Consumer Watch: Reliable snow blowers

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Consumer Reports has some good information if you are in the market for a snow blower, including about which brands hold up best. (KFSN)

Consumer Reports has some good information if you are in the market for a snow blower, including about which brands hold up best.

Among two-stage gas snow blowers, Husqvarna is at the bottom of the reliability list. But Honda is a brand you can depend on. Other big brands to consider include Craftsman, Cub Cadet, Toro, and Troy-Bilt.

For areas that get frequent snowfalls of a foot or more, a two-stage blower is best. It pulls the snow in with an auger, and then the impeller flings the snow out. The combination clears snow faster and throws it farther.

To tackle the heaviest snowfalls, there's a new auger design referred to as a three-stage blower. It allows you to clear snow more quickly, especially big piles at the foot of a driveway.

If you need to clear only a small area like a deck or a walk, a single-stage blower will suffice. It has an auger to both loosen and hoist the snow. And it's lighter and easy to store.

A good blower can be pricey, but it could last 20 years. So take care of yours by changing the oil regularly. Also make sure to have fresh fuel because gas left from last season could lead to starting trouble. And properly inflated tires will improve traction and maneuverability. Regular maintenance will ensure that your snow blower is there when
you need it.
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