Snow Blowers, Snow Removal

2 Stage vs 3 Stage Snow Blower: Which Is The Best For You?



by Bryan Mckenzie



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We try our best to enjoy fun games or activities in the snow during winters. However, you can only enjoy wintertime until heaps of snow start to block your driveway. When this happens, all of a sudden, it becomes a problem you will have to deal with.

The main difference between a 2-stage and a 3-stage snowblower is that the latter features not only an impeller and auger but also an accelerator that speeds up snow collection by ~50%. The first type is better for private use, and the second is usually applied as a commercial tool.

I can tell you already caught yourself thinking about the 2 stage vs 3 stage snow blower dilemma. I’m Bryan McKenzie, and I’m here to help you with that.

Best 2-Stage Snow Blower

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Best 3-Stage Snow Blower

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What is the Difference Between 2 Stage and 3 Stage Snow Blower?

To help you find concrete answers to questions you may have about how to choose a snowblower, we will start with the basics.  At first, it will be as simple as what is snow blowing? It involves the act of removing snow from your sidewalk or driveway through the use of a snow blower device. The process entails the rotating spiral blades of the machine sucking up the snow while a propeller helps shoot it out of its chute.

Now that we have understood its working process, the next logical question worth answering is what choice to make when presented with an electric snow blower electric and gas snowblower. Therefore, this article will be dedicated to answering this and other related questions.

2 Stage vs 3 Stage Snow Blower: Comparison



It comes equipped with an impeller and auger. These components efficiently work as a unit while blowing ice up. The process is as follows: first, the auger collects the snow, then the rotation of the impeller forces the snow out of the chute. While it may be slower than the 3 stage blower, it still can do a thorough job of clearing your driveway. It comes equipped with an accelerator. The advantage of this feature is that it can collect snow 50% faster than your 2 stage model. What this means for you is that you can clear your driveway using less time while also doing a thorough job. Therefore, you do not have to worry about going back with a shovel to ensure that your path is clean. Based on Сub Сadet snow blower reviews I have read online, the accelerator also increases the distance of snow throwing.
Most of the 2 stage models come with a compact design of about 24 inches. This makes it easier for you to store the device without much hassle. In short, they won’t take much of your storage space while 24 inches is wide enough to clear a large area of snow effectively. However, you should note that some of the two-stage models can extend up to 45 inches. One of the weaknesses associated with the three-stage snow blower is that most of them are 30 inches and above. Therefore, this creates a challenge with their storage. It will require you to have a larger garage or shed to store one.
Those of us with mechanic skills can manage to maintain a 2 stage blower without the help of a professional. The complicated designs of the three stage blower will require the help of a professional for better maintenance.
They can be utilized both for commercial and home use. They are mainly ideal for commercial use.

Several factors influence the decision which particular type of snow blower should you buy. The common considerations include the following components:

  • The amount of snow experienced
  • Size of area to be cleared
  • Frequency of usage
  • The ground material
  • The source of power

In most cases, the choice is mainly down to two-stage vs. three-stage snow blower. The rationale is that anyone looking to buy a thrower must be living in a snowfall-heavy area. Therefore, in terms of thinking about the future, a one-stage blower or shovel may not be an ideal choice. To help you make an informed decision, this section expresses the difference between 2 stage and 3 stage snowblower.


If you live in an area that receives heavy amounts of snowfall, a one-stage blower and shovel should not be on your shopping list. The reason is simple, they are not sufficient to handle that task in hand. For starters, an electric snow blower can only help you to clear snow that is not beyond eight inches. Therefore, you will find yourself in need of a machine that guarantees to clear snow up faster and more effectively.

So, what does a snow blower two-stage gas offer you? For starters, this blower gives you the versatility that enables you to use the snow blower two-stage gas for both: commercial and residential roles.

Before we delve into the details of what you can expect from the two-stage gas blower, it is important to understand where its name derives from. Name description is obtained from the fact that the auger, which is responsible for sucking up the snow, is complemented by an impeller.

This results in a working relationship, whereby the auger performs the task of sucking up the snow while the impeller plays the role of discharging it through the chute. It also comes with two engine powered wheels that enable people using it to move easily and be able to scoop snow at deeper levels.

This is not the case in a one-stage blower, whereby the auger performs all the tasks. The functionality of the two-stage blower is enhanced by the existence of a 4-cycle gas-powered engine. This comes in different sizes depending on the brand and the job it is expected to perform. For a better understanding of a two-stage blower, we will conduct a brief review of Ariens vs. Husqvarna snow blower.


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These types of snow blowers come equipped with a 208cc motor. This motor type provides the machine with enough power not only to plow through 23 inches of snow but also to throw the sucked up snow for a longer distance.

Snowblower at work

This brand is equipped with the following notable features: power steering and 15-inch tires for excellent stability in slushy snow conditions. Not to forget the 7-speed drive system that includes reverse.


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Another blower in this category is the Ariens Deluxe 24 inch blower. It is one of the three exclusive heavy-duty 24-inch snow blowers you will find in the market.

