17 Best Two-Stage Snow Blowers 2020 – Buyer’s Guide & FAQs

Snow building up in residential areas is a real problem during the winter – but in rural regions, it can bring a place to a standstill.

Sure, it might look pretty in the trees and across the fields, but the reality is nobody likes having to shift the stuff when there’s a foot of it on the driveway.

And while single-stage snow blowers are ideal for smaller areas and walkways, if you want something that’s a bit more heavy-duty, you really need a two-stage machine.

So, let’s take a look at the best two-stage snow blowers that are currently on the market, and see if you can find the one that most suits your needs.

A buyer’s guide and FAQ section will follow.

Let’s make snow great again!

The 17 Best Two-Stage Snow Blowers in 2020

Champion 224cc 2-Stage Gas Snow Blower

First up we have this great little machine from Champion – which is one of the cheapest two-stage snow blowers on the market. It packs a lot of punch for such a great price, with a 224cc engine that has an electric start function, with a choice of six forward and two reverse speeds.

Featuring a 24-inch clearing width and 21-inch clearing height, this is already a big step up from single-stage models and will have you clearing larger amounts of snow in no time, as it’s able to handle up to 12-inches of the stuff with ease.

The impeller gives you a clearing distance of up to 43 feet, in an entry-level machine that is one of the most powerful in its class.

Pros

  • Compact design.
  • Easy-to-store.
  • Carbon-steel auger.
  • Skid shoes.
  • Outstanding price for what you get.

Cons

  • Instructions are not the clearest.

Conclusion

This is easily the best budget two-stage snow blower on the market. Packed with features and surprisingly powerful, this is a great option if you need to step up from a single-stage and don’t really want to break the bank.

Briggs & Stratton 24″ Dual-Stage Snow Blower

Also marketed as one of the “cheapest” of our two-stage snow blowers we have this Briggs & Stratton model.

The powerful 950 snow series has a 208cc engine for 9.5 foot-pounds of torque, and a friction-disk drive system with an electric start so you can get fired up effortlessly in cold conditions. Six forward and two reverse speeds will be at your fingertips.

It features a free-hand control so you can use the machine with one hand while operating other controls, such as the left-sided deflector crank that rotates the chute through 180 degrees.

With a large 24-inch clearing path and a 20-inch clearing height, this is another machine you can graduate to from the single-stage class.

Pros

  • Built-to-last.
  • Reversible skid shoes.
  • Steel frame.
  • Notched, steel auger.
  • Aluminum gearbox.
  • Single LED headlights.
  • 14-inch tires.

Cons

  • Might struggle with wet snow.
  • Not the easiest to put together.

Conclusion

If you’re looking to step up into the two-stage snow blower world, then this might be a safe bet. A quality machine from a quality company, it’s actually one of the cheaper models out there so it’s a great price for what you get.

WEN SB24E 212cc Two-Stage Snow Blower

With a 24-inch clearing path and a 21-inch clearing height, this snow-eater from Wen is also a significant step up in size from single-stage models.

With a powerful 212cc engine with an electric start option, which gives you four forward and two reverse speeds, it will clear up to 1800 lbs of snow per minute, and the 190-degree directional chute will throw material over 30 feet away.

The sturdy steel construction along with the notched four-blade auger make easy work out of ice and snow, and it includes two 13-inch tubeless snow tires for traction over challenging surfaces.

Pros

  • Good price point.
  • A chute cleaning tool included.
  • Bottle of oil.
  • Deep treaded tires.

Cons

  • Not as tried and tested as other machines.

Conclusion

A decent effort from Wen that has a lot of nice features at an attractive price point considering its class. It’s certainly worth a punt as a cheaper option.

Snow Joe iON8024-XR Two-Stage Snow Blower

As far as I am aware, Snow Joe manufactures the only two-stage snow blower that is battery powered – which is quite an impressive feat in itself. I certainly couldn’t find its equal in my research, which makes this a unique machine.

It needed to have the five Amp, 80V ionmax battery system to provide anywhere near the power a two-stage snow blower needs, and the control panel incorporates direction, speed, and power levels in an illuminated display.

