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By now, everyone’s familiar with the term “polar vortex” and the cold weather its brought into the United States. But depending on where you live, a big storm may mean you may have to clear out a lot more snow than you bargained for.


Know Your Limits

If your idea of a workout is to get up from the TV and manually change the channels, it’s a good idea to go at snow clearing easy and slow. Clearing snow, especially when it’s wet, thick, and heavy, can be a trigger for medical emergencies, especially if you have pre-existing conditions like high blood pressure.

Start by clearing a small swath of snow and going at it lighter than you think you need to, even if it’s tempting to best your neighbor. While it may be nice to clear large patches during commercial breaks, it’s even nicer spending the night in your own home and not a hospital.

Practice Safety

A huge snowfall makes it really hard to see stray objects on the ground, objects that you can easily run over with your snow blower that can get spit out and cause damage. Push your snow blower slowly but confidently, and be ready to turn it off if you feel anything underfoot that could be dangerous.

But should something get caught in your snow blower and you need to get it out, turn it off and unplug it first. You’d probably be okay if you just unplugged it, but the chances just aren’t worth taking. By removing it from a power source altogether, you can avoid potentially serious and lasting injuries.

Maintain the Machine

A poorly maintained snow blower is one of the main reasons serious accidents happen, so always make sure yours is running smoothly. Make sure oil and gas levels are topped up to where they need to be, there are no loose, stuck, frayed or dry parts, and the engine sounds good. If your gut is telling you that something’s amiss, skip this snow clearing for now and take care of the machine first. The snow will still be there, waiting to be cleared.

Whether you’re using a Toro or Ariens snow blower this winter, or shoveling until the right Toro or Ariens comes along, make sure you’ve got the best of what Snow Blower Source has to offer. Check out our selection and enjoy free shipping to the lower 48 states.
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Whether it’s global warming or just Mother Nature giving us a swift kick in the rear end, this winter has been intense, to say the least. Here are some of the ways snow blowers have snuck into the news.


Snow Blowers Are In Hot Demand

A recent spate of winter storms has meant that homeowners are loading up on snow blowers in record numbers, with the first one of 2014 bearing down on the Northeast. Last night, snow began falling in New York and New England, paving the way for will be a mighty snowfall today and tomorrow. People can expect to see as much as a foot of snow in some areas and it’ll have to get cleared one way or another, whether by shovel or by snow blower.


Michigan and Illinois have already been hard hit, with 12 inches falling in the former and 6 in the latter, scuttling hundreds of flights and leaving people scrambling to find a way to get around. But for those who didn’t have to go further than the end of the driveway and had a snow blower, the storm wasn’t too bad. But if you’re a snow blower owner, make sure to always lock it up in your driveway, or you could fall victim to snow blower thieves like these people.

Safety Not Always First Thought With Snow Blowers

Canadians are typically thought of as our polite, do-good neighbors to the north who are born with snow in their veins, but a couple of mishaps with snow blowers lately seem to have punctured that image a bit. In the eastern end of the country on Prince Edward Island, two separate accidents have raised caution that snow blowers need to be treated with utmost care and caution.


Poor visibility caused one man to crash his snow blower through the window of Robin’s Donuts in the middle of the night, smashing the windows and causing about $10,000 worth of damages. Another man in Summerside got his hand seriously caught in his tractor-run snow blower. Make sure when you’re using your snow blower that you go cautiously and with control, and always turn off (and unplug) your snow blower if anything seems off or stuck.

This winter, always use extreme caution when using your snow blower, especially with storms coming in that can severely reduce visibility and hamper snow clearing efforts. Bundle up warmly, and check out our selection of Ariens and Toro snow blowers to make sure you’re using the best machines on the market. All products are shipped FREE to the lower 48 states, and you can usually find something on special that’s just right for you.
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Every now and then, a whopper of a snowstorm hits and sets a new record. Here are some of the biggest snowfalls ever to take place in a 24-hour period.



1. Mile 47 Camp, Alaska

On February 9, 1963, a whopping 78″ of white stuff fell in Alaska, setting the official world record for most amount of snow that fell in a single calendar day. Although this location only contains a highway maintenance station on the Richardson Highway, it still meant a lot of shoveling to get to work that day.

