What Is a Single-Stage Snow Blower?

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  • Written By: Patti Kate
  • Edited By: Rachel Catherine Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 11 January 2020
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A single-stage snow blower is a motor-driven machine, typically powered by gas and oil, that is used for snow removal. Many people use a single-stage self propelled snow blower instead of shoveling snow from driveways, sidewalks and parking lots. More compact than most mid or large-frame snow blowers, the single-stage model is often used for small residential areas. Most single-stage snowthrowers are able to remove up to 12 inches (about 30 centimeters) of snow from walkways. In addition, the engines of the single-stage models typically range anywhere from five to eight horsepower, and starting mechanisms may differ as well.

The single-stage snow blower has the ability to clear a snow covered pavement in two moves. This model also cuts a wider path than the heavy duty models. The path most single-stage snow throwers are able to clear typically range about 20 inches (about 50 centimeters) in width. Not every single-stage snow blower is alike though.

Generally, there is a difference between a two stroke or four stroke engine. The two stroke model has one tank that fills with gas and oil, while the four stroke utilizes two holding tanks for the gas and oil. Many people prefer the four stroke variety, as it is believed to be more fuel efficient than the two stroke single-stage snow blower. All single-stage snow blowers include tires with heavy traction.


An electric start mechanism is common in many of the single-stage snow blowers. This feature allows the user to start the engine with a simple press of a button. This method, however, requires the use of electrical current, via an outdoor extension cord that has been plugged into a wall outlet. Some people prefer the ease of a recoil model, which starts much the same way as many power mowers do. Recoil starters are made with a cord or retractable coil that must be pulled to start the engine.

Single-stage snow blowers are constructed with a rotating wheel and attached blades, referred to as an auger. Behind this device is a bladed propeller used for discharging snow into a chute. Some models of single-stage snow blowers have wheels that spin when used on icy pavement. Some people use chains for the tires which may help keep the snow blower's wheels from spinning. Chains for snow blowers are often sold in stores that sell lawn and yard equipment.



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