Craftsman Pro Series 24" 277cc 3-Stage Snowblower w/ Power Steering - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 16 Old 04-08-2017, 09:09 AM Thread Starter
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Craftsman Pro Series 24" 277cc 3-Stage Snowblower w/ Power Steering

I realize this is probably a bias audience, however was looking for feedback on this model at $1200? I've owned numerous Sears and Craftsman products over the years and am wondering if this is a machine worthy of my purchase consideration which currently include comparable models from Honda, Ariens, Husqvarna and Simplicity. Thoughts? Concerns? Testimonies? Thanks in advance.

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post #2 of 16 Old 04-08-2017, 09:20 AM
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I personally dont think so. The Mtd snowblowers rub me the wrong way.

That craftsman pro series blower is a cub cadet with opposite colors.

Home Depot has that cub cadet online for $1149 and the bigger 3x 26" 357cc for $1250. Regardless, I suggest you look at Toros if that's your price point.


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post #3 of 16 Old 04-09-2017, 11:56 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you drmerdp
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post #4 of 16 Old 04-09-2017, 12:03 PM
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Craftsman isn't what it once was quality wise, The newer Cub cadet and craftsman are actually made by MTD as are many of the other brands out there, For $1200 you could actually get a pretty nice Ariens in the 24" size like the deluxe model.
Ariens Deluxe 24 in. 2-Stage Electric Start Gas Snow Blower with Auto-Turn Steering-921045 - The Home Depot

Sno-Tek Modded, 15"X-Track tires (Now has same X-Track tires but 13"x4" for better fit), 254cc engine LED light and hand warmers.
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New 2017 Ariens Deluxe completely rebuilt after losing a fight with a forklift.
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post #5 of 16 Old 04-09-2017, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dauntae View Post
Craftsman isn't what it once was quality wise, The newer Cub cadet and craftsman are actually made by MTD as are many of the other brands out there, For $1200 you could actually get a pretty nice Ariens in the 24" size like the deluxe model.
Ariens Deluxe 24 in. 2-Stage Electric Start Gas Snow Blower with Auto-Turn Steering-921045 - The Home Depot
Online, it shows up as $999. Even better deal.
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post #6 of 16 Old 08-11-2017, 11:59 PM
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I'm a little late here but I couldn't resist the rant opportunity..
To be fair.. I'm looking at the yellow Cub Cadet image not the Craftsman

Interesting... I didn't know that 3-stage snowblowers were back again. I thought they came and went in the 60s or thereabouts.
If that front propeller blade rotates at impeller shaft speed.. it's a lawsuit waiting to happen when you chew up the neighbor's kid or his dog.
I guess the only thing that will save you is the fact that the metalwork is so flimsy it might not actually hurt them.

If it doesn't spin that fast... I wonder how the gearing works?
If they've slowed down the impeller RPM to try to make that front propeller safer then it won't throw snow very far will it?

As for quality, ask the salesman if you can climb onto the auger bucket and jump up and down.
If he says "no you'll buckle it".. there's your answer!
Then ask him if you can grab hold of the front propeller and pull on it.
If you get the same response... there's your second answer.

I'm only being marginally facetious here... It's amazing to me how easy it is to twist and bend auger buckets on new machines with a single hand these days.
(OK .. two hands). The metalwork just keeps getting thinner and thinner and thinner.

If you really must buy a new machine (I personally would not) then your list of alternate manufacturers is a much better list.... until they too start shipping
tin-cans with flaky engines with a mean-time-to-failure of about 2 seasons (or am I being too generous)?

As for "Craftsman"... I'm afraid they have gone so far downmarket that it should be illegal to keep using the same brand-name that your grandpa used to love.
I consider that to be intentionally deceptive marketing.
These days I rank them in the same category as Homelite and all the other no-name brands shipped by the big-box stores.
I hope you realize that Craftsman never manufacture anything... they bulk-buy equipment from certain manufacturers and just put their label on them.
In the past, they tried to use high-quality suppliers... these days they either don't care or there simply are no high-quality manufacturers left in business willing to sell to them.
Their latest attempt to widen their visibility is to get rid of the Sears-only "exclusivity" and sell to any BigBox store who is willing to listen. (eg Ace sold them last time I was in there) .
(I use the word "exclusivity" with severe reservations... it does NOT imply quality). I guess that the foot traffic at Sears is suffering.
The first three digits of a Craftsman model number used to be a "secret" code telling you who the true
manufacturer was.. As far as I'm aware, they don't even do that any more.... is that because they don't want/dare to let you know? Dunno.

Some companies seem to be cashing in on well-loved brand-names that have turned to junk IMO. I'm even suspicious of certain Honda models when I see them at BigBox Depot. But that's just me being cautious.

Personally I would never consider a new snowblower these days. It seems that some are built to last three days longer than the warranty (if you're unlucky).
Maybe it will last three days LESS than the warranty (if you're more lucky).
There are still exceptions to that rule and you already listed the exceptions.... but that's only true until they try to compete on price then they too
may start shipping junk if the wrong CEO moves in.... in fact... it's probably already started to some extent.

I just take a look at the auger buckets... the only way they can get any rigidity with that thin metal is to put bends and buckles on the leading edge.
(I'm not sure what terminology to use here except bends and buckles.... maybe I mean "machine stamping"). Generally speaking.. the thinner the
metal.. the greater the need for machine-stamping.

Why sell someone a machine that lasts a lifetime when you can sell them one every 2 years and they keep coming back for more?!?!
That is capitalism in its most obscene form. They don't all do that.

