How To Decide When To Use A Snow Blower Or Shovel

How To Decide When To Use A Snow Blower Or Shovel

What’s Right For You?

In New England where the snow falls heavy and often, a snow blower (or snow throwers) can be a time- and labor-saving alternative to shoveling snow. So, if you have decided to turn in the shovel for a snow blower, don’t run out and buy one without first doing your homework.

To choose the snow-blower that’s best for your snow-clearing needs, you will want to answer a few questions first; get familiar with the types of snow blowers available; and check-out the features that come with each one.

Snow Blower
Time to turn in the shovel for a snow blower?

Answer these Questions to Ensure you get the Snow Blower that’s Best for you

  1. How much snow do I usually get per storm?
  • For light snowfalls of 8 inches or less, single-stage units should be sufficient. For medium to heavy snowfalls, a two-stage unit has a larger engine and can clear more snow quickly.
  1. How large an area do I need to clear?
  • For smaller driveways, single-stage units can do the job. For driveways over 60 feet, choose a two- or three-stage unit.

PHOTO AND TITLE: Sloped driveway will mean a heavier duty snow blower.

  1. Is my driveway flat or is it sloped?
  • Push-propelled models are suited for level surfaces; engine-driven wheels will work best for sloped driveways.

The Main Types of Snow Blowers

  • Single-stage snow blowers are lighter, easier to handle and best for clearing mid-size areas with 8″ or less snowfall.
  • Electric snow blowers start with the push of a button and don’t need as much maintenance.
Electric Snow Blower
  • Cordless Electric snow blowers are more mobile; they feature a push-button start; they are lighter, more compact, low maintenance and you don’t have an extension cord to deal with.
  • Gas snow blowers offer good mobility and greater clearing widths and intake heights than electric models, but will require more maintenance.
  • Two-stage snow blowers are capable of handling snowfalls in excess of 8 inches. These powerful blowers are the best for clearing large areas and have engine-driven wheels to better handle  uneven terrain.
  • Three-stage snow blowers are gas models capable of handling more snow in less time; the three-stage blower can move snow 10 times faster than a two-stage model.

Some Features you will Find on Different Models

  • Remote chute control that lets you adjust the direction the snow will out of the blower.
  • Power steering gives you superior maneuverability.
  • Single-hand operation allows for easy adjustments while operating the blower.
  • Electric starters allow you to plug into a receptacle to start the engine rather than using a manual recoil-starter.
  • Speed controls will let you select the pace of the machine in forward or reverse.
  • Large tires offer traction and easier steering.
  • Drift cutters cut through deep snow and can help move snow
Snow blowers are a good alternative for removing snow

There will always be a place for the old shovel, but if your back is hurting just thinking about shoveling snow from your driveway, it’s time to get help.

A snow blower may be a good alternative, just make sure you choose the one that best fits you snow removal needs.