In which I bitch about my snow blower and ask for recommendations

It’s got a 357cc engine, so it’s not underpowered.

Do you use SeaFoam?

Pour some right into the empty tank before filling it up.

I have an Ariens Compact 24. It works very well on Wisconsin-level snow. What more do you need to know? :)


I am leaning towards the Ariens 28 SHO. From reading the snow blower forum it does very well with the heavy wet snow we have in New England.

The other trick I read about that I hadn’t considered with my snowblower was spraying the inside of it with either Pam no-stick or a silicon spray.

No. But I really shouldn’t need to use an additive when I use it multiple times a month in winter (so the fuel is not sitting) and burn out all the fuel in the spring.

I may switch to using an additive, but it kind of irritates me, because I shouldn’t have to.

My coworkers wax theirs. Their brand varies but anything similar to spray on car wax, then wipe off. They do it once per season.

I am starting to think that a lot of the problems I have been having with unit is rusting behind the impeller. It’s a long shot I am going to keep the unit, but it might be worth dismantling it over the summer and spraying the inside with some Rustoleaum.

I’m seriously considering the Ego battery snowblower. I have a smaller driveway and in Toronto we’ve had about 7-8 snowfalls so far around the 6-inch range. It’s been a bit too hard to shovel particularly since there’s limited storage room on one side.

I like the GHG and gas free, light enough weight to pick up for storage, and I can also get a lawnmower that uses the same battery so so excited savings. YouTube and other reviews put it on par with a gas single stage. Thoughts?

I’ve never had good luck with battery powered equipment like that. They’ve always seemed weaker, things go wrong with them faster, etc. But that’s obviously just anecdotal for me.

I agree but the question is whether 2019 era has finally gotten them powerful enough? I think lawnmowers are, my brother in law is happy with his despite his largish lot. Keep in mind that batteries have more power, not less, than a wall outlet and extension cord. Still, snowblowers do some pretty heavy lifting so I’m wondering.

The conclusion that finally hit me over the head this year is a snowblower is the one piece of yard equipment that needs to work with the least amount drama. For me, this means that I will over buy and overpower what I think my needs are. Because nothing sucks more than standing in freezing rain after the change over happens two hours before the forecasters said it would struggling with an underperforming piece of equipment.

100%. They have to work when you need them to work, or around here, you might not get out of your driveway.

My driveway is a mess. The upper area is about the square footage of a 4-car garage and the rest is on a slight hill. that hill causes any of the change-over rain to turn the bottom into a total slushfest. To add to that, my driveway needs to be ripped up and regraded so there is loose asphalt all over the place. So, I am almost guaranteed to go through either a sheer bolt or an auger belt. I am also not good about cleaning out the unit when I am done, so I probably caused a lot of rust in the impeller chute area.

Also, things just aren’t really built to last, and I am reading that the Cub Cadets now are engineered to last around 7 years without a major incident.

The next snowblower I also want to make sure the auger belt is easy to replace. The Cub Cadet I have to turn the unit on its end twice to change it and I am not thrilled about that.

No. Money got tight and I didn’t get one. Turned out to be a good thing since I only used it once or twice last year anyway.

Yeah, I used mine one time last year (southern New England).
But I used the hell out of it for about a 5-year stretch.

I also agree with the buy more than you need. I didn’t, but will next time. I’ve only needed more than I have 2 or 3 times but I remember those 2 or 3 times very much.

I have a Snapper 924i 2-stage I bought in 2008 from a local dealer (I guess it’s just Simplicity now). When I need it I need it…in addition to a ~300-foot driveway I have to cut paths around the yard for sheep and dogs. It’s always cut through the road plow mountain at the end of the driveway even an hour after the snow-to-rain transition inevitably happens here. I always douse the augurs, impeller and casing with silicon spray before each use and it has very little rust. I also change the scraper bar and skid shoes when they wear out.

I had to replace the augur gear box 3 years ago, but it didn’t owe me any favors at that point. But now the dumbest things are breaking…the metal fitting that connects the hook at the end of the drive engage handle cable to the drive wheel just snapped in half, and there is no replacement part for that…the guy I bought the thrower from welded it back together. He was all “I’ve never seen that”. Now the metal casing next to the engine which holds the choke, key, on-switch and primer pump together just rotted away and crazily flaps around, so I taped it together with heat-resistant electrical tape because, again, I see no replacement part for that in the catalogues (it’s just part of the engine I guess). I guess it’s the theme of old Toyotas running forever but the door handles start falling off.

The engine runs great because I’ve taken care of it. The augur gear box cost me ~ $400 but I replaced all the belts at the same time.

Oh, so recommendations? I doubt that any name-brand from a local power equipment shop is better than another. Maybe Ariens, and that will probably be my next buy. Don’t buy from chain stores from what I understand. Change the oil every year, use stabilizer in the gas but still run it dry in the spring, spray the augurs and casing with silicone or WD40 before every use, let it sit in the sun and melt out after every use, get a grease gun and pump grease into the augur fittings every year and make sure you have replacement augur pins.