Rated 4.5 out of 5 by 36
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by FreezeGopher Nice Machine With A Few Minor Shortcomings
I bought this machine to replace “the Beast,” a 15 y.o. Craftsman single-stage, two-stroker which, despite a cracked motor, a sheared-off muffler, and many other parts missing or inoperable, still started and threw snow. But, Chicago is having a bruising winter, so why tempt fate? I bought the Ariens because of their reputation, the fact that is is mostly American made and they offered a larger engine (208cc). I have used it 3 times on snows ranging from 2 to 9 inches. Overall, I am happy with the choice but have a few nits to pick.
Delivery and Assembly: The machine was delivered on-time and in good shape. Assembly was straightforward (about 20 minutes) and all the parts and hardware were there. The only nit here is that the “tools required” list states you need a 7/16 and a 3/8” wrench or ratchet. Nothing in the assembly of my machine required a 7/16” wrench. No problem but it makes you wonder if you missed something.
Quality Control: The motor, housing and auger mechanisms appear to be top-notch. But, my machine has a small crack in the gas cap. This won't prevent it from functioning but, c'mon. Also, the fuel shut-off valve on my machine will only turn about a ¼ turn and that's with great difficulty. I am afraid to apply any more torque for fear of breaking the plastic knob.
Design: Nice overall design. The unit has only a partial plastic cowling which allows for easy access to the motor. Gas, oil, spark-plug, primer bulb and starter (electric and pull) are all where you think they should be. My unit has a remote chute controller which is thoughtfully placed on the right-side handle and works well. The machine is designed with a metal engine guard at the rear which sticks out about 7 inches. This is a double-edged sword. The guard does protect the engine (somewhat) and is handy if you are lifting the machine off the back of a truck. When tipped backward the machine rests on this guard at about a 45 degree angle—convenient for oil changes and working on the auger. But, be aware, this guard jutting out the back makes it nearly impossible to get this machine up or down stairs. Bad news for those who keep their snow blowers in a basement in real cold weather and may be a downright deal-breaker for those with raised patio decks.
Performance: The Path Pro has started easily on the times I've used it. The electric start works fine or else 1-2 pulls on the cord. Of course it has been a relatively balmy 20 degrees in Chicago this week. The real test will come at 10 below. Too bad I can't keep it in the basement on those cold nights (see above). The one weird thing about starting this machine is that even an already warmed-up motor needs a full choke to start. As for snow removal the Ariens had no problem with snow up to about 9 inches. The pull-along effect of the auger diminishes as the snow heightens. I had no problems with clogging. Ariens claims a snow throw of “up to 35 feet” – maybe, with the chute straight ahead and a strong tail wind. Practically, however, expect something in the range of 8 to 12 feet. The Path Pro is happiest on smooth level concrete. If you pick up a chuck of ice or roll over a crack in the sidewalk you will know it immediately as the machine will lurch more violently than one would expect. Otherwise, it is easy to handle and maneuver even in tight spaces. The Ariens does a pretty good job of “getting down to the pavement” revealing about 50% to 60% of pavement after a single pass. A second pass is necessary to get all the way down.
Although there are some minor problems, the good far outweigh the bad. I am happy with the Path Pro and would recommend it. I think it is a worthy successor to “the Beast.”
February 18, 2014
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Michael Packs a punch
I have a two car driveway of paver stones. I have used it in wet sloppy snow and fluffy snow about 9 inches deep. While it didn't throw the wet snow very far, I was able to clear my driveway easily. The fluffy stuff was thrown very well and it never bogged in anything. It even carved through the wall of snow from the plow.
Super impressed with how powerful it is and how easy it is to store. I have a one car garage and can squeeze it around my jeep and when it's not snowing I have a ceiling lift that can pull 250lbs.
Highly recommend this single stage for everything Long Island has had thrown at it this winter.
March 4, 2015
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Jay Outstanding performance
We have had unending snow storms this year (2015) here in PA. My new Ariens 938031 SS21 has exceeded my expectations of a single stage snow thrower. The 208CC engine provides enough power to handle various depths of snow and even performs well in wet snow. Far better than my previous small engine yard machine. It's a joy not having to use an oil-gas mix. Easily stored. I use the thrower to clean not only my small driveway and parking spaces but also the driveways and parking spaces of my two neighbors. Would highly recommend this thrower.
March 6, 2015
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Tom Very Solid
Has no issues starting and does well in deeper and heavier snow as well.
Only issue I had was when my belt broke due to going over a belt buried under a neighbors snow the spring broke as well.
The belt is very easy to swap. The problem is the spring is hard to find in stock at local dealers. I am going to buy a couple of springs and belts to have on hand.
The nice thing about these machines is they do not require special tools and the motor and gas tank are well covered.
My parents electric start had a short in no time. I would stick with the manual start.
The performance is really good.
February 7, 2015
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by PolarBear Easy to start snowblower
Easy to assemble out of the box, even in 10°F weather. I like the size and power of the Ariens. This blower replaced my 2 stage 7 horse blower and it is exceding my expectations. I bought the electric start model but it is so easy to start that I have not used that feature yet. My wife also likes this snowblower... its the reason I bought a single stage so that she can clear the driveway if I am not around. I recommend getting the remote shoot control, it is great for keeping the snow and rocks away from the house (or your neighbors)! Very happy with my purchase
February 4, 2014
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by CTThenewAlaska2014 Ariens Path Pro - Common-Sense Get The Job Done Machine!
Arrived complete, no missing parts, easy assembly.
Ate up to 8" of fluff and 4" of heavy wet stuff no problem.
The second day of use - during the second week of February when we were getting snow every other day, the handle for the pull-start slipped off the knot, and the cord wound up inside the recoil. Seems like the basic things fail, but when it comes to what it was designed for, this machine is headache free.
Machine is now at an authorized local dealer for (hopefully) warranty svc. on the pull-cord start mechanism.
March 11, 2014
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Chris So far, so good
This is my first season with the new Pro Path. It hasn't been a bad winter but with the 4-5 times I've used it, its worked beautifully. I can't comment on durability just yet but Ariens is a well trusted brand. It just sliced through the 10 inches of snow we received yesterday in the east. It is fairly simple to start and has always started for me on the first pull. I know someone else with the electric start and he doesn't think its worth the extra $. However, f you have trouble pulling an engine cord, that would be recommended. It swipes fairly clean in my opinion. We live adjacent to a main road so they always plow nasty snow into our driveway. Wet and icy snow is not an issue for this machine. Set-up was easy and the Ariens brand is easily the most aesthetically pleasing with the Orange & Black. Save yourself the time researching because I already did. Buy this!
March 6, 2015
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Don Moves deep snow quickly !
I am looking at over 14 ins. of snow right now... Two weeks ago we had the same... I expect this snow blower to move the snow quickly and doing a good job... It does as good as larger 2 stage snow blowers... I had 2 of them in the snow belt in Indiana... I was ready to move the usual 4 -6 inches we get at the most.... I was so surprised to see the heavy snow we have received, but no problem with this snow blower doing its job....
March 5, 2015