Snowblower Forum banner

1 - 20 of 41 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi all. I recently bought one but have been having second thoughts. I have a small area to clear on a not too busy side street north of Buffalo (I am not in the infamous snowbelt area).

Two things concern me and where I am looking for feedback.

How far down to the pavement does it go? I have seen compliments and bitching about it at the same time. I am wondering if the complainers are comparing to a conventional single stage and not a dual stage?

How does it do on icey compacted snow? I now it is light and can ride up. Are you able to use strategy to get through it?

Time is ending for me to either go this way or get the Craftsman two stage that has been tempting me since Black Friday.

Those who downgraded do you find yourself using the snowmaster more?

I wish we would have gotten a bad storm as HomeDepot gives 30 days to return and I am snowless thus far and would have loved to try it for real.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Craftsman 88694. Two stage 26" 208cc. Easy turn, joystick chute control, and quiet. Both are 700 dollars right now. Black Friday ends today.
Part of my debate is my area to be cleared is not big but I am in a potentially bad area. I am on a side street as well.
I was kinda shocked looking at the snowmaster vs a regular two stage as well. Not much smaller.
Intrigued by the speed and ease of use.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
That video perfectly shows one of the Snowmaster's weaknesses:

The drive isn't smooth when initially moving forward. The machine jumps, which causes the front to come off the ground
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
How did you score your equipment so cheap? As that seems to be the ultimate combo single and dual.
I also have a sleigh shovel which if I get the bigger blower I can still use. That is by far so far the best snow clearing piece of equipment I have ever bought.
I saw that video. I am a super rookie but eager to learn. What was this guy doing wrong?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,312 Posts
That video perfectly shows one of the Snowmaster's weaknesses:

The drive isn't smooth when initially moving forward. The machine jumps, which causes the front to come off the ground
It uses a CVT trans like in the toro personal pace mowers. Every video I’ve seen of a snow master shows that little jump you speak of, it might be as simple as a small change in the technique of applying pressure on the drive mechanism. The real downside is a lack of reverse. Not a huge deal considering how maneuverable it is, but just saying.

Not totally sure, but I think the shave plate is made of plastic and designed to scrape the surface like a single stage.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
189 Posts
I don't know about that particular model, but I have an older self propelled single stage. Mine looks to be heavier. The only plastic or rubber is on the hand grips and levers. It seems to handle the wet stuff better than your average 2 stage. At least when the neighbors are stopping to dig snow out of their chute I'm still going. It doesn't throw as far as the average 2 stage. It does ride up gradually going through hard packed snow banks. Then it high centers easy when the smaller chained tires dig into the packed snow while trying to push through the bank. I just back up and start over. the scrapper bar takes care of it. Your average single stage will do a better and faster job at cleaning up light snow falls right down to pavement.
The self propelled single is kind of like the middle child of snowblowers. It does everything pretty good, but doesn't really stand out as better than either of the other two.
YMMV.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
947 Posts
With 2 seasons in the books here is my feedback...

Its a super fast machine for light accumulations. No machine is faster for a small driveway.

If the snow is attacked the day of, it will get down as close as any 2 stage but not as close as a typical SS that is using the ground to propel itself. It does not do very well removing the compacted strips of snow created by a car. The plastic sheave plate can only do so much scraping.

It throws farther than any SS and about as far as the typical 2 stage but not as far as 2 stage Honda's and SHO Ariens which are in another league.

Like all SS'ers, the high speed auger/impeller does not like hitting hard immovable objects such as the corners of curbs or paving stones embedded in the ground.

The machine is light so there is no need for reverse. It would only slow you down. Think what it would be like switching to reverse on a push mower it would add a lot of time

It can handle a dry snow blizzard but it does take some effort and time. It about splits the difference between the typical SS and a 2st. It would not be my machine of choice for a wet snow blizzard.

If you wait a week to blow and the snow has hardened the machine is not effective.

