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I have a horrible problem. I actually have too many snow blowers to test this year. We just started getting decent snows to test them out and I haven’t been able to get caught up.
I know you don’t feel sorry for me.
That said, I purchased a Husqvarna ST327P myself and I’ve never had the chance to really make a decent video of the capabilities of this heavy duty hydrostatic snow blower. So when my neighbor Jason told me his 20 year old Cub Cadet was finally worn out I asked him if he would use this snow blower this year and make a few videos.
So, here is a chance to see the ST327P in action. Personally I like how smooth the hydrostatic drive is, how far it throws snow and that the engine never lugs down. The 291 cc LCT engine has plenty of power for the size.
Feel free to ask questions in the comment section below. Did you like his video? I’ll ask him to make more if you do.
I have the ST330P and really enjoy using it. At close to 80 years old I find the machine does an excellent job of clearing my 130 foot driveway. The controls are intuitive and fairly easy to use. The engine just doesn’t give up and will not lug regardless of load. The test of a good blower is the stuff the plough leaves at the bottom of the driveway. This machine drives straight through without any tendency to climb the snow pile.
The hand warmers are handy and do work well. I think the gas tank could have been a little larger but, having said that, I don’t think it is a gas hog. The light is bright and wide enough to see well in dim lighting conditions. I also don’t think it is overly loud and hearing protection is not necessary but good to have. Starting this is a breeze even at minus 8 F.
A well made machine that is pricy but you do get what you pay for.
Hello, I currently shop for buying a snow blower.
I have had 2 offers
Toro Power Max® 724 OE (37779) ($1100), 24 ”
and the 27 “11.5 TP Gas Dual Stage Snowblower
CRAFTSMAN® / MD ($1000)
I need your expertise to help me make the right choice
Hi Momo, unfortunately I am not keeping up with the Canadian Craftsman machines anymore so I don’t know exactly what that model is. Being 27 inch it is probably made by Husqvarna and equivalent to their ST227P. Does it have power steering?
The 724 OE is a good machine with a solid axle. It has a good engine and a good reputation. The discharge control are the easiest on the market.
Instead of buying a new machine can I add auto steer to an Ariens 926001? It just had a new gearbox and is still solid.
Hi Mike, I have a strong feeling that the transmission was changed when they dropped that 9hp 26 inch snow blower. Here is a video of what the newer tranny looks like inside.
I purchased the ST330P and LOVE it! The only problem I am running into is the poly skid shoes wear down and require adjustment after each time I use it. I have a large new cement driveway and long sidewalks that I do not want to leave pits in or scratch up. The cement expansion joints are often uneven so it can be hard on the shoes with this heavy machine. Can you recommend some better skid shoes or advise on how to better adjust the shoes to avoid problems?
Hi Austin, I’m glad you like the ST330P! Yes, when I first saw the poly skid shoes that Husqvarna includes with the snow blower, I just laughed. Yes, they are free, but they could have at least built them to last more than a couple of snows. No, they don’t have an optional heavy-duty set.
I’ll list some alternatives.
1.The Blue Skid Shoes on the the Cub Cadet snow blowers are the toughest. You can buy a pair ($50) and drill new holes but that’s a lot of work. You’ll have to get these through a Cub Cadet Dealer.
2. Toro and Ariens also make a really tough long lasting poly shoe but they also need to be re-drilled and are expensive ($50)
3. The best choice is the Arnold Universal Poly Skid Shoe. ($28) It’s tough and longer so they wear really well. They are reversible for the longest life. The is the same skid shoe Craftsman and now Troy-Bilt uses. I’ll be one set will last more than a year.
I have a toro 621 its about 38 years old and has been well maintained.I am getting ready to buy a new Snow blower and as a Auto/diesel tech I like to get you opinion on tracks with hydrostatic drive.I am very familiar with both and the reason I like the tracks is it footprint it has for traction.Now the only reason I say this is the dreaded snow plow and like everyone else I am tired of trying push through to clear the front of my driveway.As far as the hydrostatic drive I like the idea of hyd drive system as I have been working on its larger cousin on trucks and its low maintainance.I have read your thoughts on three stage systems also and I have consider this to as we tend to get wet snow a lot in New York.
Hi Vito, the best track drives for the money are the ST327 and ST330 Husqvarna machines. I’m not a big fan of the 3-stage especially for clearing snow plow piles. It always gets colder after a storm and if you let the plow pile freeze up the 3-stage machines have a tendency to break shear pins on the front auger. Those pins can be a real pain to replace.
Any comments when comparing this to the Ariens Deluxe 28 SHO?
Is the hydrostatic vs friction disc transition a big deal?
Is the power steering automatic (similar to the Ariens), or does it have handle triggers to disengage a wheel?
