As the winter approaches, you think of things like ski trips and winter holidays like Christmas and HannukahBut more practically, most of us in colder climates have to think about shoveling snow! Luckily here at (insert name of website here) we have you covered.

We’ve come a long way from the ’30s and ’40s, when clearing a large driveway of snow usually meant hours and hours of literally back-breaking work with a shovel. Even better, the gas motors from the past that were smoky and sometimes hard to start have been improved greatly. Electric motors, which for years suffered from a lack of power, or were hampered by their range because they were tied to a cord- have also been improved. Whether you’ve got a small sidewalk or path to clear, or you’ve got a long driveway, road, or yard to get in shape, we’ll get you the snow thrower that meets your needs. Specifically, we review most of the readily-available models here on the site.

Here we’ll explain the differences between single, two- and three-stage snow blowers, and we’ll also discuss the advantages of both electric and gas motors. This way no matter what happens, you’ll get the machine that’s right for you and your needs.Going deeper into the guide, we’ll hopefully be able to give you some tips and tricks about owning a snow blower or snow thrower as well.

TOP
  • Poulan Pro
  • Price: See Here
  • Large engine for throwing wet snow and slush
  • Variable speed transmission
  • Electric start system
BEST VALUE
  • Power Smart DB7651
  • Price: See Here
  • High quality-to-price ratio
  • Decent-sized gas engine
  • 6-speed transmission
  • Snow Joe Ultra
  • Price: See Here
  • Best value pick
  • Electric engine
  • Small but tough

BEST SNOW BLOWERS

 POULAN PRO PR 300

FEATURES

This Poulan Pro is the best machine we’ve seen in the market, based on engine size, build quality, and other factors. There are positive things about this machine that can only be experienced through testing. Basically, things like how the machine is very well-balanced and is hard to tip over. The transmission and power steering system sounds like a gimmick, but it allows you to even operate the machine one-handed if you want. Turning is a breeze, as each wheel on the Poulan Pro is driven individually. Drive the left wheel and leave the right one to free-spin, and tyou’ll start tracking the machine right.

Do the opposite, and it’ll start moving left. These are small things that don’t seem to be important at first, but once you live with the Poulan Pro for a while, you don’t want to trade down to a lesser machine. If you live in Canada, or Colorado, or anywhere with severe winter weather, this is the type of machine you would choose to use if money’s not an object in the determination process.

Putting the machine together is easy, and that statement can’t be made for some of the machines on the market. The wheels and other vital parts of the machine are well-made and tough to break or disable. This is all stuff that doesn’t really show up in basic ”online comparisons” of the machine, but when using the snow thrower in real life come into play every day. I could go on; the handle is adjustable. Most other machines don’t have this option. If you’re doing a big driveway and you’re out in the cold for hours, its nice to have a machine that’s sized to your body. The skid plates are plastic, not metal, so it doesn’t tear up your driveway or your yard. The controls are easy to use, they’re very intuitive. Even someone who’s never used the machine (or a snow blower in general) could probably figure out how to use it just from looking at the controls.

Again, these are things that aren’t always present in the designs of other machines. It is with pride that we offer the Poulan Pro PR300 as the highest-rated machine in our survey. If you can get by the high price, you’ll be satisfied with the machine.

 

POWER SMART DB7103

FEATURES

The Power Smart, not unlike the Husqvarna or the Briggs & Stratton machines, are part of this top-of-the-line class of machines that has both electric starting mechanisms paired with gas engines. These are 2-stage machines, where the auger feeds the snow through an impeller before heading out of the chute. Most of these are also self-propelled, and some have extras like headlights, handwarmers, and variable speeds that make clearing snow a lot easier.

What keeps the Power Smart from reaching the top spot is simply that it has a slightly smaller engine than other competitors in the test. Its lack of some of the extra features other models offer combined with the smaller engine kept it down a bit. However, it’s been rated as having high durability marks, so if you try the machine yourself in stores and like it, go for it. No matter how you look at it, it’s a solid machine that should give you years of service. This Power Smart machine is the best-performing machine for the money in the test group.

