No one enjoys shoveling snow off their driveway first thing on a weekday morning. Getting your car free from the dreaded white stuff is a real chore.
We rate the best two-stage snow blowers for performance and power, comparing them against single-stage models. Do yourself a favor and ditch the shovel.
- 369 cc engine
- Heated handle
- 30 inch plowing path
- 212 cc engine
- Lightweight at 148.8 lbs
- Adjustable speeds
- 196 cc engine
- Serrated auger
- 22-inch plowing clearance
- Powerful 208 cc motor
- Anti-reversible skid shoes
- Includes reliable gearbox
- 301 cc engine
- 30 feet throwing distance
- Power turn steering
What Is a Two-Stage Snow Blower?
A two-stage snow blower uses an auger as well as an impeller to clear large drifts of snow from your yard or driveway. It differs from a single-stage machine because the auger scoops up the snow, and the impeller projects it out of the exhaust port.
The two-stage action enables you to shift heavier snow dumps, unlike a single-stage blower that relies on the auger alone. For this reason, two-stage machines are recommended if you live in an area that regularly sees significant amounts of snow.
Dual-stage snow blowers are almost always gas-powered, so they can go anywhere and are not restricted by a power cord. This makes them the ideal choice for off-grid locations and rural areas where properties typically have larger plots.
How To Choose the Best Two-Stage Snow Blowers
When shopping for a two-stage snow blower, what are the key points you should bear in mind? It’s worth remembering that there are more dual-stage snow blowers than any other kind. Here are some pointers.
How Much Snow Do You Get?
The main reason for investing in a two-stage snow blower is its superior snow clearing capabilities. A dual machine trumps a single-stage blower and then some. However, you can spend serious amounts of money to get the right snow blower.
So, if you don’t get that much snow, a single-stage might be adequate, which is good news for dollar savings. If you get regular dumps of thick snow, go for a two-stage model.
One of the main advantages of two-stage machines is the increased plowing width. A single-stage snow blower has between 12 and 22 inches of clearance, whereas a dual-stage model has between 22 and 30 inches of plowing width.
It’s one of the reasons why they are superior at clearing larger falls of snow. The wider the strip of shifted snow, the faster the work is done.
It comes as no surprise that the plowing depth is as important as the width. It enables you to tackle drifts significantly better than single-stage snow blowers.
Single-stage machines can sweep away depths of 6 to 12 inches, but with a dual-stage snow blower, this increases to 18 inches or more. It’s another reason why two-stage snow blowers are better suited to locations that get significant snowfall.
Some snow blowers can be cumbersome to operate, and changing the chute’s direction is one example where it can be more complicated than it needs to. Look for a snow blower with push-button control or a handily placed lever that you can operate without stopping.
All two-stage snow blowers are heavy. That’s a fact. However, some are heavier than others. Pushing a 200-pound snow blower across a small driveway is less energy-sapping than clearing a 200 ft square plot, so weight is a crucial factor.
Expect the weight to vary from 100 pounds to well over 200 pounds.
For your two-stage snow blower to work effectively, it needs a motor that has the power to deliver. Most gas-powered snow blowers have engines that range between 196CC to 250CC. This is considerably more powerful than single-stage and electric snow blowers.
Pushing all that bulk weight is tiring and puts quite a strain on your hands, wrists, and arms. Just like power steering in your car enables you to control it with minimal effort, so does the power steering on your snow blower.
It means large plots, driveways, and even slopes and awkward surfaces are easier to negotiate.
The budget is always a key driver when choosing a new power tool, and two-stage snow blowers are no exception. Dual-stage machines are more expensive than single-stage models.
You should expect to pay anything between $500 and over $1,000.
The Best Two-Stage Snow Blowers of 2022
We scoured the leading brands to compare them for performance, engine power, plowing clearance, and cost, to make your choice easier. Here are our 5 best two-stage snow blowers.
1. Husqvarna ST330 Two-Stage Snow Blower
Best Heavy-Duty Two-Stage Snow Blower
If you want a snow blower with real potency, this Husqvarna model is an ideal choice. It has a high-capacity belt drive system that increases the amount of snow you can clear. You also get a 4-position handle that gives better control and comfort.
You can disconnect the differential lock, so you can choose which wheel or track you want to drive, giving you better control. This makes it easier to maneuver, especially over different surfaces.
The auger works well with iced snow and wet snow, and the gearbox comes with a 10-year warranty. Plus, the cast-iron impeller has 4 blades to improve the projection of the snow through the exhaust port.
The engine is 369CC, and the plowing path is 30 inches, so you get fast snow removal, and you also get a heated handle so you can stay toasty warm without gloves.