The durable steel auger can move up to 1000 lbs of snow per minute, and it can cut a path 24-inches wide by 13-inches deep. The thumb-controlled chute directs snow through 180 degrees and up to 32 feet away, and you’re getting all this in a zero-emission, eco-friendly package.

Pros

  • Little or no maintenance compared with gas models.
  • Battery and charger included.
  • LED headlight.
  • Push-button display.
  • Chute cleaning tool on board.
  • Skid shoes.
  • Great price.

Cons

  • Only 30 minutes of run time on a full charge.

Conclusion

While it does have its obvious limitations on a range (having an additional battery helps) this is still a great power tool from Snow Joe that gives us a quality two-stage snow blower gas alternative. Eco-warriors rejoice!

Husqvarna ST224 Two-Stage Snow Blower

I’m sure there will be more than one snowblower from Swedish company Husqvarna in this review, but this 208cc model is the first up.

It features a remote chute deflector, a 24-inch cutting width, and heavy-duty 15-inch tires that are built with deep treads for traction on any surface. The electric start will get you going in wintry conditions, while the handle is fully adjustable for height so users of all sizes can operate it comfortably.

A self-propelled unit, it will offer you six forward speeds and two reverse, so you have extra help when clearing the walkways and driveways around your property.

Pros

  • Adjustable skid shoes.
  • Headlights.
  • Handle grip warmers.
  • Ridged, steel auger.
  • High throwing capacity.

Cons

  • Belt noise issues reported.
  • Slow reverse.

Conclusion

You won’t get a two-stage Husqvarna snowblower for cheaper than this, and it’s got plenty of features going for it at this price point. Possibly the best two-stage snow blower for the money on the market.

Remington RM2860 Rainier Snow Blower

With a powerful OHV 243cc gas engine, this two-stage snow blower from Remington offers excellent performance and durability.

While the recoil start is also available, you’ll prefer the electric version that you simply prime, plug in and push the button to get going on colder days.

Featuring a large 28-inch clearing path and 21-inch intake height, you’ll make swift work of the snow on each pass of your driveway, while the single-handed operation allows you to engage both the wheels and the auger, leaving your other hand free to adjust the chute direction or speeds without slowing down.

Pros

  • Large, deep tread tires.
  • Headlight.
  • Easy-crank chute.
  • 8-speed settings.
  • Durable engine.

Cons

  • Hand warmers would have been a nice addition.

Conclusion

A quality snowblower with a powerful engine and a large cutting path, this effort from Remington is hard to fault and is a great option compared to more expensive, well-known brands.

Dirty Hand Tools 103879 Dual Stage Snow Blower

Colorado-based Dirty Hand Tools brings us this self-propelled, dual-stage snowblower with a powerful 302cc engine that features an electric start. It will give you a snow-munching 30-inches of clearance width and 20-inch clearing depth so larger drives and walkways are no problem for this beast.

With six forward and two reverse speeds, backup manual start, durable steel augers, a quick-turn 190-degree chute, and a three-blade impeller, there’s plenty to like about this snow-blower that has been thoroughly tested in the winters of the Centennial state.

Pros

  • Headlights.
  • Skid shoes.
  • Heated hand grips.
  • Easy-mount cleaning tool attached.
  • Shear pins.
  • Rust-resistant exterior.

Cons

  • For the price – it’s hard to fault.

Conclusion

You’re getting a lot of bang for your buck with this machine from Dirty Hand Tools. You won’t find 302cc of power in any other machine for that amount of money.

Husqvarna ST224P Two-Stage Snow Blower

A second Husqvarna now with this 208cc dual-stage snow blower that has the huge advantage of incorporating power steering into the unit. If you struggle to maneuver these machines or you simply want a bit of extra help, it’s a real selling point.

With 9.5 foot-pounds of torque and a 24-inch clearing width and friction-disk transmission, whatever winter throws at you – you can throw it right back. Control the remote chute deflector from the easy-to-use panel, while the electric start will always get you going even well below zero.

This is a very highly rated snowblower from Husqvarna.

Pros

  • Cast-iron gearbox.
  • Heavy-duty auger.
  • Heated hand grips.
  • Clearing tool included.
  • Headlights.

Cons

  • Slow in reverse.

Conclusion

For a powerful, efficient, and reliable snowblower that ticks a lot of boxes, this is a good option if you don’t want to spend much more. As a mid-range model, it gets a lot of quality feedback.

