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Single vs Two stage Snow Blower: Which is best for you?

Single vs Two-stage Snow Blower

In the winter, when you look out your window and see a fresh layer of snow on the ground, do you think to yourself, “Great! I get to use my snow blower!”? For all those poor souls who dread having to deal with their driveway or sidewalk after a storm because they don’t own a snow blower – don’t worry! We’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll compare a single-stage vs two-stage snow blower and tell you which one is right for your needs.


What is a Single-stage snow blower?

A single-stage snow blower is lighter and less powerful than two-stage models. They can take care of small amounts of light, fluffy powdery snow with ease – but they may struggle to get through heavier wetter stuff or deep drifts that accumulate over time. Single-stage snow blowers typically have a smaller engine capacity.

The single-stage snow blower is best for people who live in areas that receive light to moderate accumulations of snow each winter, with an average depth of around 8 inches and a maximum of 12 inches.

Single-stage blowers are also better if you don’t want to spend much time or effort shoveling because they take less physical strength and energy than two-stage models do.

Single-stage snow blower

Below are some of the benefits and drawbacks you can expect from single-stage snow blowers

  • Easier to use because it has fewer controls
  • Beginner-friendly snow blowing for those who don’t want the hassle of figuring out how their machine works
  • It’s a much lighter version providing ease of use for those with back pain or mobility issues



  • It should only be used on paved surfaces, not gravel driveways or dirt
  • They don’t handle deep drifts or packed snow well
  • It shouldn’t be used on any inclines. It works best on flat surfaces


Check out the best single-stage snow blowers.


What is a Two-stage snow blower?

PowerSmart Snow Blower Gas Powered - 24-Inch 212cc 2-Stage Gas Snow Blower with Corded Electric Start

If you live in a cold-weather area that gets two or more feet of snow every year, then you know how important it is to have a two-stage snow blower.

In a two-stage unit, the auger is driven by a belt from the engine. The larger drive wheel in front compresses and moves the snow to be thrown into a high volume discharge chute that can handle large amounts of wet slushy or powdery snows. It’s a machine that uses two stages to clear snow, typically used for sidewalks and driveways. 

The first stage usually throws the snow forward with two rotating augers (usually on either side of the engine), while the second stage normally blows it backward. 

A two-stage snow blower can be used in conjunction with other machines to clear snow faster from large areas of property or work at higher altitudes, but they are most commonly used for residential purposes. 


Below is a list of some of the benefits and drawbacks you can expect from a two-stage snow blower.

  • It has a larger engine, which means more power and torque
  • They have a maximum snow depth of 24 inches
  • It can be used on paved, dirt, or gravel surfaces



  • The auger doesn’t touch the ground, so a small layer of snow is left over
  • It’s going to cost you more
  • It works best only on an even steep incline or a gravel driveway


What’s the difference between a single-stage and a two-stage snow blower?

single-stage and a two-stage snow blower

There are many factors to consider when deciding on one of these snow blowers, but there is one significant difference: single-stage machines work by pushing snow out in front of them while two-stage blowers push it up and out. 

Another important consideration is whether or not you live in an area where you will be clearing standing water as well as deep drifts of heavy, wet snow. If so, a single-stage machine may leave your driveway with puddles on top that freeze into ice sheets overnight.

Single-stage snow blowers are very efficient at removing light, dry accumulations of snow. It is also great for occasional storms that do not have high amounts of wet, heavy slush, or icy snow. A single-stage uses a single impeller to blow the snow out of its housing directly into your path, where you can easily push it to the side.

Two-stage machines, on the other hand, come with a single horizontal impeller that blows out from both sides of its housing into two separate chambers, where it is then chopped up further and finally blown against a wall or straight into your path for easy disposal. This allows you to use one machine in light snow while also being able to handle wetter conditions when needed as well. 

Two-stage snow blowers are very popular because they can do a great job moving around even at high speeds due to their rotational forces, which help push them to move forward more efficiently than single-stage models. They also have a larger clearing width, so you don’t need multiple passes throughout large areas like driveways.


How do I decide between a single-stage or two-stage system?

Both the single-stage model and two-stage snow blowers are effective at removing snow and clearing a path in your driveway or sidewalk, but each has some distinct advantages.

A single-stage snow blower system is more affordable because it only has one engine and doesn’t require a special carburetor or fuel line setup. On the other hand, a two-stage snow blower system offers more power and throws snow at greater distances due to its twin engines.

Some things to consider when deciding are the terrain, how much time you want to spend clearing your driveway and sidewalks, and your budget. If you have a single-level home on flat ground, then a single-stage is for you! 

If there are hills in your yard and large trees at the edge of your property line that requires more than one pass to clear it and you don’t want to spend so much time outside during the winter months, then a two-stage is what might work best.


Which is better: Snow Blower Two-Stage or Single Stage?

single-stage snow blower

A two-stage snow blower is much better than a single stage. While both will do the job, one has twice as many blades, called snow throwers, and can throw snow about 40% further. This allows you to clear your driveway in half the time with fewer passes over it! 

