This 2 stage snow blower is a reliable and very durable machine capable of cleaning up to 20” of snow on a single pass. Due to the 24” auger, the machine is perfect for regular 2 to 8 car driveways. Huge weight is one of the most important downsides of this machine.
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Pro All metal body
The body of this snow blower is almost entirely built from metal, therefore, the machine is both tough and strong. The only exceptions are two non-metal covers, used for chute and belt protection (those are, in fact, heavy duty plastics).
Pro You can buy a lot of useful accessories
This machine supports a lot of useful optional accessories provided by Ariens. For example, you can buy optional heated handlebars, ‘Sno-Thro’ cab, and even Ariens ‘Sno-Thro’ tire chains. The complete list of optional accessories is available in Ariens' catalog.
Pro It will not take too much space
With its handles folded, this snow blower will require only 29” x 34” x 35” of storage space. In contrast, you'll need 50% more storage space to store a 24" Husqvarna's snow blower.
Pro Durable gear case
The solid cast iron gear case is one of the most reliable components of this snow blower. It is used to transmit the force from the impeller shaft to the auger, basically being a simple 2 gear system. The majority of competitors offer a symmetrical gear non-iron gear cases, such gear cases are particularly prone to breakages and oil leaks. The Ariens Compact series snow blowers, on the other hand, have a top loaded gear case, therefore the oil leaking problem is almost fully eliminated (note, that the oil leaking is directly related to the failure of a gear case).
The manufacturer, in fact, provides an additional 5 Year gear case warranty, additionally to the standard 3 Year warranty of the machine.
Con Steel skid shoes leave scratch marks
It is very likely that you will have to replace the original steel skid shoes with the optional non-abrasive shod shoes. The steel skid shoes can easily scratch concrete and asphalt, thus leave the scratch marks all over your driveway. The optional, non-abrasive skid shoes ($ 40.19), on the other hand, are made from high quality polyethylene (plastics), therefore they can not scratch concrete and asphalt.
Con It's heavy
The fact that the machine is almost entirely made from metal has one very noticeable downside. The machine becomes very heavy. The total weight of this 24” unit is 212 pounds, it is, in fact, as heavy as a 27” Husqvarna snow blower (which is a much bigger machine).