2. Silver Lake, Colorado

This lake just an hour west of Boulder did hold the world record for 24-hour snowfall until Mile 47 Camp’s snowfall was made official, with Silver Lake’s 75.8″ on April 14-15, 1921 wiped it out from the top spot.

3. Echo Summit Sierra at Tahoe, California

Batting with the big boys, Echo Summit Sierra saw 67″ fall in one day and put this town in the top 3.

4. Crystal Mountain Ski Resort, Washington

February was only days away from being over, when 65″ fell on the 24th and set a new record in the state. But at least skiers and snowboarders didn’t have to worry about a snow shortage!

5. Saratoga Springs, New York

In what’s known as “The Blizzard of 1888″, snow fell from the sky like there was no tomorrow, dropping 58” to put Saratoga Springs in the fourth spot overall.


6. Tahtsa Lake, British Columbia

In a remote area west of Prince George, a central city in the interior of British Columbia, 57″ of snow dropped in 24 hours on February 11, 1999- as much as Whitehorse, Yukon receives in an entire year.

7. Lead, South Dakota

South Dakota isn’t usually a place people equate with heavy snowfalls, but the town of just over 3,000 snowed themselves into the record books on March 14, 1973 with 52″ of snow.

8. Pleasant Camp, British Columbia

Those Pacific Coasters sure do get their fair share of snow, with 50″ fall exactly three weeks before Christmas in 1985.

(tie) 9,10,11. Hunters Station, Wyoming; Watertown, New York; and Mount Washington, New Hampshire

While each city saw a record 49″ fall, New York started things off on November 14-15, 1900, followed soon after by Wyoming on March 21, 1924, and then over 40 years later with New Hampshire taking up the rear on February 25, 1969.

(tie) 12,13. Cap Madeleine, Quebec and Montana

The state set the record for 24-hour snowfalls twice on the same day (February 25, 1979), with one taking place in Shonkin and the other in Millegan; both saw 48″ fall from the sky. Up north, however, La Belle Province beat both cities to the punch when the same amount fell on March 20, 1885.


14. Hood River Experiment Station, Oregon

The West Coast is usually known for relatively mild weather, even with the mountainous presence, but someone forgot to tell that to Hood River Experiment Station when 47″ fell on January 9, 1980.

15. Lakelse Lake, British Columbia

Just a wee bit east of the Pacific Ocean and about halfway between the north and south borders of British Columbia lies Lakelse Lake, the January 17, 1974 site of a record 46.5″ of snow in one day.

16. Terrace, British Columbia

Less than a half hour drive from our previous record holder, Terrace endured 44.6″ of snowfall on February 11, 1999.

17. Kitimat, British Columbia

Staying on the Canadian West Coast, this neighbor to the south of Terrace was closely nipping at its heels, falling just short of #16 by a mere 2/5″, despite holding the record for 25 years (February 18, 1972.)

18. Jay Peak, Vermont

Coming close to the end, this border town had an even 42″ fall less than 20 years ago, on February 5, 1995.

19. Stewart, British Columbia

Nestled in the Rocky Mountains at the head of the Portland Canal, this town of less than 500 lays claim to the 19th most snow that’s fallen in North America in a single day, with 41.6″ falling on January 16, 1976.

20. Main Brook, Newfoundland

Travel east across Canada for about 4,500 miles in just about a straight line, and you’ll find this tiny town of 300 that closes out the list with 41.3″ of snowfall on February 5, 1988.





Though it most likely won’t snow nearly this much on any single day this winter, make sure you’re prepared with a Toro or Ariens snow blower, and enjoy tax-free shopping (except in Minnesota) and free shipping to anywhere in the lower 48 states.
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Snow falls and waits for nobody to do so, demanding to be cleared on its own schedule. But just because snow falls when it wants, you don’t have to head out there at the first falling flake. Here are a few reasons why snow clearing in the middle of the night is cultishly popular.


The Quiet

Unless you live right downtown in New York City, not many people in your neighborhood will be up and out at 3am. Because of that, the quiet and solitude can become your best friend, making the street—and neighborhood—feel like entirely your own. It can be a chance to catch up on lost thoughts; ponder the past, present and future; or just take in the stark beauty of a crisp, cold winter night. As brutal as winter weather can be, there’s something awe-inspiring about seeing your breath freeze juxtaposed with soft, fresh snow resting on tree branches.


