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Hello all just interested in any feedback as I've seen some reports out there about frequent and sometimes mysterious shear pin breakage on Ariens machines. I had a previous non-Ariens machine that never broke a shear pin and on occasion did get some gravel from the drive (1- 1.25"?) into the system which it handled. Make sure to clear larger hazards before a snow. Thinking about an Ariens compared to a Toro that apparently doesn't need shear pins - can the Arien's handle the occasional piece of gravel or will I be constantly replacing them? Thank you!
 

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I'd say if you are breaking pins in any blower...you are swallowing S**t you shouldn't. That said, I just replaced 6 shearpins in a newer MTD manufactured blower that only tried to blow an area of pea stone. Better then trying to replace that piece of S**t gear box though.
 

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Going to depend on your area and habits. If you're diligent about clearing and don't have a bunch of loose asphalt or rocks you'll probably never break one. On the other hand if your drive is a mess or you let areas turn into packed ice you'll break them left right and center.


Toro uses grade 5 bolts. Its not a classic "shear" pin but they still serve the same purpose. If you hit an obstruction you'll still either break that bolt or bend your rake so its misleading to think a Toro doesn't have the same function. Toro builds the better gear box (steel vs brass-and they never leak) but Ariens has better quality rakes with zerks for grease to prevent them from rusting in place.
 

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Three points here. First and foremost, I can see numerous criteria for selecting one snow thrower versus another but couldn't imagine shear pins (costing $2) to be on that list. Consider changing your question to "Why should I buy one Ariens instead of a similar Toro".

Second, consider a shear pin to be like a circuit breaker. Would you consider a circuit breaker that trips often to be better than one that doesn't?

Beyond that, there are countless reasons why a shear pin breaks including many having nothing to do with either the shear pin or the snow thrower.
 

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havent heard of this issue with ariens products. i use both my vintage ariens and my " low quality" ariens sno tek on my gravel drive, have yet to break a pin. i do rake about a half wheel barrow load of gravel off my lawn every spring.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the input. No ice or big rocks -hopefully! Had seen a few concerns but maybe they are running into more serious objects. Odd piece of 1" gravel here but sounding like it can handle it. Just do not want to be replacing them each time or multiple times I head out and want to get a suitable machine for the situation that will run smoothly.
 

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I would be more comfortable with actual shear pins than grade 5 bolts, because it would might "egg" the holes in the auger tube before they shear, I have experienced that, especially if the bolts are 5/16". Maybe those 1/4" ones that are on some smaller machines might break easier. Not much worse than SB repairs a few hundred feet from your garage.
Sid
 

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In 32 years of snowblowing I have never broken a shear pin yet on my ariens
Made confetti from newspapers a few times. I grease the augers and spin em on the shaft every year.
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Well BearGhost, you have me beat. In the 32 years that I have been using my 1971 Ariens machine, I think I have only broken one that I can remember.

And a theory of mine is... if you have a machine with serrated augers, I would think that you would break a shear pin bolt a little bit easier because the augers would get caught and grab on to objects a lot easier.

I know the other side of the coin would be that they probably slice and dice up snow chunks better, but I have never had any problems with a non serrated auger.

In 32 years of snowblowing I have never broken a shear pin yet on my ariens
Made confetti from newspapers a few times. I grease the augers and spin em on the shaft every year.
924039
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I find a sure fire way to break a shear bolt is to try and ingest an 8" high 6" diameter clay flower pot full of frozen dirt that was hiding under 9" of snow.

I called it my shear bolt verification run. Only did it once, no more flower pots on the patio area after October.

I remove the bolts annually to grease things up and spin the augers. I noticed that one or the other of the bolts removed might have slight bends in them, so they get replaced. Not an every year occurrence, but I would rather do it when it's warm and already apart than having to dig out a snow packed auger rake in the cold to change it.
 
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Some brands can be, apparently, more prone to shear pin breakage.

Before I purchased my Ariens Platinum 24 this year, I had planned on buying a 3X Club Cadet (their Heavy Duty version).

But, the local dealer, who's the largest Club Cadet dealer in the region (mostly for commercial mowers), steered me away from Club Cadet. He said they love Club Cadet. But, when it comes to snowblowers, they recommend Ariens and Toro - primarily because Club Cadets gobble shear pins. He told me they got tired of the complaints, and now give a free handful of shear pins to any customer who purchases a Club Cadet blower.

I went home, and looked-up Club Cadet blowers on Amazon. Sure enough, about two thirds of the consumer reviews complained about shear pin breakage. This happened last fall. Not sure if things have changed with this years' models.

I've never owned a Club Cadet, and I'm sure lots of people are happy with them.

But, assuming those reports are true, it appears MTD machines are particularly susceptible to shear pin issues.

The dealer said they've never had a problem with shear pins on Ariens or Toro (which uses a slightly different system - as noted on this thread).
 

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I've replaced a good number. fist sized or slightly larger landscaping rocks around the some of the church buildings don't mix well with augers.
 

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Shear Pins can be a touchy game....Life saver or wallet/gear box breaker. I've seen quite a few of the MTD (AKA Single Storm Machines), that the pins are MUCH stronger than the gear. Most recent example is a Craftsman/MTD sold at ACE Hardware stores. The owner brought in in, with all the original tags/shipping materials attached, saying he had it for 3 years, (Musta got a good one, he's leaving it in his will to his grand kids....very optimistic gentleman), complaining of it "snow-plowing", not now throwing. Quick inspection revealed shear pins intact and a free-wheeling auger shaft. I asked if he ever broke a pin, he denied it and showed me the spares located in the original spots. Gear was real smooth and shiny....... And an expensive "Fuse". I've been using the older style shear bolts, with the relief cut in the shaft and spacers (I think maybe Husky or Snapper style, not sure), and told him to watch out for the landscape timbers lining his drive way......Jay
 

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Various brands and only time they break a shear pin is if I hit the good for noting free weekly paper that gets thrown on my driveway.
 

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no matter what the make of the machine, all is in relation of the owner's common sense and fair usage of his machine, period. not counting accidents, hehe
Various brands and only time they break a shear pin is if I hit the good for noting free weekly paper that gets thrown on my driveway.

oooh..... and accidents happens too....:signlol:


couple shear pins later and no prob... and that crappy media covered paper deserved what it went through hahaha
 
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