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Old 12-06-2018, 08:13 AM   #1
fatlazyless
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Default ..... Honda $nowblowers?

Today's LaDaSun has an ad from a local Gilford business for two different Honda tracked snowblowers at the reduced prices of about $2779 and $3199.

That's a lot of money for a snowblower considering my Troy-bilt 24" snowblower lists for $599, weighs about 175-lbs, is now six years old, and still gets the job done, for what I need.

Like, for the extra money, what does Honda give you ...... does it come with a Japanese snowblower girl who massages your lower back with the rubber snowblower tracks, after removing all the driveway snow, or what?
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Old 12-06-2018, 08:43 AM   #2
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Default It could be worse

Honda engines speak for themselves. They last forever and start first pull every time. Now I wont defend charging nearly $3K for a snowblower because I wouldn't pay for it either, but its the same argument with cars. I could pay $100K for a Tesla that gets me to work the same way a Honda Civic does for $25K. Its all a matter of preference. Not to mention, the civic would probably outlast the Tesla in the long run.

The real question is how long are you going to own, what is essentially an investment. If you are fickle, as most are, you'll own that snowblower 4-7 years and then get a new one. If you are planning on owning it 12 yrs plus, then it could be considered a good investment.

The truly amazing thing is that Honda makes an $8,000 snowblower, the HS1336i. I've seen this thing in person and it is almost the size of a small car and only blows snow. Again, they make it if you REALLY want to blow snow.
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Old 12-06-2018, 08:44 AM   #3
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When winter storms find out you have a Honda snowblower in your garage, snow avoids your driveway and falls on your neighborsí property.
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Old 12-06-2018, 12:34 PM   #4
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Default Well, not quite...

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When winter storms find out you have a Honda snowblower in your garage, snow avoids your driveway and falls on your neighbors’ property.
...but you could throw the snow there with one.
I had a 130 ft driveway and a big honda snow blower 20 yrs ago. It was spectacular. Dependable, threw snow a mile, and could excavate road plowed snow off the end of the driveway AFTER is started to re-freeze. Pretty sure it would throw a pile of pea gravel without issue.
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Old 12-06-2018, 03:05 PM   #5
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Thumbs up Totally agree....

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Honda engines speak for themselves.
I've owned both a Honda rototiller and track drive blower in the past. They are bullet proof, and worth the money especially for large areas or semi or professional use.

Downsized a bit but did splurge on the Ariens fuel injected snow blower last season. Yes, it cost $300 more than a comparable carbed unit but the ease of starting, throttle control and power made it worth while for me. Plus, I don't need to worry as much about ethanol.

As is with most things, you get what you pay for and you only need to pay for what you need......
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Old 12-06-2018, 05:09 PM   #6
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I have a John Deere bought in 2008 for around $5,000. It comes with a 44 inch snowthrower, tire chains and weights, 42 inch mower deck with hi lift blades and 2 bags. This machine does everything except trim the edges. It will throw snow about 40 feet any direction wanted. It has never failed to start.

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Old 12-10-2018, 12:12 PM   #7
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Get a new one after 4-7 years who does that?

I finally gave my Honda away last year and bought an Ariens best decision I ever made. Throws snow better and doesn't "bog" down anywhere near as easily as the "red" one did.
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Old 12-10-2018, 02:13 PM   #8
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Default Fickle

The last two snowblowers Iíve bought, off CL, were 3 yrs and 6 yrs old respectively. The average American only owns a car for 6.5 years after they paid an average of~$36,500 for it. Fickle society. Iím glad some people buy new, so I can buy nice items used.
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Old 12-10-2018, 02:35 PM   #9
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Default Ariens: 23 years

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Originally Posted by CaptT820 View Post
The last two snowblowers Iíve bought, off CL, were 3 yrs and 6 yrs old respectively. The average American only owns a car for 6.5 years after they paid an average of~$36,500 for it. Fickle society. Iím glad some people buy new, so I can buy nice items used.
Just sold my 23 year old Ariens, still worked fine, but wanted the fuel injected Platinum model, because of the easier steering and heated handles for my arthritic hands. The thing is a beast and I'm very happy with it. The Ariens brand has served me well! Oh yes and while not cheap, less expensive than Honda.
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Old 12-11-2018, 12:45 PM   #10
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You're not walking into TSC or Home Depot for Honda shear pins.

