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Old 08-05-2009, 01:10 PM   #1
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Buying a Snowblower


Hi;
I am finally going to give in to my aging body, admit that I'm no teenager, and stop shoveling snow.
I live in the Northeast where we can have a big, heavy dump from time to time, but most often it's just 6" or so, and the worst part about shoveling is that the snow is so heavy.
Also, the chunky snow that gets pushed up into the driveway by the snowplow.

I have seen neighbors using snowblowers, and they do a nice job with the heavy wet stuff, as well as the chunky, icy piles.
I am sure they have two-stage machines, at least 5hp.

Despite the fact that don't usually get huge dumps, I am going to buy a two-stage machine.
I would rather be under-working my machine most of the time than to have it become completely useless with some of the heavier and wetter storms.

I'm figuring I will have to spend around $800 to $1,000 for a good machine, but hoping that if I buy it early (September, no later than mid October) I will get a better price than if I wait until December.

So, what I really want to know is what is a good, reliable machine to buy?

My brother owns a Sears Craftsman, but I would rather avoid buying any Sears product.
I am aware that Ariens makes a good one, at least they did 20 years ago.
But having never owned a snowblower before, I would like to make this one my first, and last purchase for the next 20+ years.

Thanks for your advice.

FW

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Old 08-05-2009, 05:14 PM   #2
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Buying a Snowblower


Quote:
Originally Posted by KE2KB View Post
Hi;
I am finally going to give in to my aging body, admit that I'm no teenager, and stop shoveling snow.
I live in the Northeast where we can have a big, heavy dump from time to time, but most often it's just 6" or so, and the worst part about shoveling is that the snow is so heavy.
Also, the chunky snow that gets pushed up into the driveway by the snowplow.

I have seen neighbors using snowblowers, and they do a nice job with the heavy wet stuff, as well as the chunky, icy piles.
I am sure they have two-stage machines, at least 5hp.

Despite the fact that don't usually get huge dumps, I am going to buy a two-stage machine.
I would rather be under-working my machine most of the time than to have it become completely useless with some of the heavier and wetter storms.

I'm figuring I will have to spend around $800 to $1,000 for a good machine, but hoping that if I buy it early (September, no later than mid October) I will get a better price than if I wait until December.

So, what I really want to know is what is a good, reliable machine to buy?

My brother owns a Sears Craftsman, but I would rather avoid buying any Sears product.
I am aware that Ariens makes a good one, at least they did 20 years ago.
But having never owned a snowblower before, I would like to make this one my first, and last purchase for the next 20+ years.

Thanks for your advice.

FW
I have an ariens and have been happy with it although I don't use it that much.

As the saying goes, it's better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

Also, definitely get one way before the snow season starts. HD usually will give you a 10% off coupon if you sign up for their credit card.

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Old 08-05-2009, 09:47 PM   #3
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Buying a Snowblower


Quote:
Originally Posted by handy man88 View Post
I have an ariens and have been happy with it although I don't use it that much.

As the saying goes, it's better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

Also, definitely get one way before the snow season starts. HD usually will give you a 10% off coupon if you sign up for their credit card.
And they may even give me a year interest free to pay for it!

Thanks for the advice.

FW
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Old 08-05-2009, 10:00 PM   #4
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Buying a Snowblower


I'm further north
But this is the one I want:
32" cutting path
I may have to settle for the 28" model

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Old 08-05-2009, 11:58 PM   #5
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Buying a Snowblower


Hi,

I finally made the decision a few years back to get a blower after many years of thinking about it.

I did a fair bit of research and what I found was a couple of choices.

The best seemed to be ariens (wich I puchased-- 1130 DLE) IT is awesome! it has the power when I need it and speed is nice.

The biggest thing I found was it is well built. Steel parts and none of that plastic crap. The impeller is bigger than other machines ( that is good for throwing and eating snow). Everything seems to be built stronger.

I ended up purchasing a 2nd one used (much smaller--little 5 hp 20") it only has one speed and only goes forward, but it is awesome for doing tiny areas like decks. I can manhandle it in tight spots, however the bigger one is WAY nicer for 98% of the jobs I do ( I now do snowclearing as a side to my contracting work).

Honda makes a sweet motor, but is much more money.

Bottom line...biggest bang for buck....spend little more on quality and go ariens--stay away from cheap plastic crap (plastic and -30 cold???). The pretend snowblowers have lots of funky plastic crap, joysticks and garbage on them...the quality ones spend the money on quality parts.

Just my 2 cents...
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Old 08-06-2009, 06:13 AM   #6
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Buying a Snowblower


Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
I'm further north
But this is the one I want:
32" cutting path
I may have to settle for the 28" model

Now that's a serious machine!
What brand. Can't read it from the photo.

FW
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Old 08-06-2009, 09:13 AM   #7
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Buying a Snowblower


That's a Honda
I had a chance to buy one at almost 1/2 price but I didn't have the garage built or the new driveway in
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Old 08-06-2009, 10:58 PM   #8
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Buying a Snowblower


Quote:
Originally Posted by rahfiki View Post
Hi,

I finally made the decision a few years back to get a blower after many years of thinking about it.

I did a fair bit of research and what I found was a couple of choices.

