The first step in buying a snow blower is to decide whether you need a single stage vs two stage snow blower.
Shovelling snow by hand takes some time, effort, and strength. This is where snowblowers take place. A snow blower can help you reduce your time and effort, and can cut through packed snow and ice quickly, and even the tough stuff that the plowing leaves at the end of your driveway.
Many individuals can either purchase a single-stage or dual-stage model. If you didn’t know the stages of the snow blowers and you didn’t know what was right for you, don’t worry, we’ve got you.
This detailed buyer’s guide will explain what you need to know about single-stage and two-stage snow blowers, explain in depth the various stages, and list their pros and cons.
What is a Snow Blower and Why Do You Need it?
The hardest challenge is clearing the pathways after a snowy night and driveway in the freezing morning. For this cause, a snowblower is now an important household item. At first, their use was industrial, but now they are seen in residential areas on a daily basis.
A snow blower is a machine used to clear snow from pathways and driveways during the winter season. It uses a spinning auger for pushing snow. To be thrown to the side to clear the way, snow is shoved into the discharged tube.
Lightweight & Portable
While shoveling snow takes a long time and plows are too heavy for small driveway and sidewalk work, snowblowers offer you the best of both worlds. these lightweight and compact tools are easy to start-up and transfer pretty quickly.
A snowblower will save you hours of working time and energy by smoothly rolling through the snow and redirecting it away from your driveway. This makes snowblowers an excellent tool for persons with disabilities or other health conditions since they can prevent hours of difficult shoveling and removing the snow.
A snow blower is so powerful, it can throw snow 20 to 30 feet away seamlessly! Who doesn’t like a flawless and clean driveway, particularly when you walk a lot in the winter.
Electric or Gas Powered
Snowblowers can run on gas or electricity. The best choice for you depends on the scope of your needs. Gas-powered ones are suitable for longer and harder work.
Snowblowers are built to last for several years, with proper care. Some come with warranties, too.
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Types of Snow Blowers
Before getting started, here are a few things you should consider:
- What type of snow do you usually get and how much of it?
- Is it light and powdery or is it wet and heavy snow?
- How big is the area that needs to be cleared?
- Do you have a big driveway or a small driveway?
- Have you got a little sidewalk area in front of your home?
Basically, there are 3 types of snow blowers to select from. The most basic, and thus the cheapest, is a single stage snow blower that includes snow shovels.
Two-stage snow blowers, which are generally bigger, more powerful, and usually more costly than single-stage snow blowers, would be second on the list. Lastly, a 3-stage snow blower is the largest of all the types of snowblowers.
Since 3-stage snow blowers are not the most common, they are typically used for industrial, local, and framing purposes, We will concentrate mostly on the first two kinds of snow blowers: single stage vs. two stage snow blowers.
Single Stage Snow Blowers
Single-stage snowblowers handle light to medium snowfalls on the sidewalks, pathways, and driveways all the way down to the pavement easily.
Combined with the engine’s control, the auger scoops up the snow and discharges it in a single movement through the chute, hence the term, Single-Stage.
They are lightweight, easy to maneuver, and have simple controls, making them an ideal choice for everyone. Their compact size and ease of use remove light to moderate snowfalls faster than a two-stage machine and is suitable for models that are small.
To clear snow and ice from the ground, all snow blowers/throwers use an auger. A single stage snow blower also uses the auger into a chute to expel the ice and snow. It doesn’t blow the snow away, the spinning auger really throws the snow away.
This has a two-fold effect on how you can use a single stage snow blower, or a snow thrower, more accurately.
The auger design is somewhat compromised because the auger needs to raise the snow from the surface and fling (or throw) it a decent distance from the machine. It’s not going to remove as much snow, nor is it going to cut into the snow deeply.
It would not throw the snow as far away as the snowblower, either. Single-stage snow blowers are not ideal for heavy snow for these purposes or for sweeping wider fields, such as long driveways.
Usually, you should get up to about 6-8 inches of snow to be handled by a single stage snowblower.
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Single-stage snowblowers can still toss snow up to 30 feet down, although they are not nearly as effective as two-stage snow blowers. Plus, as they are lighter and narrower, in tight spots such as narrow paths and wider driveways, they are often simpler to navigate and can also be raised onto decking or porch surfaces.
The front auger is also more flush on the field, making the snow sweeping look crisp and smooth while there would be no layer of snow left behind. Not to mention, there are far more affordable single-stage snow blowers than two-stage ones.
Single-stage models can perform pretty well On light snow that’s less than 8-inches thick. Interestingly, when sweeping up light snow, most two-stage snow blowers are simply inefficient and only end up moving it all around.
Only because they have more strength does not mean that they can do anything that can be achieved by single-stage snow blowers.
Since a single auger system does not require nearly as much power as a dual auger system, it is ideal to power it with gasoline so you can do the work longer and easier.
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Best suited for:
- Light to moderate snowfall, 8 inches or less usually.
- Two car garage driveways, short to moderately sized.
- Effectively clears snow on your sidewalks and driveways, down to the pavement.
Two-stage Snow Blowers
While single-stage snow blowers actually suck up and throw out snow, most do not handle high volumes of compact snow. How the snow is expelled from the chute is the biggest distinction between a single stage and a two-stage snowblower.
A two-stage snow blower has a powerful impeller that pushes the snow and ice upward, out of the auger and into the chute, instead of using the auger to throw the snow. So, the snow is blown away from the unit, basically.
Two-stage snow blowers utilize collection augers to break up wet and heavy or frozen snow and then chuck it through a throw chute, ideal for removing large piles of snow. They sport bigger wheels and higher ground clearance, so they can clear dirt and rocky terrain more easily.
They also have wider mouths and most have revolving chutes, making them suitable for big driveways and lawns. They do take up more space, though, so in your garage or storage shed you will need a dedicated year-round space.
Plus, you can clear rough ground conditions, such as asphalt, since the first auger does not hit the ground and is slightly inclined. This is very helpful because if you have a rough surface throughout the yard.
It guarantees that you do not compromise the blade, and also helps you to clean out more areas in the yard, like pathways through your lawn.
Also, the same tilted auger that helps you to clean uneven surfaces also means that in places you cover with your snow blower, a small skim of snow would be left behind. If you are looking for a clean surface once you finish your snow blowing task, be prepared to run a large snow shovel or snow brush over what is left over.
Most of the two-stage snow blowers can be bulky in size, restricting where they can be stored and what spaces they can get into. Brands have been working on making them more and more lightweight in recent years, too.
Two-stage snow blowers tend to be heavy too, which can hinder how you maneuver them, particularly when they are not on and benefit from self-propulsion.
Best suited for:
- Handling all snow styles on every surface.
- Ideal for gravel driveways because, like a single-stage snowblower, they do not touch the surface.
To Sum Things Up
Snow season shouldn’t be the season for back pain. With snow blowers you can enjoy your winter days without working too long just only to clear big piles of snow in your yard.
You should have a pretty decent understanding of the different types of snow blowers and how they operate by now especially the difference between single stage vs two stage snow blower
Now you’ve learned that single-stage snow blowers are built for up to around 8 inches of light snow.
A two-stage snow blower is the strongest for heavier snow and, most specifically, wet snow and ice, the larger of which can accommodate snow drifts of up to 45 inches.
Your budget will play a part when you pick the best snow blower for your needs, however. Even, you should know how much your snowblower is used.
A light-duty unit would generally be okay in an environment where you only get intermittent snow, which will not cost as much as heavy-duty snow blowers.
It is up to you know whether you will get the single stage vs two stage snow blower. Of course, both of them can be a great investment that will save time — and your back.