Using a snowblower to clear a light dusting of snow is ineffective; there should be at least two inches of snow on the ground before you pull out your snow blower.
Similarly, different types of snow blowers can only handle a certain amount of snow before they can’t clear anymore. It’s best to consider the amount of snow you typically get and how much area you need to clear before making a purchase.
Why Is Two Inches The Minimum Amount Of Snow To Use A Snowblower?
If you try to use a snowblower to clear less than two inches of snow, there’s a good chance the snowblower won’t be able to pick it up. You’re better off either waiting until the snow gets higher, or using a shovel carefully to remove the snow.
Once the snow gets above three inches, a snow blower will be the easiest way to get it cleared away.
When Is It Worth Getting A Snow Blower?
Having a snow blower is a worthy investment if you have to clear snow on your own. If you only have a small driveway or a walkway to clear, you might be able to get away with just a shovel.
However, a snow blower makes clearing snow much faster and it doesn’t require you to use as much labor to get the job done.
How Do I Know What Type Of Snow Blower I Should Get?
You want to factor in how much snow you typically get in your particular area before buying a snow blower. You also want to take into account how much space you need to clear, as well as the texture and surface level of your space.
For example, some snow blowers won’t work on gravel, and some might be harder to push up a hill. There are three stages of snow blowers that you can choose from that have different capabilities.
How Much Snow Can A Single Stage Snow Blower Clear?
A single stage snow blower is the smallest type of snow blower, and they can either be powered by electricity, batteries, or gas. Since they are more compact and lightweight, they can usually only clear about 8 inches of snow at the most.
Some models are said to be able to clear between 10 and 12 inches of snow, but it’s a stretch. Single stage snow blowers are good if you don’t typically get large snowfalls, and they work well in small areas like decks and pathways, as well as flat driveways.
How Much Snow Can A 2 Stage Snow Blower Clear?
A two stage snow blower is more heavy duty, and they are operated by gas. The two stage snow blower is one of the most popular choices, given that it can clear a decent amount of snow.
A two stage snow blower can typically clear between 12 and 16 inches of snow. Some may even be able to clear up to 18 inches of snow. They can also maneuver much better on uneven terrains. Furthermore, they can clear a larger area in less time.
A two stage snow blower usually has a self propelling component, meaning that there is less strain on your arms and back to gain momentum when pushing the snow blower.
How Much Snow Can A 3 Stage Snow Blower Clear?
The three stage snow blower is more heavy duty than other models. If you have a very large area to clear or see regular flurries of a lot of snow, a three stage snow blower is ideal.
A three stage snow blower can usually clear about 20 inches of snow easily. If there are chunks of ice in the snow, it’ll be able to clear that easily as well. A three stage snow blower is also self propelled so, even though the machine itself weighs a lot, it is fairly simple to maneuver.
Can A Snow Blower Clear Ice?
Snow blowers unfortunately aren’t the best methods to use for clearing ice. You have to be extremely careful with the machine or you could end up causing a lot of damage. Plus, you may not even end up clearing the ice.
Most snow blowers won’t clear ice partially because it’s a really hard surface, but it also tends to be thin.
Can A Snow Blower Clear Chunks Of Ice In A Snow Pile?
If there are some chunks of ice throughout the snow you are clearing, if you have a two stage or three stage snow blower, you should be able to plow through that ice with no issues. A single stage snow blower probably won’t make the ice budge.
If you have any issues plowing your snow blower through the ice, you can take the end of your shovel and break it up a bit. Crushing the ice into smaller chunks should allow the snow blower to pick it up with ease.
Can A Snow Blower Clear Slush?
A snow blower is efficient for clearing slush and wet snow, but you want to do so carefully. It can be heavy, so shoveling it can be difficult.
You will want to take it a little bit slower than you would moving regular snow being that it is so dense. Going too fast could cause the slush to get stuck in your snow blower or it’ll just blow to the side rather than out of the way.
What Is The Best Way To Clear Snow?
When you’re using a snowblower, you want to start clearing snow in the middle of the driveway or space that you are clearing. You will then go up and down the area until you are at one end. Once you reach the end, you can then go back to the middle and move the opposite way.
When you start, once you get to the bottom of the area, you want to turn around and continue back up the area in the opposite direction. This will help you clear snow more efficiently.
Hi, I’m John Stephens, chief editor and writer for Totalgardener.com. I’ve been gardening and raising animals for over 15 years starting with a small backyard plot in Northern Virginia where I grew corn, potatoes, squash, and using a high mulch technique called the Ruth Stout Method. I also raised ducks and small mammals for meat and eggs in a movable pen similar to the ones used by Joel Salatin. I later moved to Colorado where I experimented with growing greens using aquaponics inside. I eventually added a microgreens setup and home sprouting operation. I’m excited to share everything I’ve learned plus more from the other local gardening and animal raising experts I know.