Troy-Bilt 2490 3 Stage Vortex Snow Thrower – Review

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.

Troy Bilt Snow Blower

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.

Troy BiltThe 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.

Snow Blower engine

Snow Blower

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.

Troy Bilt 3 stage snow blowerUnlike 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.


  1. That is a nice unit. I was kinda mad at MTD for a little while the yardman single stage snow blower I had was absolute garbage. I kind of wrote the brand off for awhile after than machine. I think after seeing your guys luck with their 2 stage blowers I would buy one now. They are feature packed for the money. The other brands would cost a lot more for similar features.

      • I didn’t know that at the time. This is before I started to get into buying tools and looking at reviews. I didn’t really know much about anything back then 🙂 Ill be honest it looked like a nice well built snow blower to be honest. It could not move snow well at all the chute clogged all the time. It didn’t even move powdery snow very far, and if you had wet snow it was game over.

  2. I too was out doing customers all day with my storm 28″ two-stage snowblower, which is Ariens off brand. It does a good job, but has some trouble with that snow the plows pile up at the end of your driveway. This unit with that front auger seems to me would help with that hard ice and snow. Did you get a chance to test it out on a 4ft ice/snow drift from our friends who do our streets?

  3. All I have is an old shovel, so you guys are lucky you have a blower. Must be nice to be rich? I know, your not really rich but at least you have one so don’t bitch, unless someone steals it.

  4. Looks like a great machine and it throws a long distance.A lot of great useful features including the the chute control.I owned a MTD single stage 20″ /4.5 hp and it cleared a lot of snow in our Michigan winters and never let me down in 12 yrs.Thanks for the review guys.

  5. when you say it’s not for lighter snow, does it still handle the lighter snow well? i live in NJ. we get anything from today – 24″ of snow, to a regular snowfall of 2-4″. if it was just 2″ i would probably just shovel anyways. but if i buy one of these things, i want one that can handle it if i want to use it


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