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13 Different Types of Snow Blowers

Find the right type of snow blower for clearing your patio, porch, walkway and driveway from inches of light and fluffy snow to some feet of heavy snow .

A woman using a snow blower during winter.

The snow blower was invented and developed in Canada, where it snows almost nine months in a year. The first version was invented by Orange Jull from Orangeville, Ontario in 1884. It was a rotary snow blower attached to the face of a train and consisted of large rotating blades. Arthur Sicard from Montreal invented the first self-propelled rotary snow blower in 1925.

It was attached to a four-wheeled drive truck powered by two motors and could remove snow of up to 90 feet. The snow blower industry then focused with walk-behind snow blowers for homeowners. Toro was the frontrunner with their Snow Hound snow blower in 1952 and their lightweight Snow Pup model in 1962.

A. Types

1. Electric Snow Blowers

Efficient and powerful, electric snow blower in Yellow. Source: Amazon

Many people decide to purchase electric snow blowers because they are a really convenient option for clearing up to medium-sized driveways. If you live in a normal city-style home, then an electric snow blower is going to be perfect for your needs. They can be used to effectively clear your driveway of any snow so that you can get to work on time. It will also be perfect for getting all of that pesky snow off of your patio.

These snow blowers aren’t the most powerful models on the market, though. You can find more powerful snow blowers out there if you live in an area that sees incredibly dense snowfall. Regardless, this option is going to be perfect for the vast majority of people out there. You can purchase an electric snow blower at a very reasonable price too, making it an appealing option.

It should be noted that these snow blowers are best used on smooth surfaces such as concrete. Your electric snow blower is going to be able to work effectively on any type of paved surface. If you live in a rural area that has dirt roads and your driveway is also made of dirt, then this may not be the best option for your situation. It’s important to choose a snow blower that fits the task at hand properly.

One large benefit that people enjoy about these snow blowers is that they are much lighter than the gas-powered models. This makes it significantly easier to tote one around where you need it to go. These snow blowers are simple to use and are fairly affordable in comparison to other types of snow blowers. Making the decision to purchase this type of snow blower will be a good one as long as you have a modestly-sized property and live in the city or an urban suburb.

2. Cordless Snow Blowers

Source: Home Depot

There are a lot of people that feel that being tethered to a cord while using a snow blower is a hindrance. If you don’t like having to run the extension cord to your snow blower in order to be able to get to the farthest reaches of your driveway, then you may want to look into buying a cordless model. Cordless snow blowers have several advantages that you will be able to enjoy. They work in a comparable fashion to the normal corded electric snow blowers and some of them can even do the same amount of work as a single-stage gas-powered model.

The biggest benefit of having a cordless snow blower is being free to take it anywhere you need it to go. You won’t have to worry about the cord getting tangled in something or going too far for the cord to reach properly. This is convenient for people who have really long driveways or properties that are a bit larger. You want to be able to get rid of your snow as efficiently as possible so if the cordless snow blower can save you time, it will seem worth it to you.

These snow blowers are still electric so they will need to be powered by high-voltage batteries. For the most part, these batteries have such a high capacity that you will be unlikely to run out of your charge before your job is complete. The average cordless snow blower will be able to operate at peak efficiency for a little over one hour so that will be enough time to get your job done. If you feel as if you will need more time than that, then you may want to look into the corded electric snow blowers instead.

Another important thing to keep in mind is that these snow blowers are very light. They weigh significantly less than gas-powered models, similarly to the corded electric snow blowers. You will be able to maneuver this snow blower around effectively without it feeling as if it is a burden. This makes using the snow blower on your driveway and other parts of your property a breeze.

3. Gas-Powered Snow Blowers

Gas-powered snow blower. Source: Amazon

The most powerful snow blowers on the market are certainly the gas-powered models. These are the snow blowers that you should purchase when you know you have a big job in front of you. People who live in rural areas will typically prefer these types of snow blowers as they have the power to handle large amounts of snow. If you need to clear a large driveway, then you are going to be very thankful to have access to a powerful snow blower such as this.

Gas-powered snow blowers have an auger that can completely lift the snow up and then toss it to the side. You need to be careful with how you use these types of snow blowers because of how powerful they are. As an example, using a gas-powered snow blower on gravel could cause you to fling the rocks that are trapped underneath the snow. This could be a danger to your nearby vehicles and even the windows on your home so it’s best to exercise caution.

Having a powerful snow blower is an absolute necessity when you live in an area that receives heavy snowfall. If you have large amounts of snow that need to be moved out of your way on a regular basis, then it would benefit you greatly to have access to this type of snow blower. You will be able to get your driveway cleared very quickly when you have the right tool for the job.

