Those living in snow country will quickly find out that a snow blower is their best friend during the winter months. These tools are used to rapidly and efficiently remove snow from your home’s driveways and walkways. They are one of the best time saving and labor saving alternatives to traditional snow shoveling.
Yet snow blowers cost a pretty penny. This is especially true of the top quality models that do the job the best. That’s just one of the reasons why you should consider a snow blower rental in favor of a snow blower purchase.
The benefits of renting a snow blower don’t stop there. Rental is the perfect option for those that aren’t permanently settled in a specific area. Snow blowers lose value quickly when purchased and are difficult to sell for a decent price if you ever move to a less snowy locale. This also makes snow blower rental perfect for those living in areas where a big winter storm only comes through every couple of years.
Whatever your reason for renting a snow blower, you’ll want to make sure you select the best one. There are a handful of different types, each best suited to a different use. The main types of snow blowers include single-stage (available in electric, cordless electric, and gas), two-stage, and three-stage. We look at each model in greater detail below.
Single-Stage Snow Blowers
Single-stage snow blowers are available in three different models. These include the abovementioned electric, cordless electric, and gas models. Each is able to handle a typical home snow-clearing job so it’s important to consider the pros and cons of each.
Before we do that, let’s discuss what exactly a single-stage snow blower is to begin with. They are the lightest and easiest to use models. Unfortunately, their lightweight and ease of use restricts their effectiveness to areas with 8 inches of snowfall or less. Any more snow than this and you’ll likely end up just wasting your time.
Single-stage snow blowers incorporate an auger and discharge tube. The auger contacts the surface and directs the snow through the discharge tube. Because the auger must touch the surface of the snow, single-stage snow blowers should only be used on paved surfaces. If you use them on gravel, you risk picking up one of the rock pieces and shooting it dangerously through the air.
Alright, now let’s get down to business. We look at the differences between electric, cordless electric, and gas single-stage snow blowers below.
- Electric – These single-stage snow blowers run off electricity. They require an extension cord to operate. Be sure to select an extension cord that remains flexible in the cold weather. You’ll be able to rent one of these alongside your snow blower. Simply push the “on” button and the snow blower will start right up. These are among the lightest and easiest to maintain models.
- Cordless Electric – These single-stage snow blowers also run off electricity. However, they are cordless so they don’t require an extension cord. Because of this they’re even lighter than electric models.
- Gas –These single-stage snow blowers run off gasoline. They offer increased versatility since they aren’t tied to a power cord. Most gas models are more powerful than electric and cordless electric models. They are able to intake and clear snow much faster. ?
Two-Stage Snow Blowers
Two-stage snow blowers are more powerful than single-stage snow blowers. They run off gasoline. They are capable of handling snowfall over 8 inches. The downside is that they’re often much heavier and more difficult to operate.
Manufacturers solve much of the operating difficulty with the inclusion of large engine-driven wheels. These reduce operator fatigue and allow you to use the machine on uneven terrain.
The first stage of the process is snow collection. The auger collects the snow and sends it to an impeller fan. The fan then discharges the snow through the chute.
The big benefit of selecting a two-stage snow blower is that they move snow farther and faster than single-stage models. You can even request skid shoes to ensure that the machine is elevated above the snow surface. This allows you to use the machine on uneven terrain, including gravel.
A vast range of two-stage snow blowers are available for rental. However, the differences between these models are mostly trivial.
Three-Stage Snow Blowers
As you might suspect, three-stage snow blowers are the most powerful of all. Like two-stage snow blowers, they run off of gasoline. Their robust design allows them to move the most snow in the least amount of time.
Most homeowners won’t require a three-stage snow blower for rental. Instead, they’re best for commercial settings like small business parking lots. Of course, those with large properties can benefit from these machines.
To put the power of a three-stage snow blower into perspective, let’s look at their common rates of snow removal. The machines are capable of moving snow blower than 10 times faster than a two-stage model. They also incorporate machine-driven wheels and can be used on uneven gravel terrain.
How to Choose the Right Snow Blower Rental for You
As you can see, the options for snow blower rental are numerous. So how do you choose the right one for you? The key is to answer a handful of pointed questions. These include
- How much snowfall are you clearing? Those clearing less than 8 inches of snowfall will do well with a single-stage snow blower. Those looking at clearer more snowfall should opt for a two-stage machine.
- How large is the area you’re clearing? A single-stage snow blower will do the job for small driveways. If you have a driveway over 50 feet, opt for a two-stage or three-stage model, even if the snowfall is less than 8 inches.
- What kind of snow are you clearing? Use a single-stage snow blower for light snow. If you’re attempting to clear heavier, wetter snow, then a two-stage model is for you. The three-stage model is best for clearing ice and hard-packed snow.
Finding the right snow blower rental for you isn’t as tough as it seems. All it takes is narrowing down your needs and preferences. You’ll quickly be able to find the perfect match after you answer the three questions listed above.