ARIENS Sno-Tek snow blower stands in the garage

Ariens snow blower comes equipped with a 254 cc engine that gives it enough power to blow snow off perfectly well-even under rough weather conditions. Both its auger and impeller are 14 inches, which makes them the biggest in this category.


The 3 stage blowers are developed with a view of raising the bar in ice and snow crushing to another level, thanks to their third-stage accelerator. Before we proceed with details about this machine, it is important to answer the vital question of what is 3 stage snowblower?

The three-stage blower incorporates an auger, impeller, and accelerator in its working mechanism. Therefore, its main difference with the 2 stage blower is in how it operates. The working mechanism is similar to that of the 2 stage snow blower. However, the accelerator makes all the difference by increasing the working speed of the blower. It fastens the process of snow collection by taking it from the augers and pushing it up into the discharge impeller.

Based on the other 3 stage snow blower reviews I have read online, the accelerator also enhances their suitability for commercial use. The heavy-duty gearbox in this blower combined with its powerful engine means that it can clear snow up to levels above 20 inches. It can also clear snow to a width of 30 inches. This fact makes it an ideal choice for both commercial usage and homeowners who experience heavy levels of snowing. A good example of a solid 3 stage blower is as follows.


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This medium-duty snowblower comes equipped with an electric engine that makes it practical to use in the coldest of winters. The powerful motor enables it to efficiently clear ice within a depth of 20 inches and a width of 24 inches. Five forward and two reverse gears further enhance its efficiency.

Briggs & Stratton snow blower standing in the garage

The blower also offers you a free hand control, which is useful in minimizing the amount of machine handling. The inclusion of steel-made skid shoes in its design not only increases its mobility on ice but also comes in handy when plowing through the deeply layered ice.

Furthermore, the material that is used in making this snow thrower helps in increasing its durability. For example, the body is made of ice-resistant steel, while other components like the gearbox are made from aluminum.


From the analysis conducted in this article, it is evident that snowblower types vary depending on their working mechanism. However, the one thing we can all agree on is that if you live in a snowfall-heavy area, your choices will always be down to a 2 stage vs. 3 stage snow blower. The thing is, you need a snow blower that is capable of handling snow over 18 inches deep. You also want one with the ability to clean snow up over a wider area faster and more effective.

Another advantage of these two models is the power produced by their gas engines. This makes them suitable for clearing ice even in rough circumstances and on rocky grounds. Their powerful wheels make their moves easy and effective.

However, if you are looking for something commercial, the 2 stage vs. 3 stage snow blower contest would easily be won by the latter. Its inclusion of an accelerator as a design feature makes it suitable for use in heavy jobs. The accelerator works 50% faster, which means the device collects ice better and throws snow at a longer distance. This feature also enables it to perform a more thorough job in clearing snow compared to its two-stage counterpart. Based on the information provided in this article and your personal needs, which of the 2 stage or 3 stage brand would you opt for.

Bryan Mckenzie
Hi there — my name is Bryan McKenzie. Before I’d got into gardening, I worked as a landscape designer at landscape design and consultation company in Jacksonville. I enjoy sharing the vast gardening experience I’ve accumulated throughout the years with like-minded green thumbs. Read more about me and my wife.
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13 thoughts on “2 Stage vs 3 Stage Snow Blower: Which Is The Best For You?”

  1. My previous snow blower never worked well, so this time I’ve decided to purchase something second-to-none. I’ve opted for the BRIGGS & STRATTON 1696614 unit — based on your reviews and other bloggers’ opinions. Lord knows I’ve done a lot of research on this product and finally decided on purchasing it. I’ve been using it for several weeks already, and I’m very satisfied. It’s powerful and easy to handle. So far, so good. Will keep you informed. Thanks for the work you do. Thanks to this post, I’ve finally had the chance to grasp the 2 stage vs 3 stage snowblower difference. Your blog is one of my go-to resources for gardeners. As a matter of fact, your blog could use a decent forum. I’d like to have the possibility to chat with other gardeners as well…Do you think it will ever be possible? Best of luck. Walter.

    • Hi there Walter. Thanks for sharing your experience with us. BRIGGS & STRATTON 1696614 is an excellent choice, I’m sure that your opinion about this machine will only get better with time. As for the forum functionality, me and Gretchen have been considering implementing this useful feature for a while. It’s possible that this year you will get to interact with like-minded gardeners within our comfy forum-based community. In the meantime, if you have any questions or just want to chat about gardening, you know who to get in touch with 😉 I’m glad that I’ve managed to cover the 2 stage vs 3 stage snow blower topic in the clearest way possible. Enjoy making the most of your snow blowing beast! Sincerely, Bryan.

  2. I agree with Walter. A great blog like this needs a forum with separate topics and categories. Using comments for communication is not convenient at all. As for the snowblower that I own and use on a regular basis, it’s from Husqvarna. I’ve now used it for two seasons. Last year we had the worst snow accumulation in over 10 years. I used the machine about 3 times a day to clear the parking area and the driveway. The ST224P did the job very well, handling all types of snow like a champ. The machine is far from lightweight, but it’s very easy to operate. Great value for the price.