Troy-Bilt Storm 3090 Two-Stage Snow Thrower

With a powerful 357cc OHV gas engine, the Troy-Bilt Storm is equipped with touch ‘n turn power steering for maximum maneuverability and control. You’ll be able to handle this machine with ease even in cold weather conditions, and the electric start will get you moving well below zero.

With a large 30-inch clearing width and 21-inch clearing height, you can take out a lot of snow with just one pass.

With a one-hand drive system, you can operate the remote overhead crank to adjust the clog-resistant discharge chute through 200 degrees, while the heated handgrips keep your digits nice and toasty during the job.

Pros

  • In-dash headlight.
  • Reflective strips.
  • Skid shoes.
  • Large X-trac tires.
  • Choice of engine sizes available.

Cons

  • Plastic discharge chute.

Conclusion

Another quality power tool from Troy-Bilt, the Storm will certainly be able to weather one when used to clear heavy snowfalls from your property.

Ariens 223cc 2-Stage Snow Thrower

Wisconsin-based Ariens have a strong portfolio of some of the best snow blowers money can buy, and this is their compact 223cc model. Built to be powerful yet maneuverable, there’s a lot under the hood in spite of its size and it’s perfect if you need a stronger machine without purchasing a large one.

With a 20-inch clearing width, you can blast through pathways with ease, while the electric start motor will not let you down in colder climes.

The controls are simple and comfortable, offering six forward and two reverse speeds, and a crank-rotating discharge chute that can deposit the snow where you want it – up to 45 feet away.

Pros

  • Excellent power to size ratio.
  • Folding handles for storage.
  • Headlights.
  • Durable steel auger.
  • Heavy-duty directional tires.

Cons

  • None to speak of, although some people might find it too small for the price.

Conclusion

A compact unit that’s still a beast of a machine, this is perfect if you have to remove heavy snowfall from smaller patios and driveways. Whatever your needs, there’s a size for everyone, but this is probably the best small two-stage snow blower there is.

Briggs & Stratton Elite 1530 2-Stage Snow Blower

Briggs & Stratton have their second entry in the quest to discover the best 2 stage snow blower on the market, and they might have a shot with this model. A powerful 306cc professional series engine starts strong with a push of a button and can smash through the toughest winter conditions up to 20 degrees below zero.

Dual-trigger steering releases the left or right wheel to help make tight turns at the end of a driveway or pathway, making maneuverability a breeze. The freehand system means you can use the dashboard without needing to stop, including the convenient chute rotation control to discharge snow over 30 feet.

Pros

  • Notched, steel auger.
  • Headlights.
  • Heated hand grips.
  • 16-inch tires.
  • Durable steel frame and dash.
  • Shoe skids.

Cons

  • Additional power steering would have made this a world-beater.

Conclusion

It’s really hard to find fault with this machine from Briggs & Stratton, and that’s why they make some of the best snow blowers out there. This is just an all-round beautiful power tool that is more than enough for most snow clearing chores.

Poulan Pro PR271 LCT Two-Stage Snow Blower

Backed by a powerful 254cc OHV engine for 12.5 foot-pounds of torque, this two-stage snow blower by Poulan Pro packs a lot of punch.

With a friction-disk transmission that gives you six forward speeds and two reverse speeds, along with the power steering trigger you’ve got a highly-maneuverable machine with single-hand control.

Console mounted chute and deflector controls also make it easy to direct where you want the snow to be flung, while the steel auger has ribbon notches to really help break up any tough, icy material in its path. And the generous 27-inch clearing width will breeze across most medium to large driveways before dark.

Pros

  • Tough and durable build.
  • Headlight.
  • Large wheels.
  • Adjustable handle.
  • Electric start.
  • Easy to assemble.

Cons

  • No heated hand warmers.

Conclusion

A solid offering from Poulan Pro, this machine has all its trademark quality and then some. Those ribbon augers will make mincemeat of anything you put it up against.

Husqvarna ST230P 2-Stage Snow Blower

Did you know that Husqvarna translates as “mill house?” You’ll certainly be putting the snow through the mill with this beast from the Swedes. A 291cc engine powers a heavy-duty, steel auger with ribbon cut, so you can grind the snow into the remote chute deflector and shoot it over 30 feet away.

