Clearing out all that heavy snow from our driveways requires immense work with a great deal of effort involved. Different yet powerful and efficient snow blowers are available for the varying needs of the customers for clearing out their pathways and sidewalks by blowing snow away. Snow blowers can save your valuable time and effort as it is a great alternative to shoveling snow off your driveway. This buying guide would surely enable you to choose for yourself the best-suited snow blower for your needs, with complete disclosure of all the facts related to these wonderful machines.
What to Look for in a Snow Blower?
Every machinery item has certain perks, which make it a must-buy product. Similarly, these machines come equipped with different features and attributes, which suit every individual’s needs. The real question that comes in mind while buying a snow blower is that what exactly are we looking for? Do we need something huge in size or will a compact blower do well? Here are a few tips to follow when investing in a snow blower.
- The performance of the snow blowers depends largely upon their designs and not the engine alone. Keep this in mind when purchasing one.
- Being compact does not make the snow blower less effective than the large ones.
- Ascertain how much snow you need to clear off before purchasing any product and buy the snowblower only after clearly determining the usage and amount of snow that needs to be dealt with.
- Determine the type of snow you are dealing with. Light snow can easily be cleared out by single-stage units.
- Different blowers are designed for different terrains; purchase one depending on the terrain of your specific area.
- Look for ones with accessible controls, which are within the reach of the user.
- Pick that product which has multiple speeds to work with varying controls that may be adjusted depending upon your needs and the weather conditions affecting your area.
- They must be highly durable to ensure that they last for many winter seasons to come with no risks of rusting or having any sort of break down internally.
- Select one that comes with an acceptable warranty and is manufactured by a trusted brand having a good reputation in the market.
Types of Snow Blowers
Snow Blowers are available in a wide variety of makes and models and can also be ordered online through different websites. Being available at different ranges of prices, the snow blowers come in a number of types, which must be given great importance to. These differences must be taken into account as per the area where the blower needs to be used and the terrain of the land. Following are the different types of the blowers from which you can choose from as per your needs:
Single-Stage Electric Snow Blower
These are light in weight and more compact as compared to the others. They start with just a push of a button. The auger of the blower pulls the snow in and releases it from the chute in one go. These require less maintenance as compared to the gas blowers. This type is best for short driveways that are leveled and having less than 4-inches of snow accumulated on them. Relatively quiet and easy to handle, the single-stage electric snow blowers come with a power cord, which can restrict its movement. It requires no engine maintenance, which saves you both time and money. Cordless Electric Blower’s are also available.
Single-Stage Gas Snow Blower
Coming in small and medium sizes, the single-stage gas blowers are cordless. This offers greater mobility for the blower and the user. They do not have driven wheels. These are generally more powerful than the electric blowers and are well-suited for medium-sized sideways and paths with snow of around 8-inches at max. Being light in weight, they are quite easy to handle, and the gas engine requires only gasoline. Gas Snow Blowers require constant maintenance and do not work well on driveways of gravel. Being relatively compact, they only take a small storage space like that of a lawn mower.
Two-Stage Gas Snow Blower
These only come in gas models and are generally used for snow accumulated of more than 8-inches in total. They are powerful with a clearing capacity of quite a large area even if the land in not leveled. If you live in the Canadian country and have a long driveway, this is the type of snow blower you will want to look into. The snow is collected by the auger and the machine’s impeller fan throws the snow with the help of a chute. It is much more powerful and faster as compared to the single-stage blowers and is equipped with a greater number of features. A few larger models can clear out as much snow as 30-inches and are the perfect choice for gravel driveways and floorings. These are comparatively on the heavier side and are much more expensive, taking up quite a lot of space for storage.
Three-Stage Gas Snow Blower
Also available only in gas models, these heavier models clear out much more snow in quite less time. Although it operates in a much similar way to that of a two-stage model, its extensive features that include an accelerator works much faster than the auger in a two-stage model. It is generally used to clear out heavy snowfall from pathways and other areas of passing.
In addition to what your requirements are, look for a great number of features in your potential buy as purchasing something that does more will be beneficial to all customers. The following are a few of the key features that all exceptional snow blowers must possess in order to make a name in the ever-growing market.
- Latest models come equipped with a heated handle that makes it easier for these magnificent machines to work out in the sub-zero temperatures.
