It hurts me to have to tell you: “Do not buy the Husqvarna ST230 snow blower” in 2023. I’m sorry, but I’ve looked at the reviews and the data and it’s clear that this is not a well engineered snow blower. There are much better options for you if you’re looking for a 30″ two-stage snow blower.for the winter of 2023/2023.
I’m going to begin this article with my recommendations for the best 30″ snow blowers that I consider to be high quality alternatives to the ST230. If you really want a Husqvarna then get the ST330 model. It’s disappointing to have to let people know that their beloved brand has created a product not worth buying, but there’s a high level of customer dissatisfaction with the ST230 and ST230P, and I don’t want people wasting their money.
The average rating from customers is 2 to 3 stars out of 5. Here are quotes from what paying customers have said. Decide for yourself:
Table of Contents...
- 0.0.1 ST230 vs ST230P: What’s the difference?
- 0.0.1.1 “First, the disc drive is horrible, get int deep snow, no drive, you just sit there. hand warmers, never worked, have replaced the augex (sic) assembly and impeller 3 times now, it cant even handle a few stones from driveway. My craftsman NEVER had issues like this $1400 waste of money. do yourself a huge favor and do not buy a Husqvarna snow blower, you will regret it…”
- 0.0.1.2 “Outstanding product until I went to change the speed and the unit became stuck in reverse! Turns out that the speed control cable is attached to a plastic pivot point under the plastic control panel. Expect to pay $300 for parts and labour for repair. Who designs a machine for winter conditions and uses a plastic pivot point for a critical cable. Loved the machine until this issue…”
- 0.0.1.3 “…two biggest complaints are that the shoot when turned to the side the maximum amount is nowhere near 90° to the direction of travel. It’s 70° at most…And the other big complaint is that the PTO does not lock on when the drive lever is held down. It’s designed to but the plastic hook that’s supposed to catch the PTO is a poor design and does not function at all without help from the user to lock it in…”
- 0.0.1.4 “Unfortunately this unit slips the auger and drive belt frequently. I had it serviced and it seems to working now….”
- 0.0.1 ST230 vs ST230P: What’s the difference?
- 1 Best 30″ Snow Blowers: 2-Stage
- 1.1 2-stage / 30″ Snow Blower ➤Ariens Platinum 30 SHO / 921064 (414cc)
- 1.2 Best 30″ Snow Blower: TORO Power Max HD 1030 / 38830
- 1.3 Ariens Professional 28 RapidTrak Hydro (926084)
- 1.4 Original Article ➤ Husqvarna ST230 Review
- 1.5 Do you really need a snow blower?
- 1.6 History of Snow Blowers
- 1.7 Basic functioning of a snow blower
- 1.8 Husqvarna ST230 Review – Two-Stage Snow Blower
- 1.9 Husqvarna ST227 / 27″ 2-Stage Snow Blower
- 1.10 Husqvarna ST224 — 24″ 2-Stage Snow Blower
- 1.11 Different Types of Snow Blowers
- 1.12 Gas vs Electric Snow Blowers
- 1.13 Snow Blower Safety
- 1.14 Related posts:
ST230 vs ST230P: What’s the difference?
➤Husqvarna originally released two models, one was the ST230 and the other model was the ST230P. The ST230P had power steering and the reason why it ended with a “P.” They decided to combine both models and include power steering as standard. Today you’ll only find the ST230 and it will have power steering. If it does not have power steering then it’s old stock.
Let’s get back to a few facts as to why you should not buy the ST230:
Comments from paying customers / Posted online: (RE: Husqvarna ST230/ST230P)
“First, the disc drive is horrible, get int deep snow, no drive, you just sit there. hand warmers, never worked, have replaced the augex (sic) assembly and impeller 3 times now, it cant even handle a few stones from driveway. My craftsman NEVER had issues like this $1400 waste of money. do yourself a huge favor and do not buy a Husqvarna snow blower, you will regret it…”
“Outstanding product until I went to change the speed and the unit became stuck in reverse! Turns out that the speed control cable is attached to a plastic pivot point under the plastic control panel. Expect to pay $300 for parts and labour for repair. Who designs a machine for winter conditions and uses a plastic pivot point for a critical cable. Loved the machine until this issue…”
“…two biggest complaints are that the shoot when turned to the side the maximum amount is nowhere near 90° to the direction of travel. It’s 70° at most…And the other big complaint is that the PTO does not lock on when the drive lever is held down. It’s designed to but the plastic hook that’s supposed to catch the PTO is a poor design and does not function at all without help from the user to lock it in…”
“Unfortunately this unit slips the auger and drive belt frequently. I had it serviced and it seems to working now….”
These are only a few of the comments I’ve decided to share. I could fill the entire article of comments like these but hopefully you get the point. I’ve lost faith in Husqvarna snow blowers. It seems like something has changed over the past few years in terms of how Husqvarna manufacturers their snow blowers. Their higher end professional series seem to be more reliable but I personally recommend other brands at the moment, with my favorite being: Ariens, Toro and Honda — for two-stage gas snow blowers.
The 24″ ST224 from Husqvarna is an above average 2-stage model that we recommend but I’m going to take a ‘wait and see’ approach with Husqvarna. Let’s just say it won’t be at the top of my ‘recommendation’ list for snow blowers this winter.
Here are my recommendations for:
Best 30″ Snow Blowers: 2-Stage
2-stage / 30″ Snow Blower ➤Ariens Platinum 30 SHO / 921064 (414cc)
What makes the Ariens 30 SHO a great snow blower?
- Engine: 414cc Ariens engine (20.0 lb-ft torque)
- 21″ intake depth: Can handle deep snow
- 30″ clearing width: moves 82 tons of snow per hour
- 200 degree turning radius
- Hand Warmers integrated into Handles: Stay Warm
- Auto-Turn: zero-degree turning radius
- Dual Belt Drive: Proprietary system
- Can throw snow 3 feet up to 55 feet
- Large 16″ tires
- Hydro-gear transmission
- 6 Forward / 2 Reverse
- 3 year warranty / 5 year Gear Case Warranty
OVERVIEW / Ariens Platinum 30 SHO
Ariens is a premium snow blower brand in the same way that Husqvarna is a professional chainsaw brand. Where are you going to go to buy the best 2-stage 30″ snow blower? Ariens made their first snow blower in 1960 called the Sno-Thro. They produce 1865 units. They’ve been making snow blowers for over 70 years. The engineers know what they’re doing. You can pick any Ariens snow blower and it won’t let you down. My point is, this is the top brand based on reputation, not just because of the years in service.
