Winter is a season of two faces: the first is the picture-postcard one of great beauty, with glorious snow-scapes and Christmas scenes, warm and happy families in front of a glorious fire, enjoying the peace and quiet of an evening. Or, perhaps, a walk in the snow with the children, enjoying the delights of the winter weather, together and happy as one. Then there’s the other side of the coin: the cold, freezing winds, the horrific traffic hold-ups that a few inches of snow brings, the need to venture out in the morning after a night-time fall and clear the way. After all, life doesn’t stop for snow; we still have to go to work and earn a living.
That’s the real downside of the beautiful winter months – the weather itself! We can’t help it, of course, but what we can do is prepare for it, and be ready for it well in advance. A good store of logs for the fire – or a full service on the heating system – plus a wardrobe of sensible, warming clothes, and the readiness to tackle all that the winter can throw at us are a start, but that still leaves the deep snow that covers your drive and stops you getting the car out in the morning.
The municipal snowplough may have cleared the roads, but not your driveway and path. That’s your responsibility, and each one of us knows the chore of digging a route out on a cold, dark and miserable morning. It’s hard work, it’s a chore, and it’s not something you want to do when you get up to go to work, so what is the answer? A snow blower is the tool you need, and that’s what we are going to talk about today.
Snow blowers have become a common sight across the USA as we tend to see more and more severe winters, and they are affordable and surprisingly easy to use – let alone affordable – items that will make a great deal of difference to your daily routine. Here, we take a look at what a snow blower can do for you in general and and provide our Cub Cadet reviews on one particular model – the 2X Cub Cadet 524 SWE – that we reckon should be on your shortlist if you want to buy a snow blower. So, let’s have a look at what it’s all about.
Why You Need a Snow Blower
Do you need a snow blower? If you live somewhere that is susceptible to heavy – or even moderate – snowfalls, then yes, you could benefit from a snow blower. How much easier would it be to roll one out of your garage in the morning, and have everything cleared and accessible in minutes, rather than having to dig your way out of the snow?
It makes a lot of sense and, when you consider the cost of these machines, the time you save clearing your snowfall will soon translate into money saved in late arrivals at work and more. There are many snow blowers on the market (there are many available from Cub Cadet), so let’s have a look at the Cub Cadet snow blowers, in particular the Cub Cadet 524 SWE, and the reasons why it is one that you should consider if this is your chosen move forward.
Introducing the Cub Cadet 524 SWE
So, why is the Cub Cadet 524 SWE one of the snow blowers that we would put on our shortlist? Quite simply, it is a compact and powerful machine, one with proven attributes (as with most Cub Cadet snow blowers), that is reliable and that comes from a known manufacturer, and it does the job it is intended for with very impressive results. It’s made by MTD, who are one of the most prolific and regarded manufacturers of these machines, and as such comes with very strong credentials.
What we particularly like about this model is that it has been designed to be very simple to use for anyone, so is perfect for family homes, and it comes with various adjustments that make it comfortable and efficient on those cold and arduous mornings. To give you a better idea of what it’s all about, let’s have a look at some of the main features of the CubCadet 2X 524 SWE, and why they make this a stand-out model among its many rivals.
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Features of the Cub Cadet 524 SWE
The 2X Cub Cadet 524 SWE is in many ways a typical snow blower of this type, class and budget, so is a good place to start if you want to get to know what one is all about. They are relatively simple machines – think of them in a way as a lawn mower, but for moving snow – and are usable by even the absolute beginner, so here’s some of the features of this model that you need to know about:
208cc 4-cycle engine – what you want from a snow blower is a machine that you can reel out of the garage in the morning, start up and get going, all in the space of a couple of minutes. You also want one that is powerful enough to drive the snow from your chosen area and throw it a safe distance, and the CubCadet 524 SWE gives you all of this.
The 208cc OHV engine is as powerful as you will ever need from one of these machines, and is a reliable and proven unit that is also used in a number of other models. It has two notable features that we consider important, and that are not always present on other such machines: firstly, it has electronic starting – essential for fast work on those cold mornings when you simply want to get on and start shifting snow – and secondly, it has a throttle control. The latter is important as it allows you to idle the engine, which you cannot do with many other snow blowers.
