Which snow blower to buy: tips for choosing

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How to remove snow on a large area or local area? How much does a snow blower cost and does it have additional features? What to look for when choosing such a unit for a site? We will talk about this, as well as about the nuances of service in our article..

Which snow blower to buy? Tips for choosing

Snow removal equipment can be conditionally divided into 3 categories: home (country), amateur and professional tools. As a rule, the division into classes within the framework of one manufacturer occurs according to the width of the bucket (hopper).

Home (country) class. Capture 40-50 cm

Products in this category are low-power, compact household appliances. In professional terminology, they are referred to as non-self-propelled single-mode snow blowers. These machines require the application of human efforts not only when cornering, but also when moving forward over the cleared area. They have one operating mode – the maximum. The accumulated snowdrift will not be “tough” for this technique, but they are quite capable of solving the issue of fresh snow and slush at the proper level.

Micro class. Electropath

It appeared as a result of the evolution of a vacuum cleaner (with a motor at the bottom of the handle) and its exit from home walls into the open air. He got rid of all the unnecessary filters and brushes and bought an auger.

Texas ST1300 Texas ST1300

Ideological purpose. Help for lovers of suburban life with moderate income. Save strength in daily useful work. Used when it is impossible to use a standard shovel.

Device. It is a 1000 W electric motor driven by a light polymer paddle auger. The units are arranged in a casing that has two wheels (50 mm) and a handle with a power button on which the power cable is located. Operated with one hand. The auger is a feeding and transferring tool.

Design features. Maximum simplicity, minimum details. Lightweight luggage convenient for transportation in public transport. Maintainability is in last place, since the main target audience is the intelligentsia on a well-deserved rest (all repairs are given to the workshops).

Principle of operation. The electric motor rotates the auger, which throws the snow along the radius of the rotational movement (“forward”).

Result. Snow is thrown 3-4 meters in the direction of travel of the operator. It’s hard to talk about performance – the tool is intended only for light freshly fallen snow.

Application area. Dacha. Cleaning the yard and paths up to 40 cm wide.

Despite the seeming frivolity of the device, it is in stable demand, so it is produced, among other things, by eminent companies (Hundai, Huter).

Mini class. Electric snow blower with deflector. Capture 40-50 cm

The evolution of the lawn mower.


Ideological purpose. Regular cleaning of the area around the house for residents of areas with regular, but not heavy snowfalls. Cleaning of verandas, terraces, sidewalks.

Device. Identical to an electric shovel, but with a more powerful motor (from 2500 W), wheels with a larger diameter (up to 15 cm) and a twin handle-crossbar. Has adjustment of the height and tilt of the handle, the angle of release and rotation of the deflector.

Design features. Intuitive ease of assembly and operation. Doesn’t require any skill or knowledge. The auger with plastic padding on the blades gently cleans paving and ceramic tiles, terraces. It is activated when the stage is pressed against the crossbar of the control handle. Fits comfortably on the trunk of a motorcycle.

Principle of operation. The auger, rotating at high speed, feeds snow mixed with air into the deflector.

Result. Snow discharge 2–8 m in a given direction. Productivity – up to 8 tons / hour.

Application area. Big cottage. Hotel complexes. Open areas covered with finishing material. Site cleaning up to 500 m2.

Options with an electric drive are perfect for those who are not looking for difficult paths and have stable 220 V. Simple and light helpers will wait in the wings in the pantry or on the mezzanine right in the house, since they have no problems with leakage and smell of fuels and lubricants.

Electric snow blowers:

Model, manufacturerPower, WSnow intake height, mmSnow fence width, mmRejection range, mWeight, kgPrice, rub.
Mono handle
Forte ST-1300, China / China13001202608five2400
Forte ST-1500, China / China150013034086.62800
Texas ST1300, China / Denmark1300180340fivefive3500
Stiga Electric31, China / Sweden1000160340463800
Iron Angel ST 1100, Netherlands1100230320five6.54000
HYUNDAI S 300, Korea1100180300five6.55000
Alpina AS31e, Italy1100230320five6.25500
Monferme 26077M, France95020030066.57000
Twin handle
IKRA Mogatec ESF 4016, Germany16001604004-813.56000
Champion STE1650, China / USA16003305003-7sixteen7000
HUTER SGC 2000E, Germany20001604004-914.57500
Stiga ST 1145, China / Sweden1800250452-6fourteen7800
HYUNDAI S 400, Korea17502804004-813.58000
Al-ko SnowLine 46 E, Germany20003004603-10158500
Monferme 26097M, France15002604102-9sixteen11000
TORO 38302, USA18003004603-912.517500

The table shows that, despite the simplicity of the device and the narrow scope of application, the equipment manufactured by a well-known company sometimes costs quite substantial money..