VIDEO: A Close Look at the Ariens Platinum 30 SHO / 921064
Now, I’m claiming that Ariens is the only brand that knows how to make quality snow blowers. There are several with great models, even Husqvarna has some great snow blowers. The difference with a brand such as Ariens is that all of their snow blowers are excellent. They’re a predictable brand. That’s the first indicator of a quality company. If their lowest end models are reliable then you know you are in good hands.
Ariens are more expensive overall but that’s because they don’t cut corners and their cheapest snow blowers are are equal in quality to other brands middle-tier or top-tier series of snow blowers. This is the difference. Far too many brands create garbage entry-level products and save their best technology for their higher end models. This is a big mistake. Every tier of products should be well made and reliable. Ariens baseline standards for quality is exceptional. Husqvarna adopts the same philosophy for their chainsaws but not for their snow blowers. I find this baffling. It does not help the brand.
Ariens snow blowers are made in Brillion, Wisconsin, USA. The brand has been around since 1933, when they released their first two-wheeled tractor. In 1960, they released their first snow blower, and since then, the company has continued to innovate and expand their range of snow blowers.
Best 30″ Snow Blower: TORO Power Max HD 1030 / 38830
- 302cc 4-Cycle OHV engine
- Clearing width: 30″ (76.2 cm)
- Intake height: 21″ (53.3 cm)
- Throw distance: Up to 49’ (14.9 m)
- Quick Stick Chute Control (200˚ rotation) with double deflector
- Anti-Clogging System (ACS) with 14” / 36 cm dia. commercial-grade auger
- No shear pins needed
- LED headlights and hand warmers
- Triggerless Steering: Easy to steer. . No triggers to pull or levers to break.
- Self-propelled with 6-speed forward and 2-speed reverse
- 16″ (41 cm) tires
- Electric Start
- Heavy-duty, all-steel construction
- Weight with Electric Start: 280 lbs (127 kg)
- 3-year limited warranty (residential), 1-year commercial warranty
OVERVIEW / TORO 38830 30″
The Toro Power Max HD 1030 (38830) snow blower has several unique features that make it stand-out from the crowd. For example, the Trigger-free steering makes it easy for anyone to turn this powerful snow blower. All you do is begin to turn the snow blower and it automatically disengages the wheel and helps you to steer. It’s basically an advanced power steering system.
It has fast heating handgrip warmers, which are fairly common nowadays, but this is definitely a feature you’ll appreciate. It’s also self-propelled which becomes necessary when the snow is deep and the conditions are difficult.
VIDEO: A Close Look at the Power MAX HD (38838) / 28″ Model
The 38830 is built for large areas with deep snow, featuring a 30-inch-wide clearing path and 21-inch intake height. The Power Max HD 1030 also includes a Toro Premium 302cc OHV 4-cycle, adjustable skid shoes, and a heavy-duty steel auger that is built to last.
The quick-turn chute gives you a 200-degree turning radius allowing you to place the snow where you want it. Powerful LED headlights allow you to work in low-light conditions, and the adjustable speed drive system lets you adjust the speed of the auger to match your needs. The snow blower also features an electric start for easy starting, and the patented Power Curve technology helps to clear snow quickly and efficiently.
Best Track Snow Blower for Hills, Large Yards and Driveways
Ariens Professional 28 RapidTrak Hydro (926084)
FEATURES: Ariens 926084
- 28” clearing width and 21” intake height
- RapidTrak Hydrostatic Drive System for smooth, effortless control
- 420cc Ariens AX Engine with Auto-Turn Triggerless Steering
- 16” Auger Diameter with 4-Blade Steel Impeller
- Quickly Throw Snow Up to 60 ft
- Hand Warmers integrated into the hand grips.
- Gear Case Warranty: 5 Year Consumer, 5 Year Commercial
- Heavy-Duty Cast Iron Gearbox with Heat Treated Gears
- Electric Start with Recoil Backup
- Weight: 331 lbs.
- 3-Year Limited Consumer Warranty
- Interlocking Handles for Easy Storage
- Torque: 21 lb-foot
- Halogen Headlight Illumination for Night-Time Use
Here’s another powerful option from Ariens. The track drive is appropriate if you need to clear snow in areas with uneven terrain, with steep slopes going up and down your driveway. Track drives give you extra traction and keep your snow blower grounded. Unless you’re on ice, this Ariens model won’t slide around and it will also make it easy for you to move up and down your driveway, sidewalk, road, etc.
This model is 28″ wide so it’s narrower than the other models. Most people don’t consider buying a track drive for some reason. I think they look intimidating to homeowners. These are not the right choice if you have a flat yard. Wheels are fine with flat surfaces but once you start having more extremes on the landscape you should consider this Ariens Professional model. The RapidTrak system makes it easy to maneuver the snow blower.
VIDEO: Watch it Clear Deep Snow — Ariens Professional 28 RapidTrak Hydro
Ariens has a lot of cool proprietary technology, like the Trigger-free steering, the hydrostatic drive, an auger that throws the snow up to 60 feet and the reliable 420 cc Ariens engine. Overall, one of the best 28″ track-drive snow blowers for the money. The advantage of the hydrostatic drive is you can shift gears at anytime. You can change your drive speed without ever having to stop, as you do with a friction drive system. You get total freedom.
The last thing you want to do on an icy surface is stop the snow blower. This increased the odds of your snow blower sliding around. You can be certain that inexpensive snow blowers use a friction drive system.
Original Article ➤ Husqvarna ST230 Review
The Husqvarna ST230P is an impressive 2-stage snow blower for homeowners who need to clear large walkways and driveways under harsh winter conditions. This is one of Husqvarna’s best selling snow blowers from year-to-year. This heavy-duty snow blower is packed with many great features, such as heated hand grips, 16″ X-Trac tires and power steering. Build for homeowners and business owners who need to clear deep heavy snow on a regular basis. When the snow falls a Husqvarna will rarely let you down.
In this article we cover the Husqvarna ST230P, as well as the Husqvarna ST224, and the ST227 — which are basically identical snow blowers except for differences in their clearing width and engine size. NOTE : If the model ends with a “P” it means it has power steering.
This is a comprehensive article explaining everything you need to know about snow blowers.
