Whether you celebrate or commiserate with the coming winter, one thing is certain in the upper Midwest: snow removal. With so many options in snow removal, from the most basic shovels to high end snow blowers, what are the best options for moving snow for you this winter? Shovels are good for those who need high maneuverability, such as around a vehicle, AND those who can handle the physical demands of shoveling. While shovels are great, the ease and affordability of a snowblower makes it a great option for your winter snow removal.
Snow Blower 101
There are three basic types of snow blowers; single stage, two stage or three stage. Single stage and two stage are by far the most popular. Single stage snowblowers are easier to handle than the 2-3 stage, and lighter as well.
- Single stage works best for areas that have had 12 inches of snow, or less. They can handle wet snow and can throw snow upwards of 35 feet. Most single stage snow blowers are used on level or very slight inclines of paved areas where the auger will not pick up gravel or other debris.
- Two Stage blowers can work in areas up to 23 inches of snow. The two-stage can handle icy or wet snow and have larger intakes. Most two stage blowers have engine driven wheels which help with fatigue and makes it easier to handle deeper snow. Two stage snow blowers move snow quicker than the single stage and can toss the snow up to 60 feet. Two stage snow blowers often have more features including skid shoes to help elevate the snow blower for use on unpaved surfaces. Larger and clear areas are great for the two-stage snow blower, such as longer driveways up to 60 feet.
- Three Stage snow blowers are like two-stage with improvement on time, incline, and unpaved surfaces. Three-stage are better for large and clear areas, such as driveways past 60 feet. They typically can throw snow up to 50 feet.
Snow Blower Electric Vs. Gas
- Weight –
- Cordless snow shovels are typically 13-23 pounds
- Corded snow blowers are typically 25-40 pounds
- Cordless snow blowers are typically 30-70 pounds
- Gas snow blowers are typically 65-410 pounds
- Starting System –
- Cordless or corded electric snow blowers have either a switch start or a flip switch.
- Gas snow blowers offer a electric or pull-start ignition.
- Snow Depth
- Cordless shovels are best for 6” or less of snow.
- Corded shovels are best for 12” or less of snow.
- Corded snow blowers are best for 12” or less of snow.
- Cordless snow blowers are best in 24” or less of snow.
- Gas snowblowers, depending on number of stages, can do 18’ or more of snow.
- Corded or cordless snow shovels can clear 10-13 inches of snow per pass.
- Corded and cordless snow blowers have a range of 15-24 inches per pass.
- Gas snow blowers can move an impressive 18-36 inches per pass.
- Number of Stages
- Snow shovels of all varieties are always single stage.
- Corded snow blowers are typically single stage.
- Cordless snow blowers offer one or two stages.
- Gas snow blowers have full range from one to three stages.
- Corded snow shovels or snow blowers are offered between 8-15 amps.
- Cordless shovels and snow blowers range from 24-100 volts.
- Gass snow blowers range from 85 cubic centimeters with a 2.8 horsepower engine to 425 cubic centimeters with a 15-horsepower
- Corded snow shovels and snow blowers are best for paved flatter
- Cordless snow shovels and snow blowers can work with both paved and unpaved areas.
- Gas snow blowers are usually effective on paved and unpaved areas.
- Drive Type
- Snow shovels, regardless of power source, are push models.
- Corded snow blowers are auger assisted or push models.
- Cordless or gas snow blowers are either self-propelled, auger-assisted or push models
- Additional and/or optional features
- Corded snow shovels can come with lights.
- Cordless snow shovels can have brushless motors.
- Corded snow blowers can have chutes that are adjustable and headlights.
- Cordless snow blowers can have adjustable chutes, headlights, and brushless motors.
- Gas snow blowers can have many features including heated handles, adjustable chutes, and headlights.
With so many options available, Mimbach Fleet is a great resource to be certain you are buying exactly what you need to get the snow removal job done. Our employee-owned business assures you that our employees care about your experience and are here to help you make the best choice for your needs. Be sure to get your snow removal equipment early so you are prepared for the first big snowfall. Need maintenance items for your snow removal equipment? Mimbach Fleet and Supply has you covered!