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  1. #1
    Bodgit is offline Hot Rolled
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    I need a new walk behind snowblower. My 30 yr old Ariens is functional but simply too heavy for my wife to move around even with it's self propel. It doesn't turn easy. A 24 to 28" machine should be fine with electric start.
    I'd appreciate the wisdom of members of this forum as always when making a machine purchase.
    TIA,
    Steve

  2. #2
    John in MA's Avatar
    John in MA is offline Titanium
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    Ariens and Simplicity are the front runners. Toro is good but they have more plastic on the outside and I'd say the internal mechanism isn't the same quality. I have a Toro right now I'd trade for one of the other two.

    Honda makes good snowblowers too, but they're incredibly expensive and rather complex.

    How big is your current Ariens? You won't find new ones of similar quality any lighter for the size.

  3. #3
    Bodgit is offline Hot Rolled
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    It's a 24" snowblower. I was considering Honda vs Ariens.
    Steve

  4. #4
    MwTech Inc is offline Stainless
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    Steve
    Two simple things to do:
    1 Pump up the tires more, will make a big difference
    when turning.
    2 Add a counter weight to the rear, just enough so the front still stays down. This will make the
    "feel" of the blower lighter when operating.
    Andy

  5. #5
    Probe Help is offline Senior Member
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    I think we all missed the real focus here. You said too heavy for your wife to move around?

    First, if your wife snowblows why do you need a new one?

    Two, your my hero!

    LOL Kidding of course... sort of.

    I have a simple Craftsman 30" cut that works fine for me. But I don't think we get as much snow here in IL as you. Plus I only use it for sidewalks etc. I have a snowthrower for my Cub Cadet for the big stuff. Good luck!

  6. #6
    dharnell is offline Aluminum
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    As a former Honda owner (10Hp with hydrostatic transmission and tracks) I'm a bit biased, go with the Honda. Compared to the MTD garbage I have to use now it was a pleasure to use. Chewed its way through the hard crusty stuff that the plows would leave at the bottom of the drive without a problem.

    My two cents,

    Dave

  7. #7
    Dave P. is offline Guest
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    We have sold Simplicity, John Deere, Toro
    and Honda blowers for a long time.
    If I was buying one I'd have a Honda, however
    the Simplicity units are pretty good as well.
    Most larger 2-stage units now have some form
    of unlocking differential, this will help
    turning. As already pointed out new units
    of equal size will not be much lighter than what
    you already own. We have lots of customers
    that buy a larger single stage like a toro
    CCR3650 and keep the old two-stage as well.
    If you have a paved driveway a good single
    stage will move 8-12 inches of snow real well,
    plus on lighter 2-5 inch snowfalls they are
    faster.
    Dave P.

  8. #8
    Bodgit is offline Hot Rolled
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    I have a tractor-blower for the driveway. I use the walk blower on the walks. My wife only would use it when I'm away on business- 3 7 days a month. I kind of doubt it would be used but she says she'll use it. The old Ariens is really a load but does work. Also it only shoots the snow 5 to 10 feet. It is a 1973 model. Are the Hondas good enough to buy a used one or am I better off getting a brand new one?
    Thanks for the help guys. I really appreciate it.
    Steve

  9. #9
    Pazuzu71's Avatar
    Pazuzu71 is offline Hot Rolled
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    What's a snowblower?
    .

  10. #10
    J-Head is offline Cast Iron
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    Assuming you have an Ariens 24" with the cast-iron front gearbox, you have probably the best snow blower ever made. Most of the new snowblowers including the Honda have cast aluminum front gear cases which are filled with grease instead of gear oil and do not last as long.

    Your snow blower came in two models one which did not have a locking differential and another which was called the "Track Team" and featured a locking differential. If you look at one of the wheel hubs there will be a cast knob that you pull out and turn to unlock the differential.

    Overall the Honda's are nice blowers, but they do not work well in heavy wet snow. The second stage blower and chute is much smaller than on your older Ariens and easily becomes clogged.

    I would stick with what you have or find one with the locking differential.

  11. #11
    Davis In SC is offline Titanium
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    You guys sure think ahead.. It has been near or over 100 degrees for the last 2 weeks, here.. We do get a small snow or 2 per year, but not enough for a snowblower.. I often think it would be fun to live in a snow area...

  12. #12
    Damien W is offline Stainless
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    Who makes best walk behind Snowblower
    Maybe Pam Anderson would be a contender but would she be comfortable at walking behind? She probably would prefer to walk backwards.

    I've been looking for a chance to mention an unusual weather event which occurred here last weekend. A small low pressure cell formed just off the coast and resulted in 4 or 5 days of blustery, showery weather. In the end it looks like we got about 6" of rain here. The rainfall was very variable with some areas receiving much greater deluges.

    Since we are still in severe drought conditions with level 6 water restrictions in place and our fire fighters are being forced to provide their own resources so are drinking lots of Coke, and it is unclear how much rain fell in the catchments of our storage dams and water levels were around 15% of full, we will have to wait for an announcement of what effect the rain will have.

    The variability included flooding of coastal resort towns about 100 miles to the north of here. Noosa was flooded receiving over 800mm of rain in a forty-eight hour period and a small town of Rainbow Beach received around 950mm during the same period.

    Can you imagine how much rain more than 3' of water is? But the crucial question is what effect will there be on dam levels?

  13. #13
    Bodgit is offline Hot Rolled
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    It's the cast iron box indeed and never clogs as you say. I think I'll follow your advice. Thanks, Steve

  14. #14
    Mark John is offline Aluminum
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    Bodgit, I have a single stage 2 cycle John Deere and I live in a lake effect area like you. Aside from mixing gas I like it. Very easy to move about in the hard to reach areas. I blow once or twice a day when the lake snows are falling and I find that it will handle up to 8" on the ground with out a problem. The only problem is when the snow banks are more than 4' and I have to angle a little steeper than usual. Shovel time.

  15. #15
    jim rozen is offline Diamond
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    Honda. Mine's over ten years old and still
    going strong.

    Jim

  16. #16
    Grits's Avatar
    Grits is offline Stainless
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    Dittto Pazuzu71, What is a snowblower? I am glad that is something I know nothing about; however, as hot as it has been in Arkansas, a little snow sounds kinda good.

    Grits

  17. #17
    Kevin Singleton is offline Aluminum
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    Davis in SC,

    I moved to Pittsburgh, from Dallas. Snow is not as much fun as you'd think when it lasts for more than a few days.

  18. #18
    TurningHead's Avatar
    TurningHead is offline Cast Iron
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    Get your hands on a electric start Model L Gravely with snow blower attachment. Old, heavy but balanced and bullet-proof.

    The only complaint I've ever heard about them is they tend to put the snow on the neighbors roof!

    John

  19. #19
    jim rozen is offline Diamond
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    The 11hp honda will do that.

    Coupla years ago the gas station across the
    street hired a plow guy, his idea of plowing
    their apron was pushing across the street in
    front of my house, where the city plow would
    then smear it all into our driveways.

    Next time he did that I waited till the plow
    guy drove off, and put all the snow back
    across the street where it came from.

    They got the idea after that.

    Jim

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