Quality snow throwers are expensive. Most of the good ones, especially ones with these kind of specs, cost around a thousand US dollars. This Power Smart is only around 600 bucks on Amazon and at various home-improvement and farm supply houses, and if you can deal with a few shortcomings, this is a good machine. The wheels and other vital parts of the machine are well-made and tough to break or disable. The design isn’t perfect, but it’s no-nonsense and will get the job done.

Did we mention the price? This thing is cheap, yet good. All you really have to say here!

 

SNOW JOE ULTRA SJ621

FEATURES

This Snow Joe epitomizes the other main class of machines we reviewed in this article; electric snow throwers that are silent and known for reliability. These machines have less moving parts and a less complicated mechanism than those with gas engines, but for most people they can still get the job done. A lot of it comes down to what you value in a machine; do you want something that can cover a very large amount of ground or throw a lot of snow? Or do you value quiet operation, dependability, and a more environmentally-sound footprint? Do you live in the city, or are you in the country or suburbs?

If you’re in the city, or have a smaller yard or patio, the electric machines might be good for you. (Even though you may also need to pick up an extension cord at the supply house.) Out of all the electric machines we’ve surveyed, this one rates the best. So, check out what you’re looking for, and if an electric machine is on your radar check this one out for sure. For some people, these differences basically rule out buying the product. For others, it is these differences that make the Snow Joe something worth purchasing.

If it means anything, there’s also a lot of stories online and out in the field about this machine absolutely tearing through blizzard-size snow. A lot of people own this machine for smaller jobs like ”just to clear the deck” or ”just to get the 12 foot sidewalk path from the street to my door clear.” This machine can do those things surely, and who knows; if the heavy stuff starts to fall and you press it into service, it may respond positively. Negative reviews fomr ths machine exist online, but they’re mainly written by people who tried to do big jobs with the machine, or fault it for what it isn’t.

If you need a big, gas powered machine, a ”beast,” look elsewhere. We recommend this machine for people that need it or want it. It’s up to you to decide if you’re in that category after you assess your own needs.

GREENWORKS 2600502

FEATURES

This GreenWorks machine epitomizes the other main class of machines we reviewed in this article; electric snow throwers that are silent and known for reliability. These machines have less moving parts and a less complicated mechanism than those with gas engines, but for most people they can still get the job done. A lot of it comes down to what you value in a machine; do you want something that can cover a very large amount of ground or throw a lot of snow? Or do you value quiet operation, dependability, and a more environmentally-sound footprint? Do you live in the city, or are you in the country or suburbs? 

If you’re in the city, or have a smaller yard or patio, the electric machines might be good for you. (Even though you may also need to pick up an extension cord at the supply house.) So, check out what you’re looking for, and if an electric machine is on your radar check this one out for sure. For some people, these differences basically rule out buying the product. For others, it is these differences that make the GreenWorks something worth purchasing. If it means anything, there’s also a lot of stories online and out in the field about this machine absolutely tearing through blizzard-size snow.

A lot of people own this machine for smaller jobs like ”just to clear the deck” or ”just to get the 12 foot sidewalk path from the street to my door clear.” This machine can do those things surely, and who knows; if the heavy stuff starts to fall and you press it into service, it may respond positively. Another thing people seem to do with the GreenWorks machine is attack big snow drifts using two passes. What you have to do is adjust the auger higher, so at first you’re kind of giving big drifts a ”haircut.” Then you just come back a second time and hit it lower. Negative reviews from ths machine exist online, but they’re mainly written by people who tried to do big jobs with the machine, or fault it for what it isn’t. If you need a big, gas powered machine, a ”beast,” look elsewhere.

We recommend this machine for people that need it or want it. It’s up to you to decide if you’re in that category after you assess your own needs.

 

HUSQVARNA ST224

FEATURES

The Husqvarna, not unlike the Poulan Pro or the Briggs & Stratton machines, are part of this top-of-the-line class of machines that has both electric starting mechanisms paired with gas engines. These are 2-stage machines, where the auger feeds the snow through an impeller before heading out of the chute. Most of these are also self-propelled, and some have extras like headlights, handwarmers, and variable speeds that make clearing snow a lot easier. What keeps the Husqvarna from reaching the top spot is it’s lack of powersteering and poor handwarmers.

