You can avoid many small engine problems and save money on parts and repairs if you follow a regular maintenance schedule.
Always be sure to consult your operator's manual for special guidelines for your make and model. Service is more frequently required for heavy use or under dusty or dirty conditions especially for regularly used outdoor power products like a snow blower or lawn mower engine.
After First 5 Hours
Every 8 Hours or Daily
Check engine oil level
Clean area around muffler and controls
Clean finger guard
Every 25 Hours or Annually
Clean air filter*
Every 50 Hours or Annually
Change engine oil
Check muffler and spark arrester
Replace air filter
Replace spark plug
Replace fuel filter
Clean air cooling system*
* In dusty conditions or when airborne debris is present, clean more often.
Engine Break-In Procedure
Breaking in the engine is a good practice for new lawn mowers or outdoor power equipment. For most engines, the two major points to consider when using an air cooled engine for the first time are:
Step 1: Do not operate the engine at full load during the first 5-10 hours of operation.
In the past, the engine break-in period was very important to the overall life and durability of the engine. Engine design improvements, like better piston ring materials and designs, has decreased the break-in period (now 5-10 hours) compared to engines of the past.
You can break-in your mower engine at any speed above idle. The break-in process may occur faster if the engine is operated at varying loads and speeds. It is recommended that an engine not be operated continuously at full load during the initial hours of operation. This can lead to permanent deformation of the cylinder bore.
Step 2: Change the oil after the first 5-10 hours of use.
It is very important to perform the initial break-in oil change.
After the first 5-10 hours of operation, the oil should be changed to remove asperities that have broken from the bearings of the engine components and cylinder wall. The break-in oil change can be performed using the recommended grades of standard or synthetic oil. To save money, use standard oil for the break-in procedure, and if desired, switch synthetic oil afterwards.
Are you aware of the effects of higher blends of ethanol gasoline on your outdoor power equipment, lawn mowers, and other small-engine products? Most people are not. Outdoor power equipment is designed and warrantied to run only on 10% or less ethanol blended fuel.
EPA has approved some mid-level ethanol blends for use in some automobiles. This means that this type of fuel will be available at gas stations. But they are illegal and risky to use in hundreds of millions of small engine products and applications. And most people don’t know that.
The survey found:
71%of Americans are “not at all sure” if it is illegal or legal to put high level ethanol gas into small engines such as those in boats, mowers, chain saws, snow mobiles, generators and other engine products.
64% of Americans say they assume that any gas sold at the gas station is safe for all of their cars, as well as boats, mowers, chain saws, snow mobiles, generators and other engine products.
Only 25% of Americans notice the ethanol content of gasoline at the gas station.
71% of Americans use the least expensive grade of gasoline whenever possible.
These figures are troubling for outdoor power equipment. Most outdoor power equipment is designed to run only on 10% or less ethanol blended fuel. The above numbers show that most consumers are uneducated about ethanol gasoline and that the potential for putting the wrong fuel in their power tools is high.
Many consumers buy the least expensive gasoline, and they still assume that the same fuel can go in their car as well as their mower, chain saw or generator.
Owners small engines, power tools and outdoor power equipment need to understand the effects of ethanol these small engines and should learn to identify the right fuel for their outdoor power equipment. and should buy ethanol free gasoline.
Christmas and Chanukah share a similar spiritual message: that it is possible to bring light and hope into the world. These two holidays occur together this year, which makes this an even more special holiday season.
This is a season to reflect upon how fortunate we are to have you as our customers: our friends and neighbors. During these holidays, we wish you, your family, and your friends a safe, joy-filled, and relaxing season.
Warm wishes for a Happy Hanukkah, a Merry Christmas, and a most Happy New Year! With peace, joy, and love this holiday season and beyond!
Christmas is two weeks away. If you are behind on your shopping or trying to finish-up, here is a list of the most popular power tools for the DIY on your list.
Makita 18V Sub-Compact Combo Kit
Makita designed one of the best subcompact kits on the market. With the size of a 12V drill and impact but the power of a 18V tool, these subcompacts are a game changer. Lightweight and powerful all in one.