You should know that there are different types of gas-powered snow blowers as well. There are three different levels of power when it comes to these gas-powered models. The details of each of these types of gas-powered models will be covered in depth later on so you will be able to learn more before making an ultimate decision. No matter what type of gas-powered snow blower you wind up deciding to purchase, you will be getting a powerful tool that will help you make it through the winter much more easily.

B. Styles

1. Gas-Powered Single-Stage Snow Blowers

Source: Home Depot

The most common gas-powered snow blower that people will purchase is the single-stage style. These snow blowers are the least powerful of the three options. This doesn’t mean that the snow blower isn’t powerful, though. When you purchase a single-stage snow blower, you will be able to expect it to work very efficiently to help you clear snow in your driveway.

Getting rid of large amounts of snow in a short amount of time is possible when you have access to an advanced tool such as this. Single-stage snow blowers may not be the most powerful model of gas-powered snow blowers but they are very effective at what they do. You will need to be careful about how you use this snow blower because of how powerful it really is. The auger on this snow blower is more than strong enough to sling rocks at a high velocity so you will need to pay attention to the surface that you are using it on.

You will be able to have all of your snow cleared in a quick fashion when you have this type of snow blower. As long as you remember to pay close attention to where you are using it, you won’t have any trouble getting your driveway cleared swiftly. These snow blowers are a bit more costly than the electric models, though. You will have to weigh the positive qualities of these gas-powered snow blowers against the increased cost to see if this is a good fit for your circumstances.

2. Gas-Powered Two-Stage Snow Blowers

Two-stage snow blower in a deep tone of Orange. Source: Amazon

The next step up in power when it comes to gas-powered snow blowers is the two-stage model. These snow blowers are incredibly powerful and they are capable of clearing wide paths in a timely fashion. Many of these snow blowers can throw snow up to 33 feet away so you can definitely see how useful this tool can be. When you want to get your driveway and the rest of your property cleared of snow, having access to this type of snow blower is going to make things a lot simpler.

The auger on this model is more powerful than the one on the typical single-stage snow blower. You could throw up to 55 tons of snow every hour using this advanced tool. It also clears snow in a wider path than the single-stage snow blower could. This makes it perfect for even larger jobs so you will want to consider taking the next step up if you have a wide area that needs to be cleared of snow.

People with really wide driveways really enjoy buying snow blowers that are this powerful. It cuts down on the amount of time needed to clear the driveway of snow significantly. When you are able to save time on doing your chores, it allows you to use that time elsewhere. The 24-inch clearing path of this unit is very appealing and it can clear snow that is over 12 inches high as well.

You should know that this snow blower is going to cost you a fair amount of money, though. Many people see snow blowers that are this powerful as a very worthwhile investment. Having access to this snow blower will save you a lot of time over the years. You will always be able to get to work on time if you have a reliable and powerful snow blower such as this to help you out.

3. Gas-Powered Three-Stage Snow Blowers

Yellow, three-stage snow blower. Source: Amazon

If you want to buy the gas-powered snow blower that has the ultimate amount of power, then you need to pursue purchasing a three-stage snow blower. These snow blowers are so powerful that they can clear snow absurdly fast. If you want to clear a very wide path of snow, then using a unit that is this as powerful as this is going to make things easy. These snow blowers can even chop through thick ice, making it a convenient way to clear your driveway when it is completely frozen over.

Businesses often buy snow blowers such as this to clear large parking lots. These snow blowers are incredibly effective at chopping up ice and snow. They can propel the ice and snow a long distance away, allowing you to clear yourself a path with relative ease. This is going to be the strongest type of snow blower that you can purchase on the market.

Of course, with this snow blower being the most powerful option that is available, you will also have to pay a premium price to get it. These snow blowers are not inexpensive but they can be very worthwhile if you have a great need for an industrial snow blower. If you own a business and need to be able to clear out the parking lot during or after a heavy snowstorm, then you will be happy to own this snow blower. It might not be practical for many people to use at home but it will work well on rural properties that are large and see a lot of snowfall.

It’s imperative to take extra caution with the auger on this snow blower. It has a significant amount of power and can sling debris at a high velocity. You don’t want to accidentally shoot out gravel or other types of rocks with this unit when you can avoid it. Be mindful of your surroundings and always try to keep vehicles and other things out of the path of the snow blower just in case.

C. Features

1. Speed Control

Electric snow blower with speed controls.

