Best Two Stage Snow Blowers 2019

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The nights are drawing in and the temperature is dropping which means only one thing – winter’s coming! And that means snow, and if you’re in certain parts of the country that equals a lot of the white stuff.

Continually clearing your property can take a long time especially when you know all your hard work will have been covered up by a fresh layer of snow by daybreak! Using a snow shovel can be back-breaking and doesn’t always do a good job leaving areas of thicker snow or ice left on your pathway or driveway.

Well, maybe it’s time to consider purchasing a snow blower. These practical machines can drastically cut down on the time you spend shovelling snow and will leave your path, driveway or section of the sidewalk, clear in no time. Plus with a well-considered model, you’ll be able to maintain your property in less time, much easier.

Read on for our top picks for the Best Two-Stage Snow Blowers available. But, if you want to learn more about snow blowers, not sure what to look for and what features are worth considering? Then read our in-depth Buyer’s Guide to two-stage snow blowers which you’ll find just below our reviews.

Product

Detail

Our Rating

Price

Ariens Deluxe 30”

Best Two Stage Snow Blower

Troy-Bilt Storm 2410

Budget Option

Ariens RapidTrak 32” 

Heavy Duty

Worldlawn Two-Stage 22"

Compact

Ariens Deluxe 30" - Best Two Stage Snow Blower

Ariens is a well-respected and established brand who create a good range of snow blowers to suit various conditions and wallet sizes.

The Deluxe has a generous 30” clearance width making it ideal for larger areas where you want to get the job done as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Product Highlights

Ariens have created a strong and powerful workhorse that will make clearing your property quicker and simpler. This heavy-duty blower is capable of clearing up to 72 tons per hour using its powerful 306cc Ariens AX engine and 14” auger.

It’s all steel construction, including the chute, means this machine, with the correct maintenance and care, should last for many winters to come.

  • Fuel type - gasoline.
  • Clearing width - 30”
  • Ideal snow depth - 12”.
  • Throwing distance - upto 50 feet.
  • Engine size - 306cc.
  • Auger size 14”.
  • Chute rotation - 2050.
  • Snow removal - upto 72 tons an hour.

The Good

This beast of a machine features 16” directional tires for excellent traction as well as auto turn for effortless steering. This allows the blower to literally ‘turn on a dime.’ great for smaller spaces and tight corners. 

The Bad

All that power coupled with an all steel construction means this machine, weighing in at around 275 lbs is heavy. And despite the steering capabilities, this still might be too heavy for some folks. 

Pros

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    Halogen headlight
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    Hand warmers
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    Easy to assemble
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    3-year warranty

Cons

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    Small gas tank
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    Heavy

Accessories

To keep your new snow blower in great condition and covered to prevent possible damage, consider adding an Ariens Deluxe Professional Snow Cover to your basket. Created especially, to protect their range of snow blowers, it provides tailored protection which is ideal for everyday use and perfect to use when storing for the off-season.

Cub Cadet 2X 526 SWE 26” - Runner Up

If our top pick is out of stock or you just fancy a different machine, then our runner up is just as impressive on features and will do a fantastic job at clearing the snow from your property.

This modest and inexpensive snow blower can’t be missed with its cheery bright yellow paintwork which contrasts well with the other black elements on the machine.

Product Highlights

  • Fuel type - gasoline.
  • Clearing width - 26”.
  • Ideal snow depth - 16”.
  • Throwing distance - upto 40 feet.
  • Engine size - 243cc.
  • Auger size - 12”.
  • Chute rotation - 2000.

The Good

This snow blower is capable of clearing your drive or paths quickly and efficiently thanks to its robust, no nonsense design including its no rust skid shoes which glide along with minimal effort over a range of surfaces.

The single-hand 4-way chute control allows you to effortlessly change the direction and pitch of the chute without stopping.

Features heavy-duty 12” serrated steel augers which will easily cut through snow and ice day after day.

