Do you get a little excited when you know that a snowstorm is on the way? Or does the thought of all of that shoveling, plowing, and chipping at the ice leave you wondering why you even live in an area that has snowy winters in the first place?
The Briggs and Stratton 1696619 ranks on the #1 spot of our all-time best snow blower top list. It is a fine way to tackle anything that Mother Nature has to throw at you. With this machine, you won’t have to dread those snow-covered sidewalks and driveways anymore. You might even be able to finally enjoy the snow again.
We have put the B&S to the test twice – in two winters – so let’s get into it!
If you’re looking for a snow thrower that you can depend on for its quality, power, performance, and capability of getting the job done quickly and efficiently every time, this one hits all of the marks. It made our list of one of the best snow blowers available today for some very good reasons. Here’s what it has to offer.
You already get the confidence of knowing that it’s made by a company that has built their reputation on delivering quality products. This particular model is loaded with durable, well-built features and design specifications that will stand the test of time. And Briggs & Stratton manages to deliver all of that value at an affordable price.
Unlike snow blowers that are constructed using plastic or some other cheaper materials, the entire frame, along with the chute, the auger, and the adjustable shoes on this machine are constructed of durable steel. And the gearbox is protected by a solid aluminum case to keep it dry. Briggs & Stratton’s high standards of excellence are clearly evident in the 1696619 model.
Small engines used in snow blowers will either be 1-stage or 2-stage. A 1-stage engine has the power to take care of lighter snowfalls. But it takes the strength of a 2-stage engine to tackle the bigger snowstorms, and dual-staged motors are self-propelled, making the job that much easier.
This beauty is powered by a patented Briggs & Stratton 1150 Snow Series, 2-stage, 250cc engine packing 11.5 pounds-feet of torque, giving it a lot more power than you’ll see in comparably priced models. That’s the kind of power that you want to have on hand when you really need it.
The snow blower is also equipped with a friction disc-drive transmission that offers the convenience of five forward speeds and two reverse functions. Speed control is a huge plus for any snow thrower. Higher speeds are ideal for taking care of lighter clean-ups, and you can slow it down to dig into the heavier, deeper snowfalls.
The Briggs and Stratton 1696619 has an intake chute measuring an impressive 27 inches wide, cutting a sizable path through the snow and ice. And it’s 20 inches high, enabling it to tear through snowfalls as deep as a couple of feet. All of that clearance just means that you’ll be able to get the snow out of the way quicker.
Both the 12-inch steel, scroll-notched auger, and the 12-inch impeller blade work together to rip through the snow and ice and push it through the discharge chute. And the power of all of that action can throw the snow up to 40 feet, getting it out of your way.
The electric-start feature is a huge win. All you have to do is plug the snow thrower into an electrical outlet, and with the push of a button, it fires up with ease, even in temperatures as cold as -20 degrees Celsius. And it still has an easy-to-pull cord for starting as well when the weather isn’t so fierce.
Reversible Skid Shoes
Skid shoes minimize wear and tear on your driveway, sidewalks and the bottom of the snow blower by creating a space between them. Adjustable skid shoes are great because you can change the distance from the bottom of the machine and the ground, depending on the type of surface you are working on. And if they’re reversible, they’ll last longer because you can use both sides.
With the Briggs and Stratton 1696619, not only do you get skid shoes that are both adjustable and reversible, but they’re made out of steel, making them that much more durable. Having adjustable skid shoes set at the right height will also make it much easier to maneuver the snow blower through the snow and ice.
Master Control Panel
From the master control panel, you can easily access the various controls to operate this machine. And all of the levers and handles are over-sized, making them much easier to manipulate when you’re wearing gloves. It’s just another one of the user-friendly features that Briggs & Stratton is known for.
Along with the engine-start button located on the control panel, you’ll be able to adjust the speed of the transmission with the strategically placed gearshift lever. It’s also equipped with a manual chute rotation and chute deflector control that can be adjusted with the twist of a handle, giving you a full 200 degrees of rotation capability, letting you control exactly where all of that snow will land.
You won’t believe how easy it is to maneuver. You can actually operate this walk-behind snow thrower with one hand using handlebar grips on either arm to guide the machine, leaving your other hand free to make any adjustments on the control panel if needed. It almost does all of the work for you.
The LED headlight will make a big difference when you find yourself outside in the dark, trying to clean up after a storm. And, it not only lights up the sidewalk or driveway so you can see where you’re going, but it also illuminates the control panel, making it even easier to see what you’re doing. Snow throwers without headlights are not only cumbersome in the dark, but they can also be a safety hazard.
