Aching hands? Pain in the back? Fatigue from heavy hours of snow lifting? Well, there is an excellent solution available for you: a snowblower. These machines are a notable investment, but they will make your winter experience a whole lot better. The snow blowers are machines that operate almost in the same way as a lawnmower. In fact, if you have owned a self-propelled or rotary mower, then you will easily transition into owning a snowblower as well.
It’s a tool that sits on the snow surface and works to remove it through a special chute. The specific mechanism through which the blower removes the snow determines its power and cutting path as well. More so, a snowblower which includes features such as cool-touch handles, wireless functions and more can be highly beneficial. Also, a good snowblower requires minimal maintenance, especially when stored during the non-winter seasons.
Before you can buy a snowblower which is perfect for your needs. Consider these key factors to ensure the best results:
There are various factors to consider when you want to buy a snowblower. Take these factors into perspective to ensure you get a blower that meets your needs. Let`s get started:
Electric and Cordless Snowblowers
If you reside in places that rarely experience snow, or if you don’t just want the hassle of a shovel – then a cordless blower is perfect. Most of these snow blowers tend to be compact, and are simple to manoeuvre in small spaces. Thus, they are ideal for clearing places such a driveway or path. More so, they tend to be less costly, and won’t require gas, which makes them suitable for people who don’t have ample storage spaces.
If you live in places that experience harsh winters, with large amounts of snow, then a snow blower will make life easier. This tool will put your shovel to shame, due to the efficiency it offers as it cuts a path through the snow.
A snow blower is a powerful machine, which you can use to clear decks, sidewalks, driveways and more. Usually, they consist of a motor-powered auger, which cuts and scoops up snow, then throws it away from the given area.
A gas or electric engine delivers power to the auger, through the use of metal blades or wide paddles. These resources help to direct snow into the machine, and run it upwards through a component referred to as a discharge chute. The user guides the snow blower through the cutting path, thus aiding in snow removal.
When you want to buy a snowblower, you have to determine whether you want a gas or electric-powered model. You may also have to choose between the single, two or three-stage snow blowers. Some snow blower brands can handle large blizzards, and remove as much as 18 inches of snow.
Most snow blowers operate on either electricity or gas. However, the electric motors are limited to single-stage snowblower types. You will have to determine whether you want the convenience of electric functionality, or perhaps if you’re going for the power of a gas machine. However, gas models might require regular fuel and maintenance.
Also, pay attention to the amount of power each engine is rated at. Most gas engines classify in terms of horsepower, while the electric versions are rated in amps.
Also evaluate the length of the path, that the snow blower will remove with each pass. The typical clearing width measurement averages between 20 and 25 inches. However, some of the lower-end models tend to clear less, while the powerful brands can surpass the 30-inch mark.
A small clearing width means that you have to work for more time when clearing a given area. This ensures that you choose a suitable clearing width for your needs.
Wheels vs. Tracks
Pushing a snowblower, especially in hilly areas, tends to be hard work. You can make things easy, by going for snowblowers that have airless and all-terrain wheels. The tracks are only suitable when you want to work in small spaces. Even more, the tracks provide added stability on uneven terrains and will improve the performance of your machine.
Most snow blowers operate at a single pace, but if you want one that works conveniently, then consider one that has a variable speed control. Usually, this function exists on the two and three-stage snow blowers. A speed control function makes it easy to move the machine, with convenient adjustments to the lever on the handgrips.
Even more, evaluate the snowblower to determine the location of the speed control lever. If it’s in a suitable position for you to adjust, then this is perfect.
The electric start function makes it easy to start the machine, regardless of the temperature levels. You won’t have to struggle with a pull cord, which always means that you have to prime the engine before use.
Most electric and gas-powered snow blowers come with the electric start function. It’s a convenient feature, especially if you are new to using such types of mechanical tools.
Intake height refers to the level at which the snow can pile up before the snow blower is not able to function effectively. The items you will require depends on the amount of snow that the region usually experiences. To ensure you are covered, go for a snowblower that has an intake height that is much larger than the usual machine.
Types of Snowblowers
Single-stage electric – if you experience a typical winter storm is not close to a fully-fledged blizzard, then the single-stage mowers might be perfect for your needs. Featuring paddle-like blades that look like augers, the single-stage snowblower scoop and remove snow with one motion. This is one of the key reasons behind the term “single-stage” mowers.
