MTD, Craftsman, Troy-Bilt or Yardworks - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 40 Old 11-12-2014, 10:14 PM Thread Starter
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MTD, Craftsman, Troy-Bilt or Yardworks

Hello Everyone,

After two years of using a 15 year old, second hand, 33" Craftsman, which started like a charm on the first pull every time, no matter the weather....and required me to repair other parts every time I used it (took the augur housing off a dozen times last winter), I finally gave it away when the wheels fell off....and I'm in the market for a new one.

I'm looking at four snowblowers:
MTD Pro 31AH65FH795 357cc 30"
Craftsman 88396 30" 357cc
Yardworks 357cc 30"
Troy-Bilt 30" 420cc "3 stage"

My driveway is gravel, and is extremely steep - it was always a fair bit of work getting the craftsman up and down it.

Any advice you have would be appreciated.
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post #2 of 40 Old 11-12-2014, 10:23 PM
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Is there a reason you are not considering Ariens, Toro, Simplicity?
Most would suggest a track machine for steep driveways. It is a bit slower but it plows through.

Good Luck and welcome to the forum

Snow Removal Apparatus I own:
Ariens ST1530DLE, and good ole arm powered scrapper.
The 15 HP is a new Ducar engine sold
by Princess Auto in Canada.
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post #3 of 40 Old 11-12-2014, 10:29 PM Thread Starter
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I can't get them locally at all. I'm in Northern Ontario - I can get MTD and Craftsman by crossing the border into the US - International Falls, and Troy-Bilt and Yardworks locally. I can also get Husquvarna locally, but the prices are much higher.

The MTD regular priced is $900, and the Craftsman is often on sale around $1200. Canadian prices are higher.
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post #4 of 40 Old 11-12-2014, 10:30 PM
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Welcome to the forum pc.
Personally I wouldn't consider any of those. Follow Normex's advice and look for one of those brands.
If I had no other options I'd probably go with the MTD pro

Joe

Sent from my junky old Hisense 7" tablet that I can barely see.
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post #5 of 40 Old 11-12-2014, 10:33 PM Thread Starter
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What is the advantage of Ariens, Toro or Simplicity? Looking at Consumer Reports - all those brands plus the ones I listed, have reccomended snowblowers.
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post #6 of 40 Old 11-12-2014, 10:57 PM
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You have to keep in mind the Consumer Reports don't test them rather more on functionality which all snow blowers have.
All the machines you listed are made by MTD and they are considered less quality than the ones I suggested but many members here own some MTD brand and they are happy. If the ones you listed fit your budget then go for it.
Just our opinion and Good Luck

Snow Removal Apparatus I own:
Ariens ST1530DLE, and good ole arm powered scrapper.
The 15 HP is a new Ducar engine sold
by Princess Auto in Canada.
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post #7 of 40 Old 11-13-2014, 04:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pckeen View Post
I can't get them locally at all. I'm in Northern Ontario - I can get MTD and Craftsman by crossing the border into the US - International Falls, and Troy-Bilt and Yardworks locally. I can also get Husquvarna locally, but the prices are much higher.

The MTD regular priced is $900, and the Craftsman is often on sale around $1200. Canadian prices are higher.
Take a look at the Husqvarna's. I would start with ST324P. It is heavy duty and still uses levers to control speed and traction. The new adjustable handle
models have gone to cable control so they could make the handle adjustable.
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post #8 of 40 Old 11-14-2014, 08:51 PM Thread Starter
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We can get these locally. They are more expensive than the other brands I have been looking at (about 30% more expensive). The model that fits both my needs and budget (at the very upper end of my budget) is the ST 230 (291 cc, 30", $1500). The ST 330 would be great, but at $2200, it's beyond what I want to pay. These are all Canadian prices.

My main concern with the ST 230 is that at 291cc, the engine is smaller than the 357cc engines on the other models. Should I be concerned about the smaller HP?

There's another model I'll post on elsewhere...
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post #9 of 40 Old 11-14-2014, 09:14 PM
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Hi Keen,
you managed to pick the names most people would not recommend!
for new machines anyway..
If you are spending in the $1000 or higher range there is absolutely no reason to *not* get a Toro, Ariens, or Simplicity..

A $1,000 MTD is a far inferior machine to a $1,000 Ariens.
Consumer reports is useless..they only rate machines on how they perform when they are *brand new*..overall build quality and reailibity is not part of the equation.

I posted this in your other post, but I will put it here as well, for reference:

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 at all good..never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never buy one of these:

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

Scot


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post #10 of 40 Old 11-14-2014, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the feedback. I hadn't even considered Brute - I've seen these machines cheaply at Wal Mart and Menards, and assumed they were a cheap Chinese knock off.

From the repeat comments, I've expanded my search to cover Briggs & Stratton, Toro, Ariens (though I see lots of bad reviews for the newer models) and Simplicity.

What's the story with engine size differences. Is this a good basis for judging the machine/ Eg. 357cc 30" MTD Pro vs. 291 cc Husqvarna vs. 305cc Briggs and Stratton.

Last edited by pckeen; 11-14-2014 at 09:29 PM.
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