When you clear your drive in the middle of the night, you don’t have to deal with snow ploughs messing up your work or neighors and kids stomping the snow on your sidewalk into an icy, unclearable layer. Instead, snow clearing during the witching hour lets you go at it entirely at your own pace, letting you work comfortably and how you want.


Good Example

How many times have you woken up to the site of a foot of snow covering everything in your neighborhood and felt dejected as you thought of all the work ahead of you? And how much of that was eased as you looked at your neighbors’ cleared drives, thinking you didn’t want to be the last—or only—one with a snowy driveway. Now you can be that person who’s gotten the jump on everyone else instilling a sense of competitiveness that keeps your neighborhood looking fresh and looked-after.


You probably won’t be able to use your Toro or Ariens snow blower in the middle of the night, as it’ll make a bit of a ruckus that’ll wake up and annoy your neighbors. But for one night, you can keep your snow blower rested and ready to go for the next snowfall, giving you a chance to get a bit of a workout in instead.


With the snow already falling in cities all across the United States and plenty more to come in the next few months, make sure you’re ready for it with a Toro or Ariens snow blower. Check out our single stage snow blowers for light powdering, or two stage snow blowers for a heavier crop. And no matter what you buy, shipping is FREE to the lower 48 states.


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Snow blowers are a fairly recent invention, far outweighed by how long snow has been around. But two of the most recognizable names in the snow blower business, Toro and Ariens, have quite the histories behind them.


Snow Blowers

The motorized snow clearing machine was first invented in 1870 by Robert Carr Harris of Dalhousie, New Brunswick. Although Harris patented his “Railway Screw Snow Excavator”, a basic type of snow blower, the first practical snow blower belongs to someone else.


In 1925, Arthur Sicard presented his first prototype, a design he based off a concept he first thought up 31 years earlier. Two years later, Sicard sold the first “Sicard Snow Remover Snowblower” to Outremont, Montreal, and the rest is history.

The Sicard Snow Remover Snowblower had a fairly basic design, consisting of only three sections: the snow blower with two chutes and a motor; the snow scooper; and a four-wheel drive truck chassis equipped with a truck motor. But despite its simplicity, the Sicard was a beast, capable of throwing snow 90 feet away (or in the back of the truck if you wanted to hang onto it.)

Toro Snow Blowers

Almost 100 years ago, Toro got its start and never looked back. They’ve consistently produced quality snow blowers for every type of drive and snowfall. Toro has also branched out into lawn and garden care, agricultural needs, and home, professional and sports areas.

But when it comes to snow blowers, you’d be hard-pressed to find yourself a better one than a Toro snow blower. The machines are quite sophisticated, coming in choices like single stage or two stage (for light snow or heavy snow, respectively), and electric options for homeowners who want an alternative to recoil start snow blowers.


Ariens Snow Blowers

The Great Depression had only been underway for a few years when an idea was sparked in 1933. Henry Ariens’s company, Brillion Iron Works, the one he had spent 40 years building, was gone in an instant. But instead of giving up and rolling over, Ariens and his three sons turned their focus elsewhere.

Using a $1,500 loan borrowed against his life insurance policy and another $1,500 raised by selling stock shares, the four Ariens built what would eventually become one of America’s premier snow blower companies, starting with America’s first man-made rotary tiller.

And now, 80 years later, winter weather dwellers everywhere are as familiar with an Ariens snow blower as they are with the season itself. They’ve got eight different types of snow blowers currently available, with Snow Blower Source a proud carrier of Ariens.

So when you fire up your Toro or Ariens snow blower this winter, take a second to remember the storied history that’s brought man and machine together. And no matter which snow blower you buy from Snow Blower Source, enjoy FREE shipping!
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Clearing snow may seem as easy as switching on your snowblower and going at it, but there’s actually a bit of a science involved. Here are some tips on the techniques you should be using to ensure you clear your drive safely and efficiently.


