Needed: Snow Blower advice.

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by GGardner, Oct 4, 2019.

  1. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's

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    I agree on most of that, but the reason used ones might be a bear to start is like everything else...poor maintenence. What goes wrong is that people leave old fuel in the tank and the carb goes to crap. Luckily, carbs are only about $40 and simple to replace so a used motor isn't really much of an issue in my view. All of mine (have 5) were at least 25 years old or older yet they are good working machines after a little servicing. The difference between new and used is hundreds of bucks....repairs often less than a $100.

    I will add, try and avoid plastic chutes...in drifted crusty snow that design compromise will screw you over quickly. Coat the chute and auger with PAM cooking spray and you will be able to throw that snow easily. Also, if buying used, inspect the impeller closely. It is like checking the teeth on a horse, it will tell you the full story on how well the machine was treated. If the teeth of the impeller are bent or busted off....pass on that one.
     
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  2. GGardner

    GGardner Tele-Afflicted

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    The 24" model (Craftsman SB410) comes in at budget.
     
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  3. KevinB

    KevinB Doctor of Teleocity

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    Don't get a single stage! You'll regret it! They just don't have the muscle to handle deep or heavy snow.

    Just up your budget a little and buy this one at Lowe's for $800. Ariens might not be Honda or Husqvarna quality but it's a very solid machine, will probably last you a lifetime and the price isn't that bad.

    https://www.lowes.com/pd/Ariens-Classic-24-24-in-Two-stage-Self-propelled-Gas-Snow-Blower/1000228265

    [​IMG]

    24" is not a bad size. There'll be times when you want a little more power but this one won't take up too much garage space and will still be relatively easy to muscle around.

    As a huge added bonus it won't be intimidating for your wife to use. My petite, 5 foot nothing wife used to like using my 24" Troy Bilt as long as she was doing straight runs with it and not having to help it through the really deep stuff!
     
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  4. grayback

    grayback TDPRI Member

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    I had a 2 stage craftsman blower when I lived in the sierra. 11 hp, 30 inch path, electric start.
    Never had a problem with it, every spring I’d run the fuel tank dry and add stabilizer.
     
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  5. rz350

    rz350 Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    I have a 1971 Simplicity 2 stage that I've been using for 31 years, no problems except for belt replacement every few years...
     
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  6. swany

    swany Tele-Meister

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    I recommend a two stage Troy Bilt as well, I use it's electric start sometimes, but most of the time I just pull start it. I have never had a single problem with it, always starts and never get clogged up. It's 26 inches wide and does my 210 foot long driveway in around 20 minutes. Make sure you get one that has a good headlight, the hours I work I'm often using it in the dark, don't want to go over something you shouldn't like a pine cone, a rock, or the neighbors cat.
     
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  7. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I will give you my snow shovel when you pry it from my dead cold hands.
    IMG_4093.JPG
     
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  8. Controller

    Controller Friend of Leo's

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    Please use only ethanol-free gas in your small engines. Ethanol is extremely corrosive. Small engines are not built for it. I know from personal experience. If you don't believe me, ask any small engine shop.

    Also, single stage blowers have come a long way recently. For most driveway type jobs they are just fine and much lighter than two stage.
     
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  9. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's

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    Ariens will do the job, reliably. Don’t mess around... buy the baddest 2-stage you believe you can manage, physically. Use a friend’s snow blower to get a feel for the size you need.
     
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  10. jimash

    jimash Friend of Leo's

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    It's a Snow Joe electric snow blower, I bought on Amazon and it's ok for up to 10 inches.

    I should get a plow thing for my tractor but it's a big heavy deal.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2019
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  11. Dave W

    Dave W Friend of Leo's

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    You're right about MTD. Troy-Bilt and Cub Cadet are their own brands. Stanley Black & Decker owns the Craftsman brand now and MTD makes their snowblowers and mowers.

    Simplicty bought Snapper in the early 2000s, then Briggs & Stratton bought Simplicity, then bought Murray out of bankruptcy, then created the Brute brand. All in the family!

    At least my Ariens is still made by Ariens.
     
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  12. urbandefault

    urbandefault Tele-Meister

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    Don't use it on the roof.

    That's all I got. :lol:
     
  13. Tommy Biggs

    Tommy Biggs Friend of Leo's

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    Watch for the sale. Then make your decision!
     
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  14. danzigdan

    danzigdan TDPRI Member

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    Ariens!
     
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  15. RottenTheCat

    RottenTheCat Tele-Holic

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    I'm connected with one of these companies, but... I shouldn't say which one.

    Honda, Toro, Craftsman... and just about all the rest, outsource the manufacturing of consumer level lawn products. Some like Craftsman, outsource everything, and exist as a name that goes on products made by others.

    I know Toro and Craftsman put certain features into products and set up exclusivity deals with their vendors for those features.