This combined with some of the durability issues reported with this machine kept it out of the top spots. However, the machine comes with a good warranty, and overall build quality seems very good. Not fully tricked out with all the bells-and-whistles, but it’s a great choice. Only thing that keeps it below the Briggs and a few others is that it doesn’t have a 250cc engine.

If you test it out in stores and like it, grab it. It’s a quality machine.

 

TROY-BILT STORM 2625

FEATURES

The Troy-Bilt, not unlike the Husqvarna or the Briggs & Stratton machines, are part of this top-of-the-line class of machines that has both electric starting mechanisms paired with gas engines. These are 2-stage machines, where the auger feeds the snow through an impeller before heading out of the chute. Most of these are also self-propelled, and some have extras like headlights, handwarmers, and variable speeds that make clearing snow a lot easier.

What keeps the Troy-Bilt from reaching the top spot is it’s lack of powersteering, handwarmers, etc. This combined with some of the durability issues reported with this machine kept it out of the top spots. However, the machine comes with a good warranty, and overall build quality seems decent. In conclusion: it’s good machine, but for the price you can probably do better. The Briggs machine has better durability ratings, and you can also get machines with more extras at the same price or a little more.

SNOW JOE ULTRA SJ624E

FEATURES

This Snow Joe machine epitomizes the other main class of machines we reviewed in this article; electric snow throwers that are silent and known for reliability. These machines have less moving parts and a less complicated mechanism than those with gas engines, but for most people they can still get the job doneA lot of it comes down to what you value in a machine; do you want something that can cover a very large amount of ground or throw a lot of snow? Or do you value quiet operation, dependability, and a more environmentally-sound footprint? Do you live in the city, or are you in the country or suburbs?

If you’re in the city, or have a smaller yard or patio, the electric machines might be good for you. (Even though you may also need to pick up an extension cord at the supply house.) This Snow Joe machine is similar to the other two electric machines reviewed. What keeps it from getting higher rankings: Its larger, and more powerful, which is normally a good thing…but the other, smaller machines seem to do just as good of a job if not better. Finally, this one seems to have a reputation online for clogging that the others don’t seem to have. A lot of times, with products, the ”premium” model isn’t worth the extra cash, and in this case we say the same.

Either grab one of the cheaper models, or step up to a two-stage-gas-powered machine.

 

TORO 38381

FEATURES

This Toro machine epitomizes the other main class of machines we reviewed in this article; electric snow throwers that are silent and known for reliability. These machines have less moving parts and a less complicated mechanism than those with gas engines, but for most people they can still get the job done. A lot of it comes down to what you value in a machine; do you want something that can cover a very large amount of ground or throw a lot of snow? Or do you value quiet operation, dependability, and a more environmentally-sound footprint? Do you live in the city, or are you in the country or suburbs? 

If you’re in the city, or have a smaller yard or patio, the electric machines might be good for you. (Even though you may also need to pick up an extension cord at the supply house.) So, check out what you’re looking for, and if an electric machine is on your radar check this one out for sure.

This is one of the most popular if not THE most popular small electric snowthrower in the USA. So why didn’t we give it better ratings? It’s a good machine, and if you buy it you will probably be fine with it. But what is hard to quantify in the review is that the Snow Joe machines seem to be built to a heavier duty standard. It may be because they are not a market leader.

Sort of like how an Infiniti will offer more horsepower and better options at a cheaper price than say, a Mercedes or BMW, we see the Snow Joe machines as slightly better than the Toro units. However, it’s still a good machine and if you buy it, you’ll probably be happy.  Just know that there are machines out there that are probably a hair or two nicer for the money.

 

HUSQVARNA 961830003

FEATURES

This Husqvarna machine is actually a third class of machine we reviewed in this article; single-stage snow-blowers. Sort of a middle ground between the electric and gas-powered machines, a single stage is a little more powerful in a sense than an electric. It also unlike an electric isn’t tied to a cord or batteries. Unfortunately, the single stage design and the overall smaller motor size means that compared to the dual-stage machines, this guy isn’t as powerful. Where a single-stage machine thrives is in climates where there isn’t a lot of snowfall, and if it does come down it’s not as heavy or as thick. If you don’t live in super-serious snow country, but you don’t want to shovel your driveway…this machine may be what you need. 

