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Choosing the Right Snowblower

  • By East Coast Lumber
  • 05 Jan, 2018

What kind of snowblower is right for you?

Does your family count on you to clear the driveway after a big snow storm? Are you the person who helps clear the sidewalks and the driveways for the neighborhood?

The winter season is finally here, so it’s time to talk snow blowers. At East Coast Lumber, we want our customers to think smarter about their work around the home, and ultimately get those jobs done easily and quickly. To do this, we consult the pros to give us tips on how to choose the right equipment for you. Dan Rogers, the Equipment Center Manager, is back to talk about choosing the right snow blower.


There are two main type of snow blowers: single-stage and two-stage. Basically, a single-stage snow blower is a light duty machine that uses a single high-speed impeller to pull in snow and expel it from a discharge chute. Two-stage snow blowers on the other hand, are heavier duty and have multiple low-speed metal augers that pull the snow into an impeller, which then discharges the snow into a chute.

In addition to the process of each type of snow blower, there are some essential factors to consider before purchasing one or the other. Let’s break it down a little further.

Single-Stage Snowblowers

For an average suburban home with a driveway and sidewalk, a single-stage snow thrower is the way to go. They are relatively lightweight and affordable, and are capable of handling up to 8” of snow. Although technically not self-propelled, the auger (shaped like a corkscrew) moves the machine along with its rotating action as it scoops up snow and throws it through the chute.

The impeller is usually in the form of two or more curved plastic paddles that move snow towards the centerline of the machine where the discharge chute is located. Single-stage snow throwers usually are light duty machines. Small electric machines can be picked up to chew away deep snow banks a layer at a time.

Two-Stage Snowblowers

As its name implies, the two-stage snow blower gets rid of the snow in two stages. An auger is used to break up the snow first, and then it’s sucked into the impeller and blown out through the discharge chute. This type of blower is used if your area typically gets snowfalls of more than a foot or more at a time. If you just want to blow deep snow, you can’t go wrong with two-stage snow blower. They will always outperform any electric or single-stage unit.

They can attack deep snow drifts – including the mountain at the end of your driveway – without breaking the bank. Typical two stage snow blowers start at 20” clearing width going all the way up to 45”.

Electric Snowblowers

Although much less powerful, electric snow blowers have some great benefits when compared to the single-stage and two-stage gas snow blowers.

Firstly, electric snow blowers don’t require gasoline or engine oil; you simply need to plug it in and go. They’re also much lighter and quieter than traditional snow blowers. Equipment with this kind of portability makes it easier to tackle fresh snow early in the morning so you’re not waking up the whole neighborhood. With easy access start buttons, you won’t have to deal with any more ridiculous pull cords either.

While these are all great reasons, before you jump on buying the next electric snow blower you see, you should consider a few of these drawbacks as well. There are a few potential safety issues with the electric snow blowers, including the equipment overheating, the possibility of running over the cord, and the mixture of water and electricity. Depending on the length of the cords and how much snow these throwers can handle (hint: not much), these snow blowers also have their limitations. Most electric snow blowers run about 12-14” in length, limiting size options for different projects.


If you have any questions about snow blowers, or still trying to find out which one is right for you, visit us at the East Coast Lumber Equipment Center. Our equipment experts can help you find the perfect snow blower to most effectively clean your driveways and sidewalks… and of course make your neighbors with shovels jealous.

Knotty Notes for the Home Owner and Builder

By East Coast Lumber 15 Jan, 2018
When we learned that Graystone Builders started a campaign to raise and match funds for Love for Love City , a foundation created by country singer songwriter, Kenny Chesney, it was an easy decision to help. East Coast Lumber has donated $5,000 as a show of appreciation for Graystone's commitment to this cause and the business relationship. Thank you to everyone at Graystone Builders for your kindness and dedication to a place you hold dear. Read the full press release below.
By East Coast Lumber 05 Jan, 2018

Does your family count on you to clear the driveway after a big snow storm? Are you the person who helps clear the sidewalks and the driveways for the neighborhood?

The winter season is finally here, so it’s time to talk snow blowers. At East Coast Lumber, we want our customers to think smarter about their work around the home, and ultimately get those jobs done easily and quickly. To do this, we consult the pros to give us tips on how to choose the right equipment for you. Dan Rogers, the Equipment Center Manager, is back to talk about choosing the right snow blower.

By East Coast Lumber 18 Dec, 2017

The winter season is more than just a time to bring out your seasonal equipment. It's also a time to properly store the other equipment you've used all year. For this article, we asked Dan Rogers, the manager of the East Coast Lumber Equipment Center, to explain how to winterize your lawn mower. See our Lawn Mower Winterization Infographic for step-by-step instructions.

By East Coast Lumber 21 Nov, 2017

The winter season is more than just a time to bring out your seasonal equipment. It's also a time to properly store the other equipment you've used all year. For this ProTip Tuesday, we asked Dan Rogers, the manager of the East Coast Lumber Equipment Center, to take us step-by-step on how to winterize your lawn mower. Read Dan's full article to learn how to winterize gas and battery powered mowers.

For visual representation, we also created this infographic to help give lawn mower owners an idea of how to do it yourself. We used the Toro 22” Personal Pace Mower  as a model, which can be found in our Equipment Center. According to our experts, the process should take only about an hour and a half to complete.

By East Coast Lumber 02 Nov, 2017

A deck may not be the first thing people see when they pull up to your house, but it is important to both the aesthetic of the home and for your personal comfort. So, when you're choosing what material to build your deck with, our millwork specialist and supervisor Mark Dionne says there are basically two schools of thought: pricing and maintenance. 

"It's always the battle between price and low maintenance," said Dionne. "Most homeowners are saying 'I want low or no maintenance.' But you're also coming in on a budget. Most people make decisions based on how long they're staying at their house or property."

For most long-term homeowners and the elderly, low maintenance is the diamond in the rough. For someone who is looking for a more economical solution, like most renters, or even someone who likes the authenticity of the product, wood is usually the way to go.

Within each of these options, Dionne says that material-wise, there are always a 'good, better, and best' option. Let's explore these materials and find out what tiers these products entail and why they would fit your needs.

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