Snowblower (28"+ w/ electric chute control) purchase advice - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 20 Old 09-30-2016, 07:12 AM Thread Starter
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Question Snowblower (28"+ w/ electric chute control) purchase advice

I've moved to a small town about 1 1/2 hours north of Toronto, Canada, where I am expecting pretty rough winters due to lake effect snow. I have a paved driveway that is around 88'x25' in size on a flat surface and I would like to get a snowblower that is at least 28" wide (hoping for 30") for around $1500-2000 Canadian. The features that I would really like is a 'jotstick' or 'electric' type chute and I'm thinking heated handles might be a nice bonus. 3-stage would also be nice since I hear they throw snow a lot farther and handle slush well. I plan on making my kids a huge snow hill on our front lawn so shooting the snow 50' to the center of the lawn would be great. I have read about different types of chute control such as "Electric chute control and deflector control" and "4-way electric joystick chute control" and while they sound great I wonder if they are really as good as they say. I have used small 24" toro (1970's models) for 3+ years and later a MTD make 2001 28" snow blower with manual chute controls (didn't even have a remote height adjustment for the chute). The MTD was always a huge problem and broke down regularly, so not too crazy about going with a MTD again... that said... one of the models I am looking at is a Troy-bilt (which I believe is made by MTD!), the other is a Briggs and Stratton. I can't say that I have ever seen a Briggs & Stratton snow blower in use up here in Canada so perhaps they are not as common so I really haven't been able to gather much info on them... so looking for comments.

The two that are on sale this week that I am eyeing are as follows:
- Troy-Bilt Vortex 30-in 420cc 3-Stage Snowblower (from canadiantire.ca - sorry it won't let me post links yet...)
- Briggs & Stratton 305cc 29-in Two-Stage Gas Snow Blower (from Lowes Canada, lowes.ca - part # 1696563)

I have also been eyeing an Ariens from Home Depot Canada, it is smaller than I'd like and smaller CC'd engine too, and doesn't have electric chute control, but I keep reading good things about Ariens so I thought I'd mention it... I can't seem to see any of the 30" Ariens on sale at Home Depot Canada (or other Canada locations) for a decent price I think the 30" models have heated grips... but not electric chute control from what I mention (do any Ariens have electric chute control? Or do they not because it is basically not reliable???).

Here is the Ariens at our local Home Depot Canada:
- Ariens 120V Deluxe Sno-Thro Electric Start Gas Snow Blower with 28-inch Clearing Width (Home Depot Canada - homedepot.ca - Model # 92103000)

Any advice would be GREATLY appreciated

Last edited by trafsta; 09-30-2016 at 12:48 PM.
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post #2 of 20 Old 09-30-2016, 12:23 PM
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Most folks don't have anything good to say about electric chute control. Seems to be a major source of trouble.
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post #3 of 20 Old 09-30-2016, 12:36 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by GoBlowSnow View Post
Most folks don't have anything good to say about electric chute control. Seems to be a major source of trouble.
Yeah I'm guessing that'll be the general concensus. I see you have an Ariens 28 "SHO", not sure what the "SHO" is exactly, but as far as the Ariens 28 goes, the one at our local Home Depot is the non-SHO model... perhaps I'd be best to go with that? Seems to say on their spec sheet on the Ariens site that it can shoot 50', but I had read elsewhere on a review site that the lower CC engine in this model doesn't seem to throw snow all that far.

Found a video on "2014 Ariens Deluxe 28 Snow Blower 921030 with Auto-Turn Review - MovingSnow.com" on Google that I'll watch a bit later... I think this is the one that is at Home Depot...

I had a 28" wide blower before for a MUCH smaller driveway.... was thinking a 30"+ might be a better bet for this MUCH larger driveway. Maybe I'm crazy...

How's the "Auto-turn steering" on your Ariens? Read a few complaints about it... something about it being hard to drive it in a straight line. I've never used a "power turning" snow blower before so I am not too sure what to expect.

EDIT: Read on the youtube video comments that the SHO model is the newer model and has "the larger 306 cc engine and the high capacity impeller." than the non-SHO 28". Hmmm, that sounds good... shame they don't seem to sell it here at Home Depot in Canada

Last edited by trafsta; 09-30-2016 at 12:39 PM. Reason: Read about "SHO" model
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post #4 of 20 Old 09-30-2016, 01:14 PM
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Smile Welcome Aboard!

You might want to find an Ariens or Toro dealer locally that sells the full line of machines that the big box stores don't sell. All of the manual remote controls on Ariens and Toro snowblowers are very easy to use. Plus the dealers are much more knowledgeable than a big box store employee.

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post #5 of 20 Old 09-30-2016, 01:23 PM Thread Starter
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You might want to find an Ariens or Toro dealer locally that sells the full line of machines that the big box stores don't sell. All of the manual remote controls on Ariens and Toro snowblowers are very easy to use. Plus the dealers are much more knowledgeable than a big box store employee.

Cool thanks I just did a dealer search and was surprised to find around a dozen places in my region lol... I had no idea!

I only worry about pricing being much higher from the dealer than the big box stores.

If the SHO model is worth it I may try... guess I'll get some pricing from a few places for 28, 28 SHO, and perhaps the 30 and 30 EFI also.
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post #6 of 20 Old 09-30-2016, 01:30 PM Thread Starter
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I should ask if you guys think these 2-stage Ariens do a decent enough job of cutting through icy/shushy snow vs a 3-stage blower from competitors? And can they really throw snow just as well? Ariens spec sheet seems to say they can do a 50 or even 55ft (SHO) distance... from what I remember reading about other 3-stage blowers they had around that same distance as well.
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post #7 of 20 Old 09-30-2016, 01:38 PM
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Welcome to the forum.
IMHO I think an Ariens SHO would perform better than a 3 stage blower Troybilt or B&S, and it will be a much better made, reliable and durable blower.
I think you"ll be happy with one. But I'll let Ariens SHO owners speak for their own experiences....
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post #8 of 20 Old 09-30-2016, 01:47 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by hsblowersfan View Post
Welcome to the forum.
IMHO I think an Ariens SHO would perform better than a 3 stage blower Troybilt or B&S, and it will be a much better made, reliable and durable blower.
I think you"ll be happy with one. But I'll let Ariens SHO owners speak for their own experiences....
Looking forward to hearing from more Ariens owners I'll try to read around on this forum and others for reviews as well.

I emailed 3 dealers for pricing. Also asked if it was possible to come by to test one out and see how the "auto turn" feature works/feels.
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post #9 of 20 Old 09-30-2016, 03:20 PM
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Without starting anything, it seems odd to me, as a member of several forums, that the vast majority of the "first post" entries on here and other forums recently refer to movingsnow dot?????? A trained investigator may wonder. If you are seriously looking for a blower I'd look at the Toro 724 Home Depot edition with the quickstick. As far as electric chute controls, I think all the bugs have been worked out by now on almost every brand and IMO. If you look across the board realistically, ALL snowblowers are the same price and ability in the consumer grade market. The money guys got in and figured out what sells. Buy what's close and serviced close.
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post #10 of 20 Old 09-30-2016, 06:32 PM Thread Starter
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Power Max 724? Snow Master 724? I see those two on home depots (Canada) site. Guessing maybe those are the Toro's you are referring to? Will research more on Monday I will need at least a 28+ or wider also I think.

Google and YouTube kept bringing me to that snow blower review site and videos... They didn't seem to be biased or anything. *shrug*

Last edited by trafsta; 09-30-2016 at 06:37 PM.
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