How to Choose a Snow Blower
If shoveling snow isn’t your idea of fun on a chilly winter’s day, you may find yourself considering ways to make the task quicker and easier.
There is no doubt that snow blowers are a great tool for anyone who wants to avoid the dreaded snow shovel, and they are particularly useful in the following circumstances:
• For anyone with an injured back, hands or wrists. A snow blower is easier to use than a shovel, and can help avoid worsening the injury.
• For those who have long driveways or large spaces to clear.
Should you be interested in buying a snow blower, here are some things to consider:
1. Choose a snow blower that is lightweight and easy to move around. If it’s not easy to man oeuvre in and out of storage and around your property it will be difficult to use.
2. Consider fuel alternatives; electric versus gas powered blowers. Electric blowers are convenient as long as you have a long electric cord and a nearby electrical socket available. If you have a long driveway or areas to clean that are wide and far from the switch, then you will need to choose a gas blower.
There are two types of gas snow blowers – single-stage and two-stage:
a. With single-stage snow blowers, an auger sucks up the snow, while simultaneously expelling it. They are not recommended for heavy or wet snow, and they do not have enough power to clear snow more than 8 inches deep. They are compact though, and easy to move around in small driveways and pathways.
b. In two-stage models, the auger sucks up the snow while a separate “impeller” discharges it, resulting in greater power and efficiency. Moreover, they have greater clearing width, about 20 to 36 inches, depending on the model.
In terms of pricing, two-stage gas snow blowers are more expensive, ranging from $1,000 – $2,000.
3. Before buying a gas snow blower, decide first on how much power you really need. Otherwise, you may be buying an expensive unit for a space that can be easily cleared by a less expensive one.
4. It’s important to consider functionality; the height and width of the clearing path, as well as gearing, which affects the ability of the machine to shift speed and direction.
5. The most popular brands are not necessarily the most efficient or cost-effective, but choosing a lesser-known brand could mean you’re buying yourself unforeseen problems. Here are some of the more popular ones:
• Honda manufacturers a range of “luxury”, and therefore expensive, snow blower models.
• Ariens has a reputation for being the “professional” brand that comes with tracks instead of wheels. A unit costs around $2300.
• MTD Yard Machines and Sears Craftsman have designed functional features into even their standard-level snow blowers, and they also have high-end models.
• Husqvarna, known for chain saws and motorcycles also produces good quality snow blowers.
• Toro, Murray and Snow Joe, are also established brands with a reputation for quality.
A comparison of manufacturers’ marketing materials is a great starting point in your selection process, but some independent research and a little shopping around can help make sure you select the snow blower most suited to your own situation and needs.
If you have any questions, call your professional snow removal services for more information.