2013 Model Review Craftsman 88173 24 in 208 cc Two-Stage Snow Blower at Sears

24 Value Craftsman Sears 88173 208 cc Review

Please read my updated review! 2014 Craftsman 88173

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 “value” 24 inch snow blower (Craftsman 88173) will easily handle 9-12 inches or more snow on a 2 car drive 100 feet long.

This snow blower offers the normal suburban homeowner features never found on a Craftsman this size before at a price below the other brands. I predict this will be one of Sears biggest sellers this season.

(Update: As I predicted this was a runaway best seller for last season. The larger 208 cc motor gives this snow blower plenty of power for it’s 24 inch size and reviews all liked the extra power it has)

What makes this snow blower a value?

  • Large 208 cc motor. On a 24 inch snow blower this is plenty of power to go through the heaviest snows. This efficient Over Head Valve motor with electric start is sized to get you job done quickly and efficiently.
  • Poly skid shoes that don’t mark your new patio or stained driveway yet are as tough as the steel shoes on other brands.
  • New EZ chute control. This new chute is one of the easiest and fastest to use.
  • The extended chute puts the snow where you want it and it so strong it has been driven over by a pickup and still bounces back to it’s original shape. Try that with a steel chute.
  • It does not have Power Steering but it is balanced well.  While most of you will be able to use this snow blower, if you have difficulties using equipment of this type, I suggest you go with a unit with power steering. (Craftsman Model 88691)
  • Optional HID LED light. This new light gives you the illumination you need to move snow all night long.

This snow blower by Craftsman is a great snow thrower at a “value” price.  Craftsman took a very popular snow thrower and upgraded it this year to give you even more features and power. With this new snow blower Craftsman has put all the features you asked for, yet they have kept the cost much less than other brands.

What you can use this snow blower for: For paved and gravel surfaces, patios, sidewalks and walkways.  All types of snow including heavy, wet blizzard snow. You can go out in the back yard and clean a spot off for your dogs.  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 12 inch and deeper snow falls. The six forward and two reverse speeds will let you go slow for the heavy stuff and faster for the lighter snows.

The Snow Blower Is New. Can You Trust It? I have seen all too many times where a manufacture comes out with a “new and improved version” of a product only to have issues with it in the first year.  Even Craftsman has had a few “dud’s” over the years. The new items added to this snow blower have been used on other machines for years.  Everything in this snow blower is sized correctly to give you years of use. I expect this snow blower to be one of the best Craftsman has ever sold.

What you may not like:   This snow blower has smaller tires than a 26 or larger machine.  You may have traction problems if you have a lush lawn and want to clean a spot off for your dogs.  On hard or gravel surfaces though you will have no problems.

Sears is the Official  On-Line Retailer:  Click Here To See Current Price, Order Online, Pick Up at your local Sears store, or have it delivered to your home: Craftsman 24″ 208cc Dual-Stage Snow Blower 13″ x 4″ X-Trac tires

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, the drive system, motor, and chute control has been around for many years and are proven dependable. The transmission is proven reliable on this size. The impeller, auger gearbox and shear pin system has proven itself over the years.

Craftsman 24” 208cc Dual-Stage Snow Thrower

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. 208 cc motor, electric start, all factor into this “good” rating. It uses a strong Craftsman motor that has plenty of power for it’s 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 owners to like this machine.  It is a great value for the size, has plenty of power to handle any snow, and the new chute control makes this one easy to use.

Customer Satisfaction: I don’t expect any issues, 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. If you have never used a snow blower before, start it  up and drive it around your driveway until you are comfortable with the controls. 2. The 3 or 5 year home protection plan can be a great value.  Sears will fix your snow blower and give the peace of mind 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 issue, you will find it now instead of when the snow is 12 inches deep.)

Value: At around $679 on sale 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 that will discount the price even more.

Service & Parts AvailabilityWith 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. If you damage the snow blower yourself parts are easily available through

Ease Of Use: This is a very easy snow blower to use even though it does not have power steering because it is balanced well. It doesn’t matter if you are 5 ft, 100 lbs or 6 ft, 350 lbs you will be able to easily operate this snow blower. 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.  Craftsman uses a solid axle on this snow blower so on dry pavement it is harder to turn than other brands that have the pin lock wheel release.  Under normal snow removal conditions though you will appreciate the traction this unit has.  Other features like good knobby tires, a headlight and electric start make this snow blower a much better choice for most people than the economy models.

The quick chute and extended chute is new to this size snow blower this year.  It has been used on other machines for years and is a welcome addition. The extended chute allows you to put the snow exactly where you want it.  The quick chute control is VERY easy to use compared to the old spring (worm) control.

Click Here To See Current Price, Order Online, Pick Up at your local Sears store, or have it delivered to your home: Craftsman 24″ 208cc Dual-Stage Snow Blower 13″ x 4″ X-Trac tires

Key Features and Benefits: (From Sears.com)

This 24 in. Craftsman® Dual-Stage Snow Thrower has a 208cc 4-cycle OHV engine and EZ rotation chute.
208cc* 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
  • EZ rotation chute – swiftly direct snow where you want it, right from the operator’s position
  • Extended chute design keeps a tighter discharge pattern to increase throwing distance and reduce snow blow back
  • 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
  • Single hand operation eliminates starts and stops, freeing up a hand for on-the-go adjustments
  • Mitten-grip starter handle – easy to grasp and turnover recoil start while wearing gloves
  • Plow style handles for comfort and control with panel design for convenient shear pin storage
  • 2-year limited warranty
  • Limited lifetime warranty on upper and lower chute

* As rated by engine manufacturer.

Click Here To See Current Price, Order Online, Pick Up at your local Sears store, or have it delivered to your home: Craftsman 24″ 208cc Dual-Stage Snow Blower 13″ x 4″ X-Trac tires

Craftsman 88395 (28″) 277 cc Two-Stage Snow Blower (2013 Model) Review at Sears

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