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Hello, I am looking at buying a new snowblower to replace my 25 year old MTD. The 2 I am looking at are the Craftsman 26-in 243 CC ( https://www.lowes.ca/product/gas-snow-blowers/craftsman-26-in-243-cc-2-stage-snow-blower-3746127) or a Ariens Deluxe 24-in.

I know that most people recommend Ariens over craftsman however the price difference is pretty steep. Double the price for the Ariens.

Where I am located the price difference is $899.99 CDN for the craftsman or 1799.99 CDN for the Ariens.

I have a mid size drive way with lots of lake effect snow, in what is considered a "snow belt".

Thanks.
 

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Hello, I am looking at buying a new snowblower to replace my 25 year old MTD. The 2 I am looking at are the Craftsman 26-in 243 CC ( https://www.lowes.ca/product/gas-snow-blowers/craftsman-26-in-243-cc-2-stage-snow-blower-3746127) or a Ariens Deluxe 24-in.

I know that most people recommend Ariens over craftsman however the price difference is pretty steep. Double the price for the Ariens.

Where I am located the price difference is $899.99 CDN for the craftsman or 1799.99 CDN for the Ariens.

I have a mid size drive way with lots of lake effect snow, in what is considered a "snow belt".

Thanks.
Hi & welcome to the forum. Can you provide some additional details. In your location, what is the average yearly snowfall, what’s your average storm like, what material is your driveway made of, do you get large drifts, or large EOD piles, and do you have any must have features on a machine. What is your maximum budget for this machine? This info will help us give you an accurate recommendation.
 

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Hi & welcome to the forum. Can you provide some additional details. In your location, what is the average yearly snowfall, what’s your average storm like, what material is your driveway made of, do you get large drifts, or large EOD piles, and do you have any must have features on a machine. What is your maximum budget for this machine? This info will help us give you an accurate recommendation.
Hello, thanks Smokie.
I'm located North West of Barrie, ON, on Lake Huron. The average snowfall for December is 51.4cm, January 65.9cm, February 45.9cm, March 29cm. With some very occasional snow in April and November.

I have a paved driveway, and I do get a substantial amount of EOD during snow storms. It's a shared driveway so I have to work my way around my neighbors vehicles occasionally so it is handy to have an easy access for the chute controls. I don't have any steering assist capabilities on my current snowblower so it's not a must but might be handy. My max budget would be around $2000 taxes in, but if I can get something cheaper that'll be decent I wouldn't mind saving some money.
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Hello, thanks Smokie.
I'm located North West of Barrie, ON, on Lake Huron. The average snowfall for December is 51.4cm, January 65.9cm, February 45.9cm, March 29cm. With some very occasional snow in April and November.

I have a paved driveway, and I do get a substantial amount of EOD during snow storms. It's a shared driveway so I have to work my way around my neighbors vehicles occasionally so it is handy to have an easy access for the chute controls. I don't have any steering assist capabilities on my current snowblower so it's not a must but might be handy. My max budget would be around $2000 taxes in, but if I can get something cheaper that'll be decent I wouldn't mind saving some money.
Thanks.
So, we’re looking at about 75” a year as an average if my math is correct. I think the machines that you’re looking at are a little on the small side. It’s been my experience that you always want more power than you need so when you have a big dump, or you have a large EOD pile to deal with your machine can handle it. I’m not sure what the exchange rate would put this machine at, but the best bang for the buck snowblower right now is the Ariens 28 SHO. It has a 306CC engine which should be plenty of power for your location, and lists here in the states for $1699. It has AutoTurn, so it will maneuver easily, and the chute controls are good. This is an excellent machine for the money. This blower will make quick work of your driveway, whereas the other two machines your looking at will struggle with larger snow falls (IMHO).
 

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I have owned both Craftsman and Airens blowers. Now I keep the Ariens and sell the Craftsman blowers I find, Why? because IMO the Ariens blowers are just a better machine and will last longer. I now have 4 really nice Ariens blowers and all blow snow really well. If you have the money the 24" Ariens SHO is a a really nice machine for the money and the right size for a home driveway with lot's of power.
 

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Welcome to the forum.
I would recommend the Ariens over the Craftsman, worth the price difference IMHO.

