Snow Throwers

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I'm planning to buy a new Snow Thrower and I'd like to know your experience and advice.
I have narrowed it down to a few models at three stores, Lowes, Home Depot and Sears.
I like the smaller and lighter single stage units and they clean right down to the sidewalk (the auger directly contacts the surface). The larger and heavy two-stage throwers leave a layer of snow on the sidewalks which then has to be shoveled, which is double the work. Typical snowfall here is 6 to 9 inches and every few years we get a big storm that drops 3 feet of snow.
What's your experience and advice on snow throwers?
The models I like in order are: Sears Craftsman 5.0 hp Single Stage $449.99 Lowes Troy-Bilt 5.5 HP Single Stage Snow Thrower $459.00 Home Depot Yard Machines 5.5 HP Single Stage $399.00 Lowes MTD 5.0 HP Single Stage Snow Thrower $378.00 Home Depot Toro 2450 CCR $649.00
The Sears model is at www.sears.com at: http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/product.do?pid=07188150000&vertical=Sears&BV_UseBVCookie=Yes
The Lowes models at www.lowes.com are at: http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId=96050-270-96050&lpage=none
and http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId=96002-270-96002&lpage=none
The links at www.homedepot.com won't work when posted so you have to go to the main page and type "snow throwers" in the search box if you want to look at them.
If the links don't work, here are some details:
Sears Craftsman is Sears item #07188150000 Mfr. model #88150000 5.0 HP Briggs & Stratton 4-cycle engine Single Stage Snow Thrower, Price: $449.99, with Electric start, No mixing gas and oil, 22 In. clearing width, 12 inch intake height, 190 degree remote chute rotation, 92 Lbs.
Lowes Troy-Bilt is Item #: 96050 Model: 96050 5.5 HP Single Stage Snow Thrower, Price: $459.00 with Electric start, 4 cycle engine, No mixing gas & oil, 21 In. clearing width, manual chute rotation, 82 lbs.
Home Depot Yard Machines Model 31AS231-729 5.5 HP Single Stage Snow Thrower, Price: $399.00 with Electric start, requires Gas & Oil Mixing, 21 In. clearing width, 11 In. intake height, Auger/Clutch control system eliminates restarts, 180 degree manual chute rotation, Folding handle for easy storage, 78 Lbs.
Lowes MTD Item #: 96002 Model: 96002 5.0 HP Single Stage Snow Thrower, Price $378.00, requires Gas & Oil Mixing, 21 In. clearing width, manual chute rotation, 67 lbs.
Home Depot Toro Model 38516 141 cc Toro R*Tek 5 HP engine, 2450 CCR Single Stage Snow Thrower, Price: $649.00 with Electric start, requires Gas & Oil Mixing, 20 In. clearing width, manual chute rotation, 71lbs.
Thanks in advance for your help!
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None of those machines will clear the packed snow at the end of the driveway from the plows going by. During the average snow storm around here, those plows go by and re-pack the end of everybody's driveways about 4-6 times. Do yourself a BIG favor and get yourself a nice Ariens 2-stage with at least 7.5 hp. I'm completely serious. If set up properly, a 2-Stage machine will hardly leave any snow on pavement. You won't be shoveling twice. What's left could be swept with a stiff broom in minutes if you really need it to be that clean. During actual snow storms, snow gets blown around anyway. Your single stage may get the walk "slightly" cleaner, but that will only last until the next gust of wind.
I had both a single stage and a 2-stage. I finally gave the single stage away to someone who really needed it, because I hadn't bothered with it at all for 2 winters.
CWM
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Charlie Morgan wrote:

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Any reason you want a single stage? For the $649 you're contemplating on that toro, I got a craftsman 2 stage, elec. start, 6 forward/2 reverse speeds, it beats the hell out of any single stage snowblower I ever had, and I've had a few.. I'd say don't get one if you have a lot of heavy snow.. They're fine for a few inches of dust, but a foot of heavy northern wisconsin snow will make em choke..
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mfreak wrote:

