The Best Single-Stage Snow Blowers for Clearing Snow, Tested

A nimble single-stage snow blower is just the right size for clearing moderate snowfall from a driveway or sidewalk.

Best Overall Electric

The Best Single-Stage Snow Blower Option: Snow Joe 24V-X2-SB18 48V Ionmax Snow Blower

Snow Joe 24V-X2-SB18 48V Ionmax Snow Blower

Best Overall Gas

The Best Single-Stage Snow Blower Option: Troy-Bilt Squall 208E 21-Inch Snow Blower

Troy-Bilt Squall 208E 21-Inch Snow Blower

Best Bang for the Buck

The Best Single-Stage Snow Blower Option: Toro Power Clear 518 ZE Single-Stage Gas Snow Blower

Toro Power Clear 518 ZE Single-Stage Gas Snow Blower

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Clearing a snow-covered sidewalk or driveway after a fresh snowfall can be a back-breaking chore. While a full-size two-stage snow blower is an option, these large and expensive machines are overkill for smaller properties. A smaller, lighter single-stage snow blower is easy to manage and more affordable than its big brother, so to help shoppers find the best model, we tested a good number of them in a variety of categories.

These snow-clearing machines may use gas or batteries (some but not all are cordless) to power an auger that sucks up snow and shoots it up to 25 feet away. This guide offers in-depth reviews of our top picks—all tested in a variety of snowy situations. It also provides important shopping considerations to keep in mind when in the market for the best single-stage snow blower.

  1. BEST OVERALL ELECTRIC: Snow Joe 24V-X2-SB18 48V Ionmax Snow Blower
  2. BEST OVERALL GAS: Troy-Bilt Squall 208E 21-Inch Snow Blower
  3. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Toro Power Clear 518 ZE Single-Stage Gas Snow Blower
  4. UPGRADE PICK: Ego Power+ Peak Power 21-Inch Snow Blower
  5. BEST LIGHT-DUTY: Wen 5664 Snow Blaster 18-Inch Electric Snow Thrower
  6. BEST MEDIUM-DUTY: DeWalt 21-Inch 60V MAX Single-Stage Snow Blower Kit
  7. BEST HEAVY-DUTY: Ryobi 40V HP Brushless 21-Inch Whisper Snow Blower
  8. BEST SELF-PROPELLED: Toro Power Clear 721 E 21-Inch Gas Snow Blower
  9. BEST BATTERY LIFE: Greenworks 60V 22-Inch Single-Stage Snow Blower
  10. ALSO CONSIDER: Greenworks 13-Amp 20-Inch Corded Snow Thrower
A close-up photo of single stage snow blower after use with snow on it
Photo: Zach Lazzari for Bob Vila

Before You Buy a Single-Stage Snow Blower

Like many outdoor maintenance tools, snow blowers can be powered by electricity or gas. While some gas-powered models are extra heavy-duty, electric models can also be large two-stage machines. On the other end of the spectrum, gas and electric options are available in the single-stage market. If shoppers have an average-size residential driveway or walkway to clear, a two-stage snow blower would likely be overkill and unnecessarily costly.

Single-stage snow blowers are lighter, more mobile, and designed to manage light- to moderate-duty jobs. For folks who experience severe storms with several feet of heavy snow at a time, these tools might be underpowered, but in many regions, a single-stage model is a perfect economical solution that can clear snow effectively.

Keep reading for more differences between these power options and help choosing the right one to suit a specific need.

How We Tested the Best Single-Stage Snow Blowers

We tested a range of electric and gas single-stage snow blowers in a series of Montana storms. The storms ranged from a few inches of powder to a foot of heavier snow. The temperatures also hit very cold marks with the lowest readings at -10 degrees Fahrenheit. This is important for understanding how the batteries and gas motors that we tested held up in difficult environments. Before use, each snow blower was assessed based on the assembly process and surface level features. Eventually, each was run multiple times over concrete and, in some cases, light gravel. Performance was analyzed based on auger quality and speed, snow-throwing distance, overall functionality, battery life, and durability/build quality.

