It’s not which is the best snow thrower. It which snow thrower is best for you!
Cub Cadet 530 SWE Review
The Craftsman 88830, Troy-Bilt Storm, and the Cub Cadet 526 SWE are the best value mid-frame snow blowers in the 28 to 32 inch range. They feature all the extras like heated hand-grips, power-steering, large tires and big motors.
I am not going to write a full review of the Cub Cadet. You can read the reviews for the Craftsman 88830 and Troy-Bilt Storm to see if this snow blower is for you. They are all the same with only a few minor differences.
NOTE: This is not the same snow blower as the Cub Cadet 930 SWE! The 930 is a large-frame and is a lot heavier duty than this snow blower.
Differences: Poly skid shoes. No drift cutters. Availability: When you buy the Cub Cadet online through the Home Depot website it will be shipped to your home via freight truck. It looks like they don’t have these in the stores. Parts: I don’t know for sure but at this point I am going to assume you can get parts through any authorized Cub Cadet Dealer. Service: My understanding Home Depot has a group of authorized service technicians. You bring your snow blower to them for repair. Extended Warranty: There is no extended warranty or service plan listed on HomeDepot.com. Price: The Cub Cadet is always the highest price of the three brands.
Differences: Poly skid shoes. Has drift cutters. Availability: When you buy the Craftsman snow blower online you can pick it up at your nearest Sears or have it delivered to your home. Parts: Parts are available at any Sears store and online at Searspartsdirect.com. The parts come right to your home. Service: Sears has 11,000 techs in vans and with the 88830 they come right to your home and fix your unit. Extended Warranty: Sears has a protection plan that goes beyond an “extended warranty.” The Sears Protection Plan covers fuel related problems and wear and tear. Price: The Craftsman is usually the lowest price of the three brands. Sears has special sales (an additional 5 to 10% off the sale price) and Shop Your Way Rewards points that add additional savings to the sale price. Sears offers special financing in season with a Sears Card. Review: Read my review of the Craftsman 88830 here: Craftsman 88830
Differences: Steel skid shoes. Does not have drift cutters. Availability: When you buy the Troy-Bilt snow blower online you can pick it up at your nearest Lowes or have it delivered to your home. Parts: Parts are available through authorized repair centers. Service: Service is available through authorized repair centers. Extended Warranty: Lowes offers a 3 or 4 year extended warranty through authorized repair centers. Price: Lowes tries to have the lowest listed price on the Troy-Bilt. They have special sales in season that add an additional 5 or 10% off the sale price. They have a 5% discount everyday when using the Lowes Credit card.
So it all boils down who has the best price and in my opinion the best service after the sale. Yes, they are all good units. But, with any mechanical device you are going to have some maintenance with them, so I feel you need to look at the quality, price, parts and service.
Note: As far as I can tell the Cub Cadet 530 SWE is almost identical to the Craftsman 88830
Is This SnowBlower Right For You? Read on.
Service & Parts Availability: A short time ago you could only get Cub Cadet through a Farm Supply dealer. Service was simple, you took it back to the implement dealer.
But now it seems Cub Cadet’s are everywhere. Home Depot and Snow Blowers Direct now sell them but they do not specify where you will get service. They do not advertise an extended warranty or protection (service) plan for these snow blowers on their websites. 80% of the problems you will have with a snow blower will be “out of warranty” issues. Your local implement dealer may have additional warranties available.
If you feel the Cub Cadet is the best snow blower for you please check with the retailer you plan to buy from on service and where you can get parts. Let us know in the comments below what you find out.
Delivery: Both Home Depot and Snow Blowers Direct ship it from their warehouse (or the manufactures warehouse) right to your door. When you buy from them be prepared to lift your snow blower off a semi-truck, take it out of the shipping box and then spend about 20 minutes getting it ready to use. Snow blowers typically weigh 250 to 300 lbs so you may want to have a neighbor around to help get it off the truck. The truck driver will not help you lift it off. Both offer a “lift gate” service for and additional charge.
Ease Of Use: These models have deluxe remote chute controls. It is very easy to use and will put your snow exactly where you want it. Auger lock for one hand operation. Electric Start.
Customer Satisfaction: Good: I can find no reviews for this snowblower, but it uses the same parts as all the other MTD produced snow blowers so I expect the customer satisfaction to be as high as all the other MTD models.
The 530 series is designed for medium use and will clear snow quickly. This size snowblower is the right size for many larger suburban driveways. This snowthrower has just the right amount of features to make it easy to use. I expect no issues with this snow blower.
Is this the right snowblower for you?
Almost everyone will be able to use this snowblower. It is balanced well and easy to use. The controls are simple and easy to reach. With the power steering you will be able to drive this. It is balanced very well so if you have to lift the front up to go in or out of your garage, you will be able to do it.
If you have a bad back, weigh less than 130 lbs, or are shorter than 5.5 check this Cub Cadet out! Of course, if you are larger you will also like this machine.
When you first look at this snow blower it may seem too big, but it’s not. The 530 SWE is easy to turn. The tires are large enough and it weighs enough push through that drift your friendly city-worker left at the end of your drive.
This snowblower will go through a door 32 inches or larger. The 30 inch width and the skid shoes need 32 inches or more. If you regularly use the garage side door or go out the back to clean a spot off the patio measure to see if this will 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. This model has the 4 way chute control so putting the snow exactly where you want it is easy. The longer chute also helps to keep the snow from blowing back into your face. On this model you can adjust the swing of the chute and how far it throws from a single control on the dash.
Do you have a beautiful drive or patio? The large poly skid shoes will NOT leave brown (rust) marks on your drive. If you have stained concrete, a wood deck or a nice patio this snow thrower won’t destroy it.
Do you clean snow off the lawn for your dogs? If you routinely blow snow off of your lawn (I do this for my Italian Greyhounds) this snow blower has the larger wheels needed to give you traction in the grass. The wheels on the 530 SWE also work well on gravel and hard surfaces.
This is a medium sized snow thrower with a well matched motor and all the features you need.
Here is a rundown of the features and benefits of this workhorse:
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, 357 cc Overhead Valve Motor: This Cub Cadet (Powermore) engine is sized well for the 30 inch clearing width. The 4 cycle Overhead Valve (OHV) engine is quiet. The motor is equivalent to a Techumseh 10-12 hp and is much more reliable and fuel efficient. (Because of the lawsuits none of the engine manufactures will rate their motors in horsepower anymore)
30 inch clearing width: The 30 inch width is wide enough to make short work of average driveways yet small enough to easily go in and out 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 normal drifts. If you routinely get large drifts there are optional drift cutters available.
Electric Starter: This Cub Cadet 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 is large enough to handle most snowfalls (6 to 14 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. If you need more capacity look at the Cub Cadet 930 SWE.
Glide-Tech Skid Shoes: The large, reversible polymer skid shoes are designed to last and won’t leave those unsightly brown marks (rust) on your driveway and sidewalks.
6 forward, 2 reverse speeds: Plenty of speed choices so you can get your snow blowing done quickly and efficiently.
5 quart fuel capacity: 5 quarts of fuel is the right size tank for this snowblower.
4-Way Joystick Chute: The 190 degree chute rotation and remote chute deflector lets you put the snow in just the right place.
16 inch X 6.5 inch Tires: The X-Trac Tires provide adequate traction for this size snow thrower.
Warranty: 3 year manufactures defects warranty for homeowners.
After you use your new snowthrower for a while, come back and tell us how well you like your snowblower. (scroll down for the comment section)