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Snowblower Advice

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by ChrisN, Dec 16, 2010.

  1. PJF1313

    PJF1313 Member

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    chrisN -

    Is this Honda a 2-cycle(oil+gas) or a 4-cycle? (I honestly didn't look up the model)

    The reason I ask, is I have and OLD Toro 2-cycle, with the rubber paddle wheel, that I'm just plain tired of messing with every year. At $600 for a Honda, I may thing about it, after you (especially your wifes :) ) review of it at the end of the season. I just, last couple of weeks ago, got the Toro running again, so it should be good for this year, but am tired of pulling my shoulder out getting it started every time the white stuff comes down.

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  2. ChrisN

    ChrisN Feeling the Heat

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    PJF1313: It's a 4 stroke. If it's anything like my Honda lawn mower it shoud start pretty easy, especially as it will be garaged when not in use. I'll post a review after some snow accumulates here.
  3. Beetle-Kill

    Beetle-Kill Minister of Fire

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    Good luck chrisN, keep us posted. Awwww crap, I can't resist. If your driveway is the one in your avatar, I hope your couch is comfortable. The HS520- semi-self propelled auger? Auger drive on your driveway slope? Dude, plan on blowing down slope, then push that thing back up the same track, then repeat for the next swath. Especially with heavy snow. Once again, good luck and keep us posted.
  4. OhioBurner©

    OhioBurner© Minister of Fire

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    I grew up with a walk behind 10hp yard-man (2stage). Cant remember the auger size, but it was also a pretty tall unit. Chains are a big help aslo. Many times I remember getting storms over a foot in a day, sometimes even more and over the top of the intake but that blower would go through anything.

    We dont get a whole lot of snow in Ohio and I already had a couple garden tractors so I picked up a blade for cheap. Works great, and only one time in the last 3 years we have lived here did we get enough that I was getting worried - because the piles were getting to large for the tractor to push back any more and starting to fill in the driveway. A blower would have worked well then. But thats unusual for Ohio, usually it gets warm and melts at some point before the piles get that big.

    Single stage blowers or 'throwers' work well also, especially when mounted on a tractor! I'm looking for one but havent got one yet. Here is a pic (same tractor that I have) with a single stage snow thrower. Getting some good distance. Usually the trick with single stage is to keep it fed fully so its a constant stream of snow in and out. 2-stage units less finicky about how fast you feed em.

    Attached Files:

  5. gpcollen1

    gpcollen1 Minister of Fire

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    I am not at all impressed with the dealer and I think they did him a disservice. While those snow blowers do throw some serious snow, the 2 stage is still a better unit. Some of them even have 'power steering' so running that machine is not hard at all. Dragging around that single stage blower is a pain in the ass. While they are great for sidewalks, they are not so great for large driveways.
  6. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    I stopped by HD today. They had a pretty sweet Ariens 30", Platinum model. It has an automatic differential (or whatever it's called) so you don't have to pull a lever. I moved it around a little in the store and it did seem very easy. It also has the required (by wife) heated grips. All this for only $1600, lol. I didn't buy it, yet. :)
  7. Treacherous

    Treacherous Minister of Fire

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    Yamaha has re-entered the snow blower market in Canada since they left in the early 90's. They compare well with the Hondas if price is no object.

    I have a Craftsman Husqvarna clone but Simplicity, Ariens, JD and Toro are all brands you can count on.

    Look at these monsters from Honda and Yamaha.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  8. RED FRONTIER

    RED FRONTIER Member

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    We live near you and I find when we get the change over to rain after a few inches of snow it is hard to throw for my Home Depot Aries.
    Its a 2 stage. I use it on our paved drive way and my in laws pea gravel with the skids lowered for clearance. Even it has trouble at the end of the drives
    if I let it sit.
  9. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Icy snow is tough.
    I use a single stage Toro on the deck, and when the snow finally falls off the roof in icy glops, it's just about impossible to get up.
  10. Treacherous

    Treacherous Minister of Fire

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    How old and how many horsepower engine is on your Ariens?

    I've got 10.5 Briggs & Stratton motor with an upgraded auger pulley on my Craftsman/Husqvarna and I can toss wet snow about 25 feet. The dryer stuff will shoot out up to 50 feet.

