With a plethora of choices available, it is difficult how to choose the best snow blower for consumers. Here are a few pointers. There are two basic types of snow blowers on the market. These are single stage and two stage blowers.
Single stage types are best suited for residential use while the two stage type is for larger areas. The two stage type is for heavy duty use and caters for snow depths greater than 10inches.
The key difference between single and two stage types is that the two stage type contains metal augers for breaking the snow into pieces before drawing it into the discharge chutes. This added feature makes it possible for the two stage type to be used to remove hard and wet snow while single stage types are best suited for soft snow.
Weather conditions in area of intended use
If you live in an area that receives a lot of snow then you can use the single stage machine type. If the snow is hard and wet then a two stage type of machine is better than the single stage one. If your area is characterised by light snow falls then a single stage machine can do the job effectively.
Some people combine the traditional shovelling together with a single stage machine for the heavy duty task. If your priority is in cutting back on the costs, you can still buy an electric single stage machine but be prepared for the extra work involved. Depending on the model single stage machines can clear up to 22 inches in depth of snow.
Among the cheapest blowers that are available on the market are the single stage electric blowers. These have a price range from less than a hundred dollars to a few hundred dollars. The gas powered single stage machines are on the next rung of the cost ladder. They are a bit more expensive than the electric blowers. Two stage machines are the most expensive. Among the lower priced two stage brands where you get value for money are Poulan Pro, Murray and Turbo.
Type of surface
Due to the low clearance of the single stage machines, they are best suited for flat surfaces. They can be used on paved driveways. Two stage machines are best suited for gravel surfaces. They can also be adjusted for use on flat surfaces that are paved. However, they tend to leave a layer of snow on the surface.
Electric machines come with different power ratings. The rating is given in amperes with models varying from 7.5 Amps to 15 Amps. The higher the amperage, the longer is the snow throwing range. Power may also determine the width of the machine. A wider clearing width will mean the snow clearing will be done faster.
As an example, there are some electric models with a power rating of 7.5 Amps that have a clearing width of 12 inches and a throwing distance of 20 feet. A 15 Amp model can typically have a clearing width of 18 inches. The power rating also determines the depth of snow cleared in a single pass. A 7.5 Amp model normally clears depths of 6 inches in a single pass while a 15 Amp model will clear up to 12 inches.
The power rating for the gas powered machines is quoted in cubic centimetres. For the single stage type power ratings range from 123cc to 389cc. Clearing widths range from 21 to 32 inches. The bigger engines offer larger clearing widths and depths making the work faster. The single stage gas powered types are best suited for long driveways that could cause tangling of the power cable should an electric machine be used.
Two stage snow throwers typically have engines ranging from 179cc to 389cc. Their clearing widths range from 21 to 42 inches. Similar to the single stage throwers, the two-stage type with bigger engines has larger clearing widths and depths.
How to choose the best snow blower for consumers depends on the intended purpose. If it is for clearing small areas then the electric type will suffice. You can then narrow down your search to brands that have the most satisfied customers.
Among the highly rated electric blowers is the Toro 38361 power shovel. It is light in weight and suited for flat paved surfaces. Alternative models are the Yard Machines 31B-040-800 Snow Fox and the Snow Joe Plus 322P. All these models are reasonably priced which means that you get value for your money. They are also easy to assemble and require low maintenance. The only disadvantage is managing the power supply cable.
Popular models of single stage snow blowers are the Murray 1695537 and Yard Machines 31AM2N1B700. Though not very expensive they do the job well. Customers from areas that receive much snow also recommend their use which is a big plus in terms of cost saving.
If you are looking to economise then the models to target among the two stage type are Poulan Pro PR827ES, Yard Machines 31AS62EE700, Powerland PDST24 and Yard Machines 31A-32AD700. You should however be prepared for extra maintenance tasks associated with gas blowers.