Had one. Not worth the premium, IMO.
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Old 12-11-2018, 03:49 PM   #11
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I have a 15 year old Toro 824, works great. It only does the walkways so it should last forever. The Kubota tractor does the hard work.
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Old 12-11-2018, 05:02 PM   #12
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I have a 15 year old MTD 28" from Lowes - paid about $700. Change the oil every couple of years and still runs great.
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Old 12-11-2018, 05:10 PM   #13
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I have a 15 year old Toro 824, works great. It only does the walkways so it should last forever. The Kubota tractor does the hard work.
I have a guy that plows and shovels my walk for $30. Then I just push everything back with my Kubota. I have a plow truck but at that price it's not worth doing myself when I get there on a Friday night.
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Old 12-11-2018, 05:46 PM   #14
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You know there's a shade tree, backyard, small engine guy on Parade Rd/Rt 106 who leaves about 3-4 snowblowers/lawnmowers in his driveway, close to the road in Laconia selling for about $200.

Last time I stopped to look, there was a 28" Craftsman snowblower that looked like it was almost brand new for $250 ....... such a deal ...... unfortunately my six year old $549 Troy-bilt continues to run like the greatest snowblower ever made in the world history of snow and I couldn't justify the upgrade? C'est la vie.

Husqvana, or however it is spelled, is the biggest snowblower maker in the world, and is made in Sweden, and just by looking at it, you can tell it is built to better design/quality than all the others. Rand's Hardware in Plymouth has Husqvana 24" for $749 which seems like a steal of a deal. It must weigh 250-lb which is very heavy.

If Harley Davidson made snowblowers, it would be identical to Husqvana, except it would have to be black and sound like a Harley.
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Old 12-12-2018, 08:44 AM   #15
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Default Husqvarna

I actually talked to a commercial dealer near me about Husqvarnas and Hondas (all he sells) and the price differential. His explanation of why the Husqvarnas were ~$700 less than a Honda, "The Husqvarna is great for 5-7 years, the Honda is great for 20".
Looking at the two side by side you can obviously see that the new Hondas use much thicker steel in the frame construction.

I personally use a 2011 Ariens Pro 28 with tank tracks. It'll go through anything and handles my 400-ft driveway in under an hour.

As others have said, get what works for you and maintain it. Everything else is just personal preference.
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Old 12-12-2018, 10:04 AM   #16
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What destroys any snowblower is when storing it away, after use, on a concrete floor, with the steel front end resting on the concrete, which will make it get rusty.

There are three contact points with the floor, the two rubber tires, and the front steel edge. Is good to rest the steel edge up on a small wood block, so's the wet will drain down and off from the steel.
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Old 12-12-2018, 10:18 AM   #17
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Default On the cheap

One of the best investments I ever made was ~$900 for a 33", 12HP NOMA snowblower with a Tecumseh engine. Purchased in 1986, it finally died last winter. It still ran fine but the frame had become so rusted and fragile it was ready to fall apart.

Our private driveway was about 700' with very steep hill portion. For 30+ years, that beast would clear the heaviest snow on our driveway, and often the neighbors too. Never needed any maintenance other than routine oil changes, fuel stabilizer, belts, etc.

At the time, NOMA was the OEM for Murray, Craftsman, and a few others. I saw essentially the same machine at Sears for $1200 a month after buying mine at Home Depot. HD sold Noma's for about 5 or six years. You can still find a few on eBay and parts are still available. https://www.snowblowers.net/brands/noma.html
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Old 12-12-2018, 04:05 PM   #18
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For anyone who hasn't yet seen this forum-format site (https://www.snowblowerforum.com/foru...er-forums-main), it covers all sorts of things pertaining to snowblowers, including reviews, repairs, and mfg-specific questions.
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Old 12-12-2018, 04:31 PM   #19
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Default chutes

When looking at snowblowers, avoid one with a plastic chute. They feel nice and flexible in the store, but on 5 degree temperature they can easily shatter!
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Old 12-12-2018, 05:01 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VitaBene View Post
When looking at snowblowers, avoid one with a plastic chute. They feel nice and flexible in the store, but on 5 degree temperature they can easily shatter!
While I generally agree, I've got an 11-year-old Craftsman, as do my brother, father, and good friend, that have had 0 issues. We spray them with silicone each fall, though, to prevent sticking.

