Snow season is here and it’s time to be prepared to clear driveways, remove cars, and guard sidewalks. Maybe this year you’ve decided it’s time to buy a snow thrower to make your job a little easier. Or maybe it’s time to update the old one you’ve been using for the past few years. Either way, there are A LOT of snow blowers out there. Which are the best and how do you choose them? This year I will get a snow plow and I would like to share with you what I have learned. I use the snow thrower and the snow thrower in an equivalent way; there is no intended difference in meaning between the two sentences.
The first thing I needed to find out is what is the difference between single-stage and two-stage snowplows. I kept thinking it had something to do with the engine and couldn’t understand how a single cycle engine worked. (Actually? Yes really.)
It made a lot more sense once I realized that the difference was in how they moved the snow. A single stage snow blower relies on the action of the auger to blow snow. The auger is the nasty, corkscrew-shaped blade mechanism at the front of the snow thrower. The auger for single stage blowers can be metal, rubber tipped metal, or even all rubber.
So what is a two-stage snow plow? This adds an additional mechanism to the rear of the snow thrower called an impeller. This is designed to suck up the snow delivered by the augers and pull it down the chute.
A key difference between single-stage and two-stage blowers is auger speed. A single stage blower relies on the auger to blow snow, so it has to move quite fast. The result is a gear that exchanges torque for speed. Consequently, single stage blowers work best on dry snow. The two-stage blower auger only needs to move the snow towards the center impeller which is moving at a very best snow plow for polaris ranger high speed. It breaks up the packed snow delivered to it from the auger and makes the snow move up and out of the chute really well. Therefore, two-stage blowers will work well for both dry and wet snow.
There are several features to consider before buying. These include:
Controls – The complexity and ease of use of the controls on the snow throwers can vary greatly. Make sure you are comfortable with being able to safely operate the snow thrower before purchasing. Start: Gasoline snowplows will have either a pull start or an electric start. From what I can tell, this can cost $ 60-100 on their most profitable snowplows. More expensive two-stage snow blowers may have this included and the price is more difficult to calculate. However, the electric start makes starting the snow thrower on cold and windy days a much less daunting task. Lights: Some high-end models may come with a built-in light. This is convenient, but may not be as good as placing a good headlamp in a head harness over your hat. Discharge chute: Chutes can be routed and can have a control for the height (distance) of the discharge. They can be controlled directly with levers on the duct or they can be controlled remotely from the rear of the blower. Size: Big moves more snow, but can also be harder to turn. Make sure you are comfortable with the height of the handle and your ability to turn it, as they can be quite heavy. Cleaning Paddle – NEVER PUT YOUR HAND ON THE AUGER, IMPELLER OR DISCHARGE CHANNEL. I read somewhere during my research that more than 3000 people are injured each year by putting their hands in the snow blower. If the snow thrower gets stuck, TURN OFF AND then use the plastic paddle that comes with the blower. Can’t find it or didn’t have one? Use a broomstick, but don’t put your hands there. Speeds – Self-propelled snowplows can have only one speed; others may have several. It’s nice to have some speeds, but you don’t really need more than five. I live in Colorado. Almost all of my neighbors have snowplows. I bought snow plows for family members who live in the mountains. So you might be surprised when you start this blog by asking yourself this simple question: DO YOU NEED a snow plow? I ask because several of the snowplows I have purchased were used that were not used or were too much for the original needs of the buyers. So, I think it is an important question to ask yourself before buying. I want you to buy something that will bring you satisfaction and that YOU will get used to; I don’t want you to get something that you will sell at a garage sale in three years.