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Snow Thrower vs Snow Blower: Which One to Choose?

June 2, 2022
Snow Thrower vs Snow Blower: Which One to Choose?
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Business owners know that the winter in Midwestern states can cause major obstacles to keeping the doors open every day.

At Earth Development, we help businesses keep their driveways and walkways clear throughout the winter, protecting employees and customers alike. But what’s the difference between a snow blower and a snow thrower, and which is right for you?

Let’s take a look.

What Is a Snow Thrower?

What Is a Snow Thrower

A snow thrower is another name for a “single-stage snow blower.” It is commonly known as a snow thrower because of the way it “throws” snow, rather than blowing it like a two or three-stage blower.

The snow is removed in a one-step process. An auger scoops up the snow from the ground and then literally throws the snow to the side, making it a quick and simple way to clear large outdoor spaces. This is generally only useful, however, on paved surfaces. Gravel and other uneven surfaces may damage the rubber that protects the auger.

Pros of Using a Snow Thrower

There are some benefits of using a snow thrower, including:

  • Ideal for Lighter Snowfall
  • More Affordable
  • Less Maintenance Required
  • Lightweight Machinery
  • Easier to Store the Machine

However, should you hire professional snow removers, you need to think about where the machine is stored.

Cons of Using a Snow Thrower

There are also some drawbacks to using a snow thrower, which might make a snow blower more convenient for you.

  • Less powerful machine
  • Not ideal for large amounts of compacted snow
  • Doesn’t move snow as far as a blower does

What Is a Snow Blower?

What Is a Snow Blower

A snow blower is larger than a snow thrower. This kind of machine moves snow in either two or three stages.

A two-stage snow blower will first use the auger to break up and scoop up the snow from the ground. Then, it is handed over to the impeller which blows the snow through a chute.

A three-stage machine, however, will have the snow moved through two additional augers at the end of the process, ensuring it is neatly moved to one side.

Pros of Using a Snow Blower

There are some important benefits of using a snow blower.

  • Easily move heavy, wet, or compacted snow
  • Self-propelling machines
  • Shreds up ice
  • Ideal for roads and large spaces
  • Several forward and reverse speeds

For these reasons, snow blowers are used for larger outdoor spaces.

Cons of Using a Snow Blower

It’s important to know that there are also some drawbacks, but that these drawbacks only really affect you if you are purchasing a snowblower.

  • Harder to store
  • More technical maintenance is required
  • More expensive to purchase

These are not problems you will face if you hire a professional snow removal team from Earth Development to maintain your outdoor space this winter.

Differences Between Snow Throwers vs Snow Blowers

Differences Between Snow Throwers vs Snow Blowers

If you’re still not sure about the major differences between these two kinds of snow removal machines, here’s a more detailed look.


First off, there’s the power. Most snow blowers are powered by diesel or gasoline and can generate more power than the typical snow thrower. These machines break up large quantities of wet or impacted snow and blow it out through a chute at the side.

Some snow throwers are electric-powered and cordless, making them convenient to use, but not all that powerful. They may only last 30 minutes after one full charge, and even if they are wired, they just don’t have the same level of power as a large snow blower machine that could be using a 208cc engine.


A single-stage snow thrower is typically small, meaning that snow can only be removed in patches up to 22 inches wide – depending on the machine you use.

A two-stage snow blower, however, can handle much larger quantities of snow. Snow may be cleared in sections as wide as 26 inches, and a three-stage snow blower may be able to move as much as 30 inches of snow in one go.


Maintenance is where the snow thrower wins. These smaller and less powerful machines typically require less maintenance and won’t take up much room in a garage or a shed. However, snow blowers can be as large as a tractor – or even larger.

Maintenance for snow blowers can be tough and is often best left to a professional – this is something you won’t need to worry about if you hire snow removal professionals to maintain your parking lot or pavement for you.

Cost and Features

Differences Snow Throwers vs Snow Blowers

Okay, so if you’re in the market for a snow removal machine of your own, remember that snow throwers cost less but come with fewer options. Here’s what you need to know in terms of features and costs:

Corded Electric Snow Throwers

  • Prices are typically low and cost up to $300.
  • Some feature a “Dead Man’s Release” that turns it off when you release the trigger, while others have an “off” button.

Battery-Operated Snow Throwers

  • More expensive and may cost as much as $900 (or more) for a 100-volt machine.
  • Good quality snow throwers use the Dead Man’s Release trigger.

Single-Stage and Gas-Powered Snow Throwers

  • Prices reach as high as $750 (or more) depending on the size of the machine you buy.
  • Cheaper machines have a manual crank to start the engine, but higher-end models have a push-button start.
  • Most feature a Dead Man’s Release trigger and can be operated at different speeds.

Two-Stage and Gas-Powered Snow Blowers

  • Can cost as much as $2,000 for the top-end models.
  • Often come with push-button starts and are self-propelled.
  • The more expensive the model, the better the maneuverability. Some also have a joystick to steer more easily.
  • High-end models may have heated, padded comfort grips.

Three-Stage and Gas-Powered Snow Blowers

  • You may expect to pay as much as $2,500 or more for a large, three-stage with an accelerator.
  • High-end models come with push-button start buttons, and these machines are self-propelled.
  • Many come with power steering.
  • Some models feature track drivers like a bulldozer, giving the machines increased traction when being operated on snow.

Streamline Your Snow Removal with Trusted Local Professionals

If you’re in the market for a snow blower or a snow thrower, this should give you an idea of what kind of machine is best for you and how much you can expect to pay for it.

However, if you would like to streamline this entire process and ensure your commercial property is ready for the winter months, simply give Earth Development a call.

We’ll give you a free, customized quote for our snow removal services in the Midwest, and help your business stay compliant with all the winter rules and regulations relating to snow and ice on your driveways, sidewalks, or parking lots.

Eddy Zakes
Eddy is a distinguished expert in the snow removal and landscaping industry, boasting over 20 years of experience. As an Advanced Snow Manager certified by the Snow and Ice Management Association (SIMA), he is dedicated to upholding the highest industry standards. His strong commitment to excellence and relentless pursuit of improvement makes him a trusted voice in the snow removal and landscaping.
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The amount of snow Minnesota gets each winter fluctuates, but it’s typically safe to expect a consistent amount throughout the winter months. Last year, did you have enough space on your property to store plowed snow?