Do you really need a snow blower?
Every year there comes a time when the streets will be covered in snow, and thanks to the city snow plow, a lot of that cold white stuff ends up as a giant heap right on the edge of your driveway. This renders your driveway useless, and you might even have to shovel your way out of the house if the entire yard is blanketed with a thick layer of snowfall.
Auger & Impeller for the Husqvarna ST230
Winter will come every year, bringing snowstorms and blizzards along with it — this is something you have no control over. However what you can do, is deal with all of the unwanted snow by clearing it out of the way as efficiently and neatly as possible.
Snow shovels are great as they promote physical exercise, perseverance, tolerance, etc. but let’s face the truth — they are simply too damn slow, and you need to do several hours of work to clear even the smallest of driveways and pavements. When you’re the only one doing the shoveling, this can get quite annoying and tiring. Even more so, if your body is not what it used to be 10 years ago.
So how do you get rid of all that snow piled up in front of your driveway and patio without breaking your back?
VIDEO | See an overview of the Husqvarna ST230
Well, all you need to do is get a snow blower. Just turn it on, point it at the snow, and watch as your machine picks up all of the frost and neatly throws it into a pile several feet away. Well, problem over right? You just walk into the nearest store, purchase whatever the salesman shoves at you, and take it home expecting to make short work of that gigantic snow plow in front of your driveway.
But alas, the machine you bought is not capable of clearing snow that is more than 6” deep, and you also find out after sometime that it is actually a corded electric model with a 20 foot long wire that greatly restricts the amount of space which you can clear at a time. So now you return this machine to the store, have a lengthy discussion with the salesman, and bring an expensive 3-stage gas powered snow blower with heated handles, hydrolastic suspension, and a bunch of other cool features.
When it comes to choosing a 2-stage snow blower, there are a few key things to consider. First, think about the size of your driveway or the area where you’ll be using the snow blower. A 2-stage model is ideal for deep wet snow, and for larger yards.
You need to consider the type of snow you’ll be dealing with year after year. If you live in an area with heavy, wet snow, look for a snow blower with a powerful engine and large auger. Also, look for the torque numbers and compare them against other models you’re considering.
Also, read customer reviews and make sure there are no problems with the snow blower overall. If you notice a lot of customer complain about the same thing it usually means there’s a design issue and you should stay away from snow blowers like that.
Do you have any specific features you want? For example, LED headlights, handgrip warmers, tracks or wheels? Also the distance your snow blower throws snow makes a big difference. Ariens snow blowers can throw quite far. This allows you to control where the snow is thrown and prevent it from piling up in unwanted areas.
It’s important to take the time to do your research and get a few different opinions on what snow blower is worth buying. Make sure you choose a snow blower that’s well-suited for your needs, budget, and the type of snow you’ll be dealing with, on average. A good 2-stage snow blower will make your life better when it snows. If you buy the cheapest model I promise you that you’ll feel nothing but frustration every time it snows.
A little bit of background on Husqvarna…
Husqvarna is not all about snow blowers. In fact, they are not even limited to power tools such as chainsaws, lawnmowers, drills, etc. The Husqvarna group is actually a conglomerate of various divisions, each with its own history. For instance, Husqvarna Motorcycles (established in 1903) manufactures both consumer as well as racing grade motorcycles along with motorcycle engines.
Everything started back in 1689, as a rifle factory near Husqvarna waterfalls in Sweden. This used to be a state-owned rifle factory with 1000 employees. Their last shotgun was produced in 1989, and they have been dabbling around with other equipment ever since their inception. Husqvarna began making cycles, and later motorcycles for both commercial use as well as racing, although their motorcycle division was sold to BMW in 1986.
Husqvarna’s expertise in motors allowed them to create some of the best chainsaws, lawn mowers, etc. and their power tools are renowned for their legendary reliability, efficiency, and cold starting abilities.
The intent of this article —
In this article, we shall explore the world of snow throwers and provide a brief overview of the best dual-stage Husqvarna snow blowers in the market. We shall explain how snow blowers work, cover the various types of snow blowers, explain how you should select a snow blower for your home, and finally we shall provide you with a few snow blower operation guidelines as well as basic maintenance and safety tips.
Video — A Closer Look at the Newest Version of the : Husqvarna ST227
We’ll start by looking at the history of snow blowers, and then you will also learn about how all the various parts inside a snow blower such as the auger, motor, drive chain, chute, etc. come together to create a snow displacement machine. There are mainly three categories of snow blowers based on operation principle- single stage, two-stage, and three-stage. The differences between all these three types of blowers shall be discussed, along with the advantages and disadvantages of each type.
Then, we shall talk about snow blower size ratings, terrain variances, operation principle, and how all of these can have an effect on your choice. Once we tell you how you can select the perfect snow blower for yourself, we shall provide a brief overview of 4 amazing Husqvarna snow blowers. This is going to be one long ride, so without further ado, let’s move on.
History of Snow Blowers
Until the late 19th century, people would clear snow off the streets with animal-drawn snow plows or shovels. Often, salt was used to melt away the snow from paved surfaces such as streets and even decks or factory floors. Since salt increases the freeing point of water, snow (frozen water) can no longer maintain its solid state and melts down. The big problem with spraying tons of salt on the land is of course related to the fact that it can be extremely poisonous to plant, and lets off a weird odor. Salt also mixes with oil and water and creates a slimy, sticky mess.
Rock salt can have also catastrophic effects on the porosity and fertility of soil, thereby killing trees and plants. In short, people did not have a very environment-friendly or efficient way of dealing with large piles of snow back in the early days, or at least until the early 1900’s. That was when Arthur Sicard, a Canadian inventor built the first ever prototype for a mechanized, automatic snow blower. Sometime around 1925.
Arthur patented this invention and went on to found Sicard Industries which would manufacture snow blowers in large numbers. By large numbers, we mean a few hundred — since these were basically large train or truck mounted machines, and most of them could be as big as a room. Based on the concept of grain threshers, the early snow blowers were large, loud, ugly, high on emissions, and required a crew of people to operate.
These were extremely expensive and rare, so only the rich and affluent people could afford them. They were mostly employed by shipping and locomotive companies to clear snow off the railway tracks and shipping docks, as well as by factory owners and construction contractors for keeping factory floors and construction sites snow-free during winter.
