If you want a great allrounder that can tackle heavy snow, but is convenient enough for smaller falls and ice, the Husqvarna ST 430T snow blower is the one for you. It has nice extras like heated handles and LED headlights that make it a pleasure to use, even if the weather is a little frightful.
Large clearing capacity
Slow with no speed adjustment
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Part of surviving Midwestern snowstorms is digging your way out, so I was stoked to hear I’d have the chance to test the impressive Husqvarna ST 430T snow blower in the recent snow blizzards.
If you grew up here, you know there are techniques to shoveling and snowblowing, and you learn them at a young age. It’s practically a winter pastime in the Snowbelt, and most households have an assortment of snow removal tools, including one of the best snow blowers, at their disposal. If you leave the snow too long, you might as well get an ice pick. If you go out too soon, odds are once won’t be enough. Turn the snow thrower chute the wrong way? Get ready to eat snow.
With years of snow removal under my belt, I couldn't wait to get my hands on the Husqvarna ST 430T snow blower (opens in new tab) and put it through its paces. I’m a fairly small individual, so when this beast arrived on a giant pallet, I have to admit I was intimidated. To my surprise, getting it off the pallet was the hardest part! (And truthfully, not even that hard.)
Wondering how it stood up to the recent snow blizzard? I’ll give you a hint: it did not disappoint.
Husqvarna ST 430T snow blower: key product specifications
- Working width: 30 inches
- Fuel tank volume: 1.32 gallons
- HP: 12.5 horsepower
- Transmission: hydrostatic
- Dimensions (inches): 62L x 31W x 48.25H
- Weight: 373 pounds
- Start: electric
First impressions of the Husqvarna ST 430T snow blower
There wasn’t much unboxing to do, because the Husqvarna ST 430T snow blower arrived on a wooden pallet. This was a welcome bonus, because (speaking from experience here) assembling a snow blower from scratch is no easy task.
First things first, I read the manual from start to finish. I learned my lesson early on that this step is non-negotiable.
Before hitting the pavement, this model requires both oil and fuel (good-quality unleaded is recommended). Outside of a quick run to the local gas station, this part was quick and easy.
Just a note: using fresh gas is very important! Stale gas can prevent the snow blower from starting, or even damage the machine.
What's it like to use the Husqvarna ST 430T snow blower?
One the snow blower was gassed up, I was ready to roll. The Husqvarna ST 430T model has three settings: boost, fast and slow. Boost and fast are meant for heavy or wet snow, which this was. I decided on fast, because the snow was still fresh and not too compact.
Before turning on, I made sure the key was in the ignition, and the fuel switch was set to on. Since it was my first time using the machine, I primed it twice. Priming more than three times can cause the engine to flood, so it’s important to be conservative here.
Next, I put the throttle in the fast position, before turning the on/off switch to start. Once the engine starts, you can release the key. The manual suggested letting the engine run for a few minutes before starting to throw snow, so I waited five minutes.
Of course I wanted to try out the heated handles, i.e. my favorite feature. At the touch of a button, they started to warm up, producing enough heat to be felt through my gloves.
Maneuvering the snow blower wasn't nearly as difficult as I was anticipating. It felt very much like a lawn mower, but not quite as fast.
If you’re new to snow removal, it's worth learning how to use a snow blower properly to make sure you can get the most from your new machine.
Benefits of a two-stage blower
Single stage blowers are great for mild to moderate snowfall, but are only recommended only for paved surfaces.
The Husqvarna ST 430T, however, is a two-stage blower with an impressive clearing capacity and premium features. Designed for heavy snowfall and/or commercial operations, tackling large common areas and inconsistent terrain is no problem.
Two-stage blowers have a metal auger and snow is discharged by an impeller fan, which throws it farther. It can also be used on gravel driveways as well as pavement, and the auger does not touch the ground. Two-stage throwers also clear a wider path than a single-stage snow blower, typically up to 30 inches.
Notice in the image below, the metal auger. This is a great tool for breaking up icy snow – something single stage snow throwers can’t do. A single-stage machine is a broom in comparison, sweeping snow out of the way versus cutting through it.
January proved to be a bitter cold month, raking in between 3-8 inches on two separate occasions. Unfortunately for drivers, there was a layer of sleet underneath, making the snow a heavy, wet mess. Six inches was borderline difficult for my Troy-Bilt Squal 179E snow blower to push through, but a cake walk for the Husqvarna.
Fairly unsurprising, however, because single stage snow throwers are recommended for snow of six inches and less, and definitely not for ice. The ST 430T had no trouble crushing the layer of sleet, thanks to the steel auger, and wasn’t phased by the deepest of the snow.
Living in a textbook suburban neighborhood with an asphalt driveway (measuring in at 20ft W x 25ft L), both the single-stage rubber auger and two-stage steel auger worked well for my needs. The Husqvarna took no more than 15 minutes to clear both the driveway and sidewalk, while the Troy-Bilt Squal 179E took roughly double that, struggling to move forward in areas.
Key features of the Husqvarna ST 430T snow blower
- Key electric start The last thing I want to do in the bitter cold is yank on a pull start – especially with gloves on. Thankfully, the Husqvarna ST 430T snow blower comes through yet again with the most sought-after feature (in my book, at least): an easy electric start. Seriously simple, you turn a key and you’re on your way to clear paths.