This is the only single-stage snow blower we have on our list. It’s a good machine, and there are people who prefer the single stage machines over others. This one may be for you if you live in a suburban house that has too much driveway for an electric, but not a rural estate that has a driveway as long as a street. Not as powerful as the 2-stage beasts, but if you’re not in heavy-duty snow country, this might also be a plus. Just watch out and test the machine fully as soon as you get it home and assembled, so if there’s any problems you can get them fixed while the return window is still good. Sometimes, compromise between 2 options is best. 

BRIGGS AND STRATTON 1696619 

FEATURES

The Briggs, not unlike the Husqvarna or the Power Smart machines, are part of this top-of-the-line class of machines that has both electric starting mechanisms paired with gas engines. These are 2-stage machines, where the auger feeds the snow through an impeller before heading out of the chute. Most of these are also self-propelled, and some have extras like headlights, handwarmers, and variable speeds that make clearing snow a lot easier. 

The name of the game with this Briggs machine is no-nonsense. The build quality is high, and it looks handsome in the garage or shed in its grey, black, and red color scheme. Some people prefer a machine without so many bells and whistles; it’s sort of like buying a car with manual door locks and a manual transmission instead of ”power everything.” You can hold onto simpler machines for longer, because there’s less stuff to break. If you’re that kind of person, this Briggs machine may be for you. Its lack of bells and whistles kept it from reaching the top of our chart, but it’s still a good buy. 

Another factor to mention is that prices seem to vary widely for this machine. Some online retailers place it closer to $1000, while others may have it near $500. Our researchers found a couple exaples around $575…if you can find this machine at a low price, it may be a really good option.

SNOWBLOWER FACTS

If you need a snow blower or snow thrower (they’re basically the same thing, what you call the machine depends more on where in the world you live than anything else) we’ve got you coveredSpeaking of that little distinction / If you want to get technical: All snow blowers/snow throwers we review can be broken up into two types: Single Stage and Dual Stage.

A single stage snow blower has an auger that touches the ground, propels the unit forward (albeit very slightly,) and throws the snow upward…all in one motionThis is why people also call single stage snow blowers ”snow throwers” in that they throw snow up and in one basic motion, not unlike what you would do with a shovel.

Knowing that the auger touches the ground is important here, as these machines are made for paved surfaces like concrete and asphalt. The augers in these machines are plastic, and are designed not to leave marks on driveways or paved paths. Taking a machine like this out into dirt or gravel could cause the machine to tear up and throw said gravel or dirt into the air along with the snow. Obviously, this is not recommended.

A snow thrower is a 2 stage machine. Meaning, there’s an auger/blade/fan involved that cuts and tosses the snow from the ground. Then a secondary action takes place that throws the snow out of the way. Again, this is different than the single stage machine that cuts and throws all with one motion. The important thing to know here is that in this case the auger sits higher up on the machine, and doesn’t touch the ground.

This makes these types of machines great for use on gravel, sand or unpaved driveways and areas, because using the machine hopefully doesn’t tear up the ground or throw gravel in the air. The other thing is that 2-stage machines have a wider tracking area due to this design difference. They almost look like mini-bulldozers sitting there in the shop with their big front scoops.

As you might imagine, this lends them to heavier-duty use and are favored by people with big yards, big jobs to do, and by people who want the best machines that do jobs the quickest. Online and among people who know, a ”snow thrower” is a single stage machine, and a ”snow blower” is a dual-stage machine.

However, depending on where you live in the world, and sometimes how old you are, all snow-moving machines may be known as one thing or another. So for purposes of this review (and because we review many types of machines) we use the terms interchangeably. It’s like referring to a car or motorcycle made by Bayerische Motoren Werke as a ”Bimmer” or a ”Beemer.”

Supposedly, there are right and wrong answers to that question, but out in real life they’re both basically the same and basically both right. Complicating things are that a snow thrower is also technically a snow blower…yet a snow blower may not also be a snow thrower—if it’s only single-stage.

Are you confused yet? In short, don’t worry about it. Especially out in real life. But now you know the difference between the ”stages!”

One more wrinkle in the snowblower game:

When you’re looking for a snow blower, you have to pick how you want the engine to run, i.e. how is the snow thrower engine fueled? Most of the two stage machines are gas-powered, usually with some sort of electric start mechanism as well because lets face it, you’re using this thing in the cold.

