Power Smart DB7651 / DB7651A 208cc Double Stage Gas Snow Blower Review by Merrill Shadwell
The Power Smart DB7651 Series of gas-powered snow blowers offers a lot of models to consider. But the similarities between them far outweigh the differences. That’s lucky. It means it’s not a horror to keep them straight and choose the one best for you.
It’s no surprise that the major difference between the various Power Smart DB7651 models is the size. They range from the 24-inch wide DB7651-24 through the DB7651-26 to the DB7651-28. It ain’t hard to guess the width of the latter two models.
However, there are other, less essential but still important differences between them. Not least is a parallel series of DB7651A models to investigate. So, let’s dig into the details and see what these guys have to offer.
DB7651-24: 24-Inch Clearing Width
The DB7651-24 is the smallest of the snow blowers in this line. But the ability to clear a path 24 inches wide and up to 21 inches deep puts this model squarely into the mid-range.
That depth figure can be a little misleading though, so let’s look at it briefly a little closer. The scoop size is one thing. But the auger – 12 inches in diameter – is what actually has the biggest influence on how much snow is chewed in a single pass.
True, that snow has to have somewhere to go and it helps to have a high intake height. No impeller and chute combo can shove snow infinitely fast. Still, don’t be misled that you’ll eat through a nearly two-foot high berm as easily as you would something half that height.
That said, the 208cc LCT 4-cycle engine on this model provides ample power to drive that auger and impeller without making you do all the work. Combined with four forward and two reverse speeds you should have no problem with anything short of ice-encrusted mounds. Even those shouldn’t be too big a deal since the auger is all steel.
DB7651-26: 26-Inch Clearing Width
As suggested in the introduction, the DB7651-26 has a 26-inch clearing width so you can make fewer passes over a large area. However, there are a few caveats to that statement.
This model houses the same 208cc engine and 12-inch diameter steel serrated auger of its smaller brother. It also sports the same 4-forward/2-reverse speeds. It is a tad heavier – 185 lbs versus the 180 lbs of the 24-incher.
So, while you might be able to clear a wider path in one go, that assumes this snow blower has the power to do that. That is certainly the case with anything but the toughest kind of snow. Still, sometimes that’s exactly what you’re faced with, so judge accordingly.
DB7651-28: 28-Inch Clearing Width
As the model name indicates, the DB7651-28 offers the ability to clear a 28-inch wide strip. The same warnings apply to this model as the 26-inch one, only more so. The OHV engine will do the job for fluffy and even slushy snow (though slower for the latter, natch). But that solid stuff may bog you down.
Fortunately, because it houses the same electric start as the others, it’s just as easy to get going. There’s no onboard battery so you’ll need access to a standard 110V house outlet. But these Power Smart models will fire up easily on even the coldest mornings. There’s a rope and coil for those times when you need to clear snow and the power is out. It’s about the same difficulty as other snow blowers: not trivial but not too hard to pull, either.
Here, the weight goes up to a slightly beefier 196 lbs but, in some circumstances, that is actually an advantage. True, more power is required just to pull itself along but it also means a more substantial digging ability in the kind of snow that tends to push the scoop up off the ground.
Adjustable Skid Shoes
In the box along with the snow blower itself there’s an oil funnel, cable clips, shear pins, spark plug wrench, and a cleaning tool. More importantly, there are metal skid shoes.
I mention them separately because on all three DB7651 models they’re adjustable. That makes one of these snow blowers a really good choice for anyone who needs to clear an area where the snow sits atop a lot of gravel.
Most snow blowers will handle the occasional pebble here and there without damage. But a plastic chute, as exists on these units, can get chipped or cracked as the impeller throws up rocks. Fortunately, the auger isn’t at risk but you still don’t want any part of your equipment cracked. Adjusting the skid shoes a little higher can prevent that.
DB7651A versus DB7651
There is another potential solution to the problem mentioned in that paragraph above: the DB7651A-24 (or one of its siblings: the DB7651A-26 or DB7651A-28.) The numbers correspond to the clearing width, just as with the regular DB7651 Series. The A models differ in one or two interesting ways, though.
Metal vs Plastic Chute. The key difference is that the chute is metal on these units. That eliminates the potential rock-damage problem. Adjusting the skid shoes is great but even snow well above the ground can have embedded gravel. That can happen, for instance, if you drive over the snow before clearing it off the driveway.
Chute Deflector. The chute deflector height is adjustable, too, which influences the throw. Being able to vary the angle means the ability to put the snow where you want. That’s made even easier in this case since there’s an easy-to-operate handle on the A models. On the regular series you have to adjust it by hand. Not tough, but harder.
Different Tire Treads. All DB7651(A) models house the same wheels, which is another good reason for the potential problem I harped on above. They’re pretty tough 13″ high x 4″ wide snow tires with good tread patterns. But not increasing the tire size as the dimensions and weight change suggest that the smaller model will benefit more.
The A units’ tires come with a slightly different tread pattern. How that affects actual performance depends on so many factors. It’s hard to make any kind of general statement. For some, it will be a helpful improvement; for others it’ll make no difference at all.
Sorry to be so vague but, just to review a few factors… If your snow tends to be very dry the pattern makes very little difference. If it’s hard packed, the tread pattern will also have little effect. On the other hand, if you’re grinding your way through wet, slushy, or icy snow (or a mixture of them), it can matter a lot.
There are a few caveats to ponder when selecting a Power Smart DB7651 Series snow blower from Amerisun, no matter which model you investigate.
One is that, despite the American-sounding name, these are made in China. That’s no longer a guarantee of lesser quality. Quite the opposite, many machines made there are the equal today of their U.S. equivalents. But it’s a relatively new company and they don’t yet have a nationwide servicing system here.
The other is that this brand hasn’t been around long enough to evaluate on the basis of long-term durability. The LCT engine is fine but, while a very important component, it’s only one aspect of a snow blower.
If you’re looking to pay less for a snow blower the DB7651 or DB7651A could be a great choice. But only time will tell if it continues to be a great choice in five to ten years.