Winter wouldn’t be complete without the word “snowblower” but with all of the models available, you may find yourself unsure of what to pick.
How do you determine the right model for your needs?
You’ve got choices when it comes to the type of snowblower you use. Two of the more popular types are single stage and two stage blowers. They vary in terms of how much snow they can clear, power, throw-distance, and also price. Having a clear understanding of your needs in those areas is what will help you make the best decision
A single stage snowblower and a two stage snowblower are both designed to help clear snow from driveways, sidewalks, and other outdoor spaces. However, there are some key differences between the two types of equipment that may make one more suitable for your needs than the other.
Below is a helpful snowblower buying guide, designed to help you make the right choice whether your needs happen to be residential, commercial, or municipal.
An overview of single stage snowblowers
Single stage snowblowers are designed to be less prone to clogging than two stage models. This is because they use an auger to both scoop up and discharge the snow in one motion, which helps to keep the snow moving smoothly through the machine.
Another advantage of single stage snowblower is that it is “always in the right gear” because of how it drives. This means that it requires less adjustments, which can be useful if you are looking for a straightforward machine rather than something with lots of bells and whistles.
Additionally, single stage snowblowers are designed to touch down to pavement, which makes them ideal for clearing snow from paved surfaces. However, they are not well suited for gravel roads, as the auger can throw gravel up, causing damage to the machine as well as anything that gets in its way.
An overview of two stage snowblowers
Two-stage snowblowers, as their name might suggest, use a two-part system to clear snow. They have an auger that gathers the snow, which is then discharged through a high-speed impeller. This system allows the snow to be thrown further, which can be useful if you have a large driveway or other outdoor space to clear.
Next, two stage blowers will give its users more speed control with forward and reverse gear options. They also have a bigger engine which provides more power and wider area coverage, but this also means they use more fuel and require more maintenance. They can be adjusted to help avoid picking up gravel in a driveway.
That said, two stage snowblowers don’t do well in slushy conditions as they can clog easily. Another downside of two stage snowblowers is that they are generally heavier and larger than single stage models, making them difficult to load and unload. And they tend to leave a thin layer of snow on your surface, though in most cases it tends to melt quickly with a bit of sunlight.
Differences That Matter for Residential, Commercial, and Municipal Users
The differences between single stage and two stage blowers have the biggest impact depending on what they’re being used for: Residential, commercial, or municipal. That’s because different machines will allow customers to solve different problems—so knowing the issue you need to resolve is key.
Some residential customers may want a bigger machine that will do a thorough job, requiring the two stage blower. Meanwhile, others just want an all-purpose machine to get the job done quickly, in which case a single stage blower is a great option.
Commercial customers face their own unique issues. For those concerned with overall size and weight, it’s worth noting that a single stage snowblower is easier to load and unload than a two stage snowblower because of its lighter weight. This can allow contractors to get the job done quicker, which can save them money.
Then there are municipal customers who may have various needs—clearing sidewalks versus clearing a large elevated patio. Depending on the abilities of their snowplows and where the snow needs to be cleared to, it is important that there are different types of snowblowers available to meet the needs of municipal customers. In this case, it could be beneficial to have both types of snowblowers on hand.
Choosing the best snowblower based on your needs
There are a few things you’ll want to consider when choosing your snowblower. The layout of your driveway and how far you need to throw the snow are two important considerations to get you started. For instance, if you need to be able to throw snow over a large retaining wall, that’s a consideration when it comes to the type of machine that will work best for you.
Consider that if you have a longer driveway, it’s likely that you’ll need a snowblower that can throw the snow farther. Or, if you have a lot of obstacles, you’ll be better off using a snowblower that can maneuver more easily.
Also, the speed at which you need to get the job done is an important consideration. Some snowblowers can clear a driveway in just a few minutes, while others may take longer.
Taking the time to assess your needs and see what type of snowblower will best suit your needs is important prior to making a purchase.
Getting your blower maintenance needs tended to
“Before the snow comes!” That’s our response whenever someone asks when they should have their blower seen for upkeep and maintenance. A more solid answer is that the month of October tends to be a great time to have your snowblower seen.
Why opt for annual maintenance?
The paddles on your snowblower can wear out from touching the ground, so it’s important to have them changed out before the start of winter.
Additionally, Ty’s Outdoor Power uses synthetic fuel for our tune-ups that can last up to a year, as opposed to the typical shelf life of 30 days with pump fuels.
It’s also always a good idea to change the oil in your snowblower before the snow flies. Summer is actually the hardest season to keep fuel fresh, so it’s best to have your snowblower seen before winter sets in to get rid of that stale fuel.
Types of snowblowers available at Ty’s
At Ty’s Outdoor Power, we carry a variety of brands for both single stage and two stage snowblowers, guaranteeing that no matter what your needs are, we can help.
For single stage snowblowers, your options include well-known brands like Toro, and Ariens.
When it comes to two stage snowblowers, you have a lot of options. We recommend Ariens models—they call themselves, “King of Snow” after all! We also have Toro and Honda two stage models available. The Honda model is especially nice as it’s a good balance between being powerful, smooth, and efficient.
Also, Ventrac is an excellent choice for large residential, commercial and municipal snow removal and good for removing snow from large areas
Ty’s carries BOSS, Erskine, and other commercial snow removal equipment, which is great for larger areas like downtowns or schools.
There is also an all-new battery powered blower option, so you can avoid the need for fuel altogether
Prices will vary depending on the model you choose.