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What Snow Blower Should I Buy?

1/16/2019 6:00:00 AM

By: Aaron Abler, Email Marketing & Content Specialist,

How do you choose which snow blower is right for you? Maybe you only need something for a small clearing with lighter snowfalls, or maybe you need a snow blower to clear large areas in a region that receives apocalyptic snowfalls. Whatever your case, you can find small snow blowers for clearing decks, roofs and narrow spaces, or bigger snow blowers for clearing large spaces or multiple driveways at Ariens retailers and dealerships nationwide.

Small snow blower for compact areas

Not all snow blowers are large, heavy machines. Single stage type snow blowers are compact and lighter, making them ideal for clearing decks, narrow areas and even flat rooftops. But don’t think that means they’re limited. Single-stage snow blowers clear large areas with lighter snowfall amounts up to six inches very effectively.

In the Ariens® single stage lineup, there's a choice of the Path-Pro® for homeowners, or the Professional 21, a single stage for contractors.

Ariens Path-Pro

  • 136cc or 208 cc engine options
  • Spring-loaded scraper blade for more effective clearing
  • Large, semi-pneumatic wheels
  • Folding handlebars for storage

    Ariens Professional 21

    • High-wear paddles
    • Remote chute option
    • All-steel construction
    • Easily accessible engine
    • Smart lift handlebars for easy, single-person loading onto a truck bed

      To learn more about single stage snow blowers, click here.

      Popular snow blowers of 2019

      Need a snow blower for moderate snowfalls? If you live anywhere within North America’s snow belt, a medium sized snow blower may be your answer. As Mother Nature has taught us, heavy snowfalls of greater than six inches or more can fall as far south as Kentucky, Oklahoma, Virginia and New Mexico and push into the nether regions of Canada. Just last week, 12 inches fell on St. Louis, so don’t think that you’re protected because of your location – it can happen in more places than you think.

      Though there is no definition for a midsize snow blower, industry standard would classify these common, popular snow blowers as a two stage snow blower with a clearing width from 20 to 30 inches. With housing heights up to 23 inches, these machines are built to confront winter’s hardest punches.

      To learn more about two-stage snow blowers, click here.

      Like single-stage snow blowers, two-stage snow blowers are designed for varying needs. Whether you’re clearing an alleyway in Chicago, a long driveway in suburban New Haven, Connecticut, or a steep path in Banff, Alberta, Canada, the Ariens Sno-Thro® lineup has a machine that’s sized right and spec’d with features that fit your driveway.

      Let's use the Chicago scenario. I lived in the Windy City once and I can say from experience that there's nothing more frustrating than trying to dig your car out of its parking spot after the snowplow passes. All the snow that was spread across the street has not barricaded your transportation. Swell. And don’t forget, you'll need to move your car within about 24 hours before the city fines you at least $75.00. Super. Oh, and don't forget the sidewalk, too.

      In densely populated areas like Chicago, there's hardly any space left for snow, which is why Ariens Compact series snow blower is best for that situation. With housing widths as narrow as 20 inches, but the height and power to redirect snow across the street, the Ariens Compact is the right choice for maneuvering in the big city. Standard with a top-filled, cast-iron gearcase, remote chute controls and a halogen headlamp, it's dependability gives you confidence long after the sun sets.

      Ariens Compact Series

      • All-steel construction
      • Limited 3-year warranty
      • Top-filled, cast-iron gearcase
      • In-dash chute controls
      • Halogen headlamp
      • 15-inch directional tires


      To learn more about the Ariens Compact series Sno-Thro, click here.

      For those living in more rural or suburban areas, with larger driveways or sidewalks to maneuver through, you might want to consider a step up into a unit that has at least 24 inches of clearing width. The name of the game here is time, and if you don’t have the engine power or clearing width to tackle big snowfalls in short order, you’re spending your weekends away from things you’d rather do.

      The Deluxe series of units come with the same features as the Compact, but with enhancements like Auto-Turn™ for easier turning, a larger auger and impeller diameter for faster snow processing ability, larger engines and an EFI option for easier starting, storage and better fuel efficiency.

      Ariens Deluxe Series

      • 254cc and 306cc engine options
      • 24, 28 and 30-inch clearing width options
      • 16-inch directional tires
      • Auto-Turn steering
      • EFI engine option
      • 14-inch auger and impeller diameter


      To learn more about the Ariens Deluxe series Sno-Thro, click here.

      Let's say you have a clearing area similar to the last example, but you need something with more power to throw the juicy stuff. Though "packing" snow is great for building a snowman, it's bothersome to clear from your driveway and potentially dangerous to move with a shovel. For those wet and heavy snowfalls, you'll want a powerful snow blower that can toss it as effectively as the lighter variety.

      All models in the Ariens Platinum lineup come standard with an SHO engine, meaning super high output. There's no replacement for displacement, and with 369 or 414 cubic centimeters, you can be certain the throwing distance will clear some of the widest driveways.

      Besides bigger engines, Platinum series models include Quick-Turn™ chute control for easy redirection of snow discharge, and heated hand grips to work in comfort. And for those clearing steep or sloped surfaces that demand superior traction, the Platinum lineup includes a patented RapidTrak track-drive option.

      Ariens Platinum Series

      • 369cc and 414cc engine options
      • 24, 28 and 30-inch clearing width options
      • Heated hand grips
      • Quick-Turn chute rotation
      • RapidTrak option


      To learn more about the Ariens Platinum series Sno-Thro, click here.

      Biggest snow blowers of 2019

      A few years ago, an old college friend of mine asked which snow blower would work best for him to clear his driveway, a wide path to his shed and an area around the shed. The answer was a snow blower with a clearing width of at least 28 inches, a large engine and drift cutters that could clear open areas prone to blowing and drifting snow. Same goes for professionals clearing multiple properties.

      When you're talking very large clearing areas, a slightly larger housing and engine combination can make a big difference. Consider this. If a larger snow blower can process snow just 10 minutes faster per job than another snow blower and you have 12 jobs to complete, you banked two hours. That’s either more time for yourself, or more capacity to do more jobs.

      In the Ariens lineup, our largest is aptly named the Professional series. Models in this family are available with 28, 32 or 36 inches of width, come standard with drift cutters to tear down snow piles higher than the housing and chew them up with an auger and impeller combination powered by a 420cc engine. This is also the snow blower with the most options. Among its bells and whistles include a RapidTrak option, an EFI engine option, and a hydrostatic drive option. Hydrostatic drive is an infinitely variable transmission, meaning it allows operators to change ground speeds without stopping to shift like with traditional friction-drive models.

      Ariens Professional Series

      • 420cc engine
      • Drift cutters
      • 28, 32, and 36-inch clearing width options
      • RapidTrak options
      • EFI engine options
      • Hydrostatic drive options


      To learn more about the Ariens Professional series Sno-Thro, click here.

      The snow blower lineup this winter is extensive, and it might seem tough or intimidating to figure out what's best for your driveway. There's no specific science or calculation that can determine exactly what you need, especially with weather as volatile as it is, but we got close with our snow blower selector tool.

      Crunch the numbers to see which snow blower is best for you this winter:

      Snow Blower Selector

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