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Snow Blower Showdown: Single-Stage vs. Dual-Stage Snow Blowers

Shoveling snow can be a hassle, especially after a major blizzard. Fortunately, a snow blower can clear off large amounts of snow quickly and efficiently. The two most popular models are single- and dual-stage throwers. Both have useful capabilities, but each has its own unique qualities that are worth exploring. Here are some pros and cons to consider before choosing between a single- or dual-stage snow blower.

Single-Stage Snow Blowers Dual-Stage Snow Blowers

Intake Height


Clearing Width



Light and medium useHeavy-duty use


Smooth surfaces onlySmooth and uneven surfaces

Standard Cost

More affordableLess affordable

Single-Stage Snow Blowers

Advantages of Single-Stage Snow Blowers

  • Compact size - This model isn't as bulky as a commercial snow blower, which makes it easy to store in a garage or shed.
  • Affordable - Since it's typically compact, a single-stage snow blower is much more affordable than a larger, dual-stage model.
  • Clearing small or medium-sized properties - This device is perfect for suburban-style homes that might see less than a foot of accumulation.
Limitations of Single-Stage Snow Blowers
  • Unable to clear gravel surfaces - This type of thrower can't clear uneven surfaces or gravel driveways because its auger touches the ground. Running a single-stage device over gravel can damage the auger and the rest of the machine.
  • Handling large snowfalls - A single-stage snow blower struggles when clearing a foot or more of snow.
  • Average throwing capacity - If you have a driveway that's long and wide, this blower might struggle at throwing snow completely off the pavement. It's normally suitable for medium or small driveways so the snow can reach your lawn.
  • Can wear down with frequent use - While its auger is made of hard, durable rubber, a single-stage device can wear down over time with heavy use.

Dual-Stage Snow Blowers

Advantages of Dual-Stage Snow Blowers

  • Handles high accumulation - A dual-stage blower can throw snow drifts above a foot, which is ideal in areas with consistently high accumulation.
  • Durability - This type of blower is made with high-grade materials and a steel auger blade that can handle repeated use and difficult conditions. A dual-stage machine is also strong enough to withstand the rigors of professional snow removal jobs.
  • Snow throwing - A dual-stage snow blower operates using a separate impeller behind the auger, which helps throw snow farther than a single-stage model.
Limitations of a dual-stage snow blower
  • Price - Since it's made of durable materials, a dual-stage model costs more than many of its counterparts.
  • Bulky size - This type of device is large and heavy, meaning it will take up more space in your shed or garage.