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post #1 of 37 Old 01-15-2020, 10:52 AM Thread Starter
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First Snow Blower and Learning Opportunity

Hello All,

Stumbled across this wonderful forum and library of information when looking for my first snow blower.

I was hoping to get some feedback/recommendations on a few different things so here we go.

I am located in the Twin Cities area (Minnesota) and snow fall really varies week to week and year to year. I figured I'd do it "right" and get a bigger/nicer 2-stage but now I'm questioning whether I need it or not. I have a paved 1.5 Car Wide x 2 Car Long driveway and a 1 Car Wide x 1 Car Long gravel driveway in the back. So not a huge area.

I also was just planning to run to HomeDepot/Lowes and buying new but after researching, reading some posts here, and being a tinkerer I've kind of switched to buying something used as you can usually get more bang for your buck. I also hope to learn about small engines, how to make the simple fix here and there, and how to maintain a machine so it lasts for many years.

Was hoping to spend no more than $400 but am definitely flexible.

So to recap:

- Do I need a single stage or 2-stage for Minnesota Winters for a small to average size residential area?
- Am I correct in buying used usually gives you a little more bang for you buck as long as you don't mind doing some work on it?
- Are there specific engines/snow blowers that are easier to work on or repair than others? Would like a good basic engine that will teach me the basics.

I see Toro and Ariens around here the most so posting some examples that are available in my area:

- Toro PowerThrower 622 - $310 (https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/h...056415230.html)
- Toro Power Max 824 - $600 (https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/w...056414045.html)
- Ariens ST504 - $250 (https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/d...054852099.html)
- Toro 721 QZE - $550 (https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/d...049851565.html)
- Power Max726 - $425 (https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/d...056283767.html)
- Craftsman 6hp 24inch - $350 (https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/d...049708410.html)
- Ariens ST624 - $400 (https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/a...055941197.html)
- Toro Power Thrower 824XL - $350 (https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/h...055939735.html)
- Ariens ST724 - $400 (https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/w...048791552.html)
-Ariens Classic 24 - $495 (https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/d...053888511.html)

Can continue posting links but not sure if I'm on the right track or not so will wait for a few replies asking for more info or what I missed.

Thank you in advance!
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post #2 of 37 Old 01-15-2020, 12:41 PM
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to SBF DanOpi

I grew up in Minnesota and now I'm in Wisconsin. I've used a SS for a winter or two in town on pavement and it's not a problem except for the very infrequent heavy snow and the EOD pile is always a challenge with a SS. IMHO a SS on gravel just isn't doable. It'll tear up the machine and also toss rocks like crazy. With a 2 stage you can adjust the scraper and skids to shim the top.

I vote for a good two stage. Donyboy73 on youtube has some very good, detailed repair and maintenance videos.
I like the Toro powermax 726. It's not a 900 cc engine. It's a nine foot pounds engine (9.00) The Ariens ST624 would be in the running too.


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post #3 of 37 Old 01-15-2020, 12:51 PM
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Breaking out the welcome mat for your first post...Hearty welcome to the SBF from Gettysburg!

Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier!!
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post #4 of 37 Old 01-15-2020, 01:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanOpi View Post
Hello All,

Stumbled across this wonderful forum and library of information when looking for my first snow blower.

I was hoping to get some feedback/recommendations on a few different things so here we go.

I am located in the Twin Cities area (Minnesota) and snow fall really varies week to week and year to year. I figured I'd do it "right" and get a bigger/nicer 2-stage but now I'm questioning whether I need it or not. I have a paved 1.5 Car Wide x 2 Car Long driveway and a 1 Car Wide x 1 Car Long gravel driveway in the back. So not a huge area.

I also was just planning to run to HomeDepot/Lowes and buying new but after researching, reading some posts here, and being a tinkerer I've kind of switched to buying something used as you can usually get more bang for your buck. I also hope to learn about small engines, how to make the simple fix here and there, and how to maintain a machine so it lasts for many years.

Was hoping to spend no more than $400 but am definitely flexible.

So to recap:

- Do I need a single stage or 2-stage for Minnesota Winters for a small to average size residential area?
- Am I correct in buying used usually gives you a little more bang for you buck as long as you don't mind doing some work on it?
- Are there specific engines/snow blowers that are easier to work on or repair than others? Would like a good basic engine that will teach me the basics.

