5 ways to pick the wrong snow blower

Avoid Wrong Snowblower

You’re standing in your local hardware store, eye to eye with the mother of all snow blowers. Its mere presence instills a desire to demolish snow drifts.

This baby has it all. It throws snow like a city plow truck and covers more territory than an over-the-road truck driver. Not to mention, it has power that would make the 1st Cavalry blush.

One problem: your driveway barely holds a Fiat, and that “mound” of snow you’re facing is only 6 inches deep.

Yes, it’s tempting to go with the biggest, baddest snow blower you can find, but it’s not often the best decision.

That’s why I’ve pulled together 5 tips to help you avoid picking the wrong snow blower:

Resist Too Big of Snow Blowers

If the snowfall you’re getting never tops 8 inches, a single-stage blower, such as these Briggs & Stratton versions, is a great option.

Why? Because single-stage snow blowers take up less space in your garage than their bigger two-stage brothers, are easy to use and easy to manuever.

The main difference is they won’t throw snow as far and don’t handle deep snow efficiently. While they do have some drive, the single stage units are auger propelled and aren’t transmission driven like two-stage models.

Avoid Too Small of a Snow Blower

Well, if you can go too big, you can go too small as well, right? You bet.

If you live where storms bring 8 inches or more of snow at a time – on a regular basis – consider a medium-duty two-stage snow blower.

Briggs & Stratton offers several options in the two-stage category, with intake chutes starting at 24 inches.

Also consider a two-stage blower if:

  • You need to clean large swaths of driveway and sidewalk.
  • The snow often is wet and heavy
  • You need more drive and easy of propelling to power up long or steep driveways

Think About Starting Options

In the dead of winter (or early in the morning before I’ve had my coffee), a pull-start isn’t always the most efficient choice.

Consider a blower with an electric start. It’s a fairly common feature on most new snow blowers, and makes starting as easy as pushing a button.

Recognize the Type of Snow You Typically Get

If the snow falling in your neck of the woods is water soaked (think good snowball making snow) and muscle-pulling inducing, you’re going to want to go with a two-stage blower.

A two-stage blower has an impeller that helps throw large amounts of snow with ease, when coupled with the auger for clearing your path.

If you get deep, wet snow, but have a small area to cover, a narrower (24-inch) blower is a good choice. Need to go bigger? Consider a 29-inch intake.

Don’t Forget About Compacted Snow

You know that icy, hard-packed mess at the end of your driveway? Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about here.

Along with always having a hand-held ice chopper for the pesky spots, consider a blower that can grind compacted snow without blowing shear pins every second.

Single-stage blowers, like Briggs & Stratton SnowShredder, work well for this.

The SnowShredder has an auger with multiple individual serrated surfaces that clears ice easily.

So good luck while you’re hunting for a snow blower. Now you’re armed with tips to make a decision you won’t regret when the snow flies – or doesn’t.