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Choosing the Right Snowblower For Your Needs

Jul 8, 2008
A snowblower is an essential piece of equipment for homeowners in areas of heavy snowfall or for those with physical limitations that prevent them from shoveling snow manually. There are two types of snowblower, the single stage and the double (or two) stage snowblowers. A single stage snowblower will probably be adequate for areas of lighter snowfall and for those with a small area to clear. For heavier snowfall or for homeowners with larger areas to clear a two stage snowblower will be more efficient and easier to use.

Consideration of the area to be cleared is essential before you make a purchase. The path width cleared varies considerably with the model and matching the path width with the driveway or path to be cleared will cut down on the number of passes needed considerably. It is also essential to consider the degree and type of snow in your area. Light snowfall of around 50 inches a year could be tackled with a single stage snowblower. Annual snowfall of up to 150 inches, especially if it is mostly wet snow, and hence highly packable would require a two stage snowblower with a powerful engine of a least 7hp.

How Snowblowers Work

Single stage snowblowers have augers, rotating drum-shaped wheels for cutting and lifting the snow into the disposal chute. In a two-stage snowblower the auger performs the first stage cutting and lifting then impellers finish the lift into the chute. Discharge from the chute can then be controlled by adjusting the angle. a two stage snowblower then requires a more powerful engine and can throw the snow further and faster. Chutes may be made from metal or polymer, a good idea as rusting can be a problem with some metal chutes.

Consider the Area to be Cleared

Single stage snowblowers have clearing paths of about 21 inches, which is adequate for smaller areas but for a larger area the number of passes could become excessive. They are compact and easily stored and maintenance is reasonably easy. The machine are propelled forward by the action of the auger biting into the ground so it may often be necessary to help them along with a push. Some models have rotor paddles which contact the ground and assist in the propulsion, others have larger wheels which Can be real help.The price range of single stage snowblowers is around $300 to $600.USD.

If you have a larger area to clear you are really going to need a two stage snowblower to do the job in a reasonable time. For all but the biggest areas a medium power machine with an engine of about 8hp should do a good job. The clearing path of this size machine is around 25 inches, they are mostly self propelled with large wheels. prices for this range are between $1000 and $2,500.

If you need a snowblower of even bigger proportions the largest and more powerful come with up to 45 inch clearing paths and powerful motors. The price is hefty too of course. One of these monsters will set you back between $1000 and $2500 USD

Some Thoughts on Snowblower Features

Most of the snowblowers on sale today have a Tecumseh Snow King engine which has been specially developed for working in cold conditions. Starters are either electric key driven or recoil. An electric starter would be our choice as they are more reliable and much easier to use in the cold than pulling starting ropes. make sure the snowblower you choose is not too heavy, as hauling a heavy snowblower up steps to store it for the summer can be a challenge, especially if you have physical limitations.

You might consider buying your snowblower before the winter season starts as there are good bargains to be had in used snowblowers.
About the Author
Read more and find some great deals in new and used Toro lawnmowers at Toro Lawnmowers and Toro Snowblowers at Toro Snowblowers
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