2 Stage Vs 3 Stage Snow Blowers – Which Is Better?

by Simmy Parker

With the first snowflakes starting to fall, it is about time to dust off the old' snow blower and get it ready to go for another winter season.

However, for those who have just moved to winter, or are looking for a new rig to run this winter, there has risen a great debate. Is three stage the new two-stage, and which one is better?

Today, we are going to look at both types of snow blowers, examine the differences between the two and then provide you with some insight into where to lean for your next purchase.

2 Stage Vs 3 Stage Snow Blowers - Which Is Better?

Two Stage Snow Blower

The two-stage snow blower has been the Canadian staple for more than a few years and is the industry standard for residential snow clearing.

It is called a two-stage snow blower as there are two stages to its snow clearing. Stage one revolves around the gathering and breaking down of snow and ice within the auger.

While phase two is the snow being led to the impeller and thrown out of the machine through the discharge chute.

Two-stage snow blowers are known to be able to be controlled with one hand, and with most models include hand warmers and a self-propelling feature which makes snow blowing even 24-inch deep snow a breeze.

One thing to note is that most two stage snow blowers also allow you to rotate the chute while the machine is moving, which ensures users do not have to stop for chute adjustments.

Two Stage Snow Blower

Overall, a two-stage snow blower will allow owners to clear deep snow without concern and is an excellent option for those who are looking for a reliable, easy to maintain and simple to use residential snow blower.

Features of 2 Stage Snow Blowers

Two stage snow blowers are a type of snow blower that have two augers, or blades, that work together to move more snow at once. They are typically more expensive than single stage snow blowers, but they can be a good investment for people who live in areas with heavy snowfall. Here is a list of some of the pros and cons of two stage snow blowers:

Pros of Two Stage Snow Blowers

  • Can move more snow at once, so they are great for clearing large areas quickly.
  • Two augers also help to break up compacted snow, making it easier to shovel.
  • Some models come with built-in lights, which can be helpful for clearing snow in the dark.

Cons of Two Stage Snow Blowers

  • More expensive than single stage snow blowers.
  • Can be difficult to maneuver in tight spaces.
  • Some people find them too powerful and difficult to control.

Three Stage Snow Blower

Although considered a new revolution in the snow blowing niche, the three-stage snow blower got its start over 40 years ago.

The three-stage snow blower has the same stages as the two-stage snow blower, but the addition of a third stage, the accelerator.

The Accelerator allows snow to be driven through the impeller quickly and allows for three stage snow blowers to eat up snow and finish a job in a fraction of the time.

Although they have many of the same features as their two-stage brethren, the three-stage blower has more power, speed and a focus on heavy snow removal.

Three Stage Snow Blower

One thing to note for these machines, as they are large and powerful, maintenance is best left to a professional.

Yes, for those who are backyard wrench monkeys they can still maintain these beasts, but for the rest of the population, a three-stage snow blower means a lot of trips to the shop to ensure it is working well and can be stored at the end of the season.

These blowers are the perfect tool for those who are living in extremely high snow areas, or are looking to get back inside before the commercial break, yes they are seemingly that fast!

Features of 3 Stage Snow Blowers

When it comes to choosing a snow blower, there are many factors to consider. One of the most important is whether you want a single stage, two stage, or three stage model. Each type has its own set of pros and cons that you should be aware of before making your decision.

Pros of Three Stage Snow Blowers

  • Three stage snow blowers can clear large areas quickly and efficiently.
  • They are able to handle heavy, wet snow with ease.
  • Three stage snow blowers typically have larger augers and impellers than their single and two stage counterparts, making them more powerful overall.

Cons of Three Stage Snow Blowers

  • Three stage snow blowers can be more expensive than other types.
  • They tend to be heavier and more difficult to maneuver than single and two stage models.
  • Three stage snow blowers may not be necessary for those who only deal with light snowfalls on occasion.

Our Verdict

Overall, three stage snow blowers offer a number of advantages that make them worth the investment for those who need a powerful machine to clear their property quickly and easily. However, they may not be the best choice for everyone, so it's important to weigh the pros and cons carefully before making your decision.