With a convenient trigger-controlled power steering system, you can have superior maneuverability helped by the large X-Trac, heavy-lugged tires for extra traction on snow and ice.

The starter system means you’ll never have to worry about a dead battery, while the hydrostatic transmission provides smooth performance until the job is done. And with a clearing width of 30-inches that won’t take long.

Pros

  • Headlights.
  • Heated hand grips.
  • 12-inch auger.
  • Aluminum gearbox.
  • Generous fuel tank capacity.
  • Skid shoes.

Cons

  • Reported issue with the belt – so order spares.

Conclusion

Another string-to-the-bow of two-stage snow blowers in Husqvarna’s long line of quality power tool products.

Troy-Bilt Polar Blast Two-Stage Snow Thrower

Troy-Bilt’s Polar Blast two-stage snow thrower is up next, boasting a 357cc engine with an electric start. With a large 33-inch clearing width and 22-inch clearing height, you can funnel a lot of snow through the discharge chute in one pass.

The 16-inch serrated auger is seriously heavy-duty, while the high-impact, polymer skid-shoes are adjustable and help prevent the unit and surfaces from scuffs and damage.

Plow through the snow with ease with the large 16-inch X-Trac tires, and with the one-handed operation, using the Polar Blast is super-easy and lets the machine do all the work while you take all the credit.

Pros

  • Headlight.
  • Touch ‘n turn steering.
  • Durable construction.
  • Crank adjusted chute.

Cons

  • Plastic chute.
  • No heated hand warmers.

Conclusion

A heavier-duty version of their previous Storm model, the Polar Blast should be able to handle exactly that. Get ready for the next ice age with the baby in your garage.

Troy-Bilt Arctic Storm 34XP 2-Stage Snow Thrower

Just when you thought they were all done, Troy-Bilt add yet another quality two-stage snowblower to their line. This is called the Arctic Storm, and it’s basically their top-of-the-food-chain when it comes to eating snow.

Powered by a 420cc engine, you can clear snowy walkways up to 34-inches wide with serrated steel augers and a durable rugged steel chute to cut through and discharge snow in just one pass.

The touch ‘n go steering allowed one-handed operation and maximum maneuverability, while the high-impact skid-shoes protect both the machine and your surfaces from damage.

Pros

  • Headlight.
  • Heated hand warmers.
  • Large tread tires.
  • Electric chute control.
  • Durable steel construction throughout.
  • Highly rated.

Cons

  • None at the time or writing – let me know if you find one.

Conclusion

This is a flag-ship model for Troy-Bilt, an absolute monster of a machine and one of the best two-stage self-propelled snow blowers out there. Top marks.

Honda HSS1332AAT 2-Stage Snow Blower

Honda is no stranger to making powerful engines, and this two-stage snow blower has a 389cc motor built into the absolute beast.

An electric start ensures it will get going even in very cold weather, and the massive 32-inch clearing width and 21.7-inch clearing height it can churn through up to 2750 lbs of snow per minute.

The impeller and chute combine to throw material up to 56 feet – which is more than most other models can manage. Also included is an easy-to-adjust auger height control so you can use the machine on multiple surfaces – and even clear right down to the ground like a one-stage snowblower.

Finally, the real winner is the track-drive system, offering you unbeatable traction over any terrain and in any conditions.

Pros

  • Hydrostatic drive.
  • Joystick chute control.
  • Clearing tool.
  • Fingertip steering.
  • Ice-breaking auger.
  • Hour meter.
  • LED Headlight.
  • Reversible skid shoes.

Cons

  • Very expensive.
  • Large, heavy, and bulky.
  • No hand warmers.

Conclusion

It’s a monster of a machine from Honda that could well be the best two-stage snow blower with power steering out there. But it’s overkill for most people unless you’re working on very large property or commercial-sized jobs.

Ariens Professional Rapidtrak 2-Stage Snow Blower

We bring our review to a close with this Ariens Professional snowblower that easily rivals the Honda as the best two-stage snow blower for wet snow on the market – and then some.

The massive 420cc Polar Force, Briggs & Stratton AX engine can shoot snow up to 60 feet, while clearing a massive 79 tons of snow per hour with 27.1 lbs of torque. Get going easily with the electric start, while the variable speed hydrostatic drive system offers you greater control.