Go with the Wind

It may sound obvious, but pointing the chute of your snowblower in the direction the wind is blowing will save you a lot of time and stress. It’ll help keep snow on one side instead of drifting back onto your drive, and speed up the process immensely. But watch out for wind changes when you’re clearing snow, as you may have to adjust as often as mid-turn.

Along with pointing your thrower down to make wind as much a non-factor as possible, you’ll also need to know what to do if you encounter cross winds. There’ll be no avoiding it, so the best way to forge ahead is to start on the upwind side and work downwind.

Pick a Dump Site

Now you have to figure out where the snow will be landing. Make it too close to the road, and you’ll run into problems of not being able to put your garbage cans at the curb, creating bad blind spots when you pull in, and giving city-run snow clearers that much more to push onto your driveway.

But put it too close to your house and you run the risk of the snow melting against the wall and causing interior water damage. And while plants, small trees, shrubs, and flowers generally like a blanket of snow to keep them insulated during the winter, too heavy a layer can crush and kill them.

Instead, aim the snow onto your lawn, your backyard, at the bases of large trees, and even your neighbor’s property (if you’re lucky enough to have a good-natured neighbor). One last tip: don’t aim snow at cars or vehicles, as your snowblower could pick up ice chunks, gravel or debris, possibly damaging whatever it lands on.

Find Your Pattern

Starting in the middle of your drive is the best place for two reasons: you’re throwing the snow the farthest it needs to go, and you’re guaranteed not to throw snow over anything you’ve already cleared.

Snow clearing patterns

As far as patterns go, you’re not beholden to any one way, but one stands out above the rest. If you’ve ever watched a Zamboni clear a rink between hockey periods, you’ll know that they start in the middle and make outward concentric laps because the water will always spit out the same way.

The diagram on the left shows the snowblower starting on side of the driveway and making turns. This isn’t very efficient because the thrower will alternate the direction if faces, and because you’ll be making very tight turns the entire time you’re clearing.

But in the diagram on the right, clearing in outward concentric circles helps keep your chute always pointed in the same direction, as well as make turns increasingly easier as they get wider. Whether you go clockwise or counterclockwise depends on the wind, but this method is definitely the best, easiest, and most efficient.

Make sure you’re using the right technique this winter with a Toro or Ariens snowblower, the two machines that give you the best fighting chance. And when you order with Snow Blower Source, shipping is FREE to the lower 48 states.
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You’ve just bought a brand new Ariens or Toro snow blower and it works like a dream: the engine purrs, the skid shoes give good traction, and the chute flings snow away with the ferocity of a mountain lion. But this newness won’t last, and it’s up to you to maintain your snow blower so it keeps working like new.




The engine on your snow blower is the heart and soul of the machine: it ticks on faithfully, doing all the grunt work with none of the glory. Keep it in good shape, and it’ll be your companion for a long time.


Regular oil changes aren’t just for cars. Each time you use your snow blower, you should be checking the oil level to make sure you have enough. If there isn’t, all the moving parts will dry up, scraping against each other as heat causes them to expand, and your engine will seize up and suffer an untimely end.

Spark Plug, Fuel, and Air Filter

The spark plug forces electricity across a gap, creating the ignition your snow blower needs to start up. Three big signs that your spark plug is telling you it’s time for a change are engine surges and/or misfires, trouble starting your snow blower, and a rough or jittery sound when it’s idling. Always make sure there’s fuel, and only change your air filter when it’s absolutely caked with crud.

Loose Parts

Now that the core of your snow blower is in good shape, it’s time to take a look at tires, drive and chassis, and chains.



Drive and Chassis

First make sure the scraper bar and skid shoes aren’t worn away, and that the rubber fits snugly on the auger. If you cant fit a finger between the rubber and the housing, it’s time for a shopping trip. The skid shoes are what keep the auger from getting scraped on stones and the ground, while the scraper bar is what allows the snow blower to get close to the ground and pick up the maximum amount of snow.


Take a look at the tread and inflation of your tires. Are they full and hard, and still have their grooves? If either answer is no, replacing them is going to have to happen soon. The tires are the main points of contact between the snow blower and the ground, and you want to make sure they’re doing their job. If you use chains on your tires, make sure they’re on in advance or easily accessible.

Miscellaneous and Small Parts

The last thing you want to ignore are all the small parts like shear pins, bolts, headlights and electric starters.

