Owners of country houses are not always happy with the onset of winter, because the first snow means that you need to take a shovel and go clean the paths. This activity may seem to someone entertaining and even useful – after all, physical activity. But usually, by the middle of winter, not a trace remains of a positive attitude, and entertainment turns into a routine, which also threatens with calluses and muscle pain. If you are familiar with this situation, then it is worth considering buying a snowblower. Choose 2 stage vs 3 stage snow blower with us.
How a snow blower works and its advantages
Standard snow blowers are a structure consisting of a metal body, an engine, control elements, spiral devices for collecting snow (augers) and then throwing it away. There are two types of units: one-stage and two-stage. The difference is that the first augers perform two tasks at once: they collect the snow and throw it into the outlet chute. Due to this mechanism, single-stage snow blowers are quite vulnerable – the augers are forced to rotate at maximum speed, creating enough force to throw snow. Therefore, if solid objects accidentally hit them, they can easily fail.
Two-stage snow blowers are more advanced and have an additional mechanism – a rotor, which serves as a kind of “mediator” between the augers and the discharge chute. Therefore, the rotational speed of the augers can be low, which avoids their premature wear, but does not affect the speed of snow throwing.
Snowblowers are designed to facilitate the cleaning of local land in suburban areas, and are also often used to clear large areas where the use of manual labor will require too many resources. For example, an area where you could clean up with a shovel in 20 minutes, an average snowplow will remove in 5 minutes, and if you compare the effort expended on both work, the advantage of the latter becomes obvious.
Each snow blower model has a set of characteristics that determine its ability to remove snow. Let’s take a look at the main parameters of these devices.
Types of snow blowers for home and summer cottages
One of the most important criteria when choosing a snow blower is the engine type . Gasoline powered devices make up the mainstream market segment, and this is not surprising. Snowblowers are often used where electricity may not be available at all. Petrol powered snow blowers are also usually more powerful (3 to 15 horsepower) than electric ones. This means that the former will better cope with the task. Still electric typeis also quite common, but since the cleaning area is limited by the length of the wire, it is used to clean small areas. Such snow blowers have their advantages: they are easier to maintain and more economical, since they do not require, for example, refueling and changing oil. But their power is much inferior to a snowplow with a gasoline engine: usually it is no more than 3 kW (approximately 4.1 horsepower). In addition, all electric snow blowers are not self-propelled.
Petrol-powered snow blowers, in turn, are divided into self-propelled and non-self-propelled . Devices, the weight of which should not give the operator special problems when moving and maneuvering (30-40 kg), are usually not equipped with mechanisms of independent movement, but the power of such snow throwers is less (3-4 horsepower), so that the removal of high or icy snow cover can be difficult. Heavy snow blowers (50-100 kg) cannot be driven without the help of a self-propelled mechanism. They are more powerful and more functional.
The fuel tank capacity of gasoline snow blowers is from two to five liters, the power is in the range from 3 to 15 horsepower. Gasoline consumption depends on the nature of the snow cover and on the power of the device, but on average, a snow blower will consume 2–4 liters of gasoline per hour. Special attention should be paid to the starting system : it can be manual (starting cord) and electrical (must be connected to an outlet before work).
From the bucket sizethe volume of snow capture depends, that is, the width and height of a snowdrift, which the snow blower is able to remove in one “run”. This parameter depends on the specific model, but on average, electric snow blowers have a working width of 26 to 60 cm, a height of 12 to 30 cm.Petrol snow blowers are larger: the bucket width is from 55 to 115 cm, and the height is from 25 to 76 see. Snow blowers can be located on the sides – special plates for dumping the inaccessible upper part of the snowdrift directly into the cleaning area. The shape of the screw can be smooth or serrated. In order for the snow blower not to damage the garden path surface, the auger is supplemented with special rubber pads (applicable only for non-self-propelled snow blowers). The ejection impeller (rotor) is most often made of metal and has 3–4 blades.
Almost all models of self-propelled snow blowers are equipped with a manual transmission for speed selection. This is convenient when you need to remove drifts of different heights, densities and geometries. If the snow cover is minimal, then the increased speed will help to shorten the cleaning time. Many self-propelled snow blowers have a system of interlocking of the auger drive handles and wheels, so the operator can adjust the operation of the snow blower with one hand and change the distance or direction of snow throwing with the other.
To ensure maneuvering, special systems are installed on heavy snow blowers to facilitate the turning process. The cotter pin system on the wheel drive shaft requires the snow blower to come to a complete stop to turn, the levers under the handles (you need to clamp one of them to make a left or right turn) are more advanced, and the most modern snow blowers often have an automatic steering system that responds to your movement.
Tracked and wheeled models are common among snowblowers. The first option has better cross-country ability and obstacle-passing performance, and the characteristics of tires depend on their width and tread depth.