Medium class. Single-mode gasoline device

It appeared as a result of the installation of the internal combustion engine on the electrical appliances described above. Initially supplied with two-stroke power units (from a chainsaw), which did not justify themselves due to low power and weight.


Ideological purpose. Autonomous work of a small volume at a distance from civilization. Regular cleaning of freshly fallen snow if it is impossible (or inconvenient) to connect to the mains.

Principle of operation. Identical to the models described above. Snow is ejected due to the force applied from the auger blade.

Design features. It is a mini-class snow blower with a gasoline engine, which has proper adjustments and equipment. The auger has a larger blade (snow grip), belt or chain drive. The blades themselves are replaceable, made of resilient elastic material. All adjustments are manual. Fits comfortably in the trunk of a car.

Result. Throwing snow up to 10 m in a given direction. Productivity – up to 10 tons / hour.

Application area. Mini class for long distances without electricity. Cleaning area – up to 3000 m2 per shift.

ICE models are suitable for small, regular cleaning at a distance (for example, cleaning long narrow paths), when it is inconvenient to use an electric drive. However, it will require more attention – timely replacement of technical fluids (oil), maintenance, garage storage.

Non-self-propelled single-mode ICE snow blowers:

Model, manufacturerEngine displacement / power cm3/ l. from.Fence height / capture width, mm / mmRejection range, mMachine weight, kgPrice, rub.
Manner (Zongshen) M208, China118 / 4.126/56nine28.515000
PATRIOT PS 301, China / USA70/327/47eleven31.516000
AL-KO SnowLine 55Е, China / Germany212/530/55ten4019000
Huter (Zongshen) SGC 3000 MY14, China / Germany118 / 4.126/52nine4319500
HYUNDAI S 5050, Korea159/527/51ten3420,000
MTD SMART M 53, Germany123 / 3.528/53eleventhirty25000
Champion ST655BS, USA205 / 6.1532/5512.54132000
Honda HS 550 EA, Japan160 / 5.530/501238.541000
Briggs&Stratton BS822E, USA205 / 6.1532/5512.54145000

All non-self-propelled models are equipped with OHV single-cylinder gasoline engines, such as those on household motor pumps and generators, and mopeds. They also do not have a battery (a tribute to lightness and economy), however, an electric starter is most often provided. Since the purpose of the machine is: work in winter, manual start is laborious, inconvenient and additionally wears out the equipment (manual start is mandatory). The electric starter is powered by a 220 V network.

Amateur class. Self-propelled vehicles of the middle category. Capture 60 cm

The result of the evolution of the average walk-behind tractor. But, with all the similarity to a walk-behind tractor, this is already another, independent unit of technology. They, in addition to stationary attachments, are distinguished by the following features:

  1. The clearance of a snow blower is noticeably less than that of a walk-behind tractor. This is due to the fact that after the operation of the scraper, a relatively flat surface remains, and the machine does not need to overcome bumps during operation.
  2. Layout of components and assemblies. Gearboxes that transmit power to the axle and PTO are literally located between the wheels, which makes the whole machine squat in appearance.
  3. Wheels. The snow blower kit contains only winter tires. Replacement of wheels for any axle equipment is not provided.
  4. Swivel rods are not provided under any circumstances.
  5. No towbar.

Wolf Garten Select SF 56 Wolf Garten Select SF 56

Semi-professional “individuals” not only are larger and heavier, they have a fundamentally different design, which “grew” out of the human need for even greater productivity.

Characteristic features of “amateur” snow blowers

1. The main difference from the previous class is the presence of a checkpoint, that is, the “middle peasants” have wheel drive, they drive themselves, they only need to be guided. The effort to penetrate into the snow mass is made by the apparatus itself. There are several driving modes – from 2 speeds forward. Most gearboxes provide for reverse.

