If you’re considering a snow removal machine that best suits our Southern Idaho climate there are some things you can keep in mind that might save you a little bit of cash before you purchase something that might be overkill for the typical snowfall we get in the Magic Valley. 

I’ll try to spell out some of the differences in snow blowers and help you decide why you might pick one over the other, specifically for removing snow in Twin Falls.

The two, primary kinds of snow blowers you can buy:

There are primarily two types of snow blowers used for residential purposes: single-stage and two-stage. Each type has its unique features and is suited for different snow conditions and areas.

Robert Linder - Unplash
Robert Linder - Unplash

Single-Stage Snow Blowers:

  • Mechanism: Single-stage snow blowers use a single auger to both lift and throw snow. The auger cuts through the snow, then lifts and throws it out of the chute in one motion.
  • Size and Weight: They are generally lighter and smaller than two-stage blowers, making them easier to maneuver and store.
  • Best Used For: Ideal for light to moderate snowfalls, single-stage blowers are most effective on smooth, paved surfaces. They are typically used for snowfalls up to 8 inches deep.
  • Limitations: They are less effective with wet, heavy snow and are not suitable for use on gravel or uneven surfaces, as the auger makes direct contact with the ground, which could pick up and throw rocks.
  • Price Range: Generally more affordable than two-stage blowers.
Mike Cox - Unsplash
Mike Cox - Unsplash

Two-Stage Snow Blowers:

  • Mechanism: Two-stage snow blowers have two parts to their snow-clearing process. The first stage involves an auger scooping up the snow. The second stage uses an impeller behind the auger to throw the snow out of the chute.
  • Size and Weight: They are larger and heavier, requiring more storage space and strength to operate.
  • Best Used For: These blowers are suitable for handling heavier snowfalls, including wet and icy snow, and can clear large areas. They are effective for snowfalls over 8 inches and can handle varying surface types, including gravel.
  • Additional Features: Many two-stage blowers come with features like power steering, heated handgrips, and wide clearing widths.
  • Price Range: More expensive due to their larger size, power, and additional features.

Choosing the best snow blower for you

The choice between a single-stage and two-stage snow blower depends on your specific needs:

For light snowfalls and smaller, paved driveways, a single-stage snow blower is sufficient and cost-effective. For heavier snowfalls, larger areas, and diverse terrains, a two-stage snow blower offers the necessary power and versatility.

The best snow blower for Twin Falls area weather

In my experience, a single-stage blower will do just fine for most residential uses in Twin Falls. Most snow storms in Twin give us anywhere from 1-6 inches of snow, which any decent single-stage blower is more than capable of handling. I’ve used a single-stage blower in Twin Falls for the last 10 years on a corner lot, and the only time it’s fallen short was during “Snowmagdden” when we were getting back-to-back snowstorms with over a foot of snow. Even then, the single-stage did the job with a couple of passes. 

When you consider the speed, efficiency, and maneuverability of a single-stage blower compared to a two-stage, the former makes sense for most residential situations. 

That said, if you have an extra large driveway or live in the country and are subject to windblown snow drifts, the extra throwing power of a two-stage blower might suit you best.

In the end, your choice of a snow blower will depend on your specific situation, but in most residential cases, a single-stage unit should suit you just fine in Twin Falls proper.

Townsquare Media
Townsquare Media

My make and model FWIW:

This is the make and model blower that I use. This could be considered on the higher end of single-stage units. Some say that it has nearly the same throwing power as a two-stage blower but in a single-stage form factor. For the last seven years, it's been more than enough to handle the majority of our snowstorms in Twin Falls. And in most cases, I can run circles around anyone with a two-stage blower in about half the time. Just remember it won't keep up with a two-stage blower if the snow gets somewhere above 8 inches or so.

This isn't a paid promotion and I don't get any kickbacks for mentioning this particular blower. It just happens to be the one that I use and it's done well for me. It's relatively light, the joystick makes it easy to move the chute, it's self-propelled, and it turns on a dime.

Pro-tip for owning a snowblower in Twin Falls

Save yourself some time and frustration. If you buy a gas unit, make sure you empty the tank or run a fuel stabilizer through it before you store it in the spring and summer. There were a couple of seasons where I failed to do this and the carburetor clogged. This leads to a service trip to the shop or wasted time on a DIY carburetor cleaning that's easily preventable.

6 Cold Weather Pests Looking for Warmth in Idaho Homes

Gallery Credit: Ryan Antoinette Valenzuela

More From 95.7 KEZJ