Thanks for all your continued help and insights!
Hi Dom, The two are very similar in capacity and throwing distance.
Hydrostatic gives you a complete range of speeds from barely crawling along to about 3 mph. You can adjust the speed and move it right into reverse without clutching. It’s great for drifts because you can slow down for the drift and then just move the lever to speed up in a spot with less snow. It’s troublefree and lasts the life of the snow blower. The Ariens are also bulletproof but tend to be fast. 1st gear is like 3rd gear on the MTD made snow blowers.
The power steering on the ST327P uses triggers. That is actually an advantage if you have a long straight driveway or want to clear across a slope.
Paul — GREAT post! Like Dom, I’ve been looking at the Ariens Deluxe 28 SHO and the Husqvarna ST327P. Your site has been amazingly helpful! Pretty sure I’ll be buying the ST327P. I’ve had snowblowers for 25 years, and the hydrostatic drive looks like a huge improvement to me. Husqy’s chute controls seem fairly good (much better than Ariens Deluxe models with their hand crank). And I’m more comfortable with the trigger steering, rather than Ariens differential. Keep up the great work!
Hi there –
I live in Stowe, VT. I’m new to snowblowers, but we’re building a new house that will have some areas difficult for a plow to reach. I’ll need to clear a lower parking area (gravel) roughly 50’x50′, a walkway (granite pavers) about 6′ x 40′, as well as clear various pathways over grass to a shed and chicken coop. My biggest concern, as we are fairly rural, is servicing. I’ve been advised to look at Husqvarna and Honda, which I can get within 50 miles of me, and the closest sales/service outfit by me only carries Toro. Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated – your site is the only one so far that seems unbiased and is really thorough!
Many thanks in advance,
Hi SARA, I’m having a hard time figuring out how much snow you get in an average year. Some records show about 45 inches but other records state 145 inches! So, at this point, I’m going to recommend a snow blower for the larger amount. If that’s wrong, please write back.
Of the three brands, Toro has the best reputation for never needing repairs. A Power Max® HD 1028 OHXE (Model 38802)$1899 or Power Max® HD 928 OHXE (38801) $1599 is easy to use and has plenty of traction to clear all the areas that you need to clear. I could write an entire paragraph why that is the best choice. Tjhe 1028 has the most power.
The Honda is overpriced. Especially compared to the Toro. The model comparable to the Toro, the 28 inch HSS928AWD is $2800 with electric start. The model the dealer will want to sell you, The HSS928ATD is $2900 with tracks and electric start. In reality the Toro has a higher capacity and a better reputation than the Honda. In addition, the Honda has a habit of catching gravel and tearing the inside of the blower housing if it’s set too low on the gravel areas.
The comparable Husqvarna is the ST327P $1699. DON’T BUY the ST227P!/ I like the ST327P, it does have the capacity but….. This snow blower is “nose heavy” compared to the Toro and Honda. What that means is it really works well for hard surfaces like cement driveways because the extra front weight allows it to clean packed down snow but it does not have near the traction for clearing gravel and your paths. It will get stuck a lot quicker than the Toro or Honda.
Hi Paul. Thank you for the tremendously valuable site you’ve put together. I’m a 41 year old male, and I live in Jackson NJ. I’m interested in a Poulan Pro PR2400 24″ 305cc (Briggs & Stratton 1450 snow series engine) sold at our local Costco (for $700). I have 600 sq. ft of a black-top driveway (30*20) and roughly 1700 sq. ft of sidewalk to clear (I live on a large corner lot). This amount of clearing has literally been back-breaking the past years even for a 4-6in snow fall (certainly the uncommon 12-in ones!). Would this Poulan do the trick? I’d prefer to stay with Costco because of their guarantee policy. I see it does not have power steering, but hoping I can manage without.
Thanks for any guidance!
Hi Isadore, Yes, Reading their online Member Privileges Costco has a 90-day return policy on items and they don’t specify any special terms with gas powered equipment. They also have a pro-rated return during the manufacture warranty.
This is my opinion of the 2017 CostCo snow blower.
“I don’t review nor will you ever find a review of a Costco, BJ’s or Sam’s Club snowblower. These snow blowers are limited run, high-profit items for these warehouse clubs. They put these products out to bid every year and they always change. They are always different based on who submits the lowest bid. In addition, they are always different than the models you will find at Home Depot, Amazon or your local dealer.
This snow blower is a good example. 1. It’s made by Husqvarna but Husqvarna actually doesn’t sell Poulan in the U.S. (Their other brands sold here in the U.S. are RedMax, Jonsered, and Poulan Pro) 2. The tires are much smaller than normal, it has an incandescent headlight and an odd-ball sized engine. (Someone had an excess inventory of that engine laying around.) 3. It’s not even the right color – Poulan was yellow or lime green. 4. Husqvarna was using the Poulan name in Africa and the Middle East for a few years but the brand is not even listed on the main Husqvarna site anymore. 5. Is COSTCO going to service it and have parts for 10 Years? No one else will – including your local Husqvarna dealer.”
