Are you new to snow or looking to purchase a snow blower you might be wondering how to estimate what type of snow blower you need to avoid making the wrong purchase? Some things to consider before buying a snow blower are how large the area you need to clear is, what kind of snow is it, and what the ground area is like.
In this article, we will explore the answers to these questions, attempt to answer “What size snow blower do I need?” and provide an overview of what the different types of snowblowers are.
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Different Types of Snow Blowers
There are a couple of different types of snow blowers in the market. There are Electric Single Stage snow blowers, some that have a cord and some that are cordless. These are your cheapest and weakest snow blowers, which will be good for light snow or if your area doesn’t have a ton of ground to cover. I recommend getting one without a cord as having to deal with a cord following you everywhere can be quite a hassle, especially when dealing with snow as electricity and water are dangerous partners. There are also Two-stage and three-stage gas snow blowers which are much more powerful than single-stage.
What Are Stages
Stages refer to how the machines break up the tasks. A single-stage snow blower uses a spinning auger to pull in snow and throw it out of the discharge chute, whereas a two-stage snow blower uses a more robust auger to bring snow in and break up the snow and then have an impeller to launch the snow out. It’s called a two-stage snow blower as there are two distinct parts with different functions while the single-stage just has the auger doing both jobs. A three-stage snow blower adds an accelerator into the mix which results in breaking and taking in snow ten times as fast. Sometimes two-stage and three-stage snow blowers are also called snow throwers.
How Much Snow For Each Stage?
To answer the question: “What size snow blower do I need?” we first need to assess the amount of snow that we are dealing with. If you only regularly have snowfalls that are less than 8 inches or if you plan to blow your snow when the amount of snow on the ground is less than 8 inches you are probably safe to buy a single-stage snow blower as the best option as they can easily deal with that amount of snow.
If you’re covering a large area (more than an acre), even if the snow is less than 8 inches, you are probably going to want at least a second-stage snow blower. Although you won’t make full use of the snow blower’s potential, it will be much more convenient to use and features many quality of life improvements over a single-stage blower. A single-stage blower is going to be fine for most areas that don’t get a lot of snow. A second-stage snow blower makes it easier to go over the terrain and gets the same job done faster in a more enjoyable way.
A three-stage snow blower is only necessary if you’re clearing a large area of snow that’s up to your waste. The reason why you’d want a three-stage snow blower over a two-stage snow blower in this scenario is that it would take too long with a two-stage snow blower and you have over an acre to clear of deep snow in an area that frequently drops 8 inches of snow or more. Please note that three-stage snow blowers have also come into criticism as being a marketing gimmick and not adding any real benefit over a two-stage snow blower. Make sure to research the product before you buy a three-stage snow blower to make sure it has a real tangible benefit over a two-stage snow blower.
The Layout of The Ground
Another important consideration as to what size snow blower you need is going to be the layout of the ground. If the ground you are covering is mostly going to be a flat level surface of fewer than 2 acres, it won’t be too difficult to cover that area with a single-stage snow blower. Single-stage snow blowers typically are less engine driven and as such need more manual pushing to get them to move along.
As long as the ground is flat, this should be easy enough. If however, the ground you’re covering is uneven or has hills it really would be much nicer to invest in a two-stage snow blower just to get the benefit of not having to provide so much pushing power to get it to go forward. For anything over two acres, I recommend going to a second-stage snow blower as it will make the time spent much more enjoyable. Once you have a second-stage snow blower, you might enjoy the work so much you go around offering it as a service to your neighbors or renting out your snow blower.
The Type of The Snow
This is going to be the most important consideration as far as “what size snow blower do I need?” is concerned. If your snowfall is light snow that is not densely packed, a single-stage snow blower typically does fine as long as the snow is less than 8 inches. If however, the snow is heavy or wet it will clog a single-stage snow blower, but two-stage and three-stage snow blowers will remain unclogged as they are better able to move the snow due to a heavy-duty auger and an impeller for throwing the snow. You should also consider how long the winter season is.
If it only snows for one or two months a year, you might be all right with blowing snow every few days and can do the job just fine with a single-stage snow blower. If however, you want to blow snow less frequently and it tends to pile up into denser and deeper piles, you’re better off with a two-stage or three-stage snow blower. If you live in a place that gets snow for more than two months a year, you’re also probably better off with the investment in a two-stage snow blower.