5 Best 2-Stage Snow Blowers under $1000 in 2021 – Reviews & Top Picks
Waking up to a deep blanket of snow layering the ground used to be exciting when you were back in school. Now, it’s just a frustration. You know you still have to get work. Your job isn’t canceled for snow like school used to be. But to get your vehicle out, you’re going to have to clear some snow.
Snow blowers make quick work of clearing a driveway, parking lot, sidewalk, or wherever you need snow removed. If you deal with heavy snowfall or wet snow, then you need more than just a standard snow blower. You need a heavy-duty two-stage snow blower to clear substantial snow from your life.
We’ve put many affordable snow blowers to the test in the following reviews to see which ones are reliable enough to trust when you need to get your driveway cleared so you can get to work. Hopefully, they’ll ensure you still make it to work on time, even if you got up late.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Best Overall||Briggs & Stratton S1024 Dual-Stage Snow Blower||
|Best Value||YARDMAX YB6270 Two-Stage Snow Blower||
|Champion 100434 2-Stage Gas Snow Blower||
|PowerSmart DB7622H 2-Stage Gas Snow Blower||
|Husqvarna ST224 Two Stage Snow Blower||
The 5 Best Two-Stage Snow Blowers under $1,000 – Reviews 2021
1. Briggs & Stratton S1024 Dual-Stage Snow Blower – Best Overall
After testing all of the affordable two-stage snow blowers we could find, we finally settled on a victor. For us, the Briggs & Stratton S1024 snow blower is a clear winner. It offers excellent performance and is priced well within our $1,000 budget.
This is a self-propelled snow blower that offers free hand control. This means that you can control the motion of the machine with one hand while the other hand deals with the controls for operating the blower. We also like the LED headlight that’s built-in, making it much easier to work in the evenings, mornings, or during snowfall.
Inside this snow blower is a 208cc motor. It produces 9.5 foot-pounds (ft-lb) of torque and about 6 horsepower (HP). However, Briggs & Stratton doesn’t list the horsepower because other models with the same size motor make more power. We could feel the machine bogging down a bit in deep, wet snow. It had some trouble with clogging because of the reduced power, though it always corrected itself and made it through without action from us.
In the end, solid performance and impeccable reliability earned this machine our top recommendation.
2. YARDMAX YB6270 Two-Stage Snow Blower – Best Value
All of these snow blowers cost less than $1,000, but the YARDMAX YB6270 is cheaper than most, allowing you to conserve more of your hard-earned money. It’s still packed with functionality though, starting with the 208cc motor that produces 7 HP. This machine features an electric start that gets it started easily with the push of a button. If that should fail, there’s even a recoil backup, so you’ll never be stuck out of luck.
Helping to put the power down and move this machine are 6 forward speeds and 2 reverse speeds. As you move, this snow blower clears a 26-inch-wide path and has an impressive maximum intake depth of 21 inches, so even heavy snows won’t stand a chance.
When this machine first arrived, assembly proved more difficult than other models we’ve tested. But we were willing to forgive that for the nice features like the built-in headlight and heated grips to keep your hands warm. Overall, this machine performs like a far more expensive snow blower, helping it to earn our recommendation as the best two-stage snow blower under $1,000 for the money.
3. Champion 100434 2-Stage Gas Snow Blower
We’ve had great experiences with many Champion products over the years. This snow blower didn’t exactly knock our socks off, though it still offers adequate performance. It’s got a 24-inch clearing capacity and can displace the snow up to 43 feet away. Our first clearing went very well and we didn’t foresee any problems. However, the next time we needed this machine, the snow was much deeper.
The first snow we cleared was about 6 inches. But the next snow was about 14 inches. Unfortunately, this machine has a maximum clearing depth of 12 inches, which made it pretty difficult to work in the deep snow.
Out of all the snow blowers we tested, assembling this one was the worst. It wasn’t the assembly so much as the awful instructions that made things more difficult than necessary. At least this machine is covered by a 2-year warranty and lifetime tech support in case you get something wrong during assembly!
4. PowerSmart DB7622H 2-Stage Gas Snow Blower
The PowerSmart DB7622H snow blower isn’t a bad machine by any stretch. It’s actually a great product, though it’s outperformed by several other models in the same price range. But there’s still plenty to like about this snow blower.
The 212cc motor is a tad larger than others we’ve tested, though it doesn’t offer more power. You get a clearing depth of 16 inches, which is respectable, though not quite impressive. This is a self-propelled machine, and you get several speeds to control its motion; 4 forward speeds and 2 reverse.
When you’re dealing with deep snow, the large 13-inch pneumatic tires provide great traction and easy rolling. There’s even a 2-year warranty as insurance in case anything goes wrong with this snow blower in the near future.
What’s disappointing is the lack of electric start. Because this machine is manual start only, several times it became temperamental and gave us a hard time getting started. We also had problems with it throwing gravel. Even with the skid shoes all the way down, it was still picking up and throwing debris. But for the price, we still think it’s a decent option.
5. Husqvarna ST224 Two Stage Snow Blower
To be fair, the Husqvarna ST224 is just a few bucks outside of our $1,000 budget, but we included it to show that you don’t always get what you pay for. We found several snow blowers that outperformed this machine for much cheaper prices, and Husqvarna is a well-known and trusted tool maker.
