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Snapper 1696002 Review

Snapper 1696002

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snapper 1696002

When a serious blizzard is coming your way and the weatherman is predicting a foot or more of snow accumulation in your area, you are going to want to be prepared for it. This is true whether you have a medium sized, paved driveway or a long, unpaved one. You definitely do not want to be caught with just a flimsy shovel, but you also do not want to have a snow blower that is not going to be able to perform well. What you need is the kind of heavy duty, durable snow blower like the Snapper 1696002. This machine has everything you need to tackle big, tough snow fall quickly and efficiently. There is almost no accumulation of snow that the Snapper 1696002 can’t handle. And whether you are in the Midwest or far up in Northern Canada, this is a snow blower that can handle whatever winter brings.

Review Summary

review summaryThe Snapper 1696002 is equipped with one of the widest clearances you can find on a snow blower today, which means that it is going to be able to get your property cleared in fewer passes – and have you outside for a shorter amount of time – than any other model. Its wide, durable auger is built to charge right though deep, densely packed snow drifts as well as wet, slushy snow. And because it has one of the highest snow cut depths as well, you can sit indoors and watch the snow pile up to nearly two feet deep before you need to get out there and start clearing it.

All of this is possible because the Snapper 1696002 is equipped with one of the most powerful and well-made engines you can find in a snow blower today: the Briggs & Stratton 1150 Snow Series OHV. This is a very serious engine, and it provides the Snapper 1696002 with all of the power it needs to cut through lots of snow in a very short amount of time. For my money, the Snapper 1696002 is one of the best snow blowers on the market today, and the one you can definitely rely on.


review specificationsThe Snapper 1696002 is a gas powered two stage snow blower that weighs 254 pounds and has overall dimensions of 35.8 x 50.5 x 50.5 inches. It has a Briggs & Stratton 1150 Snow Series engine with a displacement of 250 cubic centimeters and an overhead valve design that provides more horsepower and torque to the auger and drive train.

Dimensions35.8 x 50.5 x 50.5 inches
StartButton push
Engine ManufacturerBriggs & Stratton
Engine250cc – OHV
2-cycle / 4-cycle4-cycle
Speed Control6 forward / 2 reverse
Clearing Width27 inches
Snow Cut Depth23 inches
Throw DistanceUp to 40 feet
Chute ControlManual 200°
Wheels16-Inch x 5-inch
Weight254 pounds
Warranty2 years

Because of its powerful engine, the Snapper 1696002 can support an auger that is over two feet wide and a snow cut depth that is nearly as tall. It also has eight speeds to choose from and big, Arctic Trace wheels that never lose traction, even under the worst conditions. It can throw snow up to 40 feet away. The Snapper 1696002 comes with a two year warranty.


review descriptionThe Snapper 1696002 is nothing if it is not big and powerful. This is a snow blower that is built to handle the toughest jobs without breaking a sweat, and that will be apparent as soon as you get it out of the box. There is a bit of assembly required, but for the most part it is fairly light and can be done with regular household tools. Just attach the snow chute and deflector, tighten the handle and wheels, and you are all set. Then, fill the fuel tank with gas and check the oil, and the Snapper 1696002 is ready to go.

And the Snapper 1696002 is ready for just about anything. With the kind of extra wide clearance you can only find on the biggest and most powerful snow blowers, the Snapper 1696002 is well equipped to clear big areas in as few passes as possible, which means you can get your driveway clear much faster than you could with a smaller snow blower. That will have you back indoors and warming up sooner than ever. Plus, it has a snow cut depth that is nearly two feet high: that means you can let the snow finish falling before you have to go out there and clear it, no matter how deep it’s expected to get.

The Snapper 1696002 has unique controls that are easier to use: you only need one hand to control the propulsion, freeing up the other to control the chute direction and angle, which means you don’t ever have to slow down or stop while you are using the Snapper 1696002. And the machine is made out of very durable parts that are built to last over the long term, even after hundreds of hours of use under the most difficult conditions. This is one solid snow blower that is built to perform.


review prosThere is really a lot to like on the Snapper 1696002. This is the kind of really big, powerful snow blower that has the capability to dig your driveway out from under the most serious winter blizzards quickly and efficiently. In addition to a big clearance and powerful engine, the Snapper 1696002 also has lots of elegant design features that help to make it a breeze to use. It’s one of the best all-around snow blowers out there.

