24 inch Snow Blowers under $600 – Which is the Best? Craftsman, Snow-Tek, Murray, Poulan Pro, Yard Machines, MTD, Troy-Bilt, Power Smart

So you have decided that a 24 inch snow blower is the best size for you. Your driveway is about 2 cars wide and less than 80 feet long.

by: Paul Sikkema

Average snow fall 4 to 6 inches. If you regularly get more than 6 inch snows or more than 60 inches a year. Look at snow blowers that cost more than $600.

But there are about 30 different 24 inch snow blowers on the market with prices ranging from $499 to over $2500! How do you choose which one to buy?

In this article I will go through the snow blowers that sell for less than $600 and give you the features and differences between them. Every Brand has an “economy” model, Craftsman has the 88172, Ariens the Snow-Tek, MTD the Yard Machines, B&S the Murray, Husqvarna has the Poulan Pro. No frills, basic machines. I will give you my un-biased opinion on the snow blower based on repair history, service and features. No links to buy, no sales pitches, just the facts.  This will help you decide which snow blower is best for you. If you want an in-depth review of a particular model look in the right-hand column and select my full review.

I will tell you that if I could line up all the snow blowers in a row and go over the features one-by-one most of you would buy a machine in the $600-$900 category. Those snow blowers have the most features that make your task as easy as possible yet affordable.

I have broken the models down to $600 and less, $600-$1500 and over $1500. (Prices are listed prices on the retailer or manufacture websites. Actual price may vary.)

Go Here For The $600-$1500 Snow Blowers: $600-$1500

All engines have electric start except as noted.

Under $600 Snow Blowers

The Worst in this price group: Snow Devil. The Best in this Group:
Craftsman 24″ 179cc Dual-Stage Snowblower 13″ x 4″ X-Trac tires
Craftsman Model 88172
. The Troy-Bilt at Lowes, Snow-Tek at Home Depot and Yard Machines at WalMart are also good values.

Craftsman 24″ 179cc Dual-Stage Snowblower 13″ x 4″ X-Trac tires Craftsman Model 88172
Sold by: Sears 

Price: Around: $599
Engine: 179 cc Brand: Craftsman (Powermore)
Tires:  Small tires but much better than Murray, Snow Devil and PowerSmart
Speeds: 6 forward 2 reverse, no single hand chute control
Chute & Deflector: Impeller mounted, 2-way chute.
Intake: 21
Warranty: 2 years
Optional Warranty/Protection Plan: 3 or 5 year in home service.
Service: Through Sears.
Overall Quality/Value: Good. Works well for 6 inch snows. Tires are a little small for cleaning the snow off the yard for your dogs. Good quality motor! Poly skid shoes don’t mar your drive or sidewalk.
My Opinion: If getting it serviced is your biggest concern this is the best snow blower for you. This is similar to last year’s Model 88957 without single-hand controls. The 88957 has been the “standard” inexpensive snow blower for a few years now. It is a good machine for the price. The Craftsman has the smallest engine, but it is powerful enough for 6 to 9 inch snowfalls. I rate it the highest in this group because has the best service network available. With this Craftsman you can purchase the optional 5 year protection plan that includes in-home service, gas related issues (it won’t start) and wear and tear repairs. No other brand or retailer has this available.
Buy Here: Craftsman 24″ 179cc Dual-Stage Snowblower 13″ x 4″ X-Trac tires

Sno-Tek (Ariens Economy) Model: 920402

 Price $599
Engine: 208 cc Brand: LCT This is the better LCT motor
Tires:  Many people complain about these “cheap, no traction tires” going flat all the time.
Speeds: 6 forward 2 reverse, has interlocking controls
Chute & Deflector: Top mounted Chute and remote deflector! Best of the under $600 class!
Intake: 20
Warranty: 2 years
Optional Warranty/Protection Plan: Through Home Depot
Service: Authorized Servicing Dealer
Overall Quality/Value: Good. At $599 it is a good value, if your local dealer wants over $700 there are better machines in the $700 range. If you shop at Home Depot, this is a very good snow blower for the money but be sure you understand the repair process if your machine needs work. It lacks the features and durability of the Ariens brand but if you get 4-6 inch snows most of the time you’ll be happy with this machine.
My Opinion: If you do not want a Craftsman this is my first choice from this list. This snow blower is made by Ariens and is very comparable in features and quality to the Craftsman and Troy-Bilt.
Buy Here: Ariens SS22E Sno-Tek 24 208cc Electric Start 24 in. Two Stage Snow Thrower

Poulan Pro 961920067 179cc 2-Stage Snow Thrower, 24-Inch

 Price $599
Engine: 208 cc Brand: LCT This is the better LCT motor
Tires:  Small tires but much better than Murray, Snow Devil and PowerSmart
Speeds: 6 forward 2 reverse, has interlocking controls
Chute & Deflector: Top mounted Chute and remote deflector! Best of the under $600 class!
Intake: 22
Warranty: 2 years
Optional Warranty/Protection Plan:
Service: Authorized Servicing Dealer
Overall Quality/Value: Good. At $599 it is a good value, if your local dealer wants over $700 there are better machines in the $700 range. The price includes free shipping.
My Opinion: If you do not want a Craftsman this is my second choice from this list. This snow blower is made by Husqvarna and is very comparable in features and quality to the Craftsman and Sno-Tek.
Buy Here: Poulan Pro 961920067 179cc 2-Stage Snow Thrower, 24-Inch

