Self-Propelled VS. Manual-Propelled

There’s a huge range of choice when it comes to snow removal equipment. You can always go with the traditional manual snow shovel, you can try an electric snow shovel, or you can go with some type of snowblower. Within each of these categories we’ve just mentioned there’s an even greater range of products to choose from. Obviously if you go with the traditional, old-fashioned manual snow shovel you’re going to have to shovel the snow yourself using your back to do all the work, but if you choose an electric or gas model you will have a choice between machines that still require you to do most of the work or machines that are actually self-propelled.

Choosing between a self-propelled snowblower and one which requires you to do most of the work is quite often more of a budget decision than anything else. Without a doubt, self-propelled snowblowers are more expensive than their manual cousins. You may also want to consider the environmental impact – self-propelled machines tend to be gas models. If protecting the environment is more important to you than having a machine that drives itself forward, it may not be about budget at all for you.

Briggs & Stratton Self Propelled

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Entry Level Gas Models and Electric Models

If you’re buying a machine that’s priced under $500 it’s not likely that it will be self-propelled. These lower-priced gas models or electric snowblowers tend to be much more bare-bones. In the case of electric machines they are generally so light that whether they can propel themselves forward or not isn’t a major consideration. In most cases they don’t weigh much more than a manual old-fashioned snow shovel.

In the case of entry-level gas snowblowers there’s a little more to think about. These machines are a little heavier than manual snow shovels or electric snowblowers, but they are not normally self-propelled. This means you have a lot of extra weight to push in terms of machinery, although they do cut through the snow a lot easier, which will also weigh into your decision. If you have a bad back you might want to think long and hard about buying one of these cheaper gas models, as they may not be any better on your back than the traditional old-fashioned snow shovel. They do make the snow removal process a lot quicker, though.

Self-Propelled Convenience

The bigger the machine the harder it is to push, and once you start considering high-end snowblowers that cost over $1000 you can bet you’re going to be pushing about 200 pounds as well. I don’t care how big and strong you are, pushing around a 200-pound snowblower in the middle of a snowstorm is one heck of a workout. It’s for this reason that almost all machines in this price range are self-propelled. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to wreck my back pushing around a 200-pound snowblower!

These types of machines have an engine that acts much like the engine in your car, with a drivetrain that drives the wheels forward. This is usually controlled by a set of gears and buttons located on your handlebars – all you have to do is guide the direction of the machine. These impressive machines can normally plow through the deepest of snow; that’s a good thing because you wouldn’t want to try lifting them up to cut through the upper layer!

In most cases self-propelled snowblowers have multiple speed settings, normally somewhere between four and six. This helps you to control the forward momentum of the machine at a speed that’s comfortable for you. Generally, they will also have one or two reverse gears as well.

Making the Right Decision

As we’ve discussed above, there isn’t necessarily a right type of machine for you. If you don’t mind a little hard work and you’re okay with your back doing most of the work, an electric snowblower or less-expensive gas snowblower will be fine for your needs. If however, you’d prefer to save the wear and tear on your back, and you don’t mind spending a little extra money, then a self-propelled gas snowblower is an excellent choice.

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