2 Stage vs 3 Stage Snow Blower: Which is Right for You?

There has been a lot of buzz and discussion about 2 stage vs. 3 stage snow blowers. As winter approaches, many people are looking to buy a snow blower and wondering which type is best. Let’s look at the similarities and differences between the 2 stage and 3 stage snow blower. We’ve reviewed information on the subject, as well as opinions from various websites and manufacturers, to help you make a decision about which type of snow blower to purchase.

2 Stage vs. 3 Stage Snow Blower: What is a two-stage snow blower?

2 Stage Snow Blower versus 3 stage

A 2-stage snowblower is also called a walk-behind and uses only one auger system to pick up both light and heavy snow. There are two different types of 2 stage snow blowers, the version that you use on foot and walk behind and another type that can be fixed to the front of a tractor. Most push-along 2 stage snow blowers are self-propelled to make them easier to use.

The auger feeds snow into a blower component which throws it out the chute at the front of the machine. Lumps of snow and ice are broken up in the process to create a more uniform pile with less being thrown back toward the operator.

The 2 stage snow blower has one auger and one impeller. The whole design is focused on providing maximum throwing power for heavy and even packed snow. This allows the user to successfully clear paths, parking areas, and sidewalks.

2 Stage vs 3 Stage Snow Blower: What does a three stage snow blower do?

3 Stage Snow Blower Compared to 2 Stage

A 3-stage snow blower is also sometimes called a multi-stage. These machines are more heavy-duty than the 2 stage and are perfect for commercial use. They are often used to clear the streets and public areas and can be used to clear snow over large areas. This is achieved as an additional impeller has been used in the design of a 3 stage.

The additional impeller allows snow to be moved quickly and broken up easily. It also makes the auger spin at a faster speed. Ice and very hard compacted snow can be broken up with ease using a 3 stage snow blower. The downside of this is that a 3 stage snow blower cost more to buy and also has higher running costs than the 2 stage machines.

2 Stage vs. 3 Stage Snow Blower: How do they compare?

3 vs. 2 Stage Snow Blower

There is a big difference between the two machines. 3-stage snow blowers are significantly more powerful than their 2-stage counterparts. The extra power comes from having an extra impeller which allows it to cope with heavy snowfall. This extra impeller is often referred to as the accelerator impeller.

Many people find that a 2-stage snow blower is enough for their needs. It has plenty of power, but it’s generally lighter in weight. You can push a two stage around easier with less stress on your body. These units are also relatively cheaper in price than the 3 stage machines.

If you live in a heavy snow area, a 3-stage might make a better choice. The trade-off is that the 3-stage snowblower weighs quite a bit more due to having two impeller systems instead of one. The extra weight means it’s harder work to push around, especially on gravel or sand surfaces where you don’t have good traction. The extra weight and possibility of reduced traction also makes going up sloped surfaces more difficult when pushing rather than riding. That being said 3 stage snow blowers can also be self-propelled and work quickly even on dense snow. These machines work on average 50% quicker than their 2 stage counterparts.

Both 2 and 3 stage snow blowers are available with either wheels or track and are powered by gas or electricity. There are many things you’ll need to consider when choosing a snow blower that’s right for you.


It depends on your needs and how much land you have to clear, whether you go for a 2 stage vs 3 stage snow blower. If your budget is high and if you live in an area that gets lots of snow, then choosing a three-stage machine may be right for you. However, this may not be necessary as 3 stage are professional machines that are heavy duty and used by road clearing crews. Most homeowners only require a 2-stage snowblower. You can likely manage with a 2-stage blower if the winter weather is milder and snow is forecast less often.

If you hardly ever get any, you could use a leaf blower on snow.  Good luck making your decision.  We hope this article helped.