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Buyers Guide to Snow Blowers & Snow Throwers

Before you rush off to the store, here are some things to make your purchase that much easier.

Working area and snow conditions

When looking to buy a snow blower you should consider the amount of space that you have, and about what the typical snow conditions are like where you live. A snow blower with a powerful engine and a large working width, will save you time and effort if your area is covered in deep, heavy snow. If you live in an area where large falls of snow are unusual, a less powerful snow blower with smaller features will suit you.

One-stage or two-stage snow blowers

There are two types of snow blowers: one-stage and two-stage. The one-stage type of snow blower 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.


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 starting.

Look for the power steering feature if you want the machine to be extra easy to manoeuvre and turn easily when you clear large areas.


Bring a pair of gloves if you visit the store to make sure that all the controls are easy to operate with gloves on.


Snow blower are very powerful machines, so you should always look carefully for safety labels. They are generally quite loud products, so it’s also a good idea to wear some hearing protection whilst working with one. As winter is a dark season, if you can – make sure your model has headlights.

Wheels & chutes

The size of the wheels determines the strength of grip you will get. The ground rule here is that the wider the wheels, 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.