Snowblowers come in a variety of power sources, including battery, gas and electric. These all have their trade-offs but can be supplemented by a secondary stage, which can mean one of two things, depending on the snowblower. In one case, this simply means two power settings for heavier, icier snow, and in another case, it can mean a secondary pass to get compacted, ice bonded snow off of the pavement.
All snowblowers pretty much work the same way, with a Caterpillar powertrain lifting the snow off of the ground, and the second blower or projector stage throwing the snow away somewhere else. While they don’t quite match the perfection of cleanliness at a shovel can create, they are a very convenient way to do away with one of nature’s greatest annoyances, and the leading reason that people move to Florida or California.
Snow blowers can do snow clearing operation in one, two or three stages.
- The term “single-stage” in a snow blower’s description means that its auger not only gathers snow but also crushes it and throws away. To prevent large pieces of snow and ice from getting into the mechanism as well as to ensure a sufficient throwing force, the auger in single-stage models has to spin at a high speed, something that will eventually result in its rapid wear. However, such units are more lightweight, have a simpler mechanism and cost less money.
- Two-stage snow blowers — and these are the most common among gas-powered models — the auger only pulls snow in while a separate impeller crushes it and moves it further. This allows the auger to spin slower, reducing wear. However, since two-stage models are more complicated devices, they have a higher price, weight and failure probability.
- And finally, there are three-stage snow blowers. They are equipped with one more impeller for crushing snow. That said, three-stage snow blowers are rare and it is quite hard to find such a product.
What are the main benefits of the two-stage snow blowers?
Such blowers are capable to handle all types of snow on any surfaces. They can be perfectly used for gravel driveways, as they do not contact the surface like a single-stage snow blower.
In fact, two-stage snow blowers are very popular because they are more effective and faster than the single-stage units and at the same time are not as much bulky or pricey as the 3-stage professional snow blowers. All this makes the two-stage machine is a precious compromise of the high power and the reasonable cost.
However, if you still have particular concerns about choosing one- or two-stage snow blower, than you should think thoroughly over what type of snow and how much of it you usually deal with and the space to be cleared. If you consider these factors, matching them with the characteristics of the one- and two-stage machines, you will definitely succeed in the selection task.
Best Two-Stage Snow Blowers
We will tell you about the two most powerful models to familiarize you with the most top-notch and advanced snow blowers on the market. Not all customers need an expensive and powerful machine. In our comparison table, you will find less sophisticated and more affordable models from the same brands or their competitors.
Snow Joe iON8024-CT Cordless Snow Blower | Best 2-stage snow blower under $1000
If you decided on an electric snow blower, this option will be the best choice. It does not have the major weak point of corded electric machines, which are limited by the length of their cord. With this cordless model, you are free to move around your backyard or wherever you need, effectively clearing snow from driveways and walkways. Your zeal will be limited only by the battery life, and this is where Snow Joe iON8024-CT is up to snuff. The machine has two 40 V batteries, one of which (5.0 Ah) lasts 30 minutes and the other one (6.0 Ah) ensures the unit’s 40-minute continuous operation.
This is a two-stage snow blower equipped with a reliable serrated steel auger and heavy-duty impeller. It boasts high capacity and is able to remove up to 1000 pounds of snow per minute. Another significant advantage is a wide clearing path of 24 inches. This is essential because, with such a machine, it will take you less time and effort to do the job.
One more feature that adds to the user’s convenience is an integrated digital display. It will let you easily switch between the 4 speeds and check the battery level. You can comfortably use this snow blower in the dark as the display is well-illuminated while the machine itself comes with powerful headlights. With a weight of about 100 pounds, this electric model is more than twice as light as the gas-powered one on our list.
Briggs & Stratton 30-Inch Gas Snow Blower
This machine is simply a beast! Whether you need to clear snow from large areas or have to deal with high snowdrifts, this model will successfully cope with the task. Even in the roughest winters, this powerful two-stage snow blower delivers high-performance and will meet all your needs. While being a gas-powered unit, it comes with electric start for easy and quick starting even at low temperatures.
The machine has a number of features that make it amazingly comfortable and user-friendly. Dual-trigger steering facilitates tight turns and easy handling while hands-free control allows the user to operate the machine with one hand. This frees the other hand to change the speed or rotate the chute. As for the latter, the chute direction can be adjusted without the need to stop the snow blower, something that makes it even more convenient to use. And finally, you can switch on handgrip heating and enjoy comfortable driving in the cold winter.
Yes, this snow blower will cost you a bundle — over $1,000. But it is worth it as the machine works like magic. Not only is it highly powerful and equipped with a professional-grade engine. Made of high-quality steel frame and components, this model is also incredibly durable and robust. Rest assured, this snow blower is reliable and will serve you for years.