Best Two Stage Snow Blowers 2018 – Reviews & Top Picks

a two-stage snow blowerIf you live in a town that sees regular snowfall, investing in a two-stage snow blower may be one of the best decisions you ever make. It will save you time (so no more 5 a.m. wake-up calls during the cold months!) and a lot of energy (that shoveling can be painful sometimes). They’re more expensive than simply buying a shovel but trust us, you won’t be complaining about the price when you can have an extra 30 minutes in bed. While there are many different types of snow blowers out there to buy, a dual-stage model will always be your best choice for any place that receives regular snow—they’re powerful and have a wide range of capabilities. If you want the job done, it’s best to get it done properly with a two-stage snow blower.

We want to make your search a little easier by taking our own knowledge and combining it with some two-stage snow blower reviews to bring you the top 5 picks. Finding a snow blower that’s perfect and will suit your needs is difficult if you don’t know what to look for. But once you’ve established a set of criteria, you’ll have a new snowblower in no time. We’ve also included a buyer’s guide at the end of this article to discuss the criteria you should think about before you buy your snow blower!

Our 5 Favorite Product Models of 2018

ModelPriceWeightEditor Rating
Husqvarna ST224
Husqvarna ST224
(Top Pick)

Check Price
240 lbs4.9/5
Briggs & Stratton 1696610
Briggs & Stratton 1696610

Check Price
175 lbs4.6/5
YARDMAX YB5765
YARDMAX YB5765
(Best for the Money)

Check Price
125 lbs4.5/5
Troy-Bilt Storm 2625
Troy-Bilt Storm 2625

Check Price
190 lbs4.2/5
Poulan PRO PR240
Poulan PRO PR240

Check Price
240 lbs4.0/5

5 Best Two Stage Snow Blower – Reviews:

1. Husqvarna ST224 – Top Pick

Husqvarna ST224

With a huge motor size of 208cc, this Husqvarna ST224 model will clear the snow on your driveway and lawn before you can even blink! It’s durable and produces a lot of power, so there’s no need to worry about any snow covering your way after you’ve used this. The model is built for medium-to-heavy snowfalls. With its ribbon auger and adjustable skid shoes, it can conquer a lot of snow. One of the best things about this Husqvarna model is that it comes with a 7-speed drive system (including reverse!) as well as adjustable grips and handle.

Comfort is important when you’re out in the cold weather, and Husqvarna has kept this in mind when building the ST224 model—it has heated handle grips! In addition this great feature, the model comes with headlights, meaning that you can work in dark or light conditions.  This model is also ideal to use when you have a lot of slushy, wet snow. It will cut through it with ease, so you’ll no longer have to worry about getting your drive clean! The only problem with this model is the impeller which has been rumored to dent if it encounters too many rocks.

Pros
  • 7-Speed Drive System
  • Heated, Adjustable Handle and Grips
  • Ideal for Wet and Slushy Snow
  • Intakes 23 Inches of Snow
  • Durable
Cons
  • Impeller Dents from Rocks

2. Briggs & Stratton 1696610 – The Runner-up

Briggs & Stratton 1696610

With a drive system of 8 speeds and a motor size of 208cc, the Briggs & Stratton 1696610 model is another great snow blower. It’s light duty yet still powerful, and it can handle moderate snowfalls. It’s the brand’s smallest two-stage model but is still something you’ll want to have by your side to face the harsh winters. This model has the ability to clear deep snow in a matter of minutes, saving you a lot of time during a heavy snowfall!

However, while we love this model, it lacks headlights. Since headlights are essential for some people, the fact that they aren’t included is a huge downfall for the 1696610 model. Despite this, it looks professional grade and it comes with an extended 3-year warranty too. If you’re planning on using this model a lot and want to save yourself money in case anything goes wrong, the warranty is important. For such a big machine, it’s also quiet—a huge bonus if you need to clear the snow early in the morning or late at night and don’t want to disturb your neighbors. This snow blower is the perfect solution for anyone who’s on the lookout for a two-stage model that balances quality and price.

Pros
  • Practical and Powerful
  • Good Quality
  • Clears Deep Snow
  • Quiet
Cons
  • Lacks Headlights
  • Only 3-Year Warranty

3. YARDMAX YB5765 – Best for the Money

YARDMAX YB5765

For anyone who’s looking to save money but still wants a good quality snow blower, the Yardmax YB5765 model provides 196cc engine power and is durable. It has a dashboard too, which is convenient for chute control and shifting. As with other models, it has heated grips. These should prove a hit in the cold winter when you want to stay inside getting warm rather than be outside clearing snow from your driveway and lawn. It also has an easy-to-start engine, so you won’t have to wait around in the cold mornings for it to heat up and go. Another of the model’s great features is its ability to conquer long driveways and not struggle to blow away the snow.

However, while it’s cheaper than other models and comes at nearly half the price of some, it does have flaws. It only has 6 speeds which means you won’t be able to adjust it as much as you could a more expensive model. The motor size is also a little lower than other models but is still high for the price you pay. One of this Yardmax YB5765 model’s biggest downfalls is that it only comes with a 2-year residential warranty and 1-year commercial. Also, in various reviews users state that the pull rope has often broken and they’ve had to replace it within a short amount of time after purchasing the snow blower.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Ideal for Longer Driveways
  • Easy to Start Up
Cons
  • Fragile Pull Rope
  • Only 6-Speed System
  • Smaller Motor Size

4. Troy-Bilt Storm 2625

Troy-Bilt Storm 2625

At 243cc, this Troy-Blit Storm 2625 model has the largest motor size on the list. It’s known for being durable and long-lasting as well as fast at removing snow from any ground surface. It’s able to conquer the worst snowfalls and is able to easily maneuver through all the different types of winter weather you may encounter. If you experience harsh winters, then this model is a great fit. Though users have reported problems with the chute being loose and needing adjustment, the warranty (if you have one) covers it. This model also doesn’t have heated grips. While this isn’t essential for a snow blower, it’s an added bonus that other models at a similar price offer. There’s also no power steering which means it’s hard to properly transport. Despite having both left and right levers, it isn’t the best choice if you want something easy to use. It’s also a gas-powered unit which means there’s a constant need for maintenance work which won’t cost money under the warranty but can be a hassle if you need to use it.

