9 Best Cheap 2-Stage Snow Blowers 2018-2019
Let’s be practical. There are cheap snow blowers and then there is junk. This is a list of the cheapest snow blowers that I can recommend on the market today. These snow blowers are from reliable companies that have real local servicing dealers and parts availability. All will clear your one-two car driveway in areas that average 40-60 inches of snow a year. All of the snow blowers on this list have reliable engines and tires with a good snow tread design. As long as you are in no hurry they will handle 2-10 inches of snow and the occasional 18-20 inch drift well. Yes, most will plug if you try to move wet snow.
If you live in an area that gets heavy-wet snow (for example, Boston or Long Island) these are not the best choice. I suggest a higher HP, higher capacity 24-inch snow blower like the Ariens Deluxe 24.
All of the snow blowers on this list use a solid axle. That means both wheels spin all the time so when you turn the inside wheel keeps spinning. For smaller people or people with bad backs that can make these snow blowers hard to use.
All of these snow blowers now use a 208cc engine and include a 110-volt electric start. That gives you around 6 1/2 HP compared to your old 179cc 5 HP. These snow blowers will all throw snow farther and faster than your old one.
Before I show you the list I have one more very important item to discuss – fuel.
The biggest issue with small gas engines today is they won’t start when you want them to. But the Number One reason they won’t start is bad fuel – not something wrong with the snow blower’s engine. Today’s pump gas starts to go bad after only 30 days of sitting around your garage in an old vented gas can. Here are a few tips to help:
DO NOT fill your new snowblower with the gas you have sitting around in your garage. Pour that old fuel in your vehicle and go buy fresh 87 Octane fuel. Today’s engines are designed to run on E10 or less 87 Octane fuel. Here are three other solutions to help your snow blower start every time.
- Buy a new gas can. The latest gas cans are sealed so the fuel doesn’t go bad as fast. The ones I recommend pour very well. Check them out here: Paul’s Amazon Influencer Page.
- Use a fuel stabilizer. I always put 2 tablespoons per gallon of SeaFoam in my fuel when I go buy it. That way the fuel is always treated and it will last me over a year. before it goes bad. Check it out here: Paul’s Amazon Influencer Page.
- Use TruFuel or similar pure gas. It’s expensive compared to gas but it has a 2-year shelf life. I use it in the snow blowers I test but don’t use very often and they all start on the first pull. Check it out here: Paul’s Amazon Influencer Page.
$699 or less:
Spending about $699 gives you a high arc long chute so the snow blower throws the snow farther and you can place it where you want it. Some of these snow blowers like the Ariens and Toro even have a remote deflector control for even more control of the snow. All of these snow blowers have larger 13-inch tires and have a lot more traction than the $599 snow blowers listed at the end of this article.
Feel free to ask questions in the comments below. Please click on the “Buy Here” link to read more details about the snow blower you are interested in.
1. Troy-Bilt Storm 2460 24 in. 208cc Two-Stage Electric Start Gas Snow Blower with Airless Tires Model # Storm 2460
This snow blower has a lot to offer for the price and I have a feeling it will quickly become The Home Depot’s best selling snow blower. For my Mid-Western 2 car, 70-foot driveway, brick patio, and turf that I clear for my dogs – it is a perfect size.
There are three unique features of the Troy-Bilt 2460 that allow me to put it as Number One on this list.
- Airless Tires. I’ve been using Troy-Bilt snow blowers with the airless tires for a couple of years now and I really like how much traction they have and how easy the snow blower turns. Even on a solid axle snow blower like this one, they are surprisingly easy to use.
- Poly Skid Shoes. The long poly skids don’t leave brown rust marks on your pavement or patio and they last a long time.
- Now Sold At The Home Depot. I am very excited that Troy-Bilt is now available through the Home Depot. Over the last five years, Home Depot has quietly become the online leader in outdoor power equipment. They are very easy to work with if you have a problem with your snow blower. They will help you set up service if you have the standard factory warranty and if you decide to purchase one of their protection plans – the price is reasonable and will repair your equipment as quickly as possible.
2. Ariens Classic 24 in. 208cc 2-Stage Electric Start Gas Snow Blower Model # 920025
The Ariens Classic gets great reviews for its size and price. The Classic features an all steel remote chute and deflector. In fact, it’s a solid machine with more metal parts than the other snow blowers on this list. Be aware that the Classic has snap-ring pins that hold the wheels on the axle. With one of the pins moved to the freewheel position the snow blower will turn easily – but you lose half your traction. The snow blower comes from the factory with one of the pins in the freewheel position so it’s easy to move around the sales floor. You will want to move the pin to the locked position when you use it the first time
3. Craftsman 88173 24″ 208cc Dual-Stage Snowblower Model 88173
The Craftsman 88173 has been around for quite a while now and four years ago I gave it the “Best Value” award. It continues to be a good, basic snow blower at a great price.
4. Briggs & Stratton 24 in. Dual-Stage Electric Start Gas Snowthrower Model# 1696610
Like most of the snow blowers on this list, it does not have a headlight. It also does not have an easy to use chute rotation. For example, with the #1 Troy-Bilt above you can move the chute quickly from one side to the other with just 2 1/2 turns of the crank. This snow blower requires many more turns. It is very light compared to the other snow blowers on this list (about 170 lbs) so it will have more traction issues in deeper snow.
It is also available through Amazon Prime for the same price: Briggs & Stratton 24 in. Dual-Stage Electric Start Gas Snowthrower Model# 1696610 at Amazon
5. Poulan Pro PR241 24 in. Two-Stage Electric Start Gas Snow Blower Model# 961920092
I’m listing this Poulan Pro because many owners like it but I’m not going to recommend it right now. A lot of owners have complained that the plastic dash cracks after a year or so of use. Many also complain that the chute doesn’t stay in position and wanders around while you are blowing snow.
6. Power Max 724 OE 2-Stage Snow Thrower Model # 37779 at The Home Depot
You can feel confident that every snow blower in the Toro is built well and built to last. The 724 OE is no exception. The Toro Power Max is listed on all the websites right now for $799 but there is a rumor that Toro is dropping the price to $699. Let’s watch and see what happens.
$599 or less:
Do you remember that small MTD snow blower you or your neighbor owned 15-20 years ago? It had a 5 hp Tecumseh or Briggs engine? It threw snow – not very far – but it did get that 6-8 inches of snow off your driveway. It handled the snow plow drift at the end of your driveway as long as you got out there early in the morning before it froze into a rock hard wall.
The only disadvantages that these snow blowers have a short chute and hard to use chute rotation. The old style short chute limits as to how far the snow blower throws the snow and since it does not have a remote defector it harder to aim the snow just where you want it. This is especially irritating when the snow is light and fluffy – the snow blows all over and most of it in your face 🙂
If you are interested in either of these snow blowers please click on the “buy here” link to read more on the Sears or Home Depot site.
7. Craftsman 24″ 208cc Dual-Stage Snowblower 88781
8. Troy-Bilt 24 in. Two-Stage 208cc Electric Start Self Propelled Gas Snow Blower Model # Storm 2410
9. Poulan Pro PR240 24 in. 179cc Two-Stage Gas Snow Blower Model # PR240
Did I miss any other good, cheap snow blower? Please let me know in the comments below.