The Best Two Stage Snow Blowers for 2022

Start looking for equipment to clear your sidewalk of snow and many happy customers will advise you to get one of the best two stage snow blowers of 2022. Is this the type you need? But which one and what features are worth the expense? 

We know it can be confusing and a little overwhelming! We’ll discuss it all below. 

Here you’ll find detailed reviews of some of the best snow blowers on the current market. We also discuss the niche in detail in our buyer’s guide and talk about the single stage and three stage snow blowers to help you compare your options.

Our objective feedback on what features to prioritize will make you an informed shopper by the time you reach the bottom of this page. 

Here are the top two stage snow blowers we found after in-depth research. 

The Complete Two Stage Snow Blower Buying Guide for 2022

Two Stage Snow Blower Buying Guide

To understand marketing jargon and reviews, get to know this niche. Then you can shop like a pro and get the best return on investment.

How Does a Two Stage Snow Blower Work?

A two-stage snow blower is different from single stage snow blowers because of the auger design. While a single stage type snow blower only has one auger, your two stage snow blower will also have an impeller. This helps force snow through the chute, enabling the machine to clear a lot more snow than its single stage cousin. 

Thanks to this design feature, instead of only 8”, you can clear snow up to 12” deep. Some models can do even better. 

There are also three-stage snow blowers that can clear even more snow—as much as 18” high—thanks to a second-stage auger. This forces the snow towards the impeller for even more efficiency. But you don’t necessarily need this snow clearing method. For areas that usually get light to moderate snow, a two stage snow blower will suffice.

Gas vs Electric

You’ll see there are gas and electric two stage snow blowers on today’s market:

  • With gas, you will have more power, but they release fumes, require oil changes, and can be very noisy. 
  • An electric unit is more eco-friendly and as long as you keep batteries charged or learn to manage the electric cord, it’s also a good option, requiring minimal maintenance. Thanks to improving technology, even battery-driven models are very powerful these days.

Still, to deal with deep snow, having the power of gas is a great advantage, which is why you’ll find we chose this type for our best two stage snow blower list.

What to Consider When Picking Your Two-Stage Snow Blower

Ariens Deluxe 28 SHO Snow Blower Review

You can’t simply pick the best 5-star rated snow blower on the market and think you’re making a smart investment. What you buy must suit what you’ll be using it for.

If you don’t shop with the right perspective, you may find you waste money on a snow blower with features you never use. Or you’ll realize you could have invested in a much smaller model that won’t take up so much floor space in your garage.

Therefore, consider the following to pick the right type of blower for your use:

  • The size of the space you want to clear: The bigger the space, the larger and more effective your snow blower must be—or you’ll take a long time to clear it. 
  • Type of snow your area usually gets each winter: For moderate to high snowfalls, you need larger machines. A single stage snow blower won’t work. Also, make sure your machine can handle wet snow if you know you’ll often have this type to clear away. 
  • Layout of the property: If you’ll need to turn lots of times while clearing away snow, it’s important your snow blower handles easily. If there are tight spaces it must be small enough to fit and easily turn in that confined space. 
  • Your physique and health: A model that’s lighter won’t strain your back and if it propels itself forward there’s less exertion for the user.

Important Features For Two Stage Snow Blowers

Craftsman 208cc Snow Blower Review

Now, let’s get back to the snow blowers themselves. These are the features to compare between models, so you get one that will satisfy your needs the best:

  • Type: Will a single stage suffice or do you need a two- or three-stage snow blower?
  • Wheels: Will they provide sufficient traction?
  • Clearance width: The wider path it clears, the quicker the job is done. 
  • Clearance depth: If your snow blower performs well in this department you won’t have to go over the same area multiple times to clear it of snow. 
  • Chute: With a good rotation range it’s easier to deposit snow where you want it. 
  • Lights: With fixed lights, you can work in low-light conditions without carrying a torch.
  • Starting mechanism: With effortless starting thanks to an electric push button, you won’t waste time with a pull cord.
  • Comfort features: Heated hand grips are welcome when you’re working in freezing conditions.
  • Steering: You’ll work faster and with less effort if your snow blower steers and turns easily.

#1 Choice: Two Stage Snow Blowers

Craftsman 208cc Snow Blower

Best Overall Snow Blower

Our front runner is a gas powered two stage snow blower. When facing a considerable amount of snow, the power of gas is simply a great advantage.

In the Craftsman 208cc snow blower, you get a 208cc 4 cycle engine with an electric start

Similar to the unit above, you have six-speed options when going forward and two in reverse.

Because this is a self-propelled unit you’ll find it easier going than with smaller, less advanced snow blowers.

Another feature that makes it relatively easy to manage is the tires.

Read Our Full Craftsman 208CC Review

The large, 13” tires have a dynamic X-trace rigid traction design, so you’ll have some grip even when working on thicker layers of snow.

There are also skid shoes that provide additional control AND they’ll protect your floors.

You’ll have fewer scuff marks and rust stains in the garage thanks to them.

Inside the unit, you’ll find a 21” auger made of steel, along with a 12” impeller. This makes it efficient even when you’re working on wet snow

Specs and Features

  • Weight: 195.6lb
  • Clearing width: 24” 
  • Clearing height: 21”
  • Start type: Electric start
  • Chute rotation: 200°

What People Like

Clients find the 208cc snow blower very effective and are even surprised at how quiet it runs compared to some other gas-powered snow blowers. For two stage models, it’s a compact unit and users find it easy to maneuver.

What People Dislike

There are some concerns among Craftsman supporters that the newer products aren’t as durable as ones they’ve used in the past. Certain clients find it difficult to get it started at the start of the winter. At least it does seem the company responds to problems and queries. 

About Craftsman

Craftsman is a brand that’s been active in the tool industry for almost 100 years. One of their drawcards is that the products are manufactured in the USA, giving you some peace of mind about quality, compared to many imported models. 

This company started with electric drills but kept on being innovative and exploring new niches over the years. Today they’re market leaders in manufacturing snow blowers too. 

Currently, the brand sells a variety of tools appropriate for heavy-duty use. This includes power tools, air compressors, and garden appliances. Their knowledge also extends to generators and other power supply items, which surely helps when designing products like snow blowers. 

Our Thoughts: Craftsman 208cc Snow Blower

This model comes from a well-known brand that’s happy to assist customers with problems if they have any. Good customer service is always a bonus. It’s excellent for moving snow, but we also appreciate its extra features like skid shoes. It’s a smart choice especially if you need to protect the floor where you place it in storage. 

#2 Choice: Two Stage Snow Blowers

Ariens Deluxe 28 SHO Snow Blower

Best For Large Driveways

From Ariens, we want to showcase another gas-powered unit. Part of its excellence even in tough conditions is thanks to a two-belt drive.

This Ariens 306cc 4 cycle snow blower clearly has impressive power, since it can throw snow as far as 55ft to help you clear larger areas.

And, in just one hour, you can move as much as 72 tons of snow.

One feature that helps achieve this is the clearance width of 28”.

This will make snow clearing a much easier job than with shovels or smaller machines. 

Although only a two stage snow blower, you can use it on snow as deep as 21”. Thanks to its sturdiness and steel auger measuring 14”, it will get the job done fairly quickly.

This is a large machine, but it steers surprisingly easily. This is thanks to Auto-Turn steering as well as six speeds to pick from when going forward, and two when going backward.

Note that different warranties apply, depending on how you’ll use your Ariens snow blower. While you’ll have 3 years of cover for using it at home, commercial users can only make claims for 90 days.

Specs and Features

  • Clearing width: 28” 
  • Clearing height: 21”
  • Start type: Electric
  • Throw distance: 55ft
  • Chute rotation: 200°

What People Like

Customers who have tried the Ariens Deluxe SHO appreciate how dependable it is, even in cold conditions. The electric start will get you going on the first press of the button and clients love how it handles large amounts of snow.

In truth though, it may be too big and more than what you really need for a smaller residential property where you only have light snowfall. But know that you’ll get the job done quickly.

