Two-Stage vs Single-Stage Snow Blower: Which One Is Right for You?

Single stage v Two stage snow blowers header

There are two main categories for snow blower. There are single-stage snow blowers and two-stage snow blowers. What is the right one for you?

It’s not a matter of which is better per se, but which type is better for you and your area.


What is a Snow Blower?


Just reading the name will give you an idea on what a snow blower does. It is equipment used for removing snow. 

It is a particularly important equipment when clearing driveways or pathways. 

Sometimes

You don’t really need the whole yard to be cleared of snow. You just want the places you pass through to be cleared of snow. 

That’s why you clear snow from either the driveways or the pathways. 

Also

This equipment can be used on sidewalks and roadways. The same with the railroad tracks or runways. 

It can be used on the ice skating rink, too. 

You have to know 

The term blower is not really that accurate. This equipment doesn’t really blow the snow. 

What happens is that the snow will be thrown some feet away through an auger or impeller. 

That’s why

Some companies actually call this type of equipment a snow thrower. 

The essence is that the snow will be launched to another place to clear the way for you.

What’s the advantage?

There are various equipment that will be used in clearing snow. So, what makes the snow blower special?

It’s heavy-duty.

Meaning?

It can do a lot of work in just a short period of time.

For example, a snow blower can deal with inches of snow. In some ways, you also get over a foot of clearing depth. 

But what is the difference between a one-stage and two-stage snow blower?

Person in sunglasses looking at snow in rear view mirror

Two-Stage vs Single-Stage Snow Blower


They say that bigger is usually better. So, does that mean that the two-stage snow blower is better than the single-stage one?

The former is generally larger because of the two stages of “snow blowing” or snow throwing if we have to be more technical about it. 

The choice is yours!

The choice is dependent on you and your area.

What is it that you need and what would be practical for your yard, driveway, walkway or sidewalk. 

Now

When we compare the two equipment, let’s start with the obvious difference:

Parts

It’s all in the name. The single-stage snow blower involves just one core part in snow clearing. 

Every part of the machine is important but it is the auger that actually does some snow throwing. 

What is it?

An auger is a machine part that looks like a corkscrew. It sucks snow on the ground. 

The auger actually does two processes:

  1. Sucks up the snow.
  2. Discharges the snow. 

Meanwhile

The two-stage snow blower has two parts that do the sucking up and the discharging. 

It also has an auger that will only suck up the snow. 

On the other hand

The snow will be discharged by the part called the impeller. 

The advantage of having separate parts doing different things is that each part can concentrate on the task, hence, the snow will be thrown at a farther distance. 

That’s why

It’s not a matter of what is better but what actually it is that you need. 

If you just look at performance, you can easily say that the two-stage snow blower is better. 

But what if you have a small area? It would mean that your snow would be dumped at the neighbor’s house. 

Houses with lots of snow in front of them

Power

The two-stage snow blower is definitely more powerful than the single-stage snow blower. 

In other words:

If you live in a region that is prone to heavy snowfall–heavy as in a couple of feet of snow or more–then you will definitely need something more powerful. 

In other words, you are better off buying the two-stage snow blower. 

Also

Power assistance comes in the driving wheels that can help you maneuver the heavy machine on slopes.

They are noted as engine-driven wheels to make it easier for people.

Finally

The power is also in the numbers. Single-stage snow blowers have a motor in the vicinity of 13 amperes while two-stage snow blowers are around 7 horsepower–give or take. 

Clearing capability

So, a single-stage snow blower can clear between six and eight inches of snow. It also has a clearing depth of between 16 and 20. 

The two-stage snow blower can clear more than 20 inches of snow. In terms of the clearing width, it can do at least 22 inches. 

Again

It bears repeating that if you have a small area, a two-stage equipment may not be as practical. So, it really depends on the size of your property. 

You should also know

The two-stage snow blower has no problem dealing with wet snow and ice. 

This means that you have a dilemma in your hands.

What’s that?

If you have a small area but you live in a region that brings forth wet snow and ice every so often, practicality doesn’t really mean the cheaper option. 

Let me elaborate

Most single-stage snow blowers were made for powdery snow.

What makes them ideal is they are light, which means they might not be able to triumph over wet snow or ice. 

Poulan single-stage snow blower

What I’m saying is this:

If your snow blower won’t work on ice or wet snow and you get it many times during winter, then what’s the point?

You definitely need to invest in the two-stage snow blower. 

Warning:

The two-stage snow blowers are very heavy. They weigh more than 150 pounds with some even weighing close to 300 pounds. 

Don’t worry, though, as that is precisely why they have the engine-powered wheels. 

As earlier mentioned

The single-stage snow blowers are light. They could be lighter than 50 pounds or a little over that. 

They also have wheels to make it easier for you to maneuver.

Basically

If you don’t have a shed, then this type of snow blower is easier to put in a storage room inside the house. 

Price

Understandably, single-stage snow blowers are cheaper. They are along the $100 mark, some costing hundreds of dollars more than others. 

However, the two-stage snow blower costs over $1,000. 

By the way

You need to know that there are electric-, battery- and gas-powered options. 

Electric is cheaper and more environmentally friendly. However, it also needs a cord–make sure you buy an outdoor cord for this. 

Then

Battery-powered snow blower is at least $100 more than the electric one. You pay more for the convenience since you don’t need a cord, which has a tendency to get detached when you tug hard. 

Of course

There is also the gas-powered one, which is noted to be more expensive but also more powerful. 

It’s also kind of messy though because of the gas. 

Plus

You need to remember to change the oil and do maintenance tuneup. 

But if you experience heavy snow very often, then the gas-powered one is also your best choice. 

Yardmax two-stage snow blower

Summary


There are two major types of snow blowers–the single-stage and two-stage. But which one is right for you?

The two-stage snow blower is more powerful because of the two stages of processing and throwing snow with two different parts–auger and impeller. The one-stage snow blower only has the auger to do two things. 

But does that simply say that a two-stage snow blower is better? Not really! It really depends on your need. Two-stage is best for large areas and in regions that experience wet snow and ice often. It is usually gas-powered, which means refuelling, changing oil and tuneup. It is also more expensive. Coincidentally we have rounded up the best two stage snow blowers of the year. 

On the other hand, the single-stage snow blower is cheaper and lighter. It is great for powdery snow. So, two-stage vs single-stage snow blower–which one is right for you? 


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