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Can You Use A Snowblower On Grass? Here’s What You Need To Know

Yes, a snowblower can be used on grass. Two-stage snowblowers are better for use on grass because they don’t tear it out. Simply adjust the skid shoes to the proper height to protect your lawn. Single-stage snowblowers, however, scrape against the surface and may leave your lawn looking patchy.

Is your lawn completely covered in snow? You can’t even reach your shed, can you?

You can solve this issue the old-fashioned way with a snow shovel and a bunch of elbow grease… or, you can try using your trusty snowblower

But, can you use a snowblower on grass?

Many homeowners are hesitant to use snow clearing machines on their beautiful lawns in fear of ruining them. What I have found is that with proper equipment and guidance, using a snowblower on grass is completely safe, not only for you but your property too.

So, keep reading! You will find all the necessary snow blowing tips and tricks for use on grass in the sections to come. 

Complete Guide To Using A Snowblower Or Grass

Can You Use A Snowblower On Grass?

clumps of snow on grass

First and foremost, let’s answer the main question at hand. Can you use a snowblower on grass? 

Yes, you can use a snowblower on your grass to clear light or heavy snowfall. However, you should only clear snow with the right snowblower that won’t give your lawn an unsightly haircut

Not all snowblowers deliver the best results when used on grass. Some will strip your lawn and expose the soil. Others, however, won’t leave a trace behind, even when used on sloped terrain. 

Let’s see which snowblowers are the best for the job: single-stage or two-stage?

Which Snowblower Is Best Suited For Use On Grass?

Single-Stage Snowblower

Single-stage snow blowers are compact machines good for removing thin and light layers of snow. They can remove up to 8 inches of snowfall from paved surfaces quite easily. But the same cannot be said for use on grass. 

Single-stage snowblowers clear snow very low to the ground. Their fast-moving auger protected with rubber scrapes the surface to scoop up as much snow and leave as little behind. This feature is desired when working on a driveway or sidewalk, but not so much when working on a lawn.

The low-rise auger can pick up the grass and leave your lawn looking patchy. You can still safely use your single-stage snowblower on a paved pathway that is running across your lawn.

You can also try using a leaf blower for snow removal on grass. You never know what will work for you.  

Two-Stage Snowblower

Two-stage snow blowers are bigger machines that can take on bigger snow-clearing jobs. They can clear more than 18 inches of wet and heavy snow on paved or unpaved surfaces (read more about it in our post about snowblowers for wet snow), including gravel and grass

Two-stage snow blowers can be used on diverse terrain because their auger never makes contact with the surface. So, you won’t strip your grass or scoop up stones if you decide to use it on your lawn. 

All you need to do is adjust the height of the skid shoes and auger housing to stay clear of the grass. Don’t hesitate to use your snowblower on sloped parts of your backyard and gravel pathways, as well. 

Your two-stage snowblower will leave a thin layer of snow behind, which will melt with the first sunshine. This way, your lawn will be cleared without any damage that may cause you trouble in the spring. 

Don’t have a two-stage snowblower? I’ve taken the time to review some amazing two-stage units that are perfect for the job. Take a look.

Still not sure which one to choose? Read our post about one-stage vs two-stage snowblowers.

Tips For Using A Two-Stage Snowblower On Grass

Now that we have determined which type of snowblower is best for grass, it is time to learn a few useful tips and tricks. These will ensure your snow blowing stays efficient and safe

Let’s take a look: 

Prep Your Snowblower

Your two-stage snowblower may be a little rusty after summer. You will need to prepare it for the work on the grass, especially if you are using it for the first time this season.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Fill the gas tank with fresh fuel to ensure the proper starting of the engine. Drain the old fuel through the fuel line or using a siphon pump. 
  2. Add fuel stabilizer to the gas tank. It will keep the gasoline from freezing and getting gummed up.
  3. Add enough snowblower-compatible motor oil to the reservoir. Make sure it is filled up to the line. 

Adjust The Skid Shoes

Most importantly, don’t forget to adjust the height of the snowblower’s skid shoes. Lift the auger housing high enough so that it won’t scrape against the grass and cause damage to it. 

