Purchased this snowblower on 12/08/2016,used it on a 9 inch snowfall two days later and had no problems.Cleared right down to the pavement and threw the snow about fifteen feet.Primed it and used the electric start,started right up.Very pleased with this purchase.
I bought this model type several years ago. For $450, I am truly disappointed. I wish I would have spend a hundred dollars more for a two stage with an all metal auger housing.. It worked great brand new. After about 6-7 uses uses it wouldn't throw snow very far at all. It got to the point the chute kept clogging. So I looked at the auger belt and saw it was pretty stretched. I replaced it. 2nd year. Same thing with the belt, worked great for another 6-7 uses, same problem again. So I dealt with the fact it wouldn't throw snow far and clogged all the time (and I'm not talking wet, heavy snow either). Belt cost $23 +shipping. Wasn't gonna replace the belt every year. On top of the belt issue, the auger housing cracked by the scraping blade (its plastic). Looked that up and that cost $135 and a true hassle to replace. So I figured if I be gentle with it, I can get it to last and not break any further. No luck on that. It cracked some more and now the housing with the scraper blade was getting stuck in the wheel making it very hard to push. 3rd year I didn't bother to use it at all. Didn't want to spend the money for a new housing and belt. Still very upset about spending $450 and only getting 2 years worth of moderate use. Thank God it was a mild winter. 4th year, I had to use it. I rigged the scraper to keep from hitting the wheel. I used it about 5-6 times in moderate snow falls. Had to shovel on heavier snow falls. This year, the auger broke. $200 FOR A NEW AUGER!!!!! So now I am up to $350 + for new parts for a machine I paid $450 for and only used 4 years. That's 4 years sparingly on top of it. For that cost, it would have been cheaper to hire a snow removal service to do my small driveway and sidewalk. I love Craftsman products, own quite a bit of them, this is my first disappointment. My second disappointment was the cost of a new one. They are WAAAAAAAAAAY overpriced for the specifications. My local home improvement store has a 208cc, 24'' two stage "in-stock" for way cheaper than what sears does. My neighbor has the Craftsman model # 88779 (22", 179cc two stage), it's 4 years old and he's had nothing but carburetor issues with it for the last two years. Time to try a new brand.
I own a Craftsman in the past, so I gave this a try 2 seasons ago. This is a terrible snowblower for $500. Don't waste your money! I purchased Craftsman 21 inch back in 1990's and it's lasted over 15 years and was much more powerful that this junk. I am pretty handy in repairing equipment. Thus far, I replaced the belt, auger blade, starter pull recoil unit. Overall, not worth all the extra costs of repairs in just 2 seasons!
I am writing this review after 5 years of owning this machine, This is tiny compact and lighter than my older machine. I love the electric start. But it always start at the first pull. Only issue I noticed this season (after 4 years of no issue at all) is that it has a little bit of vibration and on choke off it back fires once in a while. The vibration causes the handle wing nut to get loose and lost in the snow. Its not a big deal, as I have a few spare lying around. Other issue is it back fires once every say about 3~4 minutes. Its not loud but definitely I can hear it. It may need some tuning I think. I would like to give it 4.5 stars but anyway it worked flawless all these years and its not its fault that all machines need some tuning once in a while.