12/12/2018 6:00:00 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 the first Sno-Thro® was manufactured in our Brillion, Wisconsin factory in 1960, we've been known throughout world as the King of Snow™. It’s been 58 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-performing snowblower for your driveway.
Types of snowblowers
You’ll see two types of snowblowers on the shelves of your power equipment dealer or national retail chain store, like Home Depot or Lowe’s, this winter. Those types are single-stage and two-stage snowblowers.
Best single stage snowblowers
The best performing single-stage snowblowers 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 pulls 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 snowblowers
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 snowblowers
The Ariens Professional 21™ is a durable, commercial-grade single-stage option for professionals or homeowners who use their equipment more frequently. In fact, the Professional 21 is the only single-stage on the market designed specifically for 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 area accessible for more frequent routine maintenance and designed the handlebars for easy, single-person loading and unloading onto a truck bed.
Advantages of a 2 stage snowblower
Two-stage snowblowers are very different than single-stage units due to their size, technology, features and application. A two-stage snowblower uses an auger and impeller combination to ingest snow and throw it out of the 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 snowblowers 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 2 stage snowblowers
The performance of dependable two stage snowblowers relies on several variables, such as the quality of the materials and the workforce that builds them. For example, all Ariens Sno-Thro models are manufactured using quality, all-steel construction that's cut and fabricated by American workers. Unlike other brands, Ariens builds its two-stage Sno-Thro models with a cast-iron auger gearcase made from a top-filled design, which is less prone to leaking oil and helps ensure our gearcases last far beyond their 5-year warranty.
When exploring snowblower brands, familiarize yourself with how their functionalities differ. Technological and user experience features are important characteristics that can 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 the best two stage snowblowers.
The Ariens Deluxe family of snowblowers is the best-selling series of the best-selling snowblower brand because of its balance of 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 maneuver more easily when clearing. 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 snowblower this season.
Smaller 2 stage snowblowers
Don’t confuse small with less. The Ariens Compact series Sno-Thro models are just as durable and include most of the features as the Deluxe series, such as all-steel construction, serrated steel augers, a standard in-dash halogen headlamp and accessible discharge chute and ground speed 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.
Snowblowers with the most features
The Ariens Platinum series is a step-up from the Deluxe. There's a lot that similar, but the differentiation is in the enhancements. Incorporating patented Quick-Turn™ chute control 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 engines, or the 414cc engine on the Platinum 30 model. New for 2019, the Platinum comes available with Ariens patented RapidTrak™, the most innovative track-driven snowblower technology on the market.
Best track snowblowers
Track snowblowers 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 model 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.
Professional 2 stage snowblowers
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 housing. It’s a lot of snow, but nothing you can't chew through when piloting the machine with its large, robust handlebars. RapidTrak 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.
The most efficient snowblowers
Smarter engines sip fuel, and that's why EFI, or electronic fuel injection, is the best choice for fluctuating fuel prices. Ariens was the first and remains the only brand to offer an EFI option in its snowblower lineup. Benefits of EFI don't stop at efficiency, either. The technology behind EFI makes it easier to start the engine, keeps the engine performance consistent through various snow depths, 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 2 stage snowblower
There's endless options when buying a new snowblower. As you may know, there’s different brands to choose from, but how do you know which one is right? Perhaps the most indicative measurement of selecting the best snowblower by brand can be 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 snowblower 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.