The Bad

This wider, larger machine will require decent sized storage for both the off-seasons and during the winter months when you’ll probably need access to it on a daily basis. A large garage or outdoor shed or outbuilding would work well and allow you to keep it protected while not in use.

Pros

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    Suitable for heavy snowfall
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    LED headlights
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    Electric push button start
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    3-year residential warranty

Cons

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    Large and heavy machine - 240 lbs

Troy-Bilt Storm 2410 - Budget Option

If you are looking for a great inexpensive snow blower then this might be just the machine for you. With a tiny price tag of around $600, this feature-packed bright red snow blower has 6 forward and 2 reverse speeds to make light work of clearing your paths.

Product Highlights

  • Fuel type - gasoline.
  • Clearing width - 24”.
  • Ideal snow depth - 12”.
  • Throwing distance - upto 30 feet.
  • Engine size - 208cc.
  • Auger size 12”.
  • Chute rotation - 1800.

The Good

The reinforced steel housing ensures this machine will, with the correct maintenance, be clearing your property for many years to come.

For easier steering and superior traction, the Troy-Bilt Storm offers 13” and 4” X-trac tires. Ideal for surfaces that are flat, sloped or uneven.

Individual auger flights means even with a shear pin break, you can keep using the machine until the whole job’s complete.

The Bad

While the majority of customers who purchased this machine, have given it glowing 5star ratings a few have experienced not so pleasing results. It would appear that there have been some issues with missing or broken parts when customers have received their machines. However, these are easy to fix and with the cooperation of both the store and manufacturer, customers were soon able to start ploughing.

Pros

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    Capable of coping with heavy snowfall
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    Easy to assemble
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    2-year warranty
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    Push button electric start
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    Free wheel for easy movement

Cons

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    No headlight

Accessories

To keep your snow blower protected why not consider purchasing a universal snow blower cover.

Ariens RapidTrak 32” -  Heavy Duty Snow Blower

If you live in an area which frequently gets large volumes of deep snow for extended periods, than you need a piece of equipment that’s going to tackle it day after day, week after week – no problem.

You need a machine that’s built for sustained use over difficult terrain.

It’s no surprise to see Ariens take another one of our top pick spots; this company understand the needs of their customers and the issues they face. They’ve designed a range of snow blowers to withstand sustained use over the winter period and listen to their needs designing snow blowers that people want to use.

Product Highlights

The specially designed RapidTrak Sno-Thro system provides excellent traction whether on high snow or on slick conditions ensure that your machine keeps on moving no matter what ground it has to cover. You can opt for either the full track or adjust the back wheel of the track for added maneuverability and a quicker pass over the snow. When in this mode it’s even easier to turn and avoid obstacles in your path. Adjusting your track system couldn’t be easier either using the trigger controls at your fingertips on the control panel.

With it’s wide clearance and the capability to plough through deeper snow depths, you’ll clear your pathway quicker with wider passes than many other snow blowers on the market.

Brigg & Stratton 420cc Ariens polar force engine features hydrostatic drive.

  • Fuel type - gasoline.
  • Clearing width - 32”.
  • Ideal snow depth - 16”.
  • Throwing distance - upto 60 feet.
  • Engine size - 420cc.
  • Auger size - 16”.
  • Chute rotation - 2000.
  • Snow removal - upto 2633 lbs per minute.

The Good

The auger and chute are both constructed from steel for durability so you can expect, with the correct care and maintenance, many years of service from this machine.

With the track system it’s no surprise that this machine is capable of clearing snow on a wide variety of terrains including paved and gravel pathways and driveways etc.

This beast has a huge 2633 lbs per minute snow blowing capability with a maximum throwing distance of upto 60 feet which should make short work of most properties from residential to commercial.

Turn on a dime thanks to the auto turn feature which makes maneuverability simple and quick allowing you to get down to the job of blowing snow without the worry of hitting obstacles.

The Bad

This is a large and heavy (339 lbs) machine which is ideally suited to larger residential and commercial properties with heavy snowfall over an extended period. Due to its size you’ll need a large storage shed or some other convenient location in which to store it during the off-season and when not in use during the winter months.

