The state of affairs in 2011:
1. Ariens, made by Ariens.
2. Toro, made by Toro.
3. Honda, made by Honda.
4. Husqvarna and Poulan - made by Husqvarna.
(I believe the current Husqvarna machines might be the evolutionary descendants of the former AYP line..but im not 100% clear on that.)
5. Cub Cadet, Troy Bilt, MTD, Yard Machines, (some Craftsman) - made by MTD.
all essentially the same, just in different paint.
6. John Deere, Simplicity, Snapper, Murray and Brute - made (owned) by Briggs & Stratton.
Two snowblower lines in use, one based on the old Simplicity machines, (these are the "Pro" high-end models) and one based on the old Murray designs..Current John Deere and Brute snowblowers are the Murray pattern.
"Brute" must be new..never heard of that name until recently..they are also built from the Murray design.
Those are the six primary manufacturers today..
there are also:
7. "Powermore", and some other VERY low end machines, made in China.
there are possibly 2 or 3 (or more) low-end Chinese brands on the market..look for them at Walmart.
And I think that is basically everything current..90% anyway..might be missing one or two brand names.Over the last 50 years, many of these names have changed hands multiple times, and there are dozens of snowblower "brand names" that are now extinct..Bolens, Gilson, White..and many others..
By far, the most schizophrenic name is Craftsman..Craftsman snowblowers have been made by nearly everyone! Right now, I know some craftsman's are MTD's..some other current Craftsman models might be made by someone else..and they might even have a very low end Craftsman model made in China..(I saw a craftsman 2-stage with a plastic impeller at a Sears store few weeks ago..I dont think that one is made by any of the names above..I suspect one of the Chinese manufacturers for that.)
More info on "who makes what" can be seen here:
- The Best Snowblower & Lawnmower Forum - • View topic - The "Who Builds What?" Thread