I want to buy a snowblower/snowthrower, but can't decide which brand to buy.
Is the Yardman (I think they call it) that Lowe's has any good? I am also
looking at a Snapper or Toro. I'd like to have one that has an electric and
a pullstart option. I don't want a big 2 stage one, just one that has the
Thanks for your help.
If you really need a snowblower, then IMHO the 1-stage are almost
entirely useless. In situations where they're not, a broom will do.
I'd suggest, for general use, 6 hp -rated Ariens or Honda. Units with
8/+ hp flathead engines get to be a wrestiling opponent.
The cheapies betray their lack of engineering. DAMHIKT.
On 13 Dec 2005 12:44:54 -0800, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
If you've ever used a one stage, I'm curious what part of the snowbelt
you live in & where you found it lacking. [and what machine it was-
I haven't used one but am doubtful about the smallest 'electric
After wrestling with big 2-stages for 20 yrs-- then paying a guy to
plow for a couple years- I've used an electric single stage [Toro
1800] for the last 4 years. I clear a 100' drive with a big
turnaround to 2 lanes and average about 70-80 inches of snow a year.
[near Albany, NY]
In a 6" snowfall it will run circles around any 2-stage I've ever
used. 9-10 inches, they're even. Over a foot, the little
electric is a little slower than the 2-stage was, but just because it
is only 18" wide. If they were sitting next to each other in the
garage, I'd still grab the electric because it is so light & easy to
use. And it still throws snow further than any 2stage I've seen.
It will also 're-throw' snow without turning it into slush. I do my
turnaround by setting the chute straight ahead and walking into it for
30'. That never worked with my 2-stage.
When the snowbanks get high enough to warrant it, I can pick up my
1-stage with one hand and cut the banks down to size.
Oh, I don't know about that. I just cleared 9' of snow last week with my
cheap single stage. My driveway is about 50 feet or so and it got the job
done. Sure a more expensive dual stage would have been a little faster, but
a broom would have been laughable. Every tool has its place.
What do you all think about the Honda HS520AS with electric start model, I
can get it for 680.00? It's a little pricy. It's about 125 bucks more than
others I have looked at. I don't know if it's true or not, but they say
Honda is top of the line.
Consumer Reports years ago rated single stage honda best and the 700$
Deere second, But the Deere wont do wet Chicago snow it clogs the chute
so their ratings are not complete, but for dry snow even 7" it works. Go
to a place that knows them, sells and services them and will give you
what works. Box stores give no service when they break . Slip Plate is
good to spray in the auger and chute to make snow go easier.
Is that a single stage unit? You can get a really nice Ariens 2-stage 7524 for
$750 that has electric start, 7.5 horsepower, 24 inch wide cut, 6 speeds forward
and two in reverse. It's your call, of course, but remember that whatever you
chose will be your snowblower for a LOT of years. It's a commitment! If you
under-buy for the reality of what you need, you'll have a looooong time to
regret it. Factor that into how much you are willing to pay as well. a $100
difference works out to $5 a year over 20 years. Ariens machines tend to last
20-30 years by most accounts.
For a single stage unit, I would actually avoid Honda, not because of quality,
but because single stage units are not truly self propelled, and the Hondas are
a lot heavier than their less expensive two-stroke cousins. You will be needing
to manhandle a single stage machine, so the extra weight equals more effort for
Commodore Joe Redcloud
Listen to Joe. He is so, SO right about this.
Twenty years ago I let the local lawn/yard equipment store guy talk me
into a 4.5 hp Snapper. He assured me the 4.5 would be all I'd need.
And I bought it, because, heck, compared to my old 8-horse it was
nimble and quick and so much easier to turn. Unfortunately, it's by no
means adequate for the heavy, wet snow, which is, of the course, the
very stuff you most need a snowblower to move.
I've hung onto it for the past twenty years because it's been
rock-solid reliable and I'm damned cheap - but when we get the deep,
wet snow, I've got to clear it in stages. It's then, during the
nastiest weather, that I so regret buying this little underpowered
I own a HS520AS snow. The single stage unit works VERY well.
I think the thrower weighs in at 80 pounds. Much lighter than
my old 280 pound Ariens 8hp 2 stage unit.
I can throw just about ANY snow between 15 - 30 feet. Naturally the
lighter and less slushy the farther. I have never clogged the chute
on the unit at all. As far as two stage unit, HA! You take some
slush and watch a big powerful unit barely throw the snow a few feet
The single stage unit are self propelled. Not the same as a two stage
that has a transmission, but basically you tilt the unit forward a bit
the rubber auger starts marching the machine forward.
The other poster saying that the two stage unit breaks up the driveway
mess the town leaves is absolutely true. The single stage unit doesnt
like to break up ice. The metal auger on the two stage units works
on that one.
I been on both sides of the single vs two stage debate.For the physical
and my size driveway I got the perfect machine. I live in Long Island,
Not too many storms around here like Albany, but we can have some
Honda power equipment has some really nice stuff. I have no doubt that
will last me a number of years. I like the simplicity of the single
stage units. You
basically have an engine, belt and auger. No transmissions, no
If you want to save some money dont get the AS (that one has electric
the standard one without it. With the honda stuff you really only need
one or two
pulls to get it going.
Thank you all for your comments.
I went ahead and bit the bullet and bought the Honda HS520AS . I live in
Springfield, IL. We had a wet slushy snow last night( about 2 inches). I put
gas in the new Honda and it fired up on the first pull. It threw out the wet
snow in nothing flat. It threw it out about 20 feet away. My old Snapper
would only throw it about 6 to 8 feet. I feel I got what I paid for and now
I hope I'm set for the many years to come.
Good for you Dave! Its a real nice unit. The only thing that I would
say if at the end of the snow season, drain the gas in there.
Then run it and put the choke on to get the rest of the gas out
of there. You can do oil changes on it every two years.
(I do it every year but I am pretty uptight about maintence)
A nice 10w30 mix will do very nicely.
Lubricate the areas as described in the manual with a white lithium
A few years from now I will get another drive belt just to keep handy.
They are they first items to go when the unit gets a bit older and
Good luck with the snowthrower.
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