Based on these factors and the overall value delivered to users, we awarded the winners. It was a close call, as we found a number of great single-stage snow blowers on the market.

Our Top Picks

Just ahead are some of the best single-stage snow blowers in a variety of categories, all tested in tough conditions. Any of these snow blowers are capable of clearing driveways and sidewalks after moderate snow events.

Best Overall Electric

Snow Joe 24V-X2-SB18 48V Ionmax Snow Blower

Product Specs 

  • Type: Cordless electric
  • Weight: 37.5 pounds
  • Clearing width: 18 inches


  • Comes with 2 rechargeable 24V batteries, each with 40 minutes of runtime
  • Quadruple-bladed steel auger carves a path 18 inches wide by 10 inches deep
  • Capable of moving up to 10 tons of snow per charge
  • Features a 180-degree adjustable snow chute for user versatility


  • Plastic blade can chip when processing hard objects like gravel and debris

Made to rival the power of some two-stage snow blowers, this model has two rechargeable 24-volt (V) batteries, each capable of 40 minutes of runtime and throwing up to 10 tons of snow per charge. Weighing in at 39 pounds, this cordless snow blower is plenty easy to push around and manage.

The 18-inch auger is rubber tipped and it cuts a 10-inch-deep path. The auger speed was noticeably faster than other models, and it really threw the snow far. In some instances, it exceeded the 20-feet mark claimed by the manufacturer. It also has a nice set of LED headlights to increase visibility in dark conditions.

We chose this Snow Joe as Best Overall because it’s very functional; moderately priced; and a solid, consistent performer in a variety of conditions. The batteries also charge quickly, making it possible to get back up and running without long delays. We didn’t need to wait through a recharge during testing, however, because the batteries lasted through each full session.

For shoppers seeking an economical single-stage snow blower that has plenty of power, simple operational features, and great performance, this is a clear favorite.

Read our full review: Snow Joe 24V-X2-SB18 48V Ionmax Snow Blower

Get the Snow Joe single-stage snow blower at Amazon, Lowe’s, or The Home Depot.

Best Overall Gas

Troy-Bilt Squall 208E 21-Inch Snow Blower

Product Specs 

  • Type: Gas
  • Weight: 100 pounds
  • Clearing width: 21 inches


  • Engine is easy to start, runs efficiently, and is impressively quiet
  • Auger works great and throws snow with force through the chute
  • Fairly affordable option for a high-quality gas-powered snow blower


  • Wheels are smaller than expected and might struggle to perform well when navigating deep snow

We tested several gas models that performed exceptionally well, so assigning this award wasn’t easy. Ultimately, the Troy-Bilt Squall took the top prize, but we think shoppers will also want to take a hard look at the Toro models. Both brands excel in the gas snow blower design with reliable engines and years of refining features for smooth functionality.

The Squall is a smooth-running unit with an efficient 208 cubic centimeter (cc) 4-stroke engine. We really enjoyed how quiet the engine ran and how easy it was to push this snow blower around. The electric start fired up on the first push, and we tested the pull cord, which also worked easily. The cord sits in a nice easy-to-access position as well.

There is no need to mix oil and gas, as this is a 4-stroke engine. (Many traditional designs use 2-stroke engines, which do require mixing.) The gas-fill neck is easy to access, and the oil fill doesn’t require any manipulation of the machine or leveling to fill. Simply unscrew, fill with the correct oil and volume, and the machine is ready to blow snow.

We found the auger speed and position fixed in a way that virtually vacuumed snow, then projected it through the chute at high speeds. Though it pushed along easily, the wheels were smaller than we’d hoped and in testing weren’t ideal for deep snow. Overall, however, this gas snow blower proved to be perfect for moderate storms and snow loads under 12 inches. A tank of gas lasts for a very long time as well, making it possible to work through multiple properties efficiently.

Get the Troy-Bilt single-stage snow blower at The Home Depot.

