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Discussion Starter #1
See below. So I noticed consumer reports rated snowblower Brands in a recent magazine. The higher the percentage the more problems reported by owners. Honda had the lowest reported problems and Husqvarna the highest. Hopefully the amount of machines surveyed for each brand is the same. I wish I knew what model of blowers were most represented as well as the specific problem reported. This would factor out stale gas, user error. Interesting that Troy Bilt, which is and MTD brand came in second place. WTH? I like the Husqvarna 300 series blowers, but now I'm wafting based on this data. Any '"real" Husqvarna snowblower owners care to comment on the reliability of their machines? Newer 300 series ones in particular. I realize there is a lot of ways this data could be interpreted, but it's something. Seriously, though, Troy Bilt?
 

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I personally don't take much stock in CR. It's MY OPINION only. I can't give a compelling reason why other than I simply don't believe them. I certainly wouldn't be guided to buy or not buy using their research and reports.
 
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I personally don't take much stock in CR. It's MY OPINION only. I can't give a compelling reason why other than I simply don't believe them. I certainly wouldn't be guided to buy or not buy using their research and reports.
My 10 to 12 hrs, this winter with a 224 P I was impressed with this little guy.:eek:k:
 

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Good thread and it raises some interesting points. MTD products often get a bad wrap here, however there are many members here that have had good experiences with their Cub Cadets or Craftsman machines. Generally Consumer Reports states that differences of less than 5% in reliability ratings are insignificant. The rating they post for Husqvarna is disturbing. Their 300 series machines seem to be much better built than their 200 series offerings. I have one of their chainsaws and was unimpressed with their customer support relative to Ariens who does set a very high bar in terms of customer support.

Regarding Consumer Reports testing methodology I am not a 100% confident in the wet saw dust being an accurate way to test a snowblower, I do know that manufacturers use the method when snow is unavailable. They rated the Ariens Deluxe 28 with the small for size 254cc engine as excellent on the plow pile and I felt it was underpowered almost to the point of stalling when I owned one, I ended up selling it for a more powerful unit that I am very happy with. Ratings will give you some info but not the whole picture, read a lot of reviews be leary of any that are too positive or too negative., get behind any machine you plan on buying to see how it will handle for you and your stature and find a dealer you can trust.

Best of luck on your search!
 

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I looked long and hard before getting my ST324P this year. Now I will say we haven't had much snow so I have limited use so far. But I will say it has performed perfectly fine. I looked at Ariens and after talking to a few people that had the auto turn I decided it wasn't for me. Catch something on the edge of the bucket and she will want to turn. Other than that no one complained about Ariens. Toro dosent make a HD in a 24". Then I looked at Honda. Too much money. Can't justify the cost. Then came Husqvarna. I did some research and liked what I saw. The machine I have shares the same 254 cc LCT engine that Ariens uses. The hydrostatic drive is a hydro gear SST. This is the same unit Honda uses. That's no BS, if Honda uses the same thing I guess I won't worry about that. It uses ball bearings on the auger shaft not bushings. The gear box is cast iron. It has the only 4 blade impeller that is also cast iron. I have high hopes for it and so far it has done what I ask, starts easy, runs great, transmission is smooth, blows the snow like a champ. Hope this helps. As far as consumer reports I would stake everything on their opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yes, I agree with the 5% thing. So if you factor this in, then all the Brands rank similar while Hudqvarna is still the outlier in the 20% range. It's a little concerning, but again without knowing specifics with regards to the problems, it's hard to assess the Husqvarna brand
 

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My impressions, they portray some of their models with reversed augers in their webpage(that would not work) as being correct. I could not buy one.....
 