It’s definitely not a small snow thrower. But it’s also not one of the biggest that we’ve seen. It weighs 189 pounds, making it quite a bit lighter than some other comparable models.
Measuring 29” wide by 43” deep by 56” tall, it’s still not too bulky to handle easily. And it’s small enough to store away safely in between uses and after you’re finished using it for the season.
The tires are 14” in diameter and 4′ wide, with an extra-deep tread that will help you get through the snow and ice without sliding. Having larger tires also makes it much easier to move the machine when it’s not running.
If you’ve looked at other manufacturer’s snow blowers, you’ve probably noticed a wide range of warranty lengths and coverage. We’ve found that companies that truly believe in their products will have longer protection plans. Briggs & Stratton offers an impressive 3-year warranty on the material and the workmanship of their snow blowers, including the engine.
The Briggs and Stratton 1696619 isn’t the cheapest snow blower that you’ll find. It’s also definitely not priced on the high side of the spectrum. Considering everything that this snow thrower is capable of, you’ll be hard-pressed to find another machine that will give you the same value for the money.
- You get the confidence of the quality, durability, and fine craftsmanship that go into all Briggs & Stratton snow blowers.
- The ease and convenience of a walk-behind show thrower that makes the job as easy as this one does are immeasurable.
- The durability of the steel components found on this model isn’t typical for all snow throwers. Not only does steel last longer, but it also won’t allow clogging as plastic-constructed models do.
- Having two different reverse speeds is a nice bonus as both a time-saver and to help get the snow thrower into and out of tricky spots.
- Being able to see your way through the darkness with the LED headlights is a nice convenience.
- All snowblowers don’t have an electric-start. It can mean the difference between blowing the snow out of the way or shoveling it by hand while you’re waiting for the battery to charge.
- The initial assembly can take an hour or two, and you’ll need to use your own tools. Briggs & Stratton will supply you with a video that makes the process much simpler.
- The engine uses synthetic oil, which is a little more expensive. But it’s just a small part of what gives the engine its performance.
- Although we don’t consider it one of the larger snow blowers, its size takes some getting used to.
- No power steering, but the friction-disc transmission, adjustable shoes, and self-propulsion make it easy to maneuver.
If you live in an area that continually gets several feet of snow every winter, Briggs & Stratton has created a machine that can even deal with northern blizzards. While we believe our #2, the Husqvarna ST224P, to be the better machine, it also comes at a much higher price point than the Briggs & Stratton. That puts the latter on top for us, as their performance is comparable.
You get the two-stage throwing power of a Briggs & Stratton 250cc engine with plenty of torque to tear through the snow. The 5-forward speed, friction disc-drive transmission, and the reverse gears make it versatile enough for any type of snow. And the self-propulsion enables you to effortlessly walk behind the snow thrower, simply guiding the way with one hand.
The electric-start feature means that you don’t have to ever worry about it not starting. It has a larger intake chute than many other snow blowers, meaning fewer passes and quick cleanups. And the adjustable, reversible steel shoes make it all that much easier.
You also get the easy-access master control panel, giving you the convenience of both adjusting and monitoring its many features. And the headlight will lead the way if you’re working in the dark. Not to mention, it is made by a company you can trust and backed by a solid warranty at a medium-high price.
Briggs & Stratton?
Briggs & Stratton has been manufacturing quality products for over 100 years. They are currently the world’s biggest supplier of air-cooled, gasoline engines. Founded in 1908, Stratton was the company’s financial backing, Briggs was the mechanical engineering expert, and the pairing of the two would soon create some of the highest regarded small engines ever produced.
Together they quickly earned a reputation for providing high-quality, long-lasting parts for the relatively new automobile industry. As the company grew, their talents led them to revolutionize the design and functionality of the 4-cycle, gasoline engine. They would later apply those same advancements to developing washing machines, small tractors, and cultivators, all with the same level of performance and durability that they were known for.
By the 1920’s, Briggs & Stratton was leading the industry with their innovative designs coupled with their focus on quality, performance, and affordability. In the 1950’s they caught the attention of the lawn care equipment industry by developing lighter-weight engines more conducive to the needs of homeowners. Today, they design and manufacture some of the most powerful, reliable, and durable snow throwers available, making them a powerhouse when it comes to who to rely on for top-of-the-line snow blowers that will last.
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Briggs & Stratton 1696619
Two-Stage Snow Blower
- 27” Width, 20” Height
- Electric Start
- 250cc Engine, Self Propulsion
- 180° Chute, 40′ Throw Distance