2. The design of the snow intake (bunker). Unlike single-mode devices, where one auger does all the work, the “mediums” have a “division of labor” here. The material is ejected through the deflector by the impeller, which rotates at a tremendous speed (up to 11,000 rpm). The auger only supplies prepared (cut into pieces) snow mass.

With such a device, the axis rotation speed is much lower than that of single-stage models. At the same time, the machine shows a capacity of up to 30 tons / hour.

Interesting fact.The work of the impeller is reduced to creating a difference in air pressure. 80% of loose snow is lifted by an air stream, and only 20% in the form of packed lumps and other inclusions are removed by blades. Therefore, sometimes this snow blower unit is called an air pump..

3. Aggressive auger. Steel blades with serrated edges are directed along the direction of travel. Their helical arrangement relative to the axis of rotation not only cuts dense snow, but also pushes it along the axis towards the pump.

Ariens Sno-Tek 20 Ariens Sno-Tek 20

The auger drive is no longer belt-driven, but geared. The worm gear itself, as a rule, collapsible (serviced), is located in the central part of the hopper. The force on it is transmitted from the rod connected to the power take-off shaft.

4. Petrol internal combustion engine 4T OHV 5 – 7.5 liters. from. That says it all about the powertrain. The differences in specific models are reduced to the convenience of the engine layout – maintainability, the location of the necks and sensors.

5. The deflector adjustment drive is adjusted by the operator without interruption from work (from the workplace behind the machine) and without turning off the engine. Gates, rods and levers are brought out to the crossbar.

6. Wheel treads with a diameter of 15 cm and more have active snow traction and a characteristic pattern.

AL-KO Snow Line 620 E AL-KO Snow Line 620 E

7. Separate control of the movement of the machine and the start of the air pump.

8. Some models are made on caterpillar tracks.

Such a device is already more stable in operation (non-self-propelled ones work with “jerks” with frequent kickbacks), it is more accurately and smoothly controlled, and takes less effort from the operator. The larger size and weight allow you to install additional options that are already typical for professional models:

  1. Battery and electric starter for autonomous starting.
  2. Powerful halogen headlight (sometimes built-in).
  3. Heated handles.
  4. Full ejection control from the operator unit.
  5. Unlocking wheels.

Scope: sites and sites up to 6000 m2.

Snow throwers of the middle (amateur) class:

Model, manufacturerEngine displacement / power cm3/ l. from.Fence height / capture width, mm / mmRejection range, mMachine weight, kgGearbox, forward / reverse gearsPrice, rub.
Expert Irbis 455 (Zongshen), China / Russia163 / 5.540/5712605/215000
Efco Artik 55 S MY14, China / Italy163 / 5.542/5611.5584/218000
Champion ST556 MY14, China / USA163 / 5.542/5612634/218700
Patriot Home Garden PHG 71 MY14, China / USA212 / 6.550/6014.5704/119200
Rein STR 55 MY14 (Loncin), China163 / 5.540/5512.5684/220500
Profi P6555S, China / Russia196 / 6.535/5513.5735/223500
Crosser CR-SN-2 Orange (Loncin), China / England196 / 6.551/6114.5705/225500
Stiga ST 3255 P MY14, China / Sweden182 / 5.540/55eleven684/226500
Huter SGC 4100 MY12, China / Germany163 / 5.551/5612.5755/227000
Manner GardenKnight M-209-1 MY12, China / Germany (Zongshen)196 / 6.551/5613.5755/229000
Hyundai S5555 MY13, Korea163 / 5.549/5514.5726.230,000
MTD Yard Machines 63BD, USA208 / 6.053/56eleven772/133000
AL-KO Snow Line 620 E MY1, China / Germany212 / 6.551/6212755/235500
Wolf Garten Select SF 56, USA / Germany / China179 / 5.541/5610.5552/136500
MasterYard MX 8022B MY13, France / USA / China205 / 6.1551/56fourteen725/239000
Ariens Sno-Tek 20, USA136 / 5.551/5113.568.52/143000
Mobile К С65Б6,5, Russia / USA205 / 6.1545/6813one hundred5/246000
McCulloch PM55 MY13, USA205 / 6.1558.5 / 6114.5946/247500

Professional class. High performance technique. Capture 70-100 cm

Developed machines with an abundance of adjustments, settings that require certain skills from the operator. Most of the operations are automated or controlled by sensitive drives. Increased resource of all units and parts. Have a persistent predisposition to long-term hard work.