The tracks can be adjusted to three positions for adapting to any terrain or surface, and the auto-turn, trigger less steering technology helps with superior maneuverability. The 28-inch clearing width will get your driveway clear in no time and is perfect for larger areas of the property.

Pros

  • One-handed operation.
  • Heated hand warmers.
  • Skid shoes.
  • Halogen headlights.
  • Remote deflector.
  • Drift cutters.
  • Zero-turn radius.
  • Cast iron gearbox.

Cons

  • Very expensive.
  • Very large, heavy, and bulky.
  • No chute clearing tool included.

Conclusion

Another beast of a machine from professional snow blower company Ariens. This is about as good as it gets for shifting the white stuff, so long as you’ve got the money and space.

How to Choose the Best Two-Stage Snow Blower

Man using a snow thrower

Below you’ll find some more advice on all the things you should consider before making a snowblower purchase. Check out the FAQ section if you still have any questions that might not have been answered.

Power Source

While one-stage snow blowers come in a choice of corded, cordless, and gas-powered versions, two-stage snow blowers are mainly limited to gas-powered machines – with one or possibly two exceptions.

As far as I can tell, the battery-powered Snow Joe two-stage model is the only machine of its kind. At least it gives you the option for eco-friendly power in the two-stage snow blower class.

Everything else is powered by gas, which has a number of disadvantages, including requiring more maintenance, more expense for fuel and oil, high carbon emissions, and significant noise pollution.

Gas-powered two-stage snow blowers are very loud.

However, although it’s a good effort from Snow Joe to introduce a battery-powered two-stage model, it simply doesn’t come close to the snow shifting power that gas gives you.

Until someone invents an alternative, that’s what we’re stuck with for now.

Electric Start

It’s a very good idea to choose a snow blower with an electric start incorporated. It brings with it two very significant advantages.

The first is that it will save you time and effort to get the machine going. As powerful as gas engines are, when utilized in such tools they can often be difficult to start with a prime, cord and choke system.

Not ideal if you’re of advancing years, or you have any health problems – particularly in your back and shoulders.

The second reason that most decent snow blowers come with an electric start is that gas engines generally have trouble starting in cold weather. An electric start can give the machine the jump that it needs to get going.

Bear that in mind if you think it’s something you will benefit from – not all snow blowers come with an electric start as standard.

Remember that you will also need to purchase the right electric cable separately, and it is highly recommended that you opt for a cold-weather version.

Clearance Measurements

The width and height of a two-stage snow blower should be your next consideration – and this comes down to a couple of factors.

How large is the area you need to clear – and how much room do you have for storage?

On average, two-stage snow blowers will have a clearing width of somewhere between 20-32-inches, and a clearing height of up to 23-inches. Give or take.

Remember, having a larger snow blower might not necessarily clear your driveway faster than a more compact, maneuverable model.

And consider your average snowfall depth and the type of snow you usually experience before making your choice.

Purchase a snowblower that suits the size of your property and the type of snowfall you receive – nothing more, nothing less – and you’ll potentially save yourself all kinds of problems.

Snowblowers can also take up a fair bit of room, so if you’re short on space you should take that into consideration. Look out for machines that have folding handles as an additional feature.

Transmission

Gas-powered snow blowers will come with one of two possible transmission types – hydrostatic or friction-disk.

The debate as to which one is better has raged long and hard, but I’ve outlined the differences below.

A friction-disk drive system uses a belt and pulley to bring two disks together to transfer power to the driving wheels.

Check out the video below for a detailed description of how a friction-disk drive system works in a snowblower.

With hydrostatic transmission, the rotational motion of the engine is powered by pressurized hydraulic fluid, similar to a standard hydraulic transmission, in a sealed unit.

A hydrostatic transmission is usually much more expensive than friction-disk, but (some) claim it to be more reliable and longer-lasting.

While friction-disk operation has more parts that can erode or break down, sourcing replacements and maintenance is much easier and cheaper than it would be for a hydrostatic system.

Unfortunately, understanding which is right for you is a matter of trial and error – which can take a number of years a lot of money.