- Heated handles If you’ve ever been car shopping, you’ll resonate. Right here is the difference between an economy car and a luxury car. Heated handles take this bad boy from basic to extra, and it’s worth every dime. Sure, gloves are great…but have you ever experienced heated hand grips? A shovel will no longer feature on your list of snow removal must haves once you have!
- Remote chute rotator The chute can be adjusted with minimal effort using the rotator. Changing the direction of the chute is important when you’re snow throwing in windy conditions. The last thing you want is your cleared garden paths to be covered in picked up snow.
- LED headlight In the middle of a snowstorm, don’t underestimate the value of headlights. Snowflakes flying at your face can really decrease visibility, and the LED lights help a ton. Extra lighting to your path is especially helpful when clearing in the early morning or evening hours.
- Heavy-duty auger The strong auger rips through ice and wet snow, which is invaluable in heavy snowstorms.
- 30in working width Many snow throwers have a clearing capacity of half of this Husqvarna. That’s double the passes, meaning extra time. When you’re working in frigid conditions, speed is the name of the game. Weighing in at a whopping 373 pounds, the Husqvarna ST 430T is shockingly easy to maneuver and push – even with a 30in working width.
- Adjustable bucket height The user can adjust the space between the auger housing and ground at the touch of a lever. This feature is awesome when you change surfaces (i.e. gravel vs. pavement).
- Clearing stick In the chance you experience any build-up in the chute, the heavy duty clearing stick (appropriately placed above the auger housing) can clear it right up.
How does the Husqvarna ST 430T compare to other snow blowers?
There are two primary categories of snow blowers: residential and commercial. The ST 430T is a commercial model, meaning it is more powerful (and for good reason). Commercial models are designed to clear larger, heavier amounts of snow, and across varying types of ground.
Many other two-stage models don’t come close with clearing width, which is a keen advantage of this Husqvarna. The ST 430T clears a path of 30” in one sweep, while the majority of two-stage competition falls between 24”-26”. Husqvarna does offer additional options when it comes to commercial blowers though, and I’d bet they are just as strong and mighty as the 430T!
The Husqvarna ST 424 snow blower (opens in new tab) has heated handles and an LED headlight, and is a runner-up to the ST 430T. The only major difference is the clearing width, which is 24” vs. 30”. The Husqvarna ST 427 snow blower (opens in new tab) boasts the added luxuries like heated handles and ample lighting, with a working width of 27” vs. 30”. As you can see – all three Husqvarna commercial models are fairly similar, less their clearing width. Definitely something to take into consideration as you pick the best model for your environment.
When it comes to actual physical labor, I found this model much easier to maneuver than every other snow thrower I tested. For reference, I’ve since tried the Troy-Bilt Squal 179E, Ariens Classic Two Stage, and my neighbor’s Craftsman. Considering the hefty weight of this tool, I’d consider that wildly impressive.
When the second snow storm rolled around, I had the pleasure of giving the single-stage Troy-Bilt Squall 179E a go. Even though both models did their job, the Husqvarna was undoubtedly sturdier and steadier. The Troy-Bilt struggled on the sidewalks (approx 4 inches of snow), while the Husqvarna plowed right through it. I also noticed it took four passes to clear snow using the Troy-Bilt, vs. 1-2 with the Husqvarna.
Is the Husqvarna ST 430T snow thrower worth the money?
The burning question – is it really worth nearly $3,000? Well, it depends. While I would recommend this to anyone and everyone with an oversized area to clear, I admit it’s a tad overkill for an average-size driveway like my own.
If you’re on the market for a heavy-duty snow blower that can attack heavy snowfall and ice – you’ve met your match. The Husqvarna ST 430T snow thrower is super easy to maneuver and features premium features I found nowhere else. I loved this model because it was easy enough for a newbie residential user, but is also tough enough for commercial jobs. It truly is a jack of all trades snow blower.
If, however, you’re willing to ditch the luxuries to save a buck, there are plenty of options available. Leaving behind headlights and heated handles can cut back nearly $1k off the price tag, and for many a thicker pair of gloves will do just fine. Even reducing the clearing width by 3”-6” shaves off up to $750.
There are also a few super economically friendly choices – like Snow Joe – which get the job done, but with slightly more effort. The lower power models are tougher to control and steer, get easily clogged with snow, and can’t clear nearly as well as the heavy-duty options like Husqvarna ST 430T.
The way I see it, a snow blower is an investment. Like a fridge or oven, you hope to have them for a long period of time. If you live in an area that gets pounded with snow, my opinion is to pay for comfort and convenience. If you have a single-car driveway? Save your cash and opt for a more reasonably priced option.
With all that being said, if you’re considering the Husqvarna ST 430T two-stage snowblower (opens in new tab), I assure you it’s a great machine that delivers great results. Effortlessly driving through untouched sidewalks, I would buy this snow blower over and over again – and I’m sure my neighbors would say the same!
The 30” clearing ability is no joke, I physically measured it with a measuring tape. Perfect for large driveways and gravel surfaces, this model is, without doubt, a contender for the best snow blower of 2022. You can send me a thank you note later with your toasty warm hands, courtesy of the temperature controlled handlebars!
Midwestern freelancer Courtney Irwin is a working mom of three who loves nothing more than a good deal. She has spent years curating home renovation content, and is excited to join the Gardeningetc Reviewers team and try out all of the latest and greatest outdoor tools and gadgets.
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