When buying a snowblower, you’re gambling on whether the machine will work, and making a pretty sizable investment that is supposed to cut down on the headaches and time spent outside shoveling snow.
The investment of a decent 30 inch snow blower starts in the 3 figure range and can easily jump into the $1,000’s, depending on your must-have features, and how well it handles what you’re asking it to do.
The Husqvarna ST230P is a 30” inch two stage snowblower that can handle snow loads up to 16 inches without breaking a sweat, it’s the big brother to the Husqvarna ST224P. If you live in an area that gets low to medium loads of snow or the occasional dusting, this snowblower is perfect for you and will perform at it’s best.
Main Features of the Husqvarna ST230P
Starting in the 4 figure range, the Husqvarna 30 inch snowblower comes with features you would expect to find in a 2 stage snowblower, like power steering and electric/pull start, but it also includes some extras such as heated handlebars and a surprisingly bright LED headlight system that actually works.
Let’s take a look at some of the most notable features of this machine.
Aside from a snowblower’s ability to handle various snow loads and types of snow, you’ll want to pay attention to the Auger housing. It’s reasonable to expect that the bigger the housing, the less passes you’ll have to make, which means you can get back inside sooner where it’s nice and warm.
The Auger & Chute Design of the Husqvarna ST230P
With a 30-inch wide auger housing, you’ll make fewer passes and the almost 2 ft auger housing chomps through snowbanks pretty quickly with the help of the serrated auger, turning that solid mess into a fine powder as it shoots out of the tall discharge chute. The discharge chute direction can be controlled through a series of levers, and you don’t even have to bend or reach over the control panel to do it, unlike some other machines, so there’s no crouching and having to stop the machine in order to adjust everything where you like it. Just adjust and go.
Speaking of the chute, we’ve noticed a trend of some snowblower manufacturers using plastic discharge chutes instead of metal chutes in an effort to cut costs. You probably won’t notice a difference between the two after a few uses, but after a few years worth of use, the plastic chutes tend to fall apart and are easily dinged up when working with icy chunks. The Husqvarna ST230P uses a metal chute so they may get dinged up a little from time to time, but they won’t quit you after going through some icy patches.
A Near 1L Gallon Gas Tank
It is has a gas engine with a .95 gallon tank, which means you’ll make more passes and spend less time on fill-ups and you won’t be limited by how far you can take it. Wherever you can go, this snowblower can go too. That means uphill or downhill but flat level ground is fine too.
The plastic adjustable skid shoes mean you can adjust them to handle all variety of terrains including blacktop or wood porches without marking or tearing up the surfaces, but this also means there may be a very thin layer of snow leftover since it doesn’t quite get that close to the ground. A lot of snowblowers use metal skid shoes which have a habit of leaving marks or destroying the ground surface over time, so this is a nice change. Replacement of these skid shoes can be tricky since they don’t match the usual measurements of most other skid shoes, so be sure you double check the measurements before ordering your replacements.
Husqvarna says that it will work for all snow types, but we noticed a lot of complaints came from people who tried to use this snowblower on heavy or wet sticky snow. You could try using a snow chute spray lube to keep things from sticking, but even this can be a hit or miss, so it’s something you’ll want to be aware of.
With the Husqvarna ST230P 30″ snow blower, you get an impressive list of features, let’s start out with the ones we liked.
Adjustable Height Handlebars
Adjusting handlebars or working with a snow machine where the handlebar is a one-size-fits-all can be tiring, especially if you share the “shoveling” chore with someone else other than yourself. Adjustable handlebars make it easier for everyone to use this snowblower and there are 4 positions that you can adjust these handles for, so if you’re a wife and husband team who take turns, you can adjust it for tall or short people.
Dual LED lights
Trying to shovel snow in the middle of the night without a light can be a tricky obstacle course to navigate, or being limited to working just within range of where your porch or garage lights can reach. With LED lights, you can see where you’re going without needing extra gear or relying on the garage/shop light to see where you’re going. The lights are positioned high up where the control panel is, but there are no weird shadows to worry about.
Electric start and Pull start
The electric start is easy to use and starts right up after the engine is primed according to the manual. However, the pull start can take a few tries to get it to start up, so your arm might get a bit of a workout but it’s there in case you need it.
You can toggle the hand warmers off or on with a toggle switch, but most consumers noticed no difference on whether it was on or off, so make sure you wear gloves or your hands will freeze.
Once you get accustomed to operating this snowblower, the power steering makes it easy to operate this machine with one hand if you need to. The 16” wheels have a nice “bite” and grip the ground well, so we don’t think you’ll need chains for extra slippery conditions, but you may want to keep some in your garage just in case.
30-inch Clearing Path
The wider the clearing path, the fewer passes you have to make up and down your driveway. The ST230P comes standard with a 30” clearing path that powers through most of anything in its way. Very rarely will this machine slow down or labor over the workload.
Clean and Organized Dashboard
Some snowblowers have cluttered dashboards that can make using them a confusing mess. Not this one.
The dashboard is clean and well organized. After giving the owner’s manual a once over, it would be easy to roll this beast out and use it after unboxing.
Snow Chute Direction and Deflector Controls
They’re easy to adjust through two different levers. The lever at the top of the dashboard controls the chute direction. Just slide and let the lever click into place.
The deflector is controlled by the left lever and operates in the same slide-and-click manner.
Squeeze Trigger Direction Controls
The squeeze trigger direction controls make it easy to turn. Just squeeze the trigger in the direction you want to go in and turn. Release the trigger after you’ve completed the turn.
Full Technical Specification
Pro’s of the Husqvarna ST 230P
This snowblower is easy to operate and fairly easy to get up and running with quickly. The owner’s manual is easy to understand and if you’ve ever operated a snowblower before, or can quickly skim read, you could expect to operate it with a quick once-over of the manual.
The instructions are composed of a series of pictures, so you don’t have to read an entire essay before using your snowblower for the first time.
Using and steering the Husqvarna ST 230P is easy to do with the power steering and the squeeze trigger controls. If you have a long or large driveway to cover, you’ll get it done quickly. Sidewalks could be done in a pass or two, but this machine would probably be overkill if you just needed to clear a porch and a sidewalk.
The LED lights illuminate the pathway well without requiring extra gear or relying on your garage/porch lights.
After some tinkering around with the discharge chutes, you can easily throw snow up to 20-30 feet easily.
What We Didn’t Like
There are no drift cutters, but despite that, the ST230P seems to power right through even the toughest of piles. It just might take a couple passes, but it will get it done.
Lastly, this snowblower is huge but surprisingly easy to maneuver.
But finding a dedicated storage space may be difficult and squeezing past your cars in the garage might make for an interesting obstacle course. If the snowblower won’t be sharing room in your garage with cars or you have a wide walking path, you’ll be fine.
Husqvarna says this snowblower should be able to tackle most terrains and depths of snow, but most of our research revealed that this machine is probably best if you get less than 12 inches of snow.
Price of the ST 230P
The price is average for what you would expect to pay for a two-stage snowblower. The addition of electric push start and heated handles are some of the extras that are not always found and this price point and certainly make this machine a solid contender for the space in your garage.