on December 23, 2012
I have used Ariens blowers since I was a kid 40 years ago. My dad's was traded in when over 30 years old, so I know they last. The ST28DLE is my latest.
THE GOOD: It has a 15.5HP engine. I did 10" of very wet snow and it went through it at a very fast clip. It has a 14" impeller which means it moves a greater volume and throws it farther than about any other. It is powder-coated, so it is very rust-resistant. The build quality is so much better than any other blower. This may be why they last so long. Honda is built well, but not as heavily--and they are a lot more. Simplicity's mid and high end are very good and a good value, but I prefer the Ariens. It has a light and heated handles. It has a differential that allows you to turn it under power effortlessly. Ariens mid-line models allow you to uncouple power to either wheel, as Simplicity does, but it involves another lever to use while working. It is perfectly balanced on the wheels, and with the differential, it handles like a very small machine. My wife would have no problem using it.
THE BAD: It wasn't perfect as it came. There is a new cable controlled mechanism to unlock a pawl from the chute and then a rod rotates the chute anywhere you like it. It requires only one movement for 2 functions--pretty slick. I had a difficult time adjusting it. If the pawl released easily, it wouldn't engage, and the chute would not lock, meaning I had to hold it in position. I found that the torsion spring was not stiff enough to do the job in the real world. I went to the hardware store and got a 7/16 x 2" compression spring to slide over the chute end of the cable to provide additional pull, and it works with authority now.
OVERALL: The best snow blower I have ever used. It is a huge and powerful beast but handles better than a compact. There is no driveway that this will not clear. It will last forever. It has a good engine. One small problem I had--which would have annoyed the heck out of me, was easily fixed. I'm liking this better than any other snowblower I've used. If I had to pick another around the same price, I'd probably get a Simplicity Professional. I think this Ariens is the best!
on March 2, 2012
I purchased this machine just before Christmas and was lamenting the lack of snow... I wanted to try this puppy out! The Gods were kind and gave us 8 inches of wet snow on February 29-March 1, 2012. I had my chance! It started on the first pull and cleared my two driveways in record time! In fact, I helped out the little lady across the street by doing hers as well!
This machine is big and heavy. I replaced a mid-80's vintage Ariens 824 that sometimes had issues with dense, wet, heavy snow. This unit performed like a champ. It's expensive but worth every dollar! I'll comment again with any updates. Thanks Ariens!
on February 2, 2013
I purchased this snow blower in November. The Professional comes with the 420cc engine. Heavy wet snow, and used it 3 times. Great power, good drive. The chute control for left-right direction does not lock all the time. Not too happy with this. The 3rd night I used it, the light stopped working. The local hardware store wanted me to pay for their pickup and deliver....for repairs. NO. That is not acceptable. I was asked to check to make sure the wires were plugged in together...they were. I will contact Airens if I've got to deliver this to the local hardware store. Buy local...What for?? The better service?
on February 12, 2013
Ariens Professional ST28DLE (28") 420cc Two-Stage Snow Blower - 926038
Yes, the Ariens® 420cc (about 13 hp) [multiply cc X 2.95%=HP] will throw a lot of snow the longest distance of any snowblower we've seen. It will send it from one side of a double driveway to about 15 feet beyond the other side of the driveway. If it is wet, slushy snow, the throwing distance is greatly reduced. With the 18+"/46 cm of snow we just had, and a packed 30"/76 cm where a town's snowplow loaded it at the street, the Ariens needed a few stop & go's...stop and let the impeller catch up with what the auger was pulling in. On driveways & sidewalks it certainly outperforms our 30"/76 cm Cub Cadet® (357cc/10.5 hp by MTD® specs) track snowblower in most ways; except, for ease in turning. The Cub Cadet has fingertip steering controls on each handle which make for much easier turning. We have removed 18" of snow with the Cub Cadet and it does a better job over grass when one needs to remove snow from around a house, as the track unit has a height adjustment lever (pavement, grass, transport). But, it won't throw the snow as far and slushy snow tends to clog the Cub Cadet. Also, the heated handles of the Ariens are a plus. No more hand warmers in gloves are needed.
Unfortunately, for every 12"/30 cm the Ariens Professional 28" moves forward, it throws about a cup (8 oz/236 gm) of snow out the front on the left side, instead of up the chute with the rest of the snow (will insert video soon). None of our other snowblowers do this. This means that you either leave it to freeze into ice or go back over it which is a waste of time. The only way of avoiding the problem would be to always plow from the right side to the left; or, by going down a driveway and turning to the right and plowing up the other side. That isn't practical when one can't throw the snow onto someone else's property. We're disappointed that Ariens did not combine an all-in-one chute and deflector handle (as found on Toro's). Also, when received from the dealer, the drift cutters were installed backwards! And, when a dealer picks up or delivers the snowblower (or other equipment) make sure they put some sort of protection in front of & behind the unit so scratches won't result. Our snowblower has scratches right down to the bare metal. Granted, they gave us a free bottle of Ariens touch-up orange paint. But, careless & sloppy delivery makes for poor public relations.
on January 3, 2014
Lasted one storm, I drained the gas, put it away. The next year it started up and ran for 5 min and died. Ariens says it is are carburetor. Because of the ethanol in the gas it rusts the carb. They wont cover the warranty. I have a 10 year old Craftsman that I have been feeding the same gas and it works great. Do not waste your money on this. Yes, when it works it kicks ass but for the amount of money its not worth the hassle.