Single vs. Two-Stage: What Snowblower is Right For You? Thumbnail image

It’s never too early to start thinking about snow removal. As we enjoy the beautiful fall colors, the monochrome of winter is close behind. Getting caught without a way to clear your driveway and walkway can throw an entire week off-balance. Be prepared this winter, by figuring out what style of snowblower is right for you.

Determining Your Snowblower Style

Yes, there are different kinds of snowblowers out there. From the rusty shovel in your garage to the industrial models used for commercial clearing, snowblowers have a wide spectrum. For small to large residential jobs, the single-stage snowblower and the two-stage are ideal.


Where you live and the amount (and type) of snow you are looking to move should factor into your snowblower choice. Single-stage snowblowers have less horsepower and smaller wheels but are maneuverable and compact. The single-stage breaks up snow and moves it up the chute without assistance, resulting in less power and throwing distance. Single-stage blowers take up less gas/need to be charged less and also tend to be lighter and cheaper than two-stagers. For a milder-winter area that sees powdery snow from 1-5 inches, single-stage is an excellent option.


Two-stage snowblowers are meant for more rugged jobs. Often two-stage blowers will have larger, drive-assisted wheels with traction for steep inclines and in versatile environments. The auger on a two-stage does not touch the ground, so it can be used on gravel or other loose materials. The auger in this style machine feeds snow into a fan near the engine that propels the snow out of the chute and further away. This allows the machine to move larger amounts of snow, and snow that is wet or icy. Although the price tag is heftier, so is the power they bring to the table. These machines are best suited for areas with harsher winters that regularly get over 6 inches of snow.

Curating to Your Needs

Although there are suggested environments to use each of these machines in, it’s all about what you are comfortable with. Toro and Ariens make an excellent selection of snowblowers for all your winter needs. The Power Clear series from Toro offers electric as well as gasoline-powered models, with a variety of features and power levels to tackle snow clearing up to 9 inches. Ariens’ SNO-THRO series offers a wide variety of two-stage options, like the Ariens Deluxe 30 SNO-THRO. Varying horsepower allows you to choose how much punch you want to bring to the powder, and sturdy construction ensure that they are built to last. Both companies make their machines with superior quality in mind.

We’re Here to Help

Whether you are clearing a sidewalk or a mile-long driveway, you can browse all of our models at Minnesota Equipment to find your perfect match. Our helpful staff and large selection will get you prepared for winter. Find the Minnesota Equipment dealer closest to you and come in today.