Geographic region should factor into snowthrower purchase

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Consumers who seek a new snowthrower and aren’t sure whether to buy a single-stage model or a dual-stage model should take their geographic region into consideration, experts say.

Single-stage snowthrowers are equipped to handle the powdery snow that’s prevalent in the Midwest, according to Tanner Erickson, who is an associate product manager at Toro. Single-stage snowthrowers, are suited for consumers who live in metropolitan areas of the Midwest, because they are lightweight and easy to maneuver. Erickson says single-stage models, which rely on rubber paddles to scoop up and throw the snow, also work on wet, slushy snow, because the rubber paddles act as a shovel to scoop it up. Single-stage models aren’t suited for throwing snow that’s mixed with ice.

Single-stage models can handle 6–9 inches of snow at a time, which is typical of most snowfall accumulations in the Midwest. But in rural areas, he says, a dual-stage snowthrower is better, because it’s equipped to handle large drifts and compacted snow.

Consumers who live in the upper Northeast, the Rocky Mountains and regions that are affected by lake-effect snow would benefit most from a dual-stage model, says Nick Schomer, who is a design engineer at Husqvarna. These areas can accumulate more than 1 foot of snow from one storm, and dual-stage models are equipped to handle this volume.

A dual-stage snowthrower uses an auger to pull in snow and chop it up. These models work best in compacted snow or ice/snow mixes and can clear through snow that is higher than 12 inches.

– K. Fanuko