shipping) per 100 count, they are 95% less expensive than the Honda nut at $2.99 each.

I am reluctant to switch out the shear bolt without knowing its composition. The head has what looks like an underlined Greek letter theta. No other markings. Does anyone know the composition theta indicates?

    Bookmark   February 2, 2011 at 4:51PM
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I had HS724WA for one week before deciding to trade it up for a HS928WAS. The main reason was 6.5HP 200CC engine was a bit weak and I had to slow a bit at the EOD. I did not care for an eletric start but I had no choice since the dealer only had a WAS model. The dealer was nice enough to give me a full credit for HS724WA. It was very quiet machine but not too powerful. So HS928 is a vert powerful machine and HP is not an issue so it was a good trade up. Honda machines are nice - I had a carburator issue on HS928 but the dealer fixed it up good and it is good. The warranty on new Honda snowblower is three years so not sure why would the repair cost any extra money.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2011 at 6:20PM
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