Snow blowers are a great way to quickly and easily remove snow from your property. If you have problems removing snow or live in an area where there is a lot of snow, then you will want to buy one of these machines to make it easy to remove snow.
By using a quality snow blower buying guide, you can make it easy to find the right blower for your needs. It’s important that you know what your budget will be so that you don’t accidentally overspend on your new blower.
Snow Blower Buying Guide For Those Tired Of Shoveling Snow
Questions First-Time Snow Blower Buyers Should Ask Themselves
- How Much Money Can I Spend? Snow blowers tend to be expensive and if you opt for a model that has a lot of additional and optional features on it, then then you will end up spending more. By setting a firm budget, you’ll be much better prepared for when you go shopping.
- What Type of Terrain Do I Have? Some snow blowers work better on certain terrain than others do. Engine-driven snow blowers are great on sloped terrain while push-propelled mowers are better for level ground. While you can sometimes use tire chains to help with traction, it’s a good idea to buy a snow blower that will work best with your terrain.
- What Kind of Snow Do We Get? Different snow is best handled by different types of snow blowers. Very heavy and wet snow can easily be moved by three-stage units while single-stage blowers are only able to handle very light and fluffy snow. Two-stage blowers can work with both wet, packed snow and even ice.
- How Much Room Do I Have? Snow blowers will only be used for a few months out of the year; during the rest of the time, you will have to store it somewhere. If you do not have a large garage with plenty of room in it for your new blower, then you will have to really think about the size of the blower you are going to buy. How much room you have for storage will play a role in what kind of blower you end up buying.
Types of Snow Blowers
There are only a few main types of snow blowers, which makes it a lot easier to choose which one you need. By comparing the pros and cons of each type, you will be able to narrow down your selection in no time at all.
- Three-Stage Blowers: These are gas snow blowers that are strong and able to move a lot of snow in very little time. While they operate similarly to a two-stage snow blower, they have a much faster accelerator that will allow you to move heavy snow very quickly.
- Two-Stage Blowers: Also a gas snow blower, this type of blower can easily handle deep snow without any problems. They are great if you need to clear a lot of snow quickly and the wheels are engine-driven, which makes them easy to use even on rough terrain. Because of their two-stage system, they are able to move snow a lot farther and faster than if you were using a single-stage blower.
- Single-Stage Blowers: These are the lightest out of all of the models and come in both gas and electric options. They are best for clearing small areas of light snow and are very easy to maneuver due to their low weight and small size. The auger on these blowers does make contact with the surface of the ground when it is in use so you will want to avoid using them on gravel or they will pick up rocks and spit them out. Electric models are ideal for clearing off stairs and decks but their range is limited by how long the cord is.
Top Snow Blower Manufacturers
When you don’t know which snow blower is the right one for you, then it can be difficult to pick out a quality manufacturer that will stand by their equipment.
When you buy a snow blower from a reputable manufacturer, then you can rest easy that they will stand by their machinery if there is any problem and that you will be able to get the help and customer service that you need if there is an issue. When you buy from Toro, Craftsman, Ariens, or Troy-Bilt, you won’t have to worry about the quality of the blower that you buy.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Snow Blower
Ease of Use:
There are some snow blowers that are going to be a lot easier to operate than other models are. If you are worried about starting a gas blower, then you may want to opt for an electric one as you won’t ever have to fight with it to get it to start.
More than just the purchase price, you have to take into consideration what it will cost to keep your snow blower running and working the way that it should. It can be expensive to gas up your snow blower to keep it working. In addition, you may need shear pins for two-stage models as well as drive belts for single-stage and two-stage blowers. All of these items will add up and increase the final cost of your snow blower.
How Much Snow You Need to Clear:
Larger areas with a lot of snow will be difficult if not impossible to clear with a single-stage blower. If you have a very long driveway, then you will want a larger blower that will make the whole process a lot faster or you will have to spend a lot of time outside blowing snow. In addition, if you live in an area that regularly gets a lot of snow, then you will want to make sure that the type of blower you buy can handle deep snow without problems.
