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DBV1


Location: Amherst, OH
Joined: Oct 28, 2011
Points: 16

Easiest Snowblower to Use
Original Message   Jan 2, 2014 9:07 am
Hello - I have a two year old Honda 928 and think it is extremely hard to maneuver/use. Are there any other snowblowers that would be easier to use in the 24 to 28 inch range. I would rather shove than use this thing. :)
Replies: 7 - 16 of 16Next page of topicsPreviousAllView as Outline
aa335


Joined: Nov 29, 2008
Points: 2388

Re: Easiest Snowblower to Use
Reply #7   Jan 2, 2014 4:21 pm
FrankMA, the storm Hercules just passed through my area.  This storm system is coming your way.  I was expecting it would bring a lot of snow since it is so long and narrow.  However, I only got a total of 5 inches in the last two days.  However, I've been outside snowblowing about 4 times because the winds just keep moving the existing snow around.

I haven't had a need to bring the two stage snowblower out to use.  It's still hibernating under the covers.  I think I'm forgetting how to operate that thing.  :)
This message was modified Jan 2, 2014 by aa335
FrankMA


Location: Merrimack Valley/Northeastern Mass
Joined: Jul 1, 2010
Points: 586

Re: Easiest Snowblower to Use
Reply #8   Jan 2, 2014 6:19 pm
Hello aa335: I just got done using my HS621 on about 8" of nice fluffy 5* degree F snow - ate it up like a hobo on a hot dog! Second time today I was out there clearing my driveway. The first time I used my Stihl BR550 Backpack leaf blower as there was only a few inches of very light fluffy snow and this method works particularly well when the depth of snow is under 4" or so (and light and fluffy). Looks like we'll be in for another 10 - 12 inches overnight so I may have to employ the HS928TA if conditions warrant that kind of firepower.

Toro Wheel Horse 522xi GT, Honda HS928TA, Honda HS621AS, Honda HS520A, Toro CCR3000 (work in progress), Honda HS624WA (sold 08/23/2010), Stihl BR550 Backpack Blower, Stihl MS250, McCulloch MS1635, Honda EM6500SX Generator
jrtrebor


Location: Michigan - 3 hours north of Chicago on the lake
Joined: Feb 10, 2010
Points: 524

Re: Easiest Snowblower to Use
Reply #9   Jan 2, 2014 9:51 pm
If your looking to only have one blower.
The Ariens are very easy to turn.
I have a modified Ariens 1332 that's about 20+ years old
I can, and do make 180 degree turns either direction.
On occasion using only one hand to steer it.
At it's slowest speed you can literally drive in a circle with the inner wheel staying in one spot.
But you have to do a little trot to keep up with the handles.
They have a differential which allows the ease of turning.

A lot of newer models have triggers on the handles which allow you to turn the blowers;
The triggers when pulled disengage the power to the wheel on that side.
I don't know exactly how those systems are designed and engineered.
So I don't know whether or not they become problematic after a while.
This message was modified Jan 3, 2014 by jrtrebor
mml4


Snow is good,
Deep snow is better!


Joined: Dec 31, 2003
Points: 541

Re: Easiest Snowblower to Use
Reply #10   Jan 3, 2014 8:57 am
Buy a 2 stage unit with a differential,4hp /ft of auger width and X-trac tires. That formula should give you an easy handling machine that will move just about any storms leavings. The Xtrac tires are heads and shoulders better than the Snow Hogs and in my experience work as well as chains without the damage to black top. I am especially fond of the 8hp 24" wide machines because they can be stored between 2 parked cars in a standard home garage. Anything wider is usually a problem. Marc

SnapperV210P,Toro22177,TroyBilt42010Snowthrower,Craftsman Shredder,American Turbo Pressure Washer HondaGX200,Stihl011Saw,EchoPas260Trimmer Edger,EchoPB602Blower,EchoHCR150Hedge Clipper
mkd55


Location: wisconsin
Joined: Dec 16, 2005
Points: 148

Re: Easiest Snowblower to Use
Reply #11   Jan 3, 2014 11:45 am
just bought a new ariens 921030 28" snowblower with the new autotrack differential for the drive and it is a breeze to operate. it drives with two wheels and turns like only one wheel is locked in. no trigger levers or fighting it to turn around at the end of the drive. I bought the deluxe model and it was only available in the 28" however upgrade to the platinum series and they all have it. the 28" is only 6 lbs heavier (235 lbs) than the same model in 24". cost out the door was $1054.95 my 1985 924 still starts one pull and runs like a top but I either have the drive bearing, gear differential, or both that's starting to get sloppy. don't know if it's worth fixing and don't have the room for it in the garage. trying to get $250.00 for it on craigs list. sold the snowblower yesterday!
This message was modified Jan 6, 2014 by mkd55
niper99


Location: London Ont
Joined: Dec 2, 2007
Points: 332

Re: Easiest Snowblower to Use
Reply #12   Jan 5, 2014 1:42 am
Id recommend a blower with axel trigger disconnects (power steering).. makes any machine ALOT easier to move around and turn.. don't really matter the model IMO..
aa335


Joined: Nov 29, 2008
Points: 2388

Re: Easiest Snowblower to Use
Reply #13   Jan 6, 2014 3:24 pm
FrankMA wrote:
Hello aa335: I just got done using my HS621 on about 8" of nice fluffy 5* degree F snow - ate it up like a hobo on a hot dog! Second time today I was out there clearing my driveway. The first time I used my Stihl BR550 Backpack leaf blower as there was only a few inches of very light fluffy snow and this method works particularly well when the depth of snow is under 4" or so (and light and fluffy). Looks like we'll be in for another 10 - 12 inches overnight so I may have to employ the HS928TA if conditions warrant that kind of firepower.

