If shoveling snow from your driveway during the winter season consumes too much of your valuable time and is giving you back and shoulder problems, investing in a good snowblower will be a great idea. Two high-performance, gas-powered options to consider are the Toro SnowMaster 724 ZXR and the new Ariens Crossover 20. These snow blowers can easily tear through 12 inches of snow and throw it in any direction. With both models sitting at the same price point, you may be wondering how they stack up against each other. Keep reading as we unpack both snowblowers to help you choose between the two.
Toro SnowMaster 724 ZXR and Ariens Crossover 20 Comparison Chart
|Price||Check price at Toro.com||Check price at Ariens.com|
|Auger||10-inch diameter, 24-inch clearing width||11-inch diameter, 20-inch clearing width|
|Tires||11-inch pneumatic tires, deep tread||14-inch solid tires, shallow tread|
|Engine||212cc OHV 4-cycle, gasoline||179cc, gasoline|
|Throw Distance||Up to 40 feet||Up to 35 feet|
|Propel System||Self-propelled with Personal Pace system||Auger-propelled|
|Chute Control||Quick Stick joystick control||Manual control arm and lever|
Design & Build
The Toro SnowMaster and Ariens Crossover have similarities in construction with the Toro having more features and plastics parts than the simpler all-steel Ariens Crossover
The Toro SnowMaster and Ariens Crossover have very similar constructions. A big intake housing is positioned up front fitted with an auger, two wheels fastened to the base behind the intake housing, a gas engine sitting above the wheels, an adjustable snow chute between the engine and intake housing, and a handlebar that connects to the base of the snowblower. The Ariens Crossover has a stripped-down, all-steel design with very few rubber and plastic parts. The Toro SnowMaster, on the other hand, has a fuller design, with a plastic engine cover, plastic snow chute with a joystick controller, and additional plastic parts on the handlebar for its self-propel system.
The Toro SnowMaster 724 ZXR has a 10-inch diameter auger with a 24-inch clearing width. Towards the center of the SnowMaster’s auger are rubber paddings to help you clear every inch of snow on the ground. And on the edges are solid metal blades to help cut through icy areas.
The Ariens Crossover 20 has a slightly larger diameter auger (11 inches) but has a shorter clearing width of only 20 inches. The blades on the Crossover’s auger are fitted with rubber paddings to help with its auger-propel system, but the lack of an exposed metal blade may make it difficult to tear through slush ice.
The Toro SnowMaster comes with 11-inch pneumatic tires that have large tread lugs for greater traction. This is important because the wheels on the SnowMaster drive the machine forward. On the Ariens Crossover, the tires are made of solid plastic and don’t have very deep tire treads. They’re also quite narrow to make them lightweight for a smoother push and easier steering.
The Toro SnowMaster 724 ZXR sports a plastic snow chute with Toro’s Quick Stick feature. Quick Stick allows you to fluidly control the direction of the snow chute using a joystick, right from the drive control. This makes changing your throw direction and pitch extremely quick and convenient. The chute on the Ariens Crossover 20 has a very robust all-metal design. It comes with manual controls for changing the direction and pitch of the chute. The controls work well but are not as convenient as the Quick Stick on the Toro SnowMaster.
Power & Performance
The Toro SnowMaster takes the win with a more powerful 212cc gasoline engine and a 40-foot throw distance
When it comes to power, the Toro SnowMaster takes the lead with a more powerful 212cc OHV 4-cycle gasoline engine. This premium Toro engine is capable of sending snow up to 40 feet away. The Ariens, on the other hand, carries an Ariens AX 179cc gasoline engine that can throw snow up to 35 feet away.
The Toro SnowMaster takes another win when it comes to ease-of-use with its better propel system, chute control, and steering
To make operating a snowblower easier, especially larger gas-powered snowblowers, manufacturers often integrate some type of propelling system. The Toro SnowMaster has a drivetrain connecting the engine to the wheels to thrust the machine forward. The speed is adjusted using Toro’s Personal Pace System which is attached to the handlebar. When you push on the handlebar, power is transferred from the engine to the wheels. The harder you push, the more power is transferred and the faster the snowblower will propel forward.
The Ariens Crossover is propelled differently. It has an auger-propel system that uses the rotation of the auger to help thrust the machine forward. The rubber paddings on the auger give it more traction so you don’t need to put as much effort into pushing the snowblower. There are no speed controls on the Ariens Crossover so there may be instances where you will be dragged forward slightly.
Being able to adjust your snowblower’s chute direction and pitch quickly and easily is an important feature when you want to be outside working on your driveway and back inside as quickly as possible. When it comes to ease-of-use and speed in chute control, the Toro SnowMaster takes a very easy win with its Quick Stick feature. Being able to quickly adjust the direction and pitch of your snow chute right from the drive control, without having to stop the snowblower, walk over to the side and manually adjust it whenever you need to, is a highly valuable feature.
Something that is often overlooked when choosing a snowblower is steering capability. Having a snowblower with excellent steering will go a long way in making your trips outside to clear your driveway or sidewalk much quicker and easier. The Toro SnowMaster takes another win in this area with its automatic steering system. The system detects when you are trying to turn the machine and disengages one wheel to make it easier to pivot. This feature is normally found on premium models often called triggerless steering or automatic steering.
Steering on the Ariens Crossover is done manually. The tires are designed to be very lightweight and free to make steering easier.
The Toro SnowMaster is perfect for those looking for a feature-packed, easy-to-use snowblower while the Ariens Crossover is for those looking for a very robust and simple snowblower that will last for years
The Toro SnowMaster 724 ZXR takes an easy win for us when compared to the new Ariens Crossover 20. With a significantly more powerful 212cc engine, a further throw distance, wider clearing width, and a handful of valuable features like its self-propelled Personal Pace system, automatic-steering system, and Quick Stick snow chute control, all for the same price as the Ariens Crossover, it’s quite clear to see which one gives you more value for money.
However, if you aren’t looking for a snowblower with all the bells and whistles but you simply need a robust snowblower that will last you for years, the Ariens Crossover with its all-metal build might be a better option. This all-metal design is more likely to last longer with no repairs compared to the Toro SnowMaster with its plastic components and moving parts.
No, the Toro SnowMaster 724 ZXR uses recoil ignition. The higher-end models such as the 724 QXE and the 824 QXE do have electric ignition switches.
Any ethanol-gasoline blend up to E10 should work well with the Ariens Crossover 20.
The Ariens Crossover 20 is a gasoline powered two-stage snowblower.