If you’re living in an area with light snowfalls and maybe no cold temperatures during winter, chances are you don’t really care what’s the difference between 2 stage vs. 3 stage snow blowers. A single stage unit will probably suffice, you’re going to mostly keep it in the shed anyway.
But if you live in an area with heavy snowfalls, knowing which machine to buy is a must.
Here's a list of 2 Stage vs. 3 Stage Snow Blower
2 Stage vs. 3 Stage Snow Blower
The differences between a 2 stage and a 3 stage snow blower are so subtle that even landscapers wonder which they are. Yet, those differences really matter when it comes to deciding which is the best machine for you.
Differences Between 2-Stage and 3-Stage Snow Blowers
At first glance, the dual stage and triple stage snow blowers are the same. They even work in the same way. Both machines consist of a series of augers and an impeller designed to remove heavy snow from driveways, walkways, or a sizeable backyard.
The main difference is power. Triple-stage snow blowers deliver higher torque and more horsepower. Furthermore, the triple stage machines also have an additional component called an accelerator, which – as its name suggests – accelerates the snow removal rate.
The accelerator also allows the machine to deal with heavier snow or larger accumulations. In other words, if you live somewhere with very heavy snowfalls or have a really large property to clean, a three-stage snow blower may be more suitable for you.
On the downside, a three-stage snow blower requires professional maintenance. This happens because of the complex system that lays behind the functioning of such a machine.
In other words, you’ll probably spend an arm and a leg just to maintain your snow blower, not to say they also have higher upfront costs.
Recommending one machine over the other is, however, tricky. A dual-stage snow blower can definitely do the trick in most circumstances. But if finishing your job is of crucial importance for you, and if spending on maintenance is not an issue, a triple-stage machine could be more appropriate.
With this in mind, have a look at our recommended dual-stage and three-stage machines, and pick the one that most suits your needs.
Our Recommended Dual-Stage Snow Blower
If you’re after a snow blower capable of removing all types of snow in a breeze, but you don’t want to spend a fortune on a 3-stage machine, have a look at the Briggs & Stratton 30-inch dual stage snow blower.
This machine comes with a strong steel auger capable of removing 30 inches of snow at a time. This large cutting swath makes it suitable for mid-size to large properties, although it is still compact enough to fit in narrower alleys and driveways.
Power is delivered by the reliable 306cc Briggs & Stratton engine running on gasoline. It needs little to no maintenance, and if so much power is too much, you can choose from two cheaper and weaker options.
Designed for an easy start in temperatures below zero, this machine comes with a convenient electric start. All it takes is a push of a button. To operate the unit, you only have to get used with the convenient dual-trigger steering.
The steering acts on either the left or the right wheel, releasing it for easy maneuvering in deep accumulations of snow. This helps make quick and accurate turns at the end of the pathway, so you can finish removing the snow in a breeze.
Another nice feature is the free hand control which offers convenient one-hand operation. Due to this design particular, you’ll be able to rotate the chute or adjust the speed without stopping the machine. It could seem little, but the truth is only a few snow blowers offer this option.
Another thing we like is the dash-mounted chute rotation and deflector controls that allow for a quick and easy adjustment of the snow throwing direction even on the go.
Talking about the unit’s construction, you’ll be pleased with the durable steel frame. The chute and control panel are also made of steel, while the notched steel auger handles whatever the meteorological conditions are throwing at it.
Comfortable operation is further ensured by two big all-terrain tires and the heated hand grips. You can switch the heat on and off to keep your hands at a comfortable temperature while clearing the snow, or while it’s snowing.
Other important features include a convenient halogen headlight designed to illuminate your path during a blizzard or in poor light conditions.
Briggs & Stratton Dual Stage Snow Blower Video Review
Our Recommended Triple-Stage Snow Blower
Our preferred triple-stage snow blower is the Cub Cadet 3X 30 Pro, a 30-inch snow blower designed for heavy-duty removal of snow. It withstands high-volume applications and is designed to remove all accumulations of snow in a breeze.
Just like our recommended unit above, this snow blower has a 30-inch cutting swath and is ideal for properties of all sizes. It’s powered by gasoline but comes with a much more powerful engine that boasts 420cc.
Obviously, a bigger engine doesn’t only mean more power. It also means the unit is more expensive, and the price difference between the two machines is indeed hard to justify unless you’re a professional.
Price considerations apart, this machine also comes with a convenient electric start that makes engine ignition a breeze regardless of how cold it is. Among the professional grade features, we can also mention effortless maneuverability and durability.
The big difference between this snow blower and the one above is, as previously explained, the presence of an accelerator. This Cub Cadet comes with a 14-inch induction accelerator designed to pull snow quickly and break the ice, leaving your driveways clear of hazards.
Besides snow and ice, this snow blower also removes slush in a breeze, another great feature that our dual-stage snow blower above lacks.
The 3X 30 Pro also comes with trigger-controlled steering positioned at your fingertips. This particular provides unbeatable control, allowing you to turn the machine easily and effortlessly at the end of the path.
Designed with professional users in mind, this unit is backed up by a 3-year residential and 1-year commercial warranty.
Additional features include ergonomic soft-grip handles and a convenient front light designed to illuminate your path regardless of the outdoor conditions.
CUB Cadet 3 Stage Snow Blower Pro Video Review
Our Budget-Friendly Alternative
If you don’t have the budget – or need – to invest in any of the units above, but still want something to help you remove snow faster than the good old shovel, we’ve got you covered. The Earthwise SN74014 40V Electric Snow Shovel comes at a price that won’t break the bank and is ideal for accumulations of snow up to 32 feet.
Fast and efficient despite its small dimension, this electric snow shovel has a capacity of 300 pounds per minute, lifting snow with an incredible force. It doesn’t deal exceptionally well with particularly wet snow though, although that’s to be expected from such a compact tool.
Perfect for smaller properties, the unit also boasts a 14-inch clearing swath and an 8-inch clearing depth. It works well on concrete surfaces and gravel; however, it is unsafe to use on loose soil or on the lawn.
Like it is to be expected from such an elementary tool, this snow shovel doesn’t have headlights. However, this isn’t exactly an impediment to do an excellent job; just use it during the day or mount a spotlight on the handle.
Electric yet cordless, the tool is powered by a reliable 40-volt battery and comes with battery and charger included. Sadly, the battery is not interchangeable; however, it provides over 30 minutes of runtime per charge, which is a great compromise.
Backed by a 2-year residential warranty, this electric snow shovel definitely does a better job than a traditional shovel, and we truly recommend it to those homeowners who can’t afford or don’t need a dual-stage or triple-stage snow blower.
Earthwise SN74014 Snow Shovel Video Review
Dual stage and triple stage snow blowers present minimal differences between them. Undoubtedly, the triple stage is a must if you’re a professional landscaper looking for a commercial grade tool, or if you live in a zone with heavy snowfalls. Capable of handling whatever nature is throwing at it, such a machine will clear your driveways in a breeze.
A dual stage snow blower, on the other hand, is an exceptional machine to use if you still have to deal with heavy snow but don’t bother with excessive accumulations. This kind of machine comes with other advantages; on the one hand, it’s cheaper. On the other, it’s cheaper and easier to maintain.
In case you need a truly low-cost alternative, or if you live up south and don’t really care about snow at all, a single stage snow blower or an electric snow shovel could be a better fit. There are dozens of models on the market, and all you have to do is pick the one that best suits your needs.