With a 369CC engine and a high-capacity belt system, this is the best snow blower when you want to sweep away thick snow from your driveway and yard.
You can ditch your gloves when you use this snow blower because it has a heated handle. It gives you greater control of the blower and keeps your fingers nice and warm.
30 Inch Plowing Path
This snow blower’s clearance width is 30 inches, making it one of the widest available on the market. It means this machine is suitable for domestic and commercial use.
You might need to take out a second mortgage to buy this model. It costs over 4 times the price of the next most expensive snow blower to make the list. At this figure, it is likely to appeal to professionals only.
Weighs 338 Pounds
This machine weighs 338 pounds, so be thankful that it has power steering because without it you might struggle to move it.
|Dimensions (inches)||58.75 x 31 x 45.5|
|Plowing width (inches)||30|
|Plowing depth (inch)||Not stated|
|Features||Heated handle, power steering|
2. PowerSmart PSS2240C 24-Inch Snow Blower
Best Two-Stage Snow Blower for Gravel Driveway
What makes this snow blower stand out are the 13-inch wheels, making it the perfect machine for clearing snow on gravel. You also get 6 forward and 2 reverse speeds, so you can adjust the blower to cater to different surfaces.
It has a 24-inch plowing clearance and can tackle snow to a depth of 20 inches. The electric start ensures a perfect start on the coldest mornings and it shoots the snow up to 40 feet, thanks to the 212CC engine and the 180-degree chute.
This PowerSmart snow blower is also a lightweight model, especially when you compare it to the heavy-duty model, weighing just 148.8 pounds.
When you move across rough surfaces like gravel, you need wheels that can handle the terrain. This model comes with 13-inch rubber wheels that give you maximum maneuverability.
You can get the driveway and yard cleared without placing too much pressure on your back and arms with this snow blower. It only weighs 148.8 pounds, which is under half that of the heavy-duty model.
Adjustable speed means you can change pace to cater to the snow’s thickness and different ground surfaces. Snow clearing on gravel requires a slower speed because the wheels won’t roll as easily.
For what it is, it is an expensive snow blower. You only get a 24-inch plowing width and a 212CC engine, so the asking price seems a little steep. You can get the same performance from similar machines without the hefty price tag.
|Dimensions (inches)||32.68 x 25.2 x 22.2|
|Plowing width (inches)||24|
|Plowing depth (inch)||20|
|Features||13-inch wheels, dual-trigger steering|
3. Yardmax YB5765 Two-Stage Snow Blower
Best Small Two-Stage Snow Blower
Sometimes you need a powerful snow blower, but you don’t require the increased plowing width. Maybe you suffer from heavy snowfall but have a small yard. This Yardmax two-stage snow blower is a perfect choice, thanks to its 22-inch plowing clearance.
It has an easy-start 196CC engine, you get 5 forward and 2 reverse speeds, so you can cater to different thicknesses of snow. Plus, the serrated auger slices through iced snow with ease, aided by an ax-shaped housing.
You also get a heated handgrip, a cup holder, and a headlight for snow clearing in failing light.
Small and Powerful
What you get with the Yardmax is a small package that delivers quite a punch. The 196CC engine may not rival others, but it is the perfect tool for thick snow clearance in smaller yards.
Sometimes compacted snow sets hard, so having a serrated auger that slices through ice is a real bonus. You also get an ax-shaped housing to help with more challenging snow.
With 5 forward speeds and 2 reverse speeds, you get complete control of this snow blower, no matter the surface or snow thickness.
Limited Plowing Width
This is a small snow blower, so don’t expect too much. It still betters single-stage blowers with a 22-inch plowing width, but bear this in mind if you have a large area that needs clearing.
|Dimensions (inches)||47.2 x 42.9 x 22|
|Plowing width (inches)||22|
|Plowing depth (inch)||16|
|Features||Heated handgrip, cup holder|
4. Briggs and Stratton 1024 Standard Series Snow Blower
Best Two-Stage Snow Blower for Large Driveways
Make light work of your driveway with this Briggs and Stratton powerful snow blower. It has a 208CC motor that generates 9.50-foot-pounds of torque. It is equipped with an electric start for the coldest mornings and a friction disc drive system for better control.
You get a 24-inch plowing clearance, along with a 20-inch intake height. You also benefit from steel anti-reversible skid shoes to reduce the effort needed to maneuver it around the yard. It also helps when you cover sloped surfaces.
The auger gearbox is constructed from durable aluminum, and the auger is notched to chew through hardened snow more efficiently.
Anti-Reversible Skid Shoes
If you have a driveway that sits on a slope, the anti-reversible skid shoes enable you to maneuver this snow blower across different surfaces with ease, even sharp inclines.