Pros

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    Hand warmers
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    Halogen headlight
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    Best on heavy, light or wet snow
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    Easy to assemble
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    3-year residential warranty

Cons

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    Expensive
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    Large and heavy

Accessories

Why not protect yourself from the blowing snow and frigid conditions with the Ariens Snow Cab Enclosure? This inexpensive and easy to use cab fits easily onto your snow blower and offers greater protection against the elements.

Worldlawn Two-Stage 22" - Compact Choice

If you’ve got a small property or narrow pathways getting a snow blower with a smaller clearance width will ensure that you can clear your pathways with ease. There aren’t that many available with a clearance of less than 24” but don’t worry because this little machine has a clearance of just 22” but still packs a punch when it needs to! And at less than $800, it’s a bargain!

Product Highlights

This narrower machine features an electric start to ensure your engine always starts even in the coldest of conditions. It’s capable of tackling snow on both a paved and gravel surface.

  • Fuel type - gasoline.
  • Clearing width - 22”.
  • Ideal snow depth - 6”.
  • Throwing distance - upto 35 feet.
  • Engine size - 205cc.
  • Auger size - 12”.
  • Chute rotation - 2000.
  • Snow removal - upto 650 lbs per minute.

The Good

The all steel augers ensure efficient snow clearance as well as longevity. There’s a choice of 3 forward and 1 reverse speeds, which enables you greater control and versatility.

The Bad

Due to the lower ideal snow depth of 6”, this blower isn’t suitable for those areas which routinely get above this depth.

Pros

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    Adjust the chute direction with ease using the remote chute control
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    Headlight
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    Narrow clearing width of just 22”
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    2-year residential warranty

Cons

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    Even though this machine is compact, it still weighs in at 166 lbs which might be too heavy some people to manage

Buyer’s Guide

If you’re new to the whole world of snow blowers or are not sure and need a little help in picking the right model for you, you’ve come to the right place. In this article we’ll be looking at the different types of two-stage snow blowers available and the features it’s worth checking out. So, let’s jump right in with a quick look at what a snow-blower is.

What is a snow blower?

A snow blower looks and runs a little like a lawnmower except instead of grass clippings, a snow blower shoots out snow. It uses an auger - a large corkscrew blade at the front (stage one), to push snow behind into an impeller that in turn pushes it into a discharge chute (stage two). Snow rains down on your side, a distance from you as you carve out a path in front as you walk along.

Types of snow blowers

There are basically three types of snow blowers:

  • Single-stage.
  • Two-stage.
  • Three-stage.

You can also get attachments that fit onto your tractor or truck but we won’t be discussing these in this article.

Single-stage

Single-stage snow blowers are lighter, smaller machines with less powerful motors. They are ideal for places with a light snowfall of less than 4” over even, non-sloped terrain. Typically these are powered by either electric or battery powered in cordless versions, gasoline models are available too.

Two-stage

A two-stage machine, as its name indicates, adds another stage to the snow blowing process. In addition to the auger, an impeller behind the auger pushes the snow to the discharge chute. It makes the process more efficient and quicker than a single-stage snow blower.

Perfect for areas where larger snowfall is expected, you have a larger area to clear and or your terrain is rough, uneven or slightly sloped for example. While you can get two-stage electric and cordless models, typically they use gasoline due to the larger, meatier motors and larger size machines.

Three-stage

The three-stage machine has more power and is great for heavy snowfall areas and over sloped, uneven terrain. These are typically gasoline-powered and tend to be large, heavy machines.

What do snow blowers run on?

When it comes to this appliance you’ve got a few fuel options.