.
.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
I watched a video of a two stage and reverse generally looks like a pain in the but and slow. Not wife friendly LOL.
My one buddy lives in the snowbelt and has a tracked snowblower and said he barely uses reverse.
Is that a huge deal and huge knock against teh snowmaster?
I have watched a few video and mostly look good for the SM as it is fast.
But I am scared of not enough vs too much.
Why I am really curious of any snowmaster semi-long term users can comment if- glad i bought it vs a two stage or I made teh worst mistake of my life LOL,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Thanks tdipaul. Most informative review I have heard of for it.
Are you glad you bought it?
Ever conquer anything nasty with it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
947 Posts
Thanks tdipaul. Most informative review I have heard of for it.
Are you glad you bought it?
Ever conquer anything nasty with it?
My pleasure.

I like it a lot. If you don't get that outrageous lake effect snow and attack snowfalls the day of or the morning after, you will like it.

This is me using it for the first time in a dry snow blizzard. I did five driveways that day plus all the sidewalks in the time it took others to do two with their 2 stagers.


.
.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,312 Posts
Solid review.

With 2 seasons in the books here is my feedback...

Its a super fast machine for light accumulations. No machine is faster for a small driveway.

If the snow is attacked the day of, it will get down as close as any 2 stage but not as close as a typical SS that is using the ground to propel itself. It does not do very well removing the compacted strips of snow created by a car. The plastic sheave plate can only do so much scraping.

It throws farther than any SS and about as far as the typical 2 stage but not as far as 2 stage Honda's and SHO Ariens which are in another league.

Like all SS'ers, the high speed auger/impeller does not like hitting hard immovable objects such as the corners of curbs or paving stones embedded in the ground.

The machine is light so there is no need for reverse. It would only slow you down. Think what it would be like switching to reverse on a push mower it would add a lot of time

It can handle a dry snow blizzard but it does take some effort and time. It about splits the difference between the typical SS and a 2st. It would not be my machine of choice for a wet snow blizzard.

If you wait a week to blow and the snow has hardened the machine is not effective.

.
.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
947 Posts


Know where objects like these are and avoid hitting them. I forgot about this and slammed into it 2x



it really didn't do too much but it is notable...



.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
What happens when object is injested ?

Revised to be more clear ...
If something is ingested by the impeller and gets stuck,
does something break/shear, or does engine stall ?

If stalled, are the clearing precautions like with a 2 stage,
where the impeller can hurt you with the engine off ?

CR changed the noise rating from good to fair.
Is that change important when considering close neighbors ?

My alternate choice is PowerMax 724.
Is the PowerMax 724 fixed drive a problem for a frail teen ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
947 Posts
Never ingested any of those items yet but its going to react act like any other SS with some belt squealing and stalling.

Blowing at 6am is will annoy the neighbors no matter what the machine.

There are no gears to mess with so the learning curve would be faster for the S-M. Just grab and go.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
77 Posts
I have 2 years on my 824 Snowmaster as well. I agree with everything that tdipaul said. It's the fastest, easiest machine I've ever used for light to medium snows. Handling is as simple as traditional single stage. It does tend to want to jerk a bit when starting forward, but you learn to apply a little bit of upward pressure on the handlebar when starting forward and ease into it with the personal pace drive...don't just mash the handle down or you will pop wheelies! The joystick chute is THE best around and you can control both chute rotation and deflector with one hand while keeping one hand on the handlebar. That's something you can't do as quickly or smoothly with most machines that have separate controls for rotation & deflection. No auto turn or steering levers required. It just turns like any SS. It is true that it is a bit light and can ride up if the snow gets packed down. Not as good as rubber paddles for clearing to the pavement but pretty good. I just keep the car traffic to a minimum on the drive until I can get it cleared first. It will do EOD fairly well but if it's really thick and icy you may have to take small bites to get through it. That's when I would use my customized 420cc Ariens 24" machine anyway. I'm a 3 blower guy: 2 stage for heavy stuff, Snowmaster for lighter (most used machine), and electric power shovel for the deck. The Snowmaster could really handle everything for me but you know how it is...!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,080 Posts
Heftysmurf,

Hindsight, being 20/20, thinking you might have liked the 2-stage Toro better. wondering how the pricing of a 2-stage Toro would compare to the Craftsman you mentioned?
 
1 - 20 of 41 Posts
Top