Toro or Ariens 2-stage -- Which one? - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 15 Old 12-03-2019, 02:47 AM Thread Starter
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Toro or Ariens 2-stage -- Which one?

Hi, another forum newbie here. Actually, I've been lurking for the past year and a half as I attempted to revive a 1987 Toro 826 Model 38150 that I got from a friend who was moving to Arkansas. It did get me through a couple of light storms last year, but the impeller would jam at the slightest hint of wet snow. I replaced a leaking fuel line and changed and tightened the belts at the end of the season. It seemed to run OK, so I was hopeful that it would serve me better this year. But alas, between a mouse nesting against the flywheel leading to a very hard first start (I found his legs and tail afterward) and a rusty gas tank, constantly clogging the fuel line with bits of metal, I'm ready to throw in the towel. I've got too many other projects to spend another weekend fighting this one, especially with parts getting hard to find. So, what should I replace it with?


I have a 40-ft single-car-width asphalt driveway, that widens to 2 car widths for the last 15 feet before the garage. The entire length is on a moderate slope. We get a fair amount of snow. Typical storms drop just 2-6", though we get an occasional whopper, like the 18 inches that fell in the latest storm. So, I do need the capability to clear the 2-3 feet of combing at the end of the driveway left by the town snow plows.



Clearly, a 2-stage Snowblower is a must, but which one? I'm leaning towards another Toro, but I could be convinced to go with an Ariens if that would be a better fit. I have a hard limit of $1500, but I'd rather keep it below $1200 if possible. The latest Toro 826 (Powermax 826 OAE 37799) seems to be a pretty good match to my needs, but the Toro website indicates it is out of stock. The Toro Powermax 824 OE would probably get me by and is well within the budget, but would I be better off stretching to the Powermax HD 928 OAE (38840) instead? I don't think I really need the extra 4-inch clearing width, worst-case I'd need 1 more pass and maybe an extra 5 minutes or so with the smaller one. It doesn't seem like the extra 1.5-inch intake height would matter a lot either, especially for the most common 3-6" storms. However, I notice the beefier system does boast all-steel construction, has a larger and stronger auger, and a better engine. If these features add a few more seasons to the snowblower's life, maybe that justifies the extra cost? I doubt my 32 year-old Toro 826 would have made it so long with plastic parts. What do people think?
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post #2 of 15 Old 12-29-2019, 09:53 AM
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Make sure the windows are up before the snow plow goes by !!

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post #3 of 15 Old 12-29-2019, 10:10 AM
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I have a similar size drive in a much heavier snow area, and a 24" has always been fine for me. The 24" will typically have a better power to width ratio, which is what you need for the heavier stuff, but will cost you less, be easier to maneuver, etc. Can't say I have looked at Toro much recently, but the entire Ariens line is metal, and it's just a matter of engine size, frills, and cost of each model. For the 'once in a long while' storm, even a more lightly powered blower will do the job - it just might require more time to handle the plow pile.

I'm in an area that has seen close to 400" some years, and a 24" with a 7HP Tec was always enough when we were here full time. Now that I am away a decent part of the winter, I"ve still running a 24, but with closer to 11 or 12 HP, since a months accummulation can get pretty ugly . . .

Having said that, I think the Ariens Deluxe 24 would meet your needs well.
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post #4 of 15 Old 12-29-2019, 12:09 PM
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Both Ariens and Toro make good machines at the $1200- $1500 price range. Personally, I think $1500- 2000 is the sweet spot for the best mix of power and features. For example, Ariens' Platinum 24 SHO is well regarded at an MSRP of $1599. My son owns this model and has been very satisfied. I've been pleased with my Ariens Deluxe 28 SHO (MSRP of $1349). My son has less driveway to clear but gets much more snow than I do.

Avoid the big box stores and visit your local dealers. I'd be inclined to put more weight on the professionalism and customer service at your local dealer over a desktop evaluation of Toro and Ariens brands. Not all dealers are great so be prepared to do some comparison shopping. Has any dealer recommended a specific model based on your requirements?
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post #5 of 15 Old 12-29-2019, 02:57 PM
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he is in Ballston Lake, by Saratoga Springs in upstate ny, closer to Schenectady and Albany than nyc.in a area where they do get lake effect snows off Lake Ontario

OP welcome to the site,good luck buy the biggest you can and adjust how you use slow down let the machine do the work , and don't go by the toro site as many dealers still have big machines in stock that's not listed by toro's main site that shows factory stock they can ship to one to assemble and deliver
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post #6 of 15 Old 12-29-2019, 03:15 PM
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Welcome to the SBF from Gettysburg, Penna.
Can't go wrong with a Ariens 24/28 Platinum...Proven and true....Good luck!!

Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier!!
2019 Ariens Compact 24...
2013 Craftsman 22" 179cc better than shoveling
XM -1000, galvanized steel Shovel with gator grip tape....
Big Bad Kubota as a backup by neighbor.....
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post #7 of 15 Old 12-29-2019, 08:12 PM
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I think anything but the lowest model Ariens is hard to beat. I recently recommended a Deluxe 24 to friends who live in the Colorado Rockies. I sent them to the local dealer that services and sells because they are snowblower newbies. The Ariens come with good power to size ratio, double pulley belt drives, all steel construction and cast iron auger gearboxes. I am sure the Toro's are fine and probably have their own special features but an nice 24(Deluxe, SHO, Platinum) Ariens would be my pick.

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post #8 of 15 Old 12-29-2019, 10:31 PM
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Man, 1500-2k for a snowblower? Might be worth it to just put a plastic gas tank on your blower and an impeller kit. If I had to pick a new one (and I don't think I ever would unless money was no object), I would go with an Ariens. There are so many good used ones in the 350-500 range though, it would be very hard for me to recommend something new. I like a 24" with the larger engines, that's the sweet spot between maneuverability and power. The Deluxe 24 is a really nice machine, if you're into really nice and expensive new machines lol
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post #9 of 15 Old 12-29-2019, 11:37 PM
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if i were you i would fix what you have. an impeller kit will take care of your clogging issues and you can easily retrofit a tecumseh plastic gas tank to fit. sorry if this is not the advice you are looking for
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post #10 of 15 Old 12-30-2019, 06:44 AM
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anyone else note the OP hasn't returned posted since 12/04? when he posted he purchased a toro Powermax 824 OE (37798) from his words sounds like from a box store as it was boxed .
https://www.snowblowerforum.com/foru...-new-york.html
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