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Author Topic: snow blower recommendations ?  (Read 748 times)
peteinct
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« on: November 24, 2020, 01:24:16 PM »

Everybody, Im looking to buy a snow blower and want to know if you have any recommendations for one. I live in Connecticut so I only get a half dozen storms a year. Its been a shovel for me up till now but my back is getting weaker and Im getting lazier. Good brands or good models? The only feature Id like is a plug in starter, one problem with power equipment is my wife finds all of them hard to start.  Thanks, Pete
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Mike Irwin
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« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2020, 01:30:54 PM »

In my opinion there are only two worth considering...

Toro and Troy-Bilt.

Growing up in Pennsylvania in the 1970s and 1980s we had 3 snow blowers... a Toro Snow Pup that you could not, under any circumstances, kill. It was loud, it was smoky, it occasionally broke the fuel line, but it lasted for decades. Dad bought it in 1968 or 1967 and we didn't get rid of it until about 1980, and the second owner was still using it in the mid-1990s. The only problem with it was that it was small.

Replaced it with a Sears Craftsman that had a greater capacity. It was an absolute SOB to start. As often as not I would pull the spark plug and heat it with a blow torch to get it running.

The third was a Murray. No clue what possessed my Dad to get that one. It was absolute trash.

However, the basis for my recommendation comes primarily from friends and acquaintances who have had a variety of Toros and Troy-Bilts. Virtually all have been pretty much bullet proof, durable, and reliable.

Fortunately I live in an area of the country that doesn't get much in the way of snow, and only gets BIG storms every 5 or 6 years or so. So I just have a shovel. :)
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« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2020, 01:31:15 PM »

I ran a Craftsman 28" 2 stage snow blower that had a joystick to turn the chute rather than a crank handle. It was pretty sweet, it had 6 forward speeds and 2 reverse, I never went over 2 when blowing snow because it would run faster than I wanted to walk. I used it maybe 6-8 times a year for 12 years. I would drain the gas and then run it dry after putting Seafoam and enzyme ethanol eater in it. I never had an issue with it starting the following winter.

bob
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Fly320s
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« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2020, 01:32:01 PM »

I had an Ariens two stage walk-behind with an adjustable throw chute that worked well.  It had a plug-in starter.  I probably bought it at Lowe's Depot.

No matter what you get, make sure you get spare shear pins and that they are quickly and easily replaceable.  You will break a few each season if you get a bunch of heavy, wet snow.
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« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2020, 01:42:36 PM »

How much snow do you normally get and how big is your driveway and walks? Does the snow plow leave you a 3' tall snow furrow in your drive? Driveway concrete or gravel?
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« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2020, 01:51:05 PM »



No matter what you get, make sure you get spare shear pins and that they are quickly and easily replaceable.  You will break a few each season if you get a bunch of heavy, wet snow.

X1000...

I have a beast of a 2 stage snow blower, John Deere 1032D (green painted Ariens) and keeping extra shear bolts in stock is a must have. I usually end up catching a rock in the auger and the bolt breaks instead of the gear box. Sadly John Deere doesn't sell this snow blower anymore. John Deere hasn't made their own walk behind snow blower since 1990.
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« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2020, 01:57:38 PM »

In my opinion there are only two worth considering...

Toro and Troy-Bilt.


MTD makes Troy-Bilt, Cub Cadet and Craftsman now, stay away.

Honda, Ariens, Toro and Husqvarna still make their own machines, engines are usually made by someone else, except Honda and some Toro.

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« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2020, 02:00:45 PM »

I spent 23 years in the lawn, landscaping and snow removal industry as a business owner.  Get a Toro, but not a new one.  Search  craigslist or other sites for a good used 2-cycle one, regardless of size or model.  All new ones are 4-cycle, and that has been the case for several years.  They are heavier, more expensive, and cannot match the torque or lighter weight of the old 2-cycle ones.
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Mike Irwin
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« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2020, 02:06:19 PM »

"MTD makes Troy-Bilt, Cub Cadet and Craftsman now, stay away. "

You have got to be kidding me...

Well, MTD at least is a step above Murray...

I've occasionally given though to buying an electric snow thrower, but I really don't feel like spending money on something that would sit and take up room 99% of the time. We just don't get much snow here, and often, when we do, it's far more than an electric model can handle.



I can't remember for certain, but the Snow Pup, I THINK, had a Tecumseh 2-cycle engine. VERY simple. 2 HP...
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« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2020, 02:08:10 PM »

I spent 23 years in the lawn, landscaping and snow removal industry as a business owner.  Get a Toro, but not a new one.  Search  craigslist or other sites for a good used 2-cycle one, regardless of size or model.  All new ones are 4-cycle, and that has been the case for several years.  They are heavier, more expensive, and cannot match the torque or lighter weight of the old 2-cycle ones.

Yep, I got an at least 20 year old 16" Toro PowerLite (single stage 2 stroke) that with patience will eat through 80% of the snowfalls I get in north Iowa. I think I paid $40 from craigslist/facebook marketplace 3 years ago. It needed at $10 carburetor from ebay and it fired right up. I do need to replace the paddles since I have about a 3/4" gap between the paddle and the body. I use this for the back patio and front walk, also when I have 4" or less snow on the drive. I better order new paddles, winter is coming.
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« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2020, 02:12:28 PM »

It's been nearly 25 years since I've needed a snow blower (that's when I moved from MN to TX) but both I and my parents (they were in Chicago) used Toro 421 snowblowers to good effect. My mother used a smaller Toro with a 2-cycle engine which worked well for lighter snow falls. The 421s both had electric start and chains. Never had a problem starting, never broke a shear pin either.
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« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2020, 02:13:41 PM »

"MTD makes Troy-Bilt, Cub Cadet and Craftsman now, stay away. "

You have got to be kidding me...

