Are Snowblowers Worth the Money?

If you live in a state subjected to either light snowfall or powerful blizzards, you might be wondering whether it’s worth buying a snowblower to help keep your drive and yard free from snow. A snowblower is a handy tool to use to clear away pesky snow drifts. That being said, you might be trying to figure out whether it’s worth picking one up, or if you’re better off using a different method for clearing your property.

Are Snowblowers Worth The Money Content:

  • What is a snowblower?
  • How much do snowblowers cost?
  • When is best to use a snowblower?
  • Where is best to use a snowblower?
  • Are snowblowers worth the money?

As a general rule of thumb, a snowblower is worth the money if you get more than 20 inches of snowfall every year. At this point, the investment of between $200 and $1,500 is balanced by the amount of work you save yourself from having to either pay someone or shovel snow yourself.

What is a Snowblower?

If you don’t know much about clearing snow, you might be wondering, ‘what exactly is a snowblower?’ A snowblower is a piece of machinery powered by gas or electricity that runs on either tires or tracks. Snowblowers collect snow using a rubber auger, which is then fed through a discharge chute, which throws broken up snow away from your property.

There are three different types of snowblower: single-stage, two-stage, and three-stage. The main difference between these types is that two-stage and three-stage snowblowers feature extra components that help remove and break-up snow more efficiently. 

A two-stage snowblower includes an impeller, which propels the snowblower forward and helps shoot snow through the discharge chute faster. A three-stage snowblower features both an impeller and an additional dicing auger, which breaks down densely packed blocks of snow with little effort. 

Recommended snowblower buying guide.

How Much do Snowblowers Cost?

The price of snowblowers differs greatly, depending on the brand, type, and power source. You’ll generally find two-stage and three-stage snow blowers cost a lot more money than a standard single-stage snowblower, due to the inclusion of an impeller in their design. 

Generally, a gas-powered single-stage snowblower can be purchased for anywhere between $250-$600. At the higher end of this scale, you’ll find brands like Honda and Cub Cadet, which build high-quality engines with easy to replace components, saving you money in the n repairs in the long run. 

If you’re looking to save money, consider going with a battery-powered model like a Ryobi. Battery-powered snowblowers are generally inexpensive and can be bought for under $200. The reason battery-powered models are more affordable is that their battery tends to run low quickly. They’re also not as good at breaking up dense layers of snow as their gas-powered cousins. 

If you have a lot of snow you need to blow, you’re better off purchasing a two-stage or three-stage snowblower. As mentioned, these snowblowers contain additional mechanisms, which more effectively break up dense coverings of snow. Two-stage snowblowers are much more expensive than their single-stage counterparts and can set you back somewhere between $800- $2000. While much more costly, these snowblowers are much easier to use than single-stage snowblowers, as they propel themselves forward and clear snow quicker, thanks to their impeller.

If you’re looking to splash out on a snowblower, you’re best off looking at three-stage models. While not as common as single-stage and two-stage snowblowers, brands like Troy-Bilt and Craftsman do manufacture high-quality three-stage blowers. Three-stage snowblowers are expensive and can set you back anywhere between $1,500-$4,000 but are well worth buying if you have the cash to spare.

When is Best to Use a Snowblower?

Another important thing to consider is whether you’re going to get enough use out of your snowblower. Snowblowers are best purchased if you live in a state that experiences large amounts of snowfall every year.

  • If you live in Wisconsin, a snowblower is a smart purchase, as there’s generally over 50 inches of snowfall every year.
  • Most states close to the Canadian border, like Minnesota, Michigan, the Dakotas, and Maine experience over 40 inches of snow each year, so you’ll no doubt have to break out your snowblower several times each winter. 
  • While states like Idaho, New Jersey, Missouri, Kansas, and Kentucky do get some snow each winter, it’s usually between 10-20 inches, meaning you’ll rarely have to use a snowblower.

Other tools like a shovel will generally be sufficient. If you’re considering buying a snowblower in one of these states, consider a single-stage or battery-powered model. There’s no point splashing out hundreds of dollars on a snowblower for a few inches of snow, and less powerful snowblower will clear light layers without any issues. 

The more south you go, the less likely you are to need a snowblower. Southern states like the following rarely get more than a couple of inches of snow each year, and you’ll be wasting money if you buy a snowblower for these conditions :

  • Tennessee
  • South Carolina
  • Georgia
  • North Carolina
  • Alabama

If you do live in a state with heavy snowfall, it’s crucial to know when’s the best time to use a snowblower and how to do so effectively. If you know a snowstorm is on its way, make sure you clear any debris from your driveway and lawn, which could get sucked up into your snowblower and a blockage or damage to the motor.

Rocks, dog ties, garden hoses, and old newspapers should be moved out of the way, as these commonly cause clogs in snowblower augers. f snow is falling thick and fast, don’t wait for it to stop snowing to start up your snowblower. While it may be tempting to wait until the snow stops, dense layers of snow are much harder to clear, and your snowblower won’t be able to throw the snow far when snow layers are thick. Any covering under six inches is ideal for a snowblower. 

It’s also essential you take it slow and don’t rush to clear your driveway or lawn. Taking in small amounts of snow is the best way to break up heavy coverings. Taking it slow will guarantee you don’t wear out your snowblower’s drive belts or cause a blockage in your discharge chute. Clearing blocked discharge chutes is the leading cause of snowblower related injuries, so make sure you take care if you must clear a blockage.

You should also make sure you adjust the discharge chute to make sure snow is moved off your property and not just across your lawn. Nobody wants to have to clear the same snow twice, so ensure your discharge chute is positioned in the same direction as the wind and at an upward angle. 

Are Snow Blowers Worth the Money?

Overall, a snowblower is a handy piece of equipment for clearing snow. While you might be tempted to pick up a snowblower for a few inches, you can avoid spending hundreds of dollars by using some rock salt and a shovel instead.

If you live in a state like Idaho or New Jersey and fancy picking up a snowblower, consider a single-stage or battery-powered snowblower, as these will clear light, fluffy snow easily and can be bought for under $200. Anyone living in states far to the north will undoubtedly find a use for their snowblower every year. States like Minnesota and Wisconsin often experience intense blizzards which bring a few feet of snow at once, so a snowblower will take the hassle out of having to shovel mounds of snow out of your driveway.

Two-stage and three-stage snowblowers are best for thick coverings and will break up even the densest layers of snow. Snowblowers are definitely worth the money if you live in a region which experiences 40 inches of snow a year. In northern states, a snowblower will make clearing your driveway and lawn a much simpler task. 

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