1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice

Need advice on buying used snowblower

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by piqefi2, Mar 22, 2005.

  1. piqefi2

    piqefi2 Junior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 1

    Hi! I have never bought a snowblower - the following is for sale:

    Noma 3 hp, 2 cycle, new style chute, 2 seasons old, exc. condition, $300

    Pros/Cons? Brand reliability? Reasonable price? Easy to use?

    Note: I am a single female, so really need good advice!
    thank you! ;)
  2. Peopleeater

    Peopleeater Senior Member
    Messages: 249


    Welcome to the board!

    First of all, if you only get snow that is only 6" or less, then I would think you would be ok with a small one. You will have some trouble at the end of the drive from the municipal plows. But, being only 3 hp, it should be a pretty light unit, so it would be easy to handle. The two cycle part of it will take more maintenance than a 4 stroke. I know with any 2 cycle I've ever had (snowmobile) they can be very tempermental (fouling plugs, fogging and unfogging for seasonal use. My advice would be to find a 4 stroke, unless there is someone around to maintenance it for you. I would imagine being a single mom, money is pretty tight (I know the costs of childcare), so taking it to have regular maintenance is something you would be trying to avoid? The 4 strokes just need oil changes (like a car engine), and a spark plug at regular intervals. The 2 cycles will have a little more power than a 4 cycle at same HP rating.
    I have never heard of that brand, so I know nothing about them. I do know that if I were to buy one tomorrow, it would be an Ariens. I have a bigger one that is about 30 years old, and still runs like a top. It is the best time of the year to buy one though, cause you gotta wait for a year to need it again.
    The other thing to consider is have a single stage thrower, or a 2 stage one. The single stage picks it up and throws it with same mechanism, while a 2 stage has one to break up and feed it, the other part actually throws the snow.
    Sorry I can't help you on the model you are looking at, but I'm sure others will post if they have any info to add.

    Good luck.

  3. motorider000

    motorider000 Senior Member
    Messages: 110

    Toro Toro Toro!!!!!!!!
  4. ProfessionalTou

    ProfessionalTou Junior Member
    Messages: 15

    toro 3650 for commercial about $550
  5. bobingardner

    bobingardner Senior Member
    Messages: 136

    $300 doesn't seem like a bad price if it's been well taken care of but before you buy it you might want to look at the toro's that have been mentioned previously. A new 3.25hp CCR 325 with a two year warrantey would be about $399. You also need to think about how much snow you need to move. A single stage would be fine for a small driveway and sidewalk. Also the type of surface would make a difference. The two stage machines usually have skid shoes and adjustable scrapper bar that allow you to adjust clearing height for gravel or paved surfaces. By the way I think NOMA is made by Murray and most people consider Toro to be a better machine.

    I bought my sister a Toro for Christmas last year and she gave it to my nephew. I was sooooooooooooooo PO'd. It was a nice machine and I would have gladly bought it from her even though I have an Ariens 1128LE. Sometimes it's more machine than I need. Checkout the OPE section of Abbysguide.com
  6. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    Single stage machines are terrible in wet snow so it's probabily not a good choice for New England. I have one that works when it feels like it. Wet snow plugs it up or slips the belt- sometimes both.

    I would go with a 4 cycle for the same reasons as above- however all seasonal engines MUST have the gas drained out of the carbs and fuel stabilizer added to the last tank that is run through it or you'll be rebuilding the carburetor every winter. The float bowl on my big machine is rusted out completely through from failing to properly maintain it.

    I would slso recomend a 2 stage (at least 5hp) for New England- they can be bought from $250 used up to over $1000 for the new and big ones.
    Check the local web boards like Craigslist and you'll find them used for sale regularly.

    Toro and Ariens are the brands I hear everyone talking about.
  7. wstwind

    wstwind Senior Member
    Messages: 103

    Toro, If You Pony Up The $ You Won't Regret It!!
  8. Peopleeater

    Peopleeater Senior Member
    Messages: 249

    Thank you for adding to my post

    Thanks for adding the stuff I left off. I fully agree with you on the 2 stage and fuel stabilizer things. Also, I would never have a single stage thrower wither cause it has to be light and fluffy snow for it to work decently. I saw an old ariens snowthrower jsut like the one I have, and I think it went for something like 200 on ebay. Toros are good, but can't go wrong with an Ariens. I love mine, and had to get it going again this year cause the plow truck broke, and didn't want to shovel a foot of snow. It sat for 2 years, never put stabilizer in it (not good to do) replaced the belt (reason I parked it two years ago, last snowfall of season, then got plow the next year). Now that I think about it, I did drain the gas. In any case fired right up with a little help from the ethyr can. Had to get the carb dialed back in. Nothing stops it, but one complaint, it is a workout manuvering it even with it being self propelled.
    I have one more thing to add. I would rather use a blower than a shovel, unless it is under 3".


    PS. I actually agree with everything you said. :p
  9. bobingardner

    bobingardner Senior Member
    Messages: 136

    Don't let the snow get too deep between clearings, and don't try to rush through the job, and a single stage should be OK for a small driveway even in wet snow. 3hp is small though so I wouldn't want to do anything bigger than maybe a 15'x25' drive unless you can throw the snow to both sides of the driveway. Since your in Massachusetts tomorrow sounds like a good time to test drive it.
  10. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    I have a 3Hp MTD single stage which is great unless it's wet snow then it just clogs the chute and slips the belt. Spend more time unclogging it than top shovel.

    My old machine (in the shed awaiting a clutch handle and cable replacement 4 years and counting.... I have the parts just not the motivation to repair it) is a Sears (Toro rebadged) 5Hp 2 stage from the late 70's. Works great.

    My normal machine is a 1960's Jawa Jaw 2 stage 8 hp twin auger. (it has a mouth with teeth and an eye on the sides from the factory :D ) It has rear mounted exposed transmission and locking axle. That is the one with the rusted out carb bowl- when it runs nothing stops it- chewed through 22" in the Feb blizzard in no time.

    But, it depends on what you'r useing it for too- personal use doesn't require such a robust machine as commercial. A single stage could handle some storms, just as a Jeep can handle most storms but those wet heavy storms we normally get will really show both of their weekness's.
    The cost for a single stage versus a 2 stage is negligable in the used market.
  11. Ole JIM

    Ole JIM Senior Member
    Messages: 137

    I*M 70 yrs OLD & Snow Blowers are like every thing ELSE! theres GOOD & DONNO? why I bought this THING?--My advice--is BUY a Two Stage--& at least 5 HP--I have Two ones a SEARS 5 HP 23 inch Wide--TRACK machine--works pretty GOOD--& Ole ULGY!-an TORO-Big Ole Sucker--10 HP? a Man Killer--also--two stage--3-1/2 ft Wide--nothing Stops this THING!--Eats where the Ciy Plow leave that Huge Snow BANK like Kids Eat Patoto Chips--also Chews UP & Spits Out Plastic Toys left by Grandchildren--I call IT my Monster Snow Fighter!--when It Snows & I open the Garage DOOR! & Start it UP!--I can HEAR Mother Nature GRIT Her TEETH!--& its a lot Easyer to Operate than I thought!-Just Point IT & let It GO!--its Old & like ME? Does What its Supposed To?--but--my Favorate Snow Removal Tool is Still My Big Plastic Shovel!--Big-light--& Snow Don*t Stick to IT?--Its essy to Start-don*t Use any GAS! & I don*t have to Clean IT when I*M All DONE!--A little HUMMOR?--& in All Seriousness--Get a TORO--as they START On the First PULL!--& most DON*T!--& theres Nothing as WORTHLESS as a Machine that Won*t START!--Ole JIM--