The Ariens 921022 is part of the snow blower
test program at Consumer Reports. In our lab tests, snow blower
models like the 921022 are rated on multiple criteria, such as those listed below.
The clearing width, or swath, in inches.
Removal speed is how quickly models could remove snow without laboring; single-stage machines were pushed as quickly as possible before the machine labored.
Plow pile removal:
How fast the snow thrower can remove a simulated pile of snow left by a municipal plow at the end of a driveway.
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.
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 24 inch version of this model, which is not reviewed by CR, but is worth knowing about.<br /><br />We live in the lower Hudson Valley of New York, so you know what kind of winter this 2014-2015 has been temperature and snowfall wise. It's not Boston, but we've had 6 snowfalls so far and another is coming in 2 days. I bought this Ariens in late October 2014 and it has been a wonderful machine with which to work. <br /><br /> My driveway is 60 x 10 feet uphill from the garage on the north side of the house; the bottom is 900 square feet and flat. For the past 33 years I've used a one-stage Honda, which has performed outstandingly, but needs leg and arm power to help propel it up the hill. The Ariens climbs easily in the lower 3 speeds, depending on how much snow has fallen. <br /><br />It starts on the first pull every time and is easy to control and to turn. It parks conveniently in the space between my 2 garage doors, ready to go twice a week when we have snow. The one time I had to use it at night, the headlight provided adequate illumination on areas of the driveway that were not well lighted by the outside house lights. It also clears the piles of snow deposited by the town plow as it does the street. I've also used it to clear a path on our front lawn for our dog to use. It does not seem to be damaging the grass and is blowing between 12 to 16 inches of snow as it goes.<br /><br />Finally, it maneuvers easily when I park it in the garage and does not take up much space.<br /><br />One small improvement that could be made would be a different position for the shute swivel control. It's a manual handle and you have to let go of one control (either auger or driven wheels) to have a hand free in order to move the shute. You also have to reach over the control panel to get to the handle. It's a small inconvenience
How long have you owned it:
Yes, I would recommend this to a friend.
Easy start and good at clearing snow when I can keep it running. It has had an engine or carb problem each year and required maintenance - difficult to get Ariens to cover under warranty. I will not buy another.
How long have you owned it:
More than six months
No, I would not recommend this to a friend.
(7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)
Solid snow blower and reasonably priced
I have a long hilly driveway with lots of area so I get plowed out, but that still leaves substantial plow piles in key areas that I need to move. I got this blower for this purpose and so far it easily handles the heavy condensed snow. No major gripes so far. I can easily pull start it in one or two pulls, but my wife can't get quite the zip on the cord so the electric start option is great.<br /><br />No major gripes so far. It is loud, but every gas snow blower is. Wear protection. Another review was unhappy with the light, and so far I have no had that issue. If the blower is tilted back far, it can be a little bright for the operator, but for most positions it seems to work well.<br /><br />All in all it seems like a well designed and manufactured machine. Lots of metal, only plastic in uncritical locations. So far I have no reason to give it anything but 5 stars.