11/1/2019 5:00:00 AM
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 blizzards. 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.
Small snow blowers for compact areas
Not all snow blowers are large, heavy machines. Single stage 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 can also 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 commercial single stage.
Ariens Path-Pro Series
The Ariens Path-Pro single stage is very popular small snow blower for homeowners. Within its 21-inch clearing witdth are two auger paddles that both ingest snow and throw it out of its manually adjustable or remote-operated discharge chute. The rubber paddles scrape clean to the surface and drive the unit forward. As the paddles contact the clearing surface, they pull the unit forward and into more snow. To make a new path, lightly push down on the handlebars, pivot the unit about its maneuverable wheels, lower the unit and continue clearing.
Path-Pro is also easy for homeowners who are new to using outdoor power equipment. With the recoil start or electric start options and a light 97-pound profile, Path-Pro is a snow blower that's easy for anyone of any experience level to start and operate. Path-Pro's handlebars can be folded forward for compact storage and the unit comes with the Ariens 3-year limited warranty.
- 136 & 128cc engine options
- Spring-loaded scraper bar
- Large, semi-penumatic tires
- Folding handlebars for storage
Ariens Professional 21 Series
Within the Ariens single stage snow blower family is another option for commercial landscapers. The Ariens Professional 21 single stage snow blower was designed completely around the needs of contractors clearing snowfalls in small areas at multiple properties, several times per season. Its 21-inch clearing width is reinforced with an all-steel constructed housing that protects its other components in heavy use and transportation. Outfitted with high-wear paddles, the Ariens Professional 21 can power through multiple properties, clearing all the way down to the surface without needing frequent paddle replacement. To help ensure more effective clearing, the Professional 21 is equipped with a spring-loaded scraper bar that stays in contact with the clearing surface even as the bar wears.
Some of the most attractive features on this commercial single stage is its open engine area for fast and easy access to maintenance points, as well as a specially designed handlebar. The design of the smart-lift handlebars are shaped to make single-person loading and unloading onto a truck bed quick and effortless.
- High-wear paddles
- Remote chute option
- All-steel construction
- Easily accessible engine
- Smart lift handlebars for easy, single-person loading onto a truck bed
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 showed in the past, heavy snowfalls of greater than six inches or more can fall as far south as Kentucky, Oklahoma, Virginia and New Mexico. Remember last year? A freak blizzard can happen anywhere, and it sure is nice to be prepared for it.
Though there is no definition for a midsize snow blower, industry standard for a mid size snow thrower would be somewhere in the range of 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.
Like single-stage snow blowers, two-stage snow blowers are built 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, the Ariens Sno-Thro® lineup has a machine that’s sized right and spec’d with features to fit your driveway.
Let's use the Chicago scenario. Digging out a car parked on the street after the snow plow passes is nearly impossible. Cars are already parked bumper to bumper on both sides of the street and the snow plow creates one lane through the middle – pushing snow as high as your driver's side window and barracading your transportation. Not to mention, you'll need to move your car within 24 hours to avoid a $75 fine.
In densly populated areas like Chicago, Boston or New York, space becomes extremely limited after an 8-inch snowfall, followed by another 10 inches. That's why the Ariens Classic or Compact snow blowers are best for those areas. With housing widths as narrow as 20 inches, but the height and power to redirect snow across the street, the Ariens Classic and Compact models are the best snow blowers for the big city.
Ariens Classic Snow Blower
Classic is your baseline two-stage snow blower, but that doesn't mean it's cheap. The Ariens Classic is built with the same engineering, parts and all-steel construction as in the larger models. Its cast aluminum auger gearcase features an industry-leading top-filled design to help ensure no oil leaks are the last thing you'll need to worry about. Powered by a time-tested and reliable Ariens AX 208cc engine, the Ariens Classic's serrated augers and three-blade impeller chew through snow and toss it distances of up to 40 feet.
- All-steel construction
- Limited 3-year warranty
- Top-filled cast aluminum gearcase
- 208cc Ariens AX engine
Ariens Compact Snow Blower
The Ariens Compact two stage snow blower series is much like the Classic, but with more options and some feature upgrades. Whereas the Classic is only available with a 24-inch housing width, the Ariens Compact offers clearing widths of 20 inches, 24 inches and a track-driven option with a 24-inch housing. The Ariens Compact snow blower also features 15-inch directional tires for superior grip and handling, and an 11-inch auger / 12-inch impeller diameter combination to process up to 59 tons of snow per hour.
