You are not the only one who eventually got tired from shoveling snow manually when there’s too much of it. If you look at a snow blower list, you might get stuck choosing between 2 stage vs 3 stage snow blower and be unsure whether you prefer an electric or a gas model. Without any ambition to write a definitive guide on snow blowers, we provide a small introduction to this class of outdoor equipment.
By the Source of the Force
Like most types of outdoor equipment, snow blowers can be electric or gas-powered. Though gas-powered ones are considered more mainstream, some electric models have become popular recently too. The manufacturers seem to have overcome the problems that purely electric devices might experience in the cold (like a snow blower is meant to). Electric snow blowers are quieter and don’t require gas, as well as are overall cleaner.
On the other hand, gas snow blowers are more powerful. As you see, electric models are mostly single-stage or two-stage, providing enough power for that, but they are not that effective at strong snow processing. Gas models, on the other hand, are quite capable of processing snow, ice, and frozen snow layers.
In short, if you need to remove snow from more than 50 ft of a walkway, a gas model will perform better. For shorter distances, you can go electric as well.
Stages and Their Importance
When it comes to snow blowers, “stages” refer to the process of grabbing and dispersing the snow which is collected by the auger and then dispersed and thrown away through the chute. Here are the most popular three types by the number of stages:
- Single-stage snow blowers. With their limited power and low price, they are usually the best choice for residential purposes. There are both electric and gas-powered models. They perform well in smaller areas, throwing snow 15-25 ft away. The only serious inconvenience about them reveals itself on gravel-covered areas as the auger blades are placed too low to bypass it.
- 2-stage. More powerful than single-stage snow blowers, these ones are quite industrial by their force, adding extra mechanisms (like an impeller fan) for snow processing and removal. They are usually wider and grab more snow to blow it away as you go, throwing it at up to 35 ft.
- 3-stage. These machines have an extra auger and an additional impeller, along with other extras which allow for better processing of frozen snow or ice. These machines are nearly always gas-powered, provided how powerful they are. In addition, they can be wheeled or track-drive (which makes sense, given that these machines are meant to go through).
Specific Blower for Every Purpose
As you see, single-stage models are good for smaller yards, but if you need to clear a larger area, you need a two-stage machine. It treats older snow piles better, efficiently removing them. However, this type is more expensive and requires more energy. As for the three-stage models, leave them to professionals.
It’s not so clear about electric and gas models in general. However, it’s a matter of choice. Look at how comfortable you are with noise and exhaust, whether it’s easier to fuel or to charge, and at the size of your property to decide.
Hope you have found what you wanted to know about snow blowers. If you have something to add from your own experience or want to ask a question, welcome to the comments!