For the most part, however, both systems work perfectly fine and you should trust the particular version in the model you’re purchasing.

Power Steering

Most two-stage snow blowers are significantly heavier and more cumbersome than their one-stage counterparts. This is particularly true of the larger, track-driven machines.

As such, having a power steering option is essential for making easy turns at the end of your driveway once you’ve made a pass.

This will prevent you from having to push and pull the beast into position until you can make another run. They can work similarly to zero turn lawnmowers to “turn on a dime to save time.”

Look out for machines that offer intuitive fingertip steering and one-handed operation – they will make the job much easier. Thankfully, most machines over a certain weight (around 200 lbs) should come with these features as standard.

Discharge Chute Control

In the smaller snow blower models, the discharge chute will likely be controlled with a crank handle that extends to the dashboard. You simply rotate this through 180 degrees to turn the deflector where you want the snow to be deposited.

With other models, you need to do it by physically turning the chute yourself with the handgrip on the back.

More expensive models will have electric chute control. A joystick on the dashboard will be able to turn the chute to your desired direction.

It’s up to you which control system you prefer, but usually, the more expensive the snowblower, the more likely the chute control will be remote.

Steel versus plastic

Most snow blowers are made with either durable plastic polymer or steel, or a combination of both.

Two-stage machines will be mostly steel but will incorporate plastic parts. The two most noticeable sections are the discharge chute and the auger.

The jury is out over which is better. Plastic doesn’t crack in cold weather and won’t rust over time, but it’s simply not as durable as steel. Yet steel can also dent and chip – especially if tackling hard ice.

Durable plastic polymers are used to drive down production costs, and they can also significantly decrease the weight of the machine. Replacing parts is a lot cheaper and easier, too.

It’s really up to you which one you prefer, but realistically, if well taken care of, there’s no reason why either material won’t give you many years of service and good performance.

Extra Features

Man removing snow from pathway

All snow blowers will come with some extra features that might not necessarily improve the machine’s ability to do the job, but it will make your life that little bit easier.

While one-stage versions tend to have the bare bones in this department, they’ve really ramped up when you get to two and three-stage machines.

LED or halogen headlights are perhaps the most obvious addition, and considering you’ll be using the snowblower in winter, they can be very useful when the light starts to go.

However, I must stress that operating any such power tools in the dark isn’t recommended from a safety perspective, and you should try to be finished at least before dusk.

Heated hand grips are useful if you’re working in particularly cold conditions. They can make for a more pleasant experience during the job.

Foldable handles are ideal to help with storage. Unfortunately, they’re mostly available on the smaller machines only.

Having a built-in chute cleaning tool on board is also a nice addition. This is a specially designed device to help push through any blockages in the discharge chute.

It’s a much better option than simply trying to find a suitable piece of wood, and definitely preferable to using an arm.

Skid shoes are in place to protect both the snowblower and your driveway. They’ll also help with the smooth operation of the machine as you make a pass.

You won’t find them on one-stage machines as they’re designed to scrape the ground, but most two-stage snow blowers should incorporate them around the auger housing/shave plate.

They will need to be replaced as they do wear over time.

Wheels Versus Tracks

Some heavy-duty snow blowers are equipped with tracks as opposed to wheels and have significant advantages as a result.

They can handle any kind of terrain – not too dissimilar to that of a tank. The principle is the same, and tracks can conquer all kinds of snow and ice, as well as providing superior traction on uneven or hilly surfaces.

They might come with different drive modes for additional control depending on the conditions.

If you need to clear snow from any incline, perhaps you should consider a tracked machine, as wheeled snow blowers are just not suitable for such a job.

Tracked versions tend to be of the larger, more professional/commercial variety of snow blowers – and are more prominent when you reach the three-stage machines.

You’re certainly not going to need one to clear your stoop, so be honest with yourself if you really do need one.

Cost

Many single-stage snow blowers are very affordable, especially if they’re corded electric models. For city and residential use, this is all most people will need.

However, the cost rises dramatically when you reach the two-stage versions, and there’s a very steep increase with the larger units and more powerful engines.

Obviously, you need to keep within your budget – but I always highly advise that you consider what the machine is going to be used for, the amount of snow it needs to clear, and the size of the area it’s going to be used on.