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I looked long and hard before getting my ST324P this year. Now I will say we haven't had much snow so I have limited use so far. But I will say it has performed perfectly fine. I looked at Ariens and after talking to a few people that had the auto turn I decided it wasn't for me. Catch something on the edge of the bucket and she will want to turn. Other than that no one complained about Ariens. Toro dosent make a HD in a 24". Then I looked at Honda. Too much money. Can't justify the cost. Then came Husqvarna. I did some research and liked what I saw. The machine I have shares the same 254 cc LCT engine that Ariens uses. The hydrostatic drive is a hydro gear SST. This is the same unit Honda uses. That's no BS, if Honda uses the same thing I guess I won't worry about that. It uses ball bearings on the auger shaft not bushings. The gear box is cast iron. It has the only 4 blade impeller that is also cast iron. I have high hopes for it and so far it has done what I ask, starts easy, runs great, transmission is smooth, blows the snow like a champ. Hope this helps. As far as consumer reports I would stake everything on their opinion.

Ducky, everything you said is precisely how I feel as well with respect to the Ariens and Honda machines and the Hydro. If I was going with a friction disk machine I would probably go Toro,. However the Toro Loncin engine bothers me. I seem to have much more trust in parts sourcing the LCT engine vs the Loncin on the Toros over the long run. Maybe the Toro dealers have access to engine diagrams/parts schedule for the Loncins, but I can't find any on the consumer end. This bothers me to my core. LCT shows all internal parts and associated part #'s.

Regardless I feel like I'd be happiest with a hydro st327p, but I'm a maniac and will read hundreds of posts and forums to support a decision. I will get there someday. Ps, I'm the weirdo that doesnt care for Hondas electric chute and would have preferred something as slick or similar to Toro quick stick, or left electric as option.

Fishstick
 

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If parts sourceablity is an issue, I would definitely focus on that as a priority. Regardless of brand, you have to live with it.
 

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Ducky, everything you said is precisely how I feel as well with respect to the Ariens and Honda machines and the Hydro. If I was going with a friction disk machine I would probably go Toro,. However the Toro Loncin engine bothers me. I seem to have much more trust in parts sourcing the LCT engine vs the Loncin on the Toros over the long run. Maybe the Toro dealers have access to engine diagrams/parts schedule for the Loncins, but I can't find any on the consumer end. This bothers me to my core. LCT shows all internal parts and associated part #'s.

Regardless I feel like I'd be happiest with a hydro st327p, but I'm a maniac and will read hundreds of posts and forums to support a decision. I will get there someday. Ps, I'm the weirdo that doesnt care for Hondas electric chute and would have preferred something as slick or similar to Toro quick stick, or left electric as option.

Fishstick
I researched non stop for days. My wife was ready to leave me haha. Came to the conclusion that the st324p was the best machine for me . The weight off my shoulders is gone. It gets delivered to me today from snowblower direct.com. I'm 100% certain CR did not base there ratings of the newer 300 series. From what I've read the 300's are built like tanks.
 

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Ducky, everything you said is precisely how I feel as well with respect to the Ariens and Honda machines and the Hydro. If I was going with a friction disk machine I would probably go Toro,. However the Toro Loncin engine bothers me. I seem to have much more trust in parts sourcing the LCT engine vs the Loncin on the Toros over the long run. Maybe the Toro dealers have access to engine diagrams/parts schedule for the Loncins, but I can't find any on the consumer end. This bothers me to my core. LCT shows all internal parts and associated part #'s.

Regardless I feel like I'd be happiest with a hydro st327p, but I'm a maniac and will read hundreds of posts and forums to support a decision. I will get there someday. Ps, I'm the weirdo that doesnt care for Hondas electric chute and would have preferred something as slick or similar to Toro quick stick, or left electric as option.

Fishstick
Fishstick I feel your pain. I looked and looked. I think you will find the chute controls are just fine. They are fast and lock in place. They are held in place with all metal components. If you look at the new Husqvarna owners around here more than not are happy with their machines. I will tell you my ST324P is build heavy. This isn't a light weight machine. Actually i was surprised how heavy it was when pushing down on the handles.

