Friday, December 17, 2010

What to Look For When Buying a Snowblower

By Mark J. Donovan

If you are in the market for buying a snowblower first consider the size of your driveway and the average snowfall you get every year. Too often people buy too small of a snowblower and end up regretting it every snow storm for years to come.

I made the same mistake when buying my first gas snowblower. I lived in New Hampshire and had a 100 foot driveway at the time. I bought a 5 horsepower, 24 inch wide, two-stage snowblower. After just a couple of years it was worn out and I was fed up pushing around a snow-cone machine in my driveway. The snow basically oozed out of the snowblower by the end of its life.

So I went out and replaced it with an 11 horsepower, two-stage gas snowblower that is nearly 3 feet wide. Ten years later it is still easily pumping out the snow even when there is 1.5 feet of snow in the driveway. When buying a snowblower of this magnitude expect to shell out between $1,000 and 2,000.

If you live in a milder climate, you can go with a smaller sized gas snowblower, such as a 5 horsepower unit or a single stage one. They work fine for a 6 inch snow storm, and can even handle the occasional foot of snow that may grace your driveway. With these smaller horse powered snowblowers you can still expect to shell out between $500 and a $1,000 for it depending upon the make and model, and the particular features it may offer.

If you live in an area where you only get the occasional snow storm with a depth not exceeding 6 inches, an electric snow blower is acceptable. Just make sure you have access to an outlet and plenty of extension cord. Though they don’t have anywhere near the power of a gas snowblower, electric snowblowers are quieter, pollute less, are easier to store, and typically cost less.

No comments: