Sno Tek 20-Inch Snow Blower — Our 2021 Review
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Sno Tek 20-Inch Snow Blower: A Powerful Snow Removal Tool

    Sno Tek 20-Inch Snow Blower

A 20-inch Sno Tek snow blower made by Ariens.
    Built by Ariens, the Sno Tek Snow Blower is a powerful snow removal machine that you can depend on all winter long. If you need a powerful, but easy to use, machine to keep both smooth and uneven surfaces clear, this option is worth considering.

With the harsh cold that comes with winter settling upon us, it is the time of year to consider purchasing that snow blower you’ve been thinking about every time you are shoveling snow and risking throwing your back out. If you are reading this, it’s time to consider purchasing the best snow blower for you and your property.

In this article, we discuss an underdog among snow throwing machines; the Sno Tek snow blower, designed and manufactured by Ariens. These snow throwers are built tough by one of the oldest names in the business. But, don’t just take our word for it, read on and find out about Sno Tek blowers for yourself.

Breakdown of the Sno Tek Snow Blower (by Ariens)

SNO-Tek 24 in. 2-Stage Electric Start Gas Snow Blower in a white background.

Ariens, the maker of Sno Tek snow blowers, was born in a backyard garage in 1933 with its first-yard maintenance product, a rototiller. By 1945 it was a worldwide recognized brand due to their help with the WWII war effort, and by 1960 had introduced their first snow blower.

Today, their products are well-known for their dependability, and their model designs are widely available for consumer use. Ariens snow blowers in particular are considered some of the most powerful in the industry, and the Sno Tek Model, made specifically for easy consumer sales, is no exception.

It is significant to note that in 2011 and 2014 massive recalls occurred on several Ariens and Sno Tek snow blowers including the 920402, 920403, and 939401 models. However, to be fair, the manufacturer did honor their obligations by providing free repair parts to owners of recalled machines.  Today, only one Sno Tek machine is still available on the market, the 20-inch version.

Sno Tek Snow Blower
    A versatile two-stage snow blower option for clearing snow from multiple surface types.

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Features and Benefits of Sno Tek

Sno Tek Snow Blower on a white background.

Side view of Sno Tek Snow Blower Machine on a white background.

The following sections provide a detailed rundown of the Sno Tek Blower and all it entails. The general specifications of this product allow you to look over all that it has to offer a

nd decide whether or not it is a good choice for you.

Two-Stage Design

The Ariens Sno Tek model is a two-stage blower, meaning it runs two augers to help chew through heavy snow and ice and toss it up to 40 feet away. Two-stage designs are the most popular and varied snow blowers and are run by a gas engine to provide the energy needed to turn both augers effectively for some of the most efficient power available.

It also boasts a top-load aluminum gear case for rustproof peace of mind, and to help keep your machine easier to maneuver and maintain. The alloy steel gears found within are durable, long-lasting, and easy to maintain with the proper use of synthetic gear oil.

208cc Sno Tek Engine by Liquid Combustion Technology on a white background.

136cc Sno Tek Engine by Liquid Combustion Technology

The engine of this model is designed and manufactured by Liquid Combustion Technology specifically for outdoor equipment power. Air-cooled, it is designed to be reliably dependant for outdoor uses. Made especially for Ariens, this engine is a 4-cycle OHV model built to high-quality specifications to provide superior performance through the toughest of winter conditions. Dubbed the “SnowForce,” this 136cc engine has the power needed for consistent snow clearance jobs.

120 Volt Electric Start

To help save your arm, a 120 Volt electric start comes standard with this model. This provides a simple push start power to help get you to work quickly without having to worry about pulling a cord over and over. All that needs to be done is to plug your blower into a standard household electrical outlet when not in use to keep your push-start charged and ready to go.

Freeze Resistant 11-Inch, 3 Blade Impeller

The impeller of a blower is an important part of the overall function of the machine. It is the auger that works to lift the snow and throw it. This particular impeller is a full eleven inches in length with three blades to help lift the snow and ice to toss it through the chute.

As snow works through the machine it can often catch on bits of ice that may have frozen to the impeller due to snow melting when stored and refreezing. But this particular blade is considered freeze-resistant, meaning it allows snow and ice to slide off easily to keep the impeller free and clear from any sort of snow buildup and jamming.

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Serrated Steel Auger

The initial auger runs the length of the blower housing. This auger chops into snow and ice to help drive the machine forward and move snow through the machine to be taken up by the impeller. Steel is a tough and durable metal that doesn’t rust or wear easily, and the serrated edges work as teeth to help chew through packed snow and ice left behind by changes in the weather and plows.

Top view of Sno Tek Snow Blower,showing the gear controller of the machine.

8 Gear Speed Option w/ Interlocking Control Levers

With six forward gears and two for reverse, smooth transitions are driven by a Disc-O-Matic drive system to provide you with easy shifting and seamless positioning. A drive train allows you to keep a machine of this size moving even through deep, heavy snow with very little physical effort, and helps you back it up and turn it to where it needs to be.

The interlocking control levers let you steer it with one hand as well. This frees up a hand to adjust the chute, or change gears without having to pause in your work.

205-Degree 2.5x Quick Rotation Chute

The 205-degree 2.5x quick-turn chute can be adjusted to toss snow from three to 40 feet and can be moved to ensure you get the snow to where you need it. This also helps you avoid blowing snow where it is not wanted, or piled up all in one place. This chute is easy to control from the handles with a simple turn of a lever, allowing you to continue working without having to manually move the chute.

