What is the difference between a one stage and two-stage snowblower?
- Author Peter Main
- Published November 14, 2019
- Word count 540
Anyone looking to buy a snowblower will pretty much soon realise that the choice tends to come down between what are referred to as one stage or two stage snow blowers. There are a few manufacturers who also make what are known as three stage snow blowers, and these will be looked in into and referred to at the end of the article.
There are also some manufacturers who make small or compact tractors which can be turned into snowblowers with a number of snow blade attachments, but the majority of snowblowers referred to are stand alone machines.
The way any snow blower works is in essence fairly simple. They draw in or suck in snow at the front of the machine, and then discharge it through what is known as a chute, through the top of the machine in a direction away from the ground with the smow is being cleared from.
This process is at the heart of a distinction between a one stage and two-stage snowblower. A one stage snowblowe, will simply draw the smow in as described above, and discharge it. A two-stage snowblower will have an additional element, which is normally thought of as something like an impeller, which is used to break up hard chunks of snow or ice once they have been drawn into the machine, and before it is discharged as more malleable pieces of snow.
Ther was mention earlier of a three stage snowblower. These were very common a few years ago, and there are still a few manufactured, and plenty of older models available. The main element of a three stage snowblower is that it contains an additional auger, situated above the main one, which assists in the breakup of hard chunks of snow or ice, before it is dispersed through the discharge chute.
This distinction goes to the heart of what a snowblower does, and it's really important when deciding what type of snow blower to buy, as it needs to be understood what type of snow it is going to be used for, and what type of ground it is going to be used on.
Both types of snowblower can be used for any type of land or yard or smallholding, depending upon the distinction just mentioned regarding the type of snow and the type of ground.
Single stage snow blowers are normally used on land where the snow is fairly thin and flaky, often described as up to 8 or 9 inches thick, and where the ground underneath it is fairly soft.
Two-stage snowblowers are much more commonly used where the snow is much thicker, normally much harder and possibly very icy in certain places. They are also used where the ground underneath is likely to be harder, possibly gravel or tarmac.
The other consideration with any single stage or two-stage snow blower is whether to use normal tires, or to use a snow blower that has some type of track, similar to that on a tank, which can provide much greater stability. This is really an issue about what type of land the snowblower is going to be used on, and what will give the best type of traction both for the snowblower and the operator using it.
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