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Snow Blowers And Snow Throwers Explained
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Snow Blowers And Snow Throwers Explained

Since winter storms appear to be coming earlier and heavier each year, homeowners are turning more and more to powered snow clearing equipment to help keep their driveways, sidewalks and walkways snow free.

Most people don't need to plow snow around their home, so for the most part a snow blower or snow thrower is adequate. Here I look at the different types of snow blowers and throwers.

Generally, the terms 'snow blower' and 'snow thrower' are used interchangeably, although, as explained below, strictly speaking there is a difference.

A true snow blower is a dual or two stage machine. This means that the snow clearing action is carried out in two stages. First, an auger, which is shaped like a paddle, at the front of the machine draws snow in. Then, an impeller pulls snow up and blows it out of the unit's discharge chute.

Residential class two stage snow blowers are suitable for areas that get moderate to heavy snow fall and for clearing medium to large spaces. They will generally have a clearing width of between 24 and 32 inches and be powered by a gas engine. As with most outdoor power equipment, more powerful machines are suitable for the toughest and most demanding jobs.

Many of the higher priced two stage snow blowers feature advanced features such as headlights, traction control, assisted steering, electronically adjusted discharge chutes and even heated handles.

If you regularly get snowfalls of one to two feet and more and you have a fairly large surface area to clear, you will probably need a two stage snow thrower.

Single stage snow blowers are properly called snow throwers, because they do not incorporate the impeller driven blowing action. Snow throwers of this type may be gas or electric powered.

Single stage gas snow blowers are a step down from two stage machines when it comes to snow clearing capability. They range in width from about 16 to 22 inches and have engines in various sizes from about 90 to 205 cc. These snow blowers are likely to be suitable if you normally have about 6 to 12 inches of snow to clear in one go. Bear in mind that the depth of snow that can be cleared varies from model to model.

Electric snow throwers require permanent connection to a power outlet. This means that they are relatively limited in their scope compared to gas powered single and two stage snow blowers, but will be suitable if you have reasonably small areas to clear with reach (by extension cord) of a power outlet.

The most powerful electric snow blowers, such as Toro's Power Curve model can near enough match the snow clearing capacity of some single stage gas powered machines.

This article gives you a high level view of the different types of snow blowers and snow throwers available. In choosing a snow blower or thrower, the important thing is make sure you identify your own needs first and then find a machine that will match those requirements.


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