Tips on What to Look for When Buying a Snow Thrower

If you’ve recently decided to purchase a snow blower (or as they are more aptly named, a snow thrower) for the upcoming winter months, or you’re looking to upgrade to a new model from your previous snow thrower, then you’ll want to be aware of the new features available on snow throwers and what to look for when purchasing a quality snow thrower. There are extensive product lines available from several companies like MTD, Craftsman, Toro and Murray. Snow thrower prices can range anywhere from $100 to over $1,000, and you’ll want to purchase one that best suits your needs without breaking your wallet.

The most important consideration when purchasing a snow thrower is how much snowfall you receive in your area. If you typically receive light snowfall of up to 10′ inches (usually less), then you’ll be able to use a lightweight, less powerful snow thrower to adequately clear your driveway and other snow-covered areas. These types of snow throwers are called single stage snowthrowers. Single stage snowthrowers are easy to maneuver and are compact, so storage space is minimal. They are ideal for small driveways and walkways.

For heavier snowfalls, you’ll want to look at dual-stage snowthrowers, which are specially designed to be more powerful and capable of handling heavy and hard-packed snow. You’ll most likely want a dual-stage snowthrower if you live in the northern US and Canada. A dual stage snowthrower works by first pulling the snow inward with powerful augers and then throwing it up to an average of 30 feet away with a chute that rotates for maximum control. Some augers are serrated in order to more efficiently break up hard snow and ice.

When examining the features of a snow thrower, one important aspect is chute rotation. Typically 190 degrees of rotation is standard on most snow throwers, allowing you to control the direction of the thrown snow. Some snow throwers are also equipped with a chute that can be raised or lowered either manually or remotely. A remote chute control enables you to continue working without having to stop and adjust the chute by hand.

All snow throwers have varying degrees of clearing width. The larger the clearing width, the more snow you can remove in a single pass, and the quicker you’ll be done. Sometimes the difference between two models can be just an inch or two, but the snow throwers with a larger clearing width typically have more powerful motors as well.

In the past, snow blowers and snow throwers typically ran on gas, but many now run on electric, saving you the trouble of having to use gas or oil, and requiring little maintenance. You’ll just want to make sure you have a long enough cord to reach the end of your driveway and other areas that need to be cleared of snow.

For convenience, some gas-powered snow throwers are equipped with an electric start option, enabling you to start up the snow thrower quickly and efficiently, rather than struggling with pull cords and the like.

When examining snow throwers, ask to be able to push it around the store for a few moments to see how easy it is to maneuver. If you find yourself struggling with the snow thrower in the store, than just imagine how difficult it may be to control when attempting to push it through snow. Look for snow throwers that have wheels with good traction, and a self-propelled snow thrower will definitely help ease the burden on yourself. Some snow throwers will be much easier to steer and control than others, an important advantage to consider if you have an especially large area to clear.

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