Unless you’re talking about a Tesla automobile, the most efficient and powerful engines on the planet in the consumer arena used for snow blowers run on gasolineA snow thrower with a gas engine is going to be more powerful than a snow thrower with an electric engine at the same cost.

But of course, power isn’t everything. Gas engines have more moving parts and sometimes have trouble starting up. Gas engines are loud and they have to emit some sort of exhaust. Electric engines are basically silent, and have fewer moving parts. They’re also very easy to start up and run. Electric engines are smaller, which makes the whole machine weigh less and therefore more maneuverable.

The downside of course with an electric engine is that the power has to come from somewhere, being that there’s no gas tank. This means either a power cord or a battery pack, and with the amount of power a snow thrower needs, it usually means a cord. So if you’re using an electric snow blower, you also need a cord as long as your yard…or at least as long as the area you want to clear.

Combine the smaller size with the quiet operation of an electric machine, and you’ve got a bunch of electric snow throwers that are just begging to be used in the city, and in smaller yards and driveways.

Then you add the fact that electric machines emit no exhaust, so you don’t smell like a gas station attendant when you’re done + you’re doing no damage to the environment.

Score another point for the electric team, especially for you people out there that are city dwellers. Ths is where the unheralded single-stage gas-powered snow thrower enters the stage once again… ”But wait” you ask, ”I thought I wanted a 2-stage machine! 2 stages have to be better than one, right?

Well, sometimes.

But know that the single-stage machines are smaller, because they only have (wait for it…) one stage of operation.

So the engines of these machines are usually smaller. They’re inherently not as big or as tuff as a 2-stage machine, but their small size makes them easier to move around than a 2-stage beast.

For suburban or urban people looking for a compromise between electric and gas, a single stage machine may do that job well.

Just know that single stage machines are meant for fairly light duty, and even then only on paved surfaces. But if that sounds like you, go for it. If you read through all our reviews, you notice that they go through each machine and pinpoint what type of machine it is, and who it’s suited for. Enjoy the reviews, and feel free to impress people at the hardware store with your newfound knowledge if you wish.

 

FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN SHOPPING FOR A SNOWTHROWER

The first thing to think about when shopping for a snowblower is the size of your driveway. Is it big? small? paved or not? do you have hills or inclines to deal with?  If you have a lot of ground to cover, you will probably want a 2-stage gas-powered machine. Most all of these have some sort of disk-driven transmission that gives power to the wheels; basically, they’re self-propelled. This also helps when it comes to hills. No one wants to be behind a big machine, pushing it up a hill.

If your driveway isn’t paved, meaning it’s gravel, dirt, or sand, you may need to also make sure the auger doesn’t touch the ground. Most of the 2 stage gas machines and at least some of the electrics are designed this way. This is good because if hard things (like rocks or frozen ground) gets into the machine, bad things will happen.

Single stage machines run the auger directly on the groundThis is basically fine on paved surfases, as the concrete is harder than the plastic auger…but as mentioned earlier, it might not be the best situation in unpaved areas. If you’re in the city or don’t have a big driveway, consider an electric machine. They’re theoretically more reliable than gas machines (though electric-start systems have mitigated this in one way or another.)

An electric machine is also virtually silent, another thing to consider when living in close proximity to others. An electric machine doesnt emit any smoke or exhaust, so not only will you not smell like a gas station attendant after you’re done, it’s also better for the planet. 

The second factor to consider, of course, is how much money you’re willing to spend on a machine. The 2 stage gas-powered machines are real hunks of machinery, and have prices to match. You’ll also need somewhere to store the beast. 

The electrics and single-stage machines are cheaper, have a smaller footprint, and have fewer moving parts, so in theory they’ll last longer.

WHAT TYPES OF SNOWBLOWERS ARE AVAILABLE

The top-of-the-line class of machines have both electric starting mechanisms paired with gas engines. These are 2-stage machines, where the auger feeds the snow through an impeller before heading out of the chute. Most of these are also self-propelled, and some have extras like headlights, handwarmers, and variable speeds that make clearing snow a lot easier.

