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Best Two Stage Snow Blowers for the Money 2014
Advantages and Disadvantages to Two Stage Snow Throwers
If you live in a place where winter brings plenty of snowfall, then you know the value of having a snow blower. They make great options for those who have large spaces to clear from snow, or those who are physically unable to use a shovel.
Dual Vs. Single Stage Snow Blowers
While a dual stage snow blower will blow snow away from your driveway or other areas faster and more efficiently in high snow pack areas, it's important to realize there are reasons for owning both.
Single stage snow blowers are lightweight and perfect for regular sized driveways in areas where the snow pack doesn't often reach above 8 inches. Using a single auger they suck up and blow the snow away from your driveway.
On the other hand dual stage snow blowers are heavier, may be self-propelled, and typically meant for high snow pack areas. A dual stage snow blower has both an auger to suck up the snow and an impeller to throw it out of the machine.
This allows the machine to expel the snow much farther than the single stage blower making it ideal for hilly driveways and areas with heavy snow fall.
Do you need a Two Stage Snow Blower?
A dual stage snowblower is only necessary if you live in an area with a lot of snow and have a larger driveway. They also work well on various types of terrain. On the other hand, a dual stage snowblower can be more difficult to unload and use in light snow pack and may be more power than is needed for some. Go with a dual stage snow blower if you get regular snowfall in excess of 8 inches.
A Must For Gravel Driveways:
If you have a gravel space that you need to clear of snow. then a dual stage snow thrower is a must. Where a single stage snow thrower may pick up rocks the auger of the two stage snow blower will not.
Types of Two Stage Snow Blowers
Dual stage snow blowers come in 3 main types:
Consumer grade snow blowers are great and will always outperform any electrical or single stage blower when there is a significant amount of snow. These are more of economy grade machines that can and do the job you need it to with very basic features.
Then there are prosumer grade snow blowers. These are bigger and much stronger. Usually they can throw snow up to 10 feet more than consumer grade machines.
These are the machines that feature things like interlocking controls and halogen lights. Most of the other components on these are not quite professional grade, but are still quite durable. These are usually made with extra strength aluminum, instead of cast iron, dear cases and they feature all steel chutes.
Professional grade snow blowers are the heaviest duty types of machines you can buy. These are made with heavy duty components like cast iron gear cases and solid steel frames. These also come with extra features as well.
These kinds are recommended for extra-large jobs, or clearing commercial spaces and they are the most costly.
Features to Look for in Dual Stage Snow Blowers
If you are in the market for a two stage snow blower, there are a few things to keep in mind while shopping. All two stage snow blowers run on gasoline and do not offer any kind of electric options.
However, there are many models that offer heated hand grips or an electric start option. You can also find those with variable speed transmissions, and some that have drift cutters for extra deep snow.
You might also want to check and see how easy the bearings are to access when you need to do routine maintenance on your snow blower. A good machine will offer a one handed operation so you can easily make adjustments with your other hand as needed.
Look for an adjustable chute so you can change the direction and the pitch of the expelling snow. Having an adjustable overhead discharge chute valve engine will also make your job easier. You may want to consider finding a snow blower that offers how halogen work lights so you can see better in low light.
Other features include speed control which will adjust multiple forward and reverse speeds. Power steering also makes moving the machine around a lot easier.
Be aware that the more features you want in your snow blower, the higher the price tag will be.
Other Things to Consider
Engine sizes are measured in cubic centimeters. The amount of cc's that you have are directly related to the torque and horsepower of its engine. The more cubic centimeters you get, the more powerful your machine is.
You will want to measure the space that you have to store a snow blower and make sure that you don't overbuy for the space that you have. It seems like a very simple thing, but many people often make purchases and forget to look at the product of dimensions. The last thing you want is to get a 200 pound machine that you have no place for.
What stage of snow blower do you have?
How to Use Your Two Stage Snow Blower Safely
It might seem silly to go over safety tips for grown people who probably already have snow blowing experience. However, even the best of us have accidents from time to time.
- It's always smart to read and understand your operator's manual before you actually operate the machine. It's good to understand your machine before having to deal with surprises later.
- Add gasoline outside so you limit the fumes you breathe in, and do not add gas to a running engine, or a hot one.
- Check the area where you will be clearing up snow for any objects that you might be able to pick up and throw out of the way of your snow blower. Better that you throw it away than it gets thrown by your machine.
- Keep pets and children away as you use this machine to teach them the proper caution.
- Before trying to unclog the machine or do any routine maintenance, make sure all the moving parts are stopped, and any use a specific tool to clean out snow rather than your hands or feet.
- If your machine needs some maintenance, check your owner's manual to see if it is something you can do on your own. If your snow blower has major repairs that are needed, you can usually contact a local repairman.
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