Reviewing the snow blowers on the other review site’s top picks list

They stated? “The best snow blowers from our tests”

The other site that you all read – the only other site to beat Movingsnow for “best review site” for 2014 just came out with their newest “Top Pick’s List.” Source ConsumerSearch.com: Ratings of Sources

I’m going to go through their list and give you my take on their choices. If you really want the best – read on.

Just remember my opinions take into account more than just how the machine performs. My rating is more than just the snow blower itself. My slogan is “It’s Not What’s Best, It’s What’s Best For You” means I just don’t look at how far the snow blower will throw saw dust. I take into account the snow blower, the engine, the ease of use, the repair history, how you get service, how you get issues fixed and availability of parts.

It’s about the total value. If you want to know more about how I review snow blower please read Why You Can Trust the Reviews At MovingSnow:

Compact two-stage gas: 

  • Craftsman 88173, $680 Their rating 73 (Their top rating 82)
    Cub Cadet 524SWE 31AM53TR, $800 Their rating 73 (Their top rating 82)
    Toro Power Max 724 OE 37770, $800 Their rating 69 (Their top rating 82)
    Ariens 920021, $800 Their rating 68 (Their top rating 82)

They have a “ringer” in this rating system for the compact snow blowers. In reality the highest rating is 73. I don’t understand why they listed the Troy-Bilt Vortex™ 2490 but did not list the other high capacity 24 inch machines specifically the Ariens Deluxe/Platinum 24 and Husqvarna ST324.  

Two-stage gas: 

  • Troy-Bilt Storm 2840 31AH64Q, $900 Their rating 81 (Their top rating 90)
    MTD Pro 31AH64FG, $800 Their rating 81 (Their top rating 90)
    Yard Machines 31AH64FG, $830 Their rating 81 (Their top rating 90)
    Craftsman 88694, $900 Their rating 80 (Their top rating 90)

So, let’s go through their list.

Compact two-stage gas:

Craftsman 88173, $679

This also is my top rated snow blower. But to me it’s all about the value more than the performance. If you want a snow blower that not only blows snow well but has the most comprehensive service network on the  U.S. this is a great choice. Craftsman is the only snow blower brand where the service tech will come to your house and fix your snow blower. It is simple to use but doesn’t have the creature features that some of you want like power steering and 4-way chute. It’s literally $130 less than the other 24 good 24 inch snow blowers yet you don’t lose that many features. Yes, the 208 cc motor and 12 inch impeller throw snow and saw dust well. In addition to the capabilities of the machine and the in-home service Sears also offer many ways to get a great deal on this snow blower including no interest financing, cash back, rewards points and even lay away.

Cub Cadet 524SWE 31AM53TR, $799

This is the only compact snow blower on the Top Picks to have power steering. It is also the cheapest, good, snow blower with power steering.  I recommend this snow blower at lot if you have a bad back or if you are smaller and have a hard time using a snow blower. You don’t have to “manhandle” this machine, you drive it. It’s equal to the performance of the Craftsman 88173 and 3 has additional features. Headlight, 4-way chute control and power steering. This snow blower is serviced by a Cub Cadet Dealer.

Toro Power Max 724 OE 37770, $799

I like this Toro because it arguably has the best 4 way chute control but it has one item that keeps me from listing it as one of my best choices. The current Briggs & Stratton 205 cc engine has the poorest warranty record of all the major brands. MTD’s Powermore engine on the Craftsman/Cub Cadet/Troy-Bilt and the LCT engines on the Ariens/Husqvarna’s have a better warranty record. This snow blower is serviced by a Toro Dealer.

Ariens Compact 920021, $799

The Ariens is my “also ran” for the best snow blower. It is a great machine with a great engine. The 4-way chute is easy to use and the rotation and deflection positively lock in place. It does not have power steering but it does allow you to “unlock” one wheel for better maneuverability in lighter snows. (you lose 1/2 your traction)  This snow blower is serviced by an Ariens Dealer.

Also Consider:

Review:  Husqvarna 200 Series (208cc Two Stage) ST 224 It’s hard to impress me, but they did this year. The operator control panel and included heated handgrips make this a snow blower to consider. 

You can find more snow blowers like these here: Cheap 2 stage Snow Blowers – There are a few good ones

Two-stage gas:

Troy-Bilt Storm 2840 31AH64Q, $899

This snow blower is also available as the Remington Snow Removal RM2860 28 in. 243 cc Two-Stage Electric Start Gas Snow Blower RM 2860 at Home Depot for around $830. This is a hard snow blower to use for most people. It is a big snow blower and uses a solid, locked axle. There is no free-wheel pin on one axle. It does not have power steering. Do you understand it may be hard to use! 😉 To get service you have to contact Troy-Bilt to find a repair center.

MTD Pro 31AH64FG, $799

This recomendation has me scratching my head. First off, it is very hard to find and finding warranty repair is spotty at best. To get service you have to contact MTD Products to find a repair center. Second, like the Troy-Bilt 2840 it is one of the hardest machines to use. It is a big snow blower and uses a solid, locked axle. It does not have power steering. There may be a few of you who want just a cheap snow thrower for a large area but for most of us this is not the machine you want. This snow blower is also available as the Remington Snow Removal RM2860 28 in. 243 cc Two-Stage Electric Start Gas Snow Blower RM 2860 at Home Depot for around $830

Yard Machines 31AH64FG, $830

This snow blower is exactly like the Troy-Bilt Storm 2840 and MTD Pro 31AH64FG except it is even harder to find. Again to get service you have to contact Yard Machines to find a repair center. It looks like it is being replaced with the Remington Snow Removal RM2860 28 in. 243 cc Two-Stage Electric Start Gas Snow Blower RM 2860. About $830 at Home Depot.

Craftsman 88694, $899

If you notice 6 out of the 8 “recommended” machines are made by MTD. But of these six there are only two I recommend. I recommend this one for three reasons. 1. It has power steering so anyone can use it. 2. It has the new Quiet Engine that is 40% quieter than the other MTD snow blowers listed here. 3. If you have a problem with this snow blower Sears will come to your home and repair it. You can read my full review here: New Craftsman Quiet 26 Inch Snow Thrower Model 88694 Review

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12 Comments

  1. Dave October 14, 2015
    • Paul October 15, 2015
  2. paul February 14, 2015
  3. Ed January 10, 2015
    • Paul Sikkema January 10, 2015
  4. Jon Spielberg January 3, 2015
    • Paul Sikkema January 5, 2015
  5. Lorne Colish December 16, 2014
    • Paul Sikkema December 16, 2014
  6. Mike December 14, 2014
    • Paul Sikkema December 14, 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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