These machines are not cheap, but usually offer excellent build quality, come with good warranties, and are all-around tough machines. If you test them in stores and like them, grab one. They’re the high-end of the market for a reason. Especially if you live in a rural area, have a lot of snow to clear, have to deal with hills and valleys…or want the best…a 2-stage gas machine is for you.

The other main class of machines we reviewed in this article are electric snow throwers that are silent and known for reliability. These machines have less moving parts and a less complicated mechanism than those with gas engines, but for most people they can still get the job done.

In some senses, they’re smaller…so they don’t have as much power, and might not be as ”built-to-last” as their gas-powered counterparts. However,smaller also means more maneuverable. You can get these machines into tight corners, they travel up hills, and all sizes, shapes, and ages of people can handle them easier.

A lot of it comes down to what you value in a machine; do you want something that can cover a very large amount of ground or throw a lot of snow? Or do you value quiet operation, dependability, and a more environmentally-sound footprint? Do you live in the city, or are you in the country or suburbs?

If you’re in the city, or have a smaller yard or patio, the electric machines might be good for you. (Even though you may also need to pick up an extension cord at the supply house.) 

The third class of machine we reviewed in this article are single-stage snow-blowers. Sort of a middle ground between the electric and gas-powered machines, a single stage is a little more powerful in a sense than an electric.

It also unlike an electric isn’t tied to a cord or batteries. Unfortunately, the single stage design and the overall smaller motor size means that compared to the dual-stage machines, they are not as powerful. 

Where a single-stage machine thrives is in climates where there isn’t a lot of snowfall, and if it does come down it’s not as heavy or as thick. If you don’t live in super-serious snow country, but you don’t want to shovel your driveway…this machine may be what you need. 

So, check out what you’re looking for, and maybe ask your neighbors and keep your head up to what’s most popular in your area. That real-world knowledge combined with the info in this guide will hopefully help you make an informed decision about the best snowblower for you.

BEST SNOW BLOWER BRANDS

A Word About Brand Names of Snowblowers aka ”Who Makes The Best Snowblower?” A lot of people come into hardware stores and home-improvement supply houses asking this question.

The truth is, most of these ”brands” are actually owned by one or two companies, and they assemble them from many different kinds of parts from all over the world. Yes, sometimes the name on the from of the machine matters, but more important is that you get something that fits your needs.

Read through our guide of ”What’s the Best Kind Of Snowblower” and read our own rankings and reviews. Then go to your local shops and put your hands on the machines. Figure out if you need a 2-stage gas + electric, a full electric, or a single stage.

Then go through the rankings online and find a good one. The name on the front of the thing doesn’t matter so much.

 POULAN

Poulan is part of the Husqvarna family of brands, and they’ve been made in one way or another for about a hundred years. This model is a ”Poulan Pro” meaning instead of the familiar Poulan green color, it sports a black-and-yellow scheme. This helps distinguish the sub-brand as being above both the standard Poulan gear and the Husqvarna line.

Power Smart 

Power Smart is is part of the Amerisun family of brands, which means Lawn Devil and Snow Devil stuff sold at Menards is also basically made by the same company. They’ve been around for only a few years, and make a small line of farm equipment. They’re based out of Illinois, and their gear is seen commonly in the US Midwest. Most models carry a warranty, and online reviews about their durability are favorable.

 

 Briggs & Stratton

Briggs is one of America’s great companies: they’ve made small engines for over a hundred years. Depending on who you talk to, they may be the largest supplier of small engines in the world. They were founded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1908, and their main R&D center is still there to this day. Their assembly factories are all over the USA, mainly in the south with another one in NY state.

 

SNOW JOE

Snow Joe is the product of a young entrepreneur out of New Jersey. They have a small line of mainly electric-powered yard maintainance tools. They’re assembled in high-quality factories in China, and are know as fairly easy to use and simple tools (in a good way.) Easily available on the East Coast, Snow Joe is growing and are sold online and in most retailer’s shops.

 

 

 GreenWorks 

GreenWorks is out of Charlotte, North Carolina, and touts their tools as emissions-free devices. Many of their charging units meet or exceed EPA’s ”Energy Star” certification. They point out on their website that mowing a lawn (or, we assume, clearing a driveway of snow) puts as many particulates into the air as a car driving 100 miles. It’s an interesting marketing strategy that actually makes a lot of sense.

