As part of the Ariens Deluxe Series, this 24-inch model (ST24LE) provides a great mixture of power and versatility. Coming in at around $1000, its one of the best values among gas-powered two-stage snow blowers. Excellent choice for your typical suburban 2-car driveway.
254cc AX Engine
The Ariens ST24LE Deluxe sports a powerful 254cc Ariens AX 4-cycle engine. An impressive 12.5 ft/lb of torque helps chew up snow of all types. This is a considerable upgrade over the 223cc engine found in their compact 24-inch model. It’s worth the extra $100 in my opinion. As a 4-cycle, this does not require mixing gas and oil like the old days. Note that the engine runs a bit on the loud side.
Ariens small engines are made overseas by LCT (Liquid Combustion Technology). LCT makes high quality motors that will hold up for a long time. This is the exact same engine you can find in the Husqvarna ST227P.
Impressive 14-inch Steel Serrated Auger
The 24″ Deluxe goes big with both their impeller and auger. Made of steel, the 14-inch auger is serrated and can chop through compacted snow, car ruts, and ice fairly well. The oversized impeller provides added oomph and gives it a plowing capacity of 2060 lbs/min. The gear case is made of heavy-duty cast iron with steel alloy gears.
Ariens still uses shear pins as a safety mechanism. It would be nice to have an automatic shut-off function like in the Toro Power Max 826 OXE. Reports of them breaking are rare but I’d keep a few replacement shear pins on hand just in case.
24-inch Wide Clearing and 21-inch Intake Height
For a 24-inch snow blower, the intake height is nearly as high as you can get. With light snow, you should be able to handle 16 inches at a time at a normal speed. 10-12 inches of the heavy wet stuff. The added power of the engine really helps this work on heavier lake effect snow. You should have no issues with the snow plow pile at the end of the driveway or higher snow drifts on windy days.
The Deluxe 24 has some impressive throwing power for its size. It comes awfully close to the 50 feet they claim. In fact, when testing this out, I had to make adjustments to avoid dumping the snow on my neighbors driveway. This is more than enough throwing power for 2 or even 3 car driveways. If you do require more clearance width, the Ariens Deluxe 28 is a fine choice.
A heavy duty all-steel build is impressive. This not only provides high performance, but is built to last. The housing can easily withstand the impact from rocks and gravel.
Self-Propelled with Auto-Turn
For easier handling, the Deluxe 24 has 6 forward and 2 reverse speeds. They’re similar to other brands and do a nice job of maintaining a steady pace. The top speeds can really move and you’ll likely only operate in the first few gears. This makes it incredibly easy for individuals of all ages and sizes to operate. Shifting gears is simple and can be done using your free hand.
The Auto-Turn steering feature allows for tight turns with little effort. When the snow blower sense a change of direction, it will automatically lock the interior wheel and allow you to guide the machine around. If you’ve seen negative reviews regarding this feature, its because there were issues with drifting right or left when it first came out. Ariens did fix this problem with their 2017 model and it now works great. This auto-turn feature is exactly the same as automatic steering on Toro models.
Chute Rotates Like Butter
Ariens uses a steel discharge chute that requires separate controls. On the right side of the dash is a gear shift of sorts that will change the angle. This is for determining the distance you’d like the snow to go. It works well although the top gear (lowest angle) can require some effort to cinch into place.
The chute rotates using a crank in front of the dash and has a 200 degree turning radius. The crank turns incredibly smooth and I love the fact that you don’t need to turn it a bunch to get from one side to the other. My only gripe here is that you have to reach over with your right hand to operate it. Putting this toward the middle or right side would make it easier to operate on the fly.
There was minimal clogging with the chute in operation. And that was without a non-stick spray applied. A shovel is included that is attached to the top of the auger housing.
16-inch Snow Tread Tires
16-inch directional snow tread tires offer some nice traction on ice. There is no slippage on turns either. Despite being on the heavy side, this is an ideal snowblower for steep driveways.
Reversible steel skid shoes come equipped on the Ariens Deluxe 24. They can be easily adjusted to handle what surface you choose to operate on (gravel, pavement, deck, etc). If you have an asphalt or concrete driveway, I’d consider swapping these out for some polyurethane skid shoes (Model #72600300 fits). Provides a smoother ride and won’t scuff up the surface.
Headlight and Electric Start
The Deluxe 24 comes with some standard features you find in most two-stage snow blowers in this class. An electric start option acts as a backup to the recoil start in cold weather. Just attach an outdoor extension cord to the back. An in-dash Halogen headlight provides a decent stream of light, although I would have preferred it be LED.
While this unit doesn’t come equipped with heated handles, you can add them for around $80. Ariens sells a heated hand grip kit that fits their Compact and Deluxe models. The switch is controlled on the dash. I can’t comment on how well it works since I haven’t used them before.
Ariens offers a 3-year warranty on their Deluxe line. Repairs must be made at an authorized Ariens service center. Check to make sure there is one in your area.
This is just an all-around great snowblower. Quality build, great performance, and a steal at around $1000. This should handle winters for anyone outside the snowbelt who get less than 80 inches a year. And to be honest, it can probably handle much of what the snowbelt throws at it if you’re on a budget.
When it comes to the average suburban households needs, I’m torn between this model and the Toro Power Max 826 OXE. The Toro gets the slight edge because I feel it handles better being 50 pounds lighter. Plus I like their chute controls a little better. But this Ariens model is a great gas snowblower that can be found for a little less than the Toro. You can’t go wrong with either one and I’d look for whichever is on sale.
Model: 921045 (Operator’s Manual)
Stage Type: Two-Stage Gas
Engine: 254cc 4-Cycle OHV
Fuel Capacity: 0.369 gallons
Plowing Capacity: 2060 lbs/min
Clearing Width: 24 inch
Intake Height: 21 inch
Throw Distance: 50 feet
Tires: 16 inch (5 inch width)
Weight: 245.5 pounds
Recommended Oil: SAE 5W30
Warranty: 3-year limited
Starting Method: Recoil and Electric
Speed/s: 6 Forward and 2 Reverse
Power Steering: Yes
Chute adjustment: Remote (Shift and Crank)
Headlight: Yes (1 Halogen)
Heated handlebars: No (can purchase separately)