20-Inch Wide x 20-Inch High, All-Steel Housing

The 20-inch wide and 20-inch high housing is plenty large to handle high snow banks and clear both walkways and driveways with a minimum of passes. Capable of moving large amounts of snow at a time, this is a popular size for residential homeowners who need regular clearing of medium to heavy snowfalls from common parking and walking areas. It also is built to allow you easy clearance on gravel driveways to avoid picking up rocks or dirt as you work.

13-inch x 4-inch Polar Trac Tires

Polar Trac Tires of Sno Tek Snow Blower

The large, threaded Polar Trac tires are pneumatic in nature and easy to air up if needed. These have aggressive treads to help provide traction in slick conditions and to grip in the snow to help drive your machine forward. At 13 inches tall with a 4-inch wide wheel, you can be certain that you get through even the toughest of winter storms.

Reversible Skid Shoes

This Sno Tek machine also comes with reversible skid shoes for adjusting the height of the blower’s housing. That means you can easily blow now and clear paths even when working on uneven surfaces like hard earth and gravel. This one may seem like a small detail, but it could make all of the difference to you, especially if you have both smooth and rough surfaces to clean.

Warranty

The Sno Tek model comes with a full 2-year limited warranty with the registration of the product upon purchase. This ensures that the product is free from defects in material and workmanship. An authorized dealer can either repair or replace any parts that are found to be defective. Although some limitations do apply, most issues can be serviced unless obviously created through improper use. The engine does come with its own warranty as well and is serviced through the engine manufacturer.

In addition, if you happen to pick this purchase up at HomeDepot, you have the option of adding on an extra 3-year warranty from the retailer (for another $75.00).

What to Look for in the Best Sno Tek Machine

Man holding his Sno Tek Snow Blower driving it to clear snow on his yard.Now that we’ve discussed the standard features of the Sno Tek 20-inch Snow Blower above, let’s have a look at considerations you should make before purchasing a Sno Tek machine, especially if buying used or from a physical location, where additional models in 22-inch, 24-inch, and 28-inch sizes may still be available.

Engine Size

The size of a snow blower’s engine is a massive indicator of how powerful the machine is. More or less, the engine size is what determines how much torque the snow blower is capable of and of how much snow that it can handle sucking up and throwing. Single-stage have the smallest engines, typically around 100ccs or less. Two-stage machines usually come with motors somewhere around 125cc to 250cc. With three-stage units, though, all bets are off; they can range from the low 200ccs to over 350 or 400cc.

It is important to mention the only “brand new” Sno Tek you can buy today comes with a 136cc engine. If you want something smaller, or larger, you will have to take the risk of buying used or look at products from another brand.

Augers and Impellers

The type and size of augers and impellers that are built into a snow blower are another big determining factor regarding the amount of snow that it can process, and how efficiently. Serrated steel blades are preferred by many snow blower owners due to how much better they “shred” snow before tossing it, making the entire process smooth and allowing less chute-clogging to occur.

Intake Width

A snow blower’s intake width is one of the most significant factors to consider before purchasing the right machine for you. This measurement sets the amount of snow that the snow blower can scoop up in a single pass through an area. The most popular and widely available Sno Tek snow blowers come with 20-inch, 22-inch, 24-inch, and 28-inch intake widths.

Intake Height

Likewise, the height of the intake housing also goes a long way in determining how much snow can be cleared in a single pass. Single-stage blowers typically have an intake height of fewer than 12 inches, whereas two and three-stage units may have an intake height of well over 20-inches tall.

Chute Rotation

The number of degrees that a snow blower chute is able to rotate is another important factor you don’t want to overlook while shopping for the best model for you. Some chutes barely rotate 100-degree, while others rotate over 200-degrees. Sno Tek models generally have a 205-degree rotating ability.

The method of chute control snow blowers are equipped with is also crucial to consider. Many snow blower chutes are controlled strictly by hand, or manually. But, higher-end machines have remote control access via a joystick on the dash.

Extra Features

Depending on your property, and your physical fitness, you may want more or less extra features on your snow blower than the next person. Extra features on snow blowers range from remote controls and single or dual headlights built into the dash to heated handgrips, cabin add-ons, snowshoes, and more. Sno Tek units are somewhat basic compared to other major brands, but that is exactly what some people prefer.

Warranty Options

The best products come with solid warranty options. Whether you buy an additional warranty from the retailer or depend on the manufacturer’s default offer, be sure to get something that covers you in case you picked a dud. Some manufacturers even offer a money-back guarantee. If you buy the only remaining new Sno Tek snow blower, it will include a 2-year warranty.

What Consumers Are Saying

Overall, consumers are happy with the power of the machine and note that it can handle heavy and wet snow with ease. Even more, folks claim that it is an excellent value option for the price. It also does not seem to get clogged up and does come with customer service that is easy to contact. No complaints about a machine that won’t start are mentioned either, with easy to use levers and gears. As a machine built for residential use, its engine seems to put out plenty of power for its size. And speaking of size, this unit is easy enough to maneuver for people of just about any size.

Most of the complaints about this machine seem to cover defective parts and workmanship, which is covered by warranty and does not seem to be reflective of the use of the machine itself. One customer even commented how impressed they were with service when they damaged the blower with a rock, and in looking for the repair part, was able to have it done through the authorized dealer with no problems. If Ariens has proven to be reliable for one thing, it is in their dedication to customer service and making replacement parts readily available.

Our Sno Tek 20-Inch Snow Blower Verdict

If you are considering purchasing a snow blower this winter, the 20-Inch Sno Tek by Ariens could be a better pick than many of the more popular two-stage machine options out there if you have both smooth and uneven surfaces to clear of snow. Hopefully, our article helps you to make the most well-informed decision possible.

That said, if you are looking for a commercial-grade snow blower that is suitable for massive snow jobs, unfortunately, this is not the machine you should set your eyes on.

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