Ariens Hydro Pro 36 Ariens Hydro Pro 36

What did the “amateur” snow blower get when moving to this class:

  1. Engine power 7.5-13 liters. from.
  2. Large size and weight.
  3. Reliable metal rods instead of cables.
  4. The width of the hopper is from 75 cm, the height is from 55 cm. There is a special “knife” installed outside the side wall and designed for cutting tall snowdrifts.
  5. Wide powerful wheels with locking (separate brake). Up to 50% of the pro models are tracked.
  6. Landing of the bucket (hopper). Allows you to scrape snow off the surface cleanly.
  7. TOP equipment (the most expensive among the “pros”) is equipped with a hydraulic pump (for tilt control) and a hydrostatic transmission.

All of these rather complex elements serve the same purpose – to maximize productivity while maintaining the health and efficiency of the operator. The TOP segment of the professional class of snow blowers is already pedestrian tracked tractors, which have an impressive appearance and a productivity of up to 90 tons / hour.

Honda HSM 1380I E Honda HSM 1380I E

Professional snow blowers (70-100 mm):

Model, manufacturerEngine displacement / power cm3/ l. from.Fence height / capture width, mm / mmRejection range, mMachine weight, kgGearbox, forward / reverse gearsPrice, rub.
GreenField GF-9 hp / 29 “E, China / Russia270 / 9.251/74131156/236500
Crosser CR-SN-6 MY12, China / England302/1155/7415.5814/239000
Texas Snow King 7613TGE MY13, China / Denmark375 / 14.554.5 / 7015.5128.56/249000
Craftsman 88691, USA208 / 7.553/71fourteen936/256000
Champion ST1074BS MY13, USA305 / 11.250/74fourteen936/269500
Husqvarna ST 276EP MY13, Sweden342 / 12.758.5 / 7614.51086/390,000
Murray MH761650SE MY12, USA342 / 12.753/7616.51206/2103000
Caiman Valto-28S MY14, France / Japan287/1054/7114.51256/1119000
Briggs&Stratton BP2132SE MY12, USA420 / 16.151/81151426/2148000
Ariens Hydro Pro 36 MY14, USA420 / 16.160/9116.51506/2200,000
Honda HSM 1380i E (Track), Japan390/1158/80nineteen235hydrostatic.290000
Honda HSM 1390IK ZE (Track), Japan390/1358/92nineteen250hydrostatic.310,000

This technique is used by: utilities, ski resorts, remote camp sites. In one work shift, a trained operator will clear several kilometers of the road. This is of particular importance for rescue operations and disaster relief..

How to recognize a low-quality snow blower model

It is especially worth mentioning the equipment made in the best traditions of super-fast and super-cheap Chinese assembly. These are models with a professional set of functions, technical indicators and a price 30-50% lower from HONDA, Hyundai and MTD.

Husqvarna ST 276EP Husqvarna ST 276EP

All these declassed elements of light vehicles have common features (in addition to the low price):

  1. Suspiciously light weight. This is due to the saving of material (metal) in all units and assemblies.
  2. Plastic is widely used. The presence of polymer components in the form of scrapers, auger elements for single-stage machines, handles, toggle switches is the norm for all manufacturers. But a plastic shroud or gear should alert you. The quality of plastic stamping (casting) is an excellent guideline for details. A self-respecting company always adjusts them, grinding overflows and distortions.
  3. Non-dismountable stamped gearbox (rare). In case of breakdown – only replacement.
  4. Thin metal and poor-quality painting, which can have a variable relief.
  5. Vibration. Pay attention to how the covers, movable and removable parts behave. They usually hang out in the store. The vibration of the operator’s handle is felt immediately.
  6. The oil for the motor or gearbox of the manufacturer of the snow blower is included in the factory kit, and is not a gift from the store.
  7. Guarantee. If offered at all, repair conditions may not be feasible. So, for example, scratches in the lower part of the hopper can serve as the basis for denial of warranty service..

For all the “Chinese” problems with technology, it is worth noting that there is a whole market segment – the so-called “industrial China”. These are high-quality components, assemblies and machines that are not inferior to market leaders either in reliability or in price. So, for example, most motor vehicles (motor pumps, generators, gasoline tools, mopeds and motorcycles) from various manufacturers around the world are supplied with cheap and reliable engines manufactured by the Chinese corporations Loncin and Zongshen..

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