Are 3 Stage Snow Blowers Worth It?
Clearing the snow from your drive in frozen temperatures is not a fun job, and you might be considering a snow blower to make life that little bit easier. You may have heard all the buzz surrounding a 3-stage snow blower and how they can clear snow up to 30% faster than a regular snow blower, but are the features on a 3-stage blower worth the extra investment?
Things to Consider Before Purchase
Before even considering if a 3-stage snow blower is a right choice for you, you will first have to decide if you need a snow blower at all. One of the most important factors to consider is how often you get snow; then there is the size of the area that needs clearing as well as storage being an important factor.
Different Types of Snow Blower
Now we will look at the other types of snow blowers that you will come across on the market so you can make an informed decision on a 3-stage blower.
The first type is an electric snow shovel which is lightweight in design and best for smaller areas that get occasional light snow cover. Electric snow shovels are also great for those that are elderly or have difficulty in handling a more heavy-duty machine.
A step up from the electric snow shovel is the electric snow blower. These are bigger machines and can cover much larger areas clearing deeper snow in a quicker amount of time.
If you happen to be on a snow belt, a gas snow blower may be ideal for the job. Gas snow blowers are heavy duty machines that make light work of clearing deep snow over larger areas. These types of snow blowers are the most powerful available.
The Right Type of Snow Blower
When choosing the right type of snow blower, there are certain characteristics that you should give important consideration too, as it will make the difference in terms of how fast you will complete the job.
It goes without saying that if you have a larger area to clear, you will want to complete this is in as little time as possible and therefore spend less time in the elements being susceptible to freezing temperatures.
You should consider the clearance width of the machine because having a wider clearance area will mean you will have to make fewer passes and it may even be worth calculating the size of your driveway to determine how many passes you will have to make.
The intake height is also important, and you should always aim to use a snow blower that is slightly taller than the amount of snow you are expecting to receive during heavy snowfall. By not doing so this will again require more passes.
Single, Two or Three Stage Machines.
If you want an electric snow blower your only option will be the single stage. A single stage snow blower contains a single auger which collects the snow and passes it through the chute.
A two-stage snow blower is bigger and more powerful and as well as the auger, they also have an impeller. The impeller acts much like a fan and sucks the snow from the auger through the chute. Two-stage snow blowers will usually have a wider intake and higher intake area and therefore will be a lot more efficient.
With a 3-stage blower, you will also get an accelerator which really makes a difference as it plows through the deepest of snow with ease. The accelerator is the main difference between a 2-stage blower and a 3-stage.
Of course, a 3-stage snow blower might be more than what is needed for some, however, it is ideal if you get a lot of heavy wet snowfall. Heavy snow is generally considered to be around 12-24 inches. 3-stage snow blowers will undoubtedly be the best machines for clearing snow however you will also have to consider the price. Basic models will start at just over $1000 all the way up to over $2000.
Is a 3-stage snow blower worth the price? Many consumers and professional reviewers agree yes, they are if you are putting them to work on a regular basis and live in an area that gets a lot of heavy snow.