Buying Guide

Snow Blowers Buying Guide

Types of Snow Blowers

An image of a yellow snow thrower.

If you live in an area with consistent snowfall or extreme winter weather, choose between a corded or cordless electric snow blower or a single-, two- or three-stage gas snow blower.


Tip: If you’re new to your region, research snowfall averages over the last few years to give you an idea of how much work you’ll need your snow blower to do.


FUEL TYPES

Gas Snow Blowers: Gas snow blowers provide plenty of power and are available in single-, two-stage and three-stage models. Remember that gas-type blowers require more maintenance and need access to gas, so owners should keep at least one tank in storage. Since they are heavier, a gas snow thrower can also be more difficult to maneuver. With so much power, a gas snow thrower can be more than the average homeowner might need; gas models are more typically seen used in commercial applications.


Electric Snow Blowers: Corded electric snow blowers are a smart, eco-friendly choice for the average homeowner. Perfect for clearing patios, porches, walkways and small-to-medium sized driveways, they handle light to moderate snow well and work best when used on smooth, paved surfaces. Electric models don’t require regular maintenance, are generally more economical and weigh less than their gas-powered counterparts. They also have the added advantage of running much more quietly than a gas model.

 

Cordless Snow Blowers: High-voltage battery-powered snow blowers now perform comparably to single-stage gas-powered snow blowers and are effective on light, moderate and heavy snow. Great for use on walkways and driveways, battery powered models weigh less than their gas-powered counterparts, making them easy to maneuver. As an added advantage, you'll never have to worry about running over a cord.


STAGE TYPES


Single-stage blowers feature an auger that breaks up snow and then lifts and tosses it aside. Be careful not to use this blower on gravel as the auger touches the ground and collects everything to be thrown to the side.


Two-stage blowers have an auger that lifts snow and an impeller that blows it, allowing them to clear a wider path with more power.


Three-stage blowers collect snow and ice, chop it up and then propel it away. This three-step process can chop through thick snow and ice, making it the strongest blower available.


Snow Blower Comparisons

single-stage snow blowers

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two-stage snow blowers

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electric snow blowers

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cordless snow blowers

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gas snow blowers

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Snow Thrower Features

Detail of a snow thrower headlight and loader

Look for snow blowers with features such as hand warmers, headlights, speed control and more to personalize your blower for your exact snow removal needs.

  • Heated Handles: Though gloves will protect your hands against the cold, they don't always keep them warm. Look for blowers that feature hand warmers to keep your fingers comfortable no matter how windy and snowy it gets.
  • Headlights: Blowers with headlights make it easy to see where you are going when darkness sets in early on those short winter days.
  • Electric Start: Many gas-powered blowers now feature electric start mechanisms which replace pull cords and enable you to get started with the touch of a button.
  • Chute Control: Rotate the direction of the chute from the dash, allowing you to precisely direct the snow as you maneuver curves.
  • Drift Cutters: Drift cutters are narrow steel bands on the sides of the auger that knife through hard-packed, icy snow drifts, making it easier to power your way through and clear them more efficiently.
  • Speed Control: Units with this feature include multiple speeds in both forward and reverse to ensure comfortable use.

Snow Blower Accessories & Attachments

A snow blower with a cover on it sitting in a garage.

Cab: Usually a small shelter that attaches to the snow thrower to prevent the user from getting soaked with snow as it flies out of the path of the auger. There are cabs to fit walk-behind and ride-on snow blowers and many have the added benefit of a headlamp that helps light the path as your work.


Covers:
A durable weatherproof fabric drape used to protect the snow blower when not in use. Generic versions are available, but it is usually advised to purchase one made specifically for your brand and model if possible. 


Snow Blower Tractor Attachments:
An attachment that can mount to a tractor to temporarily transform it into a snow blower.  


Skid Shoes:
Metal or composite attachments that act as a spacer that keeps the bottom of your snow blower from touching the surface of your driveway. This keeps the concrete from being scratched and also ensure greater safety by keeping stones or gravel out of the path of your snow blower. 

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