Content starts here

Snowblowers that require less physical strength

I don't even know how how much my aging 8hp 28" snapper snowblower weighs.  But while operating it:


1. it has a strong tendency for the scoop blade to tip up, requiring near constant upforce on the handles to keep it engaged and

2. It's only powered forward, and reverse.  Turning it requires forceful "man handling."

I'm recovering from shoulder surgery, and now, ten days after blowing the first storm of the season, my shoulder is still sore.  I need an easier unit.


I'm thinking about a comparable sized tracked snowblower with steering such as: Honda HSS 928 or Ariens 928 RapidTrack.  These seem to have a powered steering feature.  Youtube reviewers all seem to be young strong folks who have no trouble manually moving the thing around, and don't seem to be illustrating the steering feature.


Has anyone in the "grey haired" generation moved to one of these snowblowers?  Does the automatic steering make it physically easier to operate?


I'm sure someone will suggest that I just contract for snow removal, and I've actually already done that but there are a couple limitations:

1. They don't even start until their "season" begins on November 1 and

2. They don't come out for any snowfall less than 5"


And so there are still times when I need to clear my own drive.


Looking at these models.  They're expensive, so I don't want to blow the money (if you'll pardon the pun) without knowing it'll actually meet my needs.




0 Kudos
Trusted Contributor

I don't know how old you are Steven but at $3,400 +tax for the Honda blower in your link I'd use that amount of money to hire someone to clear the snow and keep the blower that you already have until your fully recovered. Either that, spend the money on another doctor to find out what went wrong with your shoulder surgery. Me I'm gray haired since my 40's and when I was up 'Nort for the final years of my parents life I just used a shovel with the light fluffy snow and by clearing it every 3/4 inches took care of their standard suburban house single car driveway very easily. The snow blower only came out when the snow was the heavy and wet kind and I was busy with something else and couldn't "Plow with the Storm". 




"Don't worry about the oil running out, worry about the food running out"
Professor Al Bartlett PhD (emeritus 1923-2013)
0 Kudos
Gold Conversationalist



I read your post with interest as I had just moved from south Florida to Alberta, Canada. "snow removal" had suddenly become a topic of interest to me.


One possible suggestion for you, I was excited to see here that people are actually using "leaf blowers" to clear snow. They won't do the crusty stuff but for new snow and drift they work great. Even the city here clears downtown sidewalks with backpack blowers. Blower are great too because you can easily clean cars, trailers, decks, porches, handrails, etc. For many, "leaf" blowers are the preferred first line of snow handling. I'm glad I had the movers bring mine up!

A hand blower might be a good addition to your arsenal due to its maneuverability and lighter weight. You might even spring for a more expensive back pack blower, easiest of all to handle (and may keep your back warm 🙂



A big edit:   Talking with my sister today it became apparent that "leaf" blowers are used for snow removal where she lives in Connecticut! So apparently this has been a 'thing" now for many years. I guess I have lived in "the South" for too long! (since 1998)

0 Kudos
Social Butterfly


You can purchase online, front weight kits for snow blowers.


What kind of terrain are you wanting to clear?  Track are better suited on a rugged stone/gravel/grass surface. Wheels have better maneuverability on a concrete/paved surface. I've used both.


I hear you on that auto turn steering.


I’ve always had fewer problems with a Honda engine than a Briggs.


Snow already?  I’m still waiting on Indian summer.

0 Kudos
Social Butterfly


@StevenH243571 , Snow Joe makes all kinds of reasonably priced snow blowers. They even have a small battery one that weighs ten pounds. Sold at Sam's Club I know, but probably other places too. They run $160 up to $1000. Don't know if those will meet your needs, (might not be powerful enough) but thought I would let you know. Price-wise they sound good.  Battery op and electric ones. This is Snow Joe's website.  Have to read on to see if they meet control needs.




Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Need to Know

Cyber Week Sale! Join or renew for just $9 per year - $45 billed at the time of a purchase with a 5-year membership.
Join or renew
and get a FREE gift!

AARP Membership Cyber Week Sale

More From AARP