Cheap Snow Blower: Things To Consider And Look Out For

If you’re on a budget and looking for a cheap snow blower, yet still want a quality machine that does a good-to-great job… keep reading.

If you’re like me and experience frequent snowstorms, a snow blower is an absolute necessity. It’s a labor-saving alternative to shoveling.

However, choosing the right equipment is no easy feat. Whether you want a two or three-stage cheap snow blower, you should pay attention to specific features.

Here are the factors to consider if you want to make a worthwhile investment. 

Cheap Snow Blower: Things To Look For

Engine size

Cheap Snow Blower Investment

A cheap snow blower can have a 200cc to 400cc engine. This is an important factor to consider because it determines the gas you need and the horsepower you get. A snow blower with a large engine is easier to maneuver and faster to drive. If you have an average driveway, a bigger engine is not a necessity. 

If you’re working on a sloppy surface, you’re better off with a unit that comes with a powerful engine. 

Throwing distance

It refers to how far the blower throws the snow. If you have a small driveway, you need a blower with a shorter distance.

If you have a wider driveway, you should invest in a unit that gives you a larger throwing distance. Using a one-stage blower to clear the driveway means more passes and more time you spend clearing the snow. 

A single-stage blower is perfect for driveways and walkways. If the driveway is over 60 feet, you’re better off with a two or a three-stage blower. 

Clearing height

A single-stage snow blower comes with auger paddles that get into contact with the ground, while a two-stage blower helps you adjust the height depending on the type of surface you clear.

If you want to clear a paved surface, you should invest in a model that allows you to adjust the height without throwing gravel onto the lawn. 

If the snow depth is 12 inches, you need a one-stage snow blower. If the depth is 16 inches or more, you need a three-stage snow blower. 

Snow Blower Clearing Height

Clearing width

This is the amount of space you can clear at once. A blower with a larger clearing width means fewer passes to clear it. The clearing width of your driveway will determine whether you need a single or double blower. 

Power source

A vast majority of blowers use gasoline, but there are a growing number of electric models. If you choose a corded blower, you need a model with at least 100 feet of an extension cord. Of course, a two-stage snow blower tends to be more effective. 

A single-stage electric mower is best suited for short, level, and walkaways that are less than 6 inches. Battery-powered models, on the other hand, trade performance for convenience. Some can clear 9-inch deep snow; others are suited for light dusting.

The best blower comes from the relatively newer two-stage battery-powered blower. 

Another thing to keep in mind is that most gas powered snow blowers offer a plug-in electric start. This prolongs the life of the pull cord. Of course, it’s much easier to use during cold weather. 

Discharge shoot control 

It helps you to vertically or horizontally control the direction of the discharge shoot. That’s convenient because you only need to push a lever. The only downside is that it’s a bit tricky to use when wearing gloves.

Newer models now feature easy-turn crack controls that you can operate by hand. This can be a great option if you live in frigid climates. Make sure you test the crank in the store before you make your purchase. 

Snow Blower Up Close

Chute pitch controls and auto chute controls

Every time the wind changes direction, you have to change the chute direction. For lower-priced models, you must stop turning the crank before you proceed.

If you want to speed up the job, you should invest in a model with an electronically operated chute mechanism. Some even come with a one-hand pistol joystick chute to make a change of direction a breeze. 

Plastic vs. steel chutes

While this may sound counterintuitive, you should invest in a snow blower with a plastic chute. Those made of steel tend to chip and dent.

Since plastic chutes are somewhat slippery, the snow doesn’t stick to the surface (as easily). And they won’t crack in cold weather. 

Pneumatic air-filled vs. airless tires 

Air-filled tires are a constant problem when working on the snow. If one tire has more air than the other, that can pull the blower on one side.

Airless tires never go flat and give even better traction than traditional rubber tires. Plus, they are maintenance-free and the perfect choice for snow blowers. 

Wheels vs. tracks

For a single-stage blower, the user pulls or pushes the mower. However, a majority of two and three-stage blowers are wheeled. Since the engine powers the wheels, they are best suited for a large driveway. Some two or three-stage blowers have tracks – they are better suited for steep surfaces but can be more difficult to turn on leveled terrain. 

Single-stage vs. double stage vs. three-stage snow blower

Stage 2 Snow Blower Green

Single-stage snow blower 

If you have a mid-sized walkway or driveway, a single-stage snow blower can be a great investment. 

These models are cheap and fairly light to handle. And depending on the model you choose, they can clear up to 20-22 inches of snow. 

The gas engines require straight gasoline – no oil. If you have a gravel driveway, the electric models may be a poor choice because their augers move sideways and tend to veer on steep slopes. 

Two-stage snow blower

These units are the best for driveways and can clear up to 16 inches of snow. Some can handle steeper inclines and swaths up to 30 inches wide.

Smaller models have a fanlike impeller that throws the snow from the chute. If you have gravel ground, you should invest in a two-stage snow blower since the auger doesn’t touch the ground.

But again, these units are relatively heavy and may need as much space as a tractor. 

Three-stage snow blowers

These are the latest breed of snow blowers designed to handle 18-inches of heavy snow. Such blowers come with an accelerator that separates the blower from the conventional two-stage machines.

This feature speeds up the clearing process and forces the snow to the discharge impellor. But just like the two-stage snow blower, such units can clear a wide swath – up to 30 inches.

They are heavy and can take lots of storage space. 

A quality cheap snow blower gives unmatched clearing ability and doesn’t compromise performance. Before you invest in a specific model, you should consider the above features to ensure you get the best bang for your buck. 

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