Shear Pins and Bolts

Although these aren’t always visible, they’re the little soldiers that sacrifice themselves in mechanical overloads so more expensive equipment stays undamaged. Located between the auger and gear casing, the shear pins and bolts should all be there, and it’s a good idea to keep spares on hand just in case.




It’s not crucial that your headlights are always working, especially if you only use your snow blower during daylight hours. But you just never know if a bad snowstorm will hit during the night and you need to plow a route from your garage to the road.

Electric Starters

A lot of snow blowers also come with a recoil start option, but if your’s is electric-only, or if you vastly prefer an electric start, this is one part that should always be on your horizon. Check it a few times a season just to make sure it’s working fine, and replace it before it starts giving you fits.

The more time you spend with your Toro or Ariens snow blower, the more in tune you’ll be with it. Check out Snow Blower Source for an amazing selection of single stage and two-stage snow blowers, and get FREE shipping to the lower 48 states!

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When most people think of snow blowers, they visualize a utilitarian machine that’s designed for one thing, and one thing only: clearing snow. But with a little creativity, you can turn your snow blower into a winter weapon of fun.



This one requires you to have a fairly sizeable property, but that’s about it. Just wait until you’ve accumulated a decent amount of snow, dust off a heavy-duty snow blower, like the Ariens Deluxe Track 28 (now conveniently on sale) or Toro Power Max 826 (also on sale right now), and go at it.

snow maze

First, measure the area carefully and scale it down on graphing paper. Design your maze on the paper, grab a can of spray paint, a large roll of measuring tape and a toque, and head outside. You’ll want to walk out the maze you’ve drawn, spraying dots, dashes or a line in the snow. The color of paint spray you use doesn’t matter a lot, but choosing a lighter color will look a bit better in the long run.

Once you’ve spray painted the maze in the snow, stick cardboard or plywood on either side of the path so you can create snow walls, and then take your Toro or Ariens two-stage snow blower (you’ll need a two-stage because of how much snow there’ll be to power through) and blaze a path through the snow. The last step is just packing the snow tight against the temporary walls and then removing the cardboard, and laying down a bit of sand on the ground to create a delineated look. Voila! A snow maze you can enjoy all season!

Tobogganing Hill

Making a pile of snow with your Toro or Ariens snowblower is a lot easier than making a snow maze for several reasons: all you have to do is blow snow into a pile, you don’t necessarily need feet and feet of it to have fallen, and there’s no drawing or paint spraying involved.

Race Course

A slight variation on a tobogganing hill, a race course is pretty similar except you create lanes separated by walls on the hill. A two-stage Ariens or Toro snow blower, while usually terrific at carving a path, won’t be good here because you’ll have to take a snow blower down the hill to create walls. Measure each lane about 2 to 2.5ft wide and slide down it a few times first on a toboggan or Magic Carpet to create a workable groove.

Next, use your single stage snow blower, like an Ariens Path Pro SS21 or Toro Power Clear 418, to carve ruts. You’ll want to keep three things in mind: put up cardboard or plywood on either side to help create walls for the race course; raise the scraper blades so the snow blower makes less contact with the snow, letting you keep a layer of snow thick enough to slide on; and make sure you descend the hill safely with your snow blower.

To do the last bit, you can guide the snow blower up the hill for better traction than simply walking it down. But the safest way of doing it is to loop a strong rope around the snow blower handle and guide it down the hill from a safe vantage point at the top. Or, if you have another body to help you, you can create a pulley system with the rope so you’re holding one end at the top of the hill, easing it down, and the person at the bottom is manoeuvring it in a straight line.

For all snow blowers at Snow Blower Source, find the one that best suits your needs by browsing our selection. And remember, all snow blowers are shipped FREE to the lower 48 states!

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It’s only the beginning of November, but snow has already fallen in Spokane, Western Idaho, Edmonton, Pipestone (Minneosta) and Kenora, meaning it’s already time to bring out snow blowers. Along with snow blowers, you can use an assortment of other snow clearing tools to make sure your drive is clear and safe for the upcoming season.


