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How Does a Snowblower Work According to it’s Type

Snow blowers are a common sight in areas that experience regular and heavy snowfall throughout the winter months. The exact specifications may vary depending on the make and model, but snow blowers tend to work on similar principles. Snow blowers push the snow and ice; the dislodged material is then forced through a chute to clear a path. A snow blower can be used to clear driveways, sidewalks, porches, stairs, decks, and any other locations that are covered with ice and snow. In this article, we will answer the question how does a snowblower work in more detail.

What Are the Main Parts of a Snow Blower

When you want to learn how a snowblower works, the best place to start is with the main parts:

1.    The Auger on a Snowblower

How does a Snowblower work

These are serrated metal blades or paddles that rotate to break the ice and hard-packed snow apart for easier removal. A single-stage model will have rubber paddles that collect and throw the snow in a single motion. The 2-stage machines have the metal serrated augers that cut the snow and then feed it into the impeller. The auger is located in a housing at the front of the snow blower, where the machine comes into contact with the snow.

2.    Snowblower Impeller

The impeller is located directly behind the augers to receive the loosened snow and ice. An impeller is a spinning fan that throws the snow out of the chute.

3.    The Chute Throws the Snow

This is a tube that extends upwards out of the auger housing to throw the snow. The chute can be angled to direct the snow in a direction of the operators choosing.

4.    The Deflector at the End of the Snowblower

This is the extension at the top of the chute that can be angled to throw the snow and ice in different directions and distances.

5.    What Belts are on the Snowblower

A 2-stage snow blower will usually have two belts, the first turns the auger and impeller, and the second is used in the drive system. If either belt breaks, the snow blower will not work, and the belt must be replaced.

6.    Drift Cutters

These are extension bars that are located in the auger housing to cut high snow and direct the snow into the augers.

7.    A Four-Stroke Engine on a Snowblower

Most modern snow blowers are powered via a 4-stroke engine that doesn’t require a mix of gas and oil to operate efficiently. These engines are cleaner, they have more torque, and they have improved fuel efficiency when compared to 2-stroke engines.

How Does a Snowblower Work According to its Type

Single Stage Snow Blower  

A single-stage snow blower is small, light, and easy to handle. A single high-speed auger can scrape snow from the ground and throw it through the discharge chute. These lightweight models tend to have basic features that are sufficient for suburbs that receive light or moderate snowfall. The pass width is usually in the 18-22” range, and they can handle snow down to a depth of around 6” easily.

The Chute throws the snow

A snow single-stage snow blower can clear patios, decks, steps, and driveways, and it can handle compacted snow. But, the snow must be removed before it solidifies, or the snow blower cannot break the snow apart.

Using a shovel to break the snow apart will help the auger to discharge the snow that may have solidified overnight. But, a single-stage model will not throw the snow as far from the chute as the more powerful 2-stage and 3-stage models.

Second Stage Snow Blower

A 2-stage snow blower uses a slow turning auger to gather the snow and move it into the housing for removal. The machine uses a high-speed impeller unit to propel the snow up and out of the snow blower. These models are designed to handle snowfall with depths up to 18” on larger driveways. They are sturdy and heavier models that are a little harder to maneuver than the lighter single-stage models.

The auger is positioned in a horizontal orientation, and it forces the gathered snow and ice into a rotating impeller. These machines can throw snow up to a distance of 50 feet from the gathered location, which makes large area clearance easier. These snow blowers are self-propelled with multiple speed selections and large, powerful engines.

They can move through ice and compacted snow without stopping. The auger doesn’t come into direct contact with clearance surfaces, so these machines are safe to use on crushed stone and gravel covered areas. 2-stage snow blowers tend to have taller buckets that can handle snow drifts and pile-ups around the mailbox and the ends of driveways. If you need to clear larger areas of deep snow and ice, these machines are a great choice.

Third Stage Snow Blower 

The most powerful and efficient snow blowers are the 3-stage models. These have a pair of metal augers that scoop up snow and ice and push it into the center. Then an accelerator chops the material into easy to manage chunks which are pushed into the impeller unit. This material is then propelled up and out of the chute at high speeds to a significant distance. 

These machines are extremely efficient and can clear an area twice as fast as a similar size 2-stage snow blower. A 3-stage snow blower can remove heavy snow down to a depth of 18” on a large driveway up to four cars long. Frozen walls of snow left behind after a snowplow pass can be removed up to a depth of 20” in a single pass and thrown up to 50 feet away.

Additional Reading: How To Choose Between 2 Stage vs. 3 Stage Snow Blower

Electric Snow Shovel 

How Electric Snow Shovel Works

An electric snow shovel is a cross between a snow blower and a manual snow shovel. The handle resembles a snow shovel, but the scoop blade has been replaced with a single or double blade that picks up and throws snow as the machine is moved. This requires less effort than manual snow shoveling, but some pushing is required. They are designed to remove fresh snowfall from sidewalks, steps, decks, and patios.

How Does a Snowblower WorkFAQ’s

What throws the snow in a snowblower?

The impeller is a spinning fan mechanism that collects the snow from the augers and discharges it up and out of the chute.

How much snow before you can use a snowblower? 

When people think about how a snowblower works, they tend to wonder about its effectiveness during periods of heavier snowfall. Most modern snow blowers can handle a depth of 6-9” before they become less effective. But the more powerful models can remove up to 12” of compacted snow and ice. The most powerful models are less effective if the snow is deeper than 16” over a large area.

Do snowblowers work in heavy wet snow?  

Heavy and wet snow can clog show throwers and prevent the machine from working. So, if you live in areas that are prone to these conditions, it makes more sense to invest in a powerful snow blower machine.

How Does a Snowblower Work In Conclusion

We hope that we have answered the question, how does a snowblower work? Finding the right snow blower to meet your needs can be tricky. People that need to clear larger areas should invest in a 2-stage or 3-stage machine. Those living in areas with light and infrequent snowfall may find that a single-stage snow blower or an electric snow shovel meets their needs.