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Charter Member
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Discussion Starter #1
Our 7 year old Craftsman snowblower is kaput; it's been OK but I've had to weld various broken shafts, cover plates, blades over the years and its very difficult to start below freezing. Borrowed the neighbors Honda and OMG- starts easier, throws the white S*** way farther, it's much easier to manouver, overall a far superior machine, of course it costs 3 times what I paid for the Craftsman. I'm pretty much sold on the Honda but I'm wondering if there are any other brands worth taking a look at? (I don't know of any other makers)
 

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Giff:
To me it all comes down to the engine - my opinion is that Honda makes the best small engines .... yes you will pay more for equipment that uses a Honda engine but they start every time, start easily and seem to last forever. I've had this snowblower for 5 years. Never needed the electric start .... even this 11 HP starts easy - and has never let me down. Also....if you have any kind of driveway slope a track drive will beat tires-with-chains hands down in climbing... and not cut up your driveway.

 

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FFCobra Fanatic
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You can't go wrong with a Honda. For less money I went with Ariens. Very satisfied.


Kevin, what is all that plumbing on the wall behind the blower?

Olli
 

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Senior Charter Member
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I have an 8 HP Ariens with electric start. No problems after several years (but remember to stabilize the fuel if you don't use it all up in the winter)
 

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6hp electric start Toro here with a 22" wide by 24" high feed. Has not let me down yet. Ditto on the fuel stabilizer.........

Bill S.
 

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Toro all the way... It's darned hard to beat something that is engineered and built in the USA. Toro has the most stringent loaded engine testing in the market and it shows..
 

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I know you asked about snow blowers, but I thought I'd share my lawnmower story.
I bought a Honda mower 20+ years ago and the thing went for about 15 years and it started to get a little tired-burning some oil, didn't feel like starting without a few pulls, etc. With the luck I had with that mower I went out and bought another without even shopping around. This mower has been such a dissapointment. After several months I was about ready to throw it in the trash. I had a difficult time keeping the drive belt on, it starting with significant blue smoke until warmed up, several pulls to start, etc. I took it to the Honda dealer and he said the engine issues were not covered and the belt issue was fixed, but the belt still pops off every other week. I will never buy another Honda tool. I think it's just a lemon, but my gripe is that Honda refused to do anything about this mower. This mower is only about 4 years and it is in worse shape than the one I retired at about 15 years of much heavier use. I went this year and bought a John Deere and I love it the way I loved the first Honda.
 

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I would venture to say that Honda makes the best of just about everything.

If Honda makes what I am looking for, then that's what I am buying.
 

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FFR Driver
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We have 8 Honda Generators ranging from 1KW to 6.5KW. A funny thing always happens whenever one of them fails to start on the first pull. The guys will check the ON switch, plug wire or gas vent and then pull it again they are so sure its not the machine. These puppies always start in less then two pulls.

My neighbor had a Honda snowblower and he loved it. Your right, that thing throws snow a mile.
 

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SR-71
Do the tracks really make that much of a difference on inclined driveways? I've got a pretty steep, long drive and have been thinking of trading up to tracks this year. Last winter with wheels was an experience that could use a lot of improvement!
 

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I've had the same snowblower for over 10 years now that I bought at Home Depot. It was a no name brand, but had a Tecumsheh (sp) engine in her. The machine runs flawlessly.

I also have a monster John Deere snowblower up in my cabin. That puppy can throw some snow!!! In my experience, the John Deere is the absolute workhorse!
 

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Land Shark!
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4,668 Posts
Another vote for the Ariens. You simply cannot kill them.

My neighbor still has my old one, 1973 model 11hp 36" wide. We have a pair of
vice grips holding the throttle at full speed, otherwise it's almost
as good as new. It will throw snow, newspapers, bags of ice (forgot I left that there),
small furry animals.... (just kidding)
 

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Cougar
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596 Posts
Honda is great equipment, but as noted, very pricey. I'd suggest, in order of preference, Snapper, Simplicity, or Ariens Pro series.
Stay away from anything sold by a mass merchant and go to a L&G servicing dealer. Case in point, Ariens. They make a cheap line for Home Depot, Lowes, etc. and a much better line for the dealers. They look similar on the outside, but are far different internally(T5? or Tremec?). Like Toro, they are living on their past reputation. The new Toros don't hold a candle compared to the older ones, and they no longer make a high end series.
Simplicity and Snapper are both owned by Briggs and Stratton, and are being kept as a premier line for servicing dealers only. The OHV engines on these are super. Though the chassis and running gear are nearly the same, the Snapper uses a rugged plastic chute, wet snow doesn't stick. I love mine.
By the way, I'm writing from central New Hampshire, where it has already snowed! I'll be skiing later this week Yippee!
 

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Planning & Saving
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601 Posts
One vote for Yardman. I have a 7 year old thrower similar to this:


Electric Start is great for the those extended sub-freezing weeks.

I have a little plastic canopy over the controls area that really helps keep the wind and blow back off you. I've seen them for $30-$60 and they are well worth it.

We had the heaviest snow on record last year and I had a lot of fun pushing it around.
 
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