Snow Blower Guide

The Reno and Tahoe region is known for its year around scenery. In the summer, the painted landscape of the high desert gives way to the dense pine greenery circling the crystal blue of the lake. The winter brings with it heavy snow, dusting the tops of the trees and leaving the harsh desert a soft white. And while the Reno area is a beautiful place, the weather and climate can make for some interesting challenges, especially in the winter.

Due to the beautiful, yet heavy, snowfall, many Reno/Tahoe area residents decide to ditch the snow shovel and buy a snow blower to contend with snow fall. If you haven’t yet purchased one, below is an introduction to the small engine miracle that is a snow blower.

What is a Snow Blower?

snow blower

A snowblower makes moving snow easy.

Simply put, a snow blower is a powered tool used to remove snow from walkways, driveways, and roads. A snow blower gives you the ability to remove large amounts of snow from an area without having to wear out your back in the process. The blower uses a scoop to channel snow into an auger. The auger carries the snow to the shoot where the snow exits. Check out this video to see how they work.

Power Generation

Depending on your needs, snow blowers come in both gas powered and electric models. Gas models can be used in deep snow and are generally more powerful than their electric counterparts. The electric snow blower is great for areas where there is less snow accumulation, and they don’t require the maintenance that a gas engine requires. Electric snow blowers can be either cordless with a battery or of the plug in variety.

Snow blower stages

Snowblowers come in 3 main types: single stage, two stage and three stage. The “stage” of a snow blower describes how many mechanical stages the snow goes through before it exits the shoot. A single stage blower, for example, uses a single auger to both collect and discharge the snow. A two stage blower is used in deeper snow and feature an auger to collect the snow into an impeller that discharges the snow. A three stage snowblower uses both an auger and impeller with an added accelerator that moves the snow faster through the stages faster.

Choosing the right Snowblower

Here are some questions to help you choose a snowblower that fits your needs:

  1. How much snow do I need to clear?
    For light snowfalls of 8 inches or less, single-stage units should be sufficient. For medium to heavy snowfalls, a two-stage unit offers the larger engine and intake area needed to clear more snow quickly.
  2. How large an area do I need to clear?
    For smaller driveways, single-stage units can do the job. For driveways over 60 feet, choose a two- or three-stage unit.
  3. What kind of snow do I need to clear?
    Single-stage units can handle light snow. The impeller on a two-stage unit helps prevent clogging in heavy, wet snow and the serrated augers cut through hard-packed snow or ice. Three-stage units move more heavy, wet snow in less time.
  4. What type of terrain will I be working on?
    Push-propelled models are good for level surfaces. Engine-driven wheels will work best for uneven terrain.

Snow blower maintenance at Greg’s Small Engines 

No matter what kind of snow blower you end up choosing, Greg’s Small Engine Service and Repair can provide you with all your small engine and snow blower service needs. We even offer pick up and delivery services for your convenience. Contact us today!