I agree,
once the snow is "heavy" the single stage stops working. Its nice for three-four inches of light fluffy snow .
For $550 you can get a two stage snowthrower at Wal-mart that will do a much better job in all snow conditions.
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H-O-N-D-A Hondas are well built and they will last a lifetime. The rubber blades wiil handle even the lightest to the heaviest of snow falls. I have used my Honda for the past 20 years in some heavy NJ storms. I would buy another one tomorrow if this one dies, simple design makes this Honda a "single stage one of a kind reliable machine". I suggest stepping up to the two stage models on the manufacturers you are considering, you won't regret it. Do check out a Honda.
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

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Get the Troy Bilt 5.5 hp two stage. Relatively light and will handle much more snow than a single stage. I just bought one and cannot wait for a decent snowfall although its been too warm for snow. I recommend TroyBilt as the price/quality is higher than some models at the same price.
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@backpacker.com wrote:

I just bought the same machine and am looking forward to first big snow too. Saleman said it would have handled the 22 incher we had last winter. Makes no sense in buying a machine that will not handle your greatest need.
Frrank
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These are kickass products even if they are JAP.
http://www.hondapowerequipment.com/sno.asp
--
Steve Barker


"marybeth" < snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com> wrote in message
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stated:

JAP quit production in 1945, when they were taken over by Villiers. SWEET motorcycles, though: http://www.cybermotorcycle.com/euro/brands/jap.htm
For snowblowers, I can heartily recommend Toros. I had one that kept up really well in town and for three or four years after moving out into the sub-suburban area I'm in now. Then we had a REAL snowfall so THIS is what removes our snow now:
http://tinyurl.com/yyavo5 (It's actually 42")
Get the Toro.
--
"Trust me, there is NO way to nonchalantly conceal the fact that you have a
power tool in your head, no matter what you do." -- El Gato
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seems you misunderstood.
--
Steve Barker


"Don Fearn" < snipped-for-privacy@charter.net> wrote in message
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stated:

Understood EXACTLY.
--
pooder\'s postulate: "All threads in r.m.h lead inevitably to drinking."

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http://www.abbysguide.com/ope/discussions /
marybeth wrote:

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Don't buy your snowblower from a big box store. Go to a garden equipment supplier. I have an 8 hp Airens 2 stage. It clears 2 feet of heavy wet snow in one take. The specialty supplier will set it up, probably deliver at no charge and teach you how to operate it and be there if you have problems or need maintenance. The big box store will not do any of that and just tell you to take it (as if you could carry it) to a repair shop.
I'm planning to buy a new Snow Thrower and I'd like to know your experience and advice.
I have narrowed it down to a few models at three stores, Lowes, Home Depot and Sears.
I like the smaller and lighter single stage units and they clean right down to the sidewalk (the auger directly contacts the surface). The larger and heavy two-stage throwers leave a layer of snow on the sidewalks which then has to be shoveled, which is double the work. Typical snowfall here is 6 to 9 inches and every few years we get a big storm that drops 3 feet of snow.
What's your experience and advice on snow throwers?
The models I like in order are: Sears Craftsman 5.0 hp Single Stage $449.99 Lowes Troy-Bilt 5.5 HP Single Stage Snow Thrower $459.00 Home Depot Yard Machines 5.5 HP Single Stage $399.00 Lowes MTD 5.0 HP Single Stage Snow Thrower $378.00 Home Depot Toro 2450 CCR $649.00
The Sears model is at www.sears.com at: http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/product.do?pid188150000&vertical=Sears&BV_UseBVCookie=Yes
The Lowes models at www.lowes.com are at: http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId050-270-96050&lpage=none
and http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId002-270-96002&lpage=none
The links at www.homedepot.com won't work when posted so you have to go to the main page and type "snow throwers" in the search box if you want to look at them.
If the links don't work, here are some details:
Sears Craftsman is Sears item #07188150000 Mfr. model #88150000 5.0 HP Briggs & Stratton 4-cycle engine Single Stage Snow Thrower, Price: $449.99, with Electric start, No mixing gas and oil, 22 In. clearing width, 12 inch intake height, 190 degree remote chute rotation, 92 Lbs.
Lowes Troy-Bilt is Item #: 96050 Model: 96050 5.5 HP Single Stage Snow Thrower, Price: $459.00 with Electric start, 4 cycle engine, No mixing gas & oil, 21 In. clearing width, manual chute rotation, 82 lbs.
Home Depot Yard Machines Model 31AS231-729 5.5 HP Single Stage Snow Thrower, Price: $399.00 with Electric start, requires Gas & Oil Mixing, 21 In. clearing width, 11 In. intake height, Auger/Clutch control system eliminates restarts, 180 degree manual chute rotation, Folding handle for easy storage, 78 Lbs.
Lowes MTD Item #: 96002 Model: 96002 5.0 HP Single Stage Snow Thrower, Price $378.00, requires Gas & Oil Mixing, 21 In. clearing width, manual chute rotation, 67 lbs.
Home Depot Toro Model 38516 141 cc Toro R*Tek 5 HP engine, 2450 CCR Single Stage Snow Thrower, Price: $649.00 with Electric start, requires Gas & Oil Mixing, 20 In. clearing width, manual chute rotation, 71lbs.
Thanks in advance for your help!
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And the pricing is surprisingly similar. I picked out the Ariens I liked by comparing features on their website. It was a year when Home Depot was carrying the brand as well. I went to my local tractor store and got the same machine for the same price as Home Depot. I didn't have to negotiate that price either. That was their normal price. The big difference is that the tractor store carries Ariens EVERY year, and has mechanics that go to Ariens training seminars, so parts and service will never be a problem. That's good, because Ariens have a reputation for last 30+ years. Home Depot and Lowes change vendors constantly, depending on who they can squeeze the most.
CWM
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That pricing thing - it's true for a lot of product categories. I recently bought a Weber gas grill from a BBQ specialty store. It was ten bucks LESS than Home Depot, and included any bottle of BBQ sauce or marinade from their selection, as well as a refrigerator magnet with their phone number on it. They offered to assemble the thing for free (small grill - would've fit my vehicle when assembled), but I didn't need the help.
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On Wed, 13 Dec 2006 12:17:28 GMT, "JoeSpareBedroom"

