Snow Blowers

Snow Blower vs Snow Thrower: Guide on the Right Machine



by Bryan Mckenzie


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If you live in a region where blizzards do not happen often, these machines are a pleasant luxury for you. In this case, you might cope only with a shovel. However, if you live in an area where there are three or more big blizzards per year and can’t always afford to wait for help, then the question “snow blower vs snow thrower” might be important to you. Winter snowfall can lead to adventures you don’t need at all.

When deciding on a purchase, consider the average precipitation rate in winter and how big an area you need to clear around your home is. If you know all the differences and correctly determine your needs, choosing this winter equipment will be easy and safe. This solution will provide you with comfort and make the area near your house clean.


Difference Between Snow Blower and Snow Thrower

  1. A thrower is a single-stage snow removal machine that is lighter in weight and not as powerful as a blower. It is suitable for cleaning small areas, and its price is relatively low.
  2. A blower is a two-stage snow removal machine that allows you to clean large areas. Clearing deep snowdrifts is possible due to higher intakes. It costs more.

Snow Blower or Snow Thrower: Buyer’s Guide

It is crucial to prepare for winter properly so that precipitation does not suddenly create problems for you. In this article, I will analyze the main differences between these devices to help you get ready for a snowy winter. These two machines have different characteristics: power, functionality, and cost. To choose the right option, you need to evaluate the suitability of the features and specialization of the machine to your climate, the required clearing area, and budget. It makes no sense to buy equipment that will not cope with the tasks later.

What is a snow blower?


A blower is a two-stage machine. In the first stage, the auger scoops up the snowdrift and feeds it to the impeller, which ejects the heap in the second stage into the chute. Here are its main characteristics:

  • It is heavier (150+ lbs), larger, and more powerful than a thrower, so it can blow the snowdrift over longer distances;
  • Some models of this machine can blow it up to 50 feet. Two-stage machines can clean a strip of up to 26 inches of snowdrift;
    It is also wider, so it can clean large areas;
  • The scraper and the auger are made of strong qualitative metal. It works great on surfaces such as asphalt, gravel, and concrete. It enables you to clear deep snowdrifts;
  • Based on all the above features, a two-stage machine has a higher cost. It is generally recommended for people who have more than a sidewalk to clear.

What is a snow thrower?


It is a one-stage machine that scoops up the snowdrift in one motion and throws it into the chute while moving. These devices have the corkscrew auger as the only part that moves snowdrifts. Let’s consider its key features:

  • It is smaller (between 40-120 lbs), which makes it more portable and maneuverable;
  • The scraper and the auger are made of rubber and plastic;
  • A thrower can blow snowdrift up to a distance of 15 to 25 feet. This machine is ideal for sidewalks and short driveways;
  • One-stage machines are on the compact side, and they remove snowdrifts in swaths between 11 inches and 22 inches wide, depending on the characteristics of a particular machine;
  • A thrower cleans up slush better than a blower;
  • The price depends on the features and size: That is why a thrower has a lower cost than a blower.

Snow blower vs snow thrower: What’s the difference?

  • These machines come with peculiar pros and cons. They solve various problems, but each of them is not multipurpose.
  • The main difference lies in the application: A blower will suit you if you need to clear a large area and remove deep snowdrifts. If the snowy area is not that big, you need to maneuver, and you often have to remove slush, then a thrower will be the best option for you;
  • When using a thrower after frequent and heavy snowfalls, the snow removal machine can break down more quickly. It will not be as efficient as its counterpart. If you live in a region where blizzards often occur, it’s better not to save money on this equipment;
  • The two-stage machine is heavier, larger, and more potent. Its price is also higher. A thrower is efficient at clearing small areas such as sidewalks. The machine is lighter, smaller, more maneuverable, and costs less than a blower.

FAQ on Snow Blower or Snow Thrower

Choosing the best option can be tricky, but knowing the differences between the above tools can help you end up with the right machine for your needs. Here are the answers to popular questions on this topic.


When should you use a snow blower vs a thrower?

You should take into account the amount of precipitation and the area of cleaning. For large snowdrifts and big areas, I recommend using a snow blower. This machine has more power to offer. For maneuvers and small areas, the best option is a snow thrower.

Do snow blowers work in heavy snow?

Most two-stage machines will be able to manage heavy snow as long as it isn’t slush. However, you need to move the tool slowlier because that’s how the motor can handle throwing so many pounds of snow per second. If the wet snowdrift is about twice as heavy as fluffy, it is necessary to remove it with the help of a blower twice as slowly as usual.

Do snow blowers damage driveways?

They are designed not to touch the surface. If your model hits the ground, buy special skids. They leave a small layer of snowdrift above the ground to protect your driveway and the machine.

Choose Your Ideal Snow Removal Machine


A snow removal machine is a necessity for those who frequently encounter snowdrifts. You should choose a suitable model thoroughly and wisely. Without analysis, it is not clear to you which machine to buy: a snow blower or snow thrower? In this guide, I have shown you the key differences between them so that you can easily choose the option you need.

Are you ready for winter snowfalls? If you are the owner of such equipment, please, share your impressions of using it.

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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