Their machines all have a green color mixed with the more standard anodized-black looks, and try to show people that electric tools are not just smart choices in a utilitarian sense, but also good for the environment. They’re assembled in high-quality factories in China, and much like Snow Joe, are known as fairly easy to use and simple tools (in a good way.)

 Husqvarna 

Husqvarna is a Swedish company, and if anyone understands snow, it’s Scandinavians. If you ask most farmers and rural folks about the brand, they’ll tell you positive things…as Husqvarna makes a lot of heavy-duty and tough farm gear.

The original Husqvarna was a state-owned rifle factory that started in the 1600s. While you can’t buy a Husqvarna shotgun anymore, they’re still headquartered in Stockholm. They own a portfolio of brands, including the previously-reviewed Poulan and Poulan Pro products.

 Troy-Bilt

Troy-Bilt is part of MTD, a giant company out of Ohio that has a lot of brands under its umbrella like Cub Cadet and Remington. MTD means ”Modern Tool and Die” as they came out of being a tool company in the 1930s. They’re headquartered in Cleveland, and like many of these other conglomerates have an umbrella structure of brands.

They sell bicicles as well as lawn and garden care products…and what’s also very interesting is that they make over 30 private-label brands of products in the lawn care, tool, and garden sectors. So if you’re in the American Midwest or ordering products from a shop based there…and you see something for sale under a ”store brand” or provate label brand…there’s a good chance it was made by MTD/Troy-Bilt.

TIPS, TRICKS AND ADVICE

Before we start the Tips and Tricks section, I want to make sure you have the right snowblower for your needs. If you haven’t purchased a snowblower yet, make sure and read through our ”brands of snow blowers” info sheet, and our ”what is a snowblower and what type of Snowblower do I need” info sheet. We want to make sure you’re informed about the types of snowblowers, and that you know exactly what the best snowblower is for you.

 

Once you get that done…

 

Selecting a snowblower is only half the battle…sooner or later you’re going to have to use the thing. Well, before you do (or after you bring it home) here are some tips and tricks about snowblower ownership that will ensure your experience remains positive.

 

One: Make sure you have fuel stabilizer in your shed or garage! This sounds a bit strange, but in modern times, gasoline doesn’t ”last” or ”stay good” very long; usually only about 30 days.

So if you filled up your snow blower/snow thrower with fuel when you bought it in late August, when the white stuff starts falling in November that gas will be worthless. Congress passed environmental regulations years ago that allowes for gasoline to ”oxidize,” which in short makes the stuff no good for fueling your machine. So it’s a good idea to only buy gasoline when the forecast looks like snow. Failing that, try and make sure your gas is as fresh as possible, and buy a bit of fuel stabilizer as well to put in the tank with your gas.

 

There’s a lot of reasons behind this, and I’ll keep it pretty simple… but basically, as gas deteriorates, it becomes less useful as fuel and more a fluid that can clog the myriad of small tubes, nooks, and crannies n your engine. There’s a lot of ethanol in modern gasoline, and that stuff can rust your tank it’s that corrosive. In short– just pick up some fuel stabilizer and throw a bit in (read the directions on the can, of course!) as needed and directed. Your snowblower will thank you, or at least start up and work when the temperatures are in the negative degrees.

 

Two: Another small thing you don’t really know you need until you don’t have it in the cold is a bag of shear pins. Most 2 stage snow blowers (and some other machines) have what’s called a ”shear pin” attached to the auger. Let’s say you’re out clearing the driveway and suddenly you run your snow blower into a junk-mail newspaper that at some point got thrown into your yard by some obviously extremely intelligent person.

Newspapers, especially junk-mail ones in my experience, are excellent at soaking up moisture from snow, then freezing into impenetrable, rock-hard cylinders of ice. Your plastic auger, as tough as it is, isn’t going to slice through this massive, freezing ice log that’s hidden underneath some soft fluffy snow in your driveway. Sadly, this fight is always going to be won by the frozen paper.

