The company that makes Cub Cadet snow blowers has introduced six new models that it claims throw 50 percent more snow than the brand’s current two-stage models. With winter approaching, that’s good news. The trick is a third stage that helps to more quickly feed snow up and out of the machine. The snow blowers are on display at the Green Industry & Equipment Exposition (the GIE+Expo show) in Louisville this week but we got a sneak peek from MTD a few weeks ago.
Two-stage snow blowers have an advantage over their smaller, single-stage siblings in the impeller they have, behind the auger, for shooting up what the auger picks up. But even a two-stage model sometimes needs to be guided slowly through particularly heavy snow, such as the dense piles left behind by municipal plows. To speed up that process, Cub Cadet announced its 3X Series in which a third stage feeds snow to the impeller more quickly.
In the 26-inch Cub Cadet 31AH55SX710, $1,300, and the 30-inch Cub Cadet 31AH57SZ710, $1,500, we’re testing, the auger is still the first stage. But what comes into play next is a set of blades similar to the impeller, situated between the auger blades at a right angle, that help to more quickly relay snow the auger has loosened back to the rear impeller. The models in our snow blower tests are sold at Cub Cadet dealers, but the 26-inch Cub Cadet 31AH55TA756, $1,100—sold at Home Depot—appears similar to the Cub Cadet 31AH55SX710.
Among other features, the 3X models have overhead-valve engines (Chinese-made), easy chute control, ergonomic grips, sheer-pin storage in the handle panel (to replace pins that break to protect the transmission should the machine become overworked), and a three-year warranty. All six are available now, and we’ll be publishing the results of our snow blower tests as soon as we complete them.
If you already have a snow blower, get it ready now for the cold winter ahead. And if you’re looking for a new one, now’s a good time to buy. But before you do, read our buying advice and check our snow blower Ratings of almost 90 single- and two-stage models.