Update 2/14: From Amerisun (The corporation that imports The Snow Devil)
The Snow Devil engines are all pretested to ensure the highest level of quality and starting ability in cold weather applications. These units also come with a 2 year limited warranty and any repairs covered under warranty will be done at no charge to you. We have service center network surrounding Menards stores, and have spare parts inventory to service our warranty needs.
As a manufacturer, we want any snowblower that is giving a guest an issue to be taken into service so that we ensure that our mutual guests get their product fixed correctly, as well as having any technical questions answered about the snowblower. This ensures our guests operates correctly and lasts them the full life of the product, as intended. Please feel free to contact our customer support team at 1-800-791-9458 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any additional questions regarding your purchase.
Menards return policy on gas powered equipment is listed here: http://www.menards.com/main/guest-services/return-policies/store-return-policy/c-3545.htm It states, “ (GP) Gas Powered items may be returned or exchanged within 30 days of purchase with a receipt if the item has not been used, in original package and no gas was put into the item. If items do not meet these rules, the guest must take to an authorized service center for repair. If not under warranty, repair is at guest’s expense. Returns, refunds, or exchanges must have a receipt.”
As far as I know Amerisun does not have an authorized repair center at this time in your area. If you need parts you have to contact Amerisun, they send you the parts and you install the defective item yourself.
Amerisun Inc. does not warranty the engine. For LCT gas engine related problems, engine parts and service information, please contact LCT (Liquid Combustion Technology) at 1-800-558-5402 or visit http://lctusa.com for additional information.
I have been in contact with Amerisun, but not Menard’s. If any of this information is not correct they are encouraged to respond in the comments below.
It looks like the China made Snowblowers have landed at Menard’s!
This makes the third 100% China made snowblower to hit the retailers for 2011. (Sears has the Steele and Home Depot has the Beast/Stanley)
The young Menard’s associate was more than happy to help me open the box and find the manuals.
Snow Devil Snow Blower Click on picture to Read Box
I pulled them out and read the snow blower manual and the separate LCT engine manual. There was also a registration form for a P.O. Box in Dundee, IL
I then spent a few minutes looking the snow blower itself. I don’t know anything about this snowblower other than I think it is very cheaply made. Small wheels, really thin metal, no reinforcements, thin plastic chute and really cheap handles. The handles do not have any added brackets to reinforce them to compensate for the small diameter tubing. I also don’t know if this is a “true” LCT engine or if this Chinese manufacture is just copying the name without regards to copywriting laws. (I do like the LCT snow engines on the Ariens and Husqvarana Snow Blowers)
I have to thank one of the readers of this blog for letting me know about this. The price almost had him hooked into buying one ($499) but he decided to try calling the 800 number on the box and asking a few questions first. He has been trying 3 times a day now for 10 days. Nothing, no response, no answer. Maybe they are waiting for winter before they decide to answer the phone
Snow Devil – There is a LCT Engine In There!
As you can tell I don’t feel that you should even consider this a snow blower let alone be tempted into purchasing one because of the low price. In my opinion there is no excuse for trying to dupe you into buying one of these machines.
Please don’t misunderstand me. I don’t have a problem buying foreign made products as long as they are made to the quality standards we as Americans expect. I am not picking on Menard’s, just this snow blower that they are attempting to sell.
I don’t have a problem buying foreign made products as long as you can get parts and service for them if you choose to have them repaired. I would hate to see you “get a great deal” on this snow blower, have it break the first time you use it, and then not be able to use it the rest of the season.
I don’t have a problem buying foreign made products if they are designed for us. This snowblower in particular does not appear to be rugged (well made) enough to withstand more than a couple of uses. In other words, if you only get an inch or two of snow, if you only use a snow blower once a year, if you can take all day to clear your one-car driveway, or if you don’t care if you will have to buy another snow blower in a year or so….go ahead and buy this machine.
Snow Devil Snow Blowers, Great Deal or Great Ripoff? The reality is:
1. If you are using 100% Chinese labor the price is about right for these snow blowers.
2. If you are producing the snow blower using the most cost effective materials possible using Chinese factories the price is about right for these snow blowers.
3. If you only offer a 1 year limited warranty on your snow blower and have only one or two people answering the phone for warranty parts, the price is about right for these snow blowers.
4. If you do not include freight (ship by truck) in the advertised price, the price is about right for these snow blowers.
5. If you have a very small U.S. Service network and don’t need to pay U.S. wages for warranty work the price is about right for these snow blowers.
6. If you spec your engines to have less quality than the other brands the price is about right for these snow blowers.
7. If you leave the engine warranty to the engine manufacture the price is about right for these snow blowers.
8. The real prices of these snow blowers is about the same as the lower priced Craftsman, Sno-Tek, and Yard Man snow blowers. The Craftsman and Sno-Tek snowblowers have an extensive service and parts network. Amerisun does not.
9. Craftsman, Sno-Tek, and Yard Man snow blower engines are serviced through their service networks. If you have a problem with the engine on a Power Smart you have to contact the engine manufacture (LCT) directly. Amerisun will not contact them for you.
In other words, you get what you PAY FOR! So the decision is simple. If you want the cheapest snow blower, if you don’t care if you can easily get it repaired, if you don’t care how long it will last. This is the snow blower for you.
At this time I am putting all Power Smart and Snow Devil Snow Blowers on my “Don’t Buy” list. I’m putting them on the list because of their limited service network and really short 1 year defects-only warranty.
Here are the low priced snow blowers I recommend instead: