When Buying Your Snowblower these next questions need to be answered by you taking into consideration your particular situation.
When clearing snow is the type of surface gravel or paved? If you driveway is gravel then you will need to consider a larger two stage gas blower that has skid shoes that are adjustable as smaller single stage blowers are fixed.
These adjustments will allow you to keep the scraper plate from being set too close to the ground. This will prevent stones from being picked up and thrown by the blower and possibly severely hurting some innocent bystanders or damaging nearby homes or cars.
When considering Buying Your Snowblower is the driveway/walkway that you are clearing flat or hilly? In wide open area such as fields or surrounded by trees and buildings? These answers are important as it tells a story of how the snow accumulates on your property. In the case of being in a wide open or hilly area you will be more prone to larger, deeper drifts as the wind will be much more powerful thereby able to deposit more snow. In this case a larger than average 2 stage gas powered snowblower is suggested.
On the other hand if you live in a more sheltered location where the snow is less likely to drift and snowfalls are generally more level in how they accumulate an average 2 staged gas powered snowblower will be adequate.
Where you live does it snow frequently? And when it snows is the accumulation only a couple of inches, closer to 6” or a foot? The answer here is one of the most important factors along with the next question in determining which exact blower is best for you.
If the answer is only a couple of inches a few times a year the best answer is a shovel. But if you are unable to shovel then my suggestion is a minimum sized 7 hp 24” (blowing path) model. This option will provide you with a least some ability to blow deeper amounts of snow should you receive a more extreme winter than most.
Remember when Buying Your Snowblower,if your conditions are many snowfalls of a couple of inches with a few 6”-12” a season then you are looking at what I call the average snowblower requirements which is a 8.5 hp 26” (blowing path) gas powered dual stage blower.
Lastly if you live in the mountains or near lakes that take awhile to freeze over during the winter months (or don’t at all such as the great lakes) then you can get many snowfalls of 4”-6” as well as many of 12” or more in a season. (in recent years many in a week)
For this type of winter workout don’t purchase anything less than workhorse type 10hp 28” machine. In this scenario (Snowblower Heaven) you are going to be working your blower and it will need to be able to blow snow farther and higher depending on how many feet of snow are on the ground everywhere.
The type of Snow you get where You live can make a difference in Buying Your Snowblower
Is the type of snow mostly powder or more wet spring type snow? So far all of the recommendations are based on powder snow, but if you are unlucky enough to receive mostly wet, slushy spring type snow throughout the season don’t bother with the smallest blower recommended above you will need at least the average blower and most likely the workhorse.
Why? It is much harder on the blowers working parts to blow wet snow because it is sooo! much heavier. Everything sticks together and clumps up, belts tend to slip and sometimes smoke (you’ll know if you breathe in that burnt rubber smell) augers and impeller chutes become clogged and everything grinds to a halt. If you have a smaller Horse Power snowblower to start with your chances of blowing any snow at all are greatly reduced, the blower simply doesn’t have enough power to keep augers and impeller turning.
When Buying Your Snowblower for this type of regular snowfalls I recommend the larger workhorse blowers that have the muscle to move the wet snow. Even with these larger blowers are some models are better designed to blow wet snow than others.
A special note to remember when Buying Your Snowblower is that a snowblower (or any gas powered motor for that fact) is the stated engine hp is based on the power output when the machine is brand new. So after you have put a few hours or seasons on your machines’ engine chances are it is now the hp is going to be less. Just imagine when you buy a used snowblower with who knows how many hours on it what the hp will actually be. This doesn’t even take into consideration if the previous owner did any snowblower maintenance.
Does your property have a large enough area in which to put large amounts snow? In places that receive regular large snowfalls snow accumulates quickly and your blower must be able to aim and throw the snow accurately and in some cases extremely long distances.
Do you have a very large area to clear of snow and only a small place or lawn in which to put it? The snow will pile up fast and before you know it you may be throwing snow almost vertically in order to clear your driveway or walkway. Another thing to consider is can you blow snow onto either side of your driveway? This is important if you share a driveway with a neighbour or if the land between you and your neighbour is very small. This will force you to shooting all of the snow in one direction towards your lawn.
Are you physically able to handle a larger piece of equipment? This is a tough question that many may not want to admit. Using a snowblower may seem easier than shovelling but it still takes some strength and ability to work the auger and drive handles as well as aiming the chute properly as not fire snow at any person or object that may cause damage.
The operator must also at the same time be able to turn the blower around and return it on a parallel path back down the drive way or walkway to further clear the snow from the desired area. As you can see there is a lot of multi-tasking to be done to operate a blower with confidence and safety in mind.
When Buying Your Snowblower there are many variations of snow blowers, but the key is to find one that meets your likely workload.
Take the snowblower you are considering for a test drive. A snowblower won’t save your body if you’re stressed just pushing the blower around, so make sure it’s not too demanding. Your blower should make life easier not harder.