Old (Classic) Blowers vs. New - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 74 Old 10-07-2016, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
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Old (Classic) Blowers vs. New

I have read so many posts over the years from members on this forum, and even on MyTractorsForum, that the old machines were just built better than today's. I admit that I don't have much experience with any of the older blowers, but I can't imagine they were so much better than today that all of the manufacturers should be ashamed of themselves and just not show their faces in public.

I say this only because in the fields that I do know a bit more about (houses and automobiles) the same thing is said. However, if a person is truly looking at it objectively, today's houses and cars are far superior than anything built 40+ years ago. In fact, it's really not even close.

So, what made those old (classic) snowblowers so much better? The engine, transmission, auger....? Was it simply the consumer got more for his/her money? I'd like to know.
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post #2 of 74 Old 10-07-2016, 03:22 PM
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This should be entertaining...

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Originally Posted by Smolenski7 View Post

I say this only because in the fields that I do know a bit more about (houses and automobiles) the same thing is said. However, if a person is truly looking at it objectively, today's houses and cars are far superior than anything built 40+ years ago. In fact, it's really not even close.
A blanket statement like that is just flat wrong, but since this forum is about snowblowers, I won't go into it here.
Many items built 30-40+ years ago were built to a standard and priced accordingly, today's items are built to a price point and the lack of quality shows.

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post #3 of 74 Old 10-07-2016, 07:14 PM
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"Better" can mean different things to different people.

Some may like auto-turn, heated handgrips, quiet, epa-compliant, light, efficient machines of today while others (like myself) prefer the simple, sturdy designs of yesterday....heavy-duty machines that can be maintained with basic tools and parts from the local hardware store.

In addition, the steel used on older blowers is heavier gauge and better quality. A heavily-neglected classic machine will develop some surface rust. I doubt that the vast majority of modern machines can tolerate the same amount of mistreatment.


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post #4 of 74 Old 10-07-2016, 07:27 PM
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i have two Ariens machines......one is a 1966 snothro, and the other is a modern snotek, i will go out on a limb and say the 1966 machine will still be blowing snow long after the snowtek is being recycled. imho, cars and houses today are not superior to stuff from back in the day when things were built to last........i wont be around to know for sure, but how many honda civics will be around in 50 years to be sold as antiques ?

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post #5 of 74 Old 10-07-2016, 10:33 PM
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El cheapo models not included, the machines from Honda, Ariens, Toro and Simplicity are as good as anything from the 60's/70's.

Plus they're better designed, better performing and more fun to operate.

Someone post a link of a common 60's/70's machine in original form (no impeller kit) throwing snow 40-50 feet like a Honda and I'll eat my hat!

The problem I think is that most users today are either mechanically deficient or don't take maintenance very seriously (or both)

The lack of knowledge and effort is giving the modern machine a bad rap.

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post #6 of 74 Old 10-07-2016, 10:39 PM
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I had a 1968 Wheel Horse that I would gladly take back over any new comparable tractor made today. Very simple, straightforward design. No special tools required. Steered like it had power steerimg and absolutely no play in the steering. Best piece of OPE I ever owned. But, I also owned a 1986 deere john 332 diesel that was also a fine tractor. Of course it cost 9 times the price of the wheel horse too. The older stuff may not have been quite so user friendly but it sure was built to last.

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post #7 of 74 Old 10-07-2016, 10:47 PM
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It's not throwing 50 feet, but gets the job done just fine...
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post #8 of 74 Old 10-08-2016, 01:59 AM
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I'll agree that today's automobiles are generally much, much better than their predecessors of yesteryear. However, I cannot agree that this is true with houses. Prewar houses were generally built with long term ownership of generations of families in mind and, in some cases, with materials you literally cannot get today (example: Old growth lumber from virgin forests). Postwar, the housing market adopted an assembly line mentality (starting with Levittown) and quality generally declined right up to the mcmansions we see today. Then there's character, which is subjective, but I will take 75+ year old masonry and clapboard wood over vinyl any day of the week.

Regarding blowers - it's clear to me that the 60s and 70s machines were of superior quality to today's machines designed to compete with imports.

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post #9 of 74 Old 10-08-2016, 07:54 AM
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An interesting thread. There definitely seems to have been more pride in workmanship back in the day in all machinery. Today in many industries it's all about pleasing the stockholder by keeping costs down and maximizing profit margins. Those at the top cutting costs are highly compensated for this while the rank and file factory worker has likely seen his/her salary and benefits diminish significantly relative to decades ago. These cost cutting measures often using cheaper materials along with lower employee moral and less pride of workmanship has contributed to diminishing product quality. However advancements in technology including robotics & computer aided design has improved the overall performance/safety of many products including snowblowers while lowering the cost to the end user.

Regarding snowblowers especially those at the $1,000. or less price point offered at the competitive big box retailers, being "built to a price point" is more evident. The parts/service industry is also a major factor in keeping a business profitable after the sale. Engineers are told not too "over engineer" many parts in order to ensure demand for replacement parts throughout the life of the machine.

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Last edited by Cardo111; 10-09-2016 at 08:04 AM.
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post #10 of 74 Old 10-08-2016, 08:55 AM
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Like with anything compared to yester-year, cost of production plays a huge roll in the quality that you get.

Just like a car. How much did a new car cost back in 1970? 5 grand lets say? With that you get big cast iron blocks, thick metal body and frame, metal bumpers etc.

The same car built today would cost a fortune in metal alone. Same would be the case in a snowblower. The tin can sheet metal used today on 1500$ blowers will rust out long before the engine dies. Whereas the old ones can be repowered and will keep on going.
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