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Which snowblower do I buy?

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by bucknut2, Oct 11, 2005.

  1. bucknut2

    bucknut2 Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    Hello everyone, I am new to this site and find it very usefull. Thank you! I have recently purchased a home in Cleveland's snow belt and am now in the market for a snowblower. My driveway is approximately 100 feet long and is paved. I want something that is dependable and will handle heavy snow. I would also like my wife to be able to occasionally use it. So ease of use is also important. My early thoughts are to go with a Honda or Toro because I have heard good things about them. Can anyone give me advice on brand and model that I should consider. My max price is around $1,500, but am open to any ideas.
  2. Oshkosh

    Oshkosh PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,655

    Im not sure on cost but...

    Hello, I am not sure on prices you'll have to check with local dealers but I have had great Luck with Honda products,an 8hp should work well my second choice would ba an Ariens.Again I would say an 8hp min for real snow.
  3. SnowGuy73

    SnowGuy73 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,870

    Go with Honda, they are kind of spendy but there great.:nod:
  4. NJ Plowman

    NJ Plowman Senior Member
    Messages: 794

    I would also go with the Honda if the budget was unlimited, but I think you would get more machine for the money with and Ariens. We have a Honda with trax but it cost us a small fortune (could have bought a used jeep for that amount of money). We also have 3 new ariens and they are fantastic! Both are top notch machines and well worth their cost, I think they are the No 1 and No 2 units on the market. I really think that you get more with the Ariens though... payup
  5. Scottish Lscape

    Scottish Lscape Member
    Messages: 52

    We use Ariens. A single stage on each truck. We use a 11.5hp Ariens @ a big condo unit (it stays @ the location). Had nothing but luck with these. My choice ARIENS. Just my 2 cents.
  6. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    We have an ariens 8hp, 2 stage (it's about 13yrs old), and when I took it out of the barn, I primed it, gave her full throtel & choke and a good pull, she started on the 1st pull.
    Last year it took 2 pulls. I don't know about other types of snow-blowers, I've never need one.:waving:
  7. bucknut2

    bucknut2 Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    Thanks everyone for the information. I am going to an Ariens dealer today to get a better feel for their product. Honda still seems great, but at what price? It sounds like I should avoid Toro. I appreciate the feedback!
  8. Up North

    Up North Senior Member
    Messages: 921

    I don't think I'd avoid Toro. Personally have had a single stage Toro for 14 years and it still works like it's brand new. As for their 2 stage blowers...I can't comment on them as I've never used one. Never hurts to look & demo.

  9. Highland Ranger

    Highland Ranger Junior Member
    Messages: 13

    Just went through the same thing. Honda too pricey.

    Compared Toro and Ariens.

    I bought the 11hp toro ($1800 delivered and set up) over the Ariens because:

    1. Toro had individually clutched wheels so it could turn on a dime with a locked axle

    2. No shear pins - blades are clutched so no stopping and going to the garage when you get stuck on a piece of ice

    3. Blades are on a spring loaded carrier - follows contours better

    and NUMBER 1 reason - the Joystick. One control for direction and elevation.

    Try both - joystick is far superior to the 2 levers that Ariens gives you.

    Having said that, the 11 hp Ariens homeowner model (not professional which is more) was $300 less and came with heated handles which the Toro deos not have.

    In the end, I think all three brands (Toro, Honda and Areins) are all good and will last a long time.
  10. mcwlandscaping

    mcwlandscaping 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,557

    My ariens is great. Chewed through the nastiest stuff last year with no problem. And when my dads office plow was down we got a foot of snow and i snowblowed the whole parking lot, took awhile but really proved how great the machine it. I have the 824, bought it the year before they came out with the 8526 due to new carb regulations (what i was told)! Anyway, great machine but can't wait to plow!! Good Luck, oh, the new 8526 will run a little over 1k just to give you an idea. Good Luck!
  11. bigjoe871

    bigjoe871 Senior Member
    Messages: 166

    You might be walking a fine line between being big enough to work really well in the deep stuff and small enough for the wife to comfortably control. My wife can deal with the 5hp unit I have for home but the 8hp blowers are too heavy for her. Of course, the larger units work better in deep snow.
  12. bucknut2

    bucknut2 Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    I checked out the Ariens 926LE and really liked it. The local dealer has last years 926LE equivilent which is almost identical, but has fewer horsepower. It is used. It has been used only three times and then it was returned. It looks brand new. It is $800 cash only with no sales tax. Any thoughts? I still like the Honda, but the price is pretty ridiculous.
  13. festerw

    festerw Senior Member
    Messages: 986

    The price for the Honda seems rediculous until you own one, ours is getting close to 20 and still starts on the first pull. The only repair outside of normal maintenance was this spring, the original belts had finally had it.

    The track drives will go through pretty much anything and they have and adjustable cutting depth for deep or hard packed snow. Our 5 HP one will clear down to pavement on the first pass through the slop the city plows leave on the sidewalks.
  14. GrtArtiste

    GrtArtiste Junior Member
    from NW Ohio
    Messages: 10

    I'm about to begin my third year with a Toro 726 7 hp 2 cycle 2-stage and I like it very much. If the wife is capable of handling the machine, the rest would be pretty easy. Never have to check the oil...just keep a supply of mixed fuel on hand...start it and go. Last year it went through 14 inch drifts with no problem and threw it 30 ft or more. This model (now called the 6000) retails in my area for $949. It's a no-frills package (does have electric start) but a good bang for the buck. Whatever you decide, take her shopping with you and find out what she feels comfortable with.

  15. itsgottobegreen

    itsgottobegreen PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,351

    Honda. its the only way to go. Like blizzard snow plows.
  16. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,931

    I believe www.simplicitymfg.com has a 9560E for $1350. Some dealers will sel it for probably $1300. its the entry commercial model. 9hp and 24" wide.

    Performance and value, the 9560E offers large frame construction, 9.5-hp Intek Snow™ engine, a 24-inch clearing width and throws snow up to 40 feet. Also comes equipped with EasyTurn™ for maneuverability and FreeHand™ control.

    the lower end 8hp version non commercial are $1000 but its well worth the better models, i have the 2nd from their largest model and theyre great. Im sure its only wider and more HP than the smaller models but theyre heavy duty, the 230lb weight of even their cheaper 9hp version moves through thick snows easy. I see TONS of guys fighting the machine in any more than light snow and mine eating right through 2ft banks of packed ice and snow lol. Theyll last a long time too, lube up any cables etc before you use it for the winter, makes it run much nicer and smoother. I use mine all day though.