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post #1 of 18 Old 08-06-2019, 06:08 PM Thread Starter
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Two snowblowers?

Hey guys,

Just bought a house and am researching snowblowers for the upcoming winter. (I live about a hour north of Minneapolis for reference.) I am pretty set on a 2-stage Ariens for the big stuff and heavy drifts. However, It seems silly to get out the power 2-stage for these smaller snowfalls when it might be slower and less fuel efficient than a much cheaper single stage where I control the speed.

The driveway is too long to shovel it all. Do most people get a less expensive single stage for those more frequent snowfalls?



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post #2 of 18 Old 08-07-2019, 12:37 AM
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Not here in the UP - the 2 stage does everything just fine from 1-2 inches on up. (Heck, in 50+ years here, I can't honestly say that I have ever seen a single stage . . .).
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post #3 of 18 Old 08-07-2019, 09:59 AM
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Fuel efficiency is a non issue as even a big blower uses little fuel but there are a few who do keep a single stage for the light stuff, however most of us who do get them cheap and repair them, Buying a new one just for light snow would be a little wasteful as it would take 50 yrs to save that much fuel to justify the cost lol but if you find a used one cheap in good shape they do work well for the light snow falls we get.

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post #4 of 18 Old 08-07-2019, 10:08 AM
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I have both, and you'll find out that many on this forum have multiple machines. And like many, I get used machines for cheap or free and fix them up. But I do like having a small single stage, not for fuel efficiency, but rather for cleaning the snow down to the pavement. I sometimes use the single stage after the 2 stage just for that reason.

So there is a difference I think between having 2 machines and buying 2 machines new. I'm all for having both.

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post #5 of 18 Old 08-07-2019, 10:26 AM
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I am very partial to toros as I have had them for 40 years now and I need a bigger one.

Don't discount the larger Toro 1428 OXE or its smaller OXE brothers as they have the patented anticlog system that meters snow into the impeller housing.

The more power you have in the snow mules engine the more reserve power you have to use in the event of a huge snowfall or dealing with the END OF DRIVEWAY MONSTER.

Buying the largest Toro snow blower like the Toro 1428OXE would be considered an investment and essentially power money in the bank as you will have 14 horsepower to use through the belt drive system for the wheel drive and the impeller and cross auger drive. having the Toro cab and heated handles and steering brakes will be an asset.
A large engine frame size 2 stage like the Toro 1428 OXE will cost you less to own overtime as it has 14 horsepower to use and it will take less time to clear snow and also enable you to do it faster in smaller snow falls.

Buying the largest Toro snow master personal pace single stage is an option but if you have huge drifts and THE END OF DRIVEWAY MONSTER has been sitting all night and packing down it will take you longer to clear and it will really make more work for you and you will be out there more often if you have a storm coming off the lakes.
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post #6 of 18 Old 08-07-2019, 02:22 PM
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a $650 Ariens Pro21 SR and a $1350 Ariens SHO 28 checks many boxes

It wont clean as well as a paddle model but a good alternate is the Snowmaster 724 because it handles the EoD better

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post #7 of 18 Old 08-07-2019, 03:33 PM
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I wouldn't be caught without at least two running blowers.....and they would both be two stage.
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post #8 of 18 Old 08-07-2019, 08:31 PM
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Factor in how easy it is to get the blower in and out of the garage. I have a two car garage that I would have to back a car out to get a 2-stage out. But wait, I want to clean the driveway before I drive on it....

Then pull the car in so I can clean where it was parked. Then pull it back out to put the blower away. Finally put the car in the garage.

No thanks.

Your question is situation dependent. I can easily push a single stage between my two cars, but I can't get a 2-stage out without moving a car out.

Sounds like you have a reason to have two. Single stages can be had quite cheaply. I pick them up all the time for < $50 and fix them up to sell. I suggest doing the same if you are handy on these things. Or, if you have the cash and don't care, get a brand new single stage Toro!

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post #9 of 18 Old 08-07-2019, 09:06 PM
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Here in MA, I've had a 2-stage for years, and wouldn't be without my Ariens. If I could keep only 1 machine, it'd be the 2-stage.

But this season I added a nice Toro single-stage (221R, a 2-stroke, 21" machine, ~6hp). I really like it, for smaller storms. It's light, maneuverable, fast (in suitable storms), and clears all the way down to pavement.

They were small storms, under 6". But doing one with the 2-stage took me about a half-hour, and I was rushing, and left some areas uncleared. Then with the single-stage, I did a similar storm in about 10 minutes, it was less-tiring, and it did a better job of clearing everything down to the ground (plus I did the entire area this time).

You can use a hammer to drive a nail, and squish a fly (2-stage, can do big storms, and little storms). You can't use a fly-swatter to drive a nail, but it does a better job with flies (single-stage, *can* gradually clear bigger stuff, but excels at smaller storms).

I'll hopefully get more time with the single-stage this winter, but I'm hopeful that it can handle the storms under maybe 8-10", and use the 2-stage for deep/heavy snow, and icy/solid conditions. The combination of the 2-machines is very versatile.

I was fortunate enough to snag my single-stage for $25, but if you can get one for a good price (being the off-season helps), and you have the storage space, I think it's nice to have one available. I like mine for the speed, better clearing, and being less-tiring than my differential-equipped ~300lb 2-stage. Reduced fuel use is nice, but not much of a factor, given how much I use in a season.

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post #10 of 18 Old 08-08-2019, 09:05 AM
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I live in St. Paul. Hi Neighbor!

I tried with 2 blowers a few years ago - an older MTD 2 stage model I've had since I owned my home. And I was thinking same as you. Saw a deal on CL for a little single stage (some Toro model). I was also thinking my spouse and son (who was about 10 at the time) may be able to use the single stage as the big MTD needs some muscle to move it around and steer and such.

I kept the single stage 2 seasons. The second season I used it once.

I found that I was better off just shoveling the light stuff. My son and spouse never used it.

I gave the single stage to my mom, who loves the thing. She uses it for 4-5 inches or less and calls the local plow guy for the deep stuff. So a win there. But having 2 wasn't worth it for me.
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