Go down to any local store that sells a snow blower and you will find every possible type of snow blower. Single-stage electric snow blower, three-stage gas snow blower, cordless two-stage snow blowers with serrated augers, snow blowers with X-Trac tires suitable for self-propelling – the options are endless.
This may be an exaggeration but the choices can be overwhelming. So, before you get into which brand’s snow blower you should opt for, let’s take a look at the difference between single-stage and two-stage snow blowers.
Single Stage Versus Two-Stage Snow Blowers
Your first step is to determine which type of snow blower is fit for the kind of snowfall your city or house receives. Knowing the basic difference will help you decide between Husqvarna ST230P or a Snow Joe SJ623E
Manufacturers know that no one type of snow blower will be suitable for every kind of snow. While some places experience only a delightful snowfall made of fluffy snowflakes, others regularly witness the accumulation of wet and heavy snow or even snowdrifts.
For the first scenario, a single-stage snow blower suffices. But for the second scenario you need two-stage snow blowers.
Single-Stage Snow Blower
Probably the least powerful out of them both, single-stage snow blowers (or throwers) are effective at getting the job done. These collect the snow with a spinning auger and eliminate the snow through the chute in a single motion which is why they’re called ‘single stage.
The spinning auger is made of either plastic or rubber or any other inexpensive but sturdy and reliable material. In fact, numerous single-stage snow blower manufacturers opt for plastic chutes. A plastic chute helps because it will dent upon encountering small rocks or gravel that would otherwise damage a metal discharge chute. Because of the use of more economical parts, a single-stage snow blower will cost you lesser than a two-stage snow blower. Another advantage is that you can get cheap single stage snow blowers.
Most single-stage snow blowers are electric-powered. Ergo, you will have to connect your snow blower to a power outlet to use it. You don’t even have to worry about the oil in your snow thrower freezing when the temperature falls below 0 degrees. So make sure you have a power source close by.
Their clearing capacity goes up to 24 inches in terms of width and 20 inches in terms of snow intake with a disposable range of more than 30 feet. They’re lightweight and compact making them extremely easy to maneuver, even easier to store and ideal for areas with light to moderate snowfall. You could just tuck them in a corner when not in use and forget about them until the next winter.
However, single-stage snow blowers generally don’t have adjustable skid shoes. Skid shoes ensure that your auger doesn’t scrape against the surface being cleared and your floor will be safe from any scuff marks.
Two-Stage Snow Blower
As the name indicates, here the cleaning takes place in two stages. In the first stage, the auger sucks in the snow, breaks it down into finer particles and then discharges it via the chute with the help of an impeller.
The serrated steel auger is a common occurrence in two-stage snow blowers because it provides a stronger snow-clearing power and advanced ice chopping mechanism. This essentially means that the chances of your discharge chute getting clogged are less. Because of the impeller’s mechanisms involved, two-stage snow blowers will throw the collected snow further away. As a matter of fact, the throwing distance can go up to 50 feet.
Note that two-stage snow blowers will be bulkier than single-stage snow blowers. This would mean that you would have to put some power into pushing your two-stage snow blower around. However, some snow blower manufacturers have started integrating self-propelling function to take away this burden from you.
In terms of area clearing capacity, two-stage snow blowers have an average cleaning width of up to 30 inches and snow intake of up to 24 inches. Many snow blowers can clear up to 2750 pounds per minute which is a really impressive feat. Adjustable skid shoes are more or less standard features so you don’t have to worry about scratching your ground surface. Although on the flip side, there’ll be a thin coating of snow left behind.
You will find two stage snow blower models with more features that making snow plowing almost effortless – LED headlights, chute rotator and deflector mounted on the control panel, ergonomic and heated handles, push button starts and more. But as the features increase, the cost will too.
The most important things to remember while purchasing any stage snow blower is that you should know your budget, the expected snow fall, the kind of snow and the area that needs to be free from snow.