When we test snow blowers, we like using them in real environtments throughout the winter time, after blizzards and snowstorms in real life conditions. The Ariens Compact 24” snow blower has gone through that experience and in this review, we tell you all about it.
There are two versions of the compact 24”, one with tires (920027) and one with caterpillar tracks (920028). We recommend the latter because it has much better traction. For the version with tires, you might even need snow chains for those tires. Older models like the Ariens 920021 are no longer recommended due to the newer models being available.
Before you read on, consider that a two-stage snow blower is a heavy-duty machine that is meant for a lot of snowfall. So if you are in an area that gets several feet of snow on a regular basis, or if you are up north and see nine months of snow each year, this is the machine for you. The same is true if you have a large yard to clear. For less work and snow, or for clearing just the walkway to your door, check our top lists for single-stage snow blowers and powered snow shovels.
You’ve probably noticed that some snow blowers are made of plastic, fiberglass, or other materials. Those are the types of snowblowers that won’t be able to withstand the abuse that comes with blowing heavy snowfalls.
Ariens only uses the strongest, most durable materials and builds all of their equipment to last. The Compact 24” is constructed with a strong, metal body and a heavy-duty, cast iron gearcase. It also boasts alloy steel gears and durable polyethylene skid shoes, all designed for years of optimal performance.
Snow blowers are equipped with two types of engines, 1-stage or 2-stage. You’ll find 1-stage engines on smaller machines that work best with lighter snowfalls. To tackle the real wrath that Mother Nature can sometimes deliver, you’ll need the power and self-propelled wheels of a 2-stage engine.
The Ariens Compact 24” Snow Blower packs a the power of a 2-stage, Ariens AX gas-powered, 223cc engine generating the force of 10 ft/lbs of torque. With engines, the more cc’s it has means there are more cylinders to generate the force needed to power the crankshaft. The speed of the rotation of the crankshaft produces the torque that’s needed to operate the machine.
The combination of the engine’s power and the self-propelled belt drive system give this machine what it needs to dig you out of some of the heaviest snowfalls. And with the help of the belt drive, you won’t be breaking your back getting the job done.
All snow blowers don’t offer speed options. Without gears, you can sometimes find yourself struggling with different types of snow. With only one speed, you’re the one manually control the speed, which can be another back-breaker.
This snow blower is equipped with a transmission that gives you 6 different forward speeds and 2 reverse speeds. The lower gears will slow the machine down to tackle the heavier, deeper snow. And the higher speeds allow the snow blower to operate faster for lighter snow.
The two reverse speeds are a huge benefit. Pulling a snow thrower backward through snow and ice can be a challenge. The reverse speeds do all of the work for you so all you have to do is guide it.
Both the width and the height are important factors when deciding on the best snow blower for your particular property. They determine how quickly you’ll be able to get everything cleaned up. The bigger the intake chute is, the fewer passes it will take.
The auger housing on this model has a width of 24 inches, clearing an impressive pass through the snow by tearing through it with 11-inch, steel, serrated augers, and a 12-inch, 3-blade impeller. It’s height of 20 inches also allows it to tackle those deeper snowfalls and higher drifts.
And the discharge chute with remote deflector gives you the versatility of a 205-degree rotation capability and can throw the snow up to 40 feet. The throwing distance depends on the weight of the snow. But it’s a quick adjustment to control where all of that snow will land.
This is one of the best features that we’re seeing on more and more snow blowers. It just means that you don’t have to worry about it not starting if the machine has been idle for a few days and it’s sub-zero outside.
It has a 120-volt, electric-start feature that will fire it up every time. All you have to do is plug it in and push a button. You also still have the traditional, hand-pull option if you prefer.
The shoes protect both the bottom of the snow blower and the surface that you’re working on from damage. Having adjustable shoes makes it easier to maneuver the snow blower on different surfaces. It’s a big plus, especially if you need to quickly adjust the track angle to go from a gravel driveway to a concrete sidewalk.
Clearing snow in the dark can be a challenge. Without a headlight, you’ll either find yourself with a headlamp or attaching some type of makeshift headlight on the top of your snow blower.
With the in-dash, halogen headlight, you won’t have to worry about stumbling around in the dark, trying to dig your way out. It’s also a lot safer having a lighted path.
You can use the snow blower with either one or both wheels engaged. With the pin-lock axle engaged on both wheels, you get more traction on uneven surfaces. With one wheel locked in, you still get a good amount of traction. It just makes it a little easier to maneuver corners and change directions.
