Snow Thrower vs Snow Blower: Choose the Right One

Facing the onslaught of winter’s fury, homeowners find themselves in the midst of a perennial debate: Snow Thrower vs Snow Blower – which reigns supreme in the battle against snow-covered driveways and sidewalks? As the first flakes start to fall, the urgency to make a well-informed decision becomes paramount. With a myriad of options available, it’s easy to get lost in the technicalities, leaving you scratching your head in confusion. Fear not, as we dive deep into the heart of this frosty dilemma, dissecting the pros and cons, the ins and outs of both snow throwers and snow blowers, ensuring you’re armed with knowledge and ready to conquer the winter chill. And for those days when the snow just won’t quit, be sure to check your school’s status with our Snowday Calculator, adding an extra layer of preparedness to your winter arsenal. Don’t let the snow catch you off guard – read on, and transform yourself into a snow-clearing superhero!

Snow throwers are smaller, less powerful, and suitable for light snowfall up to 9 inches, requiring more physical effort. Snow blowers are larger, more powerful, and can handle heavy snowfall above 15 inches, with the ability to throw snow up to 50 feet, offering a self-propelled operation that eases physical strain. Choose a snow thrower for smaller areas with lighter snow, and a snow blower for larger areas with heavier snowfall.

Snow Thrower vs Snow Blower

What is a Snow Thrower?

When it comes to snow throwers, we are talking about single-stage machines designed to tackle snow removal in an efficient manner. The core of a snow thrower’s operation lies in its rotating auger, which plays a dual role. First, it scoops up the snow, and then it throws the snow out of the chute. This two-in-one action defines the single-stage nature of the snow thrower, creating a straightforward and effective snow-clearing process

Pros of Using a Snow Thrower

Utilizing a snow thrower comes with several advantages. Below is a list to highlight the key benefits:

  1. Smaller and Easier to Maneuver: Due to its compact size, a snow thrower is easy to handle, making it a convenient option for quick snow clearing sessions.
  2. Less Expensive: When compared to snow blowers, snow throwers come with a lower price tag, offering an economical solution for snow removal.
  3. Suitable for Light to Moderate Snowfall: Perfectly designed for regions that experience up to 8-9 inches of snow, snow throwers efficiently tackle light to moderate snowfall.

Cons of Using a Snow Thrower

Despite the advantages, snow throwers have their limitations. Here’s a list of cons to consider:

  1. Limited Snow Throwing Distance: Snow throwers may not throw snow as far as one might desire, which could be a setback when clearing large areas.
  2. Requires More Physical Effort: Given that they are not self-propelled, using a snow thrower demands more physical effort from the user, especially when navigating through thick snow.

Ideal Use Cases for Snow Thrower

Understanding where a snow thrower excels is key to making the right choice. Here are some scenarios where a snow thrower proves to be the ideal tool:

  1. Driveways: Perfect for residential use, snow throwers efficiently clear driveways, ensuring a smooth exit and entry to your home.
  2. Sidewalks: Keep the pathways around your property safe and accessible with a snow thrower.
  3. Decks and Patios: Thanks to their compact size, snow throwers are the go-to choice for clearing snow off decks and patios, ensuring your outdoor spaces remain usable even in winter.

What is a Snow Blower?

A. Description of Snow Blower
Snow blowers are robust machines that come in two-stage or three-stage models, providing a powerful solution for snow removal. The key mechanism in a snow blower involves an auger that breaks up the snow and an impeller that propels the snow out of the chute. This two-part process ensures a thorough clearing of snow, making snow blowers highly efficient for heavy-duty tasks.

Pros of Using a Snow Blower

Choosing a snow blower brings along a set of impressive advantages, which include:

  1. Bigger and More Powerful: Snow blowers stand out with their larger size and increased power, tackling snow removal tasks with ease.
  2. Capable of Handling Heavy Snowfall: With the ability to manage snow accumulations of 15 inches or more, snow blowers are the go-to choice for areas prone to heavy snowfall.
  3. Can Blow Snow Up to 50 Feet: The powerful mechanism in snow blowers enables them to throw snow up to impressive distances, as far as 50 feet.
  4. Self-Propelled and Easier on the Body: The self-propelled nature of snow blowers makes them easier on the body, reducing the physical effort required from the user.

Cons of Using a Snow Blower

While snow blowers offer significant benefits, they also come with certain drawbacks. Here’s a look at some of the cons:

  1. More Expensive: Due to their size and capabilities, snow blowers come with a higher price tag compared to snow throwers.
  2. Larger and Requires More Storage Space: The larger size of snow blowers means they demand more storage space, which could be a concern for those with limited room.

Ideal Use Cases for Snow Blower

Knowing when to use a snow blower can make your snow removal tasks much smoother. Here are the scenarios where a snow blower shines:

  1. Large Areas: For vast expanses such as big driveways or parking lots, a snow blower clears large areas efficiently.
  2. Areas with Heavy Snowfall and Compacted Snow or Ice: Snow blowers are well-equipped to handle challenging conditions, including heavy snowfall and compacted snow or ice.

