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Single Stage Vs Two-Stage Snow Blower


Electric and gas snow blowers are a great alternative to a shovel when it comes to clearing snow. This is especially if you have a larger area to cover. Electric snow blowers are available in single-stage only, while gas snow blowers come in both single and two stages.

The word “stage” here refers to the mechanism the blower uses to suck snow. This post will take a look at the differences between single-stage and two-stage snow blowers. This will include the different functions each is designed to perform.  

Single-Stage Snow Blower Description

The main difference between a single-stage and two-stage snow blower is that the former features an auger that does two jobs simultaneously. It sucks in snow and throws it out via a discharge shoot. The word auger here refers to the blades fixed at the front.

They are designed to make contact with the ground you’re working on and can only be used to clear snow on paved surfaces. The blades’ action pushes the snow blower forward, meaning that all the operator has to do is steer the machine.

The single blade found in the blower doesn’t need much power to run. As such, there are electric versions available for single-stage snow blowers. Electric versions need less maintenance too. But, since they are lighter and less powerful, they are not ideal for heavy snow. They are also not built to handle wet snow.

Single-stage snow blowers are compact and lighter. They are also easier to handle when compared to two-stage snow blowers. They are built to clear about 8 inches of snow or less, making them ideal for smaller tasks like short driveways, walkways, and sidewalks.

Strong Sides

  1. Augers get into contact with the ground leaving an excellent smooth surface.
  2. Has more choices available, e.g. electric and gas.
  3. Cuts snow and drives at the same time
  4. Costs less

Weak Sides

  1. Can only be used on paved surfaces
  2. Not ideal for wet snow
  3. Not powerful enough for areas prone to heavy snowfall
  4. Can only clear 8 inches of snow or less

Two-Stage Snow Blower Description

Two-stage snow blowers feature an auger that is solely tasked with sucking up snow from the driveway. The auger can come in different styles and designs to meet your needs. A separate impeller discharges the snow out through a chute. This action alone allows the blower to throw heavier and wet snow much faster and further than a single-stage snow blower.

The auger in the two-stage snow blower does not get into contact with the ground when clearing snow. It is angled and, therefore, can be used on paved, dirty, or rough surfaces. Its angled design also ensures you can use the snowblower without damaging the blade. Beyond augers and impellers, the two-stage snow blower is also more powerful. Depending on the model you go for, you get a clearing width that ranges between 20 and 36 inches.

It also has wheels or tracks that are driven by the engine. This helps to propel the gas snow blower, making it easier for the owner to steer. The power-assisted wheels also come in handy when clearing snow on larger and sloppy areas.

Strong Sides

  1. Can be used on gravel and crushed stone driveways
  2. Has more clearing width
  3. Discharges wet snow faster and more easily
  4. Can handle heavy snowfall
  5. Much stronger in its construction and build
  6. Best for clearing snow on large areas quickly and efficiently

Weak Sides

1. Leaves a thin coat of snow behind since blades are not in contact with the ground

2. No electric versions are available

3. Costs more

4. Bulkier and larger

Overview and Conclusion

Single-stage snow blowers are not as powerful as two-stage snow blowers. However, they are useful when it comes to clearing your walkways and driveways. They are not equipped to take on heavier and wet snow like their counterparts. However, they are available in multiple designs and can be fitted in spaces that may be too hard to reach. Single-stage snow blowers are also more affordable and a great choice where nothing much is going on.

A two-stage snow blower is more durable and more powerful when compared to single-stage blower. It comes in limited choices since electric power wouldn’t be enough to propel the augers and impellers simultaneously. This means that there are only gas-powered versions available. In addition to its operation, you’ll have to handle the maintenance of the engine, as well as other tasks such as changing the air filter, oil, and spark plugs.

Two stage snow blowers are also bulky and heavy and may not fit in small spaces. This may force you to shovel the remaining snow. The augers do not contact the ground and leave a slight layer of snow behind. If you’re looking for a clean surface, the single stage snow blower is a better option.


Do I need a single stage or two-stage snow blower?

Single-stage snow blowers are designed for smaller walkways, short driveways, and sidewalks while two stage snow blowers are for areas that experience heavy and wet snowfall.

How often should I change the oil in my snowblower?

To keep the snow blower functioning well, it’s best to change the oil at least once a year. Avoid going more than 2 years without having changed the oil in your snowblower. This can cause hard starts in the engine.

Can I use synthetic motor oil in my snowblower?

Synthetic oil is ideal for winter seasons since it achieves a more even flow. General motor oil comes with wax in it and can congeal or freeze at extremely low temperatures. This makes synthetic oil a better choice for your snowblower when the season comes.

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