Snow Blowers

Snow blowers are by far the easiest, cleanest and most efficient tools to use for clearing snow. Their heavy-duty motors do all the hard work for you, staying close to the ground and getting at all the snow no matter how thick or heavy it is. And with a one-time cost (or a bit of ongoing cost for gas snow blowers, like the Toro Power Clear 621), all you have to do is plug in the snow blower and be on your way. Whether you opt to go the solely electric route, like using an Ariens AMP 24, or with a gas-powered Toro, Snow Blower Source has the perfect snow blower designed to suit your needs.


Your basis compound of Sodium Chloride has been used to clear snow for what seems like forever. It works by lowering the freezing point of snow and ice, keeping it at a liquid when it would normally otherwise solidify. If water freezes at 32F, you can use a 10% salt solution to bring down the freezing point to 20F, and a 20% salt solution to get a freezing point of 2F. The ice immediately around the salt starts to melt and because water naturally likes to occupy the lowest space possible, the melting area spreads and clears more ice. The downside, of course, is if the weather outside is colder than what you can manipulate the freezing point to be, salt loses its efficacy and you have to use more.


Although it looks like sand melts snow and ice much the same way that ice does, the process is fairly different. Snow and ice have a hard time retaining light- and heat/energy from the sun’s light- so it tends to reflect most of the heat and energy that hits it. But when you put darker-colored sand on top of snow and ice, it does retain heat and energy, bringing it up to a higher temperature than the snow and ice underneath it. And if you place a warm object on top of a cool object, the heat from it will transfer through until both objects are the same temperature. Because sand gains heat very quickly, placing a layer of it on top of snow is an easy and efficient way of melting it. However, it does leave behind a dirty-looking mess that needs to be cleaned up, but the grittiness of sand-on-snow makes driveways and sidewalks a lot easier to walk on.

This winter, clear your property with one of Snow Blower Source’s Toro or Ariens snow blowers and get the peace of mind you deserve. Not only is shipping insurance included on every product, but the shipping costs itself are free for the lower 48 states.

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Using a snow blower to clear your drive is infinitely easier than shovelling it, but when it comes time to buy one, how do you know what to get? Buying a shovel is easy; you pick one by color or by material. But a snow blower presents more challenges. In this blog post, we’ll explore the ins and outs of getting an electric or gas snow blower, and which one is better suited to your needs.


Electric Snow Blowers

If you’ve got a short driveway or live in an area that either doesn’t get a lot of snow or gets light, powdery snow, an electric snow blower may be the better bet. Quiet, gas-free and powered by an electrical cord, these snow blowers are designed for light loads and quick clears. A snow blower like the Ariens Two-Stage Electric has a charge time of 45-60 minutes, giving you plenty of time to clear the snow.

But while one charge won’t clear as much as a tank of gas, and you do have to mindful of the cord, electric snow blowers are light, mobile and easy to store. You also don’t have to worry about changing the oil or tuning it up like you would a gas snow blower, which definitely translates into a low-maintenance winter.

Gas Snow Blowers

Living in an area like Minnesota or Wisconsin will almost always call for a gas snow blower, a machine that can clear heavier loads. Gas powered snow blowers have an engine inside to literally muscle through wet, heavy snow, making them efficient clearers for anything Mother Nature throws their way. But the power comes with a price: gas snow blowers are loud- really loud- because of their engine, and that engine needs to be cared for on a regular basis. Things like oil changes and cleaning the fuel and air filters aren’t optional, they’re a must if you want to keep your gas snow blower in good working condition.

The news is far from bad with gas snow blowers, though, as they’re heavy-duty workhorses that can easily handle blizzards and snowstorms. And with no cord to worry about, all you need to do is fill up the machine with gas and you’re good to go. A snow blower like the Toro Two-Stage Power Max was born for snow, with it able to clear up to 2,200lbs per minute. It also features rugged 16-inch tires, a pivoting scraper to get all the snow, and a Quick Stick control that lets you change both the chute direction and reflector without stopping. And in case you run low on gas or just want to take it out for a quick spin, the Toro Power Max also comes with an electric recoil start.

You can’t lose with these promotions from SnowBlowerSource.com! Get the best deals on Ariens and Toro snow blowers, plus extended warranty or money-back promotions. Free shipping on all orders to the lower 48 U.S.No tax on any orders shipped outside of Minnesota.