Well, MTD at least is a step above Murray...

I've occasionally given though to buying an electric snow thrower, but I really don't feel like spending money on something that would sit and take up room 99% of the time. We just don't get much snow here, and often, when we do, it's far more than an electric model can handle.



I can't remember for certain, but the Snow Pup, I THINK, had a Tecumseh 2-cycle engine. VERY simple. 2 HP...

Ah the little bastard Toro from the late 70s/early 80s. It had a Toro made 2 stroke engine on it, also make a great go-cart engine.
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« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2020, 02:20:21 PM »

Not to throw off the thread, but how much snow does it take for you guys to break out the snow blowers? I only have one Winter in America, and we don't get much snow. Last Winter I would just go out anytime it got to around 1-2" and shovel away. So maybe twice a day on our "big" snow storms last year.

When I first moved, a snowblower was on the list, but after year one experiences, it seems like overkill for me in this environment. Excepting, of course, people who have back issues, etc. like the OP. I wouldn't want to be dealing with a foot of snow at a time with a shovel though.
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« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2020, 02:20:36 PM »

Get a tractor.

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« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2020, 02:25:53 PM »

Not to throw off the thread, but how much snow does it take for you guys to break out the snow blowers? I only have one Winter in America, and we don't get much snow. Last Winter I would just go out anytime it got to around 1-2" and shovel away. So maybe twice a day on our "big" snow storms last year.

When I first moved, a snowblower was on the list, but after year one experiences, it seems like overkill for me in this environment. Excepting, of course, people who have back issues, etc. like the OP. I wouldn't want to be dealing with a foot of snow at a time with a shovel though.

If I don't have to go to work, up to 4" of dry to medium wet snow remove with a shovel. If I have to go to work, then 2" or less for a shovel. Wet heavy snow, anything over 2". I usually need to get the snowblower out for the end of the drive, because a 4" snow fall means a 12" deep furrow at the end of the drive way. Also most snowfalls here are over 4", so my snowblower gets a workout all winter.

Early and late snows, it depends on the next couple days weather forcast, if its a 2-3" snowfall and it is predicted to be 40F+ and sunny for the next two days, I only shovel off the stoop.
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« Reply #15 on: November 24, 2020, 02:31:27 PM »

We usually try to keep up with snowfalls that are going to leave 4" or more total. I don't fire up the snowblower unless absolutely necessary. It makes me chuckle to see my much younger neighbors firing up their snowthrowers while I'm clearing my larger driveway by hand. That said, if I had an ATV with a plow I would use it every chance I had.
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Kingcreek
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« Reply #16 on: November 24, 2020, 02:35:02 PM »

The best kind of snowblower belongs to your neighbor with a strong teenage boy thrown in on the deal.
If I didnĺt already have a very capable tractor I would hire someone.
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« Reply #17 on: November 24, 2020, 02:54:53 PM »


Got a tractor and these:

https://r2manufacturing.com/products/edge-tamer

Tractor doesn't fit on the back patio. :)

I could use it on the front concrete driveway and shop and garage pads, but honestly, Last year I hit everything that was concrete with the shovel and was done in maybe 45 minutes. It was less of a workout than my normal workout.

I never cleared my gravel road once. Just drove over the the thing and had a packed snow surface until it melted. Obviously if we get snowmageddon I'll do the road with the tractor.

(Again, sorry to derail your thread peteinct)
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« Reply #18 on: November 24, 2020, 03:04:51 PM »

Not to throw off the thread, but how much snow does it take for you guys to break out the snow blowers? I only have one Winter in America, and we don't get much snow. Last Winter I would just go out anytime it got to around 1-2" and shovel away. So maybe twice a day on our "big" snow storms last year.

I don't bother for anything less than 4 inches.
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Mike Irwin
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« Reply #19 on: November 24, 2020, 06:28:04 PM »

Snow Pups were made for almost 30 years starting in the mid 1960s.

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« Reply #20 on: November 24, 2020, 06:45:28 PM »

I bought a Sun Joe 21 inch single stage electric snowblower last year.  We had up to 20 inches of snow on the ground the year before, and wouldn't you know it, it never snowed over two inches last year.  So I have it still in the box and I am hoping we get a good snow this year.  Although since we no longer have snow days at school, with remote learning, and I am working mostly out of my home office, I may or may not have to clear the driveway if we get any good snow this year.  It used to be that my wife as a teacher and I as a healthcare administrator were expected to show up in the snow. The weather people have predicted a 'La Nina' winter this year, which usually means a colder and wetter winter than usual.
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« Reply #21 on: November 24, 2020, 06:59:33 PM »

I'm using a 28" Ariens. The only problem I have is that if I'm not careful, I can throw the snow into the neighbors driveway 40+ feet away. In some conditions I can hit the roof of his garage.
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« Reply #22 on: November 24, 2020, 07:06:10 PM »

Snow Pups were made for almost 30 years starting in the mid 1960s.

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I remember the red and black ones, flat paddles. Google did show the earlier white and red ones from the 60s.
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« Reply #23 on: November 25, 2020, 05:59:35 AM »

. . . It makes me chuckle to see my much younger neighbors firing up their snowthrowers while I'm clearing my larger driveway by hand . . .
I'm pretty sure your neighbors get a chuckle when they look at you shoveling by hand, too - it's nice when neighbors can amuse one another rather than feud.   Wink
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« Reply #24 on: November 25, 2020, 06:54:52 AM »

I'm pretty sure your neighbors get a chuckle when they look at you shoveling by hand, too - it's nice when neighbors can amuse one another rather than feud.   Wink

I'm absolutely sure you're right.  And I'm sure that's not the only thing . . . . .   ROFL
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