Has Anyone Used A Recent Husqvarna Snowblower?
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?