Best Bang for the Buck

Toro Power Clear 518 ZE Single-Stage Gas Snow Blower

Product Specs 

  • Type: Gas
  • Weight: 58 pounds
  • Clearing width: 18 inches


  • Clears snow up to 12 inches deep with relative ease
  • Throws fluffy, light snow to a 25-foot distance
  • 180-degree deflector lets users clear snow in the preferred direction
  • Budget-friendly model with a foldable handle allows for more compact storage


  • It’s not the best choice for wet, heavy snow loads
  • The oil fill requires tipping the unit forward for access

Folks looking for a reliable yet affordable gas snow blower that can run all day will want to check out the Toro Power Clear 518 ZE. The design is simple with a handle hold that activates the auger while clearing an 18-inch path. Though there are no advanced auger controls, only a quick hand adjustment is needed to change throwing direction and angle. In fact, there just aren’t many other snow blowers that are this simple to operate.

While it doesn’t boast a bunch of bells and whistles, it does offer electric start, an efficient 4-cycle motor, and the reliability Toro is known for delivering. We found it very capable and easy to use while cutting through snow loads under a foot. The auger had no issues with powder; it pushed through some wet snow, too, but required a little extra force to get the job done.

One thing that’s really nice is the gas-sipping nature of this snow blower. It just goes and goes on a single tank and in testing had no issues clearing light snow from a large driveway. For users wanting something made to last while covering light to moderate storms, this a solid choice for efficiency and performance.

Get the Toro 518 ZE single-stage snow blower at The Home Depot.

Upgrade Pick

Ego Power+ Peak Power 21-Inch Snow Blower

Product Specs

  • Type: Cordless electric
  • Weight: 50.6 pounds
  • Clearing width: 21 inches


  • Large wheels make it easy to push through snow on driveways, paths, and sidewalks
  • Throws snow up to 40 feet for clearing large driveways of up to 12 cars
  • Handles can fold for easy storage; ideal for tight storage areas like sheds and garages
  • Extended battery life provides plenty of working time after heavy snowfalls


  • Heavyweight construction may make it difficult for some users to operate
  • Can be challenging for many operators to push this model up hills

For those looking to invest in a machine with some unique features, the Ego Power+ cordless snow blower could be just the ticket. This model can throw snow up to 40 feet, which far exceeds many single-stage units. That impressive distance, along with the adjustable discharge chute, made plowing snow piles around driveways, walkways, and sidewalks easy.

The Ego Power+ features a 21-inch capacity, which is a bit larger than most comparable models. It comes with two 56V 5.0 amp hour (Ah) batteries that can power the brushless motor enough for clearing snow off a 12-car driveway. The adjustable throttle also allows the user to regulate the power and battery as needed.

This Ego Power+ single-stage snow blower has a folding handle with quick-release levers, making it easy to store after clearing snow. A steel auger is also a welcome addition for icy conditions. The only downside to this model is that it is on the heavier side, but the extended battery life is definitely a plus that cannot be ignored.

During testing, this model performed exceedingly well. It was easy to operate and push, even over less-than-smooth terrain. Despite being a single-stage model, it threw snow the advertised 40 feet, which was plenty for managing the snowfall. We also enjoyed the folding handle with quick-release levers, as it made storing this model a breeze. On the downside, it was a little heavy, but the extended battery life was a fair trade-off.

Read our full review: Ego Power+ Peak Power 21-Inch Snow Blower

Get the Ego Power+ single-stage snow blower at AmazonLowe’s, Ace Hardware, or Acme Tools.

Best Light-Duty

Wen 5664 Snow Blaster 18-Inch Electric Snow Thrower

Product Specs 

  • Type: Corded electric
  • Weight: 32 pounds
  • Clearing width: 18 inches


  • Lightweight and portable model suitable for light to medium snowfall
  • 13.5-amp motor capable of clearing snow up to 7.8 inches deep
  • Capable of moving up to 490 pounds of snow per minute


  • Requires some assembly; an extension cord is needed for operation
  • Light-duty model only, not designed for deep snow removal

This single-stage electric blower by Wen weighs a mere 32 pounds and cuts an 18-inch swath through light and medium snow accumulation up to 7.8 inches deep with its 13.5-amp motor. The 180-degree rotating chute can be adjusted to throw snow in the proper direction with minimal effort. It’s a powerful little machine that is ideal for small areas.