This Briggs and Stratton machine features an aluminum gearbox, a steel frame, and chute as well as a notched auger.
Powerful 208CC Motor
The 208CC cold-start motor is qualified to get going at -20 degrees. It also creates 9.50-feet pounds of torque, which means to get a ton of force to chew through the thickest snow.
Build Quality Issues
People have reported that the product arrived damaged, and for some, the blower struggled to work after a few attempts. They complain of inferior quality components.
|Dimensions (inches)||53 x 26 x 38|
|Plowing width (inches)||24|
|Plowing depth (inch)||20|
5. Champion Power Equipment 301cc Snow Blower
Best Two-Stage Snow Blower With Power Steering
You have power steering in your car, so why not have it on your snow blower, especially as they can be difficult to maneuver. This Champion model has power turn technology that saves you time and energy when you need to make sharp changes in direction.
It also benefits from a 301CC engine that produces enough power to clear 27 inches in width and 23 inches in depth. This is a snow blower for all situations, especially as the auger is made from carbon steel.
You also get a heated handgrip, so clearing the snow without gloves is possible, plus twin headlights to illuminate your path in the failing light. It also has a maximum throwing distance of 30 feet.
At 301CC, it puts this motor squarely at the top for performance levels. It’s what drives the carbon-steel auger to clear 27 inches in width and 23 inches in depth.
Throw away the gloves. You don’t need them, thanks to this heated handgrip. It keeps your hands toasty warm.
Power Turn Steering
Imagine trying to turn this snow blower without assistance. It would be cumbersome and place additional strain on your joints. Power turn steering makes it easy to maneuver this machine without putting your back out.
This is a premium brand with a cost to match. It may be one of the more powerful snow blowers available, but you sure pay for the privilege.
|Dimensions (inches)||56.4 x 29.1 x 42.7|
|Plowing width (inches)||27|
|Plowing depth (inch)||23|
|Features||Heated handrail, Power steering|
|Product||Best||Weight||Dimensions||Plowing width||Plowing depth||Engine CC||Features||Warranty|
|Husqvarna Two-Stage Snow Blower||Heavy-Duty||338 lbs||58.75 x 31 x 45.5″||30″||N/A||369||Heated handle, power steering||10-year gearbox|
|PowerSmart Snow Blower||Gravel Driveway||149 lbs||32.68 x 25.2 x 22.2″||24″||20″||212||13-inch wheels, dual-trigger steering||2-year|
|Yardmax Two-Stage Snow Blower||Small||161 lbs||47.2 x 42.9 x 22″||22″||16″||196||Heated handgrip, cup holder||2-year|
|Briggs & Stratton Snow Blower||Large Driveways||175 lbs||53 x 26 x 38″||24″||20″||208||Electric start||3-year limited|
|Champion Power Snow Blower||Power Steering||121.5 lbs||56.4 x 29.1 x 42.7″||27″||23″||301||Heated handrail, Power steering||2-year limited|
Single-Stage Vs. Two-Stage Snow Blowers
We’ve talked at length about two-stage snow blowers, but what is it that sets them apart from single-stage models? Let’s compare them.
Single-stage snow blowers are typically weaker, cheaper and cover less ground than dual-stage models. If you live in an area with light to moderate snowfall, a single-stage variety would be a great option.
The single-stage refers to how the machine operates because you get an auger that rotates along the surface of the ground, scooping up the snow. However, the auger is the only element that shifts the snow, so it has to work overtime blowing it out of the exhaust chute.
It reduces the potency of the machine and the amount of snow it can clear. It also stops you from sweeping snow from gravel or uneven surfaces because the auger makes contact with the ground.
This helps to propel the snow blower forward and scoop the maximum amount of snow it can. However, gravel is dangerous if fired from the exhaust of a snow blower.
You also pay less for single-stage snow blowers, making them better for domestic use.
Two-stage snow blowers utilize the dual elements of an auger and an impeller for effective snow collection. The auger scoops the snow just like the single-stage models, but the impeller pushes the snow out of the exhaust port.
The advantage is you get a much more efficient system, which allows you to tackle bigger tasks and thicker falls of snow. These machines tend to be larger, heavier, and better suited to both the domestic market and the commercial sector.
The distinct disadvantage with two-stage machines is the auger never makes contact with the ground, so it leaves a strip of shallow snow in its wake. However, on the plus side, you can cater to different ground surfaces, including gravel.
You also pay more for a dual-stage snow blower, so they might be a better option if you need all that extra power and performance. Large yards and driveways or above-average snowfall are good reasons to spend a little more.