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Snow removal is one of those winter chores that can be ruthless on your back and legs. If you can relate to that statement, perhaps it is time to throw that shovel down for good and invest in a snow blower.
Snow blowers, or as some people like to call them, snow throwers, serve as an effective way to clear unwanted snow from your surroundings. If you live in an area that experiences snowy winters, you know how vital snow removal is for maintaining your driveway, deck, and the sidewalks outside your house.
There are hundreds of snow blowers out there, all with a diverse range of features, functions, and prices. A rather common dilemma amongst users is the choice between single-stage and two-stage blowers. How do you decide which one is better?
Types of Snow Blowers
Snow blowers can be divided into two categories, based on how they are powered – electric and gas.
Electric snow blowers need to be connected to a wall socket, either directly with the unit’s cord or through an extension cord. You do not want to be clearing snow with a long trail of cable following you as it is not the safest way to go about it. So, people prefer using an electric blower when they want to remove snow from a small area.
Electric blowers are available as single-stage blowers only. They offer unparalleled convenience and ease-of-use. Electric blowers are fairly environment-friendly as there is no need for fuel to power them.
As you might expect, gas blowers use fuel to power up. Unlike electric blowers, they do not suffer from the limited scope of movement as there is no cord to maneuver around. Gas blowers are available in single-stage, two-stage, and three-stage models. You should go for a gas blower if you want to remove snow from a large area.
Gas blowers suffer from a few drawbacks. They are not environment-friendly like their electric counterparts. They are more expensive and have high-maintenance.
How is a Single-Stage Snow Blower Different from a Two-Stage Snow Blower?
If you are wondering what the different stages of a snow blower are, you need to understand the working mechanism of it. How can one product have a single-stage, while the other has two stages? The answer lies in the role played by the auger.
The auger is that part of a snow blower which sucks in the snow. At least that’s what it is supposed to do. But with single-stage blowers, the auger is also tasked with discharging the sucked up snow. Think of it as a machine in an assembly line performing the responsibilities of two, which results in limited efficiency.
With a two-stage snow blower, it only requires the auger to do what it was built for (sucking snow). It gets the aid of another component, known as the impeller which takes care of discharging the snow sucked in by it. As a result, two-stage blowers are more powerful and can throw snow further than single-stage blowers.
To cut a long story short, single-stage blowers come with one component to suck and discharge snow. And two-stage blowers come with two parts, each dedicated to one task.
Let’s look at the pros and cons of each of these snow blower types.
Single-Stage Snow Blower
- It is available in both gas and electric versions.
- It comes at an affordable price.
- It is compact and portable, allowing for convenient storage when not in use.
- It can be maneuvered easily.
- It clears snow down to the surface leaving no residue.
- It cannot clear large amounts of snow (over 8 inches deep).
- It cannot clear wet snow.
- It works best on solid pavement and is not suitable for other terrains.
Two-Stage Snow Blower
- It can handle large amounts of snow, including wet snow.
- You can use it over several terrains.
- It comes with various features to simplify and speed up the snow removal process.
- It features power-assisted wheels, which enable exceptional maneuverability on slopes and uneven terrains.
- It works best on gravel surfaces but can work on other surfaces.
- It is not available in an electric version.
- It is expensive for some homeowners.
- It may leave behind some snow rather than clearing snow right down to the surface.
Factors to Consider
Now that you have understood the differences between a single and a dual-stage snow blower, it is time to address the all-important question. Which of the two is better? There cannot be an answer to that question that would apply to everyone. The ideal option is subjective and changes from person to person, and place to place.
- The frequency and regularity of snowfall in your area.
- The type and density of snowfall – is it heavy and wet or powdery and light?
- The area that you need to clear and its terrain type.
- Would you be clearing sidewalks in front of your house or a large driveway or both?
- Do you have a dedicated storage space to keep the snow blower?
- The location where you would throw the cleared snow to estimate the throwing capacity needed.
A single-stage blower and a two-stage blower are each designed for different purposes and will cater to the needs of different homeowners. You can select one of the two types of snow blowers based on your requirements and budget constraints.
Pay attention to the factors we have listed and decide accordingly. You do not want to end up investing in a two-stage blower when your work could have been done with a single-stage blower.
And do not forget to wear proper safety gear while using these machines. Till next time!