  • Electric - usually reserved for single-stage snow blowers it offers an easy option for those who don’t want to mess about with purchasing gasoline. They tend to be lighter models with smaller motors and you are limited by the length of the cable as to where you can plough.
  • Cordless - this type is seen in both single and two-stage models and gives you more flexibility than electric as you’re not tied to a power socket. Making this an ideal model for those worried about power outs (as long as you’ve already charged up your batteries of course!) You are limited to the charge time available on the batteries though.
  • Gasoline - available across the board but typically reserved for the meaty two or three-stage models. You aren’t tied to a power source which gives you the freedom to cover a large area and continue for as long as you need to, provided you have additional gasoline on hand. These are ideal for larger properties, off the grid locations or those requiring larger motors to cover rougher terrain.

Gasoline snow blowers

Pros -

  • As long as you have gasoline you’re good to go making them ideal for larger properties and those in rural settings who are off the grid.
  • You’re hindered by a power socket and can cover large areas on a single tank.
  • Easy to start especially with the electric start feature.
  • Ideal over varied terrain.
  • Can cope with deeper, wet snow and ice.
  • Heavy duty.

Cons -

  • More expensive to purchase.
  • Gasoline costs are ongoing.
  • Larger and heavier than electric and cordless versions.
  • Maintenance costs tend to be higher than the electric models.

Electric snow blowers

Pros -

  • Cost less than gasoline models.
  • Are lightweight.
  • Quiet to run.
  • Typically require less maintenance than a gasoline model.
  • Easy to store as they tend to be smaller than their gasoline counterparts.
  • Low pollution emissions.

Cons -

  • Aren’t as heavy duty as a gasoline model.
  • Unless the model offers self-propel, you must bear the weight of pushing the snow blower.
  • If you don’t have a back-up generator and you suffer a power out, you’ll not be able to use this type of snow blower which may present a problem.

Best suited to flat, even terrain - not gravel or uneven or sloped terrain.

Best suited to snow that is light and fluffy and less than 4”.

Cordless snow blowers

Pros -

  • Offer more versatility than a corded model as you aren’t tied to a cable.
  • Lightweight.
  • Quiet to run.
  • Can be used (if batteries are fully charged) during a power out.
  • Easy to store.
  • Low pollution emissions.

Cons -

  • If you have a large property you might not have enough on a single charge to cover the ground you need to.
  • Replacement batteries can be expensive.
  • Batteries can be vulnerable if they are kept in either extremely hot or extremely cold conditions.

Clearing width

Exactly what it sounds like, the width your snow blower will cover as you push it along. This is important as obviously the wider the clearance the more ground you can cover in a single pass. But, be aware, if you have narrow paths you’ll need to ensure your blower can navigate them and don’t forget to allow space for turning too.

Widths are typically between 10” – 45”.

Features

Not all features are essential for everyone, a lot will depend on your answers to some of the questions posed above, here are a few to be thinking about.

  • Adjustable handle height - if you’re not going to be using your snow blower often or it’s only a quick spin each time, chances are you’re not going to necessarily want to spend more on this feature. However, if you’ll be ploughing along for a considerable time you should pay attention to this, the ability to adjust your handle height to accommodate your size and height will make the job not only easier but more comfortable and ergonomic.
  • Heated handes - again if you’re in and out in a flash, chances are, this isn’t important. But if you face hours stuck in frigid temperatures, even with gloves on, your hands and fingers will certainly appreciate some extra heat to make the job more comfortable.
  • Chute control - this can either be manual with a chute handle or you can change the direction mechanically with a joystick control while you move.
  • Headlights - if you live in a rural or unlit location headlights are vital. They not only allow you to see the route ahead and avoid crashing into any objects, but they also allow others who may be walking towards you, to get out of your way. Some models also have reflective strips for additional awareness.
  • Power steering - just like driving a car, power steering on a snow blower enables you to easily change direction and steer around objects, turn etc. When you are looking at larger models, this becomes even more important, especially the gasoline machines which tend to be bulkier and heavier.
  • Trigger steering
  • Serrated auger - this effectively breaks the ice in its path.
  • Skid shoes - protect the surface as the snow blower rides over it, this prevents damage and items like gravel from being kicked up. Look for manufacturers that offer reversible skid shoes for double the use.
  • Rust resistance - for a machine that will spend its life out in some extreme temperatures, and then in storage; preventing rust is a must.
  • Self-propelled - if you’ve got to push a large and or heavy snow blower, this is one feature you’ll definitely need. Instead of you pushing the weight of the blower, the drive wheels power it along. Consider this if you have large areas to clear, uneven terrain and or sloping grounds.
  • Variable speed - as the name suggests, this allows you to either increase or decrease the speed as you move the snow blower across the ground.