What People Dislike

There are some components the brand should look to redesign. For example, the pull starter recoil contains plastic parts, and these tend to malfunction quickly, especially if you use it in bad weather conditions. There have been some reports about defective units coming out of the brand’s factory, but these occur rarely.

About Ariens

Ariens is a family-owned business and they’re very particular about only associating their brand with top-quality products. The founder and his sons created the first American-made rotary tiller and today they sell various models for working on your lawn or clearing away snow. 

The company started back in 1933, giving them quite a few decades of experience to fall back on. In terms of snow blowers, Ariens’ experience started in 1960.

You may also appreciate their investment in younger generations. Ariens partners with schools in their vicinity to provide students with an excellent education in subjects like Engineering, Mathematics, Science, and Technology. Many customers appreciate that the brand isn’t just all about their own bottom line.

Our Thoughts: Ariens Deluxe 28 SHO Snow Blower

This is a big, powerful two stage snow blower, which could be more than what you need for low snowfall areas. But then again, having such an efficient machine may be worth sacrificing some space in the garage. 

#3 Choice: Two Stage Snow Blowers

Husqvarna ST224 Snow Blower

Best Value For The Money

We picked the Husqvarna 208cc two stage snowblower with a ribbon auger as one of our top 3 favorite.

We were really impressed with features that ensure efficiency but also comfort for the user.

For starters, you can clear a path 24” wide, which is impressive and helps you clear a large area quickly.

It’s one reason to pick this size rather than a single stage snowblower.

The power steering is another way the brand makes it possible to work fast so you won’t stay out in the cold for so long. 

Read Our Full Husqvarna ST224 Review

This is a gas-powered model so you can be sure of great power and you’ll do less pushing—let the machine do the work of propelling forward through the snow.

With the electric start, you’ll easily get started each time, instead of wasting time pulling on a starting cord.

For your comfort, you can adjust the height of the handles. This makes it a practical option for people of different heights and anyone in the family can help clear the driveway this winter.

A bonus is a chute you can manage from the control panel while on the go. There’s also a light bright enough so you can work in the dark, enjoying great visibility of the area in front of you

Although a two stage snow blower, you may find it effective in snow up to 18” deep. It just depends on the type of snow, since wet snow is always more difficult to clear. 

The brand also made it versatile by adding skid shoes that will work on almost any terrain without damage to the machine or the surface.

Specs and Features

  • Weight: 195lb
  • Clearing width: 24” 
  • Clearing height: 6” to 18”
  • Start type: Gas

What People Like

Customers find it easy to assemble and easy to maneuver. The power steering and electric start are helpful to get work done quickly.

What People Dislike

Despite it being gas-powered and helping you move forward, it’s not the fastest machine on the market. Especially when in reverse you’ll go a bit slow. 

About Husqvarna

The Husqvarna brand was established over three centuries ago, providing the world with outdoor power products. This Swedish company did start in the firearm industry but today, along with snow blowers, you’ll find Husqvarna lawnmowers, chainsaws, and even tools for the construction industry. And they’ve built a good reputation, so you can trust them when there’s snow on its way. 

It’s also comforting to know they manufacture and sell replacement parts, helping you look after your snow blower in years to come.

Our Thoughts: Husqvarna ST224 Snow Blower

If it’s the power you want but you really don’t need a three stage snow blower, this two stage model from Husqvarna is a wise investment. You get helpful extras such as heated grips and bright light and you’ll be impressed at how easy it handles for such a large machine.

Final Thoughts On Two Stage Snow Blowers

Unless you have very heavy snowstorms each year, a two stage snow blower is the ideal type for residential use.

You can enjoy the power of these best two stage snow blowers to quickly clear driveways and sidewalks and if the snowfall is heavier than usual, your machine will still be able to handle it. 

We consider the Craftsman to be the best overall, but use our guidelines to determine if Husqvarna or Ariens will be your brand of choice. 

After reading this far, if you feel like these are a little out of budget or too much power, you can always opt to look into single stage snow blowers as well.