When it comes to choosing the best snow blower in 2012, you must ask yourself, "What features am I looking for?" "What brand would suite me best?" "How much do I want to spend?" All of these questions are essential when choosing the best snow blower for you. Luckily, we have broken down a list of common features, popular brand names, and price range to help you get on the path to uncovering your driveway this winter.
2012 Snow Blower Features
The most common of features seen in today's snow blower market is the gas powered engine. Gas powered blowers take advantage of the extra horse power needed to tackle high drifts and deep snow. Unlike a shovel, these highly engineered machines can reduce project time and tackle a large surface area in a relatively short time. If you are looking to reduce time spent outside or are going to be throwing large amounts of drift snow, you will need to invest in a gas powered engine. A minor drawback of these sorts is that if you run out of gas, there is no way to manually operate these machines. Make sure you are well fueled before beginning a project or run the risk of stalling the snow blower in an unwanted place. Gas engines are recommended for most projects.
Another feature to consider is the size of the snow feeder. The snow blower fronts can measure up to 30" plus in length. The wider the mouth, the more snow that can be loaded and essentially thrown. Common sized feeders include 21", 24", 27" and 30". The larger the size of the mouth usually requires more metal thus driving the price up with it.
A more modern feature that is turning up is the front headlight. The engineers design these models to enable further viewing distance and a brighter surrounding radius. It is common for people in the far north, (Alaska, Canada) to equip a headlight on their blower because of the limited day light. If you are insistent on needing the extra light, keep this average priced feature in mind.
The last feature to consider is the number of stages. All electric snow blowers are limited to single stage auger, however gas powered engines usually differ varying on model number. By now you are asking, "What is the difference between a 1 stagw VS. a 2 stage?" To keep it simple, it has to do with the throwers auger. The single stage both sucks and throws snow at once. While the duel stage, one component is responsible for each individual task. A 2 stage snow blower is ideal for larger projects, while a single stage will suffice e for most family projects.
2012 Snow Blower Prices
The price ranges on these machines really are all across the board. Depending on the features you need, (listed above), and the size of the snow drifts you will be throwing, the price range for snow blowers are between $300 - $1500. An example of a fully loaded 2012 snow blower would be the Snapper 29" dual stage, Briggs and Stratton gas powered blower. This model is typically in the $1300 price range, but does go on sale from time to time. This kind of machine is made for high drifts, heavy snow throwing, and large surface area coverage. It would not be ideal for a small driveway. Instead look for something a bit smaller such as the Power Smart, 2 stage, 22", electric start snow blower. This is perfect for medium-sized driveways or around large homes with average drifts. It is very reliable and very well built.
2012 Snow Blower Brands and Models
When choosing a brand or a model you shouldn't always rely on the most popular of names. Consider reading peoples reviews on a trusted website and doing some comparison. While brands such as Snapper, Stanley, or Yard-Man might be pushed at your local mall outlet, other lower priced brand such as Power Smart and Ariens are just as reliable and in some cases better built. Don't let the store clerk talk you into anything. The best place I have found for comparisons online is through Amazon Reviews. These people are people just like you and I and they are telling the truth. If the snow blower you are looking at has some negative reviews, consider a new model or another brand. Shop smart, and get a quality thrower!
Buying a snow blower shouldn't be a daunting task. Buying online has become more and more reliable and by doing so you can read reviews, search multiple products, and have it delivered to your doorstep--and in some cases free of charge! Best of luck on your snow blowing season!