This Wen does require a cord to function, so it’s best used in small areas where electricity is convenient. In testing, we found it to be useful for walkways, small driveways, and decks. The folding handle made it easy to store and transport. The auger speed was surprisingly fast, and the throwing distance was more than ample for small-area use.

There’s nothing overly complex about this design. Plug it into an extension cord, press the start button while securing the auger handle, and it activates immediately. The plastic auger is best used in light snow, but it can chop through wet snow with a little extra push. It’s great for simple jobs and occasional storms.

Get the Wen single-stage snow blower at Amazon, Lowe’s or Walmart.

Best Medium-Duty

DeWalt 21-Inch 60V MAX Single-Stage Snow Blower Kit

Product Specs 

  • Type: Cordless electric
  • Weight: 59 pounds
  • Clearing width: 21 inches


  • 21-inch clearing path (wider than many single-stage models) moves through snow quickly
  • Rugged steel auger is capable of churning through hard, icy snow
  • The electric auger controls quickly change throwing direction as needed


  • Auger angle control requires manual adjustment

DeWalt brings some great features into the electric snow blower market with this medium-duty model. It’s one of the few single-stage options with a steel auger, which helped it earn this award in our lineup. While plastic augers do work well, steel is better for chopping ice and wet snow—and this auger performed really well in more difficult snow conditions while testing. The 21-inch width is larger than many models as well, so folks can process more snow in less time.

During testing, the DeWalt worked through light snow with no resistance, and once conditions iced up, it continued to do really well. A little extra effort was required to push, but the auger was more than capable and it still threw snow reasonably far. The ability to change throwing directions with electric tab-style buttons was really nice as well. The batteries performed in cold conditions and lasted for around 40 minutes of continuous use. For conditions where users need a snow blower that’s a bit more powerful than a light-duty model but not as heavy-duty as a two-stage machine, the DeWalt is a great choice.

Get the DeWalt single-stage snow blower at Ace Hardware or The Home Depot.

Best Heavy-Duty

Ryobi 40V HP Brushless 21-Inch Whisper Snow Blower

Product Specs

  • Type: Cordless electric
  • Weight: 52 pounds
  • Clearing width: 21 inches


  • Ample 21-inch clearing width and 13-inch clearing depth; throws snow over 35 feet away
  • Comes with a variable-speed auger; accommodates light to heavy snow
  • Whisper-quiet operation is neighbor-friendly; LED light bar makes it even more ideal for use at night
  • Handle-mount control provides great ease of use and comfort


  • Not a self-propelled option; may be tough to push through deep snow
  • Plastic tires offer less durability as compared to rubber tires

With its multiple batteries and 40 minutes of runtime, the Ryobi snow blower boasts plenty of long-lasting power and excellent snow-blowing capabilities. This 40V brushless single-stage unit offers excellent performance and auger speed, despite the fact that it is not self-propelled. It also comes with a push-button start, a variable-speed rubber-metal auger (the center shaft of the auger is metal while the blades are rubber), and handle-mount control for an overall ergonomic design.

This Ryobi, with its 21-inch clearing width and a 13-inch clearing depth, comes with a 1.4-watt LED light bar for ample visibility in dim conditions, dual 7.5Ah batteries, and a charger. Want more? Consider that it has whisper-quiet operation (purportedly 84 percent quieter than other snow blowers currently available) and can launch snow more than 35 feet.

During testing in a huge storm event in the Sierra Nevada mountains, this model really stood out among the single-stage competition. The batteries charged quickly, and it was capable of churning through heavy snow with minimal force. The charging port does only accept one battery at a time, but for most users, this is still a high-performance machine that will get the job done.

