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Discussion Starter #1
I am looking for a snow blower that can easily be operated by a middle-aged petite female with below average strength. So power steering and adjustable handle height would be requirements. My research lead me to the Husqvarna ST224P as a potential choice. My question goes out to the female population and their opinion on the ease of operation and quality of this machine.

Thank You.
 

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My brother just purchased one but without the steering but same machine otherwise, it is a pretty decent size for a 24" although you can lower the controls it may be a tad large for her, I just did a search for my girlfriend and ended up finding a older toro that fit her well but had to go through it and make sure all was well. For a newer one have you looked at the Ariens compact 24" much smaller and has Ariens auto steer so turning will be much easier also toro makes some pretty compact machines, she should go and stand behind them and see what fits her the best.
 
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I know you've directed your post toward females - which I'm not (not sure how many ladies on this forum).

However, for what it's worth from a male, that machine looks like as good a choice as any.

I purchased a new 24" Ariens this year, with the intention that my wife would use it. But, with a stocky 369 cc engine, the Ariens is too large and heavy for her to use comfortably.

The ST224P is almost 100 lbs lighter than my machine. Plus, it also appears to have "power steering" (turn triggers), and remote chute control, so you can turn the chute from the dash (no hand crank).

Finally, the ST224P has received 4.5 starts out 5 on 50 consumers reviews on Amazon - a highly positive rating.

Snowblowersatjacks.com rates it 5 out of 5 stars, on 8 reviews.

Based upon this info, it appears you've found a strong candidate in the ST224P. If I needed a blower that only my wife would operate, I'd consider buying that machine.
 

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I am no lady but I just came in from using my neighbors ST 224 P and it is very easy to use. This is my second year with the Husky and have had no issues at all. Full choke 4 hits on the primer and starts first pull every time, have not used the electric start as it is easy on the pull start. After using my Toro 1128 the husky seems like a toy but it blows great.

As for build quality I like the controls on the Husky better to some they might feel lose but I like the chute control much better than the Toro. The change of chute direction is easy to control and one can place the snow where you want. With my Toro I nail our house at least a couple times a year.

http://www.snowblowerforum.com/forum/snowblower-reviews/97402-husqvarna-st-224p.html

Hope this helps. let us know how it all works out for your friend.
 

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I've operated both the ST324P and the ST224P and found the 224 much easier to use, all the controls moved much easier and it was way lighter.
 

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When I was shopping for a snowblower 2 years ago the key feature I wanted was a machine that was comfortable to operate and no wider than 24". The list was quickly narrowed down to the Ariens Compact 24", Husq ST224 and the Toro 724OE. The Ariens and Toro are the most comfortable to hold based on the hand grip style and the smaller of the 3 machines. The Husq felt too long and awkward for my liking, perhaps perceptual based on the larger dash console and wrap around grips, it just seemed chunky and unnecessary.

I quickly scratched the Ariens off as it was $300 more than the other 2 and I wasn't keen on the outdated metal on metal gear selecting which will eventually rust. A nice machine but it didn't feel as solid as the other 2.

I really liked the Toro. It had what felt like a short frame/body, lower hand grips, simply joystick control and plastic gear selector notches, same as the Husq. It was also the least expensive of the group at the time, $100 less than the Husq and $400 less than the Ariens

As for the Husqvarna, it wins based on the long list of features, especially the trigger steering, and it's the nicest looking of the 3 machines, if that's a selling point.

If it was my choice, from a comfort/easy to hold machine I like the Toro best. My recommendation is if you have access to all 3 machines try them out, hold them, push them, turn them and only then make a decision. If the Husq 224 had the hand grips and shorter length of 300 series I wouldn't debate it. In your case the trigger steering may be the deciding factor.

Good Luck! Let us know what you end up purchasing!
 

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I know you've directed your post toward females - which I'm not (not sure how many ladies on this forum).

However, for what it's worth from a male, that machine looks like as good a choice as any.

I purchased a new 24" Ariens this year, with the intention that my wife would use it. But, with a stocky 369 cc engine, the Ariens is too large and heavy for her to use comfortably.
Hey Strato, curious what the limiting factor might be there on that machine with it being self propelled of course and with the autoturn?
 

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Hey Strato, curious what the limiting factor might be there on that machine with it being self propelled of course and with the autoturn?
Good question. Strangely enough, the chute is the biggest issue. On the Platinum version, which I have, the chute handle is remote (on the dashboard). It's a good idea, but not slick or easy to use.

One has to pull backwards firmly on the handle to disengage the chute, and move it. The chute is all steel, and it has a lot of weight. Hence, turning the chute is a clunky process - especially while the blower is moving. My wife wants no part of it.

I find everything else, related to the Platinum 24, to be easy. The Autoturn works perfectly (this year's version), and machine will power through anything. I also got the EFI feature, so starting is a breeze. I really like the blower.