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Old 12-12-2018, 06:31 PM   #21
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TIC: Lots of good info here. I'll be thinking of all you guys when I hear the "thunk" of my plow guy and I pour another cup of coffee.
7 storms a year at $40, 2 at $75. It would take me 2-3 hours to snowblow my driveway. My coffee maker lasts ~6 years and my plow guy gets a new truck about the same schedule. I don't pay for gas, oil,, tune ups, or original purchase price. The value of my own time: priceless. (I think my wife would re-phrase that, but that's only speculation and I don't want to get her started. She starts easy, on the first pull.)
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Old 12-12-2018, 07:58 PM   #22
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Great thread on snowblowers. It is definitely easier to just wait for the plow guy. But if you must get out when you need to get out, the plow guy could be hours away. I've also seen them do damage to the blacktop, the lawn, the shrubs. etc. One guy actually plowed into the neighbor's cherry tree and took off a large piece of bark, eventually killing the tree. (He disavowed all knowledge of that of course). Honda is expensive for sure, and not really worth it unless you plan on having it for 20+ years, and take reasonable care of it also. I bought a brand new Honda HS 524 in 1986 ( won't tell you what I paid for it). Do the math, it is now 32 years old. Two winters ago, the original auger belt snapped on the last pass on the last storm. I changed both belts myself the next spring and it is still going strong. It is a beast for a small blower, everything is metal, no plastic at all. Parts still available. For me, it was worth it, but I probably wouldn't do it again. Today's philosophy is use till it breaks, then through out.
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Old Yesterday, 09:15 AM   #23
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I bought a big Honda tank-tread snowblower in 1992 for $2k I think ($1k of which was my motorcycle in trade). This summer I had a basic service done in prep to move it to the lake house and bought a new one for my primary residence. The old Honda runs like new, starts on first pull and the dealer offered me $1k for it as he said used Hondas sell great


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Old Yesterday, 11:52 AM   #24
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Quote:
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I bought a big Honda tank-tread snowblower in 1992 for $2k I think ($1k of which was my motorcycle in trade). This summer I had a basic service done in prep to move it to the lake house and bought a new one for my primary residence. The old Honda runs like new, starts on first pull and the dealer offered me $1k for it as he said used Hondas sell great
So the dealer ill give you $1000, maybe change belts and spark plugs and sell it for $2000 which was what you paid 26 years ago., That's great value in a machine.
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Old Yesterday, 01:43 PM   #25
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My 16 yo Yardmaster isn't throwing as hard as it used to. I ascribe that to worn rings reducing the actual horsepower. I spent $4-500 on it. I am putting it in mothballs now because i got a new one with better controls and a slightly larger motor this year.

It still starts right up though. Just time for something better. If the new ones were $1000 and up, I'd just do the ring job and keep it going.
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Old Yesterday, 07:17 PM   #26
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My 16 yo Yardmaster isn't throwing as hard as it used to. I ascribe that to worn rings reducing the actual horsepower.
.... sounds like a job for Rislone 3X oil additive with zinc ..... to put the power back in that engine ..... about five dollars!
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Old Yesterday, 08:00 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatlazyless View Post
What destroys any snowblower is when storing it away, after use, on a concrete floor, with the steel front end resting on the concrete, which will make it get rusty.

There are three contact points with the floor, the two rubber tires, and the front steel edge. Is good to rest the steel edge up on a small wood block, so's the wet will drain down and off from the steel.
With the Honda track drive it has 3 height adjustments. The highest will put the blade about 2 inches off the ground. When I store mine I use this setting to keep the blade off the floor.
Also this height setting is good when going thru banks of snow. Just step on a lever and use the handles to set the height.
I have a HS1132tas that I paid over 3K for but it was well worth it.
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Old Yesterday, 08:15 PM   #28
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My 46 year old Ariens is still going strong on the 2nd engine. It will go through anything! I just wish it were safer. Its got a single belt for the impeller and transmission. Its actuated by a lever half way up the handle. It does have a dead-man style clutch for the drive wheels unlike earlier models.
I inherited an old MTD which didn't throw the snow and always clogged until I installed rubber impeller paddles. The gap between the impeller and housing was so wide I could stick my fingers through it. Those paddles really work and can make a lousy snowblower work better!!!!

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Old Today, 06:43 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamper View Post
My 16 yo Yardmaster isn't throwing as hard as it used to. I ascribe that to worn rings reducing the actual horsepower. I spent $4-500 on it. I am putting it in mothballs now because i got a new one with better controls and a slightly larger motor this year.

It still starts right up though. Just time for something better. If the new ones were $1000 and up, I'd just do the ring job and keep it going.
Run it out of gas and get some non ethanol gas or even that fake gas, then run it out again. Your new one will never break if it knows a backup is waiting in the wings!
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Old Today, 11:40 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamper View Post
My 16 yo Yardmaster isn't throwing as hard as it used to. I ascribe that to worn rings reducing the actual horsepower. I spent $4-500 on it. I am putting it in mothballs now because i got a new one with better controls and a slightly larger motor this year.

It still starts right up though. Just time for something better. If the new ones were $1000 and up, I'd just do the ring job and keep it going.
My experience has taught me that a lack of power often indicates valve leakage.

It may be possible to lap the valves and regain past performance.

Lapping the valves is a simple task.

I'd bet that YouTube has plenty of video tutorials on the task.
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