Outdoor Power Equipment gets a workout in the spring, summer and fall. As a result, power tool care and maintenance is needed. In fact, regular maintenance of outdoor power equipment has many benefits; from safety to extending the life of your power tools to better care of your lawn and yard.
In fact, people are often surprised to learn that a common lawn problem is easily solved with a sharper lawn mower blade. If your lawn had widespread yellow hue at the tips of the grass, you may have a dull lawn mower blade. Dull lawn mower blades tear the grass instead of cut it. This causes the yellow discoloration.
This is easily fixed by replacing the lawn mower blades. They are inexpensive and easy to install. Use your lawn mower engine’s model number for the correct, recommended blades. Universal blades are not recommended, due to safety issues.
Check the lawn mower blade regularly — Look for damage, bends and dullness. Blades should be replaced every year or two, depending on usage. Replacement blades are inexpensive and easy to install.
Make sure the mower’s trail shield is working properly — A mower’s trail shield, located at the back of the mower, prevents debris from flying out toward the operator. Before each mowing season, check to make sure this is working properly and that it is free of tears.
Don’t adjust the mower’s deflector — Despite warnings against this in owner’s manuals, people often remove or adjust the position of their mower’s deflector. This results in debris flying a longer distance.
How do you choose which snow blower is right for you? Maybe you only need something for a small clearing with lighter snowfalls, or maybe you need a snow blower to clear large areas in a region that receives apocalyptic blizzards. Whatever your case, you can find small snow blowers for clearing decks, roofs and narrow spaces, or bigger snow blowers for clearing large spaces or multiple driveways at and dealerships.
Small snow blowers for compact areas
Not all snow blowers are large, heavy machines. Single stage snow blowers are compact and lighter, making them ideal for clearing decks, narrow areas and even flat rooftops. But don’t think that means they’re limited. Single-stage snow blowers can also clear large areas with lighter snowfall amounts up to six inches very effectively.
Popular snow blowers of 2019
Need a snow blower for moderate snowfalls? If you live anywhere within North America’s snow belt, a medium sized snow blower may be your answer. As Mother Nature has showed in the past, heavy snowfalls of greater than six inches or more can fall anytime, and it sure is nice to be prepared for it.
Though there is no definition for a midsize snow blower, industry standard for a mid size snow thrower would be somewhere in the range of a two stage snow blower with a clearing width from 20 to 30 inches. With housing heights up to 23 inches, these machines are built to confront winter’s hardest punches.
Like single-stage snow blowers, two-stage snow blowers are built for varying needs. Whether you’re clearing an alleyway in Chicago, a long driveway in suburban New Haven, Connecticut, or a steep path in Banff, Alberta, the Ariens Sno-Thro® lineup has a machine that’s sized right and spec’d with features to fit your driveway.
Ariens Compact Snow Blower
The Ariens Compact two stage snow blower series offers clearing widths of 20 inches, 24 inches and a track-driven option with a 24-inch housing. The Ariens Compact snow blower also features 15-inch directional tires for superior grip and handling, and an 11-inch auger / 12-inch impeller diameter combination to process up to 59 tons of snow per hour.
Chute controls positioned in the dashboard and a standard halogen headlight give operators convenience at any time of the day. Pull both the auger drive and wheel drive clutch levers, keep your hand on the wheel drive clutch but release the auger clutch and your Ariens snow blower continues driving forward and throwing snow. This dual-handle interlock feature, standard on all Ariens two-stage models, allows users to keep working while controlling the direction and height of the snow discharge comfortably with a free hand.
15-inch directional tires
20-inch and 24-inch housing width options
223cc Ariens AX engine
Ariens Deluxe Snow Blower
The Ariens Deluxe series is the best selling snow blower model of the best selling snow blower brand for a reason. For both homeowners and professionals, it provides a variety of options at price points of varying budgets. Numerous 24, 28 and 30-inch-wide models with engine sizes from 254 to 306 cubic centimeters gives all different type users with diverse needs access the advantages of the technology in the Ariens Deluxe. For example, Ariens' exclusive Auto-Turn™ drive system for easier turning trims time from maneuvering a snow blower and puts it back into time for yourself and your family. Opt for the super-high-output model and you throw even farther and faster with Deluxe's 14-inch auger / impeller combo.
