I am considering purchasing a snowblower and have been reviewing my options. If you review the options, you quickly find that there is a bewildering number of different manufacturers and models. Once you review the models in more detail, it quickly becomes apparent that many models are actually the same and are made by the same manufacturers. Here is a summary of the different manufacturers and brands that I have found. (Note that there are likely more brands which I have not listed.)
- MTD: Cub Cadet, Troy Bilt, Sears Craftsmen, Yardman and others
- American Yard Products: Husqvarna, Poulan
The interesting thing is that we see two types of manufacturers, those that sell third party branded products (e.g. MTD and AYP) and those that sell their own brands. There is a substantial amount of debate about which of these manufacturers are the best on the Internet. Most people seem to like the bottom three the most with the top two being less favored. I think the issue is that MTD and AYP are considered to be making more mass market units that are more cheaply made and thus less reliable.
The issue from my perspective is balancing the reliability and performance with cost. I am thinking about purchasing a unit from either ref=”http://www.sears.com/”>Sears or Lowe’s. Home Depot seems to carry Cub Cadet(MTD) and supposably Ariens, while Lowe’s carries Husqvarna and I am not sure what else. Sears only carries Craftsman(MTD).
My current strategy is to visit HD and Lowe’s and review their inventory. I am interested in reviewing the thickness of the metal in the unit and other features. Cost will also be an issue, but clearly buying a cheap snowblower that is not reliable is a bad idea.
As an FYI, I am current using a Toro Powerthrow 622 snowblower. This unit has been incredibly reliable and worked great. The unit is probably 5 years old and has run incredibly reliably for me. I am considering a new unit because at 22″, I find that it takes too long to clear the driveway. The units I am current considering are 26″+.