Bigger doesn’t mean better – and nor does more expensive. Purchase the best you can afford, but when it comes to snow blowers, that doesn’t necessarily mean the one with the highest price tag.

FAQs

What is a two-stage snow blower?

Snowblowers come in three distinct types – one, two, and three-stage machines. Each has its own way of collecting and discharging snow, each more powerful than the last.

When it comes to the two-stage version, this is a machine that uses an auger to gather and suck snow into the unit, with the addition of a powerful impeller that helps to draw in more snow and throw it much further away.

For more information on how snow blowers work, refer to the informative video below.

Check out this article on single-stage vs two-stage snow blowers if you think a one-stage version is going to be more suitable for your needs.

Do I need a two-stage snow blower?

That depends on a number of factors that have been outlined throughout this review. However, for the sake of simplicity, your main considerations are revised below.

  1. Type and amount of snow.
  2. Size of clearing area.
  3. Type of surface underneath.

How much snowfall are you experiencing? If it’s more than eight inches on average, then perhaps a two-stage machine is right for you. If it’s particularly wet, heavy, or icy – consider a three-stage machine instead.

How large is the area you want to clear? For medium to large driveways, walkways or sidewalks, a two-stage snow blower is recommended.

What is the type of surface you want to clear? If you have a gravel driveway, or you want to clear over turf, then choose a two or three-stage snowblower. A one-stage machine isn’t suitable for this job.

Remember those three points and you’ll be able to figure out which snowblower is right for you.

Which is better, a two-stage or three-stage snow blower?

It’s not a matter of which is better than the other, it’s a matter of choosing the right one for the job.

Three-stage snow blowers are only useful if you really need to break up heavier, wetter, icier snow – or you have a large area to clear and a particularly crazy amount of snowfall.

They’re heavier, larger, and much more expensive than any other machine. Most people don’t need to spend that much money for that amount of power. A two-stage or even one-stage version will suffice.

More power and the ability to shift more snow don’t necessarily make a three-stage model better than a two-stage. Each stage has its place, and it’s up to you to pick the one that fits your needs.

For more information check out this article on two-stage vs three-stage snow blowers.

What width snow blower do I need?

This depends on the size of the area you want to clear – as well as how much room you have to store the machine when you’re done using it.

The fact of the matter is – the clearing width isn’t really going to make that much difference. Unless, of course, you have a long or very wide driveway.

A snowblower with a 24-inch clearing width will take about 5-10 passes on a medium-sized, 10-20 foot driveway. If you have a 36-inch clearing width it will take between 4-7 passes.

So, as you can see, it’s not essential that you choose a snowblower with a huge clearing width. The amount of time it will save you is negligible.

Smaller machines are likely to be much cheaper and far easier to store. They’re also much more maneuverable, which can save you time and effort in the long run.

Are snow blowers easy to use?

They might seem a little complex at first, but once you get the hang of how they work, a snowblower is relatively straightforward to use.

For more information on how to operate one of these machines, refer to the informative video below.

What does OHV mean?

In this instance, OHV stands for Overhead Valve Engine. It’s a piston engine where the valves are located in the cylinder head above the combustion chamber.

Not to be confused with Off-Highway Vehicle. A snow blower is most certainly off-highway, but unless you have a rideable version, it isn’t a vehicle, either, so please don’t become one of the 6000 hospitalized cases per year for snowblower accidents.

How much is a new snowblower?

For a brand-new machine, it depends on the type of snowblower. Below, I’ve provided some ball-park figures to give you a quick idea of what you’ll likely need to part with to own one.

One-stage electric – $90-300

One-stage gas – $200-1000

Two-stage gas – $600-5000

Three-stage gas – $1000+

Again, this is just a rough, at-a-glance-guide. Prices can vary significantly depending on the make and model.

Summary

There’s a lot to consider before you make a move for a new power tool, and this is certainly true when it comes to the best two-stage snow blowers on the market.

I hope this review and guide has helped point you in the right direction. It’s difficult to pick one machine over all the rest (and it depends on your circumstances) but I’d personally go for the 24-inch Briggs & Stratton.

It’s packed full of features, is a really well-built unit made by a quality manufacturer and all at a really affordable price compared to other models in its class.

Let me know which machine you would choose and why.

Happy snow blowing!