Ariens Snowblowers, Or...?

Hi,
Live in northeast. Driveway just big enough to need a snowblower.
Not quite there yet, but season sneaking up on us, I guess.
Need a new snowblower as my present Ariens one is about 30 yrs old. Probably one of the most reliable things I've ever bought.
Are Ariens still considered as the "best," or should I take a serious look at Toro, etc. ? They all look great in the store, and it's really impossible to evaluate them there.
Anyone have any opinions on ?
Also, if an Ariens, the most suitable, I think, for me would probably be one of what they call their "Compact" models (comes in 20 or 24" widths).
Any specific thoughts on these ?
Thanks, Bob
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Ariens still makes good blowers... The engine that they use are used across the board with other brands too.
What's really considered the "best" out there now are the Honda's. Strong machines, work real well.
Toro's are good, probably in line with the Ariens units. Simplicity (not really avail too much out in the northeast) makes good machines and so does Huskavana (spellings off I think)
What you really need to decide first is if the driveway that you have need a two stage or single stage unit. The old ariens you have most likely was a dual stage. Depending on how large and how much snow you usually get at a sitting really dictates what size and type of blower you'll need. The smaller single stage units are good because they are MUCH lighter BUT they handle snows generally around 6-8" well. If its a real wet snow that may be a slight problem. (just go slower)
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ariens allways had the best gearbox on blowers .
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Got my Ariens in Dec 1977 and it is still running strong. Maintenence has been plugs, one belt and throttle cable change. It's dual stage for the Northeast heavy wet snow drifts. Unless it's known that the Ariens' reputation has slipped there is no reason to fight success. MLD

one
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I have an Ariens 724 and love it. Bought it in November 2001. My brother bought one also at the same time and he loves his too. He gets more snow where he lives than I do so his is used at least twice as much as mine. No problems from either of them. If I had to do it over again I'd buy the same thing in a heartbeat.
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