Get familiar with Lowes snow blower types and features and to find the machine that’s best for your snow-clearing needs. Choosing the best snowblower for your needs is somewhat dependent on the area you need to clear, but it’s also determined by the type of snow you typically remove.
Lowes will typically have about 10 gas powered, 2 electric and 2 cordless snow thrower models available in each store. They also have about 40 different snow blowers available by special order which can take up to 2 weeks to arrive.
That first snowfall is fun. Every one after that is hard work especially if you are using a shovel! The biggest job after a snowfall is clearing the driveway and sidewalk–and the best way to make this tough job easier is with a snow blower.
Both single-stage and two-stage machines are great for clearing snow from your driveway and sidewalk, but they remove snow differently, and each works best for different types of snowfalls. Whether it’s an electric snow blower or gas snow blower, there is a snowblower with many features to choose from. As you look at different models, keep the following questions in mind to help you narrow down your choices:
- How large is the area you need to clear?
- Do you need features like electric start, lights or hand warmers?
- How much snow do you receive annually and how frequently does it fall?
- Do you prefer a gas or electric model?
The three main types of snow blowers are two-stage gas, single-stage gas and single-stage electric. Since more than one of these types may be able to handle your typical snow-clearing job, it’s important to consider the advantages of each.
Two-stage blowers are capable of handling snowfalls in excess of 8 inches. These powerful blowers are the best for clearing large areas and have engine-driven wheels to better handle uneven terrain and help reduce operator fatigue.
A two-stage snowblower is typically bigger and more powerful, making them a good choice for deep snow. If you live in an area that gets a ton of snow each year, a two-stage snowblower can be the way to go. Perfect for tackling “lake effect” snow, snowfalls of 12-inches or more, or big snow drifts.
Two-stage machines first gather the snow in with a heavy-duty, serrated auger. Then a high-speed impeller takes over, launching the snow from the chute, throwing it out of your way.
Two-stage snowblowers are perfect for large driveways, gravel surfaces, and hard compacted snow. They discharge snow faster and farther than single-stage blowers with the aid of a high-speed impeller located behind the auger. A two-stage model is essential for gravel drives since the clearing auger doesn’t touch the ground, elevated slightly by adjustable skid shoes.
Our Favorite Lowes Snow Blower Picks
Gas Powered Single Stage: Ariens Path-Pro 21 inch push button electric start gas snow blower $499. Item # 789721 Model # 938032. Up to 8″ snowfall. Great for small driveways .
Gas Powered Two Stage: Troy-Bilt Storm 2410 24-inch Push-button Electric Start Gas Snow Blower. $599. Item # 789845 Model # 31BS6BN2711. Up to 12″ snowfall. Heavy snowfall and large driveways.
Corded Electric Snow Blower: Snow Joe 13.5-Amp 18-in Electric Snow Blower. Item # 591400 Model # SJ621. Up to 10″ snowfall. Great for mid sized driveways and sidewalks.
Gas or Electric?
Single-stage blowers are lighter and easier to handle than two-stage models. These blowers are best for clearing midsized areas with snowfalls of 8 inches or less. Snow is directed out the discharge chute by the auger. With a single-stage snowblower, a high-speed rotor gathers and throws the snow in one efficient motion.
Toro’s Power Curve technology allows the rotor to help propel the unit forward, making it easier to use and more maneuverable. Single-stage snowblowers also clean down to the pavement, eliminating the need to go back and shovel or sweep to finish the job. Single-stage machines are great for most paved driveways and sidewalks. Because they clean down to the pavement, they should not be used on unpaved surfaces.
They are best used to clear up to 9” of snow at a time. Although the wheels aren’t engine-driven, all single-stage units have augers that contact the surface, providing limited forward-drive action. They are best used on paved surfaces.
Electric Snow Blowers: Electric snow blowers are perfect for clearing patios, porches, walkways and small-to-medium sized driveways. They handle light to moderate snow well and work best when used on smooth, paved surfaces. For small areas such as decks, steps, patios, and small sidewalks — where a larger snowblower won’t reach — you might consider an electric snowblower.
Electric models are generally more economical and weigh less than their gas-powered counterparts, making them easy to maneuver. Because you’ll need to plug them in, these blowers tend to work best in areas closer to your home. When using your electric snow blower, be sure to purchase a heavy-duty, outdoor extension cord that matches the power requirements of your model. Also, purchase only the size you need to avoid unnecessary power loss.
Gas Snow Blowers: Gas snow blowers provide plenty of power and are available in both single-stage and two-stage models. Single-stage blowers feature an auger that breaks up snow and then lifts and tosses it aside. Two-stage units have an auger that lifts snow and an impeller that blows it, allowing them to clear a wider path with more power.
Overall, gas units are somewhat heavier and require a larger up-front investment, but they are ideal for clearing large amounts of heavy snow from big driveways. Though they require regular maintenance and burn fuel, they’ll give you greater range and clearing power than other snow-clearing devices. Use single-stage units to clear smooth, small-to-medium driveways, walkways, porches, patios and decks of light to moderate snow.
Two-stage units, which can come in widths of up to 45″, not only tackle larger and longer driveways, they can also handle unpaved or gravel driveways as well. They are ideal for clearing heavy loads of wet snow from lengthy, wide driveways.
Snow blowers cause 3,000 finger injuries each year, including amputations, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Don’t ever clear a clogged discharge chute or auger housing with your hand. Most machines now come with a plastic clearing tool, but a broom handle will do.
Besides snow, a snow blower–particularly a small, single-stage model–can pick up and throw ice, gravel, and other objects. Keep people and pets away when you’re working. Wear hearing protection with gas-powered machines. Wait until a gas model’s engine is cool before refueling. For electric models, use an outdoor extension cord with a ground-fault-circuit-interrupting circuit feature, and keep the cord away from the spinning auger.
By Victoria Stone