How to Start a Snow Blower
We are reader supported. External links may earn us a commission.

What You Need to Know About How to Start a Snow Blower

What’s worse than two feet of snow at below freezing temperatures? Trying to figure out how to start your snow blower! Figuring out how to work a snow blower may be a bit intimidating, especially for someone who isn’t that familiar with them or someone who isn’t even from an area that snows that much.

A snow blower can prove extremely useful during the coldest winter months of the year, so you should be able to use it effectively. Not that familiar with snow blowers in general or have a new one you’re not too sure how to work? We’ve got you covered! Keep reading to find out the basic information on how to work (most) snow blowers and get that snow cleared in no time.

What You Need

One Snow Blower


That’s right. You’re going to need a snow blower to look at all the buttons and mechanisms we’re talking about in this tutorial. If you don’t have a new snow blower, or you haven’t bought a new one yet, use an older snow blower. They all pretty much do the same thing, so it should be easy enough to figure out which buttons do what no matter the style or version of the snow blower.


User Manual

It’s important to be sure (if you’ve purchased a new snow blower) that you keep all the paperwork that came in the box of your new purchase. This paperwork will provide all the necessary information to you, including the very important precaution sections so you can be sure to use your new snow blower properly without any accidents. If anything in this tutorial doesn’t make sense because the make of your machine is different, simply refer to your user guide for the accurate information.


Read Safety Precautions

Safety Precautions

Once you’ve purchased your new snow blower, make sure to read ALL safety precautions and warnings before proceeding with anything else. Although most snow blowers are relatively the same, not all machines are made equal, so your machine may have different safety features than others. It’s important to read all the safety features information first, that way you know how to safely turn on and off your snow blower, as well as how to store it.

Checking up on Basics

Fresh Fuel

To start, make sure the oil and gas level in the snow blower is all the way up to the full mark and that it’s not the old gas that has been sitting there since last year. This is important so that the snow blower doesn’t run out of oil midway through. Also, make sure your drive control level is set to neutral. Neutral is a good setting to start with so you don’t overwhelm the machine when starting it cold. Make sure there is plenty of fuel in the fuel tank. It’d be best to also make sure the fuel is fresh.

To Start

Once your basics are checked, go ahead and make sure that the choke is full. A full choke will seal off a carburetors air supply and help start the machine. Once the machine is warm, switch the switch to “RUN” in order to use the machine. Make sure the throttle is in “HIGH” or “FAST” position. Make sure the fuel shutoff valve is on “OPEN” and use “ON” to start. If the machine is not running, make sure the valve is closed to prevent leakage of fuel. Depending on your snow blower, there should be on “ON” or “RUN” button that will start the machine. This will either be a button or a lever, but to start, use that mechanism.

Safety Key

Oregon 33-089 Plastic Ignition Key Replaces MTD 725-1660

Although you may think the snow blower should be the full blast on and running by now, depending on your machine, there are a few more steps you need to take care of before starting. There should be a safety ignition key that you can use. This is an extra safety feature to make sure the machine is safe to start. It usually snaps into place and to stop the machine entirely without shutting down, you can remove the key and the snow blower will completely stop. After that, you can press the primer bulb to get fuel into the carburetor. Usually pressing this bulb up to three times is a good amount to start the machine.

Starter Rope

Briggs & Stratton 699334 Starter Handle And Rope For Snow Thrower Engines

Once all the aforementioned steps are taken, you can pull the starter rope to spark up the engine and voila! Your snow blower should be in full effect. If the engine doesn’t start right away, try using a faster, stronger pull and you may resolve this issue. You may need to pull the starter rope a few times before the spark is strong enough to start.

Electric Start

Electric Starter for MTD,Cub Cadet,Troy Bilt 751-10645A,951-10645A

For electric models, you simply need to plug in the snow blower’s starter cord into an extension cord. Make sure the extension cord is connected to an outlet, of course. Then, simply push the button to “START” or “RUN” and you should have a working snow blower. Sounds a lot simpler than the manual method, huh? Some people prefer manual while others prefer electric. It’s all up to what you’re comfortable with.


Storage Shed

Make sure your snow blower is shut down properly before storing. Any buttons or mechanisms you turned on, make sure they’re off. The choke should be closed to prevent any fuel spillage and potential fire hazards. The snow blower should be stored in a safe place, preferably high enough to where small children or animals can’t get to. The storage space should be dry and not too hot nor too cold. And if this is the last time you’re putting it away, be sure to properly store your machine for the season.


So, what do you think? Not so scary after all, huh? Once you know how to use your snow blower you’ll feel much better about starting it the next time. The time after that, you’ll basically be a pro. Again, just make sure to read all the safety precautions and start-up suggestions since all snow blowers are different and you want to make sure you’re doing everything properly.

That’s all there is to it? Have any useful tips or suggestions when using a snow blower? We’d love to hear from you! Feel free to post your comments in the section below. Once you realize how useful snow blowers are and how easy they can be to use, you’ll be firing that baby up all winter long!

*You might also like: How Does Power steering Work on Snowblowers