But, even with Autoturn, it's still a 300 lb. machine. We have a big turnaround on our driveway, with only one spot to the throw the snow. Therefore, many turns and chute adjustments are needed to clear the area.

Sometimes, in the corners, you just have to manhandle the machine a bit. Again, not something my wife's interested in.

If we had a simple, straight driveway, I could probably sell her on using the blower, as operation would be easier, and chute adjustments fewer. As it is, it's too much for her.

I travel a lot for work, so addressing the "wife factor" was fairly important (lots of storms when I'm gone). But, for the reasons listed above, the Ariens Platinum 24 didn't work as well for her as I'd hoped.

Don't get me wrong. I love my machine - especially the horsepower. But, in retrospect, I wonder if I should have lowered the bar, saved $1100, and just gotten a machine like the Husky discussed on this thread.
 

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Thanks Strato interesting on the chute. Wonder if the crank is any different. I bet the efi engine will be nice through the seasons though!
 

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Thanks Strato interesting on the chute. Wonder if the crank is any different. I bet the efi engine will be nice through the seasons though!
Yes, EFI is the game-changer. It works exactly has advertised, and eliminates many issues related to starting and storage. EFI is the feature I enjoy most about the machine - and will for years. That, and the new version of Autoturn - great innovations.

In hindsight, I may have been better-off with the Ariens hand-crank (Deluxe model). Although it's more basic than the Platinum remote chute, the hand-crank may be simpler to deal with. 1.5 turns in either direction, and the crank moves the chute 200°. Possibly a better choice for my wife.

But...EFI on the Deluxe series is only available on the Deluxe 30 - a bit wide for our driveway.

Another option might have been a Toro. They really have a great chute control system. But, I'd miss the EFI and Autoturn.

I've concluded there's no perfect machine. There's always trade-offs. The best we can do is prioritize our needs, read this forum, and make the leap. Usually, it works-out well enough.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
The deed was done. We picked up the Husqvarna ST224P at Lowes yesterday. The Lowes staff were kind enough to load the unit into my wife's RAV4 hybrid (tight fit). And my neighbors, coworker & my wife did the unloading. My coworker helped assembled the unit and adjusted the skid shoes & handles. Afterwards I gave my wife a quick lesson.

The next morning, snow and freezing rain arrived. And wife made quick work of the snowfall. My wife liked the adjustable handles, but felt that they could use even lower handlebar settings. But overall, she gave it a positive rating.

Thank you all for your previous feedback.
 

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Glad we could help! It's a great machine with a lot of features plus one of the best looking snowblowers too boot. As you mentioned, the handles were the only thing I didn't like about it, too high compared to other 24" machines but still useable for sure.
 

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Good purchase. Was Husky in the carton when loaded? I too have a Rav and may have to borrow a pickup for the ST227p.
 

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Just went over to see how well my brother's St224 did, I was very impressed and it chewed right through this heavy wet snot we have here and only slight bog was the EOD but not bad at all, He is one happy camper with it, He did say he wished he went for the P version but that added another $200 to the price since he got the last one in lowes and they put a clearance price of $699 on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
jesdog2 - highly recommend a pickup or larger SUV


The ST224P was not in carton. Lowes had pre-assembled unit. The chute and handle bar had to be dis-assembled to fit into RAV4 hybrid (33.5" trunk opening height). Since all the cables were connected, I had to use blankets/paper to wrap around chute to avoid scratching. We also secured the brakes by using zip ties (prevented unit rolling in trunk). I would recommend a larger vehicle than a RAV4. Due to the tightness the headliner could have been easily ripped. But fortunately, the manager was very experienced and supervised the loading of the unit (barking out orders and warnings). Although no damage, if I had to do over again I would opted to borrow friends pickup or larger SUV.
 
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jesdog2 - highly recommend a pickup or larger SUV


The ST224P was not in carton. Lowes had pre-assembled unit. The chute and handle bar had to be dis-assembled to fit into RAV4 hybrid (33.5" trunk opening height). Since all the cables were connected, I had to use blankets/paper to wrap around chute to avoid scratching. We also secured the brakes by using zip ties (prevented unit rolling in trunk). I would recommend a larger vehicle than a RAV4. Due to the tightness the headliner could have been easily ripped. But fortunately, the manager was very experienced and supervised the loading of the unit (barking out orders and warnings). Although no damage, if I had to do over again I would opted to borrow friends pickup or larger SUV.
Thanks, wow08816. Ordering mine in a carton but will borrow neighbor's pickup with your information. Getting ready for next season lol.
 

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The chute and handle bar had to be dis-assembled to fit into RAV4 hybrid (33.5" trunk opening height). I would recommend a larger vehicle than a RAV4.
Honda Element for the WIN! Wish I bought the vehicle years ago instead of used last fall. 43" opening but opens up to about 47" beyond the door seal. Can easily transport a Yamaha 624 or Ariens 926 with tons of room to spare. Plus the seats flip up out of the way and easily pop out if needed.
 
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