Is the Ariens Deluxe 28 Model 921030 snow blower right for you?
This is a reprint of 2014 Ariens Deluxe 28 Snow Blower 921030 with Auto-Turn Review over at MovingSnow.
Updated: December 6, 2013 I added a lot to this review. I have this model to test this winter. Ariens sent me a production run unit, no special attention was given to it, so the model I am testing is the exact model you will get from The Home Depot or your local dealer. It has been too cold for me to get it out and blow some snow with it but read on to see my impression so far.
The new Ariens Auto-Turn takes the large, high capacity Ariens 921030 Deluxe 28 snow blower and makes it as easy to use as a small compact model. The new Deluxe 28 has features that make it better than most of the other snow blowers in this size. Two-Belt impeller drive, cast iron, braced gearbox and the new Auto-Turn steering.
All for only $999.
Ariens has taken one of the best homeowner snow blowers on the market and made it better – without raising the price!
Auto-Turn eliminates the need for you to make large loops during a turn, instead allowing even, tight turns from the center axis of the machine. This new technology will actually zero-turn. It also eliminates having to hang on to both handles and pull levers to make the turn. Their are no levers to move when making a turn. So turning becomes a simple, natural gesture while still giving the traction you need in the snow. You can turn effortlessly without adjusting the speed.
This snow blower is sized for most 2-3 car suburban driveways. It handles 4 to 16 inch snows easily and has enough power to blow heavy, wet snow. The intake is tall enough to handle 20 inch drifts. It works well on gravel driveways.
What makes this snow blower the best 28 inch snow thrower for you? The features I like most:
Most of the time I pick two features I like most but in this case I like most of the features of this machine. I will go through each one below.
254 cc Ariens AX engine. This engine by LCT delivers over twice the torque of a 208 cc motor. I like the motor. It starts easily and has plenty ot power to handle deep snows. I don’t expect you to have any issues with this engine but if you do LCT and Ariens work closely together so your local Ariens dealer can handle the warranty work quickly. Dual roller ball bearings reduce friction and prolong life. Commercial cast iron sleeve reduces wear and improves emissions.
This AX series engine has a throttle! The throttle is conveniently located on the top of the engine. Many of us like to idle the motor after we have worked it hard so this is a great addition! Over 2 hours run time per tank of gas make’s it very fuel efficient.
New Auto-Turn Steering. The new Auto-Turn Steering makes this the easiest to use 28 inch snow blower on the market. I noticed the difference taking the new snow blower off the delivery trailer. There are no levers to pull to steer the unit. In fact it is so easy to use, I am having a hard time putting in writing how easy it is. You just move the handles in the direction you want to turn and it goes there. It turn a easy as your push mower. It handles easier than a snow blower with pin-lock steering and it many times easier to use than one without power steering.
Because of the way the Auto-Turn works many of you are wondering if the snow blower will cut a side-drift. In other words after the city snow plow has piled a hard-packed drift of snow up against your mailbox can you go out there and cut it back with your new Ariens. The answer is yes. I’ll make a video when it warms up a little to prove that.
I had one person ask about the clicking noise. Simply stated, that is the way the Auto-Turn is designed. The clicking noise is only noticeable when the snow blower engine is not running and you are just moving it around the garage. Again when it warms up a little (it -4 in my garage this morning) I’ll take the Deluxe 28 apart and show you how the Auto-Turn and why it makes noise when you turn.
I have been using snow blowers for 40 years and I have never had one that is this easy to steer!
Heavy-Duty Cast Iron Gear Case
Heavy-duty cast iron gear case with alloy steel gears and L-3 synthetic severe-duty gear oil provides continuous reliability and a longer gear life. The gearbox comes with a 5-year warranty. Ariens is very proud of their front gearbox and they should be. This design will last the life of the snow blower and is the strongest currently made. I’m not sure if they add the bracing to hold the gearbox for you or just to support the weight of this box, but I know you will never see the front auger shaft sag like it does on some of the other brands. You can “accidentally” hit something with the gearbox and not worry about breaking it.
28 in. clearing width. Makes quick work of clearing driveways and patios in minimal passes
21 in. intake height. There is only one other snow blower on the market that has a higher intake (22 inches)
14 in. 3-blade impeller, 14 in. serrated auger and large discharge chute.
The 14 inch blower is larger than any other snow blower in this price range. This is one of three reasons this Ariens will blow snow over 50 feet. The augers are larger than most other brands and aggressively pulls compacted snow and ice into the blower (impeller). The combination of the 14 inch impeller and 14 inch open flight auger will suck as much snow into the snow blower as the engine power can handle.
The discharge chute on this Ariens is larger than the other brands. In fact the only chutes available as large are the ones on the Cub Cadet 3X-HD and 900 series snow blowers.
