In many places, the amount of snowfall has plummeted from feet to inches, and all that’s left now is a slushy mess. Nobody likes dealing with wet snow, especially when it comes time to shovel it off of driveways. Of course, the best tool to do this is not the traditional shovel which can end up ruining your driveway but rather a snow blower.
However, the question that arises is whether snow blowers are equipped to deal with wet snow. In short: Yes, you can use a snow blower to toss wet snow, but only if you have the right snow blower to do it.
In this article, we’ll go over what different types of snow blowers can do. We’ll also talk about the ideal type of snow blower for use on wet snow.
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Types of Snow Blowers
Even though we can classify snow blowers by which source of power they use – either electricity or gasoline – the more effective way would be to classify them based on how many stages they come with. Each stage indicates how many different tools or components the snow blower uses to get toss away snow. The three types of snow blowers are single-stage, double-stage, and triple-stage.
Single-Stage Snow Blowers
A single-stage snow blower uses an auger to collect snow and an impeller fan to suction and toss snow through the discharge chute. Since the auger makes direct contact with the surface it’s clearing; this snow blower shouldn’t be used on grassy terrain since it’ll tear up your yard and pick up dirt which could clog the machine.
Single-stage snow blowers are either driven by electricity or gasoline. The intake capacities of a single-stage snow blower vary greatly based on their source of fuel. Electric models tend to have intakes that are up to 18 inches wide and 12 inches tall, whereas gas-powered models can clear paths as wide as 22 inches and swallow snow mounds up to 13 inches tall.
In general, single stage snow blowers are better suited for light-duty jobs such as clearing walkways and driveways. They’re lightweight, easy to maneuver, and can be stored easily in your shed without taking too much space. Some single-stage models come with pneumatic wheels which help glide the machine along slippery surfaces, but they weigh more and take up considerably more floor space.
Can it clear wet snow?
Sadly, no. Single-stage snow blowers are designed to toss away airy, dusty snow. If the snow becomes too compacted or moist for whatever reason, the machine has a higher risk of clogging. Doing this repeatedly means spending more time unclogging the machine than clearing driveways. Plus, you could eventually end up burning the motor and having to spend money on repairs.
Double-Stage Snow Blowers
Double-stage snow blowers are considerably more powerful than their single-stage counterparts. The second stage refers to the machine’s power-assisted tires or tracks which helps it travel up and down slopes without toppling over. This type of snow blower also comes with steel augers for gathering up snow and an impeller fan to shoot snow through the discharge chute. They also feature more powerful motors for tossing snow farther away.
Similar to single-stage models, a double-stage snow blower can be electric or gas-powered. What really sets this apart from single-stage machines is its intake capacity which can be as wide as 40 inches and as tall as 18 inches. In addition, if you look closely, the steel auger never makes contact with the surface of the area you’re clearing, making this machine an excellent candidate for clearing grassy and even rocky yards.
The large body of a double-stage snow blower requires a large motor to propel these heavy machines forward and backward. Due to their large size and intake capacities, a double-stage snow blower can clear wider areas more efficiently than a smaller single-stage machine. Another thing that makes these machines great is that they’ll work on slippery surfaces without fail, especially if you give them chains for maximum traction.
Can it clear wet snow?
So when it comes to dealing with different types of snow, a double-stage snow blower is indeed equipped with the tools and strength to toss wet, slushy snow at distances of up to 20 feet and beyond. In fact, the steel augers and impeller fan are able to shatter and shoot out ice shards; this is how powerful the double-stage snow blower actually is. The main thing to consider between getting a single- or double-stage snow blower is whether your part of the world requires using such a powerful machine. In places where snowfall is measured in mere inches and not feet, a double-stage now blower is definitely overkill.
Triple-Stage Snow Blowers
Triple-stage snow blowers are the heaviest-dutiest, tankiest type of snow blower. The only type of fuel that can provide a triple-stage machine with the power to do what it does is gasoline. Anything a single- and double-stage snow blower can’t do, a triple-stage snow blower can do with flying colors. Things like thick patches of ice and the most compacted snow are no match for the awesome power of these beast-like machines.
A triple-stage snow blower can be thought of as a pimped out double-stage machine. The main difference between the two is the accelerator which causes the auger and impeller fan to work more than twice as quickly, tossing snow and ice nearly twice as far in just about half the time.
These machines come with even larger intakes that clear paths as wide as 48 inches and as tall as 24 inches. Beware of hidden fire hydrants!
Can it clear wet snow?
If a double-stage snow blower can, then a triple-stage snow blower can, too, but more effectively and efficiently. The only things that can clog the accelerator, side augers and impeller fan in a triple-stage snow blower are large objects that don’t belong there in the first place – e.g. large rocks, stray garden tools, etc. Ice and snow, however, are nothing to the mighty power of a triple-stage machine.
So to sum up, a single-stage snow blower is most likely unable to toss wet, slushy snow at any distance; and both double- and triple-stage snow blowers can toss moistened snow with no trouble at all. If you’re dealing with moist snow towards the end of the winter season where snowfall is at a minimum and snow is less than a foot high, then a double-stage snow blower would be the more cost-efficient model to get. The only time you should consider getting a triple-stage snow blower is not to deal with slushy snow but to utilize their large intake capacity to clear wider areas quicker.