What Are Five Things To Consider When Purchasing A Snow Blower?

So, you’re thinking about buying a snow blower but not quite sure where to start? No worries, we’ve got you covered! In this article, we’ll break down five important factors to keep in mind when making this investment. From the size and power of the blower to its clearing capacity and maintenance requirements, we’ll help you navigate through the options and find the perfect snow blower for your needs. With winter just around the corner, it’s time to grab a hot drink, get cozy, and let us guide you through the process of finding your ultimate snow-clearing companion.

Power Source

When it comes to choosing a snow blower, one of the first things you need to consider is the power source. Snow blowers are available in two main types: electric and gas-powered.

Electric snow blowers are usually lighter and quieter than their gas-powered counterparts. They are also more eco-friendly, as they produce zero emissions. Electric snow blowers are typically corded or cordless. Corded electric snow blowers are limited by the length of the power cord, while cordless snow blowers are powered by rechargeable batteries, offering more freedom of movement.

On the other hand, gas-powered snow blowers are typically more powerful and better suited for heavy-duty snow clearing. They often have larger engines, allowing them to handle deeper snow and more challenging terrain. Gas-powered snow blowers do require regular maintenance and refueling with gasoline, but they offer the advantage of not being limited by battery life or the length of a power cord.

Clearing Width

The clearing width of a snow blower refers to the size of the area that can be cleared with each pass. This is an important consideration, as it directly affects the time and effort required to clear a given area.

The size of the area you need to clear should be taken into account when choosing the clearing width of your snow blower. If you have a small driveway or walkway, a snow blower with a narrower path width may suffice. However, if you have a larger area to clear, a wider clearing width will help you get the job done more efficiently.

Snow blowers are available in both single-stage and two-stage models. Single-stage snow blowers are generally lighter and more maneuverable, making them suitable for smaller areas with less snowfall. Two-stage snow blowers, on the other hand, are more powerful and can handle larger amounts of snow. They are equipped with an auger that feeds the snow into an impeller, which throws the snow out of the chute.

Snow Throw Distance

Another important factor to consider is the snow throw distance of the snow blower. This refers to how far the snow is thrown from the machine after it is cleared. The snow throw distance is influenced by factors such as the size and power of the machine, as well as the design of the adjustable chute.

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A snow blower with a longer throwing distance can be especially helpful if you need to clear snow from a large area or have limited space to pile the snow. It allows you to direct the snow away from the cleared area and prevent it from accumulating in unwanted places.

An adjustable chute is a key feature to look for in a snow blower, as it allows you to control the direction in which the snow is thrown. Being able to adjust the chute’s angle and rotate it left or right gives you more flexibility when clearing snow and helps to ensure that the snow is thrown where you want it to go.

Ease of Use

Snow blowers can vary in terms of weight and maneuverability. The weight of the machine can affect how easy it is to handle and maneuver, particularly if you have a large area to clear or if you need to navigate around obstacles. It’s important to choose a snow blower that you can comfortably handle without straining yourself.

The start mechanism of a snow blower is another aspect to consider. Some snow blowers have electric start mechanisms, while others require manual pulling of a recoil starter. Electric start mechanisms tend to be easier and more convenient, as they eliminate the need for hard pulls. However, keep in mind that electric starters may require a power source or a charged battery.

The handlebar height and grips of a snow blower are also worth paying attention to. Adjustable handlebars can be beneficial, as they allow you to find a comfortable operating position. Additionally, ergonomically designed grips can help reduce fatigue and provide a better grip, especially when working in cold and slippery conditions.

Maintenance

Before purchasing a snow blower, it’s essential to consider the maintenance requirements involved in its operation. Different snow blowers may have different maintenance needs, so it’s important to understand what is required to keep your machine running smoothly.

The fuel type is a significant consideration for gas-powered snow blowers. Ensure that the machine is compatible with the type of fuel available in your area, whether it’s regular unleaded gasoline or a fuel mix. Understanding the fuel requirements will help you plan for refueling and ensure the longevity of your snow blower.

Regular oil changes are essential to maintaining the engine’s performance and prolonging the lifespan of your snow blower. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for oil type and frequency of oil changes. Neglecting oil changes can lead to engine damage and reduced efficiency.

Spark plug replacement is another maintenance task to keep in mind. Over time, spark plugs can become worn or fouled, resulting in difficulty starting the snow blower or poor engine performance. Regularly checking and replacing spark plugs when necessary will help keep your snow blower running smoothly.

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Price and Budget

As with any significant purchase, it’s important to consider your budget when choosing a snow blower. Snow blowers can vary widely in price, depending on factors such as power, features, and brand reputation.