- Headlights improve the visibility of the user making it easier to clear the path.
- Larger tires offer easy steering and a better grip in the deep snow.
- Speed control options offer the customer to choose the desired speed as per the needs and the weather situation.
- A single-hand operation allows the user to make simple and easy adjustments while making use of the snow blower.
- Modern models come with electric start buttons enabling easy start.
- Single interlock system allows you to control the system with a single hand.
- Power steering options allows the snow blower to move easily through the heavy loads of snow accumulated on the pathways.
- Newer models are equipped with drift cutters
Purchasing a model from a brand that is trusted by its users and has a good overall reputation in the market is recommended. This is because brands will do anything to maintain their goodwill in front of the customers and will ensure that only top quality products are introduced in the markets. Have a look at a few of these brands that currently have a trusted name.
Ariens: Ariens is a leading marketer who produces single-stage and two-stage gas snow blowers also having an electric start system. Its products can clear up to 30-inches of deep snow from different areas and terrains of land. Ariens’ products come in different sizes and features such as the compact blowers and others on a bit of the heavier side. These blowers are available with dealers of heavy power equipment and also at Home Depot in Canada.
Craftsman: These blowers are manufactured by Sears and are available at Sears in Canada and can also be purchased online. Clearing snow of more than 30-inches deep, these products come in both single and two-stage gas models and are also available with an electric start. Its professional line models clear snow of up to 45 inches.
Toro: ToroManufactures single and two-stage gas snow blowing models, Toro is one of the market leaders having a huge variety of machines. Its products are readily available at Home Depot in Canada and with dealers of such equipment. The electric models of Toro can clear up to 18-inches of snow while the gas models clear up to 28-inches and are also available with an electric start to them.
Care and Maintenance
Snow blowers have known to cause many injuries to the hands and/or fingers of the individual operating the machine. Severe injuries also included amputation of the entire hand of the users. Care must be taken while operating them in order to prevent any minor or serious damage to your hands. Have a look at what you need to do!
- Before clearing a clog, turn off the gas or electric blower by disconnecting them in their respective manner
- Avoid wearing loose clothing which might come in the snow blower’s way and get tangled in the process
- Protect yourself from the carbon monoxide through all the gasoline fumes
- Always wear earplugs or any other item to cover your ears in the best possible manner
- Refuel the gas engine only when it has cooled down to prevent any mishap
- Make yourself familiar with all the operations and functions of the machine
- Read the instructions manual thoroughly to understand every little detail
- Ensure that no bystanders are coming in your way
- Avoid using the product if you are on any sort of heavy medications to prevent any unforeseen situation from arising
- Always wear protective equipment to save yourself from any damage
- Never allow any child to operate the snow blower. Also, do not let mature teens use it to clear the snow without adult supervision.
Maintaining the machine on a regular basis will definitely increase its life. This way, it will stay in your use for many seasons to come. Follow these steps to ensure that your snow blower stays as your snow-clearing partner in top shape for winters of many subsequent years
- Check the level of oil before each use and add the required level of oil. This is for the gasoline-powered snow blower models
- Ensure that the tire pressure is maintained
- Lubricate the blower as per the instruction manual of your chosen product
- Change the air filter of the blower as required
- Tighten the nuts and bolts with religious regularity to ensure that there are no loose parts in the blower
- Keep an eye of the auger and the skid shoes and adjust them periodically when required by going through the user manual provided by the product’s manufacturers
- Adding a fuel stabilizer would be of great help to store the fuel in the snow blower between different seasons
- Change the spark plug in the gas-powered snow blowers as per the instruction manual of the product
- Change the shear pins in case they break
- Run the snow blower on a clean surface before actually using it to remove any snow present in the auger
Always try to use fresh fuel in the gasoline-powered snow blowers as they tend to get old and prefer using high-quality fuel to keep your blower in a good shape
With the help of this guide for making a purchase of the best snow blower, you shall not be left disappointed. Do your research and take different types for a test drive before your heart sets at one perfect product. By following the maintenance instructions mentioned in the guide, your machine is good to go for ages. Always keep safety first before anything else and read through the instruction manual carefully to learn the various safety features of your model. Using this guide and by reading our snow blower reviews, you will get a hold of the best snow blower that best fits your needs and requirements in terms of area, terrain, and features!