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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I hate to ask this question, as I know there will be a variety of answers...

I just moved into a house in the northeast where we get 3-4 good snowstorms per winter, at 6" - 13" per storm. Most any snowblower will handle the driveway fine, but the end of the driveway can be tough. My driveway is 2 cars wide, 50' long.

I'm wiling to spend up to $1,000 (or more?) for a simple (I don't need a lot of bells & whistles), reliable (I'm not very skilled with tools) snowblower.

What would you buy if you were me?
Buy new from a big box store? If so, brand/model?
Find something used? If so, brand/size?
Minimum intake size and/or HP?

I've been watching ads on CL for a couple of months now, but many of the snowblowers are 15+ years old (not that there's anything wrong with that), and are brands that don't seem to have great reputations... There is an older Ariens 5520 listed at $160, which seems like a good price, but I'm not sure it's big enough for my needs?

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!
 

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The older models can be better built than the newer models. The best in my opinion, some Honda models, any Simplicity Pro, most Ariens models, the older Toros.

No matter how well it runs in the Seller's garage, after you get it home....?

New - Buy from a Shop.

Search under my name for Snowblower Checklist.
 
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Marketplace will have a much better selection of Snowblowers than Craigslist.

If you're not very good with tools, you may want to pick something up new, but the better deals are used, especially the older ones, but you will most certainly need to be wrenching on it to some degree. All snow blowers require maintenance.
 
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Marketplace will have a much better selection of Snowblowers than Craigslist.

If you're not very good with tools, you may want to pick something up new, but the better deals are used, especially the older ones, but you will most certainly need to be wrenching on it to some degree. All snow blowers require maintenance.
Not Always!!! There are good ones and bad ones on both. Just saying.
 

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I'm a fan of the old 10,000 series Ariens snowblowers but if you're not mechanically inclined then you'll probably be better off buying a newer model. I would definitely get the full-sized model for here in New England. 8 HP engine and 24" clearing width is the right size for your driveway.

Lately, I've become a big fan of the Simplicity Signature Pro snowblowers. Their transmission shafts are mounted in ball bearings. Their frames are exceptionally strong too. For $1000, you should be able to pick up a really nice used Signature Pro. Make sure it was used by a homeowner and was not in commercial use.
 

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Some of my best deal on snow blowers come from craigslist for me. This past year I bought a Airens Compact 24 2009 era, the machine had a blown engine. I put a 6.5 Predator on it along with the auger mod. This 24" has been one of the best performing blowers I have right now and I have decided to keep it. Total cost in it, $200 bucks. Another good one I got was my Yardmax 24" blower for $75 like new. Fixed all the stupid stuff the former owner could not do and this one is great also.

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Above comments are all good info.

To me, I would be worried less about the brand and more about the specs. I have an 8hp 24" MTD from the early 2000's that has never let me down in storms that are over 2 feet. Don't be enticed by the price of a 5hp 22" that you might find on the marketplace. It is not a bad size / power ratio, but for the heavy end of driveway that you mention, you need that extra power.

If you are mechanically inclined, go used. Start browsing the classifieds now before the seasons begin to change. If you are not mechanically inclined (i.e. being able to adjust / rebuild a carburetor), just buy a new one. Better to cry only once.

Also, it may not be a bad idea to start out with a single stage blower, or buy a single stage AND a dual stage machine.
I have a Toro 2 cycle that will go through 6-8 inches of snow like a hot knife through butter. You may just have to go out 2 or three times instead of only once in the big storms. It would be certainly lighter and more maneuverable, and there are plenty of deals to be had.
 

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Like others have said a lot depends on your mechanical skills. If you don't mind getting your hands dirty and have a place you can work on the machine from time to time my personal choice would be an old Ariens. But then I have been running them from sometime in the mid to late 1960's. Actually do still have the old one dad bought back then but the motor is worn out on it and I have a couple slightly newer versions of that machine that I put new 15C 107 Briggs engines on when the Tecumsehs finally wore out.

Now if you are a person who would be having repairs and service done by a shop I might be tempted to suggest if you have a trusted shop you deal with to ask them if they have any good used maybe trade-in machines they would recommend.
 

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I'm in your part of the country, Massachusetts. I have a Snapper 5 hp 24" wide snowblower. If/when I but a new one I will jump up in hp... 8 - 10 hp range. The 5 hp is fine for snow that is not too heavy. It'll work on the wet heavy stuff but will take longer.
If you're not mechanically inclined or don't have a good fixit shop nearby you're probably better off with a new machine.
 

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I'm in your part of the country, Massachusetts. I have a Snapper 5 hp 24" wide snowblower. If/when I but a new one I will jump up in hp... 8 - 10 hp range. The 5 hp is fine for snow that is not too heavy. It'll work on the wet heavy stuff but will take longer.
If you're not mechanically inclined or don't have a good fixit shop nearby you're probably better off with a new machine.
I could be wrong but I think Snappers are Simplicities which would be a good thing. I've owned a Simplicity Conquest lawn tractor that had the Vanguard engine that was excellent. My next one was a Simplicity Zero turn which was also very good. It had the Commercial engine but the Vanguard would have been better. We recently moved from Gananoque Lake Ontario where I would cut around 3 1/2 acres to Brockville Ontario where I only cut maybe 3/4 of an acre so the zero turn was more than I needed. Because the zero turn got stuck a couple of times and the tractor never did I decided to sell my zero turn and buy a John Deere tractor mower. I ended up trading mine for a John Deere X 380 plus $1,500 with only 50 hours on it. The sales guy at John Deere in Kingston Ontario said I stole it. My Simplicity zero turn only had about 85 hours on it. My only regret is that I babied mine and always cleaned the mower and under the deck after every cut so there wasn't a spot of rust under the deck. The guy I traded with said he was the same but after he left with my Simplicity I checked under the deck to discover he was full of crap and lied like a rug and it was packed with grass. There was some surface rust under the deck but probably nothing I can't handle even if have to remove the deck after the cutting season and deal with it. I use a Mo Jack deck lift which is a gift from God and I never had to remove the deck which is a total pain in the ass. Anyway the X380 has an excellent reputation so thinks should be OK.
 
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