We’re still a couple months away from the first snowfall of the season, but us folks here at Snow Blower Source are itching for that to arrive. But we know not everyone may quite share the same level of enthusiasm, so we’re going to edge into things slowly by breaking down the ins and outs of the single stage snow blower — the perfect machine for light snow and/or small yards.
Measure Twice, Clear Once
A single stage snow blower is an incredibly affordable and low-maintenance machine to get, but it’s not perfect for everyone. They’re ideally built for smallish yards (think a slightly smaller-than-average suburban house) where it snows a foot or less at a time.
The type of snow matters, too. A single stage snow blower is best-suited for light, powdery snow and not the heavy, wet stuff. Their engine displacement ranges from about 100cc to 200cc, which may not sound like a lot, but they’re plenty able to do the job that’s required of them.
And lastly, you’ll want to think of the dimensions of your yard. Single stage snow blowers have a clearance height of roughly a foot, can clear a width of about a foot-and-a-half and can throw snow up to 35 feet. These numbers will vary according to the type of single stage snow blower you get, but you can expect just about any one to perform up to these standards.
Electric versus Gas
There are pros and cons to each kind, and it really just comes down to your personality so let’s delve a little deeper into each type of single stage snow blower.
Electric Single Stage Snow Blower
- You never have to worry about filling it up with gas or putting fuel stabilizer in it over the winter.
- You don’t need oil for it either, making it nearly maintenance-free.
- As long as you get a sufficiently long cord, you can push that thing around anywhere on your yard.
- They’re incredibly lightweight and can go in tight places where other machines are unable to.
- Running on electricity makes them so quiet, they’re almost silent (think: late night snow clearances to keep on top of the job).
- You can happily forget about needing to sweep or shovel places like steps or decks because these ones can easily do that job instead.
Gas Single Stage Snow Blower
- You never have to worry about far reaches and corners because there’s no electrical cord to worry about holding you back.
- If there’s ever a power outage, you can still clear the snow no problem.
- Just in case there’s a problem with the gas start-up, almost all of them come with an electric backup so you don’t have to worry about it not starting.
- These tend to be more powerful than electric single stage snow blowers, so you can push it a little harder when the is heavier and wetter.
- Generally speaking, gas machines can clear a wider swath than their electric siblings so you don’t have to make as many passes and can finish the job faster.
Last Tips to Remember About Single Stagers
There are just a few more things to remember when it comes to deciding if a single stage snow blower is right for you or not. For instance, if you’ve got a gravel driveway, you’ll want to keep this machine looking fresh on the shelves and not in your driveway. That’s because their auger spins and makes contact with the ground, so it’ll pull up the little gravelly bits and shoot them everywhere.
They’re also a little finicky on steep slopes. This may not be a dealbreaker for everyone, especially if you’re confident in your ability to keep it from pulling sideways. Because they’re so light, this won’t be a problem for most people and you should get on just fine.
And lastly, these snow blowers are fantastic at getting the job done the first time. They clear the entire surface on the first pass, leaving the ground underneath exposed so any residual snow can easily melt in the sun.