Jan 26

What Is A Snow Blower?

Look around you and you will see how much technology has influenced our lives. Just imagine what your life would be like without a cell phone, TV and a washing machine. The snow blower is a piece of technology which makes your life easier in more ways than one. It removes snow automatically and it does the job efficiently. You will clean the driveways, walkways and other traffic areas on your property easily and quickly. Let me tell you more about this machine in greater detail.

I have to admit that I am a dedicated fan of the snow blower. This is because it helps me remove the snow from the traffic areas, which are part of my hotel in the mountains of British Columbia, Canada. I have a considerable experience in working with such machines so I decided to share my knowledge and help others make use of them as well.

Snow Blower Basics

What Is A Snow Blower?The snow blower is a machine whose purpose is to break and scoop the snow and expel it to a considerable distance from the cleaned area. The machine can use either an electric motor or a gas engine to run. Gas engines naturally provide more power while the electric motors are more compact, lighter and easier to maintain.

The front part of the unit has a scoop design so that it can pick up the snow. The lower part of the scoop typically ends with a scraping blade which scrapes the snow from the surface which is being cleaned. The auger is found inside the scoop. Its main purpose is to break the snow.

In case of a single-stage snow blower, the auger throws the snow directly into the chute from where it is ejected. The chute is a wide plastic tube. In case of a two-stage machine, the auger delivers the snow to an impeller. The impeller is a piece of machinery which sucks the snow in and then expels it through the chute.


Single Stage Snow Blower

Single Stage Snow Blower

The basic description has made it obvious that there are two kinds of snow blowers – single stage and two-stage ones. In single-stage machines the auger throws the snow through the chute while in the two-stage ones it is only responsible for breaking up the snow. An additional feature called impeller sucks the snow and blows it through the chute. Basically, these machines have an additional (second stage) of operation involving the impeller.

There is another major different between the single stage and two-stage snow blowers which is certainly worth your attention. In single stage machines, the auger propels the machine while performing its snow breaking and snow throwing functions. Even though the machine has wheels, they are used for creating traction and for more efficient steering only.

2 Stage Snow Blower

2 Stage Snow Blower

The two-stage machines, on the other hand, have driven wheels which allow the machine to move forward and backward as well. In this case the auger does not have to touch the ground. Hence, two-stage snow blowers can be used on non-paved surfaces such as gravel ones. The auger will not pick up gravel pieces or small stones which can be dangerous if blown out of the chute.


The steering handle is first feature of the snow blower that you will come in contact with. It is typically ergonomically designed for maxim comfort and more efficient steering. For some models, the height of the handle can be adjusted to the position that is comfortable for the user.

The start is the next feature which you will use. There are two types of start – recoil and electric. All models with electric motors have an electric start. The same is true for many models with gas engines. With an electric start, you will simply have to press the button. With a recoil start, you will have to pull the cord.

The auger has blades for breaking the snow and throwing it up through the chute or to the impeller. The blades can be made from metal, typically steel, or plastic. The larger the auger is the wider the cleaning path of the machine will be.

The chute is a plastic tube which stays on top of the snow blower. It can be rotated to 180 degrees in most cases. Its position is set to determine the direction in which the snow will be blown. The deflector stays on top of the chute. It is like a cap whose position can be adjusted to determine the level of the snow stream.

The single-stage snow blowers have very basic controls allowing you to adjust the position of the chute and deflector. The two-stage machines have more complex controls positioned next to the handle. You can adjust the direction of the machine and its speed.


Each snow blower has a set cleaning path, which is determined on the basis of motor/engine power and auger and scoop size. The cleaning path can be as wide as 30 inches and as deep as 23 inches, but more innovative models may offer even more. Some manufacturers determine the amount of snow a machine can remove per minute. A medium-sized electric model, for instance, can remove up to 650 pounds of snow per minute.

A Final Word

What is a snow blower? Now you know the answer.

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