If you live in a snowy climate, you’re all too familiar with the irritations of winter weather. Waking up in the morning after a snowstorm can feel like walking into work on a Monday. Get the front door open, if you can. Clear the walk. Clear the driveway. Clean off your car. Hopefully your car will start. It’s a big bonus if your municipality is adept at clearing the streets, but not all of us are so lucky.
A snowblower can completely change the game. Until you’ve cleared your driveway simply by walking up and down it several times, you can’t know the intense satisfaction of a snowblown property. Purchasing a snowblower is a big decision, and you want to get the one that best fits your needs. These two are both standouts in the industry, and it would be difficult to go wrong in either direction. But we’ll try to get into the subtle differences that may sway your mind in one direction or another.
Engine and Snow-Clearing Power
Poulan Pro PR-241 & Husqvarna ST224
One thing we’ll have to get out of the way right at the beginning here is that Poulan is owned by Husqvarna, so these models are highly similar in build. It’s difficult to find the differences between them (although we’ll look at a couple), but the good news is that Poulan and its parents company Husqvarna have been at the top of their industry for many decades. Ask any Northern Vermonter what kind of chainsaw or snowblower to purchase, and they’ll confidently reply, “Get a Husky, bud!” Poulan uses the same technology.
Both models use a 208cc engine, which delivers torque just under 10. These are quality engines, designed and built by manufacturers that professionals trust. With clearing widths of 24 inches and powerful ribbon augers, these machines break snow up as they pull it in; then they blow it out of the top wherever you choose. Get the snow off the street, and put it where you want it.
Verdict: You can’t go wrong with either of these models: superior construction by brands known for durability and toughness. The only consideration you’ll have to make is whether you need a different size engine or different specifications. You won’t find that with either of these, but both brands make models with bigger and smaller engines, so check that out if it’s something you require.
Electric Start and Controls
Poulan Pro PR-241 & Husqvarna ST224
Another feature that these models share is an electric starter. They’re gas-powered, but as you probably know, gas power isn’t always friendly when the temperature is low. You’ll still have the option to start these machines manually, but if they’re giving you trouble, you can simply plug them in to an outlet and start them with the push of a button. The gas-power will take over from there.
As we’ve mentioned, since these companies are intimately related, the controls on these two machines are almost identical. You’ll be able to use levers to control the chute rotation and chute deflection, which basically means you can throw the snow exactly where you want it to go. Since these models are self-propelling, you’ll be able to adjust the drive speed, as well. Another convenient design feature is that if you suppress the auger and drive levers at the same time (located on the right and left handles respectively), the auger level will lock in until you release the drive lever, leaving your right hand free to adjust speed and chute direction.
Verdict: Again, both machines are built using almost identical control layouts. If you’re comparing these models with other snowblowers, you’ll definitely want to check on the electric starter if you live in a cold climate. A snowblower is a great investment, but if you can’t use it when the temperature drops, you might as well not have one.
The Differences: Tire Size and Color
Poulan Pro PR-241 Snowthrower
We’re getting into deep specifics here, but it’s important to take a look at the differences between these two machines. This model is equipped with 12-inch tires, which should be great for most areas where you’ll need to use it. It features a sleek black design with a gold auger and rims; a great looking machine, but necessarily terrific for visibility if you’re using it after hours.
Husqvarna ST224 Snow Blower
The Husky uses 15-inch tires, which is a pretty significant increase from its competitor. This would only really make a difference if you lived in particularly hazardous environments, but it is something to consider. The bright red paint job looks amazing, and if you’re an early riser or work third shift, it will make it a little easier for motorists to see you.
Verdict: These are very tiny details, but since these two models are so similar, this is the only way to distinguish between them. The tire size may make a difference for you, depending on where you live, but it’s not so drastic that it puts one ahead of the other. Visibility, on the other hand, is a big issue in the winter months, especially when your stopping distance skyrockets because of ice. This category goes to the Husqvarna, simply because it’s eye-catching paint job may prevent an unlikely, but frightening accident.
Poulan Pro PR-241 vs Husqvarna ST224: Conclusion
The biggest takeaway today is that both the Poulan Pro PR241 and Husqvarna ST224 are incredible machines. They’re also almost exactly the same. With superior construction, powerful engines, and convenient features like electric start, either of these could be at the top of your Christmas list (though hopefully you get one close to October). The only differences we could find are pretty superficial, but they make a difference to you depending on your circumstances.
If you’re clearing your driveway at 5:00 a.m. in early December on a dirt road, you want to be visible to cars that go by. That’s why the Husqvarna is our pick for the purposes of this article. If that’s not a concern for you, however, choose the one that looks best to you! The important part is that your winter mornings work will go from hours to minutes. And your back will thank you for it.