Pros
  • Large Motor Size
  • Durable and Long-Lasting
Cons
  • No Heated Grips
  • Requires Regular Maintenance
  • Hard to Transport
  • Extra Care Needed to Remove Oil

5. Poulan PRO PR240

Poulan PRO PR240

While the Poulan Pro range is made by Husqvarna, the quality of this range does not reflect the brand. There aren’t any extra features with this model, so what you see is what you get; it’s a very simple model without heated grips or power steering, and it has a low motor size of just 173cc. A snow blower is supposed to make life easier for everyone by providing a service that’s both efficient and easy to use. Unfortunately, the Poulan Pro model does the opposite. It’s heavy, struggles to move only a few inches of snow, and is loud too, so we wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who lives in a quiet neighborhood. This PR240 model has minimal pros, one of them being that it’s less expensive than other models on the market. If you’re looking for something without the bells and whistles, then you can try out this model.

Pros
  • Lower Price
Cons
  • Loud
  • Heavy
  • Struggles to Move Snow
  • Hard to Steer
  • No Extra Features

Buyer’s Guide

What Makes a Good Two-Stage Snow Blower?

When purchasing a snow blower there are certain features that a good pick will have; these features are important to think about before you decide which machine works best for you. Just because the model you choose might not have every feature doesn’t necessarily mean that it won’t work well.  However, having one or two of these features may help you to have a better snow blowing experience in the long term.

An electric starter

It’s not a necessity. If the model you opt for has a manual recoil-starter then it’s not going to change much, but it is a good thing to have. The electric starter allows you to plug into a power receptacle so that you don’t have to start the engine manually. This is a great feature to consider before you purchase your snow blower, since having it will save you a lot of time and effort. Many newer models have this electric starter in place. But if you’re opting to save some money, a cheaper model may not have one.

Large Tires

Yet another feature that isn’t necessary but will make your experience a lot easier. The models that have larger tires offer better traction and, therefore, better steering. If your snow blower is easy to steer then you should be able to remove the snow quicker. Large tires will help you save so much time when you have a harsh winter, as it can often take hours to clear snow with a smaller, harder to maneuver, snow blower.

Headlights

We’ve reviewed models both with and without headlights on this list of the best two-stage snow blowers. This is because having headlights doesn’t determine whether the model is good or not. Naturally, headlights are an ideal accessory if you intend to work in the dark since the light will enable you to see further than street lamps. They’re a great feature to have and rarely increase the price of your snow blower.

Heated Grips

You’ll likely be out in the snow when it’s cold, so you’ll need something to keep you warm. Gloves work and we suggest wearing them when you’re using the snow blower. But having heated grips will make everything better. They’re comfortable and not so hot that you can’t hold them properly, which is ideal when the weather is icy.

Important Things to Consider Before Buying one

In addition to the snow blower’s features, you’ll want to consider other important criteria before you decide which two-stage snow blower you’re going to invest in. Below, we’ve listed 5 criteria that will likely influence your purchasing decision.

  • Your average snowfall depth

This will depend on where you reside—some states and countries have a higher average depth than others. For those of you who deal with harsh winters, you may need a two-stage blower.  On the other hand, those who live in lighter snowfall areas may need only a single-stage snow blower. You can work out your own average if you know how much snow usually falls throughout the year, or you can check various websites.

  • Your budget

There’s nothing worse than finding the perfect product to buy and then discovering that it’s too expensive and won’t fit your budget. Always look at prices before you start dreaming of a snow blower—they vary widely in cost and this can often be a problem for those people who don’t want to spend a lot of money. A variety of snow blowers are available for under $1000.

  • Your driveway or lawn size

The range of area a snow blower will be able to cover varies from larger to smaller. Two-stage snow blowers can typically cover a good amount of ground which is great if your driveway is an average length. Other two-stage models out there can handle longer driveways too, so it’s essential you look more into the model’s details before you purchase it.

  • Your ground material

Two-stage snow blowers work best on gravel or concrete grounds as the auger doesn’t touch the floor. If you’re working with another ground material then you should perhaps check out other models of snow blowers available in your price range.

  • Your snow blower usage

You should probably only purchase a snow blower if you know you’re going to use it often. Getting a snow blower would be a waste of money if you live in a location where snow is rare. In areas that see hardly any snow, you’re better off sticking with your shovel. Think about how much use you would get out of the machine before you decide to buy one. If you’re going to use it less than 5 times a year, it may not be worth the investment.

Conclusion

After reviewing the two-stage snow blowers, we confidently conclude that the Husqvarna ST224 model is the best option to choose. It’s affordable, as well as easy to use, and it runs smoothly even in deep snow. The best model in terms of value for money is the Briggs & Stratton 1696610 model. Though it’s only a fraction of the price of other models available on the market, it’s still great quality.

We hope that this list will help you find the perfect snow blower to suits all of your needs. It’s difficult to find the best choice when you’re not sure what to look for, so knowing the best features gives you a huge advantage over everyone else. It’s important to remember all the details when you’re shopping around as the features that come with a snow blower can change dependent on the brand you choose. When you finally do purchase your snow blower it’ll be sure to change your life! There won’t be any more wake-up calls in the early hours of the morning during the cold winter months either.

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