 

If shear pins did not exist, what would happen would be the auger would unexpectedly run into a large obstacle, like the paper, or a frozen tennis ball left out there by the neighbor’s dog, or a big piece of wood, etc. Once the auger runs into something crazy like the frozen newspaper, it can’t continue pushing itself forward. Without a shear pin in place, the auger cannot move, but the disks in the transmission and the engine still want to turn the crank.

This would mean serious engine or transmission damage. Incidentally, this is why most quality snow blowers have ”disk” style transmissions vs. ones with gears. A little slippage in this case is a good thing.

 

However, none of that stuff is even relevant at this point, because in our case, the shear pin that connects the auger to the engine drive assembly breaks off. Don’t worry, the pin is meant to break. A shear pin is a bolt that’s been grinded down so that when the auger feels a bit of resistance, the bolt breaks and severs the connection between auger and engine.

Every winter, tons of people haul snow blowers back to their point of original purchase…complaining that ”they turn on the machine, but the auger doesn’t spin anymore.”

Well, obviously, what happened was the owner probably ran the snow blower into something, broke the shear pin, and that’s why the machine doesn’t work anymore.

 

Don’t be that person.

 

Buy a bag of shear pins when you purchase your snow blower, and if you run into something unexpected or crazy (hey, we all do it, it’s not like you can really see what’s inside all that snow you’re plowing) check the shear pin. This way if the pin does its job, you can swap it out quickly with a fresh one and get back to finishing up your job.

 

Finally, now that you hopefully have those two things in your shed or garage, I’ll quickly run through some basics on using your snow thrower. Before you start it up, make sure all the knobs and settings on your snow blower are where they need to be. (For those of you who have children, you know that knobs and settings on machines in your house might be turned or messed with at any point in time!)

 

Every snow blower is different, but most should follow this set of instructions:

Make sure your ”choke” is CLOSED. On some machines it says ”closed” or has a diagram with something blocking a pipe. Other machines say ”FULL” vs ”RUN.” This doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, but you want it on FULL for now. In short, you want the choke closed up. This is because closing the choke keeps air from getting into the carburetor. Right now you’re trying to get the machine going, so you want more fuel, less air in the carburetor and engine…and closing the choke gets this done.

 

The second thing is you want your throttle on Fast instead of Slow. You want the engine to fire up, so speed and revolutions per minute are what you’re looking for right now. Some machines have a ”graph” going from small to big, others have a ”turtle” icon on one side and a ”rabbit” icon on the other, etc. Right now you want the rabbit!

 

Next, you have to make sure that there’s actually gas available for your engine to drink when it’s thirsty. Modern snow blowers have a valve that keeps gas out of then engine when the machine is being stored (remember all my talk about old gas corroding metal parts, cloggin up things, etc?)

 

Keeping gas out of the engine when it’s not being used is a very good thing.

Obviously, right now though, you want to use your machine, so look for a valve or switch that says ”GAS” vs. ”NO GAS” or a gas pump icon vs. a gas pump icon with the Ghostbusters ”No” symbol over it, etc. You want it on GAS right now.

 

Now the super obvious stuff:

 

Make sure if your machine has an ON/OFF switch that it’s flipped to ON.

Some On/Off switches say RUN/STOP or something else, but you know what I mean here.

Other machines don;t have an on/off switch, but instead have a key. Some have both, others have neither. Either way, if your machine requires a key, make sure that sucker is in there and turned towards the ON or START position or whatever.

 

One last thing before you fire it up:

See if your machine has a primer bumb aka a ”pump bulb.”

Most do.

If so, give that bulb a push or two. This releases a little bit of gas into the engine so that there’s actually propellant in there when you start huffing and puffing and getting it started.

 

Now’s the time, pull the starter cord and let ‘er rip! Alternatively: now’s the time you attach a power cord to the engine, and push the START button.

Maybe not as satisfying as pulling on a ripcord, but a whole lot easier.

Heck, sometimes it’s even cooler to just push a button and hear your engine come to life.

Now, go get that driveway cleared so you can get out in to the world where burgers and pizza and ice cold beers await you.

This article has been carefully researched and written in order to offer you all that you need to know about buying a digital piano, what features are out there, and what your needs are, as well as how to fill them. We hope that this article has helped you to define exactly what your needs are, and perhaps even sparked some interest into some of our featured digital pianos that are currently available.

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Melissa