Snow Blower Comparison

by Martin

in Choosing a snow blower, Top Rated Snow Blowers

How do you know which kind of snow blower to choose?

When you are looking to make a snow blower comparison and trying to decide between all the different models and manufacturers, it is helpful to think first about your circumstances and what you need, rather than think about all the different features of the snow blowers and throwers on offer.

Choosing a suitable machine for home use involves thinking carefully about the following:

  • What volume of snow will you be clearing?
  • How big is the area to be cleared?
  • Are you looking to clear a hard surface or does it have loose material like gravel or stone chippings?
  • What size of machine are you looking for – a genuine snow blower or a power shovel?
  • Do you need a light weight machine or can you handle something more robust?
  • Is your preference for electric or gas?
  • How big is your budget

It’s a good idea to think back to the volume of snow you have received over recent years and play safe by choosing the kind of model that can cover a heavier fall.

It is also important to consider what sort of snow you get. Is it heavy and wet or a light, fluffy snow? If it’s usually heavy, it might pay to choose a high powered machine that will cope better under more challenging conditions.

Some machines outperform others under different surface conditions, as well. So take into consideration the kind of surface your machine will operate on. In particular, if you want to clear snow on gravel or loose material, you will need the kind of machine where the auger does not come into contact with the ground – generally the gas powered two stage gas snow blowers. Otherwise, you’ll be throwing stones as well as snow.

If you have smaller paths or driveways or you would find it hard to handle the bigger and powerful machines, then you should look at the single stage snow blowers or the electric snow blower models, as they are likely to suit you better.

This kind of snow blower comparison is essential before you start considering the features of the snow blowers themselves. But when you do, these are some of the things you should be looking out for.

Features and accessories

Each snow blower model has different specifications, but other than power, size and type of snow blower, these are the some of the important features to consider:

  • Hand warmers are available for higher profile machines
  • Headlights are useful for those ‘shorter’ days during mid-winter
  • Electric starts are always better than pull starts for instant use
  • Drift cutters can be attached to the auger housing. This facilitates a nice clean cut and uniform look to your driveway.
  • Variable speed control forwards and backwards.
  • Snow chains will aid traction in hard, icy conditions
  • Chute operation is better done from the handlebar control panel, which then allows for uninterrupted operation of your blower. Some older and cheaper models required control changes to be done by cranking a lever on the chute itself.

Value for money

When buying a Snow blower, these are the factors you should consider in order to get the best value for your hard earned money:

  • Cost: Determine how much you intend to spend and buy the best rather than the biggest machine. Make sure your chosen machine is up to the job. It is better to buy one that is more than capable and is therefore not under constant load. Our snow blower reviews will assist you in your choice.
  • Brand name: is a matter of personal choice based on the reputation of the brand, but you could check out any of our individual snow blower reviews for assistance with brands you are less familiar with.
  • Durability: If you anticipate heavy use in difficult, extreme conditions, then consider a machine made with steel components; i.e. the motor housing, impeller and auger.
  • Ease of use: A wider scoop will reduce the amount of passes required and minimize the time spent clearing, and a serrated auger will ease cutting through hard packed snow and ice. Try the controls grips and handles for accessibility, (with gloves if you intend using them.)
  • Maneuverability: The height of the handlebars plays a part in controlling your snow thrower particularly in turning. Choose a machine that is light enough to be moved. A multi-geared machine will allow you to change down in gears, much like a car, in order to ease through difficult packed snow and icy conditions.
  • After sales service & Warranty: As with all mechanical equipment, your snow blower will break down from time to time, so ensure that your warranty is comprehensive. Some warranties come with a manufacturer parts guarantee only; you may find the cost of labor far exceeds the price of replacement parts. Shop around to see if an extended warranty is available. Check in our review of snow blowers for specific information

If you pay carefully attention to all these features and factors you should find it much easier to survey the choices available and make a meaningful snow blower comparison.

Snow drifts – photo courtesy of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Department of Commerce

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Snow blower reviews – understanding the different types of snow blowers;

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