12/12/2018 12:00:00 AM
What makes a quality snow blower? Through thousands of testing hours and design verifications, Ariens® learned the best snowblowers have all steel construction, are easy to operate and are snowblowers made in the USA.
Since our first snow blower was manufactured in our Brillion, Wisconsin factory in 1960, we've been known throughout world as the King of Snow™. It’s been almost 60 years, a test of time that's allowed us to not only build a reputation, but to also evaluate, learn and perfect so we can continue delivering the strongest, most innovative and best snow blower in America and across the world.
Types of snow blowers
Consumers will see two types of snowblowers on the showfloors of their snow blower dealers and national retail chain stores, like Home Depot or Lowe’s, this winter. Those types are single-stage and two-stage snowblowers.
Best single stage snow blowers
The best single stage snow blowers use paddles to ingest snow, scrape it off the clearing surface and throw it out the discharge chute in a single motion. There's no wheel drive, however, the rotation of the paddles pull the machine forward into more snow while scraping the clearing surface clean. Single-stage snowblowers are both lightweight and very maneuverable. Simply push the handlebars down slightly to lift the front of the unit off the pavement, pivot the unit, lower and continue clearing.
Single-stage snowblowers are small in clearing height and width, which makes them ideal for clearing snow in regions that get lighter snowfall totals. However, single stage snowblowers are still very useful for clearing narrow spaces or small areas in regions that get heavy snowfalls. The size and weight of a single stage snowblower is practical for sidewalks, patios and decks.
Residential single stage snow blowers
Both homeowners and professional landscape contractors use single stage snowblowers to clear snowfall. The 21-inch clearing width and the powerful 208cc engine in Ariens Path-Pro® make it the number one choice for residential users who want to clear snow quickly from their driveway, deck or sidewalk.
Commercial single stage snow blowers
The Ariens Professional 21™ is a durable, commercial single stage snow blower for professionals or homeowners who use their equipment more frequently. In fact, the Professional 21 single stage was designed specifically for heavier use by contractors. Professionals work their machines hard, which is why Ariens equipped the Professional 21 with longer-lasting high-wear paddles, built it with steel, made the engine more accessible for more frequent, regular snow blower maintenance and designed the handlebars for easy, single-person loading and unloading onto a truck bed.
Advantages of a two stage snowblower
Two stage snow blower models are very different than single stage units due to their size, technology, features and applications. A two stage snow blower uses an auger and impeller combination to ingest snow and throw it out of a discharge chute. As the wheels drive the unit forward, snow gets collected in the housing, is chewed up by the augers and pushed into the impeller fan at the rear of the housing. The impeller then hurls the snow out of the discharge chute to distances of up to 50 feet.
A two stage snow thrower is a great option for fast clearing in regions that experience snowfalls of just a few inches to areas that lie in the crosshairs of epic Lake Effect snowfalls. Additionally, two stage snow blowers have an economic advantage. They’re less expensive than purchasing a truck plow or hiring a landscape service, and their user-interface makes them easy for anyone to operate.
Top performing two stage snowblowers
The performance of dependable two stage snow blowers relies on several variables, such as the quality of the materials and the workforce that builds them. For example, all Ariens snow blower models are manufactured using quality, all-steel construction that's cut and fabricated by an American workforce. Ariens builds most of its quality two stage snow blowers with a cast iron auger gearcase made from a top-filled design, which is less prone to leaking and helps ensure our gearcases last far beyond their 5-year warranty.
When exploring the best snow blower brands, familiarize yourself with how their functions differ. Technological and user experience features are important characteristics that separate one brand from another. The ability to control snow discharge height and direction or change drive speed with easy-to-use, accessible in-dash levers are valued features, which is why they’re included in all Ariens two stage snow blowers.
The Ariens Deluxe family of snowblowers is the best selling snow blower model of the best selling snow blower brand because of its features, options, capability and user interface. Choose between housing widths of 24, 28 or 30 inches and enjoy innovative Auto-Turn™ steering that helps operators steer more easily when clearing snow. Combined with 16-inch directional tires, a 254cc or 306cc engine, a 14-inch impeller fan and a low starting price, the Deluxe series is the best value snow blower this season.
Small 2 stage snow blowers
Don’t confuse small with less. The Ariens Compact series snow blower models are just as durable and include many of the popular features in the Deluxe series, such as steel construction, serrated steel augers, a standard in-dash halogen headlamp and accessible discharge chute and controls in the dash panel.
Compact series models have everything and more needed to clear a snowstorm. These units are equipped with a powerful 223cc engine, have an auger diameter of 11 inches and have options for clearing widths of 20 or 24 inches. Directional, 15-inch tires offer solid stability, but a track-driven configuration for superior handling is also available.
Snow blowers with the most features
The Ariens Platinum series is a step-up from the Deluxe. There are similarities, but the differences are in the enhancements. A patented Quick-Turn™ chute control in the dash panel allows users to effortlessly change discharge chute direction with a short pull and left or right movement of the lever. It's a superior user experience, especially when paired with the comfort of heated hand grips.
The Platinum's muscle is also an enhancement. All models are designated as SHO, or super high output, thanks to their 369cc or 414cc snow blower engine options. New just last year, the Platinum comes available with Ariens patented RapidTrak™, the most innovative track snow blower on the market.
Best track snow blowers
Track snow blowers offer superior clearing stability, however there's still a lot to be desired from other brands' designs in terms of speed and maneuverability, which is why the engineers at Ariens developed a solution. RapidTrak is a revolutionary track drive system that combines the superior handling with the speed and maneuverability of a wheel driven snow blower in one unit.
Squeeze the trigger under the handlebar to change the pitch of the housing to one of three modes. Digger mode pitches the housing down to clear packed snow, track mode keeps the housing level with the tracks for maximum grip, and wheel mode lifts the tracks up for clearing with easy maneuverability in areas that don’t require high traction.
Two stage snow blowers for professionals
The beasts of the Ariens snow lineup are designed to reroute blizzards and put Mother Nature in her place. With 420cc engines and an auger diameter of 16 inches on all models in the Ariens Professional series lineup, these units move anywhere from 79 tons to 102 tons per hour, depending on your choice of a 28, 32 or 36 inch snow blower housing. It’s a lot of snow, but nothing you can't chew through when piloting the machine with its large, robust handlebars. RapidTrak and EFI technology is also available in two of the models in this lineup.
All models are available with Quick-Turn chute control, and some Professional models are available with hydrostatic drive for changing ground drive speed without the need to stop and shift.
Efficient snow blowers
Smarter engines sip fuel, and that's why EFI snow blowers, or electronic fuel injection models, are the best choice for fluctuating fuel prices. Ariens was the first to offer an EFI option to its snowblower lineup. Benefits of EFI don't stop at efficiency, either. EFI technology makes it easier to start the engine, keeps the engine performance consistent through various snow depths and altitudes, and because of its sealed fuel system, is less prone to fuel-related maintenance issues.
Electronic fuel injection options are available on certain Deluxe, Platinum and Professional-series models.
Choosing a two stage snow blower
There's endless options when buying a new snow blower. There’s different brands to choose from, but how do you know which one is right? Perhaps the best way to select the best snow blower brand is found by looking at buying trends. As mentioned earlier, Ariens has been known as the King of Snow, not just because we think so, but because we’re the best selling snow blower brand in the world.
Our lineup is designed to be extensive because Ariens offers an option for a variety of needs. For help selecting the right snowblower for you, try using our snow blower selector tool.