MN Man buying first snowblower and I need advice - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 14 Old 10-05-2014, 12:06 AM Thread Starter
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MN Man buying first snowblower and I need advice

I live just south of Minneapolis, MN and I'm going to buy either a new, or new to me, snow blower this year and I would like some advice.

I do want it to be two stage. I do want electric start. I do want a Briggs & Stratton engine. Any suggestions within these parameters?

I am also curious as to how you store your snow blower between uses in the winter. Do you park it on a rubber pad, or with the back of the snow blower higher than the front so the snow will melt running forward, etc. I one that I have now has started to rust on the bottom and I would like to avoid that with my next one. Thank you very much for your help.
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post #2 of 14 Old 10-05-2014, 12:21 AM
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What is your budget, and how large is the area needed to be cleared?

Snowblowers I own.
Honda HS928
Honda HS621
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post #3 of 14 Old 10-05-2014, 08:49 AM
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I agree that a little more detail on the job would be helpful. But you are in Minnesota so we know you get real snow and you put a stake in the ground for 2 stage and B&S. Knowing that much we can say that we're talking about a real machine making the choices Toro, Ariens, Simplicity or Honda if you like features and spending money.

My first criteria is that you buy from the top line of any manufacturer, usually called Pro or Commercial. You can buy the smallest machine in that line as long as it is 8HP or more. If you have a bigger driveway or budget you can look at wider higher HP machines but in any case buy from the top shelf.

Simplicity and Toro meet your must haves. Ariens may too but their site was acting up and I couldn't verify B&S. They may have gone all clone if I recall some reports from last year.

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post #4 of 14 Old 10-05-2014, 10:03 AM
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I don't know if you're aware but all Briggs and Stratton engines are made in China now. If you are that's fine, just didn't know if you specifically wanted one thinking it was USA.

I had to go with Honda to find the build quality in a new machine I was looking for but Toro, Simplicity, and Ariens were all neck and neck in second place for me each manufacturer with a different pro/con.

I gotta agree with Spectrum to go for the top line of any manufacturer you do choose...It's exactly what I would of done. If I bought one of the usual 3.

Good luck on your search!

2014 Honda 928WAS

Erie, PA
-Avg yearly snowfall 100.8" (256cm)
-2013-14 Snowiest major city in the USA with 138.4" (351.5cm)
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post #5 of 14 Old 10-05-2014, 10:04 AM
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hello camaron, welcome to SBF!! you say your two stage isstarting to rust on the bucket, what brand and how big is it

current machines
1-toro2450E-38419. 1-toro3000E-38435. 1-toro 3650E-38445
2-toro 521E-38052. 1-toro xl824pt 38086
1-.............,TORO XL 624ps..............
1-............, TORO XL 824ps..............
william
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post #6 of 14 Old 10-05-2014, 02:36 PM
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These kind folk have already touched upon the brand of snowblower, cant really say too much more without knowing the budget, sizes of driveway, preference, etc...

As for what I do about storage, after I use the blower I always clean it off best I can. If it's the wet and heavy snow the I use a broom to wipe it off, if it's the light powdery snow then I start up my backpack blower and blow all the snow off with much ease. I use my garage as storage, which is also my workshop area, so I have the fortune of using a propane heater. I tend to spend a great deal of time out there, so I keep the temperature quite comfortable to be in...any residual snow on the blower melts off, but then I move it so it's not sitting in the puddle of water.
The best thing I can recommend is to clean off the augers, impeller, and and any linkages so they don't freeze and then possibly break next time you go to use it.

1972 Ariens 13/32 restored & repowered
1971 Ariens 7/24 (retired)
2011 Ariens Deluxe 24
1980 Ariens st7/24 (retired)
1985 Ariens st10/36
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post #7 of 14 Old 10-05-2014, 06:18 PM
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look for a old TORO 2 stage. they have the BRIGGS motors on them. you can PM me with questions. ALOHA to the forms..: cool:

Long LIVE THE POWERSHIFT!! MAY IT NEVER RUST IN PEACE!!
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MAHALO!!!!!!!!!
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post #8 of 14 Old 10-06-2014, 02:53 AM Thread Starter
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My driveway is approximately 30x60 feet. I would like to spend under $500, but that amount is flexible depending on the machine. What I have now is an old school 1970 Gilson (I forget the model) but after fighting with it for two seasons I want something new. It's hard to start, hard to steer and its lacking the power to really throw the snow. I could bring it in to a shop and have it repaired, but I would rather use that amount of money for a new machine. The reason why I said a Briggs and Stratton engine is because of the ease of getting parts and they seem to be a durable engine. Mostly I want to get as much quality for the money as I can, but I'm not very mechanical so I'd rather not get a fix-er-upper.
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post #9 of 14 Old 10-06-2014, 08:47 AM
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If you go new, you can get a Toro PowerMax 24" with a Briggs from Home Depot for around $800. Look to be well designed, features-wise.

-= 2014 Ariens 921036 ++ Made in USA ++ =-

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post #10 of 14 Old 10-06-2014, 11:17 AM
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If you decide to part with the Gilson, let me know. I may be interested.

I think you will have to spend $800 or more for a good quality new machine. You should be able to get a used one for $500 or less. There are usually some on Craigslist. There are a few shops in the metro that sell used ones too.
You could get a new Briggs engine for that Gilson too. But that wouldn't fix the steering.
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