Snow Blower or Thrower: What Are the Differences and Advantages?

Snow blower or snow thrower header

You’ve probably heard of snow blower and thrower, right? These two words are often used interchangeably. They are actually two different things. So, what are their differences? Better yet, which one should you choose – the snow blower or thrower?

Snow Blower or Thrower: Which One Do I Need?

For smaller properties, a snow thrower will be fine, for larger areas a snow blower would be more appropriate. A snow blower is more powerful and tends to be fuel-powered, giving you more freedom of use. A snow thrower tends to be electric or battery-powered, cheaper and lower maintenance.

About Snow Removal

If you live in a region that experiences winter, then you are mostly used to having inches of snow right outside the house. 

Chances are your driveway will be blanketed with snow that it will be hard for you to drive out of it. 


You could have inches of snow on your walkway, so that every step is like an ordeal. 

Not only that, having snow will increase the chances of accidents. People could slip in the snow and have a bad fall. 

The same could be said about sidewalks

You should also clear the snow on sidewalks for your sake and that of other people passing through. 

Important note:

If you are removing snow, make sure you don’t throw it near the building. That may cause cracks in the foundation or the pipes might get frozen. 

In other words, you have to throw the snow away from you and the building. 

Man using snow thrower in front of home

This means

The best way to go about snow removal in your area, especially if you have a driveway and yard, is through a snow thrower or snow blower. 


Using a shovel, for example, to clear snow will most likely hurt your back and strain your arms. Although, there are also electric shovels available. 

For larger areas, though, it’s just more practical to use a snow blower or thrower.


Do you know the difference between the two products?

Snow Blower or Thrower?

It’s a common misconception that snow blowers and snow throwers are the same things. 

This is also because a snow blower is not technically right as the snow is always thrown–whether it’s a single-stage or two-stage snow blower. 

Now let’s get to the differences

Basically, what is also known as a single-stage snow blower is officially called a snow thrower. Here are the basic differences between the two:


There are two processes involved in the snow thrower and snow blower:

  1. Gathering of snow into the machine.
  2. Throwing out of the snow through the chute. 

The difference?

The snow thrower only has one machine part that does both the sucking in of snow and the tossing out of snow. 

That part is called the auger.

How does it work?

The auger spins horizontally, and the power from that spinning will allow it to pick up the snow on the ground. 

That same spinning will also create the power that will allow the machine to throw out the snow. 


The snow blower also has an auger that will gather the snow into the machine. 

The similarity ends there, though, as another part will send the snow flying out of the machine. This part is called the impeller. 


The two-stage snow blower is more powerful. That’s a given, considering that it has to house two parts and will have two stages of snow processing. 

That’s also why most–if not all–snow blowers are fuel-powered. 

That means

The machine can work for a long time and will endure worse situations.

When it comes to others

Most snow throwers are electric or battery-powered. With the former, you are limited by the electric cord available.

As for the battery-powered snow throwers, they can’t do the work for hours. A single battery charge will only allow you 20 to 45 minutes to do your task. 


It doesn’t mean that electric or battery-powered machines are bad. If you don’t have a large area, they are fine. 

If you don’t have a large area, you don’t actually need a long time to finish your task of clearing snow on your walkway or driveway. 

Related to that…


Obviously, since the snow throwers are usually powered by electricity or batteries, they are environmentally friendly. 

But more than that

There is no maintenance needed. 

I mean, you could clean it every now and then–especially during the summer when it is not in use. 

Other than that

The snow thrower is pretty low maintenance. 

Compare that with the snow blower, which you have to put fuel in every now and then. 


With the snow blower, you also need to change the oil and do tuneups every now and then. 

The machine, since it uses gas, increases our carbon footprint. 

By the way

Snow throwers are also smaller and lighter, which means they are easy to store. You don’t have to worry about it taking up space. 

Also, you will need space for the gasoline in a gasoline container. 

Single stage snow blower from Greenworks

Throwing distance

As we mentioned, there is more power in the two-stage snow blower. 

That means there is enough force in the machine to be able to lob the snow away from the machine. 

In this case

The snow could be thrown 25 to 40 feet away. That’s because the auger will not be overused and the impeller will have enough power to launch the snow. 


As for the snow thrower, most machines have a throwing distance of 20 feet. The range is from 15 to 25 feet. 

That is complemented with the following…

Clearing capability

When it comes to snow throwers, the clearing width and clearing depth are understandably less than the snow blower. 

Of course, a bigger machine allows bigger clearing width and depth. 

For instance

A snow thrower can clear snow with a maximum depth of eight inches.

The snow blower, on the other hand, can clear a maximum of 20 inches of snow. 

Amazing, right?

Wait until you hear about the clearing width. Most snow throwers can clear a maximum of 20 inches of snow, horizontally. 

When it comes to snow blowers, you can find one that can clear as much as 30 inches wide of snow. 


It may no longer be surprising that the snow blower is more expensive than the snow thrower. 

The differences above are clear indications that there is more power in a snow blower, hence, would obviously be more expensive. 

But by how much?

Electric snow throwers cost between $100 and $300. The battery-operated ones are slightly more expensive.

There’s probably a difference of around $100 or more between the two. 

Two stage Husqvarna snow blower


There are also gas-powered single-stage snow blowers.

They cost between $300 and $750. Some may be a bit more expensive. 


The cheapest two-stage snow blower costs close to $1,000. Other models can be more than $2,000, depending on its clearing and throwing capability.

Choosing the Right Equipment

Bigger is not always better. 

It’s actually more of what suits your needs better. 

Here’s the deal

The snow blower is more powerful, yes!

However, if you live in a duplex or townhouse, it may not be the most practical choice for you. 

Let me elaborate

That would mean that you have a smaller yard and driveway.

It’s actually more difficult to navigate a snow blower in a small area. You can just imagine the turns. 

Even worse!

Your snow might be thrown in the neighbor’s yard. 

For a large area, though, the snow blower is perfect! You just need the right model for your actual need. 

Another note:

If you have a deck, it might also be filled with snow. 

A snow blower would be too heavy to clear a deck, that’s for sure!

Single stage snow thrower from Snow Joe

There’s also the issue of budget

If you don’t have a lot of money, then the snow blower might be too heavy for you–literally and financially. 

Although, if you live in a region where snow is a major part of your living situation and it could go more than a foot high, it would be more practical to buy the heavy-duty equipment. 


Your machine will just break down. 


Now you know! Snow blower and snow thrower are two different things. One only has an auger to collect and toss snow, while the other maintains two parts–the auger and impeller–to remove inches of snow. 

The snow thrower is also referred to as the single-stage snow blower. It can be electric or battery-powered, while some also use fuel. The two-stage snow blowers, on the other hand, are mostly gas-powered. And there is always the consideration of whether you should get a snow blower or shovel!

So which one should you choose? A snow blower or thrower? That’s up to your need. You have to check your property – for smaller ones, the snow thrower would suffice. Large areas, though, would need the two-stage snow blower.

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