Snowblowers - Single Stage vs Two-Stage

If you're shopping for your first snowblower you may be wondering "Do I need a two stage snowblower or is a less-costly single stage a better choice for me?"

Here are some of the basic differences between single stage vs two-stage snowblowers:

  Single Stage Two-Stage
Terrain Best on flat, level paved surfaces. Not suitable for use on loose, uneven surfaces like gravel or dirt. Any, including hills and uneven ground. Dual stage snowblowers have auto drive wheels, some models feature track drive.
Capacity Light to moderate snowfall, up to 1' deep. Intake height 6"-13", width 18"-24" Light to heavy snowfall. Intake height 16"-23", width 20"-30" or more.
Power Electric corded (9-15 AMP), rechargeable battery (40-80 volt) or gas engine (99cc-212cc) Gas engine (196cc-420cc)
Price Range $110 - $700 $600 - $1,800+

Overall, two-stage (dual stage) snowblowers are more powerful with larger engines, more comfort / convenience features, and a higher snow capacity. That said, they are also more expensive, heavier, and can take up a lot of space to store off-season!. If you measure your snowfall in feet instead of inches, you need a 2-stage snow blower.


Single stage snowblowers are lightweight and less of a hassle to use and store, but powerful enough to handle a high volume of snow. If most of your snowfall totals are 6" or less with an occasional 10"-12", a one-stage snowblower may be perfect for you.