The storm Ion came through Chicago and dumped 7 inches of snow.  It was heavy kind of snow which warranted the use of the 2 stage machine.  The SS would have just threw it about 6 feet at most.  Ended up helping out some neighbors too.  Also, I wanted to put some piled up snow across the street.  Got some brisk wind to help it carry away.

I have been using the poly (plastic) skid shoes from Robalon.  They worked great, the snowblower doesn't snag on every little cracks on the pavement.   It glides nicely on snow too.  Got to use the 2 stage machine quite a bit and I just love what it does well, chew and blow.  Still dread the turning, especially when I'm up against a wall or garage door.  At the end of the day, I could feel my bones and muscles aching though.  I guess you can have too much fun snowblowing and it shows. 
snowday


Joined: Feb 6, 2013
Points: 11

Re: Easiest Snowblower to Use
Reply #14   Jan 7, 2014 3:54 pm
I have a John Deere 1330SE and I think it is the easiest snowblower to use even given its size. 13HP 342CC briggs and a 30" bucket. The easy steer (no triggers, automatic turn) and the electronic chute and deflector controls are a must have. When you get to the end to make a turn you don't have to stop to pull at trigger or turn a chute or push a deflector lever. You simply push two buttons and make your turn without stopping. The easy turn (auto turn) is also very useful and works well! They don't make this blower as a deere anymore but it is a Briggs and stratton. Briggs and Simplicity are close as well as snapper as they are all made by Briggs. The only think I noticed is they don't have the auto steer on any of them only the triggers for each wheel. I'm not sure if anyone can narrow down who makes an auto steer still, is it only Ariens that still offers an auto steer with now triggers? http://www.briggsandstratton.com/us/en/snow-throwers/snow-throwers?series=Heavy-Duty+Two-Stage http://www.simplicitymfg.com/us/en/snow-blowers/heavy-duty-dual-stage
oldcrow


If it ain't broke, try harder

Location: Northern MI
Joined: Jan 15, 2008
Points: 63

Re: Easiest Snowblower to Use
Reply #15   Jan 20, 2014 1:15 pm
I've got a Toro 421QE, and would highly recommend that unit - or any comparable performer. PROVIDING that a single-stage will get the job done for you. Wet, deep snowfalls and EOD glaciers will choke the best SS snowblowers. But for moderate conditions, you just can't beat a quality single-stage. Lighweight and a breeze to maneuver, not to mention small footprint and easy to transport. Quick-Chute on the Toro is a godsend - you'll never want to go back to cranks or handles. A pleasure to operate, as long as you don't have too much area to cover. It will push 10" of fluffy stuff all day. My first choice when conditions warrant.

On the other hand...

When I moved to northern Michigan, I was asking too much from the trusty Toro. It got the job done, but it ate up paddle rubber (gravel drive) and was ineffective on the insane plow EOD. This year I added an Ariens 921035 28" 2-stage to my arsenal. Have had ample opportunity to try it out, am quite satisfied with it's performance. For the price, it's pretty hard to beat. The auto-turn feature works great, saves a lot of grunting on tight turns without extra grip controls. Starts easy and runs smooth. A bit underpowered, IMHO, but I haven't bogged the engine down yet. Chews through everything in front of it, even hard, icy EOM. No, it's not as comfortable to operate as the Toro, but even with my twisted back I can stand a 1-hour session without too much pain. That's been rare, though - the Ariens gets the job done in about half as much time as a SS, so I'm normally done in 1/2 hour or less. For light snowfalls, I still rely on the Toro SS.

It's always a tradeoff between the heavy hitters, and the sexy little paddle blowers. 2-stage units are more difficult to operate by design, but there are some big differences between brands and models. Look for a balance of [relatively] light weight and resepectible horsepower. Tire size, traction controls, and front-to-rear weight distribution all figure in for comfort. Don't forget the handlebar grips, either -  some models have you holding the grips at unnatural angles with can really add to fatique and hamper maneuverability. Ideally, get one of each if that's practical. But if you rarely deal with megastorms or snowfall over 10", go with a quality single-stage.
aa335


Joined: Nov 29, 2008
Points: 2388

Re: Easiest Snowblower to Use
Reply #16   Jan 25, 2014 3:03 am
The easiest snowblower to use is the equipment that is evenly matched to the severity of the snowstorm.

2 inches and less - shovel or snow pusher
2 to 8 inches - single stage snowblower
8 + inches - 2 stage snowblower with a big engine.

slush - Toro S620 or Honda HS621
ice - ice chipper
freezing rain - salt
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