    Lots of people have luck upgrading their throwing distance with one of the Clarence impeller kits. I haven't had a need to upgrade mine but might be something you want to look into.

    http://smllengns.tripod.com/

    [​IMG]
  11. Treacherous

    Treacherous Minister of Fire

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    I hear ya...
    Trying to break up too much ice with a two stage is just asking for broken shear pins.
  12. gpcollen1

    gpcollen1 Minister of Fire

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    It is not wet snow that is an issue, it is snow that is rained on making it essentially SLUSH, which I have seen no machine conquer. That stuff just does not throw...
  13. Treacherous

    Treacherous Minister of Fire

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    That is exactly the kind of slop that the Clarence kit will help out with. It reduces the clearance between the auger housing and auger so it actually throws it instead of just slopping it around. This is one of the reasons the Honda blowers perform so well. The auger clearance is tight in those units.

    Here is someone not far from my cabin using his Honda blower as a sump pump.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWy7iaKWBVU

    If it can throw water it can throw your slush.


  14. CALJREICH

    CALJREICH New Member

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    I have a yard machine 8hp 2 stage electric start that is 9 years old. My driveways are long. I wouldn't want to use one that is not self propeled. It works great. It is still in great shape too. I got an ATV this year with a plow , gonna give that a try.

    If the shute on your blower starts clogging up you will be wanting a 2 stage. If your wife hates it you'll be wanting a 2 stage.
  15. burntime

    burntime New Member

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    C'mon hunting season!
    Late to the party but I have a 42inch single stage on my tractor, and a 38 inch walk behind. I also have a 6.5hp toro paddle for the deck. Yes, I live in Wisconsin :lol:

    Attached Files:

  16. Shari

    Shari Minister of Fire

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    Also in Wisconsin here :))) with multiple machines for different situations - roughly the same setup(s) as you outlined plus we have a small 12" electric for those hard to reach areas (or if the grandkids are in the mood to help Granny. :))
  17. Treacherous

    Treacherous Minister of Fire

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    Those channel steel handles on that 2-stage Simplicity you have are so stout. No others compare IMO to how strong they are. The cast iron auger gear case is rock solid as well.

    If I was in the market again I would likely go with a Simplicity or a Honda.




  18. burntime

    burntime New Member

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    C'mon hunting season!
    Thanks, I actually use the walkbehind for backup and once in a while the sidewalks. The tractor does most of the work.
  19. Later

    Later New Member

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    Chris, I'm curious, how did the single stage Honda handle the snow?
  20. ChrisN

    ChrisN Feeling the Heat

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    Well, we didn't get whalloped too bad here in Southeastern, Ct. Total snowfall was only about 6" but, the wind was and continues to be wicked. Blowing steady at about 25mph with regular gusts over 40. So the blower handled the snow pretty easy, trouble came when the wind caught the discharge and doused me. Some observations, though: the snowblower is very light and tends to slip sideways when going downhill. Someone mentioned this but it's true, it doesn't blow slush very well at all. My wife used it today while I was at work and she said it worked great but with only a few inches on the driveway, I think I need a more substantial snowfall to say how it will be in the long run. I will say though, having never used a snowblower before, it is soooooo much easier on an older body than shoveling. even if you're talking about just a few inches.
  21. Later

    Later New Member

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    Glad it worked well for you. I've heard great things about Hondas but never wanted to pay the difference. A blower is easier on the body, that's the truth! We only got about 6" here - snow was easy to clear - midnight drunks on snow machines are another story. Almost lost the mailbox to them.
  22. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    I know you'll be able to use it, but in the long run I agree with many others on this board that you will want a 2 stage snowblower. 150' is pretty far for a single stage snowblower. The real test comes with the heavy stuff, and then you will most likely need a two stage. When I was doing condo plowing, we had multiple snowblowers, some being single for walkways/common areas. They were great for the light stuff but once in a while you get a different kind of snow (I'm sure the its a 4 letter word in inuit) and then you'll be working hard. Very hard. Plus, the end of your driveway will be a 3' pile of slush that once the salt has drained out of it will freeze solid. Yeah, you've been there too.

    The only time you really need a snowblower is when you really NEED a snowblower.
  23. Mcbride

    Mcbride New Member

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    Did not read the entire thread, just to this post.
    So if I missed something else important tell me.

    I would suggest a 2 stage blower only, and minimum 7 hp even for smaller yards.

    I hate craftsman and the other box store brands like mtd, etc.

    The ariens is a good unit for the price, or if you have money to blow, get a yamaha or honda.

    Myself I have a 30 inch ariens, and its good.
  24. Treacherous

    Treacherous Minister of Fire

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    IMO Simplicity, John Deer, Husqvarna and Toro all make good units as well. I have a Craftsman made by Husqvarna but most in US at this point are made by MTD. IIRC you can still purchase Craftsman Husky's in Canada.
  25. Treacherous

    Treacherous Minister of Fire

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    I've heard many suggest on several snowblower forums that the auger design on the SINGLE stage Toro's is superior to other's including the Honda's.

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