Pros: Good quality, 2 stage, reverse speeds, 2-year warranty
Cons: None so far
Last winter we gave up with our shovels and bought a snow blower. We have only lived in a residential neighborhood for 3 years and were use to our home out in the country where only our deck needed to be shoveled when the snow got too high. Our plow on front of the Tahoe took care of the rest. Once we moved to city life, we thought the snow would be less but of course we have hit record snowfalls. Shoveling became several hours in the morning since we have a 3 car garage and sidewalk in front of our home as well as our winter driving vehicles sit outside since our classic cars are in the garage. Oh joy! We not only had to shovel but remove the snow from the vehicles. Of course, once it snows, the snow blowers are hard to find as everyone else gets tired of shoveling and sees those that have the snow blower making a nice, clean cut and the chute shoots out the snow making an even stack along the walkway or driveway. We gave up with the aching backs and tossed the shovel and bought the snow thrower.
What It Has
The MTD Two-Stage Snow Blower, Model 29242283 has an electric push start button as well as a pull cord. It is a Tecumseh 4-cycle 5.5 HP engine with a 24-inch path. The 4 cycle engine means no more mixing of the oil and gas. It takes regular unleaded fuel (min. 87 octane and 5W30W oil. The tires are a good size coming in at 13 inches which really helps with the traction and are large enough where you don’t get stuck. The snow chute is an adjustable polymer with 180 degree rotation so you can throw the snow where you want it to land. This model has 6 forward gears and 2 reverse gears and has a serrated auger design to help with icier snow packed conditions.
It also comes with a discharge chute clearing device that looks like a small shovel to remove stuck snow and ice down the chute.
This model is equipped with two adjustable skid shoes on the bottom sides and extra shear pins. For close snow removal place the skid shoes in the higher position or on low for gravel or uneven areas.
The MTD snow blower has enough power to move all of the snow and ice situations that we have had, which have been as high as 13 inches in one dump. That was when we were very thankful to have had the snow blower to pull out of the garage and make a few nice clean sweeps in about an hour on our three car driveway and front sidewalk.
We have learned the heavier the snow is, the lower the gear needs to be and the lower the gear the clutch will need to be engaged and disengaged to allow the impeller to keep up. The lighter the snow you will use the faster gear, however you need to ensure the front auger keeps up with you. Don’t try to use a snow blower for slush, it doesn’t work well. You also cannot remove ice that is frozen to the walkway so get some deicer for that. If any ice is loose it will pick it up and throw it but makes a lot of noise doing so.
Having reverse is great since you don’t need to find a place to turn around like we see our neighbors do. Some of our neighbors also have small tires in which they need to put chains on for traction but ours work great. The handle is comfortable since it is a mittengrip. Personally, I love the electric start since it is so easy for me to start it up but if it was up to my husband, he would just stick to the regular cord pull. Having an electric start means you need to have it plugged into a 120V source to start it as well as having the key fully inserted. It doesn't require charging up of a battery like our electric start lawnmower so this did take some getting use to.
Ours has always started quickly and we have had experience with great success using the MTD Log Splitter. It was 10 years old before we sold it this past year and it never gave us problems. We hope for the same results with our snow blower.
If you are shopping for one, make sure you pay attention to how wide it is since that will depend on how wide your area is for less sweeps as well as if it is a two stage or one stage motor. Also make sure it fits in the area you need to move it into. Some neighbors bring it out their man door and therefore use a smaller one.
The one stage motors generally have the rubber like augers in the front and are good for small areas or sensitive driveways like bricks.
The two stage snow blowers uses metal augers with serrated teeth attached to a drive shaft with shear pins. The shear pins will break if the machine encounters a foreign object which will prevent the drive shaft from serious damage. You should always keep replacements on hand.
The second stage comes in with the metal impeller that rotates at approximately 10 times the speed of the front auger blades. The second stage impeller throws the snow and chopped ice up through the chute that is adjustable. In the MTD model that we have, the impeller is made of a heavy gauge metal.
MTD offers two year parts and labor warranty.