If I’m being honest I have to admit that, when I first started my research into what type of snowblower was right for me, I had no idea what the difference was between a single-stage snowblower and a two-stage snowblower. It got really confusing when I found out that there is actually also a three-stage snowblower. Fortunately, it’s not really a difficult concept once you’ve done your homework. Once you figure out each type of snowblower’s capability, the question then becomes: Which one is better for you?
You might intuitively think the three-stage snowblower must be the best and that may be true, but it doesn’t mean it’s the best one for you. There is such a thing as overkill; if you live in an environment where you average 1 or 2 inches of snowfall a week you really have no need for a three-stage snowblower. Look at it this way, snow tires might be great in the winter for extra traction, but if you live in a climate where it almost never snows, what an earth would you buy snow tires for? The same analogy applies to snowblowers – if you live in a climate with very little snow, buying a three-stage snowblower is simply a waste of money.
Single-stage snowblowers are generally less expensive than the other models we’ll discuss here. The reason for this is pretty simple – they have less moving parts. A single-stage snowblower handles the snow in one fluid process. Essentially, that means everything happens at once. The engine spins the auger, which then sucks in the snow and throws it out the chute. There’s just the one blade, or auger if you prefer, and this does all of the work. As these machines are less complicated they tend to be less expensive, and they come in both electric and gas powered models.
Single-stage snowblowers are more than adequate in areas where snowfalls tend to be less than 6 inches. If you get into accumulations much larger than this you’re likely to run into some trouble with the machine bogging down under the stress. They’re better with the light and fluffy stuff – not the wet and heavy stuff.