Snow Thrower vs Snow Blower: Differences

1. Performance in Different Snow Conditions

When we put snow throwers and snow blowers side by side, their performance in varied snow conditions becomes a critical point of comparison. Snow throwers, with their single-stage mechanism, excel in clearing light to moderate snowfall efficiently. They ensure quick removal of snow layers up to 8-9 inches. On the other hand, snow blowers bring their two-stage or three-stage power to the table, handling heavy snowfall of 15 inches or more with ease. They can break through compacted snow and ice, providing a thorough clearing even in the most challenging conditions.

2. Ease of Use and Maneuverability

In terms of user-friendliness and maneuverability, snow throwers take the lead. Their smaller size and lighter weight make them easy to handle and navigate, especially in tight spaces. However, this advantage comes with the need for more physical effort as they are not self-propelled. Snow blowers, while larger and heavier, offer a self-propelled feature, making them easier on the body, even though they might be more challenging to maneuver due to their size.

3. Storage and Maintenance

Storage and maintenance are crucial aspects to consider when choosing between a snow thrower and a snow blower. Snow throwers, being smaller, demand less storage space and are generally easier to maintain. They have fewer parts and mechanisms, which translates to less potential for wear and tear. Snow blowers, with their larger size and more complex mechanisms, require more storage space and may demand more attention in terms of maintenance to keep them running smoothly.

4. Cost Considerations

The financial aspect is often a deciding factor for many homeowners. Snow throwers, with their simpler design and smaller size, are less expensive both in terms of initial purchase and long-term maintenance. They provide a cost-effective solution for areas with lighter snowfall. Snow blowers, however, represent a larger investment. Their higher price tag reflects their greater capabilities and power, which may be justified for areas experiencing severe winter conditions and heavy snowfall.

Choosing the Right Machine for Your Needs

To make an informed decision, start by evaluating the typical snowfall in your area and the size of the space you need to clear. If your region experiences light to moderate snowfall and you have a relatively small driveway or patio, a snow thrower might be the perfect fit. It’s designed to handle up to 8-9 inches of snow and is easy to maneuver in tight spaces. On the flip side, if you’re dealing with heavy snowfall exceeding 15 inches, or you need to clear a large area, a snow blower becomes a more sensible option. Its powerful engine and larger clearing width can save you time and effort in harsh winter conditions.

Next, think about the storage space you have available and your budget. Snow throwers are compact and require less storage space, making them a good option for those with limited room. They’re also more affordable, both in terms of initial investment and ongoing maintenance. Snow blowers, however, demand more storage space and come with a higher price tag. While they are more expensive, their robust performance and time-saving capabilities could justify the cost, especially in areas with severe winter weather.

How far can a snowblower throw snow?

The distance a snow blower can throw snow largely depends on the machine’s design and power. Typically, a two-stage snow blower can throw snow up to 15 to 30 feet away, while some of the more powerful models might even reach distances up to 50 feet. The size of the engine, the design of the impeller, and the conditions of the snow all play critical roles in determining the throwing distance. Wet and heavy snow might not travel as far as dry and light snow. It’s crucial to consider these factors when assessing a snow blower’s efficiency in clearing snow from your property.

Do I really need a snow blower?

If you live in an area with regular, heavy snowfall, and you have a large driveway or area to clear, a snow blower could be a valuable investment. It can significantly reduce the time and physical effort required to clear snow, turning a strenuous task into a manageable one. However, if you experience only light to moderate snowfall, or you have a smaller area to clear, a snow thrower or even a shovel might be sufficient for your needs. Assessing your typical snow conditions and the area you need to clear will help you determine if a snow blower is a necessary investment.

Can a snowblower go through hard snow?

Yes, a snow blower can go through hard snow, but the ease with which it does so depends on the type of snow blower and its features. Two-stage and three-stage snow blowers are specifically designed to handle heavy, wet, and hard-packed snow. They have an auger that breaks up the snow and an impeller that helps to throw it out of the chute. The serrated auger and powerful engine enable these types of snow blowers to cut through hard snow more effectively than a single-stage snow thrower would. However, even with a snow blower, it’s crucial to tackle snow accumulation regularly to prevent it from becoming overly compacted and more challenging to remove.


In recapitulation, snow throwers are smaller, less expensive, and best suited for lighter snowfalls and smaller areas, but they require more physical effort and have a limited throwing distance. Snow blowers, conversely, are larger, more powerful, capable of handling heavy snow and larger areas, and easier on the body, but they come with a higher price tag and require more storage space

Making an informed decision is crucial when choosing between a snow thrower and a snow blower. Understanding the key differences and considering your specific needs ensures that you invest in a machine that will serve you well throughout the winter months. It’s about finding the right balance between performance, ease of use, and cost.

We encourage you to choose the machine that best fits your individual needs. Consider your typical snowfall, the area you need to clear, your storage space, and your budget. Weigh the pros and cons carefully and remember that the right choice will provide you with a reliable tool that makes snow clearing efficient, effective, and as effortless as possible. Choose wisely, and let your winter be smooth and well-prepared!


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