Brand quality - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 37 Old 10-20-2014, 11:02 AM Thread Starter
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Brand quality

Really, how bad or good are the different brands for brand new machines ? Maybe by design, there are better ones, but nowadays most 2-stage blowers are nearly identical. If any company made at truly inferior product, they certainly would not be making them now. Other than some innovations that have failed, most machines should last 10 years in the hands of home owners.

I'll be upgrading from my old Gilson. It looks like the impeller shaft bearing needs to be replaced. There is clunking coming from the gears when I move the blower in neutral.
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post #2 of 37 Old 10-20-2014, 12:15 PM
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yes, most are "good"..but some are just "good" while others are actually "better than good"..Its like with cars..Its just a fact that a new Honda is a much more reliable and higher-quality machine than a new Chrysler or Kia..with cars, snowblowers, and many other things, they all "look the same" at a casual glance, but there are genuine differences in quality once you dig deeper. Personally I would put snowblower brands into three tiers:

Best, highest quality, can last 40 years easily:

Ariens
Toro
Honda
Briggs brands: (Briggs & Stratton, Simplicity, Snapper, Brute)

I would only choose from the above four manufacturers, if buying new.
Although Toro moved their 2-stage production to Mexico, so I personally would no longer buy a new Toro for that reason alone..although the actual impact on quality is unknown.

"Good", probably fine, for 5 to 10 years, but not as good, and wont last as long as the above names:

Any MTD (Cub Cadet, Troy-Bilt, Yard Machines, and some others.)
Any Craftsman.
Husquvarna and Poulan.

Never ever buy..ever.. all the 100% Chinese brand names, these names have documented cases of very poor quality..some of them have been discussed by people in this forum, who bought one before understanding what they were buying..the reviews are not good:

Echelon
Huskee
Mansfield
Powerland
powRcraft
Snow Beast
Snow Joe
Stanley
World Lawn


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Last edited by sscotsman; 10-20-2014 at 12:18 PM.
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post #3 of 37 Old 10-20-2014, 12:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kueh View Post
If any company made at truly inferior product, they certainly would not be making them now.
The sad thing is, there are truly inferior products being made, and sold, all the time..in the case of snowblowers, its those 100% made in China machines..so why do they sell? because people *dont know* they are truly inferior before they buy them! and many people want things as cheap as possible..So there are manufacturers who are perfectly willing to oblige..if the snowblower dies after one or two uses, usually the buyer can get a refund..but if it dies after one or two years, they are usually out of luck..they then go out, older and wiser, and buy an Ariens, Toro or Briggs machine..meanwhile, the Chinese manufacturer already got their money, and they continue to claim more victims..

It is actually true that some new snowblowers will last a year or two..maybe 5 at the most if you are really lucky..while there are a ton of 30, 40 and 50 year old Ariens machines still going strong. I think that by law, as long the machine *actually works*, even for a short time, its perfectly legal..they only have to be *just* good enough to move snow once or twice..maybe a year tops, and thats "good enough" for a low-end Walmart snowblower..if it dies 2 years later because it really is THAT bad in quality, the answer from the govt and the cheap manufacturers is: "oh well..too bad..you got what you paid for, you should have researched things better if you wanted something better.."..

I think the problem is that Americans haven't quite figured out that this kind of thing is happening yet! We are still used to the many past decades of *actual* good quality products being made..and *only* good quality products being made..especially when it comes to items that cost several hundreds of dollars..We haven't yet quite grasped the concept that when we demand, as a society, everything to be ultra-cheap..we are getting it..with the ultra-cheap quality to match..In the 1960's and 70's you couldn't BUY a snowblower with the low quality you can find today! they didn't exist..even the least expensive machine was still "good quality"..that is no longer the case today.

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Last edited by sscotsman; 10-20-2014 at 12:40 PM.
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post #4 of 37 Old 10-20-2014, 03:45 PM
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I agree with the basic premise the most snow blowers currently produced are "serviceable" under normal snowfall conditions. However, I believe there are three components that separates the "average" snow blowers from the "elite" snow blowers: 1) Performance 2) Price and 3) Reliability/Longevity. Yeah, most "middle-of-the-road/"average" snow blowers on the market do a pretty fair job moving the light dry snow without too much trouble. However when the snow starts getting wet/heavy, temperatures start dropping, and the wind starts howling, that's when we separate the tools from the toys. There's no question the premium brands cost more, but when conditions are at their worst, these high end machines have a well established track record for reliability and performance. I'm not saying the average middle-of-the-road machines can't perform under these same conditions, however you might find that it takes more time and physical effort to start and complete the job. My suggestion would be to consider the premium brands (Honda, Toro, Ariens, etc.) and buy a unit that best suits your needs. If you decide to go with the "middle-of-the-road" brands, I suggest going with a unit with the most available power. Nothing worse than having an underpowered snow blower in the middle of a severe winter.

2009 Honda HS928WAS
2005 Honda HS520AS
1996 Honda HS621AS
2012 Toro 1800 Power-Curve
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post #5 of 37 Old 10-20-2014, 03:57 PM
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I would rather fix the Gilson that buy something off of scotts " good " or " never buy " list

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..............
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post #6 of 37 Old 10-20-2014, 04:12 PM
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I Rather have it made in MEXICO, then china.

Long LIVE THE POWERSHIFT!! MAY IT NEVER RUST IN PEACE!!
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MAHALO!!!!!!!!!
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post #7 of 37 Old 10-20-2014, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sscotsman View Post
I think the problem is that Americans haven't quite figured out that this kind of thing is happening yet! We are still used to the many past decades of *actual* good quality products being made.
Scot
Just give it a few more decades and nobody will even remember what quality is. Everybody is going to be stuck re purchasing the same junk over and over. And every new purchase will probably be automatically monitored, categorized, and logged by google.
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post #8 of 37 Old 10-20-2014, 05:47 PM
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Quote:
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Just give it a few more decades and nobody will even remember what quality is. Everybody is going to be stuck re purchasing the same junk over and over. And every new purchase will probably be automatically monitored, categorized, and logged by google.
They have been saying that for years. Yet, most daily use electronics that service us well day to day are made in China (much lauded Apple quality for instance)

Where you make it has little to do with the quality, it's how much quality you are willing to put into it when you make it.

I'm from Canada, so buying from the states or Mexico or China is all foreign to me
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post #9 of 37 Old 10-20-2014, 10:57 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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They have been saying that for years. Yet, most daily use electronics that service us well day to day are made in China (much lauded Apple quality for instance)

....
These are the same things that were said about Japanese product, just a few decades ago. Many Japanese products are made in China now.
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post #10 of 37 Old 10-20-2014, 11:07 PM
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15-20 years, or so, ago we were saying that about Korean made goods.
20-25 Taiwanese.

It's just a matter of time before they step up. And there will be equivalent brands to Toyota, LG, and the like.

Garage:
MTD....2 stage(modern 8.5 HP) not my favorite
Honda HS622 TA-B - acquired at an auction- nice machine for it's size.
Toro S-140- Picked it up on trash day... it runs, sort of.
Yamaha YS 240 TB "Ricky" latest Craigslist find- on the bench now.
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