Has Anyone Used A Recent Husqvarna Snowblower?

davidnjOctober 18, 2010

Our 14 year old snow blower needs to be replaced. We have narrowed it down to two 30" models: the John Deere 1330SE and the Husqvarna 16530EXL.

They both have very similar Briggs and Stratton 342cc engines and appear well made. Both have a handle bar design that lets you push on the grips without popping the scoop into the air; useful when there is limited traction.

The Deere is Simplicity unique version of the Simplicity Large Frame, also sold by Snapper. It has fast, accurate, and easy to use electric chute controls and is build like a tank. It has a very stiff ribbon auger and a even stiffer 4-blade 1200rpm impeller (measured). The auger gearbox is cast iron. The balance puts lots of weight on the nose holding it down. It shares the Hillard AutoLok differential with various Ariens models allowing it freewheel the outer wheel in a turn without operator intervention. It would also automatically start powering that wheel if the inside wheel started slipping.

The Husqvarna has unique mechanical chute controls, using cables rather than the more common rod and worm gear. Its chute deflector comes with an extension to moderate snow blow back on the operator. Its 3-bladed 'high velocity' impeller uses a large engine side pulley to spin at 1600rpm increasing the swept volume 33% and the shearing force that can break the surface tension on wet, heavy snow 77%. It has a hydrostatic drive that allows the unit to creep along at slow speeds, important in hard end-of-driveway snow or after a heavy snowfall. Steering uses operator left and right freewheel levers (similar to high end Toro and MTD models) that powers the outer wheel in a turn, creating a feature often labeled 'power steering'.

The feature in question is the auger design. Rather than the ribbon auger used by Deere/Simplicity/Snapper, Ariens, Honda, Toro, and Yamaha, it uses stamped blades that Husqvarna adopted on its high end models in recent years. They are 12" compared to the 14" ribbon augers on its competitors. Husqvarna provides no advantages to the design and searches have not revealed any Internet videos. Intuitively they may be more effective in moving snow to the impeller in the center. However, they may also be more prone to backing snow between adjoining auger blades jamming it up.

Has anyone here actually used a Husqvarna with this auger design? If so, how well did work? If you have also used a model with a ribbon auger, how did they compare?



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My Husqvarna snowblower is about to go through it's
10th winter. It has been a good machine, but now that
I'm starting to need to do some work on it, I find
that Husqvarna does not support DIY'ers. They are
completely dealer oriented and won't even sell you
a service manual. I'm not sure if Deere is the same
way, but in this instance, it looks like the better
of the two machines

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 9:20AM
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PartsTree sells Husqvarna parts, at what seems like a discounted price: http://www.partstree.com/parts/?lc=husqvarna&mh=35. Husqvarna has the parts manual and owners manual online. I don't know if there is a service manual, but for the most part adjustments are in owners manual, engine maintenance comes from the engine manufacturer, and the hydrostatic transmission, if equipped, from its manufacturer Hydro-Gear.

Deere is very tight with the parts; however this is really a Briggs and Stratton built Simplicity large frame with the only difference being paint color, standard drift breakers, and use of the Hillard AutoLok rather than the a single wheel freewheel lever. However, it is maybe a $150 dollar better value than the equivalent Simplicity (L1730E) or Ariens (Platinum Deluxe 30) which are both $100 more with the drift bars an extra $30 beyond that. The Ariens shares the AutoLok, the Simplicity the construction. The Ariens has a handlebar design that lifts scoop when you press on the grips.

I think you probably have the ribbon auger. You are right, the Deere is more robustly constructed, but in several areas, especially the handlebars, the Husqvarna may be better designed.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 4:11PM
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David, what choice did you end up making? I recently purchased a 16530E and so far I am happy with it for the most part. The issues I had at first was from it not being properly adjusted from the get go. I have since adjusted things and everything works fine now. What made you not consider an Ariens Pro Series?? I feel they are another great option. I do wish the Hushy's had cast iron gear boxes and steel augers though (and 14" instead of 12"). It just seems to me that the Husky's auger setup may not be as robust as others are. I don't know why the gear box doesn't have any type of support like you see above on the Deere. I know with mine, my gear box moves up and down slightly when the auger is engaged. It's almost like it's designed to be a floating type of auger system.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2010 at 12:24PM
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I was able to get my Husqvarna reconditioned, but it was from an authorized dealer (Not Husqvarana itself) and I am pretty sure if you ask they will sell you some parts. You might be able to contact a dealer and ask if they would sell you a manual/some parts even if they don't list them for sale.

Here is a link that might be useful: Husqvarna Snow Blower

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 1:31PM
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