12V 2-Tool Combo Kit
If you want a great 12V drill and impact, check out the Bosch. Lightweight, small and powerful. Perfect for those jobs where space is at a premium or if you don’t want to carry around the weight of the 18V tools.
DEWALT 12″ Sliding Compound Miter Saw
This is the one and only compound miter saw to own. This has won the TIA awards for a number of years in a row. The Dewalt saw is accurate and easy to use. If you are looking for the perfect miter saw, the Dewalt is the one to own.
Milwaukee Cordless Sawzall Reciprocating Saw
Milwaukee Tool owns the reciprocating saw. Some people want a bigger reciprocating saw tool for their arsenal. The Milwaukee saw is powerful and low in vibrations. Perfect for that long work day.
When it comes to Jig Saw, Bosch is the one to own. The Bosch Jig Saw is overlooked by some, but ask anyone who owns one and you will get an instant smile. Smooth and powerful, the Bosch is the perfect tool to get jiggy with.
Dewalt 10-Inch Jobsite Table Saw
As with the Miter saw, Dewalt makes an incredible table saw. While the stand needs a little work, the saw is top notch. Smooth and very accurate, but most of all, extremely powerful to cut through any size lumber.
Oscillating Multi-Tool Kit
The Oscillating tool. No one does it like Bosch. The tool is a perfect fit for any hands and extremely low in vibration. Quick blade changes and the variable speed make this the oscillating tool to own.
Makita (36V) Brushless Rear Handle Circular Saw
The one and only cordless circular saw to own, the Makita rear handle saw. We used this circular saw for my roof. Time and time again it proved to work hard. No cords to mess around with and powerful enough to cut our old lumber. The runtime is exceptional. If you are looking for a cordless circular saw, the Makita Rear Handle Circular Saw is the one to own.
Milwaukee Cordless Rocket LED Light with 9.0Ah Battery
When it comes to lighting and the power tool world, Milwaukee Tool does it right. With a ton of lighting solutions, the tower light is one of our favorites. Lights up an area, easy to adjust and spread the light without any heat build up.
Bosch 3 Plane Leveling Alignment Laser
Considered the best laser by some, the Bosch is known for their quality and accurate lasers. This bad boy laser creates a 360° line and is perfect for any job. Very easy to see and the self-leveling makes it a simple and painless set up. Amazon is selling this for $350.
Monnick Supply performs outdoor power equipment repair constantly for lawnmowers, snow blowers, chainsaws, leaf blowers and more. Some have been damaged through specific situations, some have not been regularly maintained and have issues that can have been prevented, but most equipment failure is a result of fuel.
The biggest problem outdoor power equipment has is the fuel that is used. Gas from the pumps has a very short shelf life. In fact, it can degrade in a month’s time. So, if you are storing power tools with the gas in them, you are asking for problems when you go to use that equipment again. When equipment is stored with the gas in it, it will be very challenging or impossible to get the engine running.
Even stored fuel will degrade. To help keep your gas fresh use a gasoline stabilizer and store it in the right container. Fuel with gas stabilizer allows small engines to start more easily, increases their power and improves their performance. However, the best option is ethanol-free gasoline. Most small gas engine repairs are not the result of regular wear and tear, but are caused by ethanol in gasoline, which can cause rust and carbon deposits inside the engine, can dissolve plastic parts and more.
Other fuel related problems are common in two stroke engines which require a precise fuel-oil mix. Two stroke engines are generally found in small hand-held machines such as trimmers, chainsaws and leaf blowers. Unless the fuel/oil mixture is prepared according to the manufacturer's specifications, severe engine damage can result.
Thanksgiving Day is the perfect time to remind one another of the many reasons there are to be grateful. We gather on this day to be thankful for what we have, for the family we love, the friends we cherish, the success we have had, and for the blessings that will come.
Thanksgiving is more than the festivities, it gives us time to ponder the lessons that we have learned and how we can spread happiness around, to look back at all the great memories and good people who came into our lives. We appreciate you, our customers and clients, so much.
At this time of year our thoughts turn gratefully to you with warm appreciation. Our best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving.
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).