I bought a Husqvarna 14527E 27 inch 305cc Two Stage Snow Blower
for the 2011-12 winter season in Chicago. It turned out to be a bust season for snow in Chicago. There were only 2 days when I used the snow blower. Before this, I have used a plow mounted on a lawn tractor, so my experience with snow blowers is small.
I found the Husqvarna to work well on the moderate snow (3-6") I had to deal with. It started easily with the electric starter. Once, when I ran out of gas, I tried re-starting it with the pull starter, and that worked, but only after several pulls.
The Husqvarna is a big machine. I'm a big guy (6' 5") and could muscle it to some degree, but I highly recommend the triggers on the handles that stop one, the other, or both wheels from turning. Those triggers allow you
to manuver the blower for turns or just to have a moment to decide on your next action.
The blower chute was effective at throwing snow where I wanted to. There are two controls on the "dashboard" related to the chute. One moves the chute left and right (I would have appreciated 220 degrees or a bit more of movement, but the 200 degree range
is sufficient), and the other moves the chute up and down. The levers are notched sliding levers and worked well. I think combining them into one joystick might have made control of the chute more difficult.
A big plus for me with the Husqvarna is that it is the "tallest" blower I found after checking into many brands. I guess the Swedes make them tall, but the handles are several inches higher off the ground than Toro or Ariens. That's great in terms of not
having to bend one's back if one is tall, as I am.
The Husqvarna appears to have the power to deal with any snow, although I have not yet tested its limits. My experience with it is limited, and I expect that I will be happier with it as I become more familiar with its use and the use of a snow blower in
general. I am still on the learning curve at this point in controlling the machine and using it efficiently.