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Hello,
Excited to purchase my first snowblower and really just looking for some direction. Want a stage two gas unit but want to know what features and/or makes I should focus on. Looking to purchase used and don’t mind spending time tinkering if needed as we have a little while before winter comes. If there are specific places to look on this forum that might help my decision making that would be helpful also.
Thanks1
 

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How much snow? How often?

Buy in this order Simplicity Pro, then Simplicity, Toro, Ariens, Ariens made John Deere. I have all these including Murray and Noma which I like, many on here do not like, I disagree, Murray is a heavy well built machine, the problem with them, the exit chute at the impeller is rectangular and with wet snow, restricts the snow. Keep it simple with options such as power steering, joy stick, things you don't need.
 

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I would put Honda at the top of your list depending on your circumstances, such as deep pockets, amt of snow fall, size to clear, and composition of surface that you clear.
 

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Hi Jeff, great idea starting your search early, here is a recent thread with some good recommendations on purchasing a new or used blower. Good luck with your search.

 

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So much is going to depend on the condition of the used snow mule you buy.
Tinkering is fine but spending hard earned money on a hoser of a snow mule is never good.
Even the smallest new Toro walk behind with a snow cab and chains will not petrify your budget.
you need to keep in mind that a 3 year warranty will always be in your back pocket if or
when you have a problem with new snow mule.
 

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Yes, a warranty is nice to have on a mule, but they usually go lame in the winter, not the summer, and the dealer has a 2 month backlog, so you might as well know how to fix it yourself.
 

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Jeffo88, welcome to the group. I just recently joined here myself.
Some things to consider in your quest for a blower.
1. How much snow do you need to move on average. I'm in Connecticut so I get 1-3 snowfalls a year over 5" which means I use my machine 1-3 times a year, last winter I didn't use it at all. Do you have a paved driveway or stone, can you get away with using wheels or do you need tracks, etc.
2. Cost, know how much you want to spend. If your budget is unlimited, search out a new one and get it. If your budget is say $200, then find a good used one and learn how to fix it. You will find people on here who love/hate just about everything out there. But there are a a number of good brands/models out there on Craigslist or Ebay that can be fixed up with a new carb and some TLC which will last a lifetime. I got a 1990-something Noma 9/27, it's big, it's heavy, it's easy to repair, and parts are readily available, so it works for me. Some people don't like Noma blowers for whatever reason, but like I said opinions are like...well you know...everyone has one.
3. When you find one that may do the trick, hop on the forum here into the manufacturers board and post some questions like "Hey, anyone have a manufacturer and model number, what do you think? Anything you love or hate about it? I have average snow and a type of driveway [see answer to question 1 above]" and BAM, just like that you will get some firsthand knowledge that will help you make your choice.
Just my 2 cents.
 

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Welcome to SBF Jeff.

If you can give us an idea of the conditions you'll be using it in we can try to give you some guidance.

.
 

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Hello Jeff,

Since you average almost 58 inches of snow annually per the statistics you need power and more power.

If you afford to buy new and from a local dealer you will be ahead of the curve in the scheme of things only because it takes time to clear snow pack if it has frozen overnight and then begins to melt at daybreak.

Heavy wet snow can weigh 52 pounds per cubic foot from freeze thaw cycles.
I have to live with fools that spread salt and make ice dams and my snow pups get a real work out.

I decided that I need to upgrade to keep both driveways open and I am not getting any younger and the wife needs to have a big enough snow mule with power to spare to keep it all open if I am not here.

I am keeping the 2 snow pups I have for small tight areas around the home place and light snows but the big guns are going to come out to get rid of the ice dams left by the plows.

The best advice I or anyone else can really give you or any of us that deal with snow annually is talk to your neighbors and ask what they use for snow mules and ask how big they are and how well they work.
 

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The best advice I or anyone else can really give you or any of us that deal with snow annually is talk to your neighbors and ask what they use for snow mules and ask how big they are and how well they work.
I would add to that, also ask if they needed to replace what they have what would they get? Sometimes when you buy something you don't find out it's not quite the machine you thought it was until you get it home and use it a few times.

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Welcome Jeff from West of you, have sister in NW Calgary
 

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More power and more torque per inch of cutting width will always be your friend and extra snow removal insurance.
The more horsepower and torque you have per inch of total width is the best way to handle any snow pack and the job of killing the END OF DRIVEWAY MONSTER and feeding the little Moat Monsters with its remains will be less stressful and much less tiring as you will simply be walking behind the snow mule and letting it work.

Its always best to make your first pass to the end of the driveway and then kill off the END OF DRIVEWAY MONSTER and feed the little moat monsters with its remains and then clear the rest of the driveway as it flushes the salt and calcium out of the snow blower. If you can rinse the snow mule out with hot water all the better. In my case I use my Kerosene Fired Space Heater to warm up my snow blowers and also melt off the snow and ice off the snow pups.
 

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Welcome, Jeff:

Depth of pockets and personal stamina are the two biggest factors in snow blower purchasing.
As I am still virile and poor, my personal choice is what I have as my avatar: A 7-horse 'Model 10000' Ariens. Built in 1972.
Simple,Robust and Old, just like the owner! You can get a nice one for $150. That's what I tell the ladies, though they blanch at my price.
They are so mechanically stout and well-built, there's just no other choice when viewed empirically.
Not only that, but parts are widely available and a trove of advice can be found here!

Dave
 

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Welcome to the forum. As has been stated, more power is something you'll likely never complain on. You can find many reviews on the forum for your consideration of used machines. Big thing is to know what you'd like to own then be ready to jump on one if it comes up as they can go quick if they're in good shape and decently priced.
 
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