Single-Stage vs Two-Stage Snow Blowers: The Difference and When to Use Each

Nora Held
Nora Held
Research Writer
Apart from being our main writer, Nora also works for a number of gardening-related sites and magazines, sharing her experience as an owner of a small farm in North Carolina read more
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Bruce Williams
Bruce Williams
Expert Consultant
Bruce owns a small farm and loves to grill since his early childhood. He’s a professional cook, but hiking and enjoying the great outdoors is his no less favorite part of read more
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Choosing a snowblower Trusted Source Snow blower - Wikipedia snow blower or snow thrower is a machine for removing snow from an area where it is problematic, such as a driveway, sidewalk, roadway, railroad track, ice rink, or runway. can be a tricky thing if you don’t know what to look out for. You might need a snow blower if you have just moved to a colder region, or if you want a means of removing snow in your vicinity without putting a lot of stress on your body. Apart from deciding whether you need a snowblower, another thing that is involved in choosing a snow blower is deciding the stage that you want. In this single stage vs two stage snow blower review, we will consider the similarities and differences between the two.

We will consider the features of the two, the pros and cons, and other important features. In the end, you will be able to decide whether to choose the single-stage or the two-stage snowblower.

What is the single stage snow blower?

If you live somewhere that doesn’t have heavy snowfall, then a single-stage snow blower is likely the right type of snowblower for you. These appliances are easy to use and are great for beginners. In their operation, they clear the snow all to the ground, making sure you don’t have to disturb yourself by using a shovel later after you have blown the snow.

Single-Stage vs Two-Stage Snow Blowers: The Difference and When to Use Each

How do they work?

The single-stage snow blower is so described due to its having a single auger. The auger that is found here serves two purposes. First, it works to draw in the snow, then works to toss the snow out of the blower and out of the path you have cleared.

Because of this mechanism, you will discover that these machines are self-propelling in most cases.


There are several advantages to using this type of snowblower. For one, it works pretty well on light snow below 8″ in height.

Another benefit is that these machines use a reduced amount of power due to the single auger system. Therefore, they can be powered by electricity or gas. With an electric model, you don’t have to do a lot of work in terms of maintenance.

As they are light and compact in form, you will find them easier to move around small paths and areas. You can also lift them easily.

The front auger of the single-stage snowblower lays more level on the ground, which will make your work look so much neater.

Finally, they are affordable machines.

Reviews from many users describe the Snow Joe SJ625E as one of the best single stage snow blowers on the market due to its compact form, affordability, and overall performance.


Although there are numerous advantages to using these machines, there are some drawbacks.

For one, if you live somewhere that experiences a lot of snowfall regularly, then you might find these machines insufficient. If where you stay also has a lot of heavy, wet snow, then you might be better served by some other machine.

If the model is electric, you might be limited by the cord length and availability of an electrical outlet.

If you want to clear snow on an uneven surface, you will find it challenging to use this machine.

Two-stage snow blower

The two-stage snow blower is the other type of snowblower. The name comes from the design. Here you have two augers that help you to deal with the snow. There are three-stage snow blowers, which have three augers.

In the two-stage snow blower, one of the augers will cut, chop, and draw in the snow, while the other auger expels the snow from the machine and away from the cleared path.

Single-Stage vs Two-Stage Snow Blowers: The Difference and When to Use Each


There are numerous advantages to using these machines. They are relatively powerful models that can handle snow that is up to two feet deep. They also come with relatively wide augers that will let them cater to large areas.

Due to the design, they are powerful options that can throw snow up to 50 feet away. Therefore, they can handle different types of snow seasons.

The auger is not flush with the ground, which means that it is great for uneven surfaces. You can use it on different surfaces, including gravel surfaces.

As they are heavy machines, they are usually designed as self-propelling units. Therefore, you might find it easier to use than expected.

In terms of power and efficiency, you will certainly have a great time with these. The S1024 from Briggs & Stratton is one of the best two-stage snow blowers according to most users. It offers a freehand control and power that is unmatched by many others on the market.


There are numerous models of two-stage snow blowers; however, there are no electric models. This is because they require so much power that only gas can power them economically.

Because they are gas-powered, they are not particularly great for the environment. They have their emissions.

Another drawback is the size. They are often bulky, which means that you cannot use them in narrow spaces or small driveways. You might find them tricky to store. If it lacks self-propulsion, the weight might make it difficult to move around.

As the auger is not flush with the ground, you might have some snow left behind, especially on even surfaces.

Side-by-side comparison

  One Stage Snow Blower Two Stage Snow Blower
Number of augers 1 2
Power source Electric/ Gas Powered Gas Powered
Best for Light Snowfall Heavy Snowfall
Power Less Powerful More Powerful
Snow clearing depth Up to 8” Up to 2 Feet
Snow toss distance 30 Feet 50 Feet
Auger design Flush Angled

Which is better?

Considering the differences between the two types of snow blowers, which is better for you? Well, to know the better option, you have to consider the type of weather that your area commonly faces. If the region suffers from heavy snowfall frequently, then the two-stage snow blower is an excellent option. This machine offers more durability and power. However, it is the more expensive of the two.

Final thoughts

We hope that this single stage vs two stage snow blower review has cleared up any doubts or questions that you might have concerning the two types of snow blowers. By considering the features, benefits, and drawbacks of the two, you can choose the best snow blower for your needs.


Snow blower - Wikipedia
snow blower or snow thrower is a machine for removing snow from an area where it is problematic, such as a driveway, sidewalk, roadway, railroad track, ice rink, or runway.
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