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Snow Throwers: How to Choose the Perfect Snow Blower

Updated on September 26, 2013

Snow Thrower

A Snow Blower Makes Clearing your Driveway Easy

A snow blower, or snow thrower, the terms are interchangeable can be a great way to get rid of the snow on your driveway or sidewalk. If you live in an area that gets a lot of snow you know that this can be a daily chore during the winter. Not only is it a major hassle it can be unsafe, every year hundreds of people have heart attacks while shovelling snow. This is why it is usually a good idea to get a snow thower to make the job a lot easier. The key is to make sure that you choose a good one.

Snow Throwers are Gas or Electric

The first thing that you have to think about when you are buying a snow blower is whether you want one that is electric or gas powered. There are advantages to both options so you will have to think about what is best for your needs. Electric power offers the advantage of being the less expensive option. They also tend to be more convenient since you don't have to worry about having gas around to fill up your snow thrower before you use it.

While there are advantages to an electric snow blower there are good reasons to consider a gas powered one. The first is that gas powered snow throwers are a lot more powerful than electric ones. The other big advantage is that you don't have to deal with the cord while you are using it. The cord tends to get in the way and it does limit the space you can use your snow thrower in since you will need to remain within cords reach of the socket. In general if you have a small driveway or area to clear then electric is probably the way to go, for large areas however you will want to go with gas.

One Stage or Two for your Snow Blower

The next big decision that you are going to have to make is whether you want a single stage or a two stage snow thrower. With a single stage thrower the auger is in direct contact with the ground, it takes the snow off of the ground and then throws it straight out. A two stage snow blower on the other hand works by collecting the snow with one auger and then using an impeller to send it to another auger that actually throws the snow.

The advantage that a single stage snow blower offers is that it is cheaper than a two stage blower, it also tends to be a lot smaller. This makes it ideal for using on small surfaces. The big disadvantage of a single stage snow thrower is that it can't be used on soft surfaces, particularly gravel since everything that it picks up will be discharged. That means that if you use it on a gravel surface you will be throwing rocks everywhere.

The advantage that a two stage snow thrower offers is that you can use it on pretty much any surface since the auger is not in direct contact with the ground, therefore it won't pick up rocks. It can also be quite a bit bigger than a single stage version which has a very limited size. The downside is that a two stage is more expensive, it is also bigger which makes it a little bit awkward in tight spaces. For small areas on a solid surface a single stage is usually the best bet, for large areas or soft surfaces you will need a two stage blower.

Power and Size are Important for a Snow Blower

Power is the next thing that you are going to have to think about when you are choosing a snow thrower . In general the more snow that you get the more power that you are going to need to move it. Since we have already established that gas is more powerful than electric and a two stage more powerful than a single stage your power decision will largely be the result of what you choose on those factors. Nevertheless you should keep how much snow you expect to have to remove in mind.

The last consideration that you will have to make is on the size of the snow blower that you are going to buy. There can be a huge variation in size from small ones that are made mostly for sidewalks to giants blowers that are intended for parking lots. You will need to think about your needs and what you are comfortable using to get one that is right for you.

The last thing to keep in mind is that you are going to want to shop around to make sure that you get a good deal. There are lots of places that sell snow throwers so don't rush into buying one without checking out a few other places. Also make sure that you get a good warranty, a snow blower is a major investment you want to make sure that it is protected.

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