The single-stage mowers with electric motors tend to be more compact than the gas models. More so, these types are also excellent because they don’t require fuel to operate. That said, they tend to be limited when it comes to power used to clean snow. They are mostly suitable for areas that experience snowfall levels that average at 6 inches or less. Even more, these types of snowblower brands tend to be ideal for clearing sidewalks, small spots and decks.
Corded Single Stage
The corded single-stage mowers might require a power outlet, and you also have to manage the presence of a long cord. Usually, most users have extension cords, which will only accommodate one device at a time. This because snowblowers are powerful machine, and this can easily cause a power load on the extension when other devices are present.
There are two common types of single-stage snowblowers. They include:
Cordless Single Stage
These types of electric snowblowers provide the benefit of being able to remove snow without the need for an extension. That said, one main issue would be that your snow removal time would relate to the battery performance.
Single Stage Gas
If you don’t mind using a gas-powered blower and you live in areas with lots of snowfall, then a single-stage gas snowblower is perfect. It features an auger which rotates in the same way as a conventional single-stage snowblower. The main benefit of this blower is that it provides enhanced clearing widths, and can remove 2 feet wide path with each pass. More so, these types are also easy to manoeuvre, as when compared to the two and three-stage blowers.
A two-stage gas blower makes snow removal convenient all thanks to its advanced mechanical structure. It features an impeller fan, which works to propel snow to the intake chute. Such a unique design provides improved clearing power and snow throwing distances. Furthermore, the two-stage blowers are mostly preferred by people who live in areas with snow levels of 8 inches and higher.
This type of snow blower is likely to come with various other features, to make snow removal convenient. You can expect features such as power-driven wheels, enhanced intake heights, wider clearing paths and more.
That said, one main disadvantage of such a system is that the auger never makes contact with the ground. Thus, these machines might leave behind a thin layer of snow. When you want to buy a two-stage gas snow blower, remember to check the amount of power the machine can produce.
The level of horsepower the machine can produce is directly proportional to the snow removal ability of the machine. Thus, such a unique design will allow the machine to move through deeper drifts, while also offering power for moving the mower around.
While the two-stage blowers are typically available at an average of $600, the price often relates to the features you want on the machine. Some brands might include high end features rubber tracks or joystick controls, which can increase the price tag significantly.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, an average of 5,000 snowblower related injuries occur in the world. One main issue when using snowblowers is that snow can accumulate in the auger, which can compromise the functionality of the machine. Usually, this issue occurs because the auger could get damaged before offering adequate resistance to the motor to switch it off. If you try to clear the jam manually, then there is a significant chance that it could return to its shape, but the force might injure the user. Safety is a vital issue to consider when buying a proper snowblower for your needs. If you experience such as jam, you have first to turn off the machine.
Then, apply the correct DIY repair procedures accordingly. To improve safety, most snowblower brands nowadays have plastic resources which are effective for clearing jams in snow removal tools. Other high-end brands come with a feature referred to as the Deadman Switch. The role of this feature is to stop the machine from rotating when the operator is not close to the machine controls.
There are various other vital features to consider when you want to buy a snowblower. Most of these features aim to make the snow removal procedure convenient and fast. They include:
Skid shoes – the skid shoes are a safety function, which let you remove snow from areas with gravel. The function is also available on most two-stage snow blowers and makes it easy to adjust the height of an auger. Being able to adjust the auger height will provide optimal lift when working on gravel driveways.
Heated grips – owning a snowblower with heated grips ensure your hands stay warm, regardless of the temperatures outdoors. Usually, such grips feature ergonomic structures, which make them comfortable in their hands.
Drift cutter – these are tools which function in the same way as knives. They are sturdy and work to cut through hard-packed snow with exceptional results.
Being able to make the right choice when you want to buy a specific appliance can save you a lot of hassle. For those who live in winter prone areas, you will know that snowblowers are cutting edge appliances for your needs. However, before you buy one, you will need access to some useful information, to ensure you get the best value for your money. Snowblowers tend to have different features, and you have to consider these factors when buying.
Even more, snow blowers are available in many different categories and power ratings. Consider these factors, and you are sure to get an appliance that suits your property, and gives the best value for money.