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on January 25, 2010
This is the third snow blower I have owned, and does a great job in major drifts. But I have now ripped the starter cord three times, and disassembly and reassembly takes me almost an hour to repair it. In spite of several inspections, I can see nothing slicing the cord, but something us doing it. I suspect a metal burr somewhere.

All of that said, it starts dependably (when I haven't broken it), and makes short work of my driveway, even in densely packed snow. After a half season that has been especially rough, it all still seems sturdy and hasn't rattled itself apart, the way cheaper units have done in the past.
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on February 1, 2011
Let me give everyone a word of advice about buying this snow blower: don't. And for that matter, I suggest you don't buy any machines made by MTD (they make machines for TroyBilt, Yard Machines, and others). Why? Because their answer when it doesn't work as it should -- and all I've asked this machine to do is move about four inches of snow -- is to "take it to a dealer/repair shop."

Here's the whole story: The first time I used it it stopped about 1/2 way through my mid-sized driveway; the auger just wouldn't spin anymore. It just sat there, mocking me. I stopped it and finished the driveway by hand. I read the manual, tightened the auger control, and it worked fine (not when it was snowing).

Next snow (again, about four inches at most), it made it about 1/10th of the way through the driveway. Auger wouldn't turn. I turned it off, parked it, and again finished the driveway by hand. E-mailed MTD customer care. Worthless response was: "Take it in." Nothing more, no suggestions as to what might be going on. Just take it in. Keep that in mind, if you get a piece of junk from MTD, their answer when it breaks will be: "Take it in." Lesson 1 learned: don't expect a "real" response from MTD customer care via E-mail. You can guess what they'll say: "Take it in."

So I did. It was the belt. Though the machine had been used just twice, the belt wasn't covered because it was more than 30 days from when I bought the machine (see what happens when you plan ahead and buy a product before you need it?). Lesson 2 learned: don't buy an MTD product before you need it, because if you do, then when you first use it and it breaks, you'll have to pay for it.

I replaced the belt on my own dime, brought the machine home, and sat it in the garage. Next snow storm (again about four inches on the driveway when I cleared it), the thing worked, but clogged up very, very easily. I would stop it, clear the clog, start it again, stop it again, clear the clog, start it again, stop it again, clear the clog . . . you get the idea. I finally give up, finished off the driveway by hand (this is getting to be a habit), and parked it in the garage. When I parked it, it was still working.

So today we're in that big February 2011 northeaster. It's Tuesday. 4-8 inches promised today, up to two feet tomorrow. I get home from the office, start the snow blower and engage the auger handle. Can you guess what happened next? The auger wouldn't turn. It just sat there not moving. This, of course, makes this machine useless to me me.

So I parked the machine in the garage and . . . you guessed it, finished the driveway by hand. I came in and called MTD (I've learned about trying to get help by E-mail). Their answer? "Take it in." Sure, he said some more about how this machine isn't known for that, and that the service guy would have to take a look at it to find out what's wrong, and if he can't figure it out he should call them, etc. etc.. But mostly what he said, and the long and the short of it is, "Take it in." So that's what I'll do. Thursday. In the meantime I'll be buying a bigger, better shovel, and once this season is done I'll flog this stupid, useless machine on fleabay or craig's list and buy a real machine. And I'll make sure that no matter what brand it is, that it isn't secretly made by MTD. Because that's a company whose products I never, ever want to buy again.

And I suggest you don't, either.
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on December 12, 2010
This is the first snowblower I've ever used much less owned. Being a first time home owner, I recently decided it was worth the investment to get one of these machines. Just bought it last week and didnt have to wait long to use it. I live in South St. Paul MN and we just had the 8th largest snow storm ever in state history. A record 21.5" was recorded just north of where I live. This machine plowed through waist high drifts like a hot knife through butter. Took a little manuevering to get at the drifts that were higher than the actual opening but the yard machine pulled through. Its deffinetly nice having the self propelled machine for getting into those drifts. Only knock on it was that I wished the self propelled mechanism worked a little faster. Otherwise it never clogged on me and shot snow far enough to hit the yard. Great machine in my eyes and hopefully it just holds up through these MN winters.
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on December 27, 2010
I live in Eastern Montana and we have quite a bit of snow from Oct - April so we dedcided to purchase the Yard Machine. It came nicely packaged in a crate.Quick delivery time. All we had to do was remove from the crate and attach the handle.(easy). It had oil, so we just added gas and fired it up. (The spark plug wire was not on so be sure & check that). One pull start. We had about 6 inches of snow and this blower just plowed right through it. I used my blower again on Dec. 26 after we had more snowfall and a lot of wind. The temp wa 26 so the snow was starting to melt and was wet & heavy. Blower started on first pull and plowed right through 8-10 inches of heavy wet snow.
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on January 22, 2014
I have a lightly used one. It was a gift, and it replaced a more powerful 70's vintage unit. It has been fine through one season here in PA.

On the plus side, it starts up right away and only backed up on me once. It was able to power through the snowplow drifts OK, which is always a test. I haven't tried it in over a foot of snow yet, or extremely wet snow. Although tecumseh got bought, it should be easy to replace the engine or get parts down the line.

The unit does not throw snow all that far, compared to more powerful machines. I mean we are talking 5-8ft here. In 20mph winds it just blows right back in your face. My neighbor's driveway is close and I can't just blow snow with the prevailing wind.

I could see how it might struggle compared to 7hp models with gears. It only has one forward speed, which can be slow for a lighter storm. In a very deep drift you have to manually push to keep it from bogging down. The cable system does not inspire confidence. Other reviews stated the cable ties and brackets are not strong and I can see how that would be a problem. As a product engineer, I think they did the bare minimum here.

Overall I'd say this is an acceptable machine for mid-Atlantic areas but upgrade to a 7hp geared machine if you live in the snowbelt. Note that these had a recall on the wheels. They can burst and shatter. If yours was built before the 2006 recall make sure you check that out.
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on May 14, 2015
Awesome snow thrower. It cut through the heaviest, wettest and frozen snow with ease. It never broke a shear-pin and started on the second or third pull. The only maintenance was to keep the oil changed, and at the end of the season, spray a little silicone on the moving parts to protect them from moisture and drain the gas. I was able to clear a 170-foot extra wide driveway with ease in about 45 minutes with ease in temperatures well below freezing.
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on August 23, 2014
total junk will not work in wet snow the gearbox is pathetic low quality lightweight gears disintigrate rapidly.spend the extra money and get a ariens or simplicty from a dealer not home depot or lowes {namebrands at Home depot and lowes are just MTD made with a name on it}
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on January 21, 2012
Maybe my unit is just lucky, but this has been an excellent snow blower. As said by others, this blower has trouble with slushy snow, but for regular snow, it can't be stopped. Last year in Chicago one storm brought over 20 inches of snow, and even with the box on this being only 16 inches tall, I wasn't even slowed down. At the end of my driveway the snow pile measured almost 40 inches tall, and this still didn't have a problem. I of course couldn't go at full speed, and had to move the blower up and down to allow the blades to eat at the pile, but considering the size, I have no complaints. See the image of my green snowblower doing my sidewalk with an even larger pile. After three seasons of blowing, I have only had to replace one belt that snapped on this.
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on February 27, 2013
The engine always starts on the first pull other than that this machine is useless. Any snow that is actually light enough to be thrown by this machine doesn't require a snow blower. I would like to know if they ever even tested this machine or just designed it in CAD and built it.

Here is my typical experience with the machine: I start it, let it warm up take off the choke and drive it out of the garage into the waiting snow. The spout immediately clogs, like one foot out of the garage. It never actually throws any snow. Shut off the machine, use the unclogger tool to empty the chute, scooping the snow out, not pushing it in. Restart, start pull the auger trigger and without driving forward any farther it re-clogs. Shut it down, unclog again restart and then the snow dribbles out onto the housing. Engage drive, immediate re-clog, repeat above. Get shovel, create starter path for the machine so it doesn't have to bite off 22" at go. Try to clear ten inches at a time. Machine immediately clogs. Get shovel, do it manually.

I live in the Midwest. This machine is sold in the midwest. We get moist snow.

It seems that the second stage in this two stage is not up to the task. The front augers will be spinning but no snow comes out
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on February 27, 2014
This is a great snow blower as long as your not stupid. Everyone complains about it clogging and breaking. I mean like its going to break if you continue to use it after it clogs no matter what. Any two stage snow blower will do this. When it clogs your burning up the clutch. Do you go in a manual car and start off in gear 5? No you dont. Do you go floor a go kart thats stuck on a curb? NO! Its common sense. They even give you a mini shovel to clean it out. USE IT! If you dont want to deal with this problem buy a single stage. There is no clutch. The engine will just stall.
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