So your snow blower finally gave up the ghost after 25 years. You see the attractive new models and begin to question your loyalty to your old faithful machine.
The advanced technology and comfort features of today will make for a much better snow blowing experience than having the biggest blower on the block.
For most of us, it's one or two driveways, a few sidewalks, and we're done. Assuming you have a single-car or double-car driveway, you're clearing about 10-20 feet in width.
24-Inch clearing width = 5-10 Passes
36-Inch clearing width = 4-7 Passes
The difference isn't really a big deal unless your driveway is 200 feet long! So the larger clearing width may only save you about 10 minutes versus making your snow blowing time much more comfortable and convenient.
You want to look at features such as power steering, heated hand grips, automatic chute control, and larger engines.
Power steering saves you from having to make wide turns in the middle of the street or horse it back-and-forth to change directions. It provides better handling, so more members of your family are capable of enjoying the benefits of a snow blower.
Heated hand grips are great for obvious reasons. No need to worry about frost-bitten fingers and your fingers won't be too stiff to operate the power steering triggers in sub-zero temperatures.
For those who feel restricted by wearing gloves, these are an effective way to maintain toasty digits in sub-zero temperatures.
Automatic chute controls allow you to control the direction you're blowing without stopping.
If you want a step up from a manual chute, there are options such as lever chutes, slide chutes, crank chutes, joystick chutes, and electric chutes.
So when you're shopping for a new snow blower, remember that it's the features that make them better than the models of yesteryear, and size is just an afterthought.