Help deciding between Honda HSS724A and Ariens Platinum SHO 24" - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 15 Old 10-18-2019, 12:03 PM Thread Starter
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Help deciding between Honda HSS724A and Ariens Platinum SHO 24"

Hi everyone,
I'm new to the scene. Bought a new house in NNJ with a 3-car garage and circular driveway. Flat and paved. In the market for my first 2-stage snow blower and have done a lot of research. I've decided to go with a 24" width because of storage constraints and I want something easier to maneuver. I figured I'd compensate the shorter width by purchasing a more powerful and more nimble machine to help cut the time it takes to clear the occasional snow. I'm a busy guy with a big family and not that mechanically inclined.

The Platinum Ariens SHO seemed to be the choice, but then I realized how close striking distance I was to the Honda. I know that the Honda has less power and is more money, but weighing both options.

Power: Ariens wins
Price: Ariens wins
Maintenance: Honda wins
Ease of operation (maneuverability): Honda wins (lighter, variable speed, easier turns)
Fuel efficiency: Honda wins (although I haven't seen actual numbers)
Reliability: Honda wins

Sounds like I'm leaning toward the Honda. I guess the main question is, does the reliability, ease of operation, fuel efficiency, and low maintenance compensate for the lower power for the Honda?

Many thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 15 Old 10-18-2019, 02:23 PM
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Maintenance, ease of operation, and reliability I would tend to dispute Honda being the winner . . .

And of course the Honda does better on fuel (at least per hour - see below) - it's far less powerful! Duh! For that matter, if fuel efficiency is that important, go with the EFI Ariens . . . if fuel efficiency were to be measured in terms of "per tons of snow moved" I suspect it would cream the Honda . . .
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post #3 of 15 Old 10-18-2019, 03:09 PM
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For me, the reliability of the engine is why I bought the Honda. Honda's engines are known for starting every time. I did get a battery start option and I'm not sure I needed it, but it is convenient. Think about this purchase in terms of 15-20 years. Your Honda will last that long! If I had to do it over again, I would have gotten the tracks. They make it much easier at the end of the driveway. With the wheeled versions, you have to manhandle the snowblower when you hit the hard-packed end of driveway snow. It wants to ride up the pile. The tracked machines push through that same end of driveway pile without as much user effort.

Honda HSS928AWD (upgraded chute, transmission)
Honda HS720AS (at sister's)
Honda EU2000i (generator)

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post #4 of 15 Old 10-18-2019, 03:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miles View Post
Also, the biggest Honda, the HSS1332, has a sensor that stops the machine if you hit a stick or a newspaper instead of breaking a sheer pin or getting wrapped up.
Apples-to-oranges. The OP is considering the HSS724 which uses shear pins.

As for reliability, both have considerable history of longevity. I have a Honda tiller that I bought in 1989 and it still starts on the first pull after sitting all winter. I also have a Toro snowblower that I bought in 2007 that starts on the 1st or 2nd pull. I went with a Ariens 24" Platinum for several reasons (cost was one consideration). The Honda dealer is about 5 miles away, the Ariens dealer was in another city. I have a fairly new pressure washer that has a Honda engine thats finicky. But I do prefer the Honda over a cheap Briggs. (Their Intec is junk). It uses plastic govenor parts inside the engine that are designed to fail after a specific time. (Planned obsolescence).

In honesty, the engine is not the weakness of either snowblower. It's the steel chassis, the drive and the auger drive. Given proper maintenance, any engine will last for decades.

I like the idea of having a hydrostatic drive, but its considerably more expensive and difficult to repair than the mechanical transmission of the Ariens.

The track is a real plus, but I only clear my driveway and a few neighbors and really dont need it. In personal choice, I prefer the Ariens track as it allows the back of the track to be raised off the ground so th hat it reverts to a wheeled drive and easy turns. Imo it's a better drive than locking one track to turn.

The Honda's electric start is not a plus feature for most of us as the Ariens (as well as most all snowblowers) start on the first or second pull. For someone elderly (I'm in my early seventies and consider myself approaching my elderly years, but not yet. I'm still late middle age), or of the weaker sex (heh) may appreciate just turning a key (vs attaching a cord and using the 120 volt starter). But that also brings in battery maintenance and eventual replacement costs.

