Picking the Right Snow Blower – What You Need to Know

Types of Snow Blowers and How to Choose the Right One

Knowing the average amount of snowfall in your region is your first step in shopping between the types of snow blowers and how to choose the right one. Next your region’s snow type can range from light and fluffy to wet and heavy. Finally surface width comes into play – is it your sidewalk or entire driveway that needs cleared? And if it’s built on a hill, are treds required? From least to heaviest duty below are 4 types of snow blowers and what you need to know about them. For more in-depth information on specific models and reviews, you can find the best snow blowers here.

Electric

For the everyman with a small to medium sized driveway and sidewalk, the electric snow blower has a wide range of sizes from 12 to 21 inches. Do not count on clearing tall build ups, you will need gas power for that. Use them on your deck or roof where more cumbersome blowers cannot reach. Avoid hills and only use on paved surfaces. Little maintenance besides cleaning is required, and to operate all you need is two hands and a long enough extension cord. Capable of throwing snow up to 30 feet.

Single-Stage

If your region has heavier snow – not fine but fluffy flakes – the single stage gas powered snowblower is for you. Its clearing width is around 19-21 inches, with a limiting height factor of 12 inches. Like the electric, the single stage is made only for paved surfaces. For gravel driveways, taller build ups, or heavier snow consider a two or three stage snow blower. Capable of throwing snow up to 35 feet.

Two-Stage

For heavy snow mixed with water, the two-stage clears usually between 20 to 45 inches. Caution should be used when operating. The blower’s face is open wide with a circulating helical bit called an auger that scoops snow and ice. These types have treds allowing operation on hilly surfaces. It can be operated on gravel as well as paved surfaces. Generally they can tackle up to 23.5 inches of snow and will throw it up to 50 feet.

Three-Stage

With two stainless steel augers and an accelerator, this is the most powerful snow blower on the market. It is able to handle chunks of ice and snow left by plows in a 24 to 28 inch path, and handles up to 21 inches of snowfall throwing it 50 feet.

Among these types of snow blowers, how to choose the right one comes down to the type of snow, how high it has built up, and the width of the surface you need to clear.

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