Price ranges can start from affordable options for smaller electric snow blowers and increase as you move towards larger, more powerful gas-powered models. It’s essential to find a balance between your budget and the specific features and power needed for your snow clearing needs.

In addition to the initial cost, it’s important to consider the cost of operation. For gas-powered snow blowers, this includes fuel expenses, oil changes, and potential maintenance costs. Electric snow blowers may have lower operational costs since they do not require fuel or oil changes, but keep in mind the potential cost of replacing batteries or other electrical components.

Considering the warranty offered by the manufacturer is also important. A longer warranty duration can provide peace of mind and indicate the manufacturer’s confidence in the durability and reliability of the snow blower.

Terrain and Snowfall

The terrain and the amount of snowfall in your area play a significant role in determining the type of snow blower that will best suit your needs.

If you have a relatively flat and even terrain, a lighter and more maneuverable snow blower may be sufficient. However, if you have a hilly or uneven terrain, it’s important to choose a snow blower with enough power and traction to handle the conditions. Features such as adjustable skid shoes and tires with good traction can help navigate challenging terrain.

The amount of snowfall in your area is a key factor in determining the size and power of the snow blower you will need. If you typically experience light to moderate snowfall, a smaller and less powerful snow blower may be suitable. However, if you frequently face heavy and deep snow, a more heavy-duty, two-stage snow blower with a larger engine will be more effective in clearing the snow.

Consider the specific snow conditions in your area as well. Wet and heavy snow can be more challenging to clear, requiring more power and a robust snow blower. Lightweight and fluffy snow, on the other hand, may not require as much power and can be effectively cleared with a smaller snow blower.

Noise Level

The noise level of a snow blower is an important consideration, both for your own comfort and for your neighbors. Some neighborhoods may have noise restrictions or quiet hours that need to be observed.

Snow blowers are typically measured for noise output in decibels (dB). Look for snow blowers with lower decibel ratings, as they will produce less noise during operation. Quiet snow blowers can make the task of clearing snow more enjoyable, and they can help you maintain good relationships with your neighbors.

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It’s important to consider the noise level not only in terms of the snow blower’s general operation but also the noise produced when throwing snow. Some snow blowers may produce more noise when the snow is being thrown through the chute. Checking customer reviews and manufacturer specifications can provide insights into the noise levels of different models.

Accessories

When choosing a snow blower, you may want to consider the available accessories that can enhance its functionality and convenience.

A headlight is a handy accessory, especially if you often find yourself clearing snow in low-light conditions or early in the morning or evening when visibility is limited. A built-in headlight can illuminate your path and help you navigate safely, ensuring that you don’t miss any spots while clearing.

Heated handlebars are another accessory worth considering, particularly if you live in an area with very cold temperatures. Heated handlebars can provide comfort and warmth during prolonged periods of snow clearing, making the task more enjoyable and reducing the risk of frostbite or discomfort.

Drift cutters are attachments that can be added to some snow blowers. They help to create a clean and defined path by removing snow drifts that form along the sides of your driveway or walkway. If you frequently experience heavy drifting snow, drift cutters can be a valuable addition to your snow blower.

Brand Reputation

Brand reputation can be an important factor in your decision-making process when purchasing a snow blower. Choosing a snow blower from a reputable brand can provide you with confidence in the quality and reliability of the product.

Consider the brand’s reputation for reliability. Look for brands that are known for producing durable machines that can withstand the demands of snow clearing season after season. Reading customer reviews and researching the brand’s history and reputation can give you insights into the reliability of their products.

Customer support is another aspect to consider. Evaluate the brand’s customer service and the availability of support resources such as manuals, troubleshooting guides, and spare parts. Reliable customer support can make a difference in case you encounter any issues or have questions during the ownership of your snow blower.

A brand with a long history in the industry may indicate their experience and commitment to producing high-quality snow blowers. Established brands often have a wealth of knowledge and expertise in snow clearing, which can translate into well-designed and reliable machines.

In conclusion, purchasing a snow blower requires careful consideration of various factors. From power source and clearing width to ease of use, maintenance, and budget, each aspect plays a crucial role in finding the right snow blower for your needs. Taking into account the specific terrain, snowfall, noise restrictions, and possible accessories can further help you make an informed decision. Lastly, considering a reputable brand can give you confidence in the reliability and longevity of your chosen snow blower. By weighing all these factors, you can ensure that you invest in a snow blower that will efficiently and effectively clear snow, making winter maintenance a breeze.