Chute controls positioned in the dashboard and a standard halogen head light give operators convenience at any time of the day. Pull both the auger drive and wheel drive clutch levers, keep your hand on the wheel drive clutch but release the auger clutch and your Ariens snow blower continues driving forward and throwing snow. This dual-handle interlock feature, standard on all Ariens two-stage models, allows users to keep working while controlling the direction and height of the snow discharge comfortably with a free hand.
- 15-inch directional tires
- Halogen headlamp
- 20-inch and 24-inch housing width options
- 223cc Ariens AX engine
- Dual-handle interlock
Ariens Deluxe Snow Blower
- 24, 28 and 30-inch clearing width options
- 16-inch directional tires
- Auto-Turn steering
- EFI engine option
- Super-high-output option
- 14-inch auger and impeller diameters
Ariens EFI snow blower models
Deluxe is the first model in the Ariens lineup that uses Ariens EZ-Launch EFI technology. EFI, which means electronic fuel injection, has been commonplace in the auto industry for years, but Ariens was the first to introduce it to snow blowers in 2016. Electronic fuel injection replaces the need for a carburetor, meaning there's no more priming or choking the engine. Simply turn the key, set the throttle and either pull start or use a power cord to use its electric starter. Besides fuel savings, constant power delivery and less chance for the fuel clogs to occur, EFI systems work especially well in high altitudes, making these Ariens models the best snow blowers for the mountains. Atmospheric pressure differences in high elevations, like in Denver, for instance, don't affect EFI-powered units. With Ariens EFI, there's a consistent power delivery through 5,280 feet and beyond.
Ariens Platinum snow blower
The Ariens Platinum is like the Deluxe's big brother. Built on the same chassis with the same housing options, Platinum is everything homeowners love about the Deluxe plus a few upgrades. Every model in the Platinum lineup is euipped with a SHO, or super-high-output engine, giving it the ability to process anywhere from 73 to 83 (depending on housing width) tons of snow per hour. While the extra power is welcome for anyone who lives in regions with moderate to heavy snowfalls, the upgrades in the Quick-Turn™ chute control and standard heated hand grips give users a better user experience and added comfort.
- Available in 24, 28 or 30-inch clearing widths
- Quick-Turn chute control
- Heated hand grips standard
- All models equipped with SHO engines
- RapidTrak™ option available
- EFI option available
Track drive systems are nothing new. They've been offered by Ariens and other brands for users clearing steep surfaces like on hills, snow piles and in the mountains for years. The difference in RapidTrak is its patentend technology of an adjustable rear wheel, making it possible to transition between one of its three drive modes: track mode, wheel mode and dig-in mode. Utilize unmatched stability on steep hills and slippery surfaces in track mode, access the maneuverability of wheel mode when extra grip isn't needed and dig into packed snow by pitching the auger housing downward with dig-in mode. Additionally, RapidTrak's drive speed is just as fast as a wheel model, meaning you don't need to compromise clearing speed for enhanced stability.
Biggest snow blowers of 2019
When clearing very large areas, a slightly larger housing and engine combination makes a big difference. Consider this. If a larger snow blower can process snow just 10 minutes faster per job than another snow blower and there's 12 jobs to complete, that's two hours saved – meaning either more time for yourself, or more capacity to do more jobs.
Ariens Professional Series
Even though "professional" is in its name, the Ariens Professional series of snow blowers is an attractive sell to homeowners and contractors alike. These models, ranging from 28, 32 or 36 inches in clearing width, are the heavy arsenal of the Ariens snow blower lineup and we didn't pull any punches from them. Each is loaded with premium features like Quick-Turn chute control, robust handlebars, and heated hand grips. They're built to take on the big jobs, and that's why the wheel-driven models in the lineup come with 16 inch directional tires and a 16-inch auger diameter. The professional series expects big snow, and that's why each comes equipped with a 420cc engine and a pair of drift cutters capable of knocking down snow piles reaching higher than their 23.5-inch housing heights.
Ariens Professional models are also available in EFI and RapidTrak configurations, and a coveted hydrostatic transmission. Hydro snow blowers allow users to change drive speed without the need to stop. Pull both the drive and auger clutch levers to engage the dual-handle interlock feature and use your free hand to speed up or slow down – without stopping.
- 16-inch directional tires
- 16-inch auger diameter
- Robust handlebars
- 28, 32 and 36-inch clearing options
- EFI options available
- RapidTrak options available
- Hydrostatic drive available
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. For personal help, visit your local Ariens dealer.