What To Consider When Buying A Snow Blower

What To Consider When Buying A Snow Blower

If you live in a place where it snows regularly in the winter, and you have more than a short sidewalk to keep clear of snow, you need a snow blower. Your risk of having a heart attack increases after a heavy snowfall, because of the effort of shoveling snow. A snow blower will make the work of removing snow more manageable, so you don’t have to put yourself at risk.

But what kind of snow blower should you buy? There are electric, battery, and gas-powered models available in single-stage, two-stage, and three-stage designs. The type of snow blower you get should depend on how much snow you’ll be moving, the size of the area you’ll be clearing, the type of surface, and the features you need from the machine. Let’s take a closer look at the things you should consider when buying a snow blower.

The Size of Your Driveway and the Driveway Surface

The size of your driveway will determine whether you should get a single-stage, two-stage, or three-stage snow blower. Single-stage snow blowers have an auger that scrapes the ground, throwing snow into the chute in one step. Two-stage snow blowers have an impeller that moves snow from the auger into the chute. Three-stage snow blowers have an accelerator that pulls snow from the auger and forces it into the impeller and into the chute.

A single-stage snow blower is appropriate for a small driveway, no larger than two cars long and two cars wide. However, it should only be used on paved surfaces. The auger on a single-stage snow blower scrapes the ground, so if you have a gravel driveway, it will scrape up the gravel and throw it everywhere. Two-stage and three-stage snow blowers are more appropriate for gravel driveways. Two-stage snow blowers can tackle driveways three cars long by two cars wide, and three-stage snow blowers can tackle driveways four cars long by three cars wide.

The Quality and Amount of Snowfall You Usually Get

If you get a lot of snow, you will probably want to spring for a more powerful snow blower. Single-stage snow blowers are capable of handling snowfalls up to six inches, particularly if you get a lot of light, dry snow. Single-stage snow blowers are not self-propelled and may not be capable of dealing with large plow piles. Two-stage snow blowers can handle snowfalls up to 12 inches, and most are self-propelled, making them easier to maneuver in deeper snows. Two-stage snow blowers can tackle plow piles as long as they’re fresh. Three-stage snow blowers can handle snowfalls of 18 inches or deeper, and are the best choice for handling a lot of heavy, wet snow. They’re usually self-propelled and can grind through plow piles, as well as moving snow quickly.

The Type of Fuel You Want to Use

Should you choose a gas, electric, or battery-powered snow blower? Electric snow blowers have to be used with an extension cord, which can make them more difficult to use in large areas. Battery snow blowers solve that problem, but while they are cleaner, quieter, and easier to maintain, electric and battery snow blowers don’t offer the power that gas snow blowers do. If you’re moving a lot of snow over a large area, you might need to buy a gas snow blower, even though it requires more maintenance and is more harmful to the environment.

The Features You Need to Make the Job Easier

Snow blowers come with a lot of features these days, and there are some that aren’t a mere luxury. For example, a headlight on your snow blower can make it easier to move snow after dark – and since it’s winter, it’s going to be “after dark” a lot more often than it would be in the summer. You’ll be moving snow in the morning in the dark, and you’ll be moving snow in the evening in the dark, or at least in the gathering dusk. A headlight makes it easier to see and avoid obstacles and gets your snow blowing done faster.

Another feature you should consider getting is an electric start. You have to plug your snowblower in to use electric start on some models, but it’s worth it to avoid having to start via pull cord out in the cold. Besides, you can just unplug your gas snow blower once you have started it. To speed up the job, splurge on a model with auto cute rotation and electronic chute pitch controls. Buy a snow blower with a plastic chute – they’re rust-free and less prone to clogging than metal chutes.

Get a lot of snow in the winter? The right snow blower will help you save your back and get the job done faster and easier. It’s worth spending more money to get a snow blower with the power and features you need to tackle your snowfall.

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