Snow Blower vs Snow Thrower: What’s the Difference?
Wintertime, some people love it, some, not so much. The white stuff starts falling from the sky and you know it’s time to start breaking your back to move it out of the way, or do you really? Why not buy a Snow Blower?
Or, do you need a Snow Thrower?
Is there a difference between a thrower and a blower?
The answer is yes, a big one!
The Type of Snow
Before you figure out the differences and which one you need, you should think about the type of snow that you typically get in any given winter. Is it an occasional, light fluffy, dusting off a snowfall? Or do you get the bury your car and never see the ground again for a month, freezes, thaws, and freezes again, nightmare? The answer to this question is monumental and will help discern the biggest differences between the two.
If you usually only get the light, fluffy stuff, 6 inches or less, then the thrower would be your best option. Typically, they are not as powerful and cannot handle a real deep pile, nor can it handle heavy wet and icy snowfalls.
The thrower literally does that; it throws the snow in one fell swoop using an auger that is made of hard rubber or plastic and kicks it out a chute. The auger gets all the way to the ground and is better suited for hard surfaces, that is why it is made of those materials as it will not damage the pavement. They are called “single stage” snow throwers.
These beasts are what you need to get if you suddenly find yourself having a typical winter similar to the Antarctic. They can handle heavy, sticky, icy, snow due to the fact of being more powerful, usually larger, and gas powered. Like the thrower, the blower will pick the snow up with an auger, but then it passes it onto an impeller, which is like a huge fan, that blows the snow a greater distance. These are called “two-stage” snow blowers. Being two stage will give you the ability to remove more snow at a faster rate. The auger is made of metal and never completely touches the ground, so these are better for gravel driveways and yards, however, they will leave a thin layer of snow/ice behind.
Snow throwers are smaller, lighter and are better for clearing patios, driveways, etc. Being that they are smaller, you will need to make a few more passes to clear the area. They will provide you a little help moving forward because the rotation of the auger is going to pull you forward, almost like a self-driven machine, no help going backward, though. You can find them as electric and gas models. When talking about the electric types, there are corded and cordless ones. The battery power means there are no extension cords being dragged around in the wet snow.
Snow blowers are almost entirely gas driven, and they are much better if you are dealing with larger yards, patios, or the driveway that gets blocked when the snowplow drives by. Most of them have wheels that are being powered by the engine; this will assist you if you have an uneven yard. Being larger, depending on the size you get, you may have problems getting them through gates or down thinner sidewalks, however.
Maintenance and Price
As you can imagine, the bigger blower is going to be much more expensive than the lightweight thrower. The thrower is going to be easier to keep in storage unless you have a huge garage for the blower, which can be as large as a lawn tractor. The blower will also have many more maintenance requirements; they are going to require gas, of course, oil changes, filter changes, spark plugs, etc.
The thrower is not without its problems; however, batteries will run out and eventually need to be replaced, and they could possibly burn out if you attempt to use them on too heavy of a snowfall. The auger having direct contact with the ground could pose a dangerous situation if used on a gravel surface, it could send projectiles into the air.
Now that you have a better understanding of the difference between a thrower and a blower, you just need to decide, what kind of snow you usually have, how big of an area, and what kind of surface do you need to clear, plus the amount of money you are willing to spend for the correct equipment.