Snow Blower Two Stage vs Single Stage: Which is Best For Your Job?
- Can handle large amounts of snow
- Throws wet snow more easily
- Can use over gravel
- Not available in electric versions
- Leaves behind a thin layer of snow
- Limited to 8 inches or less
- Wet snow does not move as easily
Although a single stage blower is made to only cut through about an 8-inch snowfall or less at any given time, they are offered in more of a variety of a dual-stage version. For starters, the single auger system doesn’t require quite as much power, so they are available in a variety of gas and electric choices to better meet a wide span of needs. Electric blowers require very little maintenance too, making your job that much easier. Able to toss snow up to 30 feet, many of the gas-powered (and even a few electric ones) are capable of clearing fairly heavy snowfalls rather effectively. Plus, since they are lighter, they are also easier to maneuver in tighter to reach spots and may be lifted on to decking or porch surfaces as well. The front auger also sits more flush on the ground, making your clearing of snow look crisp and clean as not layer of snow will be left behind. These are awesome machines for smoother concrete, brick, and tile walks and drives to help show off the detail of the landscaping through the winter.
The size and power of these versions do limit their power. Heavy, wet snow, or larger amounts of snowfall exceeding 8 inches is a regular occurrence then this would not be a good choice. Plus, any gas version does require maintenance, and an electric version is limited by the length of the cord, as well as outlet placement. Since the auger sits flush with the ground, you will most likely nick the auger blade from time to time against uneven surfaces. It also will not clear uneven ground or gravel as the auger will dig into, or worse yet, through the gravel through the chute which could result in damage to whatever it hits. Many of the single blowers toss snow between 20 and 30 feet. Not all throw it quite as high as a dual-system. Areas that receive heavy snowfall may have banks of accumulated snow you need to clear, making your job more difficult if the machine doesn’t have the capabilities to do so.
Your best choice of machine, whether single or dual staged, is entirely dependent upon the specific climate you live within. A dual-blower is definitely the more powerful, durable of the two, but it also costs much more, is more limited in choices, and is built specifically for areas of heavy snowfall. The single blower has many more choice options and is very capable of clearing quite a bit of snow as well, especially if you regularly keep on top of your snow removal. Of the two, the single stage blower is a more practical choice altogether concerning cost and efficiency, but it is important to take into account that they are not built to handle long winters of heavy, wet snowfalls. Personally, I have used both in areas that receive regular snowfall, and have had good luck with a single stage blower even in northern climates if I made sure to clear snow at every snowfall. But I did find the dual stage to work excellently on heavier, packed snow that I couldn’t always get to right away.