I have been looking at upgrading from my 1980 21 inch 2 stage Toro the last few years but it just keeps running. I would love to have something with the auto steer feature. I don't need a real big machine. Was thinking in the 24 inch range but really want to have the autosteer feature. Several machines don't have it that I have seen. Any help or guidance is appreciated. I was leaning toward the Cub Cadet but have read so many (not so good reviews) that I am thinking maybe I should try to find one with better reviews. Thanks so much.
Hello fishrman. Welcome to the Community!
It sounds to me that you would be in the market for an Ariens Platinum series 24" snow blower.
Click the picture to go directly to the item page.
For a list of all 2 stage snow blowers at homedepot.com, Click here.
Is this what you are looking for?
That looks like a great machine and one I would love to have but wonder if, for the money, I might be wiser to get the 28 inch Deluxe for 999. instead of the 1399.00 for the Platinum model.
Thanks for pointing that out to me.
Actually I agree whole heartedly with you on this one.
I assumed that you needed a 24" model. I think that the deluxe is a great value.
At my home, I have a double corner lot with side walks all around, as well as throughout my back yard.
A 24" model works perfectly, but a 28" would have me doing a lot of shoveling in the back yard.
One other thing to consider: A 24" snow blower is really not very hard to turn, and they are self propelled.
Until last year I was using an Ariens 24" 2 stage blower with a mighty 3.5 horsepower engine.
It was built in early 1980 and the motor finally gave out after many years of heavy use.
I have no qualms about recommending an Ariens chassis for snow blowers.
Not sure I understand about you saying a 28 would leave you doing allot of shoveling in the backyard?
Yes, I guess I wasn't very clear about that.
My home, and its sidewalks were built in the 1920's.
The sidewalks have long since sunken slightly below the ground surface level around them.
The sidewalks in the back yard are slightly wider than 24", but not 28", so only a narrow snow blower will clear them.
Sorry about the confusion.
Appreciate your help. I am still torn between the 24 and 28. I think the 28 is a better buy but the 24 would probably be more manueverable and take up less room in the garage. Another thing I see is that you indicated you had a 24 Ariens. What are you using now?
What I am using now has one big advantage. It was a free hand-me-down from a relative about 5 years ago.
It's a 2-cycle, single stage MTD 350. Looks kinda like this:
For mild winters here in Chicago I find it to be pretty effective in quickly moving up to 6" of snow. When I get to the driveway apron near the street, it does struggle to deal with the berm created by street plows though. Often I need to break it up with a shovel. Lots of work.
For not so mild winters and an occasional heavy snowfall, this little guy just pales in comparison to even a small 2 stage unit. It will get the job done, but takes a long time to deal with deep snow. That's OK. Models like this are made for lighter duty use and are priced accordingly. It is small, easy to maneuver and does propel itself forward by tipping the unit up on its rubber paddle blades. I have replaced these paddles and the plastic bottom scraper blade twice now. Otherwise, maintenance is zero when the carb is drained out each spring. Many of my neighbors who own a single size mid-block lot find units like this just perfect for them,
If I were to buy a new snow blower today, for MY NEEDS a 24" 2 stage unit of the best quality I could afford would be best. It sounds like that would also be best for you as well.