  1. Powerful Briggs & Stratton engine : Briggs & Stratton is hands down one of the best manufacturers of small engines for yard machines, and the engine they made for the Snapper 1696002 is an outstanding example of the kind of engineering they do. At 250 cubic centimeters, it has the kind of high displacement that will provide more horsepower and torque to the drive train and auger. That gives you the kind of power you need to power through deep snow drifts fast.
  2. 16-inch Arctic Trace tires : Plenty of two stage snow blowers have big tires, but the Snapper 1696002 has a pair of the very biggest ones you can find. And with their unique Arctic Trace design, they provide more traction and are more resistant to slippage, even when you are using the Snapper 1696002 to clear snow on slick, icy surfaces. With these tires, you will never slip, even if you are using the Snapper 1696002 to clear snow on an inclined surface.
  3. Free Hand control : The Free Hand control design is one of the best and most unique features the Snapper 1696002 has to offer. This design allows you to control the propulsion drive with one hand, freeing up your other hand to operate the other controls and maneuver the auto chute snow deflector with just the push of a button. While they take a bit of getting used to, the Free Hand controls make the job of clearing snow much easier.
  4. Extra wide clearance : The clearance width on the Snapper 1696002 is one of the very widest you can find on any snow blower today. At more than two feet wide, the Snapper 1696002 has an auger that can clear a sidewalk in just one pass – an you will be able to clear your entire driveway in less than half a dozen passes. That is the kind of performance you want when you have a big area to clear and need to finish the job fast.
  5. Superior capacity : The Snapper 1696002 can take in snow that is nearly two feet deep with ease – and it can throw snow up to 40 feet away, which is farther than any other snow blower on the market today. With that kind of capacity and its superior clearance width, the Snapper 1696002 is able to get through a higher volume of snow than just about any other snow blower you can find. This allows you to finish big jobs faster than ever.

As you can see, the Snapper 1696002 is well equipped with every feature you could ever need to tackle big, tough jobs faster than ever. This is a powerful, tough machine with a very solid engine, an extra high clearance width and the kind of high intake that will have you ready to deal with the most severe winter storms. This s a great snow blower that is very well designed, built tough and ready for anything.


review consEven though the Snapper 1696002 is such an outstanding snow blower, there are a few areas in which it is just shy of perfect. I do not think that any of the Cons I am about to discuss take away significantly from all of the great Pros that it has to offer. But I do think it is important to know exactly what you are buying. With that in mind, let’s take a look at them.

  1. Not CARB compliant : It is nearly impossible to find a big, powerful two stage snow blower that has an engine that is compliant with California Air Resources Board emissions standards, so this is not a true Con so much as it is a word of warning. If you do live in any one of the fourteen states that enforce CARB emissions standards, you are unfortunately out of luck as far as buying the Snapper 1696002 is concerned.
  2. Very big and heavy : With a two stage snow blower like this one, you are getting a machine that has one of the more powerful engines and widest clearances you can find on the market today. It’s not easy to design a snow blower that has those kinds of features but isn’t a big, heavy machine. For the most part, this will not present any real problems – but you may have difficulty finding enough room for it in your garage.
  3. Turning can be difficult : This is in part due to the fact that the Snapper 1696002 weighs so much, but it is also because it is not equipped with power steering or a wheel lock option. Because it has neither, you have to turn the snow blower under your own power, and turning a 254 pound machine is not the easiest thing in the world. The forward propulsion does help out a bit, but it still takes a lot of effort.
  4. No lights; few accessories : On a big two stage snow blower like this one, it is always nice to find a few extra accessories, like and LED headlight, power steering (see above), and the like. These things are not necessary to help the machine run well – and the Snapper 1696002 definitely still does that – but they are always a nice additional option. On the Snapper 1696002 you get few if any accessories, which is a bit frustrating.
  5. Controls take some practice : The Free Hand control system on the Snapper 1696002 is pretty great – you get to maneuver the machine using just one hand, at least until you have to turn it. This allows you to get the job done faster, but it also is a system that does take a bit of practice to get used to. If you are new to snow blowers, you will have to work at it to figure it out, but you’ll get it eventually.

