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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Okay, i am new, just moved into a new house with a large driveway in a subdivision that doesn't allow me to use my ATV with a plow. Plus space is at a premium in my garage and the ATV was just too big to store.

I am looking for a compact snowblower (2 stage). Right now i am really torn between Ariens 24" compact and the Toro Powermax 24". They are both the same price at $799. Both look just fine but the toro has more plastic.

i have talked to a number of dealers, and lots of them love Ariens and some love Toro. I have walked behind both and in all reality either one fits me fine.

I am not a wrench so i am looking for reliability, just something that starts and moves the snow off my driveway here in Wisconsin. I know some will have a bias and that is fine with me. Just like to know why...

i hear that Ariens models always break shear pins. i have no idea why that would be however unless i am trying to snowblow firewood. This thing will be used on my driveway and not on the wood pile. However, if this is a concern that a simple landscape stone or frozen snow ball will snap it, well that would be a problem.

Please help, they are selling fast here in our state after last winter and i want to make sure i get the one i want. Thanks in advance.
 

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First welcome to the forum Jimmy and on your shear pin response "unless i am trying to snowblow firewood." you're right.
Both are very good machines but here's some considerations to ponder:

- Ariens has a 208cc with 9.5 ft/lb. Toro is 205cc so close to 9 ft/lb
So Ariens is just slightly more powerful but again both would perform very good. Toro has a great joy stick for chute control and the plastic has a lifetime warranty.

The decision maker might be the warranty.

Toro has a 3 year warranty on both the blower and engine.

Ariens has a promotion if you buy before Oct 31, you get 5 yrs on blower and 3 yrs on engine. You have to go on their site to register for the promotion to kick in.

I looks like the $799 price is from Home Depot but try to buy from a dealer as you will get good assembly and service.

For you to decide but feel free to ask for more info.
 

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Welcome to the forum Jimmy.

Here are my thoughts, and they are just that, "my thoughts". I bleed orange, have since I was born. My father had an Areins Manorway yard tractor with snow blower attachment.

Shear Pins. In all the years I have been blowing snow I have only snapped (1) shear pin, and bent another one. I have launched everything from small landscape rocks, tennis balls that our cattle dog left behind and even frozen cattle dog sh1t. (talk about a chore picking all that up in the spring, sprayed all over the yard) The time I broke my shear pin was doing my elderly neighbors drive and I forgot she has a landscape ROCK at the side of her drive.

Now getting to your bigger question. It pains me to say this, I would lean toward the Toro. I have heard a lot of negative feed back on the compact line due to the smaller impeller (12") and that the impeller appears to be located a little higher in the bucket compared to the deluxe line. Looks like a deluxe 24 will run ya $200 more, but you get a 14" impeller (large impeller will throw the snow farther) and I think you get the auto turn (Pros and cons on that). Granted, I do not know or follow the Toro line up, so maybe the same issue will present itself there.

I was into my local dealer last weekend (northern Suburb of Mpls) and they told me business is booming. Between last seasons snow fall and our local economy improving, it seams that people are investing in better quality blowers.
 

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Welcome, and I think everyone is rushing out to prepare for what is being predicted.
 

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Plastics have come a long ways and Will perform as well or better then metal in toros intentded application. Their lifetime warranty of it speaks for itself...

In my search toro seemed to be a notch above Ariens.
 
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