Single Stage Vs. Two Stage Snowblowers

Posted October 15, 2015 by


You may have heard the terms “single stage” and “two stage” being thrown around when you were looking at snow blowers .

Do you know the difference?

While both types of snow blowers will get the job done, each kind is better suited for different conditions.

The main difference between a single stage snow blower and two stage snow blower is the process it has for throwing snow.


Single Stage Snow Blowers


What is a single stage snow blower?

A single stage blower uses a single auger that is generally made of rubber or plastic. Single stage snow blowers are typically the lighter of the two kinds of snow blowers. They are called single stage because of the single auger that is used to both scoop and throw the snow.

Single stage snow blowers are self-propelled to an extent, although, they do not have engine powered wheels. The high speed auger will move the machine forward somewhat and it chips at ice and snow, however, the operator must still push and guide the machine.  Since the auger of a single stage snow blower comes in contact with the ground it is generally used on pavement. Using a single stage snow blower on gravel could result in rocks being thrown.

These single stage snowblowers are ideal for 5” or less of heavy wet snow and 8” or less of light fluffy snow. Since single stage snow blowers have less power, they are not idea for large amounts of snow.

Pros of a Single Stage Snow Blower

  • Light weight
  • Since the auger contacts the ground, more of the snow is removed
  • Not as expensive
  • Compact

Cons of a Single Stage Snow Blower

  • Doesn’t throw snow as far
  • Not as much power
  • Can’t handle deep snow on a regular basis
  • Can’t be used on gravel


Two Stage Snow Blowers


What is a two stage snow blower?

A two stage snow blower is a snow blower that has 2 ways of moving snow through the machine  as opposed to just one. The first stage is the auger, just like in a single stage snow blower. The second “stage” is an impeller, or a fan. It is located near the chute of the snow blower. The auger scoops up the snow, and then the impeller blows the snow out of the chute, this allows the snow to be thrown farther than it is with a single stage snow blower.

The auger of two stage snow blowers do not touch the ground. This means that they can be used on practically any terrain, such as gravel and rocks. The downfall of this though, is that there will be a layer of snow/ice left over.

Pros of a two stage snow blower

  • Throw snow farther
  • More power
  • Handle deeper, heavier snow
  • More control options
  • Can be used on hills and all terrains

Cons of a two stage snow blower

  • Heavier
  • Not as compact
  • More expensive
  • Doesn’t clear straight to the ground

Other snow blower features

Drive –

Snow blowers can come with either tracks or wheels. Tracks are usually good for hills and places where more traction is needed. Tires are good, and chains can also be added to provide added traction

Power options-

Snow blowers come with different power options. They can be either electric or gasoline powered. Most of the more powerful snow blowers are gasoline powered, however, electric snow blowers work very well for light loads of snow.

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