What's this? Overall score is based mainly on removal speed, distance, surface cleaning, controls, and handling.
Approximate retail price:
Summary:This 28-inch, two-stage Ariens has an automotive-style steering system that allow the inner wheel to turn more slowly than the outer one in a turn. Electric start and a headlight are part of the package.
The Ariens AX254 921030 scored excellent for removal speed and was excellent at removing the plow pile at the end of the driveway, which can be a challenge for some machines. Throwing distance was excellent; this matters most if you have a wide driveway. Surface cleaning-how much snow was left on the surface-was very good. Handling, which is how easy the machine is to maneuver (including turns), was excellent. Ease of using the various controls-such as speed, chute, and auger-was excellent. Requires the use of hearing protection. We found the headlight illumination useful when operating at night.
About This Brand
Ariens' snow blowers are available at outdoor power equipment dealers and Home Depot. It's a leading marketer whose model line consists of single- and two-stage gas models with available electric start and snow clearing widths of 22 to 26 inches.
Features & Specs - Ariens AX254 921030
Engine size Engine Size is the engine displacement measured in cubic centimeters for gasoline powered engines. Most manufacturers not longer give a horsepower rating. Engine displacement is now the only universal way to compare relative engine size. Electric motors are stated in amps.
Electric start Most models offer a plug-in startng device that saves you the hassle of pull-starting the engine, but you need to be near an outlet.
Multiple speeds For two-stage models, most come with multiple forward speeds and two reverse speeds. The ability to vary ground speed according to snow conditions gets the job done faster. Some of the least expensive two-stage models have only one forward speed.
Single hand controls Most two-stage models have individual lever controls on each side of the handlebar, one engaging the wheel traction and the other for engaging the auger/impeller. This feature allows both control levers to be held down with one hand, leaving the other hand free to adjust the chute controls.
Single hand controls
Freewheel steering For two-stage models, this feature, which usually consists of triggers under each handlebar, disengages either or both the left and right drive wheels for easy, sharp turning.
Single lever chute adjustment Only on two-stage models, a single lever or "joystick" on the control panel allows for quick changes to the horizontal discharge direction (the alternative is a hand crank) and to the vertical discharge height (the alternative is leaving the operator position and manual adjustment) all with a single lever.
Single lever chute adjustment
Headlight This eases snow throwing at night or in low-light situations.
Heated handgrips Heated handgrips are a nicety, though they don't replace a good pair of gloves.
Warranty (yrs.) Manufacturer's stated warranty in years of coverage. In most cases it applies only to consumer use and not commercial use.
I have the Ariens Deluxe 28 Snow Blower and bought it from Ahearn Equipment instead. Ahearn Equipment will give you real support in the event you have an issue and Home Depot; well I guess you could return it. They also have qualified staff who can actually put this together correctly. This is a very powerful machine despite the smallish motor. I was worried about the smaller 254cc motor on a 28 snow thrower being too small but after three really big snow storms my worries are over. When this thing goes into heavy plowed snow the motor just makes a deeper sound and it just keeps going without slowing down. Ariens claims that this thing can throw the snow up to 50' and that is no joke. This thing throws the snow farther than any snow blower I have ever seen. It can take the snow from my neighbor's driveway and throw it into mine. I made that mistake once. One of my neighbors already came over to ask me what brand it was because he saw how far it threw the snow. I like that it starts on one pull and it seems to be frugal on fuel compared to my previous smaller 21 Murray snow thrower with the Briggs Snow King engine. I got to test the Deluxe in mostly 6 of slush and it threw that stuff 30' in the air, which was amazing. I then went to use my old snow thrower in the same slushy stuff right after, and it made it 3' and clogged. I like that the frame, chute, and most all the parts are made of steel and not plastic. The shroud is also heavy steel and the gear case for the front auger is solid cast iron with steel gears, not weak aluminum and plastic gears like most others. This is a solid well-built machine built for serious snow removal and for $1000 compared to others in that price range it's a bargain when you compare the individual parts. The motor states it makes 12.5 ft lbs of torque but if you do the math for the rated 3600 RPM it makes 8.57 HP, which is plenty for this machine because of its efficient auger design. <br />The auto turn makes this otherwise heavy large machine turn on a dime but it does have compromises. It tends to wonder a little bit with the slightest pull and if you try to correct it you end up fighting to keep it straight. If you let it do its thing it will track mostly straight, which takes some getting used to. Still the auto turn doesn't track as straight as the traditional solid axle machines of the past did but it does make turning it and maneuvering it way easier. The headlight can sometimes blind you at night because the lens doesn't point straight ahead but somewhat up and ahead. The engine tends to backfire when I turn it off unless I turn it off under load. These are my only gripes about this machine but I don't consider them deal breakers but rather minor annoyances.
How long have you owned it:
By T the Retired
from North Suburban Minneapolis Minnesota
(5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)
Clears Fairly Close
Handles All Kinds Of Snow
Steers Easily - No Strain
Mine Is Set Up For Paved
After a bit of research, I purchased this one when my old one (16 year old Snapper) lost the clutch to the fan. It is not light -- if it were any lighter it would not be able to do its job. I think the auto steering is great -- I did not know what I was missing. It turns on a dime -- no levers or effort -- it does the work. It has electric start, but it even starts easily by hand when necessary -- I only tried it with a warm engine when I ran out of gas at the end of the driveway. I heartily recommend Ariens -- pick the model size that suits your task and you should not go wrong.