Buying a new piece of outdoor power equipment can feel overwhelming at times, and snow blowers are no exception. There are a lot of different types of machines and accessories to think about, but the top thing to remember is to pair a snow blower with the job at hand. Here are some things to consider when choosing a snow blower this winter:
How much snowfall do you typically get?
There are three types of snow blowers: single-stage, two-stage and three-stage. These various stages signify the steps the snow blower goes through to clear the snow. The more stages, or steps, the more powerful and efficient it will be to clear more snow in less time. So, many people wonder what size snow blower they need. Troy-Bilt® single-stage snow blowers are ideal for up to 6 inches of snowfall, two-stage snow blowers are great for up to 12 inches of snowfall and three-stage snow blowers can handle up to 18 inches of snowfall. Use this information to help you decide which snow blower size is right for your situation.
What type of terrain are you clearing snow from?
Many features found in two-stage snow blowers are best for gravel driveway surfaces or cracked pavement, even if you’re only clearing a small or mid-size area. Consider a model with power steering or a track drive when tackling rough surfaces, and an auger-assisted or push-propelled machine if you’re clearing a solid, even, paved surface.
What do you need from your snow blower?
Once you’ve determined your basic snow-clearing needs, think about your needs as the operator to help identify any features or accessories that would be beneficial. Power steering and electric start are helpful features designed to make clearing snow easier by reducing the strain on your body with reliable starting and easy handling. Headlights are great for low-visibility conditions and heated hand grips help keep your hands warm during the cold months.
Single-Stage Snow Blowers
Single-stage snow blowers are an ideal choice for smaller jobs like short driveways or walkways. With one auger that breaks, scoops and throws snow in a single motion, single-stage snow blowers can handle up to 6 inches of light snow, so look to a larger snow blower size if you regularly get deep snow. They are also lightweight and compact compared to two-stage and three-stage models, making them ideal if you’re tight on storage space or need to maneuver through narrow spaces. Keep in mind that single-stage blowers should only be used on solid pavement; use on gravel or stone can damage the unit and result in personal injury. Troy-Bilt single-stage snow blowers come in a variety of models with helpful features depending on your needs. For example, the Squall™ 179E Snow Blower features an auger-assisted drive system that grips the ground to provide maximum clearing with less pushing effort.
Two-Stage Snow Blowers
If you’re regularly needing to clear up to 12 inches of snow, or are clearing snow from uneven terrain, two-stage snow blowers are the way to go. These units have an auger and an impeller. The auger breaks and scoops up wet and heavy snow, then the impeller throws snow out and away from the path, allowing it to take more snow and throw it farther than a single-stage model. Troy-Bilt’s two-stage snow blower models feature a variety of helpful features. For example, the Storm™ 2420 Snow Blower offers a push-button start. Its powerful serrated augers move heavy snow easily and its center-mount chute crank puts the machine’s controls comfortably within reach.
Three-Stage Snow Blowers
The strongest units on the market, three-stage snow blowers also feature an accelerator that spins 10 times faster than the augers to break down and quickly clear heavy, wet snow. This allows you to clear snow 50% faster than a comparable Troy-Bilt two-stage snow blower. Three-stage snow blowers, like the Vortex™ 2610 Snow Blower, will power through ice, snow and slush, and are ideal for areas that get up to 18 inches of snowfall, a defining characteristic that separates two-stage from three-stage snow blowers. These blowers may also offer features such as power steering and controls that make speed and chute adjustments easy.