The ones you are looking at are just above the toy category. If you have a
20' long driveway, it will do. If you have serious snow, you can do better.
Much better. Two stage is far superior and does not leave the residue you
speak of. They may be sufficient if you have a small area. They are
definitely better than a shovel.
Go to a real outdoor equipment store, not the stores you are looking at, if
you are serious. These models won't easily remove the plowed snow left by
the town trucks. I recall clearing my entire driveway with a single stage
in 15 minutes, then spending 30 to 45 minutes trying to do the last couple
The electric start is nice to have though. My next one will have it.
I am sorta shopping to replace my off-brand 2 sstage 5 hp.
Minimum 6.5 hp
Powered chute rotation.
Electric start? Haven't decided. Sounds good but I somehow see being
caught with a dead machine out in the state's plow berm and a dead
Track drive? - Dunno. I don't like the horseing around needed to get
it into the shed.
Aha. That is the type I will for sure go with.
My current one is an old off-brand that I bought for $50 as a basket
case. Shot motor but I already had a motor that wasn't in use so...
Good machine but small and underpowered for the plow berm. Being on a
state highway, I get 15 to 20 ft of highway snow piled into my drive.
Someone did mention that single stage throws farther. True. I found
that a two stage will throw well but they want to be 'crowded', i.e.,
keep the blower chamber full. Makes for fast clearance up to about 4"
then I have start slowing down to what the motor will pull.
One other thing that's nice about the single stage blowers are that
they are a lot easier to maneuver and man-handle around. Ligher, not
transmission to deal with for forward and reverse.
My single stage has electric start but I never use it. I guess I can
see an elderly person taking advantage of it though.
I have a Honda 4 cycle 6.5 HP single stage. It is fantastic. Light
and easy to use during 90% of the time. If we get 2' it is harder as
that is over the top of the machine, but it still throws the hell out
of it. That only happens once every few years at best. I live on a
busy road and get a lot of crap at the end of the driveway. This thing
handles it with no problems at all. Nice and quiet. I didn't get the
electric start as it is a Honda and I only have to pull a maximum of 2
times at the start of the year and only one pull during the season. It
is a great machine.
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.
Why have you narrowed it down to three dealers who can't give you the type
of service you'll need in the future? Do you know how to maintain these
I'm going to jump in to defend the single stage machines. I owned a
Toro 2 stage first, and switched to a smaller Toro single stage. Here
are the benefits: Small and light to use and store. Throws snow farther
than 2 stage type. 2 stroke engine starts on first pull, even first use
of the year. No crankcase oil to change, just run it dry of fuel and
put it away for the off-season. Not self propelled and does not need to
be. I push it at whatever pace I want. Old 2 stage had it's own speeds.
Usually too slow or fast for the conditions. I mostly drove it in one
direction and had to drag it back manually to make another pass. Small
unit can be used to do driveway, walks, and deck. Fits in trunk of car.
Handles Boston area storms fine. Fist pass down our 40' driveway in 26"
deep snow is slow. After that, you just take half at a time and it
clears to the pavement with no problem. I totally agree with the advice
to buy from a specialty supplier. Big box is not worth the downside of
the money savings.
You need to first say, how long is my driveway. If its between 20' to
50' and something like 20' wide a good single stage snowblower will
I am not a big fan of sears stuff myself. If you can find a good deal
on a Honda HS520 (hs520as (electric start)) that unit will keep up just
fine with (and probably beat) the el cheapo dual stage cheap units.
Just beware, honda powerequipment is not cheap and neither is their
If you are going to go with a 2 stage unit I would recommend either a
deere, ariens or toro. Generally they make decent equipment, but most
importantly they make parts years down the road.
If you have a murray (same as mtd, yard machines etc) they were all
made by the same manufacturer (Murray) for Sears, Troy and a few
others. Parts for the older units (between 5 - 10 years old) are
becoming hard to get now that briggs bought them out. Dont believe
me?? Take a look at the www.murray.com and select parts. You'll get a
message like this..
"Recently, Briggs & Stratton purchased some assets from Murray, Inc.
Briggs & Stratton is currently working on migrating these assets (i.e.
parts, accessories, etc.) to our parts numbering system. Unfortunately,
not all Murray parts will be available for sale through Briggs &
Stratton. To purchase Murray Parts:"
While looking for parts for a 5 year old blower I found a message about
older parts having limited availability and stuff from 1996 being no
Sort or screws people with older units that might need a minor part.
At least toro, honda and ariens offer parts for machines that are 25
years old. I give them lots of credit for that!
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