Get the Ryobi single-stage snow blower at The Home Depot

Best Self-Propelled

Toro Power Clear 721 E 21-Inch Gas Snow Blower

Product Specs

  • Type: Gas
  • Weight: 84 pounds
  • Clearing width: 21 inches


  • Self-propelled 212cc 4-cycle overhead valve engine and 21-inch clearing path
  • Curve Technology shreds through light and fluffy snow easily; can throw snow up to 35 feet
  • Locking deflector on the 210-degree chute; users can control where the snow falls once thrown
  • Folds into a compact unit for storing in a shed, garage, or other storage space


  • Should not be used on decking or patios; designed for use on paved surfaces only
  • Unit is very heavy compared to similar models on the market

Those who want to make quick work of removing snow without having to push a heavy snow-removal tool can rely on the Toro Power Clear 721 E. This unit is self-propelled, has an easy electric start, and comes with Curve Technology that shreds through snow easily. The locking deflector on the 210-degree chute also allows users to direct where the snow goes after it has been picked up.

This Toro nearly snagged the best overall gas model, and it’s certainly one of the best and most powerful single-stage snow blowers we tested. Being self-propelled is a major bonus, and it will save users the energy required to push through difficult snow. The auger is durable and strong, making it a candidate for pushing the limits of single-stage capabilities.

The only downside we experienced is the manual adjustment needed to change chute angles and throwing direction. It’s a quick process, but there are no controls within reach of the handle area. The gas motor is also fantastic and is very efficient and pretty quiet overall. It’s obviously not on par with electric models for reduced noise, but users can run longer without waiting for a recharge.

Get the Toro 721 E single-stage snow blower at Tractor Supply Co., Ace Hardware, or The Home Depot.

Best Battery Life

Greenworks 60V 22-Inch Single-Stage Snow Blower

Product Specs 

  • Type: Cordless electric
  • Weight: 56.9 pounds (without batteries)
  • Clearing width: 22 inches


  • Comes with 2 powerful 5.0Ah batteries and a dual port charger
  • Runs for up to 60 minutes and recharges in about 45 minutes
  • Convenient folding handle design allows for easy transport and storage
  • LED headlights enhance visibility at night and during heavy storms


  • Not self-propelled, so plan on pushing a little to gain momentum

While battery-powered tools offer the convenience of cordless technology, low maintenance, and ease of use, the compromise in power and runtime can make them impractical. Not so with this snow blower from Greenworks. The 60V 22-inch model is aesthetically pleasing and doesn’t look too beefy, but it really packs a punch with two 5.0Ah batteries. This delivers exceptional power and longer runtimes so users can keep going on bigger jobs.

The batteries will power this unit for up to an hour (and longer in some cases). The dual charging port also offers the opportunity to simultaneously recharge or alternate charging for near continuous use. We found the battery life to be a huge bonus during bigger storms and for those times when the neighbors need a hand with snow removal. It’s hard to overstate the benefits of more battery power.

Outside of the batteries, this unit also performed as well as any of those tested. It has great auger speed and throwing distance as it zipped right along, clearing a wide 22-inch path. It’s not self-propelled, but otherwise, we had zero complaints about the quality of this machine.

Get the Greenworks 22-inch single-stage snow blower at Tractor Supply Co. or Walmart

Also Consider

Greenworks 13-Amp 20-Inch Corded Snow Thrower

Product Specs 

  • Type: Corded electric
  • Weight: 32 pounds
  • Clearing width: 20 inches


  • 13-amp electric motor clears a 20-inch swath of snow in a single pass
  • Discharge chute is capable of clearing snow at up to a 20-foot distance
  • Built-in rubber auger blades make contact with pavement without damage
  • Attractive affordable price point when compared to similar models on the market


  • Corded model that only works on 120 volts of power
  • Requires extension cord for operation, which is not included

This Greenworks 20-inch snow thrower is much lighter than its cordless electric counterpart and weighs in at only 32 pounds. The trade-off, of course, is that it must be plugged in, but during our testing, a clip secured to the cord prevented the machine from inconveniently unplugging. We enjoyed consistent power without the need to stop and recharge a battery. This model is great for small driveways, walkways, and decks, where it’s easy to access an outlet. However, users might face difficulties when trying to clear snow from large spaces and areas with obstacles.

We tested this model in snow under the 1-foot threshold, and the Greenworks easily threw it a reasonable distance. The manufacturer doesn’t advise operating it in heavy snow, but we did happen to tackle some deeper snow and found the ramping-up technique to be quite effective.