  3. Hiya, Brandon here. Thanks for this article, it helped me a lot when I researched on the issue of the best snow blowers to buy for home use. As for me, Im using the Husqvarna ST224P model, and I couldnt be happier about this baby. It’s powerful and has tons of great features. And it works great on wet muddy snow, which is absolutely perfect! My wife handles this snow blower pretty easily (she was a little confused by its size and overall construction at first, but now that I’ve taught her how to use it shes doing just fine LOL). Im glad I’ve bought the machine. Its worth every penny. Thank you Bryan for your blog. Sounds pretty scary, but youre the only blogger I trust LOL

    • Hi Brandon. I’m glad you like our blog. Me and my wife do everything we can to provide honest, experience-based recommendations of high-quality products that really work. We are not primarily driven by the commission fees or any other type of self-interest. That’s one of the reasons why so many people keep getting back to Bumper Crop Times for more information, more tips, and more questions to ask. We are genuinely interested in helping our readers. Please feel free to contact me whenever you need help, have questions or suggestions. Best regards, Bryan.

  4. My Goodness, I’ve finally found the answer to my ‘what is 3 stage snowblower’ question. Thank you so much Bryan. I read your blog religiously, it has helped me a lot with my multiple (and very successful for a single mother of two) home improvement endeavors. Now, I’ve been looking at the BRIGGS & STRATTON 1696614 model from your article above and wondering if you’ve had the chance to use it……. If you have, could you please share your first-hand opinion with me? Thanks a lot. Claire.

    • Hello Claire. Thank you for your feedback — and for trusting my opinion. Me and Gretchen are happy that our blog makes your busy life a little easier. It means a lot to us. Now, let me tell you about the BRIGGS & STRATTON 1696614 machine. Yes, I’ve had the chance to use it and it’s worth every penny. It’s super easy to handle and powerful enough to deal with 6-8” both fresh and heavy wet snow on a fairly steep uphill driveway (yep, I’ve tested the machine with my buddy when visiting him in Wisconsin). The only thing you may dislike about this snow blower is its assembly manual. Make sure you study the illustrations thoroughly if you want to successfully put the thing together. Please don’t hesitate to contact me whenever you need advice or assistance. Best regards, Bryan.

  5. Such a great post about the difference between 2 stage and 3 stage snowblower! Exactly what I needed! Thanks a lot for your hard work. What can you say about the Ariens Deluxe 24 in. snow blower? I live in a suburb in NJ and planning on buying the beast this winter. Thanks in advance. Tom

    • Hi Tom. Thank you for your question — and for reading our blog. The Ariens snow blower is powerful and effective. If cleaning your driveway and walkways by hand will take you up to five hours, the Ariens SNO-Tek will do the job within up to 25 minutes. Don’t you just love how much time the machine can save you! The Ariens SNO-Tek snow blower won’t have any problem going through 3 to 18 inches of both fresh and wet snow. In other words, the machine is perfect for anyone who lives in a suburb — you can buy it without hesitation. You’re welcome to get in touch with me whenever you have further questions. Sincerely, Bryan.

  6. Yes, Bryan is right about their assembly instructions, they’re terrible! Though the biggest parts were already together, it took me hours to figure out how install other (minor) elements… Too bad I didn’t think of finding a tutorial on YouTube when I was making my fifth (or fiftieth!!!) attempt to assemble the thing… All in all, BRIGGS & STRATTON 1696614 is now fully assembled (not without a male friend’s assistance hehe) and works quite well. I must admit I’m not the smartest snowthrower geek out there 🙂

  7. Hi there Bryan. Skipper here. I’ve been reading your blog for a while now, and this article has come in especially handy this winter now that we’ve received a couple feet of snow. Our old unit has given up, and we’re looking for a new snowblower now. There are so many fake reviews out there, so the fact that I know you personally makes me value your opinion greatly. I expect that with your professional help, I’m gonna stop Googling how to choose snowblower frantically. 🙂 Actually, my wife had almost settled for a cheap electric blower, but thankfully, I convinced her otherwise. You know how brutal snow storms can be here in Minnesota, so based on your experience, can you recommend the best snowblower out there for my personal needs? Thanks a bunch. Your pal Skipper.

    • Hi Skipper, good to hear from you. Thanks for reading my blog. You’ve been here with me since the very first post. I appreciate it very much, and I’m glad that my hobby and passion comes with such great perk as meeting like-minded people across the US. Now, getting back to your question…

      I recommend HUSQVARNA ST224P. It is rather heavy, but easy to operate even in tight spots. Plow trucks, tractors, skid steers — you don’t need all this now that you can purchase the less heavyweight (and equally effective) HUSQVARNA ST224P model.

      The steering is super easy, the engine is rather quiet, the speed is good, and the heated handholds are superb. Trust me, your wife will learn how to use it really fast! HUSQVARNA ST224P is not perfect and does clog once in a while (happens to any snow blower actually), but overall it works like a champ.

      In other words, it’s a dream machine for clearing driveways and concrete sidewalks, especially considering that you’re on the hunt for something that will last. Hope that helps.

      Good luck purchasing the dream machine 😉 And feel free to get back to me with further questions if there are any. Sincerely, Bryan.

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