Is This The Best Snow Blower For You? Craftsman is offers a snow blower for every homeowner; from “good” models that are the least expensive on the market to a “premium” model that is larger than you tractor mounted snow thrower. This new Craftsman 88172 is a “good” 24 inch snow blower and one of the cheapest 24 inch snow blowers on the market. It is designed for a 2 car drive about 2 cars long. Read on to find out if it is the best snow blower for you.
What makes this snow blower good but not better or best?
Craftsman has gone back to the gray, red, black designations for the different classes of snow blowers. Gray is good, Red is better and Black is best. This snow blower is gray and I’ll explain what that means to you.
With this Craftsman 88172 you get a good, basic snow blower. But it is better than many of the cheap ones you are going to find at the discount stores this fall (the Chinese have landed). It is very similar to the wildly popular Craftsman 24 in 179 cc Model 88957 from the previous 4 years.
It has Poly skid shoes that don’t mark your new patio or stained driveway yet are as tough as the steel shoes on other brands.
Six forward, two reverse speeds. Most other snow blowers in this price range only have one forward speed and no reverse.
It does not have 4-way chute control. It has the standard chute that has been around for years. You can rotate the chute with a crank below the dash and the manually move the deflector. The biggest problem with this type of chute over the newer styles is under the right wind conditions you get a lot of snow blowing back in your face. (Many operators wear goggles or a faceshield.
It has an efficient 179 cc Overhead Valve motor with electric start is sized to get you job done. It has enough power for normal snows. If you want more power there is a new 24 inch model with a 208 cc motor.
It has 13 x 4 tires. These are adequate for hard surface snow blowing, borderline for gravel drives and too small for cleaning off that patch of grass for your dog. If you never go “off-roading” with your snowblower it will work fine for you.
No light. Sears does offer a battery powered LED Snow Thrower light that you can clamp to the handle for those 4 am snow clearing chores.
This snow blower by Craftsman is a basic snow thrower at a “great” price. If you follow Craftsman you know this snowblower will be one of the most popular ones this year simply because of the great price.
What you can use this snow blower for: For paved and gravel surfaces, patios, sidewalks and walkways. I don’t recommend this snow blower for clearing grass areas. This snow blower will clean the snow plow drift at the end of your drive. You can use this to clean your patio and deck and the poly skid shoes will not scratch the surface. This is the right snow blower if you have a stained concrete drive. This snow blower will easily handle 6-9 inches of snow. The six forward and two reverse speeds will let you go slow for the heavy stuff and faster for the lighter snows. If you usually get heavier snows, buy a Craftsman with a larger motor.
What you may not like: This is a basic snow blower. It will take you longer to move snow than a more expensive Craftsman and will take more effort on your part to drive it. The chute is shorter than most other 2-stage models so the snow will blow back into your face more often. The engine is adequate, but a larger engine will allow you to take a lot less time moving snow. The tires are adequate for a cement or blacktop drive but will be too small if you blow snow where you have loose gravel or grass. If you have issues using a snow blower I suggest you go with a model with power steering. This snow blower is 24 inches wide and will fit through the side door of your garage.
Be Careful! This snow blower is sold through Sears.com, Sears Full Line Stores and Sears Hometown Stores ONLY! You may find other “factory-direct discount” stores and websites trying to sell it, but make sure they are authorized Sears sales representatives.
Is This One Of The Best Rated Snow Blowers for 2012 - 2013? This snow thrower is new. It has not been rated yet. That said, It’s predecessor has a great service record over the last two years. The drive system has been around for many years and is one of the most dependable around. The transmission is proven reliable on this size. The impeller, auger gearbox and shear pin system has proven itself over the years.
Craftsman 24 in 179cc Dual-Stage Snowblower Review
Does This Get a Best Snow Blower Rating For 2012-2013? In the Good, Better, Best rating system this snow blower rates a “Good” for ease of use, durability and long life. Inexpensive, basic controls, standard chute, adequate engine all factor into this “good” rating. It uses a Craftsman motor that has been sized for 6-9 inch snows and the 24 inch size. In fact the motor is one of the most dependable on the market today. Don’t be afraid to buy this snow blower if it fits your needs.
Is This One Of The Best Snow Blowers for the Money 2012-2013? I normally don’t give you my opinion, but I do expect many of you to buy this machine. It is a convenient size, has enough power to 6 to 9 inches of snow, and and is a really great value.
Customer Satisfaction: I don’t expect any mechanical issues with this snow blower if you bought it for your size drive, but here are a few tips to get the best out of this snowblower. 1. Read the operator’s manual and familiarize yourself with the operation of the machines BEFORE you have to blow snow with it. 2. The 3 or 5 year home protection plan can be a great value. Sears will fix your snow blower and give the satisfaction that it will work for you for the 3 or 5 years. 3. Practice using the chute so you really understand how to use it. The deflector has a tensioning adjustment that you can change it for light or heavy, wet snow. 4. When you get your new blower home, get it out of the box, learn how to start it and use it before the first snow. Take it out and practice with it in the driveway. (If there is a manufacturing defect, you will find it now instead of when the snow is 12 inches deep.)
Value: At around $599 it is a good value. Watch for special “Shop Your Way Rewards” sales, no interest or cash back with a Sears Card, Family & Friends, and Midnight Madness Sales.
Service & Parts Availability: With this snow blower you have the choice of calling 1-800-4MY-Home and have a tech come out and fix it OR take it to your local Sears and they will have it serviced for you. With a protection plan either way is no-charge to you.
Ease Of Use: This snow blower is fairly lightweight so most of you can use it. It does not have power steering and the 4-way chute so it is a little harder than other Craftsman models. This snow blower has a solid axle, so when you turn it around the wheels skid. This gives you the best traction all the time, but does make it harder to use than one with power steering. Under normal snow removal conditions you will appreciate the traction this unit has. Yes, you can buy this one for your wife and she will be able to use it. It is balanced well so you if you do have to lift up the front to go over an obstruction you easily can do it.
Key Features and Benefits: (From Sears.com)
This 24 in. Craftsman® Dual-Stage Snowblower has a 179cc* 4-cycle OHV engine.
179cc* 4-cycle OHV Craftsman® engine provides more power, longer life, and improved fuel economy – no mixing of gas and oil required
Push-button electric start allows for easy and sure starts in cold temperatures
24 in. clearing width and 21 in. intake height lets you clear more snow with each pass, ideal for medium to large paved and gravel driveways and sidewalks
12 in. serrated steel auger and 12 in. impeller breaks up hard-packed snow and discharges heavy wet snow
6 forward and 2 reverse, power-propelled speeds save time and energy, allowing operator to adjust speeds to match need
Remote crank chute control – 180 degree chute rotation to discharge the snow where you want it, without leaving the operator’s position
13 in. x 4 in. X-Trac tires provide superior traction in snowy conditions
Glide-Tech™ skid shoes eliminate garage rust stains and driveway damage by sliding along pavers and bricks
Mitten-grip starter handle – easy to grasp and turnover recoil start while wearing gloves