Imagine pushing this old snow blower…
The average consumer who did not own a multi-hectare mansion often had to shovel away all of the snow painstakingly by hand, using the good old shovel. But technology advances with time, and these large machines eventually became smaller and more affordable. Toro made the first walk-behind unit back in 1952, and it was called the Snow Hound. This allowed people like you and me, to clear away all of the snow from the driveways and sidewalks with incredible speed and ease, making life easier for all of us during the winter.
Basic functioning of a snow blower
A snow blower is not at all very complex when it comes to functioning. Its job is to pick snow from one place, and throw it over to another place. All snow blowers do this by using a rotating auger in the front to feed snow into a tunnel like passage, from where it travels into the exhaust chute, and falls several feet away. The exhaust chute is rotatable and comes with a height-adjustable top flap to control the angle of exit. Let us take a look at the major components of a basic snow blower-
This is the heart of any snow blower, and is responsible for providing the driving power to the wheels as well as the auger. In the case of electric snow blowers (both corded as well as cordless), you will find an electric motor instead of a gasoline engine. The electric snow blowers are smaller, lighter, and virtually noiseless because of their electric motors, but lack the power and clearing speed of their louder and heavier gas-guzzling brethren.
Includes Engine & Chute Cleaner | Husqvarna ST230
Almost all walk-behind type portable snow blowers come with a single cylinder OHV engine that runs on gasoline. Larger industrial grade snow blowers use multi cylinder diesel engines. Your typical walk-behind snow blower will have a cylinder displacement size between 150 to 300cc, and usually contains a direct overhead camshaft to increase efficiency and reduce overall size. The engine is typically located to the rear of the snow blower, and has a fuel tank mounted to its side, along with a carburetor and air filter.
These are twin-valve 4-cylce engines. Meaning that in the first cycle, the piston will travel down, causing a vacuum in the top portion of the cylinder. The intake valve opens, letting in a mixture of air and fuel that is delivered by the carburetor. In the second cycle, the piston is carried upwards by the momentum of the flywheel that is attached to the crankshaft, and this happens just as the intake valve closes. The result is a highly compressed mixture of fuel and air when the piston reaches its topmost point of rotation.
Right at that moment the third stage of the cycle comes in, i.e. the spark plug ignites causing all of the fuel-air mixture to combust in a reaction that generates a tremendous amount of heat, due to which mixture expands very rapidly, pushing the piston downwards with great force. The force causes the piston to keep moving downwards, and the momentum of the flywheel then pushes the piston up into the fourth and final stage, which is exhaust.
The piston pushes all of the burnt gas outside via the exhaust valve which needs to be timed perfectly so that it opens just as the piston begins to move up in the final cycle. Well, this cycle repeats itself hundreds of times per minute and is basically what happens inside any 4-stroke internal combustion engine. Larger engines generate more power and are suited for wider, heavier snow blowers with large augers and tall intake clearances. Electric motors work on the basis of electrical induction and rely on the magnitude of input current, as well as number of coil windings in the rotor/stator to generate higher RPMs or torque.
Transmission in almost all walk-behind style snow blowers is composed of a pulley and drive belt mechanism that is attached directly to the engine. There are multiple pulleys in larger snow blowers, and the most basic configuration consists of a triple-wheel system with a single drive belt.
Husqvarna ST230P snow blower features
One wheel is attached to the engine crankshaft output, while the other wheel is attached to the auger drive shaft. Both these wheels are connected by a loosely tensioned drive belt. When you engage the auger from the control panel or console, a third pulley that is located in the middle, clamps down on the drive belt, increasing tension between the belt and both of the wheels on either end. This increased tension provides sufficient friction for the belt to spin the auger drive shaft, and allows you to clear the snow.
However, some two-stage and three-stage machines also come with a friction disk based drive system that consists of two perpendicularly oriented disks. One of these disks is connected to the engine, and is larger in diameter, with a spring tensioning system beneath it. There is a smaller disk that is located on the top, this disk is capable of moving up or down along a shaft, and by doing so it can either generate more friction or less friction whenever it comes in contact with the larger disk underneath.
When you engage the wheel drive system in your snow blower by pressing down on the lever in the console, you lower the smaller wheel down and this causes the wheels of the snow blower to turn. This is how a self-propelled snow blower works. There is usually another direct transmission shaft that goes from the engine to a gearbox located in the middle of the auger driveshaft. This is sort of like the differential that you find in automobiles.
This gearbox is responsible for turning the auger. So we have friction disk drive for the wheels, and direct shaft drive for the auger. This is a common configuration in most two-stage and three-stage snow blowers. Single stage snow blowers normally lack powered wheels, because they are smaller and can be steered with the hand itself.
Husqvarna ST230P snow blower features
Some really expensive top-end three stage models come with what is called a hydrostatic transmission. These are almost always employed to run tracked machines such as excavators, tractors, etc. They might seem overkill for a walk-behind snow blower, but you’ll find a hydrostatic transmission super useful if you happen to live on a hilly terrain or if you plan on using the snow thrower in an area that has a lot of uneven bumps and slopes. Tracks can come in handy if the snow is too thick and heavy, or of the surface is simply too hard to operate on with wheels.
Hydrostatic transmission is much smoother than gear based transmission and allows for a much larger degree of speed control. You are not limited by a given number of gears, and have access to continuously and linearly variable speed, just like with an accelerator. Hydrostatic transmission employs axle variable hydraulic piston pumps to conduct transmission fluid from the engine end to the differential/gearbox, which in turn uses hydraulic piston drive systems to transfer that power to the wheels/tracks. So basically, we are using incompressible hydraulic fluid to drive the wheels instead of a gear and shaft assembly.
Augers scoop the snow up into the chute on single stage models, while on double and triple stage models they function as aggregators/ feeders for the impellers and accelerator fans. Single stage snow blowers employ rubber augers that are shaped like scooping arms, with a ribbon-like curved shape.
Single Stage vs Two-Stage snow blower
Double and triple stage blowers have corkscrew style augers that may be serrated or plain, and these are made from steel or cast iron. An augers size and width determines how much snow it can scoop up at a time, so keep this in mind while purchasing a blower.
Larger augers will need more powerful engines to drive them. They (larger iron/steel augers) are harder to spin since they generate extra resistance by scooping more snow at a timer. Augers are driven by the engine through a belt or shaft transmission, and some are even driven by hydrostatic transmission. However, they are all built around spinning shafts that are attached to the drive rod via shear pins.
