Husqvarna, Kent Equipment, Snow blower, snow removal, Winter, snow

Part One -Snow Blowers- Should I buy a single stage or a double stage?

Part One -Snow Blowers- Should I buy a single stage or a double stage?

Posted by Bryan Buskard on 9 December 2016 | Comments

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Hi there, Bryan here. Recently my mom asked me, “Bryan, should I buy a single stage snow blower or a double stage snow blower, and what is the difference?” So my mom is 100% Dutch, given that I knew what her number one priority would be…. price.

To start us off, here is a short video on the operation of a single stage Husqvarna snow blower: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4nTpeCgSmw

Now when we talk price, it is easy to remember, as a double stage will almost double the price of a single stage, not exactly, but pretty close. A single stage is the beginner or entry level snow blower. They are ideal for smaller driveways, turn very easy, are lighter weight, use less fuel and of course cost less. They are fantastic units until you get into deeper snow, or you have a long driveway where you don’t want to be blowing snow for four hours (obviously an exaggeration for illustration purposes).

Another nice feature of the single stage snow blower, which is not recommended by any manufacture, is that you can also use it on your roof. Now, I know you may think this is a crazy idea because we haven’t really had any big snow storms in a while, but back during the blizzards of Jan. ‘78 and Jan. ‘89 many roofs were collapsing from the weight of the accumulated snow. I owned a small 2-bedroom bungalow on the NE side of Grand Rapids by Knapp and Fuller. I had shoveled off the front of the roof the best I could, like the first 4 feet, and thought that was fine.

 Then while I was sleeping, I heard and thunderous boom and thought my roof was caving in. Fortunately for me it was my neighbors garage, but that was all I needed to see. The next day I hauled my single stage up to the peak of my roof. While straddling the peak I tied one end of the rope around my waist and the other end of the rope to my single stage, fired that baby up and then let it roll down each side of the roof. Once it reached the last 4 feet of the roof I had already cleared with my shovel from below, I wound up the rope and pulled the blower back up. Where my neighbors were spent a half a day of back breaking shoveling, I was done in 30-45 minutes and my son standing down in the yard thought it was the most fun ever!

Just a word of caution, this is not recommended by any manufacturer nor by Kent Equipment, but rather just a personal story. Also I am 6’3” and at that time about 230 lbs., so I served as a good anchor for the blower. Plus, these storms happened in January where the shingles were already frozen solid and the was a coating of ice and snow on the roof to where the paddle on the blower never hit the shingles. But this method sure beat shoveling.

Most single stages are not driven with a transmission but self-propelled. Just like a carpet vacuum beaters rotate and help pull you through the carpet so it feels like there is a drive motor on the head pulling you forward. The single stage blower has a paddle in the middle of it with 3 hard rubber fins that spin, gather up snow and fling it out through the shoot in the top. When you want to move forward you simply lift up on the handle in the back, this forces the front end down and the hard rubber fins start spinning on the ground pulling you forward.  This unit works great until the snow builds up to knee height. Even then you can always pick the little bugger up and set it on top of your snow bank and wiggle it back and forth until it eats through the drift.  

In the next segment of this blog I will examine the two stage snow blower. But in the mean time, have a happy white winter! Bryan

Below is a picture of the paddle system. 

Single Stage