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Old 11-24-2013, 02:49 PM   #1
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Default Looking for advice on which new snowblower to buy

Live in Michigan with a long circular driveway that's fairly flat and smooth. Will need to clear a path through the grass to a barn also. The power steering aspect is pretty important since the previous snowblower we had was difficult to maneuver and I'd like for the new one to be easier to use for me, or my wife.

I've kind of narrowed it down to two - the Cub Cadet 26 inch Three Stage and the Ariens 28 inch Deluxe. I'm intrigued by the three stage technology and wondering if the power steering on the Cub Cadet might work better than the Auto Turn on the Ariens.

It's clear that people think Ariens is much better quality than Cub Cadet, but I'm not interested in having the new machine last for 40 years. I want the one that's going to work the best for us for about 10 years. Thoughts?
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Old 11-24-2013, 03:01 PM   #2
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Buy the best machine for the price. I have seen good reviews on the new 3 stage Cub Cadet 26 inch as well as good reviews on some of the higher end Craftsman 2 stage machines. Like wise the Ariens Deluxe series are nice too and are not over priced either. Use a good quality sythetic oil and the engine will last a very long time. I use Sea Foam in my gasoline at the end of the season to prevent carburetor problems. I do all my own maintanence on my snow mobiles and Personal watercraft and mini-bike and boat engine and I needed to clean the carburetors before when I used to use Stabil. I have no particular brand loyaties and I give sound economic advice only. I feel it is foolish to spend lots of money on a snow blower like a $4000 Honda since you only use them 4 months out of the year at most. I have the worst of the worst 1996 MTD and it is repowered by a China made HF Predator 212cc and it runs great and starts with 1 to 2 pulls of the recoil every time. Only Honda and Yamaha machines do not have Chinese engines today. Even Ariens snow blowers starting model year 2013 engines are made by LCT which is a Chinese company.

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Old 11-24-2013, 03:22 PM   #3
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Do yourself a favor and find a nice used Honda on Craig's. Superior machine, and used
helps mitigate the high price.
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Old 11-24-2013, 03:36 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSteinhoff View Post
Do yourself a favor and find a nice used Honda on Craig's. Superior machine, and used
helps mitigate the high price.
I think you missed his need for maneuverability. Honda lacks that.
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Old 11-24-2013, 04:08 PM   #5
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Don't forget about the Toro Power Max. Has power steering as well.
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Old 11-26-2013, 02:33 PM   #6
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I had a machine with that same auto turn system (or whatever Deere was calling it) and was unhappy with it.
If your clearing area is flat and smooth (ie, parking lots & sidewalks) I imagine it's fine, but on my long, uneven, inclined dirt driveway it was a bear to keep tracking straight, especially after thaw/refreezes when ruts formed.
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Old 11-26-2013, 07:36 PM   #7
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I would skip the cub 3 stage. The tranny is controlled by a wire instead of a rod. Something that important should be a rod. Putting it in r2 puts a ton of stress on it. If that cable breaks you are going and stuck in 6th gear. The auger is unusually high off the floor about 1.5 inches and can't be lowered. Toro and ariens the auger is lower and can be raised. Lower auger means cleanner result. The steering controls are really flimsy , a guy at the store told me his broke they're too thin and turn brittle in the cold, and the chute control fights you when actually out there using it. All the engine controls are right behind the left handle, if that weren't enught they put a big wing nut in the way as well. When I saw it the outside augers move snow near the middle, nothing moves it from near to center. Main reason to pass, little wire that controls tranny its certain to break.
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Old 11-26-2013, 07:49 PM   #8
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I vote for the cub. Just kidding. I would look at toro as well. We had a 32'' storm last yr and while I was out plowing I saw alot of blowers . Next to one of my accts ,a guy was running a toro 826 ( talked to him today) He was going threw that snow better than any blower out there that day. If was going to buy a new blower today ,it would be a toro.
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Old 12-02-2013, 09:29 PM   #9
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6 or 7 shear pins in the Cub 3X. Just saying.
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