It’s new snow blower time
November 12, 2022 2:07 PM   Subscribe

I need to buy a new snow blower. Looking for some ideas on what model and where to buy. I want a 2-stage machine, gas powered and capable of handling New England Nor’Easter size snow storms. My previous snow blower lasted 25 years. I’m hoping there is a place that will have a Black Friday sale. Any suggestions or experiences are appreciated. Thanks!
posted by GernBlandston to Home & Garden (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
How wedded are you to it being gas powered? Ego has a 2-stage battery powered model that is great.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 2:59 PM on November 12, 2022 [3 favorites]

I also have no specifics on sales going on right now, but I did sell one last year on facebook. I sold it during the summer and was able to recoup half its price even though we'd been using it for 10 yrs. The buyer on the other hand got a blower in great shape for 50% off. So you might find a deal there, but also if you ever need to 'trade it in', i have n = 1 experience that resale value is pretty good!

Regarding capable for NewEngland, if your old model didn't have these features, I would recommend to get them:
drive motor (i.e., the wheels have power)
electric starter
heated handles
posted by Tandem Affinity at 6:02 PM on November 12, 2022

My wife took pity on me a few years ago after a big snowfall and I got a nice snowblower. It's a Toro I got from Home Depot. I'm not sure a two stage is relevant anymore. Mine is technically a single stage but it'll throw 12" of snow up onto my roof if I don't turn the chute. Things have vastly improved.

Minnesotan approved.
posted by sanka at 6:44 PM on November 12, 2022

Best answer: I had a small single stage Toro blower a neighbor gifted me when I moved into our house ages ago. Every year there was at least one storm it couldn't cope with. When the opportunity came up during a summer offseason I got an Ariens ST1332LE. Is it complete overkill? Yes, yes it is. In terms of just blasting all the snow away at a quick pace it's just the best, and it always works.

For me the essentials are two stages, and electric start and self propelled. I very much nerded out about all this and the brands to look for are Honda ($$$) and Ariens ($$). They are assembled where you purchase them so there is a benefit getting it at a smaller outfit that knows what they are doing. The duty cycle is only 25 hours on a snowblower before they need maintenance, so factor that cost in.

Ariens makes a couple of different lines and the main benefit to the smaller units is the lighter weight. My unit is over 330 pounds. It also has 13 HP and clears a path 32 inches wide, it's an absolute monster. The whole block's sidewalk can be cleared up to 10 inches at a brisk walking pace. The gas tank holds almost 4 liters and at full go that will last almost 2 hours. I wanted the absolute biggest machine I could get my hands on, but realistically I would have been fine with a 28 bucket and 9 HP. The 24 width just means you get to spend much more time going back and forth, and it's relative size isn't significantly smaller for storage.

This giant machine I have predates battery powered units becoming widely available, but I have dug out the neighbors with those sorts units several times.
posted by zenon at 6:56 PM on November 12, 2022 [2 favorites]

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