Here is a list of snow engine brands followed by a list of snow blowers brands and who makes what.
Updated: September 2018.
Snow Engines – Who Makes What?
There are five manufacturers of winterized engines currently being installed on the snow blowers I am going to review this season. Every one of the brands has a proven record of reliability. In fact, in the last two years, all of these motors have service records that are the best the industry has ever seen. Parts and service are easy to get from the dealer or retailer you purchased it from. They are designed to run on today’s fuel (Do NOT use E-15 or E-85) AND HAVE MUCH LOWER EMISSIONS than motors sold just a few years ago.
Briggs & Stratton Snow Series: All B&S motors are labeled as such. B&S snow engines are warrantied by B&S, not the snow blower manufacture it is mounted on. B&S snow engines that are made in the USA have the “made in USA” sticker on them. Ariens Polar Force engines are B&S. According to the Briggs & Stratton website the following engines are NOT made in the U.S.A. 800, 900, 1150, 2100 Snow Series
LCT: Ariens AX, LCT Snow King, and Storm Force, LCT engines have LCT on the valve cover. Storm Force, Ariens AX, and Snow King are LCT engines. You will mainly see this brand on Ariens, Sno-tek and Husqvarna Snow blowers but there are a few smaller brands now using this manufacturer. LCT reliability on the Ariens and Husqvarna snow throwers is becoming legendary. LCT engines on Ariens and Husqvarna snow blowers are warrantied through the respective Ariens and Husqvarna dealers. LCT engines mounted on Power Smart snow blowers are warrantied through LCT
Loncin: Toro’s Premium Engine is made by Loncin, one of China’s largest motorcycle manufacturers. They make their 87cc, 99cc, 163cc, 212cc, 265cc and 302cc engines. Like LCT and Powermore the reliability is way up compared to your old Tecumseh or Briggs engine.
Honda: No I didn’t forget about Honda. They only install snow motors on their own brand. According to the latest info I have these engines are made in Thailand.
Tecumseh: Lawson Power Products (Tecumseh:) quit making engines in 2008. LCT has partnered with them and is now using the technology and brand names from the old Tecumseh product line.
Snow Blowers by Brand: Who Makes What?
Ariens actually makes 7 different series of single and 2-stage snow blowers but for most of us Sno-Tek, the Ariens Compact, and Ariens Deluxe will be the models we will buy. The Platinum, Pro, and Track series are high-quality snow blowers designed to last a lifetime. I will make a point of reviewing all of the Ariens snow blowers at Home Depot so you can compare them to the other brands.
All of these are made in the U.S.A.
Manufacturer: Briggs & Stratton
Briggs & Stratton makes 3 basic snow blowers. An economy, a residential and a pro model. They also have single and 2-stage. You will see them under various names like:
Briggs & Stratton
All of these are made in the U.S.A.
As you most likely know Stanley, Black & Decker (SBD) purchased the Craftsman name this year – but not the products. What that means for snow blowers is Stanley, Black & Decker will be independently developing their own line of Craftsman snow “throwers”, parts, and repair network. Because of that, I will explain the three different Craftsman snow thrower lines available this year.
Craftsman At Sears
Craftsman at Sears is the name and products you know. Snow Blowers are sold through Sears.com and your local Sears store. All the parts, warranty repairs, and service are the same as before through SearsPartsDirect.com and Sears Repair Services.
All models are made by MTD for 2018
Craftsman At Sears Hometown Stores
Sears Hometown Stores is independently owned and separate from Sears and Stanley, Black & Decker. Currently, they carry most Craftsman (at Sears) snow blowers and the residential series Husqvarna. You can view snow blowers on the Sears Hometown Stores website but you have to go to your local HomeTown store to purchase them. They will offer you a purchase or lease option.
NEW BRAND! Craftsman At Lowes, ACE. Craftsman.com, etc.
As you most likely know Stanley, Black & Decker (SBD) purchased the Craftsman name this year – but not the products. What that means for snow blowers is they will be independently developing their own line of Craftsman snow blower, parts, and repair network. It is unclear if they will have the snow blowers made by the current manufactures or build their own in – in their own factories in the future. The models currently listed on Lowes.com are made by MTD.
It appears Stanley, Black & Decker (SBD) purchased Craftsman.com also. It currently states,
WHO SHOULD I CALL FOR PARTS & REPAIR?
If you are in need of parts and/or repair for your CRAFTSMAN product, please call our customer service line, 888-331-4569.
WHERE CAN I GET MY TOOLS/EQUIPMENT REPAIRED?
For all repairs, call 888-331-4569 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll handle all your repair needs.
(Specifically for Snow Throwers:) WARRANTY SERVICE
With proof of sale, call this number to obtain the warranty coverage stated below: 1-888-331-4569.
MTD makes single, 2-stage and 3-stage snow throwers and sells them with different names. They also make snowblowers to spec for other brands (like Craftsman)
Yardman, MTD Pro, MTD, MTD Gold
They are a U.S. based manufacturer and the majority of the models are made and assembled in the U.S.
All Honda single-stage machines for the USA and Canada market are manufactured at the Honda plant in Swepsonville, NC. This includes the entire engine, from casting to final machine work and assembly. I believe Honda is the only current USA-market snowblower manufacturer who makes both the engine and snowblower at a USA factory.
Starting in May 2015 all Honda 2-stage snowblowers for the USA and Canada market are manufactured at the Honda plant in Swepsonville, NC.
Husqvarna has both single stage, residential 2-stage, and landowner 2-stage units.
All of these are made in the U.S.A.
Toro has a complete line of single, 2-stage and heavy duty 2 stage snow blowers.
- PowerMax HD
- Power Clear
Most are made in the U.S.A. but some are made in Mexico.
Specialty Snow Throwers.
I am calling the rest of this list and any other brand not listed “specialty” snow throwers. Almost all of them are made in China. At this time I don’t know which of these names are manufactures and which are brands named just for the U.S. market. These brands either have only one or two models (most are small electrics) or are internet only companies.
These companies all have the potential to be great, but for the time being be sure you understand the return and repair policies. In other words, a 2-year warranty is great but if you can’t find a dealer, an address to ship it to, or even to get someone to answer your phone call the warranty is worthless.
Amerisun Inc. The parent company for Power Smart and Snow Devil. This company is coming on strong with their China built snow blowers. You can call them and get parts. They are currently building a nationwide service network.
Other names you will see:
- Power Smart
- Snow Devil
- Snow Joe
- Dirty Hand Tools
Other Companies not listed:
One last word of warning. If the price seems to good to be true – it probably is. Be extremely careful of 2-stage snow throwers selling for less than $600! Or for that matter any snow blower selling for hundreds less than the brands you recognize. If you don’t recognize the brand there is a more than likely chance the snow thrower is made in China and service, parts, and repairs for it is non-existent or at best weeks away.
Be very careful about buying used. Like boat motors, these older engines are very susceptible to problems with today’s fuel. In addition, parts for the actual snowblower may be impossible to find.
Snow blowers have gone through many different design changes in the last 50 years and they still have a ways to go. The designs vary from a simple scoop and fan, to a “sidewinder,” to the current design. There have been many different variations of the 3-stage design and some worked – and some don’t.
Gilson Snow Blower Shop has put together a long list of some of the old vintage machines. Go take a look here:Vintage Machine Showcase