If you're looking for a reliable and powerful snow blower to get you through the harshest winter weather, you can't go wrong with the Briggs and Stratton 1150 Snow Series.
You've probably heard of Briggs and Stratton before. They've been around for over 100 years, and they're known for making high quality small engines and power equipment.
The 1150 Snow Series engines start up easily even in extreme weather and they deliver plenty of power, as you would expect from Briggs and Stratton.
There are several snow blower models that feature the 1150 Snow Series engine. In this review, we'll take a look at the Model 1696619 Dual-Stage Snow Thrower. We'll go over the features and pros and cons. And we'll answer questions you might have to help you decide if this is the best choice for you.
You can click on a question in the table of contents, or scroll down to read the whole review.
What are the features of the Briggs and Stratton Model 1696619 snow blower?
Large Clearing Path
It's perfect if you live in an area that gets moderate to heavy snowfalls. You don't want to be out there any longer than you have to!
Briggs and Stratton 1150 Snow Series Engine
The 1696619 comes equipped with a 250 cc engine. It has 11.5 foot-pounds of torque so you can power through the heaviest and deepest snow with no problem.
The pull cord works well and always starts on the first or second try. But if you'd rather not have to pull a cord, you can use the push-button electric start.
It's rated to start at temperatures down to 20 degrees below zero. So you'll never have to wonder if it will start up when you go out to clear your driveway.
User Friendly Controls
Briggs and Stratton put a lot of thought into the way they designed the controls for this machine. The ease of operation is outstanding.
It has what they call "Free Hand Control". That means that you can keep the blower going with one hand and adjust the direction of the chute with the other hand at the same time. You can also change the speed with your free hand without having to stop.
And to top it off, the controls are oversized and easy to use even while you're wearing mittens.
Sometimes you want to remove snow in the dark, or you just need to improve visibility. No problem. This snow blower has a bright LED headlight to light your way. Just switch it on from the control dashboard.
The engine on this model uses a friction disc drive transmission that moves the blower when you engage the throttle. It has 5 forward speeds and 2 reverse speeds, which is a big help when you're working on a slope.
Steel Reversible Skid Shoes
Skid shoes are a small but important part of any two stage snow blower. They keep the auger from coming into contact with the ground and make it easier for the blower to glide over the surface.
These adjustable skid shoes are made of durable steel. They're also reversible, so you can switch them around and get double the use out of them.
What is a 2-stage snow blower?
The best way to explain it is to compare it to a single-stage snow blower. A single-stage blower uses one high speed impeller to pull the snow into the machine and send it out the chute.
A 2-stage (dual stage) snow blower like this one has a low-speed auger that pulls in the snow and then moves it into a high-speed impeller that blows it out the chute.
Two-stage throwers are heavier and more powerful. They are also usually self-propelled, while single-stage throwers are not.
What kind of maintenance do you have to do on this snow blower?
You should check the engine oil level every time you use it and lubricate it once a year. If you use a fuel stabilizer, you won't ever need to drain the gasoline from the engine. You should change the oil every year before storing it away for the summer. All of the instructions are in the operator's manual.
What type of gas do you put in it?
You should use unleaded gasoline, minimum 87 octane, and with no more than 10% ethanol. It's best to mix a fuel stabilizer into the gasoline to protect the fuel system.
Is this snow blower self-propelled?
Yes, it is self-propelled, and it has 5 forward gears and 2 reverse gears.
Does it do well on a steep incline?
Yes, it does. The choice of 5 forward gears allows you to adjust the speed for the angle of the slope. Just be sure that the tires are properly inflated. Also, you'll want to make your first pass going downhill so that you have a cleared path for one of the wheels as you go uphill on the second pass.
How do you adjust the chute?
There is a lever on the control dashboard that you can use to change the angle of the chute. That means there's no need to stop what you're doing to adjust it. It's a big time saver!
Does it have a fuel shut off valve?
Yes, it does. So when you're doing maintenance on it or transporting it, you won't have any gasoline leaks.
Is the engine 2-cycle or 4-cycle?
It's a 4-cycle engine.
Does it come fully assembled?
No, not completely. You'll need to install the handles, snow chute and skids. It's not hard to put together and should take less than an hour if you follow the instructions. The printed instructions are a little hard to follow, but Briggs and Stratton has a helpful video that shows you how to do it:
What are the Pros and Cons of this snow blower?
It's always a good idea to get the opinion of people who have actually used a product. Here's a list of the pros and cons of the 1696619 from reviewers on Amazon.
- starts easily with pull cord
- works well in heavy snow
- large powerful engine
- cuts a wide and deep path
- electric start is a bonus
- controls are easy to use even with gloves on
- self-propelled so hills are not a problem
- one hand operation so no stopping to make adjustments
- comes with engine oil already in it
- LED light is bright
- clean-out tool for discharge chute and auger included
- good delivery service
- 3 year warranty
- no power steering, so a little harder to handle than compact models
- assembly can be tricky if you're not careful
Where can I buy a Briggs and Stratton Model 1696619 snow thrower?
There are several online outlets that carry this model. Some have free shipping, and some don't. If you're going to buy it online, you'll want to go with a trusted and well-known retailer.
We usually recommend Amazon because they have secure ordering, low prices, and a great return policy. This snow blower ships for free from Amazon, too.
How is the snow blower delivered?
If you buy it on Amazon, you will schedule the delivery date when you check out. It will be delivered on a pallet to your location, and you will need to sign for it.
What kind of warranty does it have?
It comes with a 3-year warranty on the equipment and engine.
The Model 1696619 is an excellent choice if you get snowfalls of 8 inches or more on a regular basis. If you only get light snowfalls where you live, this would probably be overkill. You'd be better off getting a single-stage machine.
The powerful Briggs and Stratton engine and the selection of speeds make the job easier if there's any slope to your property. You'll also be able to cut through those big piles of snow that the snowplows leave at the end of your driveway.
We also like the Free Hand Control that allows you to make your chute and speed adjustments on the fly. That's going to save you a lot of time and frustration.
It's not an inexpensive snow blower, but it's not the priciest one out there, either. Considering the outstanding features you get and the amount of time and physical effort it saves you, the price seems reasonable. Plus you get free delivery and a 3-year warranty.
So, if you think this sounds like the perfect snow blower to help you through the winter months, don't delay. Winter is almost here and you want to be prepared!
Remember that you'll have to schedule the delivery during checkout, and someone will need to be home to sign for it.
And if you think it's not the best choice for you, you can see our selection of the 5 best snow blowers here.