The instantaneous push-button start was convenient, and a lever located just below the handle made controlling the chute easy. Although our model did not include LED lights, Greenworks does offer a version with the option, making nighttime snow removal a breeze.

Get the Greenworks 20-inch single-stage snow blower at Walmart.

Jump to Our Top Picks

What to Consider When Choosing a Single-Stage Snow Blower

There are numerous factors to take into account when deciding on the best single-stage snow blower for a property, including the amount and depth of snow it can move, the power source, comfort, maneuverability, and more. Read on to learn about these and other crucial snow blower features.

Type/Power Source

Snow blowers come in corded electric, battery-powered, and gas-powered varieties. Each source of power has its benefits and drawbacks.

  • Electric snow blowers are typically designed to clear light snow up to about 8 inches deep. They must be plugged into an outlet with an extension cord. This limits their performance slightly, making them best suited for those who receive minimal snowfall and have relatively short sidewalks and driveways. They’re also handy for clearing snow from decks and steps because they’re lightweight enough to lift and move.
  • Cordless snow blowers are relatively new to the market and quite promising. Runtime is usually limited to around 30 minutes before the high-capacity battery needs to be recharged. But in many cases, users can continue past 30 minutes by swapping in a spare battery. Generally speaking, cordless snow blowers are typically single-stage models and are best suited to clearing away light snow.
  • Gas-powered snow blowers boast a lot more power than electric and battery blowers, and they don’t restrict their operators to the length of an extension cord. They can clear away deep and heavy snow all along the driveway, and then continue down the sidewalk and clear the neighbor’s drive as well. They’re generally more expensive and louder tools and also require more maintenance.

Size and Weight

Most single-stage snow blowers range in width from 15 to 22 inches and can handle snow depth between 7 and 12 inches. A larger snow blower is more difficult to turn but will clear a driveway in fewer passes than a smaller snow blower; the trade-off is maneuverability.

Weight also plays a significant role in how easy it is to push or turn a snow blower. Most corded and cordless snow blowers weigh between 35 and 40 pounds, while single-stage gas snow blowers typically weigh between 50 and 60 pounds.

Clearing Width and Depth

It’s important to consider the width and depth of snow that a snow blower can clear in a single pass. A single-stage snow blower can typically clear a path between 15 and 22 inches. The width determines how many passes are required to clear a driveway or sidewalk.

The snow blower’s intake height determines the depth of snow it can remove with each pass. Most single-stage snow blowers have an intake depth between 7 and 12 inches. A good rule of thumb is to choose a snow blower with an intake depth 2 inches higher than the area’s average snowfall.

Wheels, Tracks, and Terrain Type

Wheeled snow blowers feature two large rear wheels that drive the machine forward, while tracked models have tracks similar to those found on a tank. Consider the features of wheeled versus tracked blowers:

  • Tracked snow blowers provide significantly better traction in the snow, making them better able to climb steep slopes without slipping backward. Most tracked models are two- or three-stage snow blowers, as single-stage models typically don’t produce enough power to drive the tracks. They also operate more closely to the surface, leaving a thinner layer of snow and ice on a driveway or sidewalk than wheeled models.
  • Wheeled snow blowers are easier to turn, since tracked models won’t pivot. Wheel sizes for single-stage snow blowers range from 6 to 8 inches. Larger wheels perform better in deeper snow, while smaller wheels are easier to maneuver. These blowers are generally faster than tracked models. That said, some higher-end tracked blowers offer faster speed and turn-on-a-dime technology that makes them comparable in speed and maneuverability to wheeled models.

Terrain type will influence which of these design options is best for a specific user. Paved surfaces, such as driveways and sidewalks, are best suited for wheeled snow blowers. Tracked snow blowers are better suited for unpaved surfaces. Grade also has a significant impact; steep driveways require a snow blower with good traction and enough power to pull it up a snow-covered slope.

Speed Control

Since snow blowers can be heavy and cumbersome to maneuver, many shoppers may prefer a self-propelled model. Unlike gas snow blowers, battery-powered models have a digital drive system and can be self-propelled, but they usually have a variable-speed auger to speed up snow removal.