24, 28 and 30-inch clearing width options
16-inch directional tires
EFI engine option
14-inch auger and impeller diameters
Ariens Platinum snow blower
The Ariens Platinum is like the Deluxe's big brother. Built on the same chassis with the same housing options, Platinum is everything homeowners love about the Deluxe plus a few upgrades. Every model in the Platinum lineup is equipped with a SHO, or super-high-output engine, giving it the ability to process anywhere from 73 to 83 (depending on housing width) tons of snow per hour. While the extra power is welcome for anyone who lives in regions with moderate to heavy snowfall, the upgrades in the Quick-Turn™ chute control and standard heated hand grips give users a better user experience and added comfort.
When you rely on firewood to keep your home warm and cozy, you need a good chainsaw to build a solid woodpile. With an exceptional power-to-weight ratio, the STIHL MS 250 is up to the job. It’s easy to use and combines great features to tackle clearing or cleanup tasks, as well as cut through small limbs and trees.
For many years, the MS 250 has been a customer favorite, a model of efficiency and reliability that brings incredible performance every time.
STIHL MS 250 Chainsaw - Features
Easy-Access Air Filter Cover
Easy to remove for fast and easy filter cleaning or replacement.Rear Hand Guard
Reduces the risk of injury as well as provides a wide area for foot placement during starting.Master Control Lever™
The Master Control Lever™ is an easy to use single lever, operating the choke, starting throttle lock and on-off switch. The operator must pull the throttle trigger before moving the Master Control Lever™ to the choke position.Built in the USA
Indicates products that are built in the United States from domestic and foreign parts and components
Side-Access Chain Tensioner
The side-access chain tensioner makes it much more convenient for the user to adjust the saw chain with a bar wrench as opposed to the typical location of the guide bar adjustment screw.Winter/Summer Shutter
The Winter/Summer Shutter allows the carburetor to operate at optimum temperature year-round and helps to prevent carburetor icing when working below 50°F (10°C).
October is Fire Safety Month. It's the last week of October, but it there is still time to be sure your home is safe.
House fires can be caused by faulty electrical appliances, open fires and heaters, or unattended cooking.
Smoke alarms are essential for home fire safety. It’s also a very good idea to have a fire extinguisher and fire blanket at home.
A home fire escape plan helps your family know what to do and where to go in a fire emergency at home.
Home fire safety checklist
This home fire safety checklist can help you get rid of fire hazards around your home.
Replace faulty or worn-out electrical appliances and appliances with frayed cords.
If you need extra power outlets, talk to an electrician about having them installed. Avoid using power boards or double adaptors.
Clean the lint filter on your clothes dryer every time you use the dryer.
Let your clothes dryer finish its ‘cool-down’ cycle. This prevents overheating.
Make sure there’s airflow around your clothes dryer at all times.
Open fires and heaters
Enclose your open fire, wood burning stove, gas fireplace or electric heater with a guard. If the surface of the heater is so hot that you can’t put your hand on it for 10 seconds, it needs a guard. You can secure a guard by attaching it to the wall.
Clear space around your heater. Anything that could catch fire – like curtains, clothing, bedding, children’s toys and extra firewood – should never be within 3 feet of your heater or fireplace.
Turn off heaters at the power source when you’re not using them. If you have a fireplace, extinguish the fire before you go to bed or leave your house.
Cooking – inside and out
Don’t leave cooking unattended on the stove. If deep-frying or using a wok, make sure flames can’t get into the fat, and keep an eye on the temperature of the oil.
Supervise children in the kitchen at all times or keep children out of the kitchen when you’re cooking. Use the inner stove top elements first, and keep pot handles turned in.
Check the gas cylinder on your grill regularly. Before lighting, check the cylinder’s expiration date. Check that the hose connections are tight, that there’s no leakage, and that the hose isn’t damaged or worn. Check the hose for signs of cracking.
Always keep matches and lighters well away from children.
Smoke alarms are essential for home fire safety.
They give an early warning in the event of fire. They alert you quickly, and give you a chance to get out of the house to a safe location.
Only working smoke alarms save lives. Here’s what to do to keep smoke alarms in working order:
Change alarm batteries once a year, at the same time each year.
Test your alarm every month by pressing the test button and listening for the beep.
Keep your alarm dust free – clean it at least once a year.
Replace smoke alarms every 10 years.
Be aware that children under five don’t always hear smoke alarms.
Install smoke alarms just outside the sleeping areas of your home so that the alarm sounds before smoke reaches anyone who is asleep. For extra protection, you can also install a smoke alarm in your child’s bedroom and in the bedrooms of people who sleep with their doors closed.
Multi-storey houses and apartments should have smoke alarms on all levels, including just outside the bedrooms and near the path used to get out of the building.
Fire-fighting and fire safety equipment
For home fire safety, it’s a very good idea to have the following equipment handy:
A fire extinguisher and fire blanket that conform to US Standards: you can buy these from . Keep them near the entrance to your kitchen, between the entrance/exit and anywhere a fire is likely to occur.
A dry chemical fire extinguisher: this is suitable for most small household fires. Shake it occasionally to prevent the powder from settling.
An electrical safety switch on your switchboard: you’ll need a licensed electrician to install it for you.
The following tips are also important for home fire safety:
Make sure you know how to use any fire equipment you buy for your home.
Household extinguishers are designed to be used only once, so replace your extinguisher as soon as possible after use.
Never use water to put out an oil, electrical or fat fire.
Using a fire extinguisher
Read the instructions for using the extinguisher before you need to use it.
Use an extinguisher if:
you can extinguish the fire quickly
you’re not putting your life at risk by staying near the fire
everyone else has left the area
you know your extinguisher is suitable for putting out the type of fire you’re facing.
Once you’ve used your extinguisher, call 911 so firefighters can investigate. For example, the fire could have travelled up the fan area and into the ceiling without you realizing.
It’s recommended that you use a fire extinguisher or fire blanket only if you feel physically and mentally able to use the equipment safely.
Preparing and practising for home fire safety
The following guidelines can help keep you and your family safe if there’s a fire in your home:
Practice a home escape plan with your children and family. Choose a meeting place outside the house and make sure everyone knows to meet there.
Practice the ‘stop, drop, roll’ drill in case children’s clothes catch fire.
Practice the ‘crawl down low and go, go, go’ escape drill for crawling under smoke and poisonous gases.
Make sure you have two exits from every room in the house.
Never deadlock doors when you’re at home.
Dial 911 and ask for the fire department in an emergency. Know your address and the closest cross street.
In the event of a fire, keep a close watch on children once outside to make sure they don’t run back into the house.
Dependable chainsaws for cutting tasks around the home
If you’re looking to choose a chainsaw for work around your home, STIHL has you covered. These chainsaws are German-engineered and built in America. Most STIHL chainsaws come with anti-vibration technology to minimize vibration and help reduce fatigue, STIHL Quickstop® Chain Brake for additional safety, and a Master Control Lever™ to make start-up easy.
For easy comparison, view the Chainsaw Comparison Chart.
October is Fire Prevention Month, and families should improve their home’s safety by checking their fire alarms, testing the alarms regularly, and adding reliable protection when replacing expired alarms. We are dedicated to helping protect what matters most because a home emergency can happen at any time and we want you to be prepared.
Fire Prevention Month is the perfect time to talk with your whole family about fire safety – include testing alarms, changing the batteries or upgrading to 10-year sealed battery alarm for hassle-free protection, and escape planning.
Are You Fully Protected?
Installing functioning alarms throughout your home is the first line of defense for fire prevention. They work around the clock to give your family an early alert in the event of should be placed on every level of the home, including the basement, as well as inside and outside each bedroom. Fire alarms should also be placed on every level of the home, especially in the kitchen and garage.