The Deluxe 24 will handle the snow conditions in your area. You may have to take half buckets when tackling EOD and deeper heavy snow, but it will get the job done. The 24" is a great size for a typical 4 -6 car driveway and Auto Turn steering works fantastic for maneuvering the machine in tight spaces.

Have you considered looking for a lightly used, well maintained used machine? If you can wait, the best deals are spring and summer. The used machine market in this area is $$ right now with few good candidates listed.

If you are able to stretch your $2K budget, the Deluxe 28 SHO and Platinum 24 SHO (available only through Ariens dealers) would be the machines I would be considering for your area.
 

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As Ziggy said (as he lives up that way)-sort of 😉 ) , I would 2nd the ariens delux 24 (as it does have a great engine). Not had much if any snow down this way (even yesterday was not enough to put gas in my 24 for the first time this season.
 

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Thanks everyone for your replies and I appreciate the input. I think I will go get the Ariens Deluxe 24 tonight. It seems like everyone agrees that even though the Ariens is twice the money to craftsman ($899.99 vs $1799.99) that it will be worth it in the long run. As much as I'd love to go for the platinum or the bigger model Ariens I unfortunately cannot stretch my budget that far right now. As for buying a used snow blower, I haven't done a ton of work on snow blowers before, although I definitely plan on learning to do more maintenance, I'd like to get something that is still under warranty for now.

Does anyone in Canada here have experience ordering parts for Ariens, are they tough to get? I was looking on the Ariens site but keep getting redirected to the American site.

Thanks.
 

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Ok thanks, I haven't been to any of the local dealers yet. I called to inquire about prices for the Ariens Deluxe 24, but all the local dealers are selling it between $2300-$2400. Lowes/Rona has it on sale for $1799 so I plan on buying it from there, but I will check out the local dealers for parts when the time comes.
 

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Another factor is how long you plan on living where you are. If you're likely to have a job transfer to warmer climes soon that would shift the equation in favor of the Craftsman, much as I am loathe to recommend one.

Otherwise I have no hesitation on recommending buying the Ariens. I've bought two that I gave to relatives with health issues and have had no problems with any of them.

And I also agree with buying several sets of shear pins, and the long thin punch you'll likely need to drive out a bent one when one does break. The shear pins are intended to break first when you hit a rock, folded newspaper, hard chunk of ice, or even a dead frozen squirrel, thus saving damage to that very expensive gear box. Yeah, the "dead squirrel" was on a youtube video so it does happen. Yuck.

I also bought a replacement friction wheel, a set of belts, and a set of spare cables. You shouldn't need any of those items the first year or two you have the machine but when you need them, you need them NOW. And they don't take up much storage space.

Also know that while the Ariens is a great snowblower it does need to have the maintenance done that the manual says to do. There are a lot of moving parts in there and the single biggest cause of failures is simple neglect. If at the end of the season you just put it in the shed and don't do the maintenance you will inevitably have problems down the road that could have been easily avoided with an hour or two of your time.

Apologies if you knew all that already.
 

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Great choice on the Ariens purchase. Back in 1990 after my old Toro Sno-Hound failed me for the last time I decided to get me a new single stage snow blower. I looked at a lot of them in the $150 to $400 range at that time, the last one I looked at was a Toro CCR200-E at $699 but the dealer said it would neve let me down or we will buy it back in your 1st year, pretty good I thought so I bought it. The Toro was so good it went through the snow with the '91 Halloween 28" snow storm all but the end that the city plowed in (which I expected). After 32 years it was the best little blower I ever owned that I bought new, sad thing is I just sold it this year to an older couple that needed a smaller snow blower, it was time to let it go. I did the same thing for them, "if this little Toro lets you down this year in and snow fall I will buy it back". So far they've told me they love the little Toro, hope you get as many years out of your new Ariens as I did with my new purchase back in '90.
 

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My vote is for the Ariens. Your area gets a lot of snow, so you want an excellent performing machine. The MTD machines are fine for people with less snowfall and small areas to clear. You will thank yourself every time you use the Ariens.
 

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you'll find if you read closely this is a largely-ariens fanbased forum lol. Either snowblower will do you fine. Both have chinese engines (you ariens boys know this, right?) but the craftsman will share its parts with like 100 different models over like 6 different brands for the last 20 years. Ariens makes a quality machine but between those two you are not getting twice the snowblower for twice the price

also the ariens dont show on the lowes site anymore, hope you got one if you wanted one lol
 
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