We live in the Midwest and snow is a fact of life. Our house is on a corner, actually part of three different streets, so we have more sidewalk to cover than anyone else in the neighborhood. In addition, we have a fairly wide driveway and three access points from the sidewalk to the road that we are responsible for. The street plows also don’t do us any favors as they routinely plow huge piles of snow in our driveway which makes getting to the road very difficult. The Craftman 5.5HP blower handles all of these problems.
This is a fairly large blower and is rather heavy. The wide blower makes cleaning our sidewalks very easy and I can do it in a fraction of the time it would take me to shovel. It has 6 different speeds as well as reverse. Personally I never go below speed four as it just moves too slowly at those speeds. It shoots the snow very well and even in wet snow I usually have no problems with any clogging. The blades are very powerful and I know from personal experience the can chew up a small floor rug or even an extension cord with no problem. The large drifts are not an issue for this blower and even the large chunks the snow plow puts in are driveway aren’t too much for this bad boy to handle. This is a lot of snow blower and I haven’t had any issues with the electric start at all.
This blower does have some downsides though. First is the weight. It is very heavy and my wife has a hard time running it. The weight is an issue when trying to turn sharply or pull it backwards. While it does have a reverse gear it is very slow and stopping to switch the lever to reverse, backing up, and then stopping again to switch it back into drive is a hassle. It also has two different levers for one to hold while operating the blower. The lever on the left handles keeps it in drive and the lever on the right runs the blades. These levers have a lot of tension and if you operate it for awhile your hands can get sore from holding these down. It is rather large in size as I mentioned and this doesn’t necessarily make storing it very convenient.
Overall this blower has saved me a lot of time and physical pain. It handles the snow removal that I just couldn’t get done if I had to shovel it all. It is a large blower and pretty powerful and probably not for anyone that just has a small driveway and a little bit of sidewalk to clear. However, here in the Midwest we get some snow and it is nice to be able to dig out quickly, especially when you never know when the city plow is going to block the driveway.