Shear pins are designed to snap and break whenever the auger hits something hard like a rock, steel pipe, etc. This way the auger does not jam and break the transmission, instead it just snaps loose from the drive shaft. Replace the shear pins on the shaft and you’re good to go once again.
— Discharge Chute
The discharge chute is a large pipe that protrudes out on top of the front intake. There is a flap on the top, and the purpose of a chute is to direct the flow of the snow stream. This way, it goes exactly where you want it to go, instead of flying several feet up into the air like a fountain, and landing on everyone in a 30-foot radius. Well, you could remove the chute in order to transform your snow blower into a makeshift snowfall machine if you like. That would seriously be a whole lot of fun, but we don’t think your neighbors will approve of your childish plans.
Moving back to the topic at hand — a chute needs to be rotatable so that you can direct the flow of the snow in whichever direction you want, and the top flap must be height adjustable so that you can control the angle of exit. Raise the top flap higher to get a taller throw, and lower the top flap if you want to focus the snow downwards.
Front View of the Husqvarna ST230 (& ST224, ST227)
This is a panel that contains all of the stuff you need for controlling the speed, direction, and other functions of your snow blower. There will be switches for the light, buttons for the handle heater (if you have one), levers for controlling the chute, along with levers for controlling the transmission and wheel speed (in the case of self-propelled snow blowers). Most snow blowers have clamp-style levers on the handles to engage/ disengage both the wheel as well as auger transmission.
And now, here are some more options for you to consider…
Husqvarna ST230 Review – Two-Stage Snow Blower
- Clearing width of 30”
- Clearing height of 10 – 30 centimeters (4 – 12 inches), 14.5 pounds/foot of torque
- Dual stage operation
- Friction disc transmission, with 6 forward steps and one reverse step
- Single cylinder 4-stroke 9.6 HP engine made by LCT, cylinder displacement of 17.8 cubic inches
- 0.71 Gallon (US) fuel tank
- Sound pressure level at operator’s ear- 88.4 dB (A), guaranteed sound pressure level of 105dB(A)
- Measures (L, W, H) 58.5” x 30” x 41.5”,
- TWO-STAGE SYSTEM – Snow is fed into the housing by an auger and then discharged through the chute by an impeller
- POWER STEERING – Convenient trigger control power steering allows superior maneuverability in adverse conditions
- ELECTRIC STARTER – Connect to a power outlet and start the engine by pressing a button. Our starter system ensures that you’ll never have to worry about a dead battery
- LED HEADLIGHT – LED headlight for easy operation when it’s dark
- X-TRAC, HEAVY-TREAD TIRES – X-trac, heavy-tread tires for extra good traction
✓ View or download the MANUAL for the Husqvarna ST230P.
Husqvarna makes some pretty awesome power tools, and this snow blower represents their top of the line 200-series model. If you’re wondering what that means, we are going to help you out.
The ST stands for “snow thrower”, while the 2 in 230 stands for “200-series”, and the 30 represents the clearing width of this unit in inches. The 200 series contains two stage blowers only, while the 100 and 300 series contain 1-stage and 3-stage blowers respectively. The “P” at the end stands for power steering, a feature that can really help out some folks who live in areas that receive a lot of snowfall, probably around 12” deep. Basically, the Husqvarna ST230P is a dual-stage snow blower with a 30” clearing width and power steering included as standard.
Moving on to the actual snow blower, this machine is built like a tank. It is definitely one of the most well-constructed pieces of Husqvarna tech that we have ever seen – the serrated rainbow style steel augers on the front are thick and built to last, while the entire snow intake manifold is made from heavy gauge steel sheets. Husqvarna has included an aluminum gearbox for the auger drive shaft, which is not as tough as the cast iron differential boxes found on the 300 series, but is still extremely rugged.
There is an unclogging chute stick provided along with the blower, and which is stored on top of the front snow-intake manifold. Every single wire and lever is built well and feels great in the hand. The LED headlamps are bright, and there are two of them so you will get an extremely wide field of view even while operating this blower in low light conditions.
Some places in the northern hemisphere tend to experience dusk or night much earlier than usual, and you can quickly lose track of time while clearing a large area with this snow blower. That is when those LED headlamps come in really handy. Besides, you never know when a snowstorm will strike and you might need to wake up in the middle of the night to clear out the driveway so that vehicles can come in and go out in case of an emergency.
At the heart of the Husqvarna ST230P lies a 291 cc single-cylinder 4-stroke gasoline engine manufactured by Husqvarna in collaboration with LCT. The 14.5 pounds/foot of torque can come in really handy when you’re trying to run down a tall mound of snow with your blower, or if you’re pushing into a densely packed heap of snow lying on the edge of your driveway. This monstrous torque combined with the serrated augers makes short work of even the most stubborn snow blocks, and allows you to power through snow as deep as 12” with absolute ease.
The ribbon style augers contain holes that mix in air with the snow resulting in much smaller fragmentation of snow chunks, this makes the impellers job much easier. You will find that the controls are very easy to understand — one lever for controlling the chute rotation, another lever for controlling the chute flap elevation, and a sliding toggle switch to turn on or turn off the heating on the handles. That heating is an extremely understated feature, and you never know how much of a difference it can make until you actually wish you had something to keep your hands warm in the middle of sub-zero temperatures.
Frostbite can occur if you don’t have sufficient padding on your hands, since you’ll have them glued to the steel handle bars all of the time. With a heated handle, you can actually exert more force on the handle and make precise movements with your fingers since they will feel warm and comfy.
Husqvarna ST230P | Includes an onboard cleaning tool
If you don’t get what we mean, try putting your hands in the top chamber of the freezer for a couple of minutes. Take them out and write your name on a piece of paper. Notice some numbness? Are the letters looking hazy? Trust us, you certainly don’t want to have numb fingers while operating a 240 pound hunk of steel that has a giant spinning auger on the front and a bunch of control levers on the back.
Not only do the handles contain heating elements, but they also come with height-adjustment built-in. Even though the adjustable handle is not at all a groundbreaking technological advancement, it certainly makes operating the snow blower much easier for your wife who might be a little shorter than you (as in most cases).
The Husqvarna ST230P is a top selling snow blower for good reason. It strikes an excellent balance between price, features, reliability and power. This is a machine designed to work efficiently when you need it most. If you live in an area where heavy snowfall is guaranteed year after year then the Husqvarna ST230P is a smart investment.
