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How to choose the right snow blower

Snow Thrower vs. Snow Blower
What's the Difference?

Snow thrower vs. Snow Blower: Which one is right? Is there a difference between snow thrower and snow blower? Which is correct? Does it matter?

If you've been looking around the Internet you may have noticed the terms "snow thrower" and "snow blower" intermingling. In some cases people use it to mean the same exact thing, but is that correct? Is it really a potato (with an ate) potato (with an ought) situation?

The Basic Differences

The short answer is they are not the same. A "snow thrower" refers to a single stage snow removal machine that picks up the snow in one motion and throws it out the chute with the continuation of that movement. The term "single stage" describes the fact that the snow is thrown in one single movement.

A "snow blower" refers to a two stage snow removal machine. The auger scoops up the snow (first stage) and feeds it to the impeller which blows the snow (second stage) out the chute. The "blower" part seems appropriate since the impeller operates much like a fan, except is much more powerful.

Other Differences

Snow throwers are smaller machines than snow blowers. The single stage, while effective at snow removal, does not throw snow as far as a two stage model. Two stage snow blowers are bigger and more powerful. Some can blow snow up to 50 feet with relative accuracy.

Two stage snow blowers are also wider, lending themselves to being able to take fewer passes to clear a large area and are generally recommended for people who have more than a sidewalk to clear. They also have taller intakes, making them able to handle deep snow drifts.

Single stage snow throwers are a less expensive option, though. If you do not get heavy snowfall or have large areas to clear, a single stage snow thrower may be a great option.

To learn more about the differences between single and two stage machines as well as the differences between Consumer, Prosumer, and Professional quality snow blowers, check out our How to Choose a Snow Blower Step-by-Step Guide.