Can't decide between End of Season Ariens or Cub Cadet - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 12 Old 02-25-2019, 02:06 PM Thread Starter
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Can't decide between End of Season Ariens or Cub Cadet

Hi there, was hoping for some advice from forum members.

I've got an old Craftsman 9/28 that I bought from a neighbour for 300 4 years ago. Haven't done much to it, but this will be its last season. It runs rough and while I haven't really taken care of it (i.e. no oil changes or spark plug changes; I generally take care of my equipment, but for 300 on a Sears machine, I figured I would run till it died), it ran rough when I bought it. I don't want to invest money in a blower that's inherently not that great for the job at hand. My neighbour, who I bought the blower from, has a small 2 car driveway, whereas I have a 250' by 2.5 car width driveway. I also live in Ottawa, which means we get lots of snow.

Needless to say, I am in the market for a new blower. I want to invest in a quality piece of equipment. I've written Honda off, as it is too expensive. I've read lots about Cub Cadet and Ariens. One of my neighbours (who was away for a month and asked that I mind his driveway) has a 30" 3X Cub Cadet, which I've had the chance to use for about a month. Another neighbour has an Ariens Professional 28. They both swear by their machines.

A local shop is having end of season sales on their remaining models and I am torn between the Cub Cadet options and the Ariens option they have.

The Ariens is a Deluxe 30 EFI, with a discount they are asking $2200 CAD (tax not included). They offer 3 year 0% financing.

They have several models of Cub Cadet, one which they are discounting more than others is the 3X 28" HD Model. $1649 + tax. 3 year 0% financing too.

I went in with my mind set on an Ariens, but having used my neighbours Cub (which is not HD, i.e. his has a plastic chute), I'm torn. I like the fuel injection of the Ariens in that I wont have to deal with cleaning carbs or anything like that. But is a $600 differential between the 2 worth it? The Ariens does have a 14" auger, vs, the 12" Cub. The Cub is 3 stage though.

The shop guy said it was a toss up for him between the two; i.e. he wasn't pushing either or manufacturer. He said all they sell there is Cub, Ariens and Toro and most of their sales are of Cubs.

What do you guys/gals think? Should I stick with the Ariens or spring for a Cub and save $600
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post #2 of 12 Old 02-25-2019, 02:46 PM
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The Cub Cadet is an MTD product. The 3 stage is more of a marketing ploy than a useful function. I'd go with the Ariens and not look back.
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post #3 of 12 Old 02-25-2019, 03:48 PM
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In this case take the advice of fellow Canadian Kim Mitchell and "Go For A Soda" and pass on both .

EFI from what I am reading on these boards sounds like a hassle when things go wrong.
Not afraid of MTD, but the 3X is gimmicky.
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post #4 of 12 Old 02-25-2019, 04:04 PM
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For what its worth, the school I work at has a cub cadet and the maintenance staff there are always repairing it. You'll need a boatload of shear pins also. I recommend the Ariens, very good snow blowers!

Jack of all trades, Master of none!
Ariens - 924086 - ST1028
Craftsman - 88934 - 10HP 28"
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Toro - CCR 2000
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post #5 of 12 Old 02-25-2019, 04:05 PM
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Any Ariens options that are not EFI? That would be my preference.

Ariens 1024 Pro
Toro Power Clear 221QR
Toro Power Curve 1800
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post #6 of 12 Old 02-25-2019, 04:19 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback so far. I'm still on the fence. I appreciate the common theme that the Cub 3X is gimmicky, however, the 2X 30" model is $1700, vs. the 3X 28" $1650; both are 420CC. I used my neighbour's 3X here for about a month after we had a record amount of snowfall from Mid Jan to Mid Feb (about 40") and his 3X just cut through everything, including the massive pileups at the end of the driveway. It was a fine machine.

As far as non-EFI Ariens models, the local shop only has a Pro version and the Deluxe EFI one left for the year. I don't need the Pro version, that I think is overkill.

One thing for me with the Ariens that I am not so sure about is that auto-turn. I have a gravel/asphalt drive, more gravel, so I'm a bit afraid that over the season when some ruts inevitably develop, the auto-turn will be a hassel. Whereas the Cub has the manual turn support levers that worked nicely. In addition, a small thing, but the Ariens has Halogen lights vs LEDs for the Cub.

A non-EFI Ariens Deluxe 30 is about $1800 at some other local shops. That means that Ariens believes the EFI option is worth $400 more.
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post #7 of 12 Old 02-25-2019, 05:40 PM
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Stay away from the 3 stage and EFI (for now). You need a track machine
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post #8 of 12 Old 02-25-2019, 06:56 PM
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If you do go cub Cadet I would buy shear pins from a Dealer.....I forget who it was but someone on the SBF said they switched from box store shear pins for Cubs to dealer bought and he said that his shear pin breakage is way down???? Let me see If I can find the post!!!!
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post #9 of 12 Old 02-26-2019, 07:35 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for all of the suggestions everyone, I've decided to go with the Ariens EFI; tomorrow I will be going to the dealer to see if they want to take a few dollars off their price. For a moment I thought of going the route of a non-EFI Ariens, but after reading a little bit more and watching some videos of John Sikkema running the EFI, I'm sold on it. thanks all
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post #10 of 12 Old 02-26-2019, 07:55 PM
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I'm usually not big on extended warranties but I think the Ariens has one for 99 bucks on that EFI unit. I'd check into it and likely get it as the FI can be a problem for the DIY guy to trouble shoot. Also depends on if you have a way to get it back to the dealer or if that would be a problem or cost you extra $$.


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