The Difference Between a Snowplow and a Snowblower and When to Use Each

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Last updatedLast updated: May 13, 2021
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As the winter months approach, with a significant amount of snowfall, you are thinking about how to keep the driveway and walkway free from snow. If you want to clear snow, there are some options that come in handy – the snowplow and the snowblower. These are two good tools that can help you get rid of a high amount of snow. The question many then ask is which machine wins the snowplow vs snowblower debate.

Well, both units come with advantages. If you are not looking to do physical labor, both machines can help you get work done without expending plenty of energy. In this post, we will consider what makes each of these machines good options. We will consider the features of each, the drawbacks, and the benefits. In the end, you will be better equipped to decide which of the two machines to buy.

Snowblower

First up is the snowblower. These machines are excellent options that are great for quickly removing snowfall. They are usually powered by electricity or gasoline, a factor that is dependent on the model. The design of these includes different parts that are connected to take in snow and throw it to another location.

The auger is arguably the most important part of this machine. It is this part that works to redirect the snow on the ground. It pulls in the snow and throws it away. There are different types of snow blowers, ranging from the single-stage to the two-stage and even the three-stage snowblower.

Apart from the auger, other factors affect the type of blower that you buy. Some include the width and the power of the engine.

The Difference Between a Snowplow and a Snowblower and When to Use Each

Benefits of snow blowers

There are several reasons to use the snowblower. In this section, we will consider some of the major benefits of this equipment.

Efficient snow removal

If you buy a good quality snow blower, then you will enjoy the advantage of a powerful and forceful machine that can get rid of snow for you. It is a versatile option that can help to remove snow in high amounts or low amounts. Due to the power, you will see that the amount of time spent clearing the area is reduced when you use this machine. It is fitted with wheels and a design that allows it to move through heavy snow.

Easy to move

Although there are several sizes of snow blowers, most of them have a lightweight design that allows you to move them around easily.

While some are heavy, the powerful engines result in machines that are even self-propelling. Therefore, it can move without your help. There are also lighter options that offer you a simple grip on the bars and that will help to remove as much snow as you might encounter.

Plenty of models available

The sheer range of options on the market means that you are likely to find a model that you love. Many of the manufacturers on the market have electric or gas blowers. If you are worried about the environment, you will find the electric options excellent.

If you don’t want to be limited by the length of the cord, then gas models offer you even better mobility. If you have a large or small driveway or area to be cleared, these machines are made in different sizes, so you will find something for everyone.

According to most reviews, the PowerSmart snow blower is one of the easiest and best to use due to the electric start ability.

Drawbacks

While blowers offer good benefits, there are some drawbacks that you should keep in mind. Here we will reveal what to look out for.

Storage options

If you own a snowblower, then you must think about where you want to store it later in the warmer months. No matter where you store it, you have to keep an eye out for the space available. A snowblower does not come as a symmetrical machine, instead, it has bumps, contours, and angles that can make it hard to store in most spaces.

Cost

A snow blower is more expensive than getting a snow shovel. When buying a snowblower, you will likely spend at least $300. And that is without thinking about the repair and maintenance costs.

If you have purchased a gas model, you have to continue buying gasoline and oil to operate the machine. As for electric blowers, you have to do maintenance and pay for the electricity used.

Maintenance

All machines that you buy require some maintenance; however, some require more maintenance than others. Snowblowers need to be regularly maintained so that it doesn’t break down. Furthermore, the average person doesn’t have the DIY skill to repair or replace parts of the machine.

You can learn the basics of snowblower operation from this handy video guide.

Snowplow

The snowplow is equipment that helps you to clear snow. It is designed as a steel or metal blade with a curved middle that allows you to move as much snow as possible.

The snowplow isn’t an independent machine. Instead, it is a piece of equipment that is attached to a machine that moves it.

The snowplow is great if you live somewhere that has an average amount of snowfall and if you cannot expend energy in clearing snow. Since you will have it attached to a vehicle, you will expend very little energy. You simply remain seated, driving the vehicle and removing the snow.

To successfully use the plow, you must have a vehicle that is powerful enough to drive the blade and has enough room to pile the snow.

The Difference Between a Snowplow and a Snowblower and When to Use Each

Benefits

In this section, we will consider some of the reasons why you should consider using this equipment.

Fast and efficient

A snowplow is an excellent option that will ensure the fast removal of a large amount of snow. If the plow is made of metal or some other durable material, it can remove snow of great depths, entirely removing the snow from the ground.

Can be attached to a vehicle

This is one of the best reasons to use the snowplow. It can be attached to a vehicle. If you are thinking of using a snow plow, then you should have a vehicle that has the power to carry the plow and the horsepower to lift snow while moving.

For most people that use the snowplow, they often attach it to a 4-wheel drive as it offers loads of power. The fact that it is used with vehicles that you already have reduces the costs of maintenance.

Little physical effort

If you are looking to expend as little energy as possible, then the snowplow is just right for you. No matter the type of vehicle that you attach the plow to, you are likely going to operate it while seated. Therefore, all you need to do is steer the vehicle, lower and raise the plow, and drive the vehicle – all of which require minimal physical force.

Powerful

The simple design of this equipment means that you have something that can deal with different amounts of snow. If you have heavy snowfall, you’ll discover that this offers a greater ability to handle this type of snow over the other options available.

With a single sweep of the plow, you can remove so much snow. It can help you to move more than four feet of snow at a go.

Users have selected the MotoAlliance DENALI Snow Plow as one of the best, especially for ATV vehicles.

Drawbacks

While there are several reasons to choose this type of equipment, there are some drawbacks to using it.

Size

One of the biggest disadvantages is the size. It is often large and bulky. This will affect where you store the equipment. You certainly cannot leave it outdoors for fear it will corrode and become useless.

Regulations

Before you can use the plow, you have to get the approval of the city council. Some places will let you use the plow, while others view it as hazardous.

For large areas

If you need a large vehicle for moving the plow, then it must be a large area that you want to clear.

Here’s a video guide on how to snowplow with a vehicle.

Side-by-side comparison

 Snow PlowSnow Blower
DepthUp to 4ftLess than 2ft
VisibilityReducedGood Visibility
CostVery ExpensiveCheaper
Size LargeCompact
TimeFastSlower

Things to consider when choosing

Some things to consider when making a decision on whether to use the blower or the plow are pointed out below.

Cost

The snowblower is often more affordable than the plow. With the plow, you must buy a truck or vehicle if you don’t already have one.

Driveway length

If your driveway is short, then the relatively compact blower would be a better option. If you have a large space, then a snowplow will let you do the work faster.

Type of snow

If your region suffers from heavy snowfall, then the power offered by the snowplow might serve you better.

Final Thoughts

We have come to the end of the snowplow vs snowblower analysis. When choosing the type of equipment to use, you should consider factors such as the average snowfall, the size of the area needing clearing, and so on. Use this post to make the right choice.

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