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Snowblower Shoe Adjustment (stepped guide with pics)

By: Author John Cunningham. Published: 2022/09/06 at 9:32 am

I see a ton of worn-out snowblower bins, all because the shoes were never adjusted. I don’t blame folks; many don’t know they need to. I am already impressed; you are well ahead of most, and I can tell you love your kit. I’m a mechanic, and very shortly, you’ll be a shoe-adjusting pro.

Adjusting snowblower shoes is a six-step process; they are:

  1. Park on level ground
  2. Check tire pressures
  3. Place shim under scraper bar
  4. Loosen skid shoe fasteners
  5. Push shoes to ground
  6. Tighten shoes fasteners

In this post, you’ll learn why it’s important to adjust your snowblower shoes how to adjust them, and the best heights for different types of yard surfaces.

Scraper bar

These shoes need adjusting; the scraper bar should not make contact with the surface.

Let’s get those shoes adjusted!


Adjusting the Shoes

Adjusting the shoes is an easy job and requires little in the way of tools. The whole job won’t take you more than thirty minutes tops. Adjusting should be done every year at the start of the season.

Adjusting, as you know, improves overall snowblower performance but also reduces wear and tear. More surface contact equals increased friction and vibration, both increasing fatigue in machines and operators.

Loosen skid shoes

Tools – You’ll need a timber shim, ratchet & socket, or wrench, usually 13 mm or 1/2 in.

1 Park on level ground


We’ll need a hard-level surface to work on, indoors or outdoors. An uneven working surface will result in an uneven scraper bar.

2 Check tire pressures

Pump tires

We’ll need to check and adjust the tire pressures if needed. Uneven tire pressures will result in an uneven scraper bar.

3 Place shim under scraper bar

Timber shim under snow blower bin

We’ll need an appropriate wooden shim to rest the bin on. The shim should run with the width of the scraper bar, and the height will depend on your surface.

See chart below for shim guide.

Surface TypeShim Height
Concrete1/2 inch
Loose stone or pebble1 inch
Timber deck1/2 inch

Lay your timber shim on the ground and park the snowblower so the scraper bar rests on the shim.

4 Loosen skid shoe fasteners

Loosen skid shoes

Spray some WD40 on your skid shoe fasteners (2 on each side), then go ahead and loosen them.

5 Push shoes to the ground

Lower the skid shoes

Make sure the shoes rest on the ground. If your shoes won’t sit right because they are worn, remove the fasteners and flip the shoes upside down; they are double-sided.

If you have already worn both sides, it is best to invest in a replacement set.

Metal shoes are the most common, but nylon or wheeled shoes are available too and are kinder to your yard surface and quieter too.

6 Tighten shoe fasteners

Tighten shoe fasteners

Add some copper grease to the fasters (prevents corrosion) and tighten them.

You are a pro!

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Replacing the Scraper Bar

Scraper bar

The scraper bar is a replaceable strip of metal fitted to the leading edge of your snowblowers bin.

Its function is to protect the bin from wear, the kind of wear that comes from maladjusted or worn-out shoes.

It happens; not everyone realizes they need to adjust shoes; anyhow, a scraper bar isn’t expensive or difficult to replace; that said, if your fasteners are corroded, you’ll need to cut them off and replace them.

The fitting process is as follows:


Place the snowblower on its bin

Locate and spray fasteners with WD40


Use a box wrench and ratchet, and socket to loosen the fasteners

Remove the scraper bar


Refit new scraper bar

Apply copper grease to fasteners and fit


Level the scraper bar and tighten the fasteners

Sum Up

Adjusting snowblower shoes is an easy job that can be accomplished with minimal tools in under thirty minutes. Adjusting is important; it will prevent auger and bin damage and improve overall snowblower performance.

The main steps include – Adjusting tire pressures, choosing the appropriate shim height, and loosening and adjusting the shoes.

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