Snow blower versus snow thrower, most people use the terms interchangeably, but there are differences. Here I explain everything to help you find the right type of snow blower for you.
Read on and I explain everything.
Snow Blowers Vs. Snow Throwers
When the winter season is nearing the snow blower market rockets and it is understandable why. Come on, nobody really likes to shovel, do they?
But hold on, don’t just rush out and buy the best or the cheapest, you need the right one for the job.
Here’s what you need to know when considering snow throwers versus snow blowers to help you finally answer, what size snow blower do I need?
What Is A Snow Thrower?
The smaller of the two, a snow thrower is usually electric but is always a single stage machine. So this is why people just call them single stage snow blowers.
WARNING: You should always use an outdoor cold weather extension cord and take extreme care when using an electric snow blower in wet conditions.
Single stage means that the rotating auger is all it uses to clear snow. It scoops up the snow and throws it out over a distance of around 15-20 feet all in a single action. Hence, single stage.
What Is A Snow Blower?
Now here’s the difference between a snow blower and a snow thrower. Snow blowers are either two-stage snow blowers or three-stage snow blowers. Usually, they will be gas-powered, but you will occasionally see corded electric and cordless battery-powered versions on the market.
Personally, if you have a reasonable amount of snow to clear I would recommend mainly looking at gas-powered snow blower models.
A two stage snow blower uses two actions when clearing snow. The rotating auger gathers the snow and directs it into a spinning impeller, which in turn discharges it through the chute.
A three-stage snow blower is the most powerful type, with an auger and impeller. These are always gas models and as you may have already guessed, yes, it is possible to use the third stage. This third stage is the addition of an impeller accelerator, allowing the machine to throw out huge amounts of snow.
Spec Difference Between A Snow Blower & Thrower
As I have said, although similar, snow blowers and snow throwers are not the same. A snow thrower collects and discharges the snow in a single action with an auger. While a snow blower features a second or even third stage, making them capable of throwing large amounts of snow.
Let’s look at the key difference between single stage and two stage snow blowers.
Overall, snow throwers are more affordable, because they are simpler machines. When you buy a snow blower, you pay for the extra power and snow clearing capabilities that a snow thrower simply doesn’t have.
If you only get the occasional short, light snowfalls then the snow thrower is the best deal. However, if you live in a state with moderate to high amounts of wet snow it has to be the two stage snow blower.
Ease Of Use
An important difference between a snow blower and thrower is their ease of use. Snow throwers are lightweight and offer great maneuverability. Having said that, this is not the machine for you if you live in a moderate to high snowfall area.
Equally important is that snow throwers are usually electric so don’t require the same level of maintenance and servicing that gas models require. That said, there is nothing easy about using a snow thrower when the snow is wet and deep. Only three or two-stage gas snow blowers can do that job.
Capabilities And Power
When comparing snow blowers vs snow throwers a big difference is the width and depth clearance. Snow blowers have a wider clearance width and a taller clearing height. Which makes them more efficient at clearing larger areas, such as a driveway, than smaller snow throwers.
If you are dealing with the wet and heavy type of snow, only a snow blower is capable of powering through. Snow throwers are best reserved for dry powdery snow, the soft airy kind that’s no good for making snowballs.
Pure simplicity is what makes throwers affordable, meaning you won’t find too many features. Whereas snow blowers are designed to make snow removal more comfortable and efficient which makes for more features.
As an example of this, on a gas powered single stage snow blower you may find features such as heated grips. While some of the larger models feature headlights, variable speed settings, anti-slip wheels, and even track drives.
If you ask me, all those extra perks are what makes the investment worth it.
Wrapping Everything Up
In a nutshell, snow throwers are simple but effective electric single stage snow removal machine for quick and convenient clearing. Great for light snowfalls and small areas.
In comparison, a snow blower will clear a wider clearance path, handle deeper snow conditions and throw the snow farther.
Other Commonly Asked Questions
There you have it snow thrower vs snowblower comparisons. To wrap things up here are a few questions people often ask me when choosing which snow blower to buy.
Which is better a snow blower or snow thrower?
When I am asked ‘which is better a snow blower or snow thrower’ I always give this answer. For heavy snowfall, you need the power of a snow blower and for light or occasional snowfall then a snow thrower will suit your conditions just fine.
Can you use a snowblower on slush?
Personally, I would not recommend using a snow blower on slush. But, having said that, some two-stage and three-stage snowblowers are powerful enough to do so. Be sure to dry and clean your machine thoroughly after use though.
How do I choose a snow blower?
To choose a snow blower you need to consider the following points:
- The type of snowfall you usually have i.e wet snow or powdery dry snow.
- Think about the amount of snow, are you in a high snowfall area.
- Do you have a large area to contend with or just a small walkway?
- Always do your research before you make a final decision.