Troy-Bilt 179cc 24-in Two-Stage Gas Snow Blower 31AS62N2711

Price: $599
Engine: 179 cc Brand: Troy-Bilt (Powermore)
Tires:  Small tires but much better than Murray, Snow Devil and PowerSmart
Speeds: 6 forward 2 reverse, no single hand control
Chute & Deflector: Impeller mounted, 2-way chute.
Intake: 21
Warranty: 2 years
Optional Warranty/Protection Plan: 2 or 4 year
Service: Through Sears.
Overall Quality/Value: Good. Steel skid shoes. Works well for 6 inch snows. Tires are a little small for cleaning the snow off the yard for your dogs. Good quality motor!
My Opinion: This machine is very similar to the Craftsman 88172. Since it is under $800 it does not qualify for home repair so if you have a problem you will have to get it to the servicing dealer. If you are a Lowes customer this is a good basic machine. Because of the service issue I will always recommend the Craftsman 88172 or Ariens Sno-Tek instead of this one.
Sold By: Lowes

Yard Machines 31AS62EE700 24-Inch 179cc OHV 4-Cycle Gas Powered Two Stage Snow Thrower With Electric Start, Yard Machines/MTD Model: Varies Sold By: WalMart, Amazon and others 

Price: $599
Engine: 208 cc Brand: PowerMore
Tires:  Many people complain about these “cheap, no traction tires” going flat all the time.
Speeds: 6 forward 2 reverse
Chute & Deflector:
Intake: 21
Warranty: 2 years
Optional Warranty/Protection Plan: WalMart now has a 3 year protection plan. It claims to cover all repairs so I am assuming it does not cover wear and tear items like belts or fuel related issues. If anyone has used this plans feel free to comment at the end of this article.
Service: Many WalMart customers complain about getting warranty repairs done.
Overall Quality/Value: Good. Works well for 6 inch snows. Tires are a little small for cleaning the snow off the yard for your dogs. Good quality motor!
My Opinion: This snow blower is very similar to the Craftsman and Troy-Bilt machines.  This snow blower’s biggest downfall if the service. Many WalMart customers complain about getting warranty repairs done. You will have to haul your snow blower to a repair shop to get it serviced or repaired.
Buy Here: Yard Machines 31AS62EE700 24-Inch 179cc OHV 4-Cycle Gas Powered Two Stage Snow Thrower With Electric Start

Snow Devil Model DB7651

Price: $499
Engine: 208 cc Brand: LCT
Tires:  Many people complain about these “cheap, no traction tires” going flat all the time.
Speeds: 4 forward 1 reverse
Chute & Deflector: Impeller mounted 2-way remote chute.
Intake: 20
Warranty: 1 year limited
Optional Warranty/Protection Plan: None
Service: Unknown
Overall Quality/Value: Poor. Thinnest metal, very little reinforcements. Small tires, LCT engine is not the same quality as the more expensive LCT motors on other brands.
My Opinion: I am listing this snow blower because some Menard’s stores still carry it. My biggest concern is repairs. Amerisun, the importer of this snow blower does have a network of repair centers but none of them carry parts. Buyer beware on this machine. It is made as cheaply as possible. If it breaks it may be a while before you get parts or service. This machine is 100% made and assembled in China.
Sold by: Menards

Power Smart 208cc 24-in Two-Stage Gas Snow Blower DB7659-24
PowerSmart

208cc LCT Gas Powered Compact 2-Stage Snow Thrower with Electric Start, 24-Inch
Price:$549.00 to $699
Engine: 208 cc Brand: LCT
Tires:  Many people complain about these “cheap, no traction tires” going flat all the time.
Speeds: 4 forward 1 reverse
Chute & Deflector:
Intake: 21
Warranty: 2 year limited
Optional Warranty/Protection Plan: None
Service: Through Power Smart
Overall Quality/Value: Thin metal, very little reinforcements. Small tires, LCT engine is not the same quality as the more expensive LCT motors on other brands.
My Opinion: This is another China snow blower but the company that is importing them is alive and well. I have talked to them and parts are readily available through their website. They are slowly building a repair network. Be CAREFUL! The price is too good to be true. By the time you pay shipping the name brands listed here are all less money. I don’t know how you go about getting repairs or warranty work done at this time.
Buy Here: Powersmart Snow Blower

Murray 1695979 24-Inch 205cc Briggs & Stratton 800 Snow Series Gas Powered Two Stage Snow Thrower With Electric Start
Sold by: Amazon, WalMart and others. Murray 1695979 24-Inch 205cc Briggs & Stratton 800 Snow Series Gas Powered Two Stage Snow Thrower With Electric Start

Engine: 163 to 205 cc Brand: Briggs & Stratton
Price: Around $589 to 895
Tires:  Many people complain about these “cheap, no traction tires” going flat all the time.
Speeds: single speed/no reverse or 3 forward 1 reverse
Chute & Deflector: Manual no remote
Intake: 20
Warranty: 2 years
Optional Warranty/Protection Plan: Depends on retailer
Service: ?
Overall Quality/Value: Good small tires, single speed or no electric starter, smallest motor of all the 24 in models.
My Opinion: This model varies from retailer to retailer. Some of these do not come with electric start. This is a value snow blower made by Briggs & Stratton. It is the cheapest snow blower you can buy with a B&S motor. The retailer will tell you where to get it serviced.
Buy Here: Murray 1695978 205cc Gas 24-in Two Stage Snow Thrower


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8 Comments

  1. Peter Town January 5, 2017
  2. Tommy Loreto February 7, 2016
    • Paul February 7, 2016
  3. SS October 19, 2014
    • Paul Sikkema October 19, 2014
  4. Shane Elliott October 13, 2014
    • Paul Sikkema October 13, 2014

I'll be glad you help you find the best snow blower. Please tell me the city, state and how large an area you want to clear.

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