Other 24 inch snow blowers from Cub Cadet, Ariens, Craftsman and Troy-Bilt in the $700 range will all last 10 years or longer and you will be able to get parts easily for them for up to 20 years.
Thanks Paul. I take it the other $700 24″-ers you mention are adequate to handle the amount I need to clear?
Hi Isadore, Yes, Have you seen this article yet? The Twenty Best Snow Blowers – November 2017.
I’d recommend any of the 24-inch machines on that list first.
Hi Paul, I will be buying either a Toro 38801 or a Toro 38802 soon. Is it worth upgrading from the 265cc motor,38801, to the 302 cc motor, 38802. It looks like that is the only difference. I don’t mind paying the additional $300 if the upgraded motor is worth it. Thanks, John
Hi John, Where you live you don’t need the extra power for the amount of snow you get but the larger engine will allow you get done a little faster. So, if cost is not a factor I’d go with the larger engine.
On your links to Husqvarna st324, there’s comments from reviews on auger lock issues. Do you know much about this?
Hi Vlad, I can only find one review at ACME tools that state the owner was having problems with the interlock for the auger/drive control.
Just so you know the entire handlebar assembly including all the controls is the same on all the 300 series snow blowers. The ST327P I have works just fine and asking my reliable Husqvarna dealer there are no maintenance alerts on the handles. So, there are easily 5000 of these snow blowers out cleaning snow and this is the only issue I read out of all those sold. So, I don’t consider this a problem worth worrying about. I’ll bet you a Chocolate Chip Cookie that the one you purchase will not have a problem.
I live in Sweden and I’m about to buy my first ever snow blower and to be honest I don’t know much about them. I’ve been looking around at both Toro and Husqvarna 300-series. It seems to me that I would have a harder time finding spare parts for a Toro machine than a Husqvarna here in Sweden so I’m likely to select the Husqvarna. I have a gravel path up to my house and a gravel area in front of my 2 car garage and I estimate the total area to be around 2200 sqft. I just added new gravel this year so the gravel layer is quite deep (2-3 inches). We seldom get more than 10-12 inches of snow at the time but it can snow quite often.
Would there be a benefit for me to choose the ST330 over the ST327 or would it be enough with the ST327?
Should I get aftermarket skids that are longer and wider to prevent the machine from digging down in the gravel or will it not make a difference?
It seems like, at least in Sweden, the 300 series doesn’t come with hydrostatic transmission but with friction disc transmission. Is it a deal breaker for the function of the machine in your opinion?
Is a Toro of the same size the better alternative?
Thank you for your help.
Hello Franco, Husqvarna has changed the lineup for this fall. The 300 series are now all friction disk and there is a new 400 series with the hydrostatic transmission.
The 300 series friction disk transmission has also been redesigned so it won’t slip if you get too much moisture into the transmission housing. It also has stronger belts and the large dash with the wrap-around handles.
Do you need longer skids? When the ground freezes does it stay frozen all winter? If it does then the gravel will not be an issue with the standard skids. I suggest raising the front of the snow blower (the skids) as high as it will go for the first few snows. That will keep the snow blower out of the gravel. Once the ground has frozen you can then lower the skids and it should be fine. With the new dash/handle assembly the snow blower is also a little lighter in front so it won’t dig into the gravel as much as the older 300 series.
The ST327 will be a little easier to use than the ST330. The snow blowers sold in your country will have the appropriate size engines so they will handle your snow.
I personally like the 928 and 1028 Toro Power Max HD snow blowers a lot. If you get a lot of wet/heavy snow they are the best. (and also Ariens) If you have a dealer locally I would check them out. If you don’t have a local dealer stick with the Husqvarna.
Thank you very much for the information about this seasons updates to the 300-series line up. I have not been able to find this kind of information anywhere else.
I don’t think it’s guaranteed that the ground will be frozen for the first snow falls and I usually showel up a lot of gravel on my lawn when clearing the snow by hand, and that was before I added the thick layer of garvel I addes this summer.
I have compared the price of Toro models you recommended to the ST327. The 928 is 420$ more expensive and the 1028 is 760$ more expensive. I’m also a bit concerned about getting spare parts for the Toro. I don’t think we get too much slushy snow, even if it happens, since it’s quite cold here. Do you think the Toros are worth the price diffrence? I have a feeling that the difference is less in the US but I’m not sure.
Hi Franco, The ST327 will be a good snow blower for you.