What Is the Difference Between Single and Two Stage Snow Blowers

GardenerHeaven.com is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Winter is here, and if you live in an area that gets snow, the snow blower seems to be the most useful equipment one can own. Reasons for that are obvious. The question that comes next to mind is, what is a snow blower? And why is it important in this season? It is easy to guess what a snow blower is from the name. A snow blower is simply a piece of equipment used to blow snow out of walkways, driveways, and every other place we don’t want it.

Snowfalls are beautiful, and sometimes seeing them reminds us of the festive season. However, we don’t want snow everywhere such that movement becomes difficult or impossible. And that’s where the snow blower comes in. It can be very tedious and time-consuming to try to remove snow manually. But, with snow blowers, the process becomes easier and is completed in less time.

Here we are going to take a look at what’s the difference between single and two stage snow blowers so you can make the best purchasing decision for your needs. We will also have a look at what factors you need to keep in mind when choosing a snow blower for your use. So without further ado, let’s get right to it!

Single Stage Blower

  • Soft auger – rubber-tipped
  • Auger removes snow forwards along pathway
  • Auger comes in contact with the ground
  • Maximum snow depth is 8 inches
  • Can’t be used on dirt or gravel – only paved surfaces
  • Only for use on slight inclines

Single-stage blowers are compact devices used to clear snow on walkways and pavements. The snow blowing process is achieved in a single stage hence the name single-stage blower. A typical single-stage blower is equipped with a rubber auger and has just sufficient power that it can get rid of light and moderate snow.

This is achieved in a single blow or throw through the chute. A single-stage snow blower can handle snow up to a maximum depth of 8 inches and is only effective on paved surfaces.

Two Stage Blowers

  • Hard auger – completely metal
  • Auger removes snow sideways along pathway
  • Auger never comes in contact with the ground
  • Maximum snow depth is 24 inches
  • Can be used on dirt, gravel, or paved surfaces
  • For use on steep, even inclines

Two-stage blowers are powerful devices that clear snow on various surface types. This is achieved in two stages. The snow is first collected by the auger, which is then transferred to the center of the machine before the impeller propels it out through the chute. The machine generates enough power to clear heavy snow on the driveway or walkway.

Two-stage blowers can effectively take care of snow depth of up to 24 inches. Some high-end two-stage blowers can remove as much as 30 to 40 inches of snow. They also offer greater throwing distance. It is also important to note that you can use two-stage blowers on all surface types, including gravel and dirt surfaces.

Advantages of a Single Blower Over a Two Stage Blower

Cheaper: Single-stage blowers are relatively cheaper than two-stage blowers.

Compact: Single-stage blowers are compact, unlike two-stage blowers that are bigger. This means that they fit into smaller spaces and can be easily carried or operated.

Advantages of a Two Stage Blower Over a Single Blower

More powerful: Two-stage blowers are more powerful than single-stage blowers. Two-stage blowers can blow heavier snow and throw it farther than single-stage blowers.

Suitable for all kinds of surfaces: Two-stage blowers are effective on all kinds of surfaces because of how much power they generate, unlike single-stage blowers that are limited to paved surfaces.

Man clearing driveway with snowblower

Factors to Consider in Choosing a Snow Blower

These are the things you need to keep in mind when selecting the best snow blower for your needs.


Price is an important consideration when buying things, and snow blowers are not an exception. This is because we often have a budget that we don’t like to go beyond. Single-stage snow blowers are more affordable than two-stage blowers. Snow blowers can also be powered by gas or by electricity.

However, due to performance needs which we are still going to consider, two-stage blowers are usually gas-powered. This is because two-stage blowers need to generate enough power for the job they are designed for. Generally, gas-powered snow blowers are more expensive than electric snow blowers.

Performance Needs

This is another critical factor you need to consider when selecting a snowblower. Some of the performance needs include the size of the area you are trying to clear. How large is the area you would like to remove snow from? Also, you may need to look at the type of surface.

As mentioned above, single-stage blowers are only meant for paved surfaces, while two-stage blowers can be used on all kinds of surfaces. Mobility is another performance need that you may want to put into factor. Electric-powered snow blowers are limited in mobility because of connection cables. In contrast, gas-powered snow blowers have the highest mobility.


This is related to performance needs. If you live in areas where the snow is always heavy, you may need to factor this in your choice of snow blower. Likewise, if you only experience light powdery snow, you may not need to get a powerful or heavy snow blower.


Features may be a brand thing. This means that certain features are particular to a specific brand. Some brand designs highlight comfort while others focus on performance. This can be seen in the way their products are designed and how they perform. Some useful features include freehand control, heated handgrips, LED headlights, etc.


Snow blowers are undoubtedly a piece of essential equipment for homes though their use seems to be limited to snow seasons. Depending on the factors discussed above, you may opt for either a single-stage or a two-stage snow blower. Both have relative advantages over one another. Hopefully, our explanation of the differences and benefits between the two has made your choice a lot easier.

Gardener Heaven
Compare items
  • Total (0)