5 Best 2-Stage Snow Blowers under $1000 in 2023 – Reviews & Top Picks
Waking up to a deep blanket of snow layering the ground used to be exciting when you were back in school. Now, it’s just a frustration. You know you still have to get to work. Your job isn’t canceled for snow like school used to be.
Snow blowers quickly clear a driveway, parking lot, sidewalk, or wherever you need snow removed. If you deal with heavy or wet snow, you need more than just a standard snowblower. You need a heavy-duty two-stage snowblower to clear substantial accumulations.
We’ve tested many affordable snow blowers in the following reviews to see which ones are reliable enough to trust when you need to get your driveway cleared so you can get to work. Hopefully, they’ll ensure you still make it to work on time, even if you got up late.
A Quick Glance at our Favorites in 2023
|Best Overall||Briggs & Stratton S1024 Dual-Stage Snow Blower||
|Best Value||YARDMAX YB6270 Two-Stage Snow Blower||
|Champion 100434 2-Stage Gas Snow Blower||
|PowerSmart DB7622H 2-Stage Gas Snow Blower||
|Husqvarna ST224 Two Stage Snow Blower||
The 5 Best Two-Stage Snow Blowers under $1000
1. Briggs & Stratton S1024 Dual-Stage Snow Blower – Best Overall
After testing all of the affordable two-stage snow blowers we could find, we finally settled on a victor. For us, the Briggs & Stratton S1024 snow blower is a clear winner. It offers excellent performance and is priced well within our $1,000 budget.
It is a self-propelled snowblower that offers freehand control. That means that you can control the motion of the machine with one hand while the other hand deals with the controls for operating the blower. We also like the built-in LED headlight, making it much easier to work in the evenings, mornings, or during snowfall.
Inside the snow blower is a 208cc motor. It produces 9.5 foot pounds (ft-lb) of torque and about 6 horsepower (HP). However, Briggs & Stratton doesn’t list the horsepower because other models with the same size motor produce more power. We could feel the machine bogging down in deep, wet snow. It had some trouble with clogging because of the reduced power, though it always corrected itself and made it through without action from us.
In the end, solid performance and impeccable reliability earned this machine our top recommendation as the best overall two-stage snow blower.
- 3-year limited warranty
- Effortless electric start
- 208cc motor produces 9.5 lbs of torque
- Free hand control
- LED headlight built-in
- Less power than competing models
2. YARDMAX YB6270 Two-Stage Snow Blower – Best Value
All of these snow blowers cost less than $1,000, but the YARDMAX YB6270 is cheaper than most, allowing you to conserve more of your hard-earned money. It’s still packed with features, starting with the 208cc motor that produces 7 HP. This machine features an electric start that gets it started easily with the push of a button. If that should fail, there’s even a recoil backup, so you’ll never be stuck out of luck.
The Yardmax has six forward speeds and two reverse speeds. As you move, the snow blower clears a 26-inch-wide path with an impressive maximum intake depth of 21 inches, so even heavy snow won’t stand a chance.
When this machine arrived, assembly proved more difficult than other models we’ve tested. But we were willing to forgive that for the excellent features like the built-in headlight and heated grips to keep your hands warm. Overall, this machine performs like a far more expensive snow blower, helping it earn our recommendation as the best two-stage snow blower under $1,000 for the money.
- 7 HP 208cc motor
- Electric start with recoil backup
- 6 forward speeds and 2 reverse speeds
- Built-in headlight for visibility
- Heated grips keep your hands warm
- Clears a path 26” wide
- Assembly can be difficult and time-consuming
3. Champion 100434 2-Stage Gas Snow Blower
We’ve had great experiences with many Champion products over the years. This snow blower didn’t knock our socks off, but it still offers adequate performance. It has a 24-inch clearing capacity and can displace snow up to 43 feet away. Our first clearing went very well, and we didn’t foresee any problems. However, the next time we needed this machine, the snow was much deeper.
