Last Updated: 08 February 2013

How to buy a snow blower: The top 5 things to think about

Ah, the lovely wintertime, with its clear, crisp air and new-fallen snow… It’s all truly beautiful – at least until it’s time to clear your paths and driveway. If your back seems to protest already while reading this, a snow blower might be something to consider.

But before you rush off to the store, here are 5 things to think about if you want to make the right choice.

1. Your work area and snow conditions

Large gardens, paths and driveways require a bit more power than smaller spaces do. You should also consider the amount of snow and the typical snow conditions where you live. A snow blower with a powerful engine and a large working width will help you save time and effort if your area is covered in deep, heavy snow.

2. One-stage or two-stage

There are two types of snow blowers: one-stage and two-stage. The one-stage type is best suited for smaller areas and dry powder snow; the two-stage models are the most effective for deep, heavy and packed snow.

Since the auger screw of the one-stage snow blowers actually gets in contact with the ground, it should not be used on gravel surfaces. On the other hand, one-stagers are smaller, lighter and take up less space than two-stagers.

3. Starting and steering

If you have easy access to electrical outlets in your storage space, choose a snow blower with electric start for trouble-free cold starting.

Look for the power steering feature if you want the machine to be extra easy to manoeuvre and turn when you clear large areas. Also, bring a pair of gloves when you visit the store to make sure that all controls are easy to operate with gloves on.

4. Safety

Look carefully for safety labels, as snow blowers are powerful machines and you should always try to avoid accidents. Snow blowers are generally loud, so it’s a good idea to wear hearing protection while working. Also, as winter is a dark season, make sure your model is equipped with headlights.

5. Wheels and chutes

The size of the wheels determines which grip you will get. The ground rule here is that the wider the wheels are, the better the traction.

The type of chute on the snow blower will decide how far the snow will be thrown, and in what direction. In general, one-stage models throw up to 10 meters while two-stagers throw up to 14 meters depending on the snow and other conditions.

Clear the snow with your tractor or front mower

McCulloch offers a wide range of one-stage and two-stage snow blowers – but if you like, you can also use your garden tractor for efficient snow clearing. Tractor accessories include a snow thrower attachment, a snow blade, a broom, snow chains and more. The front mower can be equipped with a sturdy snow blade.

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