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Snow throwers---- Are they all the same?

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by DENNISMASTROLIA1, Oct 31, 2011.

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  1. DENNISMASTROLIA1

    DENNISMASTROLIA1 Active Member

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    An Ariens rig sold at Home Depot or at Lowes (big box stores)--is it the same quality rig as the same one sold at a smaller -independent retailer? Some I have questioned say that the two rigs are WAY different.The independent has pricing $500-$700. higher. Some say the internal gearing is not the same or the sheet metal is different.I looked at them both and found them to be identical. Some input will help. Thanks--Dennis Mastrolia.
     
  2. Joe Potosky

    Joe Potosky Well-Known Member

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    Could be that Lowes buys them by the train load, and the local guy is purchasing a tractor trailer load... Thus the difference in price for the same product.
     
  3. Hal1225

    Hal1225 Member

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    Every time I see an Ariens I think about the one my uncle Tom gave me that was stolen from my garage along with my Oxy-Acetylene tanks and torches, air compressor and sockets etc. With 2 strokes and a heart attack and a 65 yo birthday tomorrow, I don't do snow so the poor bastard who is using it is welcome to it!

    Oh Wow regards,

    Harry
     
  4. HSLDS

    HSLDS Well-Known Member

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    The answer is - "maybe."

    Big stores can afford to put pressure on manufacturers for special pricing (makes sense) or special production (can be problematic),

    Years ago K-mart had Homelite make a chain saw for them. A 'normal' version of the saw sold for about $125 and the K mart saw went for $89 or $99 (don't remember). Saw LOOKED the same, but they had different model numbers (one was 1234 XY the other was 1234 XYK - not real numbers - just an example).

    Looked like the one was a much better deal, but in truth the internals had been skimped on. The 'better' one had chromed cylinder, while the K mart one was bare aluminum - other aspects too.

    I would suggest you look carefully at model and SKU numbers to see. At the price difference you mention I suspect there will be slightly different.
     
  5. vpr80

    vpr80 Active Member

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    Last winter, after very looooong research and examination, I bought Ariens. Seems all the snow blowers on the market break down into the following groups.

    1) Those made by MTD, basically all the store brands. <BR>
    2) Ariens, probably the best quality for the money.<BR>
    3) Toro, big dollars.<BR>
    4) Honda, huge dollars.<BR>

    #1 suck and are not recommended. #2-#4 are all good machines just get nicer and more expensive. I bought a fancy 24" Ariens model and I love it. Great machine and served me well last winter. My driveway is approx 65x20' and I can do it REALLY quick, like 20 min.

    Last note, Ariens has a cheap Black line called Sno-Tek or something like that. Don't get those. Get the real US-made Orange one.
     
  6. John Galt

    John Galt TS Member

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    Rather than getting speculation, why not just either call the manufacturer and ask them or do some internet research, either generally or on the company's web site.
     
  7. thunder

    thunder Active Member

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    Simplicity dual stage walk behind is a very good machine, my neighbor has a 14hp. The Simplicity riding tractor snow blower is the easiest to use and really blows snow, only a single stage. I have the riding tractor one and the neighbors can't believe what I can blow with it or go thru.

    Going to mount it on the tractor today.
     
  8. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes Well-Known Member

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    Dennis, Don't tell me you've panicked with the weather this week-end. You'll be heading for FL soon, save the money for shooting. :)
     
  9. lc

    lc TS Member

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    Had a Honda for over twenty years, it was the only machine on the block that could handle the really heavy snow and of course was self propelled. Another thing it always started year after year.
     
  10. trim tab

    trim tab Active Member

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    Ariens is the best in my opinion. Love it and have had Honda and Ariens.
     
  11. ctreay

    ctreay Member

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    One other difference between a dealer and a box store is service. A dealer is equipped to handle it. The box stores you bring it back to them and they farm it out to the cheapest guy with a wrench.

    ctreay
     
  12. DENNISMASTROLIA1

    DENNISMASTROLIA1 Active Member

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    Hi Bob-I need a new machine so while in FL. the guys can keep the d-ways open as well as the sidewalks. Only got an inch this weekend. See you this week. Wasn't that a great showing at MinuteMan with the young kids (adults) proving how great this country still can be?. Dennis.
     
  13. skip

    skip Member

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    My 24" Ariens Snow Blower has a cast iron gear box with a 11.5 HP overhead valve engine. With the torque of the 11.5 HP and a narrow 24 inch cut, if you hit anything like a garden hose, brick, landscaping timber, etc you can kiss the shear pin goodbye.

    Don't think you'll ever see 11.5 HP engine or a cast iron gear box at Lowe's or Home Depot, and yes it cost several dollars more at the local Ariens dealer.

    You'll never see the same Ariens part number at a big box store or local independant Ariens dealer. They do this so they won't have to match prices.

    After five seasons in Massachusetts all I've ever replaced are shear pins and engine oil changes.

    It's been a good machine so far.
     
  14. GW22

    GW22 Active Member

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    Make sure you get one that blows the snow out the back end...

    -Gary


    [​IMG]
     
  15. noknock1

    noknock1 Active Member

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    I am pleased with my tecumseh snow king on my 24" troy built. Things run great!
     
  16. AlanM

    AlanM Member

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    Just bought an Ariens, and I asked the dealer the same question and the answer was that the box store is a dummied down version. They may look the same but are different.

    Would much prefer to deal with the local man.

    Alan
     
  17. Uncle Sam

    Uncle Sam Member

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    OMG!!!!.....is that Bill Martin?
     
  18. deercreek

    deercreek Well-Known Member

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    I have a Simplicity with a Tecumseh engine. My wife wanted me to buy one of the cheap models at Sears or Lowes---it was a hell of a fight because I would not even consider the cheap sh*t and at the time and she could just not understand that. Now at ten years later I am glad I told her to screw off about it and bought the good one. After being with me for 17 years she understands the importance of buying quality the first time.
     
  19. DENNISMASTROLIA1

    DENNISMASTROLIA1 Active Member

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    Thanks everyone. I did find several at the big box store with the cast iron gear box. That was the dilemma. Some are of aluminum and some have the cast iron gear box. Dennis.
     
  20. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

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    They will all have a plate and a model number, the rest is up to you.

    You also get to decide who needs the money more, the local guy or the big box store.

    HM
     
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