We like the large tires on this snow blower. At 15 inches, they’re some of the biggest we’ve seen, and they have deep tread for traction in wet snow. You get 6 forward speeds and 1 reverse on this machine. Reverse is incredibly slow though, so we always ended up just pulling the blower, even though it’s quite a bit heavier than other models at 200 pounds.
Even with the skid shoes depressed all the way, we still had some gravel being thrown. But the real problem was how cheap the impeller blades are. Those tiny rocks ended up bending the impeller blades, impeding the machine’s function. Even before this, it was a noisy machine, rattling like crazy as if something was loose.
At this price, we had high expectations but were sorely disappointed. You don’t always get what you pay for.
Snowblowers can save you tons of time and energy. But if you get the wrong snow blower, it can have the opposite effect. Instead of saving time, you’ll end up wasting time troubleshooting problems and attempting to make repairs. We want to help you avoid all of that, so, we wrote the following buyer’s guide to help you pick the right snow blower the first time.
Two-Stage vs One-Stage Snow Blowers
Why should you choose a two-stage snow blower over a one-stage model? Are they better? Before we start looking at the traits of two-stage snow blowers, let’s make sure you really need a two-stage machine.
One-Stage Snow Blowers
One-stage snow blowers are more common than two-stage models. They’re generally cheaper and lighter as well. So, what’s the difference?
A one-stage blower uses auger blades to pick up the snow and propel it. Because of this, they have limited throwing capacities. Moreover, they have reduced clearing capacities compared to two-stage blowers.
On the other hand, you can get one-stage blowers in fully electric models. These are always easy to start, require almost no upkeep, they’re affordable, and they’re smaller so they’re easier to store. But when the snow is deep or wet, you’ll quickly discover a one-stage blower’s limitations.
Two-Stage Snow Blowers
So, why would you want a two-stage snow blower when one-stage models are cheaper, lighter, and more compact? It comes down to power. A two-stage blower has an auger blade to pick up the snow and a separate impeller to blow the snow out. This allows a two-stage machine to throw the snow farther and clear more of it at once. These machines are always gas-powered because they need more power than an electric machine can produce.
Picking the Right Two-Stage Snow Blower
Two-stage snow blowers are the perfect tool for removing and displacing deep, wet snow. They can handle substantial amounts of snow, though each machine’s limitations are different. Let’s discuss those limitations so that you can determine what functionality you really need from your snow blower.
One of the biggest differences in performance between models of two-stage snow blowers is their clearing capacity. Each machine will have two clearing capacities to consider.
Clearing capacity is a measure of how wide of a path your machine clears. A 20-inch clearing capacity clears a path that’s 20 inches wide and a 26-inch clearing capacity will make a 26-inch wide clear path through the snow.
The other clearing capacity to consider is clearing depth. This determines how deep of snow you can clear with the machine. Some two-stage snow blowers offer pretty limited clearing depths. Some max out at just 12 inches. Others can handle an impressive 21 inches of snow. Even if a blizzard comes through overnight, such a machine will likely handle the snowfall in the morning.
Electric vs Manual Start
Everyone who’s used gas-powered machines in the past knows how difficult they can be to start. These problems are exacerbated by low temperatures. A manual start snow blower is going to be much harder to start than one equipped with an electric start. If your snow blower has an electric start, you can start it with the push of a button. But for a manual start, you’ll be yanking on that pull cord until the unit turns over.
Most two-stage snow blowers are self-propelled. You simply put it into gear and it will move. Today, these machines often have multiple gears so you have better control of its speed. Some of these blowers offered four forward gears and some offered six. We didn’t have a problem with either configuration.
But reverse gears are different. Some machines only offer one reverse gear while others supply two. In our experience, that second reverse gear is important. Often, if there’s only one reverse gear, reverse will be agonizingly slow, causing you to expend your energy yanking the machine where you want it to go.
Since these snow blowers are self-propelled, they do a lot of the hard work for you. But there are still times when you’re going to need the machine to be maneuverable. For instance, deep or wet snow can be notoriously difficult to move on. But oversized pneumatic wheels with deep tread can combat this issue. If you need to turn the machine quickly, you’ll be thankful for a lighter machine that won’t give you a hernia when you attempt to turn it.
Two-stage snow blowers are pretty expensive tools, even if you’re keeping them below $1,000. As such, you don’t want to make a mistake and purchase the wrong machine. And you certainly don’t want to purchase several just to see how they compare. Luckily, we’ve done that for you already in our reviews.
In our experience, the best two-stage snow blower in this price range is the Briggs & Stratton S1024. This machine features a 208cc motor producing 9.5 ft-lb of torque that starts easily with the electric start. It’s covered by a 3-year warranty and has some great extra features like free hand control and a built-in LED headlight.
If you’re searching for the best bang for your buck, we think it’s the YARDMAX YB6770. This machine has a seven-horsepower 208cc motor. With electric start, you can start it by pushing a button, but it’s also got recoil backup. This machine clears a 26-inch-wide path with a max intake depth of 21 inches and even has some comfort features built-in like the headlight and heated grips to keep your hands warm.
Featured Image Credit: Pixabay
- A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
- The 5 Best Two-Stage Snow Blowers under $1,000 – Reviews 2021
- Buyer’s Guide