My Review of the 2011 Craftsman 26 inch 208 cc Snow Thrower Model 88970
NOTE: This snow blower will be available to pick up at your nearest Sears store. Just click on the item below, order through Sears.com, go you your local store and pick it up in five minutes or less. If you want, you can have the item delivered right to your home. Either way it’s fast. Either way this is a safe, fast way to get your new snowblower.
Be sure to check the Special Offers tab on the Sears.com page. Take your time and read about all the specials. There will be many extra discounts for ordering online this Christmas season.
Ready to Buy? Go Here: Sears.com Home Page
It’s not which is the best snow thrower. It is which snow thrower is best for you!
Value: This snow thrower is the same machine as last year and has proven itself as a great snow blower for your average sized driveway. The 4 way chute control (changed in 2009) is much stronger and easier to operate than the cable system that was on older models.
The Craftsman Model 88970 is designed to clear lots of snow quickly. This size snowblower is a great value for the features and price compared to many of the snowblowers offered by other manufactures.
In addition the 4-way chute, electric start, good tires and good balance make this snowblower easy to operate. Of course, this snowblower is not for everyone, but in my opinion this snow thrower is just the right size for driveways less than 16 by 150 feet.. (1-2 cars wide, can park 6-8 cars behind each other)
Service & Parts Availability: Parts are easily available to everyone. You can order the parts and have them shipped right to your door. Sears also has the largest service fleet. The optional 5 year in-home Protection Plan is the best snow blower repair program. It is not an extended warranty that only covers manufactures defect for an additional period. It covers fuel related issues and most wear and tear items. With this plan if you forgot to put fuel stabilizer in it and it doesn’t want to start next year, a Sears tech will come out get it running for you. (Without the Protection Plan not storing your snow blower properly can easily cost $175 or more for labor, carburetor cleaning and/or a new carburetor. Sears is the only retailer that currently covers this in their Optional Protection Plan) All labor, trip charges and questions are covered for the period.
Ease Of Use: Deluxe chute and operator controls make this snowblower easy to use. These controls have been around for a few years and they have proven very dependable. The controls include an auger lock for one hand operation, and 110v Electric Start.
Is This SnowBlower Right For You? Read on.
Customer Satisfaction: Very Good: The Craftsman 88970 has been around for a while now. Sears.com has over 92 reviews and the Model 88970 rates a solid 4 out of 5. Over 90% of the reviews are positive. Note: 1. This unit does not have an alternator so you can’t hook up a light. I suggest getting the new LED light for your 19.2 drill battery and strapping that to your unit. You will have plenty of light:) 2. The deflector (top of the chute) takes a little while to set up and it wants to open to full until you get it adjusted properly. You have to adjust a wing-nut on the top of the chute a couple of times at first. 3. The chute control works well, but some people may need to use both hands to swing it from side-to-side.
Craftsman 26″ Snow Thrower,Great machine,good price
This snowblower continues to be a solid, dependable snow blower for 2011. It is still one of the best values for 2011. For the same features, all the comparable snow blowers from other retailers cost more. Compare this snowblower to it’s twin, the Yard-Man 208cc, 26in. Clearing Width, Model# 31AM63LF701 at Northern Tool
The Craftsman Model 88970 is designed for medium use (6-12 inches) and will clear snow quickly. It will handle deeper snows, just not as quickly as the more powerful units. But for the size, snowblower is a great value and the history of the snow thrower makes it a very reliable machine. This snowthrower has just the right amount of features to make it easy to use and last a long, long time. The drive system on this snow blower has been around for many years and it is just about bulletproof.
With a street price around $750 it is probably the best value 26 inch snowblower. You can find quite a few snow blowers for less money, but you can’t find another with these features at this price.
Is this the right snowblower for you?
Most people will be able to use this snowblower. It is balanced well and easy to use. The controls are simple and basic. It does not have power steering like some of the other Craftsman models and will be hard to turn for smaller people. If this is the case, look at the Craftsman 88691
This snowblower will go through a door 28 inches or larger. The 26 inch width and the skid shoes need 28 inches or more. If you regularly use the garage side door or go out the back to clean a spot off the patio this model will easily fit through your doors.
Do you have to put the snow in precise locations? My neighbor has a spot where he has to blow the snow into a 4 foot wide area. The 4 way chute control allows for precise and quick chute changes.
