I have used the chain drive blower for the last 17 years, and haven't had any problems with the chain, with one exception. During one winter, someone tossed a rock into the snow on the driveway, and when the blower hit that rock, it stopped suddenly. It bent the auger in front on one side, and bent up the blower auger at the back. It also snapped the chain. I replaced the damaged parts for under $300, and was back blowing snow in a couple of weeks. Getting parts back then was a lot slower than today. If I had the commercial blower, it most likely would have taken out the gear box, which is over $1000 to replace. Over the 17 years, I did replace the chain a couple of times, but I also moved a lot of snow, so chain wear was acceptable. I can replace a chain in less than an hour. I am not denigrating the commercial blower, just pointing out that each blower has its merits. If the 55" blower were available in both chain drive and gear box, I would still prefer the chain because of simplicity and replacement costs.That is why I went with the 54" width blower. Also the commercial blower is a lot heavier duty compared to the 48" "residential" version. Mine has a hefty gear driven box on the rear of the blower where the chain drive would be on the 48".