I see Toro and Ariens around here the most so posting some examples that are available in my area:

- Toro PowerThrower 622 - $310 (https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/h...056415230.html)
- Toro Power Max 824 - $600 (https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/w...056414045.html)
- Ariens ST504 - $250 (https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/d...054852099.html)
- Toro 721 QZE - $550 (https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/d...049851565.html)
- Power Max726 - $425 (https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/d...056283767.html)
- Craftsman 6hp 24inch - $350 (https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/d...049708410.html)
- Ariens ST624 - $400 (https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/a...055941197.html)
- Toro Power Thrower 824XL - $350 (https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/h...055939735.html)
- Ariens ST724 - $400 (https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/w...048791552.html)
-Ariens Classic 24 - $495 (https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/d...053888511.html)

Can continue posting links but not sure if I'm on the right track or not so will wait for a few replies asking for more info or what I missed.

Thank you in advance!



None of the above


the best blower on the list is the 824 xl toro
the ariens classic would be better if it had the same size motor



i woudnt buy any of them
buy 1 time buy a lil more power and never look back


https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/h...056185401.html


thats a pro series good gear box fullsize bucket and rakes ohv 16 ft lbs motor not even a bad price compared to your other listings
for 500 thats a great used blower
that ohv 318cc is the same motor as 11.5 hp its really a 10 hp motor legit so in this case 1 of the very few you are getting a better motor then what the sticker says its more then 9hp the 11.5 hp sticker folks got farked its still a 10 hp engine legit

Last edited by 1132le; 01-15-2020 at 01:26 PM.
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post #5 of 37 Old 01-15-2020, 01:23 PM
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Your area can be done by a single stage area wise.

It would be swamped by 6 inches of snow or 4 inches of wet.
Its a personal decision if you want to shovel the occasional deeper stuff. No idea what max is in Minneapolis or how often.

I would be inclined to the Toro 824 if it is in good condition. It would handle anything easily and you don't need a wide machine.

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post #6 of 37 Old 01-15-2020, 02:21 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the welcome!


So the list so far is as follows:


- Toro Power Max726 - $425 (https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/d...056283767.html)
- Toro Power Thrower 824XL - $350 (https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/h...055939735.html)
- Ariens ST926DLE - $650 (https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/h...056185401.html)


I understand 1132le's argument on spending a bit more but in this case I could grab the 824XL for $350 and it was just serviced at Ace (~$130) so should be ready to run and won't need to do put any immediate work into it. Would save me $300 over the ST926DLE.


Are any of these snow blowers easier to work/learn on then the others?


Thoughts? Thanks again!
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post #7 of 37 Old 01-15-2020, 03:12 PM
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I would vote for a nice clean used Ariens 824...model number 924050 or 924082.....not to big not to small, and very easy to maintain....in NE is see them for $150 that are a little rough to $450 pristine...congrats on 1st post!
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post #8 of 37 Old 01-15-2020, 03:29 PM
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Until you get into something with a hydrostatic transmission they should all pretty much be equally easy/difficult depending on what you need to do.
If you're mechanically inclined almost everything is pretty easy as there just isn't a lot mechanically to them. On some replacing the friction disc is just a matter of removing three bolts and on others you have to remove the outer bearings to get the shaft out so you can then get the friction disc off. More difficult, yes, but not brain surgery.

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post #9 of 37 Old 01-15-2020, 03:38 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cranman View Post
I would vote for a nice clean used Ariens 824...model number 924050 or 924082.....not to big not to small, and very easy to maintain....in NE is see them for $150 that are a little rough to $450 pristine...congrats on 1st post!
Found two near me:

- https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/r...055471131.html - $375
- https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/c...045664713.html - $425

From the sounds of it, I don't need to spend more than $400 to get a nice competent, not premium, blower. I'd prefer something cheaper anyway so I think it's now in-between the Ariens 824 and the Toro Power Thrower 824XL.

Will see if any others have opinions but otherwise it sounds like everyone will have differing opinions which makes my decision that much harder
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post #10 of 37 Old 01-15-2020, 04:46 PM
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I will also agree that none of those choices listed on post #1 are particularly attractive.

How about one that's slightly older but looks to be in great shape?

https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/h...054045581.html

8hp, great chrome on the handlebars, and appears to have original paint with only minor paint loss.
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