Price

As with most things, you’ll find a whole range of prices for snow blowers from around $450 to $3,000+. What you pay will depend on a few things, here are some things to consider.

  • How often are you going to be using your machine? Daily, every few days, every week etc.
  • Roughly how many months of the year do you get snowfall?
  • How deep is the snow where you live?
  • How big is the area you’ll have to clear?
  • What’s the terrain in your property?
  • Are there any slopes or really uneven places?
  • How much do you want (or have) to spend?

Along with the actual purchase price don’t forget that there will be ongoing costs including:

  • Fuel.
  • Servicing.
  • Repairs, parts, oil, lubricants, fuel stabilizer and maintenance.

Maintenance

The correct use, care and maintenance of your snow blower is essential to its effective use and overall safety. It is possible to carry out a lot, if not all, of this maintenance yourself - always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Things such as checking the oil, lubricants, adding fuel stabilizers and spark plug changes are all relatively simple in your home garage or workshop. But, for more complicated work it is usually best to call in a professional mechanic who specialises in snow blowers and other such machinery.  

Before e​​​​ach use

Inspect your machine before each use, check for any loose connections, bolts etc. Check the oil and gasoline levels or that the batteries have been sufficiently charged.

When using an electric snow blower it is always advisable to use a power or circuit breaker which will automatically cut the power should the cable be compromised or cut. Please read and follow the safety information in your instruction manual and check whether using such a device is necessary and which devices they recommend.

Cleaning

A clean, well-maintained machine will provide you with a better result and should last you for many seasons to come. Always clean your machine following the guidelines laid out in the instruction manual you received with your particular model.

Storage

Store your snow blower in a covered, sheltered area away from flammables and if possible, protected from extremes in temperature. Again, follow the guidelines laid out by the manufacturer about the correct storage for your particular model.

End of season storage

  • Store in a clean and dry area.
  • Keep away from corrosive materials.
  • Keep away from flammable materials.
  • Store in an area which is protected from extreme temperatures.
  • Ensure your machine has cooled down completely before putting it away.
  • Clean your machine.
  • If you are storing your machine in an unventilated area, use either a silicone or light oil to keep rust at bay - refer to your owner’s manual for instructions on this.
  • Read your owner’s manual for details of how to prepare your machine for long term storage including preparing the fuel system and lubrication.
  • If you are using a fuel stabilizer mix ensure your machine is stored away from flames and sparks.

Safety

Read your owner’s manual for the correct use of your machine and follow their guidance on safety precautions etc.

Always wear the correct safety equipment, for example, protective eyewear, protective boots and ear muffs (electric and cordless machines are typically quieter than gasoline machines, so you may not need ear protection if using one of those).

Ensure any children and pets are indoors and keep them there.

Be mindful of the direction in which you are discharging your snow.

If you have a gas-powered snow blower be extremely careful – do not run it in an unventilated area or indoors. Gas produces Carbone Dioxide (CO) and this can quickly build-up in confined spaces leading to CO poisoning. CO poisoning can prove fatal in a matter of minutes so don’t take the risk.

Read and retain your owner’s manual, know where it is should you need to refer to it for the correct maintenance and for troubleshooting.

CARB compliance

If you live in California you’ll likely be well versed with the California Air Resources Board which ensures that machines meet stringent air quality standards. For more information please read more here.

There you have it, the two-stage snow blower. Now, if you’ve decided that maybe a single-stage machine would be okay for you then head on over to our other article for reviews on our top picks for this season.

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