Other important aspects of the engine include a choke for getting the best performance in all temperatures, and we cannot stress the reliability and performance of this known and highly-regarded engine, so you get the best of all worlds when you choose the two stage Cub Cadet 524 SWE snow blower.
Posi-Steer – this is the Cub Cadet 524 SWE power steering feature, and it really does make your life a lot easier! Many snow blowers of this type have solid axles, but this one has a fully steered system that means you can easily guide it where you want it to be, and it is all done with a simple and very easy to use trigger system, located under the handle. We reckon this to be one of the major selling points of the Cub Cadet 524 SWE, as it gives it that extra flexibility that you may not get with many other devices of this type.
Gearing – the Cub Cadet 524 SWE comes with no fewer than six forward gears – perfect for setting your own pace when clearing the snow, no matter the depth – and also two reverse gears, which makes it much easier to move around the area you require. This is not just a bonus but a major positive in our eyes, as you can match the speed of the blower to the pace you want to be moving at.
Chute rotation – this is an essential feature of any snow blower, as it ensures the efficient operation of the machine at all times, and no matter how deep or heavy the snow may be. The one on the Cub Cadet 524 SWE is very versatile and easy to use, and makes life much easier in especially deep snow, plus it is operated by controls that are always within easy reach of the user, so is not difficult to get to grips with. The cleverly-designed hanging chute system is one of the best on the market, and is also one of the easiest to use.
24-inch – this may be the norm for snow blowers of this ilk, but the fact it gives you 24-inch clearance is stull worthy of highlighting. This is a good area to clear in one go and is perfect for driveways and paths, plus can also be used on the road outside your home to great effect. The 15”x5” tyres are also specially made for snow blowers, and are designed to be used on all surfaces so you will have no trouble clearing your lawn should you need to.
Skid shoes – the unique to the Cub Cadet range Cool Blue skid shoes are the very best on the market, and are designed for long life and ease of use. They are fully reversible for added versatility, and are not only rust-resistant but will not mark your driveway or patio, and allow for easy movement and truly effortless operation whatever the conditions.
Headlights – there’s nothing worse than getting up on a cold, dark morning and knowing that you need to clear the snow away – other than doing so and knowing that you have to do it in the dark! The Cub Cadet 524 SWE has fitted headlights in the fairing so you can see where you are going at all times, and they are very effective and a welcome bonus. Being able to use this machine day or night means you get better performance every time.
That’s a few of the many fine features that you get when you buy the Cub Cadet 524 SWE, and there are many more, but the above are the points that you will be considering when you compare this model to others that are similar in class and budget. Bear in mind that all snow blowers need maintenance, but the Cub Cadet 524 SWE is designed to keep things to a bare minimum.
You will find that the basic maintenance routine – as described and advised by the maker – takes you no more than a couple of hours each year (it’s basically checking and tightening everything before first use) and can be done with your basic hand tools, so you have no worries there if you are even barely competent at DIY.
So, is the Cub Cadet 524 SWE the one for you? We think it certainly warrants a place on your shortlist and, in addition to the above features, here’s why.
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As we have seen, the Cub Cadet 524 SWE is a well-designed and easy to use machine that comes with many excellent feature and attributes, but is it the right model for your requirements? A couple of considerations you need to make are the following:
Budget – cost is always part of the equation, and if you are looking for a well-priced machine that is cost-effective and does the job, we can’t see any reason why the Cub Cadet 524 SWE would not feature on your shortlist. At less than $900 it is undoubtedly good value when compared to the competition, and as it comes with excellent after-sales service from one of the best makers in the business, you can rest assure you will get your money’s worth with this model.
Warranty – the Cub Cadet 2X is made by MTD, one of the biggest names in the business, and as such you can expect excellent after-sales service. Domestic users get a full 3-year warranty with the machine, which covers all aspects, so you are getting added peace of mind when you choose this model over others.
The Cub Cadet 524 SWE comes with excellent customer reviews from those who have bought them, and if you follow the makers assembly instructions correctly – it is very simple to put together and takes no time at all – you will have a usable and efficient machine for the years to come.
There is plenty of sense in buying a snow blower for your home, as it is compact enough to tuck away in the garage when not in use, but simple enough to fire up and get running next year when the cold and snowy weather comes around again. Check out our other reviews for more information on a variety of snow blowers, and we hope we can help you make the right choice for your requirements.