As for the name "Craftsman Pro" .. what the heck does "Pro" mean? I'd love to hear from ANY professional snow-clearing outfit that uses these "Pro" machines
or any other similar named "Pro" brand. Check the warranty period and see if there's a clause saying "for non professional use only" or words to that effect.

EDIT: This is a snippet from the owner manual available via the SearsOutlet Site
"This warranty is void if this product is ever used while providing commercial services or if rented to another person."
http://i.sears.com/s/d/pdf/mp-tc/100...od_17554093312

In that case, "Pro" most certainly does NOT mean Professional in the generally-accepted definition of the word.....
maybe it means "lady of the night"... Dunno... anyone from Sears marketing online here?
That's just more intentionally misleading marketing and branding IMO.

The rationale for this is simple... how many HOURS do you use a domestic blower in a typical YEAR?
Compare and contrast that with the number of HOURS a commercial user will cover in a single WEEK!
Do the math.... the warranty is actually valid for something like 30 or 50 hours... do your own calculation for your town.
So how many dollars per warranty-hour are you paying for that machine?

EDIT2: Check out the review from Labguy who gives it a whopping one star
His review title is "Almost Worthless- by LabGuy1"
He ends his review with " I have used this for a season and will try to return it. Suspect they will not take it back at this point."
http://www.searsoutlet.com/28-357cc-...26&mode=seeAll
Poor guy... he also says... " Used an Ariens 28" for 15 years with much more success."
Why the heck did he not just keep the Older Ariens for another 15 years??? Notice I said OLDER Ariens!
I do NOT mean to imply that current day Ariens are particularly good... but I do believe they are at least "trying" compared to some others.
But "trying" is not the same as "succeeding". Take a 30 year old Ariens and put it next to a brand new Ariens and YOU decide. I can't honestly say.
I am serious about jumping on the auger bucket! I bet the 30 year old model will take your weight quite nicely.
As for the NEW one...I have no data.. just try it! Maybe it will..

EDIT3: I simply love the positive review from "caifalc from Houston, TX"
Ah yes... Houston, TX... the snow capital of America..... (I served my time and spent 5 years there... I finally escaped once I got the green card).
Of course, Texas was recently pushed into the number two slot by Florida. Brrr... be sure to take your thermal underwear.
Just google for "Houston snowfall"and check the result...... a whopping ZERO inches per year! Scary! They must have loads of snowplows on standby!

EDIT4: For all those people who like to give positive reviews after owning something for a week or less... please....
wait until the endorphine rush has calmed down as you try to convince yourself that you didn't just make a bad bad mistake.
Give me your honest review after you've used it for maybe two years.... not two days.
As for the people who get PAID to write positive reviews.... I sympathize with your financial situation... but get a REAL job... it's usually more satisfying and more ethical.

EDIT5: Before spending your hard-earned cash on ANY snowblower... ask the salesman to show you the website showing
exploded parts diagrams for (at least) the engine. If I get a lame excuse like "It's too new to have a parts website" I smile and walk away.. slowly at first ...then start running.

Full disclosure: I do not work for any of these companies and never have and never will.
However, I have flipped a couple of older Ariens (and other brands) and could easily dance a fandango on those auger buckets!
Not sure about the latest Ariens.... try it and see! Caveat Emptor.
BTW: The OLDER Craftsman blowers had auger buckets that were equally dance-friendly.
It's just the recent "junk-with-a-trusted-label-on-it" that fails my smoke test.

In a nutshell.... if the machine you are looking at is less than (say) 15 years old... be careful.
Learn how to clean a carburetor and buy just about ANY brand from 20 years ago... or better still 30 years ago.
Trust me... it's easy... even I can do it!
You will get the highest possible quality at the lowest possible price. That's capitalism the way it's supposed to work!

I rest my case Your Honor!!

Wow... calm down Stuart... it's just a snowblower.... but you DID ask.... now where did I put that Valium?? ;-)

Last edited by unknown1; 08-17-2017 at 10:59 AM. Reason: softer rhetoric
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post #7 of 16 Old 08-12-2017, 08:13 AM
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I'd second the Ariens Deluxe 24" choice or to look into a Toro (they will be a "better bang for the buck").
My other suggestion would be to look for a good used Honda HS624 or HS724.
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post #8 of 16 Old 08-12-2017, 10:14 PM
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This is the third or fourth year that these three stage machines have been available.

The secret codes really aren't all that secret. Sears Source Code Chart

I haven't read or heard of any children or dogs going through one of these.
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post #9 of 16 Old 08-13-2017, 05:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Burns View Post
This is the third or fourth year that these three stage machines have been available.
The secret codes really aren't all that secret. Sears Source Code Chart
I haven't read or heard of any children or dogs going through one of these.
Thanks for that :-)
The earlier 3 stage machines were actually in the 70s I think. I wonder why they popped on and off the radar? <rhetorical question>
The point about the codes I didn't make clear (I thought I had) was that I can't figure out any equivalent way to identify who makes their latest stuff. That makes me a little cautious.
The children and dog story was a lead-up to the punchline.... "it's so flimsy it might not hurt them". I guess it wasn't funny satire after all. ;-) Don't try this at home kids... it WILL hurt.. but not as much as it should.

Last edited by unknown1; 08-13-2017 at 05:37 PM.
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post #10 of 16 Old 08-13-2017, 09:11 PM
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Great post Stuart! I agree with everything you said.

I believe that a 30 to 50 year old Ariens or Toro for $250 to $400 can often be far superior, higher quality, and much more reliable machine than a $1,000 brand-new Craftsman, Troy-Bilt or Cub Cadet..even when factoring in decades of use.

There is a lot of evidence to support that, on both sides, both in this forum, and in customer reviews of the new machines.

Scot


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