Choosing a Snow Blower
Before you buy a snow blower, you need to ask yourself: What exactly are my needs? Here are some questions to consider before picking between machines:
- How much snow do I need to clear?
- How large of an area needs to be cleared?
- What type of snow needs to be cleared?
- What kind of terrain will I be working on?
Once you understand your needs, you can find the best type of snow blower for the task at hand.
Types of Snow Blowers
Snow blowers fall into four basic categories: single-stage electric, single-stage gas, two-stage gas and three-stage gas. Single-stage electric snow blowers are your typical machine. They are capable of clearing light, fluffy snow on sidewalks and small driveways. Most models can safely and efficiently work with less than 6 inches of snow but can throw it up to 30 feet. Single-stage electric machines are the easiest snow blower to use because they’re very lightweight, quiet and maintenance free, as they don’t require gas or oil. All they require is a weather-proof extension cord. Single-stage gas snow blowers are a little bit more advanced than electric. They can accommodate larger amounts of snow up to 9 inches on level, mid-sized paved driveways and walkways. Powered by gasoline, these snow blowers don’t require cords or outlets and have greater available clearing widths and intake heights than electric models.
Two-stage and three-stage gas snow blowers are the most advanced and capable models out there. Some two-stage gas machines are capable of clearing snow up to 16 inches in wide, long driveways. In addition, these machines can better handle rocky terrain and slightly steep inclines. The two step process refers to an auger that collects the snow and an impeller fan that shoots it out. On the other hand, three-stage snow blowers are the most powerful machines on the market, equipped to quickly handle up to 18 inches of wet, heavy snow. The feature that makes this possible is the accelerator, which chops up and pushes snow and ice through the impeller, launching it at a high speed for optimum efficiency.
|Model||Amount of Snow||Size of Area||Type of Terrain|
|Single-stage electric||Up to 6 inches||Less than 40 feet||Paved and flat|
|Single-stage gas||Up to 9 inches||Up to 60 feet||Midsized and paved|
|Two-stage gas||Up to 16 inches||More than 60 feet||Slightly rocky or steep|
|Three-stage gas||Up to 18 inches||More than 60 feet||Rocky and uphill|
Choose the best snow blower that caters to your needs. Be sure to read and follow the manufacturer’s operating and safety instructions before and during use.
The product statements contained herein are intended for informational purposes only. Such product statements do not constitute a product recommendation or representation as to the appropriateness for a specific application or use. W. W. Grainger, Inc. does not guarantee the result of product operation or assume any liability for personal injury or property damage resulting from the use of such products.