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I am looking at buying a Cub Cadet 500 series, 24 inch with fingertip control steering - was wondering if there were any users out there of this machine and is it worth buying.

Thanks,
Ed
 

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I am looking at buying a Cub Cadet 500 series, 24 inch with fingertip control steering - was wondering if there were any users out there of this machine and is it worth buying.

Thanks,
Ed
hi Ed, imo fwiw, when i bought a 2 stager early last year i looked at several brands, some with finger control steering and decided against it for the reason of; additional things that could go wrong or break by way of snagging on something in the garage while manouvering the blower around, or the possible breakage in extreme cold weather or even the cables icing up and having that problem.my blower steers the same as steering a bicycle and still having both wheels driving the blower.nice and simple.although i have a cable/gear drive chute rotator it has given me zero major problems.maybe the plastic finger controls might be made of real tough material and work well ,i feel why chance it . good luck
 

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I would advise against a new Cub Cadet..
the current Cub Cadet brand is not the same quality brand it once was back in the 60's and 70's..today the Cub Cadet name is owned by MTD (which also includes Troy-Bilt, Yard Machines, some (but not all) Craftsman snowblowers, and a few other names) MTD machines are generally considered "middle of the road" to "low end" machines..they are generally fine..when new..but compared to other brands, are rather cheap and lower quality machines, which wont be as reliable or last as long..

Todays Cub Cadets (tractors and snowblowers both) are Cub's in name only..IMO the name really shouldn't continue on when an entire brand is sold to a different company which then drops the original technology completely,..they are nothing at all like the International Harvester machines, who invented the Cub Cadet name..
(but I guess its the name that has the value..)

Imagine if the Cadillac name was sold to Kia..and Kia started building "Cadillacs" which were just re-badged Kia's..this is basically the concept.

Ariens, Toro and Honda are generally considered the highest quality and most reliable brands..I would avoid a Cub Cadet..you can do much better for the same price.

Scot
 

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I would avoid a Cub Cadet..you can do much better for the same price.
IMHO thats the key right there. I have had pretty good luck with the MTD blowers myself. I have beat mine for years and only issues I have had are plugged carbs.. Still on the OE belts, and never eaven broke a shear pin. We got my Mom a MTD built blower with that fingertip steering and it works great. Never a issue at all with it, and works like new. This unit is also beat and misstreated, but it comes back for more... My issue with the Cubs is that you get pretty much the same blower as the store brand MTD's, but at a higher cost.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the replies guys - now that some of you have thrown in a few nuts and bolts into the soup, I am gladly going to do a little more research before I buy. I just have a bad feeling about buying items like this at a Lowes or Home Depot. I feel the discounted prices are the results of lower grade machines. Any thoughts ?
 

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I just have a bad feeling about buying items like this at a Lowes or Home Depot. I feel the discounted prices are the results of lower grade machines. Any thoughts ?
Your bad feeling is right! Deal shoppers can buy thier equipment at Lowe's or HD,
but for the most part, you'll actually get a better 'deal' at a local dealer.
 

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i support the local servicing reputable dealer that has a good up to date repair facility. the big box stores (with the exception of sears)does not have repair facilities just sales and thats it. Sears does have(mobile) home service,(in my area)where they come to your house and do repairs on your equipment and you can also bring in your equipment to be repaired. i have had several cases over the last few years in dealing with sears and have had very good results with the repairs(only lawnmowers and leaf blowers).. but i still support and buy the big name equipment and the dealers who sell them and service them. good luck :):D
 

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although..concerning the link I just posted in the message above..
at the time (2 years ago) I said "There is no such thing as a lower quality machine FOR the big-box market specifically."

This might no longer be true..
Concerning the new Ariens Sno-Tek line, (the ones painted black rather than orange) which came out last season (2010 model year, last winter)..I have been to several Ariens dealers over the last month or so..None of the independent Ariens dealers seem to be carrying the Sno-Tek machines! They only have the "Orange Ariens" machines..
which implies either:
1. The black Sno-Tek machines are for Home Depot only.
2. Dealers could carry Sno-teks if they choose to..but they choose not to.

im not sure which is true..

Scot

 

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although..concerning the link I just posted in the message above..
at the time (2 years ago) I said "There is no such thing as a lower quality machine FOR the big-box market specifically."

This might no longer be true..
Concerning the new Ariens Sno-Tek line, (the ones painted black rather than orange) which came out last season (2010 model year, last winter)..I have been to several Ariens dealers over the last month or so..None of the independent Ariens dealers seem to be carrying the Sno-Tek machines! They only have the "Orange Ariens" machines..
which implies either:
1. The black Sno-Tek machines are for Home Depot only.
2. Dealers could carry Sno-teks if they choose to..but they choose not to.

im not sure which is true..

Scot

#2 is true: "2. Dealers could carry Sno-teks if they choose to..but they choose not to."

which still means "There is no such thing as a lower quality machine FOR the big-box market specifically."

(sorry..I should have googled it first! ;)
(why we cant we edit (or delete) posts after 10 minutes? I would have just cleared out the reply all together, once I learned it wasnt true..not being able to edit has resulted in all this extra chatter from myself replying to myself..)

Scot
 

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I don't own a new machine, or even nearly new :) because older machines are readily available and much cheaper.that being said, if I were to break down during a storm, I would be at the mercy of backed up shops and availability of possibly obsolete parts, which is why I always have a backup machine :D. Were I to consider buying a new machine, I would by a reputable brand, that has been in the business of making snoblowers, and has an established parts distribution network. I would also buy from a local dealer who has a good reputation, and will back up the sale with parts and service if needed. Price is important to me, however the cheapest price isn't always the best buy. I don't mind paying more at a local dealer for an original purchase, knowing that he will be there to back me up should I need parts/service down the road. THAT is good value for my dollar in my opinion. Good luck in your decision. Larry
 

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hi scott,last year in my hunt for a snowblower, a dealer north of me had a sno tek on the floor (just one) probably to show the customer that,yes,they do have a snowblower to compete with the big box stores, so it could very well be that dealers in different regions across the country have different inventory based on their demographics.also i would think that a dealer would not stock up heavily on sno teks so as not to canabalize the sales of the orange models profit margin:).
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for all the input guys - I finally decided and bought the Compact 24 Ariens machine. I could not find any real negative reviews on this machine. Everybody seemed to have positive comments and thought it was a great machine for the money. I guess I will find out and real soon too - they are calling for some heavy snow in my area of Pennsylvania tonight into tomorrow, so I will give an update on it's performance. I have a gravel driveway, so I put a set of small 6 inch wheels on the front and mounted them so they keep the skid plate off the ground about an inch. I felt the skid shoes would dig into the gravel too much, so that is why I am going to give the wheels a try. I'll let you know how this set up works - or don't work for that matter !!
 
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