    If I was in the snow blower market - 4 cycle is the only way to go, not 2 cycle. 2 cycle engines can get very finicky in cold weather. Run the carburetor dry at the end of each season. Use some fuel stabilizer, especially on that last tank full, where residual fuel will remain in the system. Use the correct engine oil - Briggs, Honda, whoever's engine. DO NOT RUN THE ENGINE FOR SHORT DURATION. Very important to let the engine come up to full temperature. Short duration starts, even in warm weather, will produce condensation within the crankcase, which needs temperature to blow/evaporate off. Ask any owner of a Harley Sportster about the foam goo of oil and water that blows from the engine into the carburetor intake for "reburn". The colder the engine, the worse it gets. Keep some ether handy.

    When I was a kid, my dad had two Toro "Power Handles", which were a horizontal shaft motor on a frame with a throttle and clutch, and room for another control (or maybe two). He had the rotary mower, edger and snowblower attachments. One T handle was all you needed to change the "power handle" to another accessory. The nice thing, was the engines got use all year long, and didn't have any surprises. In the summer, that was the mower my dad would give me a quarter for a gallon gas, and I'd have 4 cents change to spend on Bazooka gum (8 whole pieces!). He always had me buy "Hi-Test", which back in the day was better gas due to its detergent additives as well as actual higher heptane/triethylpentane (aka pseudo octane, or iso-octane) percentages, but I digress.

    Buy your blower for its engine, that's whats gonna separate the sheep from the goats.
     
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  16. GGardner

    GGardner Tele-Afflicted

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    What would you recommend in the $700 price range? What would you stay away from?
     
  17. RottenTheCat

    RottenTheCat Tele-Holic

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    I'm in Florida I have no idea what snow blowers should be costing. This much I can tell you: They're all the same when the engine won't start.
    I can also say that Briggs & Stratton engine parts are commonly available all over the place even on Amazon. The Briggs engine I've got right now on an old aluminum deck "weed eater" brand mower came from a pressure washer that got flooded. I put a new coil on it and replaced the carburetor, which is kind of rotten on the inside. As it was the engine ran on Seafoam, but it wouldn't run on gasoline! now it's a start on first or second pull engine every week. I've got a Honda engine on a pressure washer, and it had gone in the carburetor when I bought it brand new. Had to spend two hours on that thing cleaning it out, but now it's a start on the first pull engine as well.

    I'll say that Toro tends to use better grade engines from the manufacturers, they seem to be very conscious of what people think of their products and don't want a crap engine that won't start. They use Briggs and Honda engines mostly.

    But for pricing I'm sorry I can't help you.
     
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  18. Wallaby

    Wallaby Tele-Meister

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    I haven't read the thread yet, so I'll tell you about the mental process I experienced WRT getting a snowblower.

    Having grown up with snowblowers in the Northern climes, I have some experience, but in no way am I an expert. I also had an acquaintance DIE SHOVELING HIS DRIVEWAY.

    Back problems are no joke. A snow-shoveling-induced coronary and the risk of DEATH is also no joke. Not selling back problems short at all, but they weren't part of the equation for me personally.

    In my early youth when I made pocket money clearing lake-effect snow from dozens of driveways every weekend in the winter in Michigan. Back when it snowed a lot. I think it snows less now, but I could be wrong. Always used a 2-stage blower.

    So I bought a new 24" 2-stage Ariens.

    It's a total champ, has an electric start ( you plug in an extension cord, no battery ), a headlight, controls for everything at the operator position, and enough beef to clear the crusted over, packed drift that the plow leaves at the foot of my driveway. Sidewalks take two passes, but going to a 28" machine costs significantly more.

    It's really loud.

    IMO a good snow blower is heart-attack insurance and is well worth it. It costs as much as a good guitar, but that's how it goes. I use it maybe twice a year, keep it maintained by using non-ethanol fuel and a little fuel treatment when I store it, wiping it off and spraying the surfaces with silicone, and I still think it was worth it.

    I'm just not willing to risk leaving this world shoveling freaking snow.

     
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  19. mfguitar

    mfguitar Tele-Holic

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    This is about as cheap as I would go. You absolutely want 120V start, most come with that. Ariens or Toro but both make dealer series and Big Box store series. Your going to pay a little more at a servicing dealer but they don't like to work on machines purchased at Lowes or HD. You can get close to new for $350- $450 but there is always the issue with gas gone bad and carbs messed up.
    Or you could ask yourself, "do I ever need to go anywhere that bad?" It will melt eventually.

    https://www.lowes.com/pd/Ariens-Classic-24-24-in-Two-stage-Self-propelled-Gas-Snow-Blower/1000228265
     
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  20. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's

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    You could a different direction altogether I guess....skip the snow removal and buy an old Jeep.

    When I owned a '82 Jeep Scrambler for about 12 years, I never bothered with snow removal....just drove in / out and let it melt away in time. Of course now the city will come along and fine you for not clearing off your sidewalks, so you are still stuck there.
     
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