Husqvarna ST227 / 27″ 2-Stage Snow Blower
- Clearing width of 27”
- Clearing height of 12” maximum (30cm).
- 12.5 pounds/foot of torque
- Friction disc transmission, with 6 forward steps and one reverse step
- 254cc 4-stroke 8.5 HP engine made by LCT, cylinder displacement of 15.5 cubic inches
- 0.71 Gallon (US) fuel tank
- Sound pressure level at operators ear : 88.4 dB(A)
- Heated Handles
- Power Steering
- Measures (L, W, H) 59” x 27” x 40.5”
- Weighs 212 pounds
✓ View or download the MANUAL for the Husqvarna ST227P.
OVERVIEW / ST227
If you remember Husqvarna’s nomenclature system for their snow blowers, you will instantly recognize that this is a dual stage snow blower (indicated by the “2” at the beginning), has a 27” clearing width, and comes with power steering. Now we did talk about how awesome heated handles are in the case of the ST230P, so we shall not waste your time by going through all of that again, since this model also comes with the exact same heated handles.
Instead, let’s talk about how awesome the power steering on this unit is. It is basically a special drive system for the wheels that is controlled by two levers, one underneath each handle. These levers are shaped just like the brake levers on a bike, and when you pull on a lever for any one side, you basically cut away the wheel on that side from the drive-train for as long as the lever stays pulled.
This means that the snow blower will automatically begin to turn towards that side since the wheel on the other side is still being powered by the engine. This causes the dead wheel to act as a pivot, and the entire snow blower will turn towards the side for which you pressed the steering lever. Now this feature is especially useful for people who live on sloped terrain such as hills. If you are operating a 240 pound power tool with wheels, you’ll find it extremely difficult to turn the machine by your hands alone, especially since most of the weight is focused towards the back (thanks to the rear mounted engine).
Husqvarna ST227P — 27″ clearing width
The large wheels will help with traction, but when the machine is plowing through 12” of snow, it can get very difficult to steer manually. Another possible usage scenario for the power steering is when your wife has to operate the machine instead of you, because you might be out for work or on a trip away from home. Isn’t this feature super convenient? Talking of convenience, we are sure you’ll appreciate the speed at which this machine gobbles up snow and spits it out.
The 27” clearing width and 12” clearing height is less than that of the ST230P, but is still more than what most people with medium sized driveways need. If you don’t need the power steering and such a large clearing width, you might want to skip this one and take a look at our next entry – the Husqvarna ST224.
Husqvarna ST224 — 24″ 2-Stage Snow Blower
NOTE: When this article was originally written, Husqvarna had two different versions for this 24″ snow blower: ST224 (no power steering) and ST224P (Power Steering). But now, Husqvarna has merged both models and the standard features include the power steering. So, ignore any references to the old versions. I’ve done my best to remove old references.
Also, the “P” model had heated handgrips which they’ve also added to the ST224. These are two great features.
- Clearing width of 24”
- Clearing height of 12” maximum, 9.5 pounds/foot of torque
- Dual stage operation
- Power Steering
- Friction disc transmission, with 6 forward steps and one reverse step
- Single cylinder 4-stroke 6.3 HP engine made by LCT, cylinder displacement of 12.7 cubic inches
- 0.69 Gallon (US) fuel tank
- Sound pressure level at operator’s ear- 88.4 dB (A), guaranteed sound pressure level of 105 dB (A)
- Measures (L, W, H) 58.5” x 24” x 40.5”, weighs 198.6 pounds
✓ View or download the MANUAL for the Husqvarna ST224.
This is what we recommend for the average Joe – an easy to use dual stage snow blower that can comfortable tackle snow up to 12” deep, and it does not burn a hole in your pocket. The ST224 is a dual-stage blower with a 24” clearing width, meaning that it is perfect for small-medium sized driveways or patios.
You can even tackle larger driveways and pavements with it, but we wouldn’t recommend using this model on terrain that is sloped because there is no power steering. But it’s very affordable, and is the cheapest dual stage snow blower that Husqvarna offers at the moment. Does that mean it is bad? No! In fact, quite the contrary.
Thankfully, Husqvarna did retain the exact same 15” radial wheels, and these have the super heavy treads on them which can maintain a solid grip even on the loosest of snow. The large, deep treads allow you to comfortably hook up some snow chains on these wheels for added traction on muddy or uneven terrain.
Husqvarna has added power steering to the ST224 model and therefore they’ve discontinued the ST224P model with power steering. Nowadays customers expect power steering.
NOTE: Husqvarna has discontinued all snow blowers with a “P” at the end of the name. This signified power steering but now they have one model with power steering. Keep that in mind when reading this article. In addition, the “P” models had heated handgrips, which are now standard on Husqvarna 2-stage snow blowers.
The smaller 0.69 gallon fuel tank does not hurt as much as you would think because it is ultimately feeding a smaller 208 cc single cylinder engine. This is a step down from the larger 291 cc and 254 cc engines that are used in the ST230P and ST227P respectively, but the 9.5 pounds/foot of torque is just perfect for driving the smaller 24” long auger assembly on this model.
Husqvarna ST224 | Components Diagram
The total clearing area is 2 feet long and one nearly one foot tall (12”). That is still very impressive for a sub-800 dollar machine and we absolutely love the fact that Husqvarna retained their heated handles along with the extremely useful height-adjustment feature. It is often these tiny features that make all of the difference whenever you are deciding which snow blower to buy.
Husqvarna is the first snow blower manufacturer in the industry to offer handles that are BOTH height-adjustable, as well as heated. The height adjustment does come in pretty handy in the cold, since the last thing you want is a back cramp in the middle of a snowstorm. Well guess what — you won’t be able to visit the doctor in your car if the driveway is blanketed by a foot of densely packed snow.
Thanks to a simple screw and hole system in the handle bars that literally took zero innovation to create (we have NO idea why others didn’t implement this simple mechanism before…), you can operate the snow blower comfortably without having to lean or stretch forward. And yes, the heated handles are SUPER useful. Just don’t try to make coffee on them.
Different Types of Snow Blowers
There are multiple types of blowers for you to choose from depending on your workload and the terrain around your home. For example, a single stage blower is what you need if you’ll be clearing a paved surface such as an asphalt street, deck, or driveway.