The Differences Between 2 Stage and 3 Stage Snow Blowers

Surprisingly to some, the most significant difference between a three stage and a two-stage snow blower is that the three-stage snow blower has an accelerator, while the two-stage does not.

An accelerator allows for the three-stage blower to gather snow roughly 50% faster than two-stage models, and due to this, the snow blower does not generally slow down when packing in the snow, even when dealing with more significant snow drifts.

The Differences Between 2 Stage and 3 Stage Snow Blowers

Thus, when it comes to only the snow blowing side of the purchase, the three stage is indeed the superior machine option for those who are looking for the best machine period. However, this amazing machine does come with a big caveat, and that is maintenance.

A three-stage machine is a work of art, and due to the pure power that comes out of its engine, a professional is necessary to maintain this hulk of a snow blower.

This means, although your snow blower might be able to deal with your massive snowdrifts, it will cost you quite a bit in time and money to be properly maintained and stored for the winter when compared to a two-stage machine. So, what snow blower should you get?

Simply put, if you are someone who wants the best and the most powerful machine on the market, and money and time is no object, a three-stage snow blower is worth it.

However, if you are like the majority of the population and want a machine that will do the job, is easy to maintain, and will get you back in your house at a reasonable hour after a significant snowfall, a two-stage will do an excellent job.

Three stage snow blowers are a fantastic machine, but due to their high maintenance costs, and relatively small advantage over two-stage snow blowers, for the average Canadian, two-stage snow blowers are still the way to go.

Table Summary of 2 Stage vs 3 Stage Snow Blowers

Table Summary of 2 Stage vs 3 Stage Snow Blowers
Type2 Stage Snow Blowers3 Stage Snow Blowers
  1. Two-stage snow blowers are designed for lighter snowfalls of up to 8 inches
  2. Two-stage models work by first gathering the snow into an auger where it is broken into smaller pieces before being thrown away from the machine
  3. Available in electric, gas or propane models, with two-stage models usually having the ability to mulch leaves and other debris.
  4. If you experience light snowfalls and don't need a lot of power then a two-stage model will do just fine.
  1. While three-stage machines are better suited for heavier snowfall of 10 inches and more.
  2. Three-stage models go a step further as they feature an accelerator that breaks down the larger chunks of snow even further before being discharged. Because of this extra stage, three-stage models can handle deeper levels of snow with greater efficiency than two-stage models.
  3. Available in electric, gas or propane models, the three-stage machines are mainly designed for snow removal.
  4. if you live in an area that gets heavy snowfall then it might be worth investing in a three-stage machine for more efficient operation and better performance. The extra cost may be well worth the investment if it means fewer passes across your driveway or sidewalk to clear the accumulated.

Now that you know the key differences between 2 stage and 3 stage snow blowers, you can make an informed decision about which one is right for you. Whatever type of snow blower you choose, make sure to read the manufacturer's instructions carefully before using it to ensure safe and effective operation.

Conclusion for 3 stage vs 2 stage Snow Blowers

Conclusion for 3 stage vs 2 stage Snow Blowers

There are pros and cons to both 3 stage and 2 stage snow blowers. Ultimately, the best choice for you depends on your specific needs and preferences. If you live in an area with heavy snowfall, a 3 stage snow blower may be the better option. These machines are designed to handle large amounts of snow quickly and efficiently. However, if you have a smaller property or don't experience very heavy snowfalls, a 2 stage snow blower may be a better fit. These machines are typically lighter and easier to maneuver, making them ideal for smaller spaces.

Related posts:

  1. Vintage and Antique Snow Blower Gallery | Heroes of Snow Removal

About Simmy Parker

Simmy is an outdoor expert who loves to spend time in the wilderness. She received a BS degree in Civil Engineering at Sacramento State University, and has put her skills to use by helping design and build some of the most impressive structures in the world. However, Simmy's true passion lies in sharing her love of nature with others, and she spends much of her free time leading hikes and teaching people about the flora and fauna that can be found all around them.

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