Source: Home Depot

One of the most popular features that people enjoy making use of on a snow blower is speed control. This allows you to take full control of the speed that your machine is operating. You can make it throw snow faster or slow things down if you want to have a more deliberate pace. You will find that many of the top models of snow blowers come with this feature and it can be very handy when you want to be careful about getting around areas of your driveway that have gravel without slinging the debris.

Being able to speed up and slow down the process is going to prove quite useful. You may want to go slower through certain areas of your property and being able to slow things down will make things more comfortable for you.

2. Drift Cutters

Deep red snow blower with drift cutters. Source: Amazon

Snow blowers that feature drift cutters are perfect for helping you to clear large snowdrifts. You want to be able to whittle away at these snowdrifts without it taking too much time. The drift cutters on some of the more powerful machines are going to be able to make short work of even hard snowdrifts. This will cut down on the amount of time you need to spend clearing your property so it’s certainly a convenient feature to have access to.

If you don’t have a good set of drift cutters on your snow blower, then you aren’t going to have as easy of a time dealing with snowdrifts. These snowdrifts can be very high in certain situations so you need to be able to cut into them effectively. Many of the more powerful models of snow blowers will have a good set of drift cutters installed so you shouldn’t have a hard time finding a good model with this feature.

3. Chute Control

Electric snow blower with chute control.Source: Home Depot

Chute control is really convenient so it is a feature that you will want to have on a snow blower. Being able to control the direction of the chute will help you to direct the snow in the proper way. You can avoid hurling the snow in the wrong direction while you are turning or going around a curb. Make sure that you have access to this feature if you have a very curvy driveway or if you simply want to be able to have the most control over your snow blower that is possible.

Being able to put the snow exactly where you want it to go is a good feeling. Some of these models will have controls that allow you to move the chute via remote. Others feature joystick-style controls that are really easy to get the hang of. No matter what type of snow blower it is that you want to purchase, you will be able to find a good option that features chute control if you look around.

4. Electric Start

Electric start snow blower in red and black. Source: Amazon

This feature is becoming more commonplace in modern snow blowers. Electric start makes it very simple to get your snow blower going. Even the most powerful gas-powered models can be purchased with this convenient electric start feature. You won’t have to take up an inordinate amount of time trying to get your snow blower started when you have one that has an electric start function.

This is going to prove very useful when you wake up in the morning and discover that there was a snowstorm. You want to be able to get to work on time and you won’t be happy about having to fiddle with starting your snow blower in the early hours of the morning. The electric start function will allow you to get to work on clearing yourself a path so that you can be on your way sooner. This is going to be a feature that you won’t want to live without.

5. Headlights

Source: Home Depot

Headlights can make using a snow blower much more convenient for the average person. Anyone who has lived in a colder climate knows that there is some wisdom in getting up early to clear your driveway. You want to be able to make it to work on time so clearing your driveway in the dark is sometimes necessary. Having a snow blower that has headlights is going to make doing this so much easier.

This isn’t a standard feature that comes on every snow blower but you can find many excellent snow blowers that have the headlights included. If you want to be as safe as possible while you are outside clearing your driveway, then you need to be able to see properly. This will help you to avoid making any mistakes and it will cut down on the amount of time it takes you to get the job done. You can make your early mornings a whole lot easier by purchasing a snow blower that has headlights.

6. Heated Handles

Snow blower with heated handle grips. Source: Amazon

This feature may not seem incredibly important at first glance but it can be really nice to have. Clearing your driveway of ample amounts of snow can be a pretty time-consuming task. When it is really cold in the winter, your hands are bound to be freezing. Even wearing gloves isn’t always enough to keep your hands completely comfortable.

Heated handles will provide you with plenty of comfort while you are taking care of your snow. It will make the time spent using your snow blower seem much more enjoyable. The small features such as this can really make a big difference. Being able to enjoy heated handles is just another reason why it is worth taking your time to pick out the perfect snow blower to suit your needs.

7. Self-Propelled

A self-propelled snow blower.Source: Home Depot

Buying a snow blower that is self-propelled is going to make your life a lot easier. Some of these snow blowers can actually be rather heavy. If you purchase a gas-powered model, then you will find that it isn’t as easy to move around as you would like. If you aren’t a very large or strong individual, then this could present some difficulties.

The best solution to this problem is to seek out a self-propelled snow blower. It will move forward on its own and you won’t have to feel the need to try to muscle it around your property. This will make clearing your property quicker and will help you to avoid unnecessary back pain. You will be able to find self-propelled snow blowers of almost any type so it shouldn’t be difficult to find exactly what you are looking for.