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My first winter in my first home. Live in upsate NY. Looking to buy my first snowblower.
All I would really need it for is my driveway which is ~150' double car wide on a paved driveway.

Any features to look out for?
Reputable brands vs brands to stay away from?
and size?
Looks like they have many different sizes from plug in ones the size of a broom to brolic 20hp ones.

Looking to spend at most 800 dollars, but if there is one that is particular bullet proof that is more, I would shove the cash out for it.
 

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You want a 'dual stage' blower - there will be a set of blades at the front of the machine that cut into the snow bank and pull it into the machine, then a second auger deeper inside that shoots the snow out of the machine.

Look for pneumatic tires (or possibly track drive).

A decent 4-stroke will work better than a small two - stroke engine (think Briggs and Stratton / Kohler / Honda engines). More horsepower means faster cleaning, less work, less bogging down.

Most all are self propelled today - look for variable speed units - with forward and reverse (priced accordingly).

IF IT CLOGS SHUT IF OFF BEFORE CLEARING - Many have lost hands and feet to an angry snow blower that was in neutral while being cleared...
 

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Two stage snow blower is the only way to go.

I have nearly the same driveway as you. This is my third year with a 24" Cub Cadet. Great machine.

Something to remember is the equipment you see at the box stores (John Deere, Cub Cadet, etc.) are cheaper versions of what you can get at the dealer. Bushings instead of sealed ball bearing is one example.

Before you buy look up the machine you're interested in. There are a few manufactures that produce several brands. You could find a cheaper version of the same machine under a different brand label
 

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I know several people that are happy with their Ariens two stage snowblower. As said I would go to a dealer and avoid the big box store, they may not be as good quality.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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I live in Pa & have one for over 10 years with an electric start Tecumseh 5hp engine. It starts on the second pull, so I don't even bother getting the cord out. I bought it after a very heavy snow storm & that was all I could get. Never had any problems, but it would be better if it was 8 or 10hp. Don,t get less than an 8hp.

Mark 54 in Lititz, Pa.
 

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ARIENS electric start, well worth the price & buy from an authorized dealer who knows how to repair them and has the needed parts.
The only thing that ever bogged it down was when I ran over Christmas outdoor light cords:1581:

Eddie
 

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Stay away from MTD.
Bite the bullet and cough up for a good one (Deere or others mentioned above) - you'll not be sorry 5 or 10 years from now.
 

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Joe, I bought a snowblower new in 1992 and have left the gas in it each and every year and have had not trouble with it in all those years.

Either I've had exceptional luck, or you've had bad luck.

PS.......same with my lawn mower too.

Hauxfan!
 

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1........American made, especially the motor, avoid paddle blowers like the plague unless only needed 1-2X yearly.

2.......the less expensive ones have cheaper paint jobs and rust sooner. Clean off with broom after using. It will last longer. Change oil every other year unless you live in upstate New York Or near Lake Superior.

I buy used ones on Craigs list, and I'm appalled at the rust I see. Some Sears models are good.

HM
 

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I use a Honda HS 9-28 with tracks . No tire chains needed . Les slip with tracks and you can climb stairs to do your deck .I can throw heavy snow a little more than 50` . 9 H.P. 28" swath, and can handle 22" of snow in a single pass . Easy to start and can either pull to start or electric start . Very good fuel efficiency with a big tank .
 

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Two stage for sure. Self propelled is a given. Be careful of going too small. I purchase non-oxygenated gas for all of my small engines. In Minnesota Mills Fleet Farm has a seperate fuel pump for this type of gas. 91 octane with no ethanol.

Ps: your car or truck will love it too!!!

Dusty
 

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I store all my small gas engines with a full tank of premium gas with Sea Foam added . They always start on next use . Then again I do not own broken down wore out junk equipment .
 

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I bought a 24" John Deere nineteen years ago. I clear a driveway 60'x45'. Still runs great, I can still buy parts for it, and because I use fuel with Stabil in it, it starts first pull every time. As said, make sure you use fuel stabilizer in the fuel. You will save yourself more agrivation than you could ever imagine.
 

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I have a John Deere 1032 (10hp-32") 2 stage electric start that I bought 26 years ago and it's still going strong. I used it on a 14 ft. wide 150 yard long driveway for the first 13 years until I moved to a smaller place. Now it's overkill for my place but I do my drive and a few of the neighbors when we get big snows. I do always keep Stabil in the fuel like RutabagaDave and have never had a problem.
 
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