Snow Blowers

How Much Horsepower Should a Snowblower Have

how much horsepower should a snowblower haveMost homeowners with a driveway in snow country have to decide if they will hire a company to clear the snow for them or do it themselves. If they decide to clear the snow themselves, will they do it by hand or purchase a snow blower. How much horsepower should a snowblower have is a common question. It goes without saying that the more horsepower you have, the larger the snowblower will be and the faster it will clear snow for you. But there is much more to buying a snowblower than horsepower.

In this post we will list a series of questions that should be considered before any decision are made and depending on the answers, will lead you to a particular type of blower. Of course the more features you want, the more this machine will cost as well.

From a practical perspective, considerations for such things as:

  • Storage location when not in use?
  • How large an area do you need to clear?
  • How much time do you have or can deal with clearing snow?
  • Is it light snow or heavy snow?
  • Is the area level or does it have a slope?

How Much Horsepower Should a Snowblower Have?

Then there are the features that appeal to each consumer. Some are must haves, while others are nice to have features. It can be almost like purchasing a car. If you need one particular feature, it may be bundled with several other nice to have features that is in a higher price bracket.

Here is a list of features for consideration, split into must have and nice to have from the writers perspective:

Must Have

  • An electric starter allows you to plug into a suitable GFCI three-prong power receptacle to start the engine rather than using a manual recoil-starter.
  • Single-hand operation allows for easy adjustments while operating the blower.
  • Speed controls let you select the pace of the machine in forward or reverse.
  • A remote chute control lets you adjust the direction the blower will discharge the snow.

Nice to Have

  • A more powerful gasoline engine (higher cc or cubic centimeter rating) or electric motor (higher amps rating) translates to more clearing ability.
  • Clearing width and intake height determine how much snow the machine can take in. Greater width and height can reduce chore time, particularly with tall drifts.
  • Power steering gives you superior maneuverability.
  • Large tires offer traction and easier steering. Some models have dual tires on each side for even better grip.
  • Tracks or treads replace wheels on some models for traction on a variety of terrain types.
  • A joystick chute control provides more convenience for directing the snow.
  • An extended chute or deflection extension reduces blow-back of the discharged snow.
  • Drift cutters cut through deep snow and can help move snow into the auger.
  • A headlight improves visibility where you’re working.
  • Heated handgrips make the work more comfortable.

Some of the nice to have features might move into must have if you have hilly terrain, heavy snow or need finger tip controls to steer and direct the snow. Evaluate each depending on your personal situation. If in doubt go for the feature and have as much horsepower as you can. It will make sure work clearing snow and lead to a lot less frustration.

For more posts about buying snow blowers, click here.

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