If convenience and efficiency are important to you because of busy work schedules or disabilities preventing shoveling, then look no further – this type of snow blower is right for you!

Two-stage snow blowers cost more money upfront but save on labor costs (time) that add up quickly when trying to keep your walkway clean by hand (or, even worse, hiring someone else). They are also easier on any existing lawn around sidewalks due to their ability to throw the snow further and will not damage lawns because of their two-stage augers.


How do I choose a snow blower? Buying Guide

Choosing the right snow blower can be difficult, but we are here to help! The winter months are coming, so it’s time to start thinking about choosing the right one for you.

Do you want a gas-powered or an electric snow blower? Do you need something with high power for large driveways? What about maneuverability? 

These are all questions that should be considered before deciding on a machine.


Types of snow blowers

There are many different types of snow blowers to choose from, but the most popular ones are electric and gas-powered models with many brands and styles to choose from. 

Gas-powered vs. electric-powered. Gas-powered snow blowers are more powerful, but they require fuel which must be maintained by the user. They also produce exhaust fumes that can pollute the air around them. 

On the other hand, electric-powered snow blowers do not need any fuel and don’t emit any fumes into the environment; however, they may not have as much power as their gas counterparts at first, but they require less maintenance over time because they don’t use any moving parts besides a rotating auger. 

Electric models can be cheaper or more expensive depending on the features you want and will need to be plugged infrequently during prolonged periods of heavy snowfall.


Low-end vs. high-end models

With the winter season just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about clearing snow from your property. Depending on how much snow you get and where you live, a good quality snow blower may be a worthwhile investment.

There are many different models of snow blowers on the market today, and each one is designed for a specific use. You can choose from low-end or high-end models based on your needs.

If you only need to clear an average driveway in 20 minutes, then you will want to get a smaller single motion, lower-quality model that has fewer features. However, if you live in an area with more snow and heavy winter storms, and deep drifts, then it might be worth investing in a more expensive model with the ability to handle tough conditions like uphill areas and thick ice.


Snow Blower Add-Ons

Snow Blower Add-Ons

While winter can be a time for joy, for many, it can be a difficult and dangerous season to get through without the right snow blower accessories. If it’s a thin layer of wet snow or heavy snow, here are some items your snow blower can’t live without this winter!

Tire chains can be purchased to help increase traction during snowy conditions; this will help you get your snow blower out the door and ready for whatever Mother Nature is going to send its way.

A polyethylene blade scraper helps when cleaning any excess ice or mud off of blades before use. This is a great tool that will help cut down on the time it takes to prep your machine each morning.

A snow blower auger scraper is a great accessory to have during the winter season. This tool helps clean off your machine’s blades and make them look like new again! It can be used on both straight or curved blades with ease, helping you maintain your snow blower all year long.

Snow blower utility poles are great for getting up high. They are used to clear any snow that may have accumulated on the roof of your house or shed, helping you avoid dangerous situations when walking underneath them. 

These can be purchased in different lengths depending on how tall you need them to go!


How do I start a snow blower?

Starting a snow blower is not difficult, but it does require some preparation. First, you should make sure your snow blower is clean and free from any debris.


Gas Snow Blowers

  • Prepare the area that you are going to be working in by removing any objects that could get caught up in the blades of your snow blower.
  • Gas-powered means fill it up with gasoline – don’t forget about this step!
  • Make sure the choke knob is turned off before trying to start up your machine, or else you will experience starting problems because of flooded carburetors. 
  • Turn on the throttle control and pull back on the starter cord while turning over one time for each 1/4th of a turn that you pull.

Do not let a cold engine idle for too long on the gas models as it will overheat – this can lead to costly repairs down the road!


Electric Snow Blowers

  • Clear the area that you are going to be working in and remove any objects that could get caught up in the blades.
  • Plug it in an outdoor outlet and press start.
  • After it’s started, unplug it and go.

Congratulations, you just started your snow blower successfully!

Snow Joe SJ625E Electric Single Stage Snow Thrower | 21-Inch | 15 Amp Motor

Check the best electric snow blowers.


Single vs Two stage Snow Blower FAQ

What are the stages for snow blowers?

The stages for snow blowers are single-stage, two-stage, and three-stage.

Do I need a two-stage snow blower?

It comes down to personal preference. Remember, a two-stage snow blower works best with heavy snowfall on inclined surfaces for large amounts of snow and can be used on gravel. 

How do I know if my snow blower is two-stage?

A stage refers to the amount of power that your snowblower has, so a  two-stage snow blower is a machine that has two engines and two augers.

What is the difference between a two and three-stage snow blower?

The most common difference between a two-stage and three-stage blower is that three-stage snow blowers are more powerful and easier to push. Also, it’s easier to cut through heavy snow using a three-stage blower. Learn more about two and three-stage snow blowers here. 

How much snow can a single-stage snow blower handle?

A single-stage snow blower is great for light snowfall but can be used in an average depth of 8 inches and handles up to the snow removal of 12 inches effectively.

Can you use a single-stage snow blower on grass?

Since a single-stage blower gets so low where the auger contacts the ground, it can remove grass and leave your lawn with missing patches, so it’s not recommended.



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