The larger the tires are on the snow blower, the more easily you will be able to maneuver the equipment. In addition, larger tires are often more durable and will last for a lot longer than smaller tires will. This means that you won’t have to pay to have them replaced as often.
Some snow blowers are made out of cast iron, which, while it will be a lot heavier than other models, will last for a very long time. Since snow blowers are such a large purchase, it makes sense to choose ones that won’t need a lot of maintenance and aren’t likely to experience problems. In addition, a heavy gear case will add weight to the snow blower, giving it traction on the snow.
Features to Look for in a Snow Blower
A wide snow blower will be able to more easily clear wide swathes of snow without you have to make multiple passes. This will speed up how quickly the job gets finished and also save you time and money on gasoline.
Dead Man Controls:
Most snow blowers come with this feature and if the model you are considering does not have it, then you will want to avoid that model. The auger on the snow blower will only operate as long as someone is squeezing the handlebar. Once the person’s grip, is released the snow blower will stop working. This feature is very important in making sure that everyone stays safe while the blower is operating.
These will help you move easily through the snow. They will also cut through particularly deep snow and help to move the snow into the auger.
Remote Chute Control:
This feature makes it easy to adjust where the snow will be discharged from the blower and allows you to direct it to a particular area in your yard or by your driveway instead of letting it build up behind you.
Even with gloves on, your hands are going to get very cold while out blowing snow. You can help minimize this discomfort by opting for a snow blower that has heated handgrips. This may not be very important to you if you only have a small space that you will have to clear but if your driveway is very long or you will be clearing snow for neighbors as well, then this is a feature that will benefit you.
If you are going to be working in the early hours or at night or if snowstorms where you live make it dark and difficult to see, then a headlight is very important. One that is built in will be powerful and able to cut through the dark so you are nice and safe while working.
Large tires make driving your new snow blower very easy but dual tires make the job even easier as they will have a great grip and will be very unlikely to accidentally slip. This is important if you are going to be working on uneven terrain or someplace that is very steep as you don’t want to accidentally lose control of the snow blower.
Not all snow blowers have power steering but this optional feature makes maneuvering your snow blower very easy. You won’t have to worry about struggling to control where your blower is going.
Your blower will go both forwards and backwards and it’s important that you can control the speed at which it moves. This will allow you to go as fast or as slow as you need without being at risk of injury.
Being able to operate your new snow blower with just one hand will make it easy to adjust it while it’s in use. This makes it possible to make adjustments without having to stop the blower and then start it back up again.
Putting it All Together
Buying a snow blower is a major purchase and one that you shouldn’t undertake lightly. If you are just thinking about buying a snow blower to help you get through the upcoming winter, then your first step is to plan out how much money you are willing and able to spend on your purchase.
Make sure that you take into consideration the cost of gas and upkeep as you will want to ensure that your snow blower will last for a number of years. Gas will add to the cost of your snow blower as will any replacement parts that you may have to buy in the future.
Once you have planned your budget, you can begin thinking about what type of snow blower you need. If you only have a small area that you are going to be clearing, then you may be able to use just a single-stage blower. In addition, if you are buying the snow blower but are concerned about the weight of the machine, then you will want to opt for a lighter blower.
Larger areas that need to be cleared will necessitate two-stage or even three-stage blowers. It’s also time to consider how much snow you get on a regular basis so you can be prepared for clearing it.
If you know what manufacturer you want to buy from, then you can narrow down your available choices even more. If you don’t, then that’s still okay. It’s not a bad idea to compare snow blowers from a few different manufacturers to make sure that you get one that will work for you.
It’s time to think about what features are really important to you and which ones you can live without. While you may be able to find a snow blower that has all of the features that you want, chances are good that it will be very expensive and may be out of your budget.
When you use this snow blower buying guide to help you make an informed decision about what snow blower is right for you, you are much more likely to make a purchase that you will love.
By thinking hard about your needs and what features are important to you, you will be able to find a snow blower that is in your budget and will work the way you need it to.
Now that you have done your research and learned what you needed to know about buying a snow blower, you might want to take a look at our list of the best snow blowers or read our informative snow blower reviews below.