There is a gentle crispness to the air which means that Jack Frost is about to pay a visit. Possibly, even overstay his welcome by piling a huge amount of snow on your driveway or patio.
You were going to have a nice warm cup of coffee before work, catch up on the news, and visit with your family, however, thanks to Mr. Frost, you must now bundle up, grab your snow shovel and perform hard labor. How do you get to work if you can’t get your car out of the driveway?
Luckily, we live in a time of machines, manufactured by companies such as Husqvarna and Snow Joe, and one of those magnificent tools is a snow blower (or snow thrower.) There are three types single stage, two stage, and three stage. While they all work somewhat similarly, the purpose of this article is to explain how a single stage works.
What Are the Parts to a Single Stage Snow Blower?
Besides the fact that it has the same basic design of a lawn mower, there are four particular parts that you will need to know to understand how one works.
- The motor
- The auger
- The clearing path
- The chute
The two stage and three stage have one or two more different characteristics, but as for the single stage, this is it.
Let’s take a look at all the parts before we see how they work in concert with each other.
Types of Motors for Single Stage Snow Blowers
There are two ways that a single stage can be powered. Well, technically there are two because one is gas and the other is electric.
However, there are two types of electric blowers. You can have one powered by a cord plugged into an outlet or a cordless one equipped with a battery.
There are pros and cons to each, and I will discuss them below.
What is the Clearing Path on a Single Stage Snow Blower?
The casing of your blower has an opening in the front that allows for only so much snow to pass through. The opening has a height and width that is referred to as your clearing path.
You can find our reviews of battery powered cordless snow blowers by clicking here.
The wider and higher that opening is, all things equal, the more snow you will be able to move.
What is an Auger on a Single Stage Snow Thrower?
An Auger, in general, is composed of a cylindrical shaft that has a blade spiraled around it from end to end. Think of an electric post hole digger that screws into the dirt.
On a snow blower, an auger is set horizontally at the front, and its purpose is to break up the snow and direct it into the chute.
On a single stage, they are usually made from a hardened rubber and goes all the way to the surface. You should use them, ideally, on paved concrete or anything that doesn’t have loose gravel.
What is the Chute on a Single Stage Snow Blower?
The chute is simply the shaft above the auger where the snow is directed outward and away from your driveway.
How Do They Work?
Now that we are familiar with the major parts and the core design of our machine, we can put them together to see how they unite to rid yourself of that dreaded blanket of snow.
First, you must place it where you would like to start pumping that snow out of the way and make sure that you are gassed up, plugged in, or have a fully charged battery.
I would check the chute and rotate it in the direction that you would like to project the snow. You don’t want to put it in front of you or on the other areas that you are going to blow. Otherwise, you would be doing it all twice and all that time you planned on saving is gone.
Plus, it is too cold for that!
To start, you either have to pull the cord on a gas powered blower (just like a lawn mower) or press the button on an electric to start your motor.
After the auger starts to rotate, push it forward into the snow. Single stages are not known for their self-propelled abilities, so there is a good chance it is manual. If you want to decrease your activity, then you might as well get a two or three stage.
As you move forward, the snow is broken up by the auger and directed to the chute where the snow is finally launched out of your life. At least until the next snowfall or the city snow plow shovels the street snow on your property.
How Good are Single Stage Snow Blowers?
For small jobs that are on surfaces with little to no gravel or loose fragments, they are perfect.
The auger, on a single stage, comes in contact with the ground which doesn’t leave a layer of snow after you are done. This is why it is usually made from a hardened rubber, which unfortunately makes it harder to break up snow that is more icy or compact.
The ideal condition for a tool like this is light snow located on a deck or driveway. On average, the deepest these blowers can operate efficiently is around 8 inches. Anything between 8 and 12 inches will take a little more effort to achieve your goal.
After waking up to a winter wonderland, you will dread the thought of having to break your back shoveling that powder out of the way. Having one of these in your garage is a great time saver. Especially, if you have to get to work, the airport, or anywhere else important.
You might think that having this in the garage would make it too cluttered, but a tool is only as good as when you need it. Plus, you can help your neighbors out by clearing a path for them as well. They will consider you a saint.
Your kids, too, can get in on the action. They can go around the neighborhood, offer their services, and learn the value of hard work.
In any case, a single stage snow blower is a great tool to have. Now that you know how they work, you can get one of your own to work for you.