The first snow we cleared was about 6 inches, but the next was about 14 inches. Unfortunately, the Champion has a maximum clearing depth of 12 inches, which made it pretty difficult to work in the deep snow.
Out of all the snow blowers we tested, assembling this one was the worst. It wasn’t the assembly as much as the awful instructions that made things more complicated than necessary. At least the Champion is covered by a 2-year warranty and lifetime tech support in case you get something wrong during assembly!
- 6 forward and 2 reverse speeds
- 24” clearing capacity
- Clearing distance up to 43’
- 2-year limited warranty and lifetime tech support
- Max clearing depth of 12 inches
- Terrible assembly instructions
4. PowerSmart DB7622H 2-Stage Gas Snow Blower
The PowerSmart DB7622H snow blower isn’t a bad machine by any stretch. It’s a great product, though several other models in the same price range outperform it. But there’s still plenty to like about this snow blower.
The 212cc motor is a tad larger than others we’ve tested, though it doesn’t produce more power. You get a clearing depth of 16 inches, which is respectable, though not impressive. The PowerSmart is a self-propelled machine, and you get several speeds to control its motion: four forward speeds and two reverse.
When dealing with deep snow, the large 13-inch pneumatic tires provide excellent traction and easy rolling. There’s even a 2-year warranty in case anything goes wrong.
What’s disappointing is the lack of an electric start. The machine is manual start only, but it became temperamental and made it hard to get started. We also had problems with it throwing gravel. Even with the skid shoes all the way down, it was still picking up and throwing debris. But for the price, we still think it’s a decent option.
- 212cc motor
- 2-year warranty
- 4 forward speeds and 2 reverse speeds
- Large 13” inflatable tires for easy rolling on snow
- Manual start
- Picks up and throws gravel and debris
5. Husqvarna ST224 Two Stage Snow Blower
To be fair, the Husqvarna ST224 is just a few bucks outside of our $1,000 budget, but we included it to show that you don’t always get what you pay for. We found several snow blowers that outperformed this machine for much cheaper prices, and Husqvarna is a well-known and trusted tool maker.
We like the large tires on this snow blower. At 15 inches, they’re some of the biggest we’ve seen, and they have deep tread for traction in wet snow. You get six forward speeds and one reverse on this machine. The reverse is incredibly slow, and we always ended up pulling the blower, even though it’s quite a bit heavier than other models at 200 pounds.
Even with the skid shoes depressed all the way, we still had gravel being thrown. But the real problem was how cheap the impeller blades are. Those tiny rocks bent the impeller blades, impeding the machine’s function. Even before this, it was a noisy machine, rattling like crazy as if something was loose.
At this price, we had high expectations but were sorely disappointed. You don’t always get what you pay for.
- Electric start
- Oversized 15” tires with deep tread
- 6 forward speeds and 1 reverse
- At the very top of the price range
- Heavier than other alternatives
- Tiny rocks will bend the impeller blades
- Reverse is incredibly slow
- The machine rattles too much
Buyer’s Guide – Choosing the Best Two-Stage Snow Blower
Snowblowers can save you time and energy, but getting the wrong snow blower can have the opposite effect. Instead of saving time, you’ll waste time troubleshooting problems and attempting to make repairs. We want to help you avoid all of that, so we wrote the following buyer’s guide to help you pick the right snow blower the first time.
Two-Stage vs One-Stage Snow Blowers
Why should you choose a two-stage snow blower over a one-stage model? Are they better? Before we start looking at the traits of two-stage snow blowers, let’s ensure you really need a two-stage machine.
One-Stage Snow Blowers
One-stage snow blowers are more common than two-stage models. They’re generally cheaper and lighter as well. So, what’s the difference? A one-stage blower uses auger blades to pick up the snow and propel it. Because of that, they have limited throwing capacities. Moreover, they have reduced clearing capacities compared to two-stage blowers.