SO lets go over what was stated earlier.
* LCT Engine- You are comfortable with this motor. There are many satisfied Husqvarna and Ariens owners out there with these engines. Risk of problems are very low.

* Hydro Gear SST - This unit is used by Honda also. So all your forward and back movement as well as steering are all done by this unit. If you were not aware all the steering componets are inside of the hydrostatic trans.

* Cast Iron Components- The gear box and the 4 blade impeller carrie a 10 year warranty. Try beating that on another machine.

* Reviews- Multiple positive reviews on the 300 series. I think I have read much more good than bad on these units. Moving Snow has a review on the ST327P and they only had a few little nit picky things. Other wise rated it well. Even stating that it had the best hydrostatic transmission you can get in a snow blower. 2015 Husqvarna ST327P Snow Blower - Picture Review - MovingSnow.com

* Features- If you wanted Some of these options on a Ariens or Toro you would pay extra. LED Light - Not available on either. Ariens Deluxe or Toro HD 26" don't have heated grips. Toro has the quick Stick so i give that the nod for fastest but the Husqvarna in my opinion beats a Deluxe 24 for chute control

Just my.02 cents. If i had to get another blower today after owning my ST324P i would get the exact same machine. Good luck and let us know what you end up getting.
 

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My Husqvarna has been perfect for 2 seasons. I stopped reading the garbage, (IMOSHO) at Consumer Reports years ago when we bought a C.R. top rated dishwasher. What a piece of junkatorium. 3 service calls within the first few weeks and that POS was history. First service guy said it was our water. The next said it was our detergent. The third guy told us the truth about it and back to Lowes it went. Lowes was great about the whole thing, and our new non C.R. top rated Kitchen Aid dishwasher has been working great for years.
 

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You always need to be careful with rating services like this because we never see the survey questions or the raw data (not that I am accusing anyone of shady practices).
Do we know how many users are first timers, how many of those requested actually replied, what percentage owned what brand/model, who kept the users manual, who assembled the unit, do they have experience with other OPE, etc etc etc...
I suspect we can also assume that most respondents fall into the none to a little experience with OPE, category. We can also assume that a lot of people who are satisfied with their units didn't bother to respond, only those with a problem (including stale gas, abusive usage, etc).
All this to say what others have already mentioned, take the survey with a grain of salt.

Cheers
 

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we have a community of folks her so who needs consumer reports, just pm someone that owns what you are looking at or start a thread and ask. I don't even trust the reviews you see on most websites, how do you give a review of a product you've never used but there it is a four star rating
 

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I think I am keeping my st227. I have been using snow blowers since the early sixties and this is the best one yet.

Padraig
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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for all your comments!!! It's nice to get some feedback from 'real' owners. I doubt I will buy one this late in the year. I have a Toro 721 that I use for smaller stuff. This is primarily EOD and a few other times during a season. it's nice to know there is a community of weirdos like myself that enjoy OPE and snowblower discussions.
 

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Yeah there really are a lot of mixed reviews on the 200series. I personally would not buy one. Get the 300 series. I think it's in the top 3 of current best snow blowers right now. Totally different animal than the 200's. Excellent warranty perfectly sized lct motor. And the hydro trans, beautiful. Looks to have one of the highest buckets of the bunch too at 23". O and don't forget the one of a kind cast iron 4blade impeller. 14" auger is also a big win. What's there not to like about the machine :)
 

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Waveform. Sorry to hear. See.....
What year production was yours ?

I followed the other link and the majority of the issues seem to be for the 2XX owners. Even though the SIB is for 2014, seems like some 2015 are chiming in on it as well.

I've only used my 3XX Series once. Hour Meter shows 3.4 Hrs. Let's presume at least 2 1/2 solid hrs on 30 inches of snow. At least opening the berth of my EOD as well, which was at at least 40" high of EOD. I have not had any issues with the belts sofar.

Just curious what is your failure. Was it this recent heavy wet snow ?
 
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