Single-stage vs Two-stage Snow Blowers: Which One Is Better?




Last Updated on September 15, 2020

When you are shopping for your new snow blower you will see a lot of information about single-stage and two-stage snow blowers.  So what is the difference between those two types of snow blowers?

It’s quite simple really, here is our brief explanation.

What is a single-stage snow blower?

A single-stage snow blower uses its high-speed auger to scoop up the snow from the ground and propel it through the discharge chute in one rotating motion.  These machines are best for snowfalls of up to 8″.  Most electric cordless snow blowers are single-stage machines.

What is a two-stage snow blower?

Two-stage snow blowers are bigger and usually heavier than their single-stage counterparts.  They have an extra part called the impeller, which is like a fan that pulls snow up out of the auger and pushes it through the chute.  They’re designed to handle snowfall depths up to 12″. 

Most two-stage blowers are also self-propelled and generally cost a lot more.  Since two-stage blowers have the extra impeller, they can also clear a wider path of snow at once.

Here is a video that explains the difference further.

Choosing Between Single-Stage and Two-Stage Snow Blowers

Deciding which type of snow blower to use this coming winter season all boils down to these factors:

  • Size of your property
  • Terrain
  • Expected Snow accumulation

Considering the size of your property will help you decide which snow blower to choose. If you’re just going to use your snow blower on your driveways, sidewalks, or walkways, then you might be better off just buying a high-quality single-stage snow blower than a cheap two-stage snow blower.

But if you have a large property and you need to use your snow blower to remove more than 8 inches of snow, then you should go with a two-stage snow blower.

Also, you should consider the surface or terrain that you’re going to use your snow blower on. Single-stage snow blowers are known to make contact with the ground itself when used. This means that the blades you see in front of the blower makes direct contact with the surface that you’re using it on, making them suspect to damage if used on unpaved surfaces.

Meanwhile, two-stage snow blowers have a much more durable built and design that doesn’t require them to make contact with the surface, so you can use it over dirt or gravel.

Single-Stage vs Two-Stage Snow Blowers

Let this section help you get a better idea about the difference between single-stage and two-stage snow blowers.

Two-stage snow blowers also have an auger but with an added impeller to it that displaces the snow far away from your property.

Meanwhile, single-stage snow blowers do all the work all at once. This means that its auger gathers the snow and blows it out of the discharge chute right away.

Best Single-Stage Snow Blower
Snow Joe SJ623E Electric Single Stage Snow Thrower | 18-Inch | 15 Amp Motor | Headlights
Best Two-Stage Snow Blower
Snow Joe iON8024-CT 80-Volt iONMAX Cordless Two Stage Snow Blower | 24-Inch | 4-Speed | Headlights | Tool Only
Snow Joe SJ623E Electric Single Stage Snow Thrower | 18-Inch | 15 Amp Motor | Headlights
Snow Joe iON8024-CT 80-Volt iONMAX Cordless Two Stage Snow Blower | 24-Inch | 4-Speed | Headlights | Tool Only
Best For...
Small driveways, walkways, and other paved surfaces
Large areas and any type of terrain
Plowing Capacity
720 lbs per minute
1000 lbs per minute
Clearing Width
18 inches
24 inches
Auger Material
Plastic
Steel
-
Best Single-Stage Snow Blower
Snow Joe SJ623E Electric Single Stage Snow Thrower | 18-Inch | 15 Amp Motor | Headlights
Snow Joe SJ623E Electric Single Stage Snow Thrower | 18-Inch | 15 Amp Motor | Headlights
Best For...
Small driveways, walkways, and other paved surfaces
Plowing Capacity
720 lbs per minute
Clearing Width
18 inches
Auger Material
Plastic
Best Two-Stage Snow Blower
Snow Joe iON8024-CT 80-Volt iONMAX Cordless Two Stage Snow Blower | 24-Inch | 4-Speed | Headlights | Tool Only
Snow Joe iON8024-CT 80-Volt iONMAX Cordless Two Stage Snow Blower | 24-Inch | 4-Speed | Headlights | Tool Only
Best For...
Large areas and any type of terrain
Plowing Capacity
1000 lbs per minute
Clearing Width
24 inches
Auger Material
Steel
-

Bonus: Three-stage Snow Blower

Three-stage snow blowers are much-better versions of most two-stage snow blowers.

They have almost the same parts and the main difference between them is that a three-stage blower has an accelerator to make sure you remove the snow on your property as fast as possible.

Getting this machine is highly recommended for those people who often experience extreme winter conditions like heavy and wet snow.

Final Thoughts About Snow Blowers

For those looking to buy their snow blower for the first time, we are hoping that our post here helped you decide which type of snow blower to get, single-stage vs two-stage snow blowers.

Our best recommendation to those looking to buy a new snow blower soon is to get the best one that provides the most value to you. If you have the budget to buy two-stage snow blowers, or even three-stage ones, then go ahead and use those instead.

Treat snow blowers like an investment and given the option to buy the best product, you should always go with that route.

Also, two-stage snow blowers are proven far more superior and efficient when it comes to clearing snow than single-stage snow blowers.

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