The control panel is centrally located between the grip bars and is designed with over-sized knobs and handles, making it easier to use with gloved hands. You can easily access the electric-start, adjust the speed, rotate the discharge chute, and monitor the fuel gauge, all while walking behind the snow blower.
With the dual-handle interlock system, you can navigate the snow blower with either both hands on the grip bars or with one hand, freeing the other hand to adjust the settings on the control panel.
Using both hands is helpful if you’re clearing rougher terrain. And one-handed works well for lighter jobs, allowing you to gently glide the machine.
The Compact 24” is a little more compact than some other snow blowers, hence its name. But it’s still big enough to get the job done. It weighs 224 lbs, So it’s still light enough to move without too much effort and small enough for storage between snowfalls and when winter is over.
With caterpillar tracks of the 920028 measure 15 inches in diameter and 5.5 inches wide, it has no problem plowing through several inches of snow and ice without getting stuck or sliding. Tracks are always far superior to tires, hence why we recommend this model over other Ariens snow blowers that feature tires.
Ariens backs it with a 3-year limited warranty on the materials and workmanship, and they cover the gear case for 5 years. Coverage that good just shows how confident they are in the quality of their products.
If you are looking at different snow blowers, you’ll see a wide range of prices. And it’s usually fairly easy to see why some are cheaper and others are more expensive. The bigger and more power and features, the higher the price point. Generally, the price does correlate with quality when it comes to snow clearing tools – even when talking about snow roof rakes.
While the Ariens Compact 24” is on the higher-end price range, you’re looking at a snow thrower that’s packed with quality, functionality, and power. It is worth every dollar.
- It’s very easy to operate with all of the controls within reach.
- The handlebars fold down, making it smaller for storage.
- You can also get a fitted cover to keep it safe during off-season storage.
- Some snow blower engines use synthetic oil which can be expensive. This snow thrower uses standard SAE5W30 motor oil.
- The steel augers are freeze-resistant, reducing the number of clogs that you have to deal with.
- You get a little pampering with their white-glove service.Compact 24”
- The deflector chute range isn’t adjustable. If you’re working in a tight spot, you’d just need to keep one hand on the remote chute control to direct where the snow will land.
- Heated handles would be nice although you really can’t feel that heat if you’re wearing insulated gloves.
- The reverse speeds are a little slow. But that makes it safer if you’re working on uneven surfaces, walking backward.
If your winters bring a few inches of snow and ice at a time, sometimes totaling a foot or more, a single-stage snow blower or a less expensive two-stage model would suffice easily. But if you live where the winters are brutal, dumping several feet of snow at a time, or if you have larger areas to clear, you’d want to look at a powerful model like the Ariens Compact 24”.
With the Compact 24”, you get the quality that Ariens is known for with its metal frame and steel components, and it’s powered by an engine that generates enough torque to eat through some of the biggest snowfalls. You also get the advantage of the 2-stage, belt-drive, self-propulsion system for ease and convenience.
The electric-start option is a feature that you’ll never want to go without again. Its transmission gives you the functionality of having specific speeds for different types of snow, even operating in reverse. And with a 24-inch clearance path, it will cover a lot of area in a short time.
You also get the user-friendly control panel that allows you to adjust the settings for optimum performance with one hand while guiding the snow blower with the other hand. Its halogen headlight leads the way on those early mornings or late nights. And the durability of the adjustable, polyethylene skid shoes will give the snow blower and your driveway the protection they need.
Toss in the value of the warranty and this snow blower is set to make your snow clearing problems a thing of the past.
Ariens burst into the small engine design scene during the Great Depression in the 1930s, of all times. Originally founded in 1893 as Brillion Iron Works, the family-owned company was forced into bankruptcy at the onset the depression, but quickly realized the need for high-quality, durable products for the farming industry and rebounded with the production of the first small-engine powered roto-tiller.
In 1933, they enhanced their design, introducing the first roto-tiller designed with a 4-cylinder, 12-horsepower engine, revolutionizing the industry. As the years passed, they were able to utilize advances in technology to create even more efficient small engines and began producing tillers and other lawn care equipment designed for the general public.
Ariens is now one of the world’s leading manufacturers of snow blowers, offering eight different grades, suitable for both homeowners and commercial operations. They have a wide range of snow blowers for both residential and commercial use, all designed and manufactured with the same attention to quality and detail that they are known for.
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Ariens Compact 24”
Two-Stage Snow Blower
- 24” Width, 20” Height
- Electric Start, 6 Speeds, 2 Reverse
- 223cc Engine, Self-Propulsion
- 205° Chute, 40′ Throw Distance