13 Mar Husqvarna ST224
Husqvarna 208cc Electric Start Snow Thrower
When it comes to machines or gadgets I’m a sucker for innovation, so when I stumbled upon the Husqvarna ST224 I was pleasantly surprised. This snow thrower has all of the features you’d expect on a high-end model, along with some great additional features that might surprise you. After all, when you purchase a snow removal machine your main concern is that it will reduce the effort you normally put into clearing snow, and this machine succeeds in that endeavor.
This isn’t the cheapest model, but you can normally find one for under $1000, which isn’t too bad for all of the features it comes with. Personally, I’m trying to keep my budget closer to the $500 range, but I’m having trouble finding anything that’s really worthwhile at that price point, so I’ve recently begun to re-evaluate my decision. Once you expand your budget up to $1000 the options increase substantially and allow you to take a closer look at models like this.
Cuts through Snow like Butter
There is no doubt that the Husqvarna ST224 208cc snow thrower does a great job of clearing the snow from your driveway. This model is capable of cutting a 24-inch-wide path and will easily cut through snow that’s 12 inches high or more. That’s enough snow clearing ability for just about anyone’s needs, no matter where you live. It’s also capable of throwing the snow up to 50 feet out of your way, so you don’t have to worry about it simply getting blown back onto the driveway. That’s a good thing, as I live along the Canada-US border, where there’s a fair bit of snow. It can make for some challenging winters, but with a machine like this I’d be a lot more confident.
Maneuver with Ease
One of the biggest problems with the bigger, more expensive models of snowblowers is that they tend to be a little bulky and hard to move. This model by Husqvarna deals with this issue with a set of large 15-inch tires that make gripping the ice and snow a breeze, and it’s also self-propelled. It may be a little on the heavy side at 240 pounds, but that’s not a major issue when you really need these features.
Start and Visibility
Starting a snow thrower can often be a bit of a chore – especially with older models that strictly rely on a recoil pull-cord start. Sure, it can be a great workout for your shoulders, but there are better ways of working out. Fortunately, the ST224 comes equipped with an electric start, so all you have to do is hit the button to get going. If for some reason this does fail you, there is a pull- cord as a backup.
Another great feature you get with this machine is a pair of high-powered headlights. Often when we’re clearing snow it’s either early in the morning or just after supper time, and in the middle of the winter that usually means it’s dark outside. Having a set of headlights to light your way is a great comfort, and can help you to avoid injuries such as from tripping on a chunk of ice that might be sticking up in your driveway.
Don’t Forget the Chute
Most decent snow throwers have an adjustable chute that rotates at least 180 degrees, so that you can throw the snow either to your left or right, depending on which way you’re facing in your driveway. This snow thrower doesn’t disappoint in that respect; it has a fully-functional chute that can be adjusted automatically for ease-of-use. The height can also be adjusted on the chute to give you extra control in where you throw the snow.
Durable and User-Friendly
Almost all of the reviews for this product indicate that it’s an extremely durable, well-built machine. Most of the major parts are metal, and it’s backed up by a two-year warranty. It’s powered by a four-cycle engine, so you don’t have to worry about mixing oil and gas. The tank holds about 2.7 liters, which will give you about two hours of run time.
Perhaps my favorite feature on this effort by Husqvarna is that it comes equipped with heated grips. If there is one or two areas of your body that require a little extra help handling the cold, it’s definitely your face and hands. This machine can’t do a lot for your face, but those heated handgrips are a Godsend for your hands.
This snow thrower seems to be generally a good product, but there are one or two complaints that have been levelled against it. The most common one is an issue with the plastic knobs that are used for cranking the chute. More than one customer has complained that these have broken off on them. That’s not what you want to hear when you’re paying upwards of $1000 for a product.
The only other issue that people have with this model is that the headlight illumination doesn’t project all that far. I can’t see this being a major concern though, as there are many models that don’t even have headlights; at least this model does have them and that’s a pretty big plus.
Probably Worth the Gamble
Overall, this machine seems to perform pretty well; for a two-stage snow thrower that’s priced under $1000 it seems like a pretty good deal. It clears a nice wide path and it throws the snow a good distance. Those features are great in and of themselves, but I was really sold by the heated grips. I hate cold hands and it’s nice to know this machine can keep them toasty and warm.