Craftsman 88173 Review

If you live in a region where it snows, then it may be a good idea to invest in a snowblower. There are many options on the market and today we’ll have a look at the Craftsman 88173 snowblower and gauge if it’s worth a try.

Let’s get started:

Engine type

Four cycles

Engine size


Electric start


Freewheel steering


Single lever chute adjustment


Freewheel steering


Multiple speeds





2 years

Heated Hand Grips


Craftsman 88173 Features:

We’ll start by highlighting some of the features that this model offers in our Craftsman snowblower review:

craftsman 88173


The Craftsman 88173 scores pretty well when it comes to engine power as it comes with a reliable 208cc engine. This is a classic engine known for being reliable. 

The electric-start feature offers ease and makes it user-friendly. You will not have to worry about the engine not starting. A simple switch of a button will do the job, no matter how cold it is.

It’s a 4-cycle OHV engine hence expect better fuel economy, extended lifecycle, and amplified power. While the engine is durable, we must mention that it can be easily replaced if you ever need to change it.

Chute Control

The chute design on the Craftsman 88173 left us impressed since it’s quite unique. Do not let it worry you though as there is no learning curve and you’ll get used to it in no time. 

The chute is rugged and adds to the overall performance. The control system plays an important role in how you use the machine. It lets you choose the direction and distance of where you want to throw snow.

You will find the chute to be highly flexible since it is made of polymer. This is why it is easy to maintain and is highly durable as well. You will not have to worry about replacement parts anytime soon.

Skid Shoes

It features poly skid shoes that have been designed specifically to not leave marks on your yard or driveway when in use.

This is very important because some machines can damage the surface which is obviously not what you’d like to happen. These skid shoes ensure there are no such risks. Other than this, they help keep the snowblower on the track during usage.

Clearing Ability

This is a very important factor since snow blowers that do not offer good clearing depth and width will require more time and effort to clean an area. Fortunately, this one hits the bull's eye when it comes to this feature as it allows for 26” of clearing space in one go.

In terms of depth, it can go up to 21 inches which means that it will have no difficulty in tackling small drifts. These qualifications make it a good choice for all kinds of users.

X-Trac Tires

The 88173 has small tires – 13x4 inches – which may be a problem for some users. But, do not let this fool you as it is still quite a reliable machine.

They feature a special “X-Trac” design tires that make it safer to use by improving grip on all kinds of surfaces without affecting maneuverability. They dig pretty well  into the snow, even in unfavorable or slippery conditions which makes the unit safe to use.

We found the machine quite impressive but it may not be suitable for users who want to use it in the garden due to the small tires since they do not perform well on soft terrains.

Control Features

You can operate the unit with a single hand. Your other hand will be free for other tasks such as adjusting the reach or direction  of the chute. You will not have to stop the operation to do the job. 

This makes the machine easy to use and also helps save time. Hence, you will not have to spend hours using this beauty. However, make sure to be careful and not use phones or other such gadgets while operating the unit.


As with all good snow blowers, the Craftsman snowblower has six forward speeds – this versatility allows you to work at your own pace, and to adjust as you go if needed.

You will also find that it features two reverse speeds. Hence, you will be able to go back without having to complete a round.

Optional Light Feature

You can install lights on the Craftsman 88173. If you only have a short drive that is well lit then you may not need to add lights. Otherwise, you can install lights so that you can get the job done even if it is dark.

Craftsman 88173 Pros and Cons

Here are some of the main advantages and disadvantages of this snowblower:


  • Check Circle
    Is easy to move around since it is light in weight
  • Check Circle
    The engine is powerful and durable
  • Check Circle
    26 inches of clearing width is excellent
  • Check Circle
    Provides an excellent grip on gravel
  • Check Circle
    Creatively designed EZ chute makes it easy to use
  • Check Circle
    A top value among two-stage snow throwers because of its compact size


  • Times Circle
    Does not come with a power steering
  • Times Circle
    May not be suitable for wet snow
  • Times Circle
    The size of the wheels is a little small so it can be hard to turn sometimes

Craftsman 88173 Review: Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about the Craftsman 88173:

Ques: Are spare parts for the Craftsman 88173 easily available?

Ans: Yes, they are easily available. You can order from the manufacturer or check third-party sellers. However, remember that it may not support parts from other manufacturers.

Ques: Does it come with a warranty? 

Ans: Yes, it generally comes with 2 years of warranty and in-home repair service.

Ques: Is Craftsman a reliable company? 

Ans: Yes, Craftsman is quite a reliable company and has been producing snowblowers for a number of years. It excels when it comes to quality products and scores good points in terms of customer service as well.

Ques: How long do Craftsman snowblowers last? 

Ans: If you invest in a machine from the lower price range, you'll be able to expect anywhere from 5 to 10 years of use which is pretty good compared to other manufacturers.

Ques: Is this self-propelled? 

Ans: This unit isn't self-propelled, which means some effort will be required to move the blower forward. It can be operated with just a single hand controller though hence do not expect to work very hard when using it.

Ques: Who makes the Craftsman 88173 snowblower? 

Ans: A registered company, MTD, makes these snowblowers. It produces them under some other brand names as well such as Troy-Bilt and Cub Cadet.

Ques: Are there separate areas to add gas and oil? 

Ans: Yes, the Craftsman 88173 snowblower has separate areas to add gas and oil. The gas and oil caps are clearly marked on the machine.

Craftsman 88173 Review: Conclusion

Craftsman 88173 is a reliable and durable model that enjoys an excellent reputation. The strength and adaptability of the engine are impressive. Having this beauty by your side will help you enjoy winters even more as you will not have to worry about snow.

It is a well-made, compact, efficient, and easy to operate unit. It does lack some features but it can still be a great option mainly considering the fairly low cost. 

Now that you know all about the Craftsman 88173 snowblower, we hope you will have no difficulty in making the right decision.

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