Single-stage models are the Goldilocks of snow blowers. They’re not too big and not too small.
These gas-powered snow blowers are built for suburban-style properties receiving frequent snow falls less than 8-10 inches.
Single-stage snow blowers can clear a typical sidewalk in two quick passes.
The auger is made out of plastic or hard rubber and makes direct contact with the surface. Unlike their two stage cousins, single-stage snow throwers clear the entire surface area. As a result, drifting snow - especially on a blacktop surface - quickly melts away in the sun.
Here are a few features to consider while shopping:
2-Cycle vs. 4-Cycle Engine
It’s the age old question: Which is better - a 2-stroke
or 4-stroke engine?
Two-cycle (a.k.a. 2-stroke) engines require a gas and oil mixture, supplying both fuel and lubrication to the engine during operation. Basically, you are “changing” the oil every time you gas up your snow blower.
Four-cycle (a.k.a. 4-stroke) engines include a separate fuel tank for the gas and a crankcase for the oil. The oil should be periodically changed – typically after every 25 hours or once a year.
While oil changes are never fun, 4-cycle engines provide greater
torque, better fuel economy, better emissions and a much better
snow blowing experience.
Recoil vs. Electric Start
Recoil start snow blowers are similar to lawn mowers. You
simply pull on the rope to get it started.
If you still have nightmares about cranking pull cords, get an electric start model instead.
Surprisingly, electric start models don’t use batteries since they operate in below freezing temperatures. Instead, you simply plug an extension cord from a wall outlet into the snow blower then press a button to start it.
All electric start snow blowers come equipped with a recoil start
as a back-up, just in case.
Basic single-stage snow blowers feature a manual chute. You turn it
left or right by physically pushing or pulling the attached handle.
Shorter people must stop snow blowing and walk around the snow
blower every time they need to turn the chute.
More sophisticated single-stage snow blowers feature a manual crank. You turn the discharge chute to the left or the right by cranking a handle from behind the snow blower, allowing to adjust the chute on the fly.
Toro’s Quick Chute is the best type of chute on the market. Instead of cranking and cranking, you simply rotate the chute by sliding a lever up and down the right handle bar.
Yes, it costs a little more, but you’ll appreciate it every time
you turn around.
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