Do you have a beautiful drive or patio? The poly skid shoes will NOT leave brown (rust) marks on your drive. If you have stained concrete or a nice patio this snow thrower won’t destroy it.
This is a medium sized snow thrower with a well matched motor and all the basic features you need. The 4 way chute makes it easy to operate and control where the snow goes.
Here is a rundown of the Features and Benefits of this new snowthrower:
Single Handed Operation: You can drive the snow thrower easily with one hand to make adjustments to the chute or change speeds without stopping.
4 cycle, 208 cc Overhead Valve Motor: This Craftsman motor is larger than the one on the 24 inch snowthrower. It has plenty of power to bust through plow drifts and move the heavy snows. The 4 cycle Overhead Valve (OHV) engine is quiet.
26 inch clearing width: The 26 inch width is wide enough to make short work of most large areas yet small enough to easily work around most obstacles. It is small enough to fit through the side door on your garage. You can quickly clear most sidewalks in two passes.
21 inch intake height: The intake is high enough to tackle most drifts. You can purchase optional drift cutters to help keep a clean edge when working the really deep stuff.
Power Steering: This snowthrower DOES NOT have power steering and you may want to look at the Craftsman 88691 before you buy this machine. Power Steering allows anyone to easily control the snow blower. Once you use power steering on a snowblower you will never want to go back to one without it. A small trigger located on the bottom of each handgrip allows you to effortlessly change the direction of the snow thrower. It really saves the back muscles from having to wrestle a snowthrower without power steering around.
Four-Way Joystick Control: One of the best changes to the entire Craftsman snowblower line in 2010 was the Four-Way Joystick Control. As may of you know the previous cable joystick was not heavy enough, got sticky easily and wore out after only a few seasons. This new system uses gears and shafts to rotate the chute. The gearboxes are sealed and should not give you the icing problems the cable system was accused of.
Electric Starter: Of course this Craftsman snowthrower has push button electric start. Just plug the 110v power cord into any wall outlet and push the button.
12 inch serrated auger with 12 inch impeller: The 12 inch impeller is large enough to handle most snowfalls (6 to 9 inch snowfalls) You may have to drop down a gear when throwing heavy wet snow. The serrated auger effectively chews up the snow before throwing it into the impeller.
6 forward, 2 reverse speeds: Plenty of speed choices so you can get your snow blowing done quickly and efficiently.
Tires: 15 X 5 X-Trac Tires Provide Great Traction for this size snowblower.
2 quart fuel capacity: 2 quarts of fuel on a snowblower is just fine. You should be able to run quite a while before you have to fill up.
Extended Chute/Extreme Chute Capacity: The new longer and larger chute creates better throw patterns than the old short chutes. When blowing light snow this will help a lot to keep it from blowing back into your face. The longer chute will allow you to throw the snow farther with more control to put in the right spot.
Warranty: 2 year manufactures defects warranty with up to a 5 year optional protection plan (read Are Protection Plans Worth It on Craftsman Snow Throwers)
Learn More: You can learn more and buy your new Craftsman Snow Thrower here. Sears.com Home Page
This is one of the more popular snow throwers in the Craftsman line. I really expect this snowblower to sell out a few times this year so I would suggest you get the machine as soon as possible. Don’t wait to get this snow blower at the first snowfall.
Here is the easy way to get your new snowthrower:
Go to Sears.com Home Page. Order it online. This will save you a trip to your local store if they don’t have it in stock and have to order it.
After you order it online you can pick it up at your nearest store and not get charged for shipping. You can get your new Craftsman snowblower delivered to your home from the store for a normal charge. Sears has a 14 day price guarantee so you can buy it, watch the sale ads and come into your local Sears and get the difference refunded to you if they come up with a better deal.
NOTE: Some of the stores are now taking your new snow thrower out of the box and setting it up for you. If they do be sure to thank them and make sure you get the plastic bag with the manual, keys and electric starting cord. If you have the snow thrower delivered it may be delivered in a box.
If you do end up with a box, assembly is simple. Cut the end out of the box and drag the snow thrower out onto the floor. Find the manual and read the assembly directions. It will only take you about ten minutes to position the handles, adjust the skid shoes and attach the chute.
After you use your new snowthrower for a while, come back and tell us how well you like your snowthrower. (scroll down for the comment section)