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Snow blower : Honda vs. Ariens?

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by bricks, Sep 24, 2004.

  1. bricks

    bricks Junior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 5

    So, I'm down to Honda 928 (WA, WAS, TA, TAS) vs. Ariens (11526, 11528).
    I know the difference in HP (9 vs. 11), but don't want to go up higher
    in Honda models. Hondas at ~$1800 - $2100, Ariens at ~$1600 - $1800.

    Can anyone share experience with either of the two machines? I looked
    at different review sites (here, epinions, whatsthebest-lawnmower,
    consumer reports, consumer guide), and I've found:

    Honda

    Pros : reliable (engine-wise. quieter?)
    trackdrive is good for adjusting clearance

    Cons : hard to manuver (tracks and wheels)
    wheeldrive can be hard for adjusting clearance
    need to order lamp
    no hand-warmer
    heard trackdrive is prone to repair?

    Ariens (couldn't find as many reviews)

    Pros : differential drive
    hand warmer

    Cons : some people say engine runs rough


    I'll be clearing a long, steep, paved driveway (~60ft drop in ~270ft).

    Order of importance to me is
    1. reliability
    2. ease/convenience of use (I'm not a big guy)
    3. cost (like to keep it below $2100, so all models above are within range)
     
  2. festerw

    festerw Senior Member
    Messages: 986

    First off I will say I have never run an Ariens, never needed to, bought a Honda 15 years ago and never looked back. It has never required anything more than regular maintenance. As for problems with the track drive ours has been adjusted I think twice. It has also been run on a gravel driveway for it's entire life and isn't even rusted badly.

    The trackdrive isn't real bad to manuever once you get the hang of it and will pretty much go through anything.
     
  3. bricks

    bricks Junior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 5

    A quick question on the trackdrives -

    Is it possible to put it in 'neutral' so you can easily push in and out of garage?
    I heard that if the engine goes off for whatever reason, it can be a bear to push it 'coz the tracks are somehow engaged still?

    I'm not concerned about the eigine dying, but I don't want to have the eigine running when wheeling it in and out.

    Also, have you tried going up the steps with the tracks? I've got 8 or so steps in the front walkway, and wanted to blow/throw the top portion without having to shovel it.
     
  4. rainair

    rainair Senior Member
    Messages: 153

    snowblowers

    go Honda!!!

    when buying small equip thats what we look for the Honda engine!
    the air going in the engine is dirtier then when it comes out the exhaust
     
  5. festerw

    festerw Senior Member
    Messages: 986

    Yes there is a neutral position, it's not as easy as a wheel drive but not real hard.

    Yes it will climb steps if you tilt it backwards.
     
  6. itchyfishnv

    itchyfishnv Member
    Messages: 45

    My parents have an ariens snowblower thats older than I am! and it still runs great, the only thing they've ever replaced was oil, plugs, and pins. I would buy one anyday (if i needed one)
     
  7. dunkmydonut

    dunkmydonut Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Honda or Ariens

    Everyone I know with a Honda speaks well of them. I went down to buy one, and For me the handlebars are too low, even when It's set at the highest positon [track drive]. So I passed.
    Go down to each dealer, and try them out. See how they feel, and how the engine runs.
    You get more goodies for your money with Ariens, but nothing throws snow like a Honda.

    Ariens are much cheaper, and the top of the line has an on board battery. Starts like a car at the turn of a key. Has electric chute rotation, and deflection, plus differential, and hand warmers, and light.

    If you have a hilly driveway, get the Honda track drive. You can't stop them. Very reliable too.

    Good luck in your decision!! Don't rule out Toro, and simplicity...all good machines.
    Hope this was more helpful than confusing.
     
  8. joethewolf

    joethewolf Junior Member
    Messages: 1

    how hard is the 928 tas to turn at bottom or top of driveway .how is ground speed? and can you tilt them backwards like a wheeled unit or can you only use auger adjustment?thanks for any help . ihave a 928tas on order
     
  9. johnboggs21

    johnboggs21 Junior Member
    from MI
    Messages: 8

    the best snowblower ive ever had was an old ariens. Real top notch machine, would throw the snow a long ways. It had a differential lock on it, and once you locked the diff in, that thing would walk right through the deepest drifts even with turf tires on. I wouldnt hesitate to buy another one.