How to Buy a Snow Thrower?

Can anyone tell me what to look for when buying one? I'm clueless on what to spend or what features I need. If you have a site link to help someone with this, that would be great.
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Depending on your location, you may not be able to buy a snowblower for several months. Once there is a big snow storm, snowblowers sell out pretty quickly.
BB
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How much snow do you get a year, per snowfall, wet heavy , or dry and light, what size area to clean. Location.
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On Sun, 7 Dec 2003 17:49:30 -0600 (CST), snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (m Ransley) wrote:

???
Mark - alcohol is not your friend.
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Fuck off Binary Bill the ass wipe .The only person high here is you . Or your Real name? We will keep it a secret. OP wants a snow blower , OP admitted to being clueless , as are you. You must not be used to wet heavy snow or any snow. Because heavy wet Chicago 32` snow requires 150% more power to move. And a 700$ John Deere SS cant handle 3 inches without a clogged shute, or more than 6. But dry, well thats different 13 inches no problem. But you couldnt figure that one out, could you. Clueless . Nobody can recomend the right unit without knowing the type and amount of snow. Go back to the sea tuna man , your rum portion is waiting.
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On Sun, 7 Dec 2003 19:30:58 -0600 (CST), snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (m Ransley) wrote:

Thanks for completely proving my point. Alcohol is not your friend.
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I live in the NE USA, and if anything like last year, I expect much snow. We just had about 12 inches this weekend. Most was dry initially, but if it begins to melt - well then wet.
I have much area to cover alone. 80' x 25' driveway, 25' x 35' patio, 40' x 10' front walkway. I might be digging through 2' deep or 4" deep - depending on the weather.
Any suggestions?

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The biggest Toro single stage will have a hard time moving 12" snow regularly. If you get those amounts alot a dual stage is needed , and not the smallest one. Consumer reports did a write up a few years ago. The Honda is tops but its the most expensive and heavy. It runs on tracks. I imagine servicing will be harder as not many are sold so parts wont be stocked. John Deer is also tops and they have a complete line up to choose from. And servicing will be alot easier. John Deer dealers usualy have good parts stock. Of the cheaper models I cant say as a few companies have merged because of bankruptcy. If you can afford a Deer its a good choice it will last. John Deer is commercial equipment. Toro would be another one to look at. Also sold at independant dealers. Go to a local supplier of both , not HD or Lowes , but people that just sell Pro mowers and snow equipment they will have the best advise for the proper size unit for you. Get prices from box stores , and negotiate a fair deal.
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I get usually no more than 9 inches of snow and usually wet 4inch stuff so for me the 5 horse John Deer and a 3.5 horse Toro is fine. My neighbor has the big Honda , but some years we havnt needed it. The big 2 stage will just move it faster, a small or intermediate slower. Since you have different gearing available size choice is Flexible . Bigger- faster - more expensive. Smaller is slower - cheaper. If you get alot of 3 to 4 inch than smaller is a major consideration. To be perfect you get 2 oh well , thats life.
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I would go for at least a 8hp two stage and probably a 10hp two stage. The bells and whistles are another story. If you will be clearing snow at night and the lighting is bad, a light on the snow thrower is very nice to have. I would also try to get one where you can adjust the angle of the discharge chute without stopping the machine.
A machine like that might be over kill but you would have the power to handle most jobs when you need to. If you buy too small, you are just out of luck on some jobs.
Having used a snow thrower for 30+ winters that is just my opinion for what it is worth.
--
Ron
Port Dover Ontario on Lake Erie
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"Ron"

If you buy too small, it just takes longer to clear big storms. Not much more to know. No big deal, IMO. If you live in the north - admit it, you like being out in the snow anyway. Anything that runs on gas is better than manual shoveling. Did plenty of heavy MN winters with a single stage, ~2hp, 2 cycle generic POC snowblower.
- Nate
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Snow throwers vary in several regards.
1) Width of cut. Measured in inches. How wide is the front of the device? 2) Horse power. Simple enough descrip. 3) Some are two cycle (mix gas and oil) some are four stroke (oil in the crank case) and some are electric plug in. Any of these will give you problems. The gas ones don't start, the electric ones you have to drag a cord around. The electric ones don't work in the big storms when the power is out.
Any working snow blower beats shovelling. My first use of a snow blower was an electric one which I found on the curb. Had to put a new cord on it. I was completely impressed. It was so much better than shovelling. Since then I got a two cycle "gas mixer" which I got used from a fellow who bought a bigger one. It is so much fun that I snow blow my own driveway and then help with a couple neighbors driveway. The elderly lady across the street, and the fellow with the bad knees.
--
Christopher A. Young
Learn More about Jesus
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Having read the other posts I interject the following
I have and 8HP 28"cut MTD..I love it
Cleaned the 8" of wet slush we got here on Fri and Sat from 12 space parking lot about 100' of single lane alley (city doesn't have time or inclination) and all sidewalks for about 30 row homes in about 1.5 hours and less than 2 gallons of gas.
Get one that uses straight gas Dont forget gas stabilizer
Chains and lights are a real nice option I dont have either but will by tomorrow
And get the electric start model
Dont forget to run it dry at the end of the snow season
Look at Walmart or any of the big boxes
Vic Plank Lancaster PA
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We have a Craftsman, 11 HP with track drive, 7 years old
Electric start which is nice too
Did a great job on the 20 inches we just got dumped on 3 days ago
70 foot, 2 car driveway
Sidewalk
Paid at $900 back= then

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Just like other replies said, using a snow thrower is MUCH better than using a shovel. There is no comparison. I cleaned my 100-ft x 15-ft drive way with my snow thrower without breaking a swear. I started swearing like a pig as soon as I picked up a shovel to clean areas that my snow thrower cannot reach (and I am physically fit). I say this even though I must admit that my old JD 2-stages snow thrower is underpowered. I could have cleaned my driveway even faster and easier if I have a more powerful one.
The 2-stage snow thrower can clean deeper snow than the single-stage snow thrower (like the electric one that I used to use). I got a good use of it last year when we had a lot of snow last winter (New Jersey). The downside is that it doesn't clean as well as the single-stage one because it will always leave a 1/4 inch snow on the ground. This is OK because the thin layer of snow will easily be melted away when the sun comes up. Another good thing is that it is supposed to work with a driveway that is covered with gravels. According to Consumer Reports, a single-stage snow throw can kick up gravels if we use it on gravel-covered surface; obviously, this sounds dangerous. My driveway is not covered with gravels; therefore, I am not 100% sure if this is true or not.
If you are looking for a 2-stages snow thrower, you may want to look for one that has a tall "feeding mouth" (don't know how to call that thing). The "mouth" in my underpowered snow thrower is not tall enough. It has problem handling deep snow. Last year, when we had a lot of snow in our area, I had to clean the driveway _before_ the snow got accumated too deep (below 1 foot). This means I had to clean the driveway three-times in one occasion when we got a lot of snow fall. My neighbor who has one one that has a tall "mouth"; and I saw him pushing the snow thrower right through deep snow without any problem.
If your driveway is square rather than long, you will need a snow thrower that is powerful enough to throw the snow in a great distance. Otherwise, the snow that you throw from one area will simply fall inside the driveway (instead of throwing to outside the driveway). This means you will have to throw the same snow twice. This also means that you will have to deal with much deeper snow in area where the snow throw has thrown snow onto. In other words, an underpower snow thrower that cannot throw snow far enough and that has a short "feeding mouth" will end up facing deep snow that it may have a hard time handling -- this means it is a "double jeopardy". This means if your driveway is square rather than long, you need a powerful snow thrower.
Jay Chan
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