You know that the snow thrower is a machine which is used for removing snow. The same is true about the snow blower. If you look at machines labeled with the two different names, you will inevitably see the similarities especially in their features. It is natural to ask yourself whether these terms are used interchangeably or to denote two different things. Let me shed some light on the matter.
Snow Thrower and Snow Blower
The two terms are used absolutely interchangeably by both users and retailers. They are often used to interchangeably by manufacturers as well. However, this use is actually not quite accurate. There is a difference between a snow thrower and a blower that you should be aware of. It comes from the way in which the respective machine operates and more precisely from whether it has single stage or two-stage operation.
What Is the Difference?
You are certainly familiar with the fact that the machines for snow removal fall in two major categories – single stage and two-stage. Let’s take a look at how the single stage machine works. The scoop front part picks up the snow and the auger breaks it into smaller chunks. Then the auger throws the snow directly into the chute. The snow is expelled from the chute. Since the auger throws the snow, it is logical to call this machine a snow thrower. This is exactly what it does.
Now let’s take a look at the operation of the two-stage machine. It also has a scoop which picks up the snow and an auger which breaks it into smaller pieces. The auger delivers the snow to an impeller, an additional part which single stage machines do not have. The job of the impeller is to suck the snow in and to blow it through the chute. Hence the two-stage machine is typically referred to as a snow blower.
As you can see, the difference between a snow thrower and a snow blower is a significant one. At the same time, it is actually very simple to understand. Given the main difference between the two, some additional yet essential differences can be noted. It is worth looking at them as well.
The single stage snow thrower is typically more compact and lighter than the two-stage snow blower. Hence, it has a smaller cleaning path. The average single-stage machine can deal with mild to moderately heavy snowfalls. It is recommended for use on paved surfaces only. This is because the thrower uses its auger to move forward. As the auger touches the ground it may pick small stones or pieces of gravel. The two-stage machines, on the other hand, have driven wheels used for moving forward and backward and an auger which does not touch the ground.
The single stage thrower can have an electric motor or a gas engine. The two-stage snow blowers require more power so they are equipped with gas engines only. Hence, if you decide to go for a single-stage thrower, you can readily choose between a model with an electric motor and one with gas engine.
The average electric snow thrower is less powerful than the average one with a gas engine. However, it does not require any maintenance whatsoever. It is super easy to start. It does not produce any harmful gas emissions. It has no carbon footprint. Hence, it is safe for the environment. Its main drawback is that its cleaning range is limited by the extension cord used to connect it to an electrical outlet. The gas models, on the other hand, require some maintenance and care, but they are more powerful and have higher cleaning capacity. They can remove more snow in a single minute. Besides, there are no range limitations for them.
Finding Your Way when Shopping
Even though technically there are differences between the snow thrower and the snow blower, the two terms are widely used interchangeably by manufacturers, sellers and users. That is why you should check specifically whether the model has a single stage or two-stage operation. It is not that important whether it is given one title or the other. Take a careful look at the motor/engine and all other important features such as the chute, the wheels, the steering handle and the controls.
Now you know more about the snow thrower and the snow blower so you can shop with confidence.