Top Tips for Fire Safety
Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.
Test smoke alarms every month. If they’re not working, change the batteries.
Talk with all family members about a fire escape plan and practice the plan twice a year.
If a fire occurs in your home, GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL FOR HELP. Never go back inside for anything or anyone.
If you're thinking about purchasing a STIHL leaf blower for work around your home, farm or ranch, but you're not sure which one to choose, the video below gives some helpful tips to consider when making your selection.
STIHL blowers for the home are made with weekend warriors in mind. These lightweight leaf blowers are a breeze to use and can power through cluttered yards and walkways without hesitation. From electric and battery-powered motors to high-efficiency, low-emission, gasoline-powered engines, STIHL blowers deliver lasting quality in a product you'll actually enjoy using. To help you identify model features, look for these corresponding symbols: C = Comfort feature, E = Easy2Start™ and L = low-noise model.
STIHL blowers used around the home include a wide range of quality components, including high-tech polymer housings that resist corrosion and withstand impacts; adjustable blower tubes for custom height preferences; and upright, translucent fuel tanks for easy checking and filling (gasoline-powered models only). The list goes on. And almost all of these blowers also accept vacuum and gutter cleaner kits, making them even more useful around the home. There's no better choice for keeping your personal landscape looking pristine.
For more information or to find the blower to meet the needs of your yard, contact Monnick Supply in Framingham and Marlborough.
When the leaves start to fall and snow is on the way, it’s a great time to get prep the snowblower for the winter. You don’t want that first snowfall to hit and find out your machine is not in working condition.
If you are not comfortable or unsure of something, its recommended to have a professional look at it. Monnick Supply offers pre-season specials for annual tune-ups.
Check for Damage
Take a minute to look over your machine. Make sure your auger, skids, and scraper are in good enough shape. Check that cables, handles, shear pins, and fasteners are securely in place. If you find excessive wear or damaged parts, order replacements and install them before the first snow hits.
Tighten Loose Bolts and Levers
A Well Maintained SnowblowerIt’s a good idea to check bolts and screws for proper tightness. The vibration of the machine over time may have caused them to come loose. It is recommended to remove the spark plug to prevent any unintentional starting during this process.
Check Tire Pressure
Months of storage can do a number on your tires and its important that they are inflated properly before use. This ensures you don’t damage other parts and get the best possible traction in icy conditions. Most tires can be inflated using a standard bicycle pump. Your user manual should provide the recommended tire pressure. If you hate dealing with pneumatic tires, maybe it’s time to replace them with some airless tires.
Flip the Skid Shoes
If your snow blower has skid shoes (most two-stage snow blowers do), it’s a good time to flip them if there is wear. Most skid shoes are reversible. And if you’ve already done this, it might be time to purchase some replacement ones before the season starts. They are relatively easy to install.
Inspect the Belts
Check for excessive wear or cracks on the belts. If you find some, it is time to replace them. Sears recommends snapping a picture of the belts before replacing them so you’ll know exactly where they go.
Fill the Gas Tank
You should have drained the gas tank before storing your snow blower away in the Spring. Or at least put in a fuel stabilizer.
Take out the dipstick and look to see how clear the oil is. If it’s dirty, it’s time for an oil change.
Install a New Spark Plug
Checking your spark plug at the start of the season is always a good idea. If there are signs of rust and corrosion, it’s time for a replacement. If it’s just dirty, maybe it just needs a cleaning. Spark plugs are cheap so don’t mess around too much trying to save an old one.
Spray the Discharge Chute
To prevent clogging, you’ll want to spray down the discharge chute with something. Many people have success with WD-40, cooking spray (my choice), or silicone. Some companies sell specially made snow repellent sprays too. Those tend to be too expensive in my opinion.
Start Your Snow Blower
With everything in place, it’s time to test your machine out. Let it run for a few minutes and check for any odd burning smells or unsettling noises. If all goes well, you’re ready to tackle the Winter.
For more information or to schedule snowblower service, contact Monnick Supply.