How to Choose the Best Snow Thrower
Several years ago, I bought my first snow blower for my first house. Before purchase, I had researched different snow throwers, because I had never used one or owned one, and we did not have them at home when I was a kid. I had several main criteria in mind, so that I could match the snow thrower to my needs.
- Power, which translates into how deep the snow would get before it would need to be removed, what kind of snow the machine could handle (heavy or fluffy), and how much area would need to cleared. A single stage machine was right for me. I have a cement driveway, about 150 feet long and generally one car wide. If it was gravel, I would have considered two-stage snow throwers. Single-stage means there is one spinning rotor that both collects the snow and throws it out through the chute. These machines are less powerful than two-stage snow throwers that have an auger to collect the snow, and an impeller to throw it.
- Weight of the machine was also important. It needed to be light enough that I could lift it, and even hang it on the wall for storage.
- Fuel source. The choices were gasoline or electric. I chose an electric snow thrower because I have grounded outlets in the garage and house that are right next to the driveway, and because I wouldn’t have to deal with gasoline in the cold.
As for the power cord, I discovered the type that has an all-weather coating. These stay flexible in cold weather, an added convenience when using the snow thrower. In the end, I selected the Toro 1800 electric snow thrower. It can handle the type of snow I get most often. Unless you match your needs to a product, in my experience, it is likely that you will be dissatisfied with your purchase.
My biggest challenge throwing snow was learning how to deal with the prevailing wind. It blows across my driveway, and I was not going to be able to throw snow in that direction. So I had to develop my clearing pattern to throw down the driveway most of the time, while avoiding a bath in snow, covering the neighbor’s driveway, and filling up my own driveway after I just cleared a section.
After several winters using this snow thrower, it was worth the time and effort to research the products, choose the best one suited to my needs, and learn now to use it. This electric snow thrower is a lot faster than using a shovel, and a lot less work.