The best seemed to be ariens (wich I puchased-- 1130 DLE) IT is awesome! it has the power when I need it and speed is nice.

The biggest thing I found was it is well built. Steel parts and none of that plastic crap. The impeller is bigger than other machines ( that is good for throwing and eating snow). Everything seems to be built stronger.

I ended up purchasing a 2nd one used (much smaller--little 5 hp 20") it only has one speed and only goes forward, but it is awesome for doing tiny areas like decks. I can manhandle it in tight spots, however the bigger one is WAY nicer for 98% of the jobs I do ( I now do snowclearing as a side to my contracting work).

Honda makes a sweet motor, but is much more money.

Bottom line...biggest bang for buck....spend little more on quality and go ariens--stay away from cheap plastic crap (plastic and -30 cold???). The pretend snowblowers have lots of funky plastic crap, joysticks and garbage on them...the quality ones spend the money on quality parts.

Just my 2 cents...
That was one of the nice surprises I noticed when I bought my Ariens.

There was an American flag sticker on the machine.

This beast is Made in the USA.

Support your country....buy American.

http://www.ariens.com/products_snow/Pages/default.aspx

http://www.ariens.com/corporate/abou...s/default.aspx

You can even pimp up your snow thrower.

http://www.theelitegroup-ariens.com/...eelcovers.aspx
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Old 08-06-2009, 11:24 PM   #9
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Buying a Snowblower


I bought the lower end craftsman 2-stage blower, like $600 or so. Never let me down with northeastern ohio winters where it can really dump.

Used to have a big craftsman with the tank treads and steering control, oh man that was nice. Last easter went over a newspaper in the snow, blew up the worm gear. pretty much unfixable (due to the way it was put together.... engineered obselescence)
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Old 08-07-2009, 04:28 PM   #10
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Buying a Snowblower


Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyboy View Post
I bought the lower end craftsman 2-stage blower, like $600 or so. Never let me down with northeastern ohio winters where it can really dump.

Used to have a big craftsman with the tank treads and steering control, oh man that was nice. Last easter went over a newspaper in the snow, blew up the worm gear. pretty much unfixable (due to the way it was put together.... engineered obselescence)
You're telling me that going over a newspaper (frozen, I assume) can do a snowblower in?

FW
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Old 08-07-2009, 04:31 PM   #11
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Buying a Snowblower


Quote:
Originally Posted by rahfiki View Post
Hi,

I finally made the decision a few years back to get a blower after many years of thinking about it.

I did a fair bit of research and what I found was a couple of choices.

The best seemed to be ariens (wich I puchased-- 1130 DLE) IT is awesome! it has the power when I need it and speed is nice.

The biggest thing I found was it is well built. Steel parts and none of that plastic crap. The impeller is bigger than other machines ( that is good for throwing and eating snow). Everything seems to be built stronger.

I ended up purchasing a 2nd one used (much smaller--little 5 hp 20") it only has one speed and only goes forward, but it is awesome for doing tiny areas like decks. I can manhandle it in tight spots, however the bigger one is WAY nicer for 98% of the jobs I do ( I now do snowclearing as a side to my contracting work).

Honda makes a sweet motor, but is much more money.

Bottom line...biggest bang for buck....spend little more on quality and go ariens--stay away from cheap plastic crap (plastic and -30 cold???). The pretend snowblowers have lots of funky plastic crap, joysticks and garbage on them...the quality ones spend the money on quality parts.

Just my 2 cents...
Sounds like good advice. I absolutely HATE plastic parts. While it doesn't get down to -30 around here, I would still rather pay a bit more for all metal, and made in the USA than going with anything plastic.
I don't need, or want any fancy features. I just want a good machine that I can depend on year after year.

I do not like Sears - Craftsman. I have had too many bad experiences with their products in the last 10 years. Too much plastic, parts lower quality in general.

I think the Ariens is the way to go.

Thanks

FW
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Old 08-07-2009, 06:15 PM   #12
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Buying a Snowblower


Quote:
Originally Posted by KE2KB View Post
Sounds like good advice. I absolutely HATE plastic parts. While it doesn't get down to -30 around here, I would still rather pay a bit more for all metal, and made in the USA than going with anything plastic.
I don't need, or want any fancy features. I just want a good machine that I can depend on year after year.

I do not like Sears - Craftsman. I have had too many bad experiences with their products in the last 10 years. Too much plastic, parts lower quality in general.

I think the Ariens is the way to go.

Thanks

FW
Craftsman is okay for anything light duty.

Other than that, stick with the names with the reps.

I bought a Craftsman leaf blower/vac and it gave up on me while blowing some leaves.

I then ran out and bought a Stihl, and it's been humming ever since.
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Old 08-08-2009, 07:06 AM   #13
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Buying a Snowblower






Troy-Bilt
208cc Dual-Stage Gas Snow Thrower




http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?actio...711&lpage=none
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Old 08-08-2009, 09:49 AM   #14
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Buying a Snowblower


I think the Tecumseh Snow King engine is probably the most used engine for snow throwers save Honda.
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Old 08-08-2009, 08:41 PM   #15
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Buying a Snowblower


Husqvarna makes a nice blower. I personally use a Wheel Horse blower attatched to a Wheel Horse 312-8 tractor. Does a real nice job with minimum effort.

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