Snow Blower Manufacturers


Howdy again folks.
Looks like I am going to purchase a snow blower pretty soon. I am thinking of doing it now because I am afraid that prices will go up when the snow starts. It's likely I won't even need it here in Southern Michigan until late December or even in January.
The two manufacturers I have notices so far are the Poulands they sell at the Farm, Home and Family store and the Troy-Bilt at Lowes. The prices on both seem pretty close and I will make sure to double check but they all seemed to be similarly powered and sturdy build.
The ones I am looking at are the 24" to 28" that would cost between about $600 to $900.
My driveway is about 50' long and we really only get a few serious snow storms a year. I can't even remember when I last ditched my tennis shoes for a pair of boots unless I was going out into the woods in the winter. But when we do get a good snow storm it is too much for me to try to shovel.
Anyway, if any of you have anything good or bad to say about those two manufacturers, or recommend others, please do so.
Thanks, David
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hibb wrote:

I would buy a used one in the spring if I were you. Probably get one for $100 or $200 at that time. If you are gonna use it 3 time a year and new one is a bad investment. It will be used next year anyway.
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Do some research, you may find that both are made by the same company, the one I am thinking of makes most private brands and a number of their own brands. Built for price not quality nor longivity. Buy used and you may end up with it at the end of the machine's life.
Check on a mower/landscape equipment dealer for the brands they carry. Airens is one that comes to mind, there are a few others that make quality equipment. Don't buy a cheap one, there is nothing worse than having to repair a poorly built unit in 10 degrees below weather while the snow piles up, requiring you to hand shovel your way out to get parts. Been there and done that, never again.
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Van Chocstraw wrote:

I'm also in southern MI, however I have a sloped driveway, so driving over even small snows is not an option for me. (AMHIKT- it was a very expensive lesson involving a fried transmission.)
Anyway, I bought mine off CraigsList in January, winter before last, after using hand shovel, leaf blower, and abusing the transmission the first 2.5 winters here. My back is much happier, and so is my transmission. The one I bought is the same Troy-Bilt Lowes sells, in 24" It had been used like twice by a little fellow that was scared of it. Even still had the tags hanging on it. I would have paid the $600 Lowes wanted at that point, but all of them in the area were sold out. So when I found this one 40 miles away for 100 bucks cheaper, I was quite happy. No problems at all so far. It clearly isn't pro-grade, so it probably would not hold up doing driveways for money, but for one house I expect to get 10-15 years out of it easy.
A couple of closing thoughts- although last winter was a somewhat normal winter, after the recent mild winters we have been spoiled by here, the stores got scared and cut back the amount of blowers they stocked so they would not have to deep-discount them in spring. And second, around here at least, a lot of the big-box entry level models are made by MTD, no matter what brand name is on them. (like at Tractor Supply and Sears and Lowes). So pay attention to the stamped metal parts when you are out shopping- you may find one brand can be had cheaper, for the same machine.
-- aem sends...
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wrote:

Whatch what engine you get.
Tecunseh is no more - so now you have Honda, Subaru/Robin, Briggs, Coleman (powermate) and all the chinese crap (snowFoforce etc). In about that order of desireability.
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snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

What about Kohler?
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On Mon, 26 Oct 2009 08:33:39 -0400, Van Chocstraw

Not bad if you can get one - but of all the units I've seen for sale this year here in Ontario I haven't seen one yet.
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Really? No more Tec engines? http://www.wrcbtv.com/Global/story.asp?S 53222 That's not good. More American business lost to over regulation, and cheap imports.
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Christopher A. Young
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http://www.wrcbtv.com/Global/story.asp?S 53222 Last year; and I didn't know about it. I'm very sad.
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On Oct 25, 2:15pm, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

I'm used to Briggs and Kohler engines. In the past, I usually considered Briggs easier to work on but most of the stuff I have now, lawn tractor and generator, have Kohler.
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That's a good thought. Mine is a Toro, two cycle gas mixer. When I got it, there was some black crud floating around in the gas tank, that kept clogging the metering jet. I put on a fuel filter, and that took care of that. It doesn't want to start worth a hoot for the first try of the year. Ether, and electric starter are my friends. One time I caught a piece of wire in the end of the impellor, and broke the belt. Able to find belts online cheaper than the local Toro place.
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On Mon, 26 Oct 2009 19:53:37 -0400, "Stormin Mormon"

2 Stroke is just about history - and I'd never buy one. Too finiky, and they STINK.
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Two strokes are light weight, and that's the advantage. As to stink, well, when starting up, mine will smoke if I don't open the choke soon enough. Other than that, not noticable. After pushing it around for awhile, I stink worse than the machine.
Hope you never need a gas chainsaw, gas boat motor, gas hedge trimmer, or gas weed whacker. Those are only available in two stroke.
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On Mon, 26 Oct 2009 21:33:46 -0400, "Stormin Mormon"

I have 2 chain saws - they stink Most boat motors are now 4 stroke. 4 stroke weed wackers are now available (as are hedge trimmers I believe, but I use electric)
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My weed whacker is 4 stroke, starts first pull except first time in spring when it takes 2 pulls to get it going. Takes straight gas, and to change oil I need only 4 ounces. It is a Honda.
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What a strange gadget that must be. A four stroke weed whacker?
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On Oct 28, 8:50pm, "Stormin Mormon"

Probably the same people that make the Forehead VCR's.
David

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wrote:

I would certainly use it more that 3 times a year but the times when there will be a lot of snow to move are not going to be a lot.
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