Choosing a Snowblower

Choosing a snowblower can be confusing with all the options available. Here’s everything you need to know to get the right model, from the size to the starter.
How Big Does the Snowblower Need to Be?
Generally speaking, you should buy something with a little more capacity than you think you’ll need. This lets you use less than the full capacity of your blower to compensate for heavy snow.  Expect to overlap at least 20% with each pass, and up to 50% if the snow is particularly dense, or it’s near the maximum height capacity of the snowblower.
How Many Stages Do I Need?
A single stage snowblower has a single auger that picks up, chops and throws snow. That’s a lot of work for one set of blades, so you’ll only see the smallest residential models use this design.
A dual stage auger adds an impeller that helps chop up snow and push it through the chute. This design is used by most large residential and commercial blowers.
Troy-Bilt and Cub Cadet make three stage snowblowers. They have a second auger between the main auger and the chute impeller. This added stage helps break up heavy snow and ice. These machines are a great choice if you frequently deal with heavy snowfall.
Wheels or Tracks?
A track drive is better at climbing slopes and has better grip on packed snow. This makes it a great choice for clearing snowbanks and picking up snow that has been driven on. Wheeled snowblowers are easier to turn, reducing the effort needed to clear driveways and parking lots.
What Drive System Works Best?
Small single stage blowers are pushed like a walk-behind mower. The action of the auger helps pull the machine forward. Since these machines are light, it doesn’t take much effort to move or turn them.
A gear drive is simple and inexpensive, but it can be hard to deal with. Most of the time, you’ll have to use a gear that is a little too fast or slow for the snow you’re clearing. The drive system does not assist with turning.
A hydrostatic drive lets you vary the speed infinitely, so you can go as fast as your snowblower can handle. Some models have dual hydraulic motors. This lets you engage the wheels separately, turning the snowblower like it’s a ZTR mower.
Honda’s HS1336iAS snowblower has a hybrid drive system. The engine only powers the augers, while the tracks use electric motors. This gives you extra torque for climbing hills, and it lets you transport the blower with the engine off.
Do I Need Drift Cutters?
These blades mount on the sides of the snowblower, slicing through snow that extends above the auger housing. They’re useful for knocking piles of snow from snow drifts into the auger for removal.
Do I want AC or Battery Electric Start?
An AC starter plugs into a household outlet. You never need to worry about having enough power to turn the engine over. However, you also need ready access to an outlet. This makes it a great choice for home snow clearing, but not for commercial use.
A battery starter can be used anywhere, but this adds the trouble and expense of battery maintenance.
Get the Equipment You Need This Winter
Shank’s Lawn Equipment sells and services snowblowers from several major brands, including Honda, Cub Cadet, Troy Bilt and MultiOne. If you’re looking for a new snowblower, or need help fixing your current snowblower, visit our shop, located at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA. That’s one mile off of I-81 from Exit 10. We also ship parts and accessories across the U.S. and Canada. To order, visit

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *