What Kind of Snowblower Should I Buy – Single-Stage Or Two-Stage?
Snow removal can be simple when you have the right tool for the job and your needs. But when it comes to buying a snowblower, the options can seem confusing. Your first decision being an important one: do I need a single-stage and a two-stage snowblower? How do you know when bigger is not better?
Consider the performance expected from the machine: do you need it to blow snow off a sidewalk or small driveway or to clear larger spaces? Are you willing to use your own muscle power or is a self-propelled machine a must? How portable and maneuverable do you want it be? Once you’ve identified these priorities, choosing between a single-stage and a two-stage will be painless.
A single-stage snowblower is smaller (between 40-120 lbs) in design allowing it to be more portable and maneuverable. It is ideal for sidewalks or short driveways that are asphalt or concrete. Being designed for lighter jobs, it uses paddles to push the snow toward the ejection chute and to help propel the snow blower. It also picks up slush better than a 2-stage blower. It will not throw the snow as far as a 2-stage blower. A range of 2-cycle (requiring a gas/oil mix) and 4-cycle engines are available. Paddles, scrapers, spark plugs, belts, and oil (for 4-cycle engines) will require upkeep.
A two-stage is heavier (150+ lbs) and is made to work in larger areas. It works well on asphalt, concrete and gravel surfaces. The scraper and auger are metal versus the plastic and rubber parts on a single-stage. Though less portable and less adept at picking up slush, this heavier machine usually comes standard with a convenient electric start and 4-cycle engine (no mixing of gas and oil is required). The chute controls are located behind the machine. Typical maintenance items include the scraper bar, shear pins, spark plug, cables, belts, and changing the oil.
When is bigger not better or when does BIG win? When the power is in your hands and you are ready for whatever winter blows your way.