Heavy-Duty Blower Housing
When Consumer Reports was testing this year blowing wet sawdust they made a comment that with one of the other brands the edge of the housing started to roll in. All the current snow blowers use about the same thickness of steel to make the housing but the Ariens uses extra stampings to make the side panels stronger. While most brands have one or two stampings, Ariens uses four. This makes the side panels strong and they won’t cave in as easily as the other brands.
Another minor feature is the rolled top edge. This is stronger than the angle stamped in the other brands.
Dual belt auger drive system. This is the second reason this Ariens will blow snow over 50 feet. Exclusive dual belt auger drive system propels snow up and out of the chute powerfully and continually, providing sustained power and longer belt life with minimal to no maintenance or adjustments
6 forward speeds and 2 reverse speeds. Industry standard friction drive has been driving Ariens Sno-Tro’s since 1960. It let’s you adjust your speed to accommodate different conditions
200-degree chute. 2.5 cranks on the handle moves the chute the full 200 degrees. The remote deflector accurately discharges snow up to 50 ft. (the third reason!)
Minor features I like:
– The handles are bolted together. Most of us NEVER drop the handles to store the unit or for transport so using two strong, locking bolts makes sense to me.
– The handles are strong and the tubing is a little larger than most.
– When you look at the snow blower from the back the design is clean and well thought out. The wiring is inside a harness, no separate wires drooping around. The control linkages, cables and rods are all neatly designed to sty out of your way.
Other features you are used to.
Dual-handle interlock system conveniently free’s one hand to allow chute and speed adjustments while maintaining operator safety
120-volt electric push-button start provides a quick and easy start
Large, in-dash halogen headlight helps provide extended snow removal time and added safety
Heavy-duty, reversible skid shoes adjust the height of blower housing to help clear uneven surfaces
Rust-resistant exterior helps ensure long-term use
Includes a 3 year limited consumer warranty
Ariens Non-Abrasive Skid Shoes 72600300
Snow Removal. Shear Pin Kit for Ariens Deluxe Platinum and Professional Series Sno Thro 3 Pack Bolt and Nut
Ariens Snow Removal. 125-Volt Electric Start Power Cord
Ariens Snow Tire Chains for Deluxe and Platinum models 72101600
Ariens Snow Blower. Sno-Thro Deluxe Drift Cutters for Snow Throwers
Ariens Snow Removal. 30 in. x 36 in. Heavy Duty Floor Protective Mat
While the Auto-Turn is new, the Deluxe 28 snow blower has been around for a while. It is a proven, high capacity snow blower. Less than 1 % of the reviews are negative. Of the 280 reviews only 3 are from mechanical problems and those seem to be bad assembly from the factory. The other negative reviews are from maneuverability and those have been addressed with the new Auto-Turn Steering. It’s well made and owners like it! Ariens AX engine, headlight and metal chute with remote controls give it the features many of you demand. These features plus the standard features you find on a Ariens make it one of the best snow blowers. The Ariens 28 Deluxe may just be the new standard in large, homeowner snow blowers.
Where To Get One
Where to Buy: You can purchase your new Deluxe 28 online through The Home Depot below or if you want to buy from a local dealer here is the link to the Ariens Dealer Locator. Find Your Local Ariens Dealer Here
(I get a small commission when you purchase through HD)
The Home Depot is the best place online to get your new Ariens. At most Home Depots, Ariens offers free white glove delivery service. The Ariens Sno-Thro will be shipped to your local Ariens authorized servicing dealer, who will complete 100% assembly of unit and inspect it prior to home delivery. The multi-point inspection includes, operators manual confirmation, set tire pressure, check fluid levels, and file warranty registration information. If an Ariens authorized dealer is not in your shipping area, the Sno-Thro will ship mostly assembled, directly to you via regular truck delivery, simple set-up instructions will be included with unit. To confirm White Glove Delivery availability prior to purchasing, call 888-927-4367 option #2
Be Careful! This snow blower is also sold through online-only retailers! MAKE SURE YOU ARE GETTING A Model 921030 with Auto-Turn not the older 921022 with the lever controlled remote wheel lock steering! Their price may be $50 less than Home Depot, but make sure they have a good reputation of taking care of you after the sale. You may find other “factory-direct discount” stores and websites trying to sell it, but make sure they can and will get you service if you ever need it.
Value: At $999 it is a good value.
Service & Parts Availability: Service and parts are readily available through Ariens authorized repair centers. Home Depot is easy to work with if you have a problem.
Not the Snow Blower For You?
Here are some other choices
Different Brand: http://movingsnow.com/2013/craftsman-88395-30%E2%80%B3-277-cc-two-stage-snow-blower-2013-model-review-at-sears/
Better: This is the best for this size!
Cheaper: This is the best price for this size!