Murray 1695885 22-Inch 205cc Single Stage Gas Snow Blower Review by Merrill Shadwell
You have to wonder sometimes what goes through the minds of marketing people when they name products. It would be hard to find one with less zing than the Murray 1695885. Fortunately, this gas-powered snow blower has a lot of zing where it counts: function!
The Murray 1695885 is single-stage. Large gas models are sometimes dual stage, meaning that the auger scoops and an additional component assists in moving snow through the unit. However, you pay for that extra feature and experience with this model shows it really isn’t necessary. This snow blower pushes snow plenty far without it.
205cc 4-cycle OHV Briggs and Stratton 800 Engine
“Wide, powerful, and robust” would best sum up this gas-powered snow thrower.
The 1695885 houses a 22-inch wide scoop and auger system that will clear the widest driveways in a few swaths. You can clear the average sidewalk in one pass.
Not just wide, but deep snow as well succumbs with ease. The dual 10-inch auger blades can tackle high drifts with no problem. The intake height is over a foot high (12.6 inches), so it can actually handle berms higher than the blades.
And, because there’s a 205cc Briggs and Stratton 800 engine on board, it won’t slow down in the process. No matter what kind of snow you encounter – from the driest fluff to the hardest ice to the slushiest mess – this, 4-cycle OHV (Overhead Valve) powerhouse will keep going at top speed.
Electric, Push-Button Starter
You won’t find yourself having any trouble starting it, though, even in the coldest weather. This unit has a 120V electric, push-button starter that operates even in sub-zero temperatures. The unit comes with a cord to plug into a standard outlet, which is then disconnected to plow. So, there’s no battery that might go dead to worry about.
If any rare condition should require you to start it manually you won’t dislocate a shoulder doing it. The handle is wide and finger-grooved and the spark plug system is a Canadian design, where they get some truly cold weather. Thanks to a good choke and primer system, it will typically start in three cranks or less.
Chute Rotation up to 200 Degrees
There’s never any need to clear the same snow twice, either. The chute assembly can rotate even wider than most, a full 200 degrees. 180 degrees is standard. Since the engine/auger system is so powerful it can fling that snow far and wide, a full 20 feet if the snow is dry.
If you think all gas-powered models are hard to maneuver through heavy snow, think again. This model is auger driven (via a sturdy, adjustable belt) so the snow thrower does most of the work. So, despite this model’s substantial weight (about 100 lbs), you just hang on and walk behind at your own pace. The large size (36″ x 22″ x 22″) isn’t a big problem either, thanks to the Murray 1695885’s 8-inch wheels.
Surprisingly Easy Assembly
Naturally, a gas-powered model this large will require some assembly but it’s surprisingly easy. The wheels are already attached, which is the major hassle setting up many heavy snow blowers. The handle is collapsed but easy to flip up and secure.
Of course, as with any 4-cycle engine, you’ll have to add both oil and gasoline. 2-cycles use an oil-gas mixture. The spark plug comes properly gapped and, because it has a platinum tip, you won’t have to mess with it for years.
As with any motor that is essentially the same as your lawn mower, you want to avoid using gasoline that’s diluted with ethanol. Unfortunately, that’s becoming harder and harder to find. It won’t affect the running much but it does slightly shorten the lifetime. Unlike your car, though, because you don’t use the thrower every day the ill effect is much less.
As mentioned above, starting is effortless using the electric start. Luckily, they placed the receptacle on the Briggs and Stratton engine downward, where it won’t get wet or snow-filled and it’s well protected by a plastic housing. There’s also a security key to ensure no one can start the unit without it.
Any gas-powered model will require some maintenance, but that’s the tradeoff you make for having the size and power to tackle any kind of plow job. Changing the oil once every year and cleaning off the spark plug once a year (if that) is a small effort. Leaving gasoline in the unit for months on end can lead to gum buildup that hinders efficiency. An inexpensive additive can prevent that.
The other maintenance is the same effort required if you own an electric model: cleaning snow off the auger when finished. Apart from the mess it can make in the garage if the weather warms up, leaving snow on the blade gears can freeze them up during storage.
However, it takes only seconds to clean and that can be even easier by using a silicon spray before starting. Running the engine/auger in a clear spot for a few seconds more when you’re done will clear off most of the clinging snow as well.
The Murray 1695885 may not have an attractive name, but the unit itself looks good. Where it counts it works well, delivering plenty of snow-throwing power and clearing wide swaths of the toughest snow quickly.