Last year in Chicago we got hammered with snow, it was insane. So this year I tried to be proactive and get a snow blower before the season started. Well we had absolutely no snow until February 1st when we got 19 inches. It turned out to be the third biggest snow storm Chicago has ever seen.
Luckily we had the new Troy-Bilt Vortex 2490 to tackle this massive storm. Snow blowers come in all shapes and sizes and you really need to choose one that fits your needs. For a small walkway with light snow storms this is not the blower for you. For someone in the Midwest where you get heavy snow storms 6″+ and have a big driveway this is the unit for you.
The 2490 is loaded with features like electric start, heated hand grips, a headlight and a single hand 4 way chute control. It also has power steering, you simply pull the trigger in the direction you want to turn and the unit turns. You can also hold both triggers and it free wheels the unit back, sometimes reverse is just too slow. The steering really helps you get around tight corners.
The 4 way chute control works well and is similar to the Toro Quick Stick Chute control found on Toro Power Max snow blowers. However the ball setup on the Toro seems a bit smoother to operate than the Troy-Bilt. Still it is better than other manual chute control options. You can lock down the auger drive by holding your right hand on the drive control and use your left hand to freely aim the chute.
Since the demise of Tecumseh and the Snow King engine, manufactures have resorted to using Briggs or their own engines. Troy-Bilt makes their own engines, Actually MTD makes the engines for Troy-Bilt. The engine on this unit is one of the best starting engines I have ever used. Easy starts and they run like a champ. They literally start first pull every time. Even after being stored it starts right up. Always use Stabil in every tank. I would take this engine any day over any other.
Unlike typical big 2 stage snow blowers, this is a 3 stage. At first glance it looks like a zombie killing machine with its fast spinning accelerator auger out front. What it does it breaks up snow and ice and helps feed the impeller, the result is faster snow clearing. It also seems to do a better job breaking up snow banks. I did notice it does go a bit faster with the 3 stage, for long runs it will really save some time. It throws snow roughly 40 feet depending on the conditions. On our 19″ deep wet snow we still went through it on 2nd speed which wasn't too bad. Any faster and we felt it would bog the 277cc engine. Let's face it this was a big storm.
Overall I would consider this snow blower a top pick, You will not go wrong with this purchase. For someone in the Northeast this is the perfect unit to deal with the record-breaking snow storms this year. Troy-Bilt covers this snow blower with a 2 year warranty. For more visit Troy-Bilt. Check out the Troy-Bilt 2410 we reviewed here.