Snow Thrower Vs. Snow Blower – Which One Is Better?

Updated July 19th, 2022
Snow Thrower Vs. Snow Blower

Many people tend to get confused when it comes to the differences between a snow blower vs. snow thrower. Though they’re both snow removal machines, they are not the same. The main differences between a snow thrower and a snow blower are power, storage space requirements, how much snow they clear in one pass, fuel source, and what they are best for.

When the winter season comes calling, you’ll need to free your immediate outdoor space from snow accumulation. Your most likely options are a snow thrower and a snow blower. Though they’re different in various aspects, they perform the same function, which is why people use them interchangeably.

This is why you should get more familiar with the snow blower vs. snow thrower to understand their differences and similarities better.

Brief Overview of Snow Throwers

The snow thrower has been designed as a single-stage machine, and snow throwers work by gathering and tossing the snow via one shot in a single motion. Usually, a horizontal spinning auger powers a snow thrower, allowing it to take up the snow and dispose of it out of the front intake chute.

Several models of snow throwers can throw snow at a distance of up to 20 feet away. Snow throwers are more suitable for use in areas with light snow. They are lightweight tools, which makes them perfect for light dusting or light snow accumulation. We’re referring to wet snow that’s not more than 12 inches thick.

However, if you reside in a location with heavy snowfall during the winter, we don’t recommend going for a snow thrower. Snow throwers have a decently good clearance ability because, in one sweep, they can make a clearance up between 11 and 22 inches in width. The precise width depends on the snow thrower unit you purchase.

Brief Overview of Snow Blowers

Most snow blowers are two-stage snow blowers. Snow blowers utilize a rotating auger, and they work by scooping up the icy snow and running it through an impeller like a big, powerful fan. This can launch snow at an average distance of up to 35 feet from where it was picked up.

Snow blowers are designed to be very powerful, and some models are three-stage snow blowers, which means they come with an accelerator capable of handling icy snow. A snow blower is ideal if you have more snow than the usual quantity to get rid of.

Snow Blower vs. Snow Thrower

Man uses snow blower in the backyard

Power and Performance

Of course, you’ll want to know which machine is more powerful, between the snow blower and the snow thrower. Well, a snow blower comes in two forms; a three-stage snow blower or a two-stage snow blower, which makes them powerful compared to the single-stage snow thrower.

Even a small model of a snow blower can clear snow at a distance of up to 30 feet away, while larger models can throw it as far as 50 feet. Plus, they can also handle icy snow or hard-packed snow.

On the other hand, snow throwers are single-stage machines with a performance we’ll describe as modest. They work in a single motion, and their maximum snow launching tops out at 25 feet, even less than a small snow blower.

It’s clear that snow blowers trump snow throwers when it comes to their power or performance.

Pass Width

The snow blower, being more powerful than the snow thrower, will naturally have more width. The pass width, however, depends on the model of the snow blower. Typically, a single pass equates to about 26 inches of snow when it comes to two-stage snow blowers.

The pass width of three-stage snow blowers is even more impressive. A single swath can clear up to 30 inches. With just a few passes, snow blowers can clear up a lot of snow.

On the other hand, snow throwers being less powerful than snow throwers, have a smaller pass width. Their typical pass width ranges between 11 and 22 inches of wet snow. Similar to the snow blower, the specific pass width of the snow thrower largely depends on the model of the snow thrower you’re using.

So when it comes to the swath widths in snow blower vs. snow thrower, the snow blower comes out on top.


Like the pass width, the cost of the snow thrower or snow blower depends on the model you’re purchasing. However, snow throwers are generally more expensive. A budget model of snow blowers will cost you nothing less than $600.

High-end or industrial modes of snow blowers may cost you as high as $2,000. This is just for the two-stage blowers.

The three-stage blowers can cost as high as $2,500. Admittedly, the price is very high, but snow blowers come with several amazing features that compensate for their high cost. It’s self-propelled and comes with electric start buttons and also headlights. Certain models of snow blowers even have heated grips.

On the flip side, snow throwers are generally more affordable than snow blowers. There’s a significant price gap between snow blowers and snow throwers. The price of corded electric snow throwers ranges between $100 and $300. Battery-operated snow throwers cost more than corded snow throwers, and their costs range from $250 to $1,000. They also come with additional features, notably dead man’s release.

Fuel Source

The fuel source of the snow blowers is one of the reasons they are so powerful. Snow blowers utilize diesel or gasoline. This, alongside their two-stage design, makes them more portable and effective in clearing snow.

On the other hand, snow throwers don’t require gasoline or diesel to operate; this single-stage comes in either corded or battery-operated versions. Their fuel source makes them easy to maneuver and light in weight. Corded options may limit your movement because you’ll have to stay close to the electrical outlet its extension cord is plugged into.

The fuel source of the one-stage snow throwers also makes them easier to maintain because there’s no need for fuel or oil changes and no spark plug to change. This is another significant difference between both machines. The maintenance required is to clean the equipment and replace the batteries after a certain period.

To Sum Up

Both the snow blower and snow thrower serve a purpose. The fuel-powered snow blower is ideal for those with so much snow to move, especially if the snow is icy ad hard. If the white stuff occasionally comes in your area, getting the snow blower may be overkill.

On the flip side, the single-stage snow thrower is ideal for those in areas with infrequent snowfall because it doesn’t have enough power. Also, they are more suitable for buyers on a budget.

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