Winter is just around the bend. Are you ready for it?
Chances are, if you live in a area that experiences average to heavy snowfall, you’ll have considered purchasing a snow blower. After all, shoveling snow out of driveways and walkways is backbreaking, strenuous, work we’ve all come to dread.
Snow blowers don’t come cheap; but they’re an investment that’s worth the price tag considering how they make life so much easier for those who live in northern climates. However, with the proliferation of all sorts of models, it’s easy to think that snow blowers are all alike. It’s also easy to get lost in the sea of choices that are available. After all, the only purpose they serve is to blow snow, right? Wrong.
The truth of the matter is, not all snow blowers are created equally. Which is why we took it upon ourselves to provide you with a guide to discern the differences, some subtle and some otherwise, between the choices that are out there in the market today. We came up with a list of seven things you absolutely need to consider when making your purchase. Let’s get right to them.
1. The Surfaces You’ll be Working With
There are certain surfaces that won’t work well with certain snow blowers. For instance, single-stage snow blowers work well only on paved surfaces, and for areas that experience light snowfall (e.g., less than 10 inches). Using such a snow blower on gravel can damage its blower and pelt you with a shower of pebbles. Surfaces matter when you buy a blower, whether you work with cement, asphalt, gravel, earth, or porphyry.
2. Special Considerations
Do you work in tight spaces? Do you work in an area with plenty of obstacles? If so, you’ll need a blower that is lighter, particularly one that can work in tight areas and crevices.
Snow blowers vary in efficiency depending on the areas you work with; whether they are roads, flat surfaces, or inclines.
The wheels that are mounted on modern snow blowers are specially designed to withstand the worst conditions; using traditionally applied solutions such as chains on tires for better tread is often superfluous and can damage your wheels.
Steep inclines require track-driven snow blowers, while you can do with a wheeled snow blower for flat surfaces. Track-driven snow blowers give you better grip over wheels. They don’t offer as much freedom of movement as wheeled iterations do, but that’s a small price to pay for better performance on inclines.
6. Oil Usage
Regular oil changes are required to keep your snow blower in condition, especially if you haven’t used it often enough. Some snow blowers don’t rely on oil changes and run on electricity, which may be an option for those who experience lesser snowfall.
7. Price Point
Sometimes the price point doesn’t make for a better snow blower; more often than not, the best ones can be found at a reasonable range of $200-300 – anything more is overkill, unless you live in Alaska.
Snow Shifts has a great selection of reviews you can use, no matter what engine they run on, or no matter what your budget is; you can check out their best snow blowers at http://snowshifts.com/category/gas-powered/.