I think you will probably agree with me when I say that none of these Cons presents the kind of serious drawbacks that other snow blowers have in their design or construction: there are no problems with the outstanding engine, the fuel lines, or anything like that on the Snapper 1696002. These are for the most part relatively minor issues – things that, were they improved upon, would make the Snapper 1696002 an elite machine. But it’s still one of the best ones out there.

Product Comparison

review comparisonOf course, the best way to figure out whether a particular snow blower is the best one for you is by doing a bit of comparison shopping. All of the Pros and Cons lists in the world are not going to tell you how it stacks up when evaluated against models made by its competition – the only way you can do that is by actually comparing them. Let’s take a look – I think you’ll be pleased.

 Snapper 1696002Snapper
Yard-Man 31AM63LF701Yard-Man
Husqvarna 1827EXLTHusqvarna
Dimensions35.8 x 50.5 x 50.5 inches52 x 27.5 x 42 inches52 x 27 x 42 inches
StartButton pushButton pushButton push
Engine ManufacturerBriggs & StrattonYard-ManBriggs & Stratton
Engine250cc – OHV208 cc – OHV414 cc – OHV
2-cycle / 4-cycle4-cycle4-cycle4-cycle
Speed Control6 forward / 2 reverse6 forward / 2 reverse6 forward / 2 reverse
Clearing Width27 inches26 inches27 inches
Snow Cut Depth23 inches21 inches21 inches
Throw DistanceUp to 40 feetUp to 35 feetUp to 40 feet
Lightn/an/aLED Headlight
Chute ControlManual 200°Manual 200°Manual 180°
Wheels16-Inch x 5-inch15-Inch x 5-inchTracks
Weight254 pounds214 pounds326 pounds
Warranty2 years2 years2 years

As you can see, the Snapper 1696002 is one of the biggest and best residential snow blowers out there – so much so that it even stacks up well when you compare it to a monster like the Husqvarna. In fact, when you look at clearance width and snow cut depth, the Snapper 1696002 has the best specs in each category. This is truly one of the best snow blowers on the market today.


review conclusionThe Snapper 1696002 is one very impressive snow blower. When you compare it to other snow blowers – even bigger, more heavy duty ones – it still has some of the best product specs. But before you make your final decision to buy it, I think it’s a good idea to take one more look at the Pros and Cons, just to be sure.

Conclusion Pros

  1. Powerful Briggs & Stratton engine.
  2. 16-inch Arctic Trace tires.
  3. Free Hand control.
  4. Extra wide clearance.
  5. Superior capacity.

The Snapper 1696002 has one of the best engines you can find on a snow blower today, and because of that it is able to easily support a wider clearance and higher snow cut depth than other models. It also has great features that are unique to it, like the Arctic Trace tires and Free Hand control.

Conclusion Cons

  1. Not CARB compliant.
  2. Very big and heavy.
  3. Turning can be difficult.
  4. No lights; few accessories.
  5. Controls take some practice.

Those few issues that the Snapper 1696002 does present are so minor they almost do not bear mentioning. The first two are normal for this kind of machine, and the last three are not the kind of serious flaws that would warrant any concerns over its performance. Overall this is one of the best models out there.

Final Word

You need to be prepared for serious winter storms, whether you have a long, unpaved driveway or an average suburban property with paved driveway and walks. You never know when the next big blizzard is going to drop more than a foot of snow on your area, and you do not want to be stuck with a snow blower that is now going to be able to get the job done. With the Snapper 1696002, you are well prepared for anything Old Man Winter can bring your way.

This is a snow blower that has everything you need to take care of big jobs quickly and efficiently. It has the widest clearance and one of the highest snow cut depths you can find on any snow blower out there. And it is supported by one of the best engines you can find – one that is specifically manufactured for a snow blower like this one. The Snapper 1696002 is a great snow blower.

Best Price

review pricesBest of all, the Snapper 1696002 is not unreasonably priced. For all of its outstanding qualities, from the high performance engine to the extra wide auger, it has a price that is comparable to the average two stage snow blower. That is really quite something: you would not be surprised to find that Snapper charged a lot more for this outstanding snow blower. But they don’t: instead, the Snapper 1696002 has one of the more reasonable prices you can find for a snow blower in its size class. That is good news to anyone on a budget. The Snapper 1696002 is a great snow blower at an excellent price.

Snapper 1696002

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