What features do you need and which ones would you pick if you are buying a snow blower? In our last post we described each one of these and as promised in this one we will discuss our personal favorites. Note that each of the features will have value to consumers. Some features more than others and it really depends on what your personal situation is and your own preferences. I have been using a snow blower for over 30 years in all kinds of weather. My driveway will hold four cars so that gives you some idea of the area to be cleared. We also live in a snow belt area and receive quite cold temperatures in the winter time. My driveway is part asphalt and part interlocking stone. I like doing my own driveway and have not or would not consider hiring a snow clearing company at this time. So here is a refresher list of the features and our own personal preferences.
Our own preference for features is as follows in this order of preference:
Non marking skid shoes – these will not scratch or mark our driveway especially with the interlocking stone that we have on the driveway. Don’t want to ruin this investment. The non marking skid shoes cost $25 if you buy them separate, many machines come with them included.
Remote Chute and Deflector Rotation – this is important from an ease of use and safety perspective. Everything can be controlled from behind the machine
Electric Start – has been useful over the years especially when the machine has been hard to start. Some people may find the recoil manual starter difficult to use and prefer the electic starter for that reason
Hand Warmers – I do not have these on my current machine, but would really appreciate having them. On cold days even with warm gloves, your hands can get pretty cold.
The other features all rank the same and are not as important to me as the above ones. For readers you may have a different priority. The only other comment is that larger more powerful machines make quick work of lots of snow so if you can afford it purchase a 28 inch wide 10 horsepower snow blower vs. one that is 26 inch wide 8 horsepower. You will appreciate the difference. Speed of clearance and ease of use along with more features that are auto included are some of the criteria that I would be looking for.
One other point is that a larger machine is a heavier machine. As long as you let it do the work, they are easy to use. A heavier machine will plow it’s way threw snow drifts much better than one that is lighter. I found that I had little issue dealing with snow drifts etc with a larger heavier snow blower. Compared to my old one which was 25 inches wide, the new one at 28 inches does a far better job from this perspective.