On the other hand, you can get one-stage blowers in fully electric models. These are easy to start, require almost no upkeep, are affordable, and are smaller, so they’re easier to store. But you’ll quickly discover a one-stage blower’s limitations when the snow is deep or wet.
A one-stage snow blower is the best choice in climates that don’t get deep snow. It’s also great for dry snow, and if you’re on a strict budget, one-stage snow blowers are more affordable.
Two-Stage Snow Blowers
So, why would you want a two-stage snow blower when one-stage models are cheaper, lighter, and more compact? It comes down to power. A two-stage blower has an auger blade to pick up the snow and a separate impeller to blow the snow out. This allows a two-stage machine to throw the snow farther and clear more at once. These machines are always gas-powered because they need more power than an electric machine can produce.
If you deal with snow deeper than 8 inches, a two-stage blower is the better choice. Likewise, if you get wet snow where you live, you’ll want a two-stage blower to clear it.
Picking the Right Two-Stage Snow Blower
Two-stage snow blowers are perfect for removing and displacing deep, wet snow. They can handle substantial amounts of snow, though each machine’s limitations are different. Let’s discuss those limitations so that you can determine which features you need in your snow blower.
One of the biggest differences in performance between models of two-stage snow blowers is their clearing capacity. Each machine will have two clearing capacities to consider.
Clearing capacity measures how wide of a path your machine clears. A 20-inch clearing capacity clears a path that’s 20 inches wide, and a 26-inch clearing capacity will make a 26-inch wide clear path through the snow.
The other clearing capacity to consider is clearing depth. This determines how deep of snow you can clear with the machine. Some two-stage snow blowers offer pretty limited clearing depths. Some max out at just 12 inches. Others can handle an impressive 21 inches of snow. Even if a blizzard comes through overnight, such a machine will likely handle the snowfall in the morning.
Electric vs Manual Start
Everyone who’s used gas-powered machines in the past knows how difficult it can be to start. Low temperatures exacerbate these problems, and a manual-start snow blower will be much harder to start than one equipped with an electric start. If your snow blower has an electric start, you can start it with the push of a button. But for a manual start, you’ll be yanking on the pull cord until the unit turns over.
Most two-stage snow blowers are self-propelled. You simply put it into gear, and it will move. Today, these machines often have multiple gears, so you have better control of their speed. Some of the blowers had four forward gears, and others offered six. We didn’t have a problem with either configuration.
But reverse gears are different. Some machines only had one reverse gear, while others supply two. In our experience, that second reverse gear is essential. Often, if there’s only one reverse gear, the reverse will be agonizingly slow, causing you to expend your energy yanking the machine where you want it to go.
Since these snow blowers are self-propelled, they do much of the hard work for you. But there are still times when you’ll need the machine to be maneuverable. For instance, deep or wet snow can be notoriously difficult to move on. But oversized pneumatic wheels with deep treads can combat the issue. If you need to turn the machine quickly, you’ll be thankful for a lighter machine that won’t give you a hernia when you attempt to turn it.
Two-stage snow blowers are expensive tools, even if you keep them below $1,000. In our experience, the best two-stage snow blower in this price range is the Briggs & Stratton S1024. It features a 208cc motor producing 9.5 ft-lb of torque that starts easily with the electric start. It’s covered by a 3-year warranty and has great features like freehand control and a built-in LED headlight.
If you’re searching for the best bang for your buck, we think it’s the YARDMAX YB6770. This machine has a 7-horsepower 208cc motor. With an electric start, you can start it by pushing a button, but it also has a recoil backup. This machine clears a 26-inch-wide path with a max intake depth of 21 inches and has some practical features built-in, like the headlight and heated grips to keep your hands warm.
Featured Image Credit: Pixabay
- 1 A Quick Glance at our Favorites in 2023
- 2 The 5 Best Two-Stage Snow Blowers under $1000
- 3 Buyer’s Guide – Choosing the Best Two-Stage Snow Blower
- 4 Conclusion