Tell me about it! I recently bought a Bosch Vacuum cleaner. I was about to buy it online, and all of the online stores had it for roughly the same price. They all had some sort of "deal sweetener" tacked on, such as a free box of bags, or whatever. Just for the heck of it, I called a local vacuum cleaner store. Their price was $100 lower for the same unit, and they included 2 boxes of bags, and a floor attachment for which all the others wanted an extra $39. I didn't have to wait two weeks for delivery, and if it breaks, I don't have to pay to ship it back somewhere.
Online and big box stores have learned that most people just assume they are the cheapest, so they often can sell at list price or even above, without anyone questioning them. Heck, I've even found that some grocery items are much cheaper in the smaller package sizes than they are in the "jumbo family economy size". Consumers have let down their guard, and retailers are taking full advantage.
CWM
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This is why Wal Mart is successful - they've got their customers convinced that they've always got the best price. Some people are so gullible that even when they see actual numbers which prove other stores are cheaper, they don't believe it. Our local newspaper does a sample grocery survey once or twice a year, taking the same list to Wal Mart and two regular supermarkets. It's about $100 worth of stuff. Wal Mart has *never* been cheaper than the two supermarkets for the whole list. Even so, I have a neighbor whose response to this is "Yeah well ok yeah umm but still...". :-) She can't stop shopping at Wal Mart.
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I have the Sears single stage unit you mentioned and I like it a lot. It handles snow very well, starts easy, and only takes up a little space in my garage. Also, I like that it is NOT self propelled. You can go as fast as you want (or the snow will permit). Sometimes I can almost run pushing the thing down the sidewalk. Get done faster than if I were to have a self propelled two-stager. I live 20 miles north of Detroit and it has been a long time since I've had more snow than the single stage unit can handle.
If you have a huge snow storm and a single stage blower, you just have to get out there and start blowing a little earlier (before the snow gets to be too much to handle).
Two-stagers are nice and have a lot of capability. But, in many places they are just overkill.
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*AND* you just supported your local economy by purchasing through the local supplier. I'm a big fan of buying from local businesses as opposed to chains and will be checking out some local cabinet wholesalers when I get ready to replace my kitchen base cabinets.
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