Snowblower Advice Needed!
October 20, 2005 7:01 AM   Subscribe

Snowblower advice needed! I am looking to purchase a snowblower for the upcoming winter and know very little of the brands out there. I am looking at a Murray brand, 8hp machine for $997 (Canadian). Is that a good brand & price? I'm looking to spend up to $1200 before taxes so is there a better deal out there?

The Murray carries a 4 year warranty while some of the competitors (Yardworks, Craftsman Tecumseh) only carry 2 year warranties. Is this a big factor?
posted by Shfishp to Home & Garden (3 answers total)
Only advice I can give is check the engine brand. The snowblowers themselves are pretty simple/straight forward. I have a John Deere with a Tecumseh engine which has been very reliable. That said, I would probably opt for a Briggs and Stratton if I was in the market for a new machine (mine was left by the previous owner) as they are very common and (in my experience) very reliable.
I do know my John Deere (also 8hp) retailed for about $1400 US new (5 or so years ago) so $977 seems like a good price. Check out the reviews on, I found them helpful when trying to get information abour my machine.
posted by evilelf at 9:02 AM on October 20, 2005

Match the HP & the area to be cleaned with the average snowfall.

If possible, compare it hiring a snow removal service. Around here, it costs about $250 a year. So with the price you quoted, plus tax and usage costs, it would be equivalent to four years of service (right when your warranty runs out).

The warranty is very important. Depending on the weather conditions, it will take quite a beating. The question then is the warranty longer because it is less well built and they need to extend it to be competive?

Check the warranty also for how repairs are handled. Can you get one where they will come to you? Broken, at the end of the driveway, in the middle of a snowstorm and they are predicting frozen rain for later in the evening,a nd more snow for the rest of the week. Let alone fixing it, how are you going to bring it?

Back to the HP. More means more expensive & heavier to move around. Even if it is self propelled, you still have to move it backwards & such, and sometimes in some pretty bad weather.

But if the HP is too low, then you will have a devil of a time. It will breadown more often and you will have supplement it with a shovel.
posted by notcostello at 9:21 AM on October 20, 2005

I can say my father has had his Ariens for 22 years with very few problems in Chicago. It is a two stage model, which is much better than a single stage in terms of putting the snow where you want it.
posted by cameldrv at 10:09 AM on October 20, 2005

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