Single-Stage vs Two-Stage Snow Blowers

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When the winter months arrive, the snowblower is one of the most important tools in your arsenal. It will be essential for clearing off pathways and driveways. Because of this, you want to make sure that you are getting the best model. There are many types of snow blowers available. But one of the most important distinctions between them is whether they are single-stage or two-stage. Let’s take a closer look at these models, so you can find the right type for you.

What’s the Difference Between a Single-Stage and Two-Stage Snow Blower?

Let’s start by talking about what separates these models. A single-stage blower will have an auger. This touches the ground to pull up the snow. This auger is also responsible for discharging the snow from the machine.

A two-stage blower also has an auger, which gathers the snow. However, this auger doesn’t touch the ground. Once inside the machine, the snow will be put into the impeller. This is what discharges the machine. Now that we know how they work, let’s look at some of the differences between the two.

Size of Snowfall

Usually, a single-stage machine is best suited to areas that have limited snowfall. They will only be able to penetrate eight inches into the ground.

On the other hand, the two-stage blower will be more powerful. Because of this, it will be able to handle deeper snowfall. It will be able to cope with 24-inches of snowfall. This makes it better suited to areas that have heavy snow. Plus, two-stage blowers will have a wider opening, sometimes up to 30-inches. So, you’ll need fewer passes to cover the area.

Discharge Distance

One of the biggest differences is how far the snow can be discharged. In the case of a single-stage blower, it will be able to be thrown around 36 inches. However, the two-stage blower relies on the impeller to help it launch the snow. As a result, it will be able to fly for a longer distance. It might be able to send it up to 60 inches.


The next thing to think about is the type of terrain that the snowblower will be able to cope with. Single-stage blowers will be able to cope with a more limited range of terrains. It’s not recommended that you use this if you have gravel or dirt driveways or paths. Because the auger touches the ground, there is a risk that it will scrape these features up, creating a big mess. It’s best to stick to paved or concrete areas.

On the other hand, the auger of a two-stage blower won’t touch the ground. This means that it will be suitable for use with all types of ground surfaces. Plus, a two-stage is suitable for going uphills that are on a sharp incline. On the other hand, it’s best to stick to the flat ground if you are using a single-stage blower.

Ease of Use

A two-stage blower is a heavier, bulkier device. This can make it a little more difficult to maneuver into position when you want to start snow blowing. However, many of these devices will be self-propelled. All you need to do is steer it. With a single stage-blower, you will need to push.

However, the auger of the two-stage blower doesn’t touch the ground. As a result, it will struggle to remove ice sheets. You’ll need to do this by hand. You won’t have this problem if you are using a single-stage blower. Plus, single-stage blowers will have easier controls, which means that you will have to spend less time learning how to use them.

If space is at a premium in your garage, it’s best to choose a single-stage snowblower. They will be more compact, making them easier to store.


Often, you will be shopping for a snowblower with a limited budget. If money is tight, it’s best to stick to single-stage models. You can pick up a basic model for around $500. However, it’s probably best to stick to the mid-priced options for both. They will range from $800 to $1,750.

Power Source

Most of these models will be gas-powered. This is the only option if you want to purchase a two-stage blower. On one hand, gas-powered machines tend to provide more power. But they also create more emissions.

Because of this, some people prefer electric models. They can be a good way of saving money, particularly if you are using solar power. This is only an option when you are purchasing a single-stage blower.

Which One Should You Use?

Hopefully, you now have a better idea of some of the differences between a single-stage and a two-stage blower. This raises an important question, though, which one is the best for your needs? Here are some of the things to think about when you are making this decision.

Amount of Snow You Receive

One of the most important considerations is the amount of snow that you will need to contend with. If you live in an area that only gets a few inches of snow a week, you might only need a single-stage blower.

However, if you get heavier snowfall, this machine might struggle to cope. When faced with more than a few inches of snow, you will need to upgrade to the more powerful model. This site will give you a rough idea of how much snow each state will receive.

Amount of Space You Have to Clear

The next thing you should think about is the size of the area that you need to clear. Single-stage blowers are a good choice if you are dealing with a small area. In most cases, they are all you will need to clear your driveways or paths.

However, if you have a larger property, you might want to choose a two-stage blower. This has a wider auger and more powerful discharge, so it’s ideal for bigger areas.

Don’t forget to think about the type of area you are clearing. Single-stage blowers are best for straight, flat areas. They are best for paved or concreted areas. If you live in a hilly area, or your driveway is at a steep angle, you will often be better with the two-stage blower. They are self-propelled, so it won’t be as much effort to push it uphill.

Finding a Good Snow Blower

Regardless of whether you want to buy a single-stage or two-stage blower, there are a few elements that you need to consider. This will let you find a good machine, without breaking the budget.


The first thing to consider is the type of features you will be getting. Most single-stage blowers will be fairly basic. You might be able to get one that has different speeds.

But when it comes to two-stage blowers, there will be plenty of features for you to explore. You will often be able to find something that comes with different speeds. You might even be able to find a machine that goes backward. Sometimes, you will be able to find a device that has a place for you to warm your hands. When you are looking at features try to classify them as something essential, or something that you just want to have. This ensures that you don’t end up overpaying for a machine.


One of the most important elements of buying a snowblower is how reliable it is. You don’t want it to break down in the middle of a snowstorm. There are a few ways that you can find a reliable machine. First, look at the type of parts it uses. They should be made of strong metal, rather than plastic.

It can also be a good idea to look at the brand to make sure it’s coming from a trusted source. Finally, look at the reviews to make sure other customers like them. These expert snow blowers reviews should help you narrow down your selection.

Cost and Warranty

Lastly, you should look at how much it will cost to purchase your snowblower. You should aim to spend between $800 to $1,750. This will be enough to get you a solid snowblower. Though you might need to spend a little more to get a two-stage blower.

When you are buying, you should make sure that you are getting some protection. It’s important to make sure that you pick something that comes with a good warranty period. This ensures that you will be protected if something goes wrong with the device.


Buying a snowblower doesn’t have to be a difficult process. Often, the most difficult part is deciding whether you want to get a single-stage or two-stage blower. Once you know this, you can start to focus on specific machines until you find the right one to suit your needs. So, follow this advice to get something that will protect your paths from snow.