If you are working on a graveled surface or one that has a lot of rocks, grass, dirt, etc. on it, you might want to opt for a dual stage blower. If the snow layer is between 2 to 8 inches thick, you can get away with a single stage blower. Any thicker than that, and you’ll need the clearing power of a dual or triple stage blower. Stages are assigned based on the number of mechanisms that a snow blower packs to get the snow from the ground to the chute.
— Single Stage
These consist of a ribbon style auger on the front, usually made from rubber. When this auger spins, it gathers snow from front of the blower intake, and shoves it up into the chute from where the snow flies out and falls several feet away.
GreenWorks 2600502 | Single Stage Snow Blower
Single stage blowers lack self-propulsion and are the smallest, cheapest, and lightest of all. You’ll find both electric as well as gas-operated snow blowers in this category. Clearing width ranges between 16” to 18”, and the maximum clearing height is usually 6” or in some cases, 8”. Perfect for small to medium sized homes, and for areas that experience low to moderate amounts of snowfall. There are
Skid shoes are designed for paved work areas only, so if you try to operate them on graveled or uneven surfaces, you’ll end up throwing stones and grass all over the place. Also, since the auger is the only piece of machinery that is scraping snow off the ground, single stage blowers cannot deal with densely packed snow or extremely wet snow. We are referring to the snow that has been lying around for some time, and is less “flaky” than freshly fallen snow.
— Two Stage
Double stage snow blowers are equipped with two distinctive mechanisms for picking up snow and throwing it out of the chute. The first “stage” consists of a dual corkscrew style auger assembly, one on each side of the centrally mounted differential box that drives the shaft which connects the augers to the transmission. The purpose of these corkscrew augers is to break up the snow into smaller, more manageable chunks, and feed this snow into the impeller.
The impeller lies right behind the drive shaft, and pulls in all of the snow from the auger, accelerates the particles, and sends them flying out the chute. Single stage blowers can propel snow up to a distance of 20-25 feet, whereas dual stage blowers can throw snow as far away as 35-40 feet. So basically, the auger spins and its spiral motion sends the snow in front of the intake towards the center of the shaft, i.e. towards the impeller.
This impeller is kind of like a fan, except it sucks in snow and throws it out through the other side. The impeller is also driven by the same differential assembly that drives the auger shaft. Double stage blowers employ serrated steel augers that never come in contact with the ground, because they might damage the surface as well as themselves. There are skid shoes on the intake that keep the augers lifted at least 2-3 inches above the surface. Hence, these blowers are better at dealing with graveled surfaces and are capable of rolling over uneven ground such as yards, unpaved roads, etc.
Thanks to the impeller, dual stage blowers can clear more cubic feet of snow per minute in comparison to blowers that only use an auger. The serrated augers break down packed blocks of snow, which is then fed to the impeller. This means that you can use dual stage blowers to clear older, densely packed layers of snow – something that single stage blowers cannot do very efficiently. Also, dual stage blowers typically come with clearing widths of 18” to 24”, and have clearing heights that range between 12” to 18”, even more.
— 3-Stage Snow Blower
Three-stage snow blowers are the biggest and meanest personal snow clearing machines out there, not to mention the fact that they often cost more than single and dual stage snow blowers. Well, these are basically modified dual stage blowers with a secondary impeller to further increase the velocity at which snow passes out of the chute. There is an accelerator mounted right at the base of the chute which allows the impeller to feed extra snow into the chute without choking it, meaning that there is room for a larger intake at the front.
This is the reason why triple stage snow blowers typically come with a clearing height of 18” to 24”, and a clearing width of 24” to 36”. You can easily clear mounds of snow up to 2 feet tall with these, and the large clearing width also helps with larger areas such as yards, extra wide driveways (6 lane driveways), and gardens.
If there is a massive snowy heap left behind by the city snow plow right on the edge of your extra wide driveway, you know what to do — point a triple stage snow blower at it, and watch the entire mound vanish within minutes. Just like dual stage blowers, these include skid shoes on the front end to keep the auger from coming in contact with the ground.
Gas vs Electric Snow Blowers
In this section, we shall do a basic comparison between gas powered and electricity powered snow blowers. Just remember that electric snow blowers are only available as single stage types, since electric motors simply lack the torque and power that is needed to manage larger piles of snow. We shall list all the characteristics of each type under the individual sub headings, and will also do an advantages/ disadvantages section.
— Electric Snow Blower
These are powered by brushless electric motors, and can come in both corded as well as battery-powered variants. Corded electric snow blowers are cheaper than their cordless variants because of the lack of a battery pack, and the fact that they can get away with less advanced motors which do not need to be as efficient or compact as the ones on cordless variants. Electric snow blowers have the following primary pros and cons:
- Extremely silent operation, because electric motors are much quieter than gasoline engines (duh). Also – zero emissions (unless you factor in the emissions of that thermal power plant).
- Lightweight, although some cordless models might be as heavy as the smaller single stage gas-powered snow blowers.
- Corded electric snow blowers are the CHEAPEST snow blowers on the market, and are very compact. Even cordless models don’t cost as much as gas-powered snow blowers of similar clearing capacity.
- Extremely low maintenance. On average, a snow blower owner uses his or her blower for 7-10 hours a year. Even if you keep the blower for 10 years, that amounts to less than 100 hours of run-time. Since there are no carburetors or air filters in electric motors, you don’t have to worry about cleaning those. Also, no need to change engine oil every once in a while, or swap out the spark plugs. And yes — no need to yank on a pull-cord in the freezing cold if you have to start the motor.
Electric Snow Blower | Snow Joe Ultra SJ625E
- Weak, not capable of clearing more than 6 to 8 inches of snow, and clearing width is usually limited to 18”.
- You have to do some pushing, since the wheels are not powered. Granted the snow blower itself is light, but you still have to put in some serious effort if you’re dealing with a large area that has a thick layer of snow on it. Also, these are not suitable for slopes since the blower will begin to tilt towards one direction. This is because the wheels are free to roll in whichever direction they wish, and it is often hard to maintain a straight course on the slope just with the power of your hands.
- Not the best for clearing tightly packed snow, both the clearing height and width are limited to 6”and 18” respectively. Also, these are only available in single stage models.
- Corded models have limited operation range due to the cord, while cordless models have limited run-time due to the fact that they run off batteries. Take your pick – do you want to be handicapped by range, or do you want to be handicapped by run-time? And yeah, swapping out a battery pack is something that can give you extra run-time on a cordless model, but 40V Li-Ion battery packs for snow blowers aren’t exactly that cheap. You could get like 6 or 7 cans of fuel for your gas powered snow blower for the price of one 40V, 5.0 Ah battery pack.