It all comes down to each person's willingness to pay more for more fluff.

Both snowblowers will clear the driveway completely.

2014 Ariens 24" Platinum
2010 Yard Machines 600 Series, 24" w/179cc MTD engine
Toro CCR 3650 GTS
Troy Bilt 521OR w/Tecu HSSK50 engine

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post #5 of 15 Old 10-18-2019, 07:21 PM
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Ok potential Honda HSS724 owner, maybe if you get everyone in your family a shovel then you can get done just as fast as if you had bought the Ariens. Moving snow takes muscle and bigger power gets the job done better and faster.
Get the Ariens + $99 extended warranty giving you 5 years and enjoy your new Platinum Sho, (don't forget more $$$ you have also).

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post #6 of 15 Old 10-18-2019, 07:37 PM
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It is noteworthy that the Honda HSS724 warranty is for 3 years for both home and commercial use. The Ariens warranty is 3 years for home use, but only 90 days for commercial use ( the Ariens gear case has a 1 yr. commercial warranty). It makes sense that the Honda is better built since they are willing to warranty their snowblower for 3 years of commercial use as well.

The Honda hydrostatic drive is infinitely variable. You move a lever smoothly to speed up or slow down. This is a machine that you will use for 20 years so the extra cost per year is not that much.

Honda HSS928AWD (upgraded chute, transmission)
Honda HS720AS (at sister's)
Honda EU2000i (generator)

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post #7 of 15 Old 10-18-2019, 07:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miles View Post
It is noteworthy that the Honda HSS724 warranty is for 3 years for both home and commercial use. The Ariens warranty is 3 years for home use, but only 90 days for commercial use ( the Ariens gear case has a 1 yr. commercial warranty). It makes sense that the Honda is better built since they are willing to warranty their snowblower for 3 years of commercial use as well.

The Honda hydrostatic drive is infinitely variable. You move a lever smoothly to speed up or slow down. This is a machine that you will use for 20 years so the extra cost per year is not that much.
I asked the dealer about failure rates of the hydrostatic tranny. spoke to all 3 mechanics and the people at the counter. they could not remember the last time one failed. I have never seen one fail.

yes, there has been temp failures from the seals pushing out from too much pressure ( probably caused by keeping cap on reservoir too tight or overfilling ) and oil leaking out. Bleeding the system and refilling oil and then the tranny is back in business.

claiming 15-20 years reliability for the Honda should be 25 or more with proper use and maintenance. I have seem many old HS50-55's and 80's still going strong. 30 years and older.

did not know Honda gives the same warranty for commercial use. ... good to know....thanks.

have no experience with Ariens. That said I live in one of the snowblower capitals of the world ( Lake Tahoe Area ) and Honda's out number Ariens at least 10 to 1.

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post #8 of 15 Old 10-18-2019, 08:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miles View Post
The Honda hydrostatic drive is infinitely variable. You move a lever smoothly to speed up or slow down.
On my Simplicity Broadmore I have an infinite number of height settings. On an old tractor I had specific settings. The od AMC worked perfectly ad I I y cut grass at 1/4" degrees and dont really need an infinite number of settings. Same with the forward speed of snow blowing. General setti gs are sufficient.
Quote:
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This is a machine that you will use for 20 years so the extra cost per year is not that much.
In just a personal note, it's not the 20 years cost that its important. It's the immediate layout that I would have to justify. An extra grand is a lot of money. Either machine will easily last 20 years.

2014 Ariens 24" Platinum
2010 Yard Machines 600 Series, 24" w/179cc MTD engine
Toro CCR 3650 GTS
Troy Bilt 521OR w/Tecu HSSK50 engine
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post #9 of 15 Old 10-18-2019, 08:25 PM
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198cc Honda for 2300 is foolish
the 28 who for 1300 will run circles around it the 24 sho 1800 could tow it and run circles around it
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post #10 of 15 Old 10-18-2019, 08:26 PM
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Around here Honda 2 stage's have gone the way of the Honda lawn tractor's and the Honda wide area mower's, they are just about extinct.
Not sure why, maybe you Honda guys can tell me, because I like Honda stuff also.

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