How do I find the right snow blower?
A snow blower will likely be a long-term investment. You’ll use it about eight hours a year, and can get 20 years out of the machine if you take care of it, said Peter Sawchuk, who tests snow blowers for Consumer Reports.
When considering what to buy, don’t think about the amount of snow that accumulates on your driveway. Rather, think about the pile of snow that gets plowed into the end of your driveway when crews clear your street, Sawchuk said.
There are also several types of snow blowers to choose from: corded electric, single stage, and two stage.
Sawchuk calls corded electric models “pretty much useless.” “Don’t waste your time and money,” he said.
How about choosing between a single-stage and two-stage models?
Single-stage snow throwers are smaller and more lightweight, Sawchuk said. But two-stage models push themselves into the snow, rather than single-stage ones that need to be pushed into the snow by the user, he said. Sawchuk recommends the two-stage models for people with a driveway that gets plowed in.
From there, Sawchuk recommends thinking about how quickly you want to get to the bottom of the snow pile that will be plowed into the end of your driveway, Sawchuk said. For $1,000, he said, “you can get a lot of snow blower.”