— Gas Snow Blower
We have already done an in-depth explanation on how 4-stroke gasoline engines work, so we’ll straight into the pros and cons section-
- Much more powerful, gas powered snow blowers can effectively deal with larger areas and thicker layers of snow.
- Pack clearing widths of up to 36”, while the clearing heights can be as much as 24”. This means that you can clear much more snow in the same time, compared to an electric snow blower.
- Can easily displace thick layers of densely packed snow, since you can buy dual stage and triple stage gas powered snow blowers. These units come with an auger + impeller mechanism that excels at breaking up large snow packets into smaller chunks, and then shoves it out through the chute at extremely high speeds.
- Available in both dual and triple stage models. You can clear more snow faster, and there is no need to be afraid of uneven or graveled surfaces with these. Also, wheels on both double as well as triple stage blowers are powered by the engine, so you can operate them on slopes and other uneven areas – in places where an electric snow blower would simply be inadequate.
- Loud, need gasoline, emit fumes, heavier and large than their electric counterparts.
- You need to replace the spark plugs, clean the carburetor and air filter, refill engine oil, etc. These require more maintenance than an electric unit.
- They are slightly costlier than their electric counterparts.
Things to consider while searching for a new snow blower
— How much area do you need to clear?
Depending on the amount of area that you plan on clearing, you might want to go for a snow blower with a larger or a smaller clearing width. For driveways that are single or dual-lane and have a length of no more than 30 feet, any decent single stage blower with an 18” clearing width will do. If you have a triple or quad lane driveway along with a larger patio/pavement, you might want to consider a dual stage snow blower with a clearing width of around 24”. Triple stage blowers are to be employed for clearing six-lane driveways and above, or simply large pavements and backyards that would otherwise be too tedious to go through with a single stage blower. Triple stage blowers are generally equipped with clearing widths between 24” and 36”.
— How thick is the snow layer?
If it is below 6” and the snow is lightly packed, get an electric single stage blower. This will save you some money. But if you want the job done faster and with less physical exertion, get a gas powered single stage blower. If the snow is more densely packed, and is between 6 to 12 inches tall, get a dual stage snow blower. If the terrain is very rough and the snow is more than 12” thick as well as densely packed, get a triple stage blower.
— How is the terrain around your home?
You might want to consider a triple stage snow blower with tracks and a hydrostatic suspension if you live in an area that is located on a slope, or if you get struck by snowstorms and blizzards quite frequently. On the other hand if you live in an urban surrounding with fully paved roads and pavements, then get a single or dual stage blower. For areas with too much grass and gravel on the ground, never get a single-stage blower as you’ll be putting both nearby people as well as your new machine at risk.
Some convenience features that are cool to have:
- Heated handles : these handles keep your hands warm in the cold, and they have electric heating filaments inside the handle frame that heat up by drawing power from the alternator attached to your blower’s engine.
- Electric start : this allows you to plug in an extension cord from any 120/240 V wall outlet in your home. By doing so, you can use the electric starter motor for starting your engine, an extremely handy feature for those cold winters in which your engine just refuses to start manually. Not to mention the fact that push-start saves a lot of time and effort.
- Unclogging Stick : some good dual and triple stage blowers will have a pre-included stick mounted onto a holder in the front of the machine, right on top of the intake shroud. This is for unclogging the chute and augers/impellers of your snow blower whenever they get jammed.
- One handed operation : with blowers that support this feature, you will notice that the auger engagement lever locks into place if you hold it down along with the lever that engages the wheel drive. This way, you can operate the other stuff such as chute, light, handle heaters, etc. with one hand, while driving the snow blower forward with the other hand.
Snow Blower Safety
- Always stand behind the snow blower while operating it, and point the discharge chute in a safe direction.
- Engage the choke, press the primer at least three times, and make sure the fuel is turned on before you attempt to start your snow blower.
- Check the engine oil levels every once in a while to make sure that your snow blower runs at optimal efficiency.
- If you own a dual or triple stage snow blower, always use a lower gear while operating on slopes.
- If a shield or safety decal is damaged or missing, make sure to replace it before resuming operation.
- Turn off the engine, remove the ignition key, and disconnect the spark plug wire before trying to clean the chute or intake.
- To prevent the engine from stalling at maximum speed while going through thick snow, keep it running at maximum speed.
- NEVER start the snow blower while standing in front of the auger or discharge chute.
- ALWAYS make sure that you’ve turned off the engine, and have removed the ignition key and spark plug wire before you attempt to clean the chute or refill the oil.
- Keep your hands away from the engine while it is running, and NEVER touch it right after you shut it down as the engine casing can still be extremely hot.
- DON’T try to clean the auger or discharge with your hands, even when the machine is stationary, unless you want to lose a finger or part of your hand. There is a stick provided alongside the machine for that purpose, and you must use it after making sure that the engine is off, and the spark wire is disengaged.
- PLEASE don’t smoke while operating the machine, or while handling engine oil/ gasoline. Actually, you should quit smoking altogether…
- Don’t move the machine at a pace that its auger can’t keep up with, and never run it on uneven ground with the skid shoes lowered.
- NEVER point the discharge chute at bystanders or nearby houses as the rocks that are picked up by your snow blowers impeller can be released out of the chute at extremely high speeds, enough to put a cut in someone’s head.
- Never wear loose clothing that can get jammed in the impeller or engine intake while operating a snow blower, and make sure that you’re wearing protective eye gear while using any power tool.
Which Husqvarna Snow Blower is Right for You?
Only you can make the final decision, but we hope we’ve given you enough information to help you decide.
In this article we taught you how to make the right choice for yourself when it comes to snow blowers. There are plenty of brands, and models out there, but you should always choose the blower that suits YOUR needs the most. Get what you need, don’t splurge money on a top of the line blower thinking that you will need the extra power in the future.
Climate conditions for your area are not going to change dramatically within the next decade and unless you plan on buying a new house, that driveway is not going to get any bigger. Look up past weather reports, make a mental note of how thick the snow layers can get. Then you must consider the surrounding terrain, i.e. is it paved or graveled, sloped or flat, large or small. Finally, get the correct blower based on what you learned from this article.