Snowblower preference?


bought a house this spring and am looking to pick up a snowblower for this winter. Live in Omaha, Ne, so winters are usually mildly snowy can be either apocalyptic or hardly dusty.

Whats everyone got? Prefer? suggest? or absolutely hate?

Looking at used Honda's, and Toro's currently.


Dawg 89
definitely electric start . reverse speed is almost more important then forward .
one piece auger per side not the split two piece . the clearance on the centrifugal blower , tighter the better and its diameter same bigger is better .
a plastic cab would be real nice.
my craftsman with clone engine does the job actually pretty well , not like the old one with the big Tecumseh flatty but close enough .
if you find one that the discharge shoot turns the direction you want when you crank the handle that's the one I would buy.
(why do they move left when you crank right?)
if its rock an old one throws rock with less stoppage .
We had a Honda with track drive, excellent machine. The track drive eliminates the need for chains. The pull start worked well, easy to start. -- Chuck


Unless you spend two thousand or more, anything new is pretty much junk. They do work well, but are easily damaged. A good machine that you can probably find for sale is a 15 or 20 (or even 30 or 40) year old Ariens. Not looking to cause a dispute but I find Hondas to be too expensive, too complicated and generally over rated. My personal machine is a 1970 Simplicity, throws snow better then anything else ever made. The only machine I have seen that will throw slush without clogging. Good ones are getting hard to find as many parts are no longer available. 1566250786201.png


We have a driveway with a pretty steep uphill grade. Got a big engine Troy-Built with tread drive, 6 forward and 2 reverse speeds, and electric start (plug it into a 120 volt extension cord, no battery to worry about) and a pull start if you decide to shut it down for some reason in mid-job, after it's warm. It's been great for 12 years. Yes, it's big, yes it was expensive, but I've plowed up to 23" of snow on a 150 foot uphill driveway without a problem. Oh yeah, and the other great feature - heated hand grips. :)
If we had to replace it (it seems like it's going to run forever), we'd definitely get another big Troy-Built.


old fart
Last winter I had two of them one an electric start single stage 2cycle paddle blower.

The other I got talked into was a dual stage, multispeed forward and reverse, electric start with rubber tractor treads on it. I used it one time on a decent snow, it worked but was tough to operate and took up a ton of space in the garage. Bought it for 450 and got rid of it quickly and happily for 200.

The electric start 2cycle does just fine and doesn't take up a ton of space in the garage. I can go out twice with it easier then one time with the big snow blower. If we get a foot and a half I don't bother and when someone knocks on the door with a plow I tell them to do it.

You said you bought a house. If you ain't got a ton of drive to plow and normal snow ain't over a foot, IMHO the small 2cycle electric start is good nuff.

the fox

New member
If you go the two staged gas powered route, stay with an 8HP or bigger. They typically have the larger impeller and tend to move snow a little more efficiently. As far as brands on used ones, Ariens and MTD are ones you can add to your list.

MTD has parts readily available. You would actually be a little suprised how many parts you can get for older blowers. If you find a good deal on a little older unit don't shy away.


In my opinion there is not one snowblower that is the best for everyone. There has been a lot of good advice on here and I will throw in my 2 cents worth. If you can, find out from the prior owner of your property if there are any drifting issues. Some properties when you get two inches of snow with wind you can have a foot of snow in the drive way. Size of the areas that need to be cleared are a consideration as well. How far do you need to throw the snow? Will you be the only one operating the snowblower, or do you need something that someone else can run if you get laid up, or are out of town? Once snow gets driven over it is much harder to remove so the sooner it can be removed the better. Some people want a snowblower that is best for the average snow and if they get a big snow they are okay with it taking a little longer. Other people are okay shoveling the smaller snows and want something to take care of the big snows. The best thing if space and cost are not a consideration is to have one big snowblower for big snows and a smaller snowblower for smaller snowblowers. Without knowing the answer to some of these questions my generic advice for our climate is a good size Toro single stage snowblower with electric start. I have been selling & servicing snowblowers in the Omaha area for over 40 years so feel free to contact me if I can be of further assistance.


I would not buy a 2 cycle snowblower. Nothing wrong with buying one, other then the stink of 2 cycle oil. I have both. A single and two stage snowblower. For light snow 6-8” my toro 21” 4 cycle paddle type works great. I do my drive way 150’ plus 3 neighbors driveway too. Wet, pack drove on snow not to good. But it will throw it.
If you get a lot of snow, 2 stage it best. If you have a road snow plow pile at end of driveway. The more compacted snow is harder to clear with a single stage. My 2 stage has tire chains. It can/will leave marks on cement. Both are not electric start. Not that had to start. One more thing to stop working. Any snowblower is better then none. Just remember to drain the gas dry at the end, or the carb will junk.
I would buy whatever goes on sale cheap during Amazon's cyber monday (more like month) event. I got a $2,500 snow blower for like $1,300 and it is awesome. Huge sucker, but with a driveway over 200-feet long, I can be done in 2 passes up and back, once around the cars and back inside within 15-20 minutes.


2A supporter
Growing up in Michigan we always had an Ariens, now where I live sweeping it off the porch and front walk is good enough for me.