By increasing the speed at which the snow is scooped and thrown through the chute, the auger makes it easier to move the machine through a light snowfall. However, a variable-speed auger isn’t as effective when clearing heavy, packed snow.

Chute Control

The chute, a curved, hollow tube that extends from the back of the intake on a snow blower, provides a route for the snow to be thrown from the machine. On most blowers, a manual crank or lever lets users change the angle and direction of the snow being displaced.

Premium snow blowers, however, have auto-rotating chutes that users turn by pushing a button near the handle, which doesn’t require the machine to be stopped. The angle on some chutes also can be changed to allow the snow blower to throw snow even further.

Additional Features

Single-stage snow blowers often boast some extra features to improve ease of use.

  • Electric start is a useful feature for gas snow blowers. This typically involves a push-button ignition that replaces the standard pull start and choke.
  • Heated handles may seem luxurious, but personal safety is an important part of working outdoors in freezing temperatures. The heat generated by the handles not only helps to keep the user’s fingers warm in the cold air, but it also makes it easier to hold and control the snow blower.
  • Drift cutters help clear deep drifts of snow. The cutter’s metal housing collects and pushes snow down into the auger for removal.
  • Headlights make it easier and safer to clear snow at night or in dim lighting.
  • Automatic safety shutoff shuts off the snow blower when the user releases the handle.


Those wondering how a single-stage snow blower differs from a two-stage snow blower may want to read on for info, plus answers to other frequently asked questions, before putting on their snow boots,

Q. What’s the difference between single-stage and two-stage snow blowers?

The biggest difference between single-stage and two-stage snow blowers is power. Most single-stage snow blowers handle snowfall up to about 8 inches, whereas two-stage snow blowers can tackle up to 2 feet of snow. The “stage” term refers to how each blower removes snow.

A single-stage snow blower has an auger that both gathers and blows away the snow. A two-stage snow blower, in comparison, has an auger that sucks up the snow and an impeller that launches it into the air. In addition to being able to remove deeper snow, two-stage snow blowers also have larger intakes that range in width from 20 to 36 inches.

Q. What size cord is suitable for a single-stage electric snow blower?

The length of the extension cord depends on the gauge of the power cable. A 12-gauge cord will work up to 100 feet, while a slimmer 14-gauge cord only extends about 50 feet.

Q. How do I start a single-stage snow blower in the cold season?

Getting a snow blower started depends on its power source. Keep these tips in mind for electric and gas-powered machines:

  • Corded electric: Simply plug the unit into an outlet and press the start button. These models take their power from an AC power source, so there are no issues with low-temperature start-ups.
  • Cordless electric: Some electric snow blowers will not start if the battery is too cold. It’s a good idea to store lithium-ion batteries at room temperature.
  • Gas-powered: Gas snow blowers with a pull-start motor may be challenging to start in low temperatures. Make sure to use lightweight motor oil, such as 5W-30, which is designed to operate at these temperatures.

Q. How do I change the fuel filter on a single-stage snow blower?

Periodically changing the fuel filter ensures contaminants won’t find their way inside the engine and negatively impact performance. The fuel filter is usually located between the fuel pump and fuel tank.

Change the filter by removing the two hoses that connect to it, making sure to keep the hoses pointing upward to prevent fuel from leaking out of the tank. Install the new filter by attaching the hoses to the line leading from the fuel tank and the line leading to the engine.

Meet the Testers

Zach Lazzari is a freelance writer splitting time between the great outdoors, travel, and DIY projects ranging from camper builds to home renovations and maintenance. His home base in Montana is the perfect testing grounds for winter products and snow equipment. With over a decade of professional writing experience, he also covers a variety of other projects and maintenance topics for

Tom Scalisi is a full-time DIY and construction writer for many of the largest websites in the industry, including, This Old House, Family Handyman, and Forbes as well as his own pest control blog.

Additional research provided by Tony Carrick.


Tony Carrick Avatar

Tony Carrick

Contributing Writer

Tony Carrick is a freelance writer who has contributed to since 2020. He writes how-to articles and product reviews in the areas of lawn and garden, home maintenance, home improvement, auto maintenance, housewares, and technology.