Opinions on Craftsman 88694 - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 14 Old 11-25-2017, 04:11 PM Thread Starter
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Opinions on Craftsman 88694

Hi all,

Sears has a good deal on this model 700 bucks. Zero turn, joystick chute control, and electric start.

I keep going back and forth between this and a Toro snowmaster and it is driving me nuts.

Wanted to get an opinion from an owner of the ups and downs.

Did read a lot about carb problems but that feature set is great for the price.
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post #2 of 14 Old 11-25-2017, 04:32 PM
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the toro is a better built machine, craftsman isnt what it used to be.

24 " 1967? Ariens Sno thro
28 " Ariens Sno Tek
Toro CCR ss
1966 Gravely LI Walk behind with dog eater

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post #3 of 14 Old 11-25-2017, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
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I am so sorry to hear that. Love Sears since I was a child and half my neighborhood has craftsman of various ages.
Just seems like a sweet machine.
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post #4 of 14 Old 11-25-2017, 05:02 PM
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The general consensus on SBF appears to be that while no manufacturer are what they used to be, the MTD brands (Troy-Bilt, Cub Cadet, Craftsman, Columbia, YardMachines, MTD, etc.) lack in quality.

That's not to say that they don't have their place in the overall picture, especially for the budgetary-constrained, but you get more value dollar-for-dollar by sticking with H.A.T. - Honda, Ariens and Toro.

And if you look at all these different products and compare them up close and personal (not on the internet or catalogs, but in person), you can see that's true.

"It's better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it."

2018 Ariens Platinum SHO Track 28
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post #5 of 14 Old 11-25-2017, 05:07 PM Thread Starter
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I did look at the build and it is built nice. Nice build = reliability for sure.
I do tend to baby all equipment I own. My Craftsman lawnmower is 12 years old and looks new.
What changed so much with teh MTD products?
I am wondering if it is passable even if overkill for a 30 inch snowfall vs the Toro that would struggle. Several sites give the Craftsman a pretty strong write up.
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post #6 of 14 Old 11-25-2017, 05:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heftysmurf View Post
I did look at the build and it is built nice. Nice build = reliability for sure.
I do tend to baby all equipment I own. My Craftsman lawnmower is 12 years old and looks new.
What changed so much with teh MTD products?
I am wondering if it is passable even if overkill for a 30 inch snowfall vs the Toro that would struggle. Several sites give the Craftsman a pretty strong write up.
Again, my opinion is based upon what I've learned over the past several months researching for a snowblower and its VERY general in scope.
Not very single MTD product is going to be a bust just as not every single Honda is going to be a cream-puff. But the odds are in favor of the Honda.

From what I know (which is minimal, keep in mind) MTD has been around since 1936 and made it's first acquisition in 1952 or so. As they got bigger and bigger, acquiring more and more brands, as with many companies, cost-savings (I call them shortcuts) became more and more prevalent.

Cost-savings are great - but there are those that shouldn't be made too. You shouldn't step over a dollar to pick up a dime.

You may be able to - or even probably, get that Craftsman and be perfectly okay - especially since you take care of your stuff. What I'm pointing out is what the apparent odds are for you.

"It's better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it."

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post #7 of 14 Old 11-25-2017, 05:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heftysmurf View Post
I am so sorry to hear that. Love Sears since I was a child and half my neighborhood has craftsman of various ages.
Just seems like a sweet machine.
How much snow do you average year to year? Also, what type of snow? Is your snow consistently light and fluffy and friendly? Or more wet, heavy, and angry?

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post #8 of 14 Old 11-25-2017, 05:58 PM
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With that price I would look at an Ariens. Maybe, Deluxe 28. Might be a little more, but more of a life time type of machine, if well cared for.




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post #9 of 14 Old 11-25-2017, 06:21 PM
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I have an Ariens, Toro and Craftsman snow blower all are worthy, but you need to do the maintenance on all of them. "Be good to your snow blower and your snow blower will be good to you"!
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post #10 of 14 Old 11-25-2017, 06:44 PM
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The MTD built machines have a lot of complaints of their cotter pin like shear pins breaking at the worst possible time. The machine does look pretty good for the price. The $1100. original price seems optimistic. I had a mid nineties MTD 640F U.S built unit and engine, served me well for nearly 20 years with proper maintenance. Granted I don't live in a snowbelt. Regarding the Craftsman I was confused as to whether or not it had a headlight based on one image showed the others didn't. A headlight in my opinion is a nice feature to have on a snowblower as you will often be using it at night after the plow truck cleans up or early in the morning before work. If I had a $700. budget for a new snowblower I would be looking at the Ariens Classic 24 or the Sno-Tek 24. Don't let the wimpy looking wheels fool you these are very well built solid true 2 stage machines with steel chutes and substantial gear boxes. The Toro Snowmaster is a beefed up single stage. Good luck on your search and keep us posted.

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Last edited by Cardo111; 11-25-2017 at 07:17 PM.
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