You also don’t want your auger to pick up the hidden stones under the snow and throw them into the air at a high speed. But don’t raise the housing too much either. After all, the goal is to clear as much snow as possible without ruining your yard.

Watch this quick YouTube video to learn how to adjust skid shoes on your snowblower. Take a look: 

Prep Your Lawn For Snowblowing

Take time to prep your lawn for snow clearing. Remove any obstacles that could jam your expensive two-stage snowblower. Get rid of any big rocks, store away your garden hose, garbage bags, toys, and sticks. And of course, don’t forget about the morning newspaper buried under that thick blanket of snow! 

It is also smart to mark the perimeter of your driveway and walkway with driveway markers. You will know exactly where your lawn starts and ends and where your precious flower beds are located. 

Don’t Wait For Snow To Stop Falling

Don’t let the snow accumulate too high. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to clear. I suggest you don’t let the snow pile up more than 6 inches. Removing 6 inches of snow twice is much easier than 12 inches at once. 

Let’s not forget, the longer you let the snow sit, the wetter and heavier it will get. Clearing fresh, fluffy snow is way easier. By working gradually, you won’t put so much strain on your two-stage snowblower, and you will throw snow farther away, too. It’s a win-win situation. 

Blow With The Wind 

Don’t let the wind discourage you from clearing your lawn. Instead, use the wind to your advantage to throw the snow further away. Always throw the snow in the direction in which the wind is blowing. 

Pick A Snow Blowing Pattern 

snow blowing patterns

If you would like to pile snow on both sides of your lawn, make the first pass in the center and work your way out by going in circles, as shown in the left picture above. 

If you want to pile the snow on one side of your backyard, start at the opposite end, going up and down until you’ve reached the opposite side, as shown in the right picture above. If you choose this snow blowing pattern, you will have to rotate the discharge chute 180° each time you take a turn. 

Pick A Piling Spot

Pick the least desired corner of your lawn and make it your piling spot. Try to blow snow far away, directly onto the place if possible. If not, try to make the halfway distance and go over the same snow the second time to reach the destination. 

To achieve a maximum discharge distance follow these steps:

  1. Adjust the chute in a fully raised position.
  2. Run the snowblower at full speed.
  3. Slowly move the snowblower through the snow.  
  4. Clear smaller sections of snow at a time.
  5. Blow with the wind. 

Pace Yourself

Remember, clearing snow isn’t a race. Removing snow off grass may take you longer than it would on a driveway. So, take your time and enjoy the process. 

Run the snowblower at full speed and push it slowly forward to achieve maximum efficiency. Instead of clearing snow with the full width of the housing, try shaving off each new row of snow with one third or half the width. This way, your snowblower won’t clog as easily. 

Practice Safety 

man using snowblower in front yard

Clearing snow off grass is slightly different than clearing snow off a driveway. But whether you find it harder or easier, you should always practice safety. Follow these safety tips:

  1. Don’t wear loose-fitting clothing that can get caught in the snowblower. Tuck in your scarf or wear a ski mask instead. 
  2. Protect yourself from the cold with a warm jacket, a winter cap, and gloves.
  3. Wear safety glasses to keep flying snow out of your eyes and to ensure proper vision at all times. 
  4. Wear insulated boots with a good grip. Grass can be very slippery underneath the snow!
  5. Don’t leave the snowblower running unattended.
  6. Never remove a clog from the snowblower with your hands. Use a chute clean-out tool or a broom handle instead. 
  7. Don’t refuel the tank while the engine is hot. If you run out of gas in the middle of the job, wait at least 10 minutes for it to cool. 

Make The Most Of Your Snowblower 

It looks like you can retire your snow shovel for good. Clearing the snow off your lawn has never been easier.  

Can you use a snowblower on grass? Yes, of course, you can! Make the most of your snowblower. You only have to make sure you are using a two-stage machine and follow the tips provided above. 

Let’s go over them one last time: 

  1. Adjust the height of your skid shoes.
  2. Remove any obstacles.
  3. Don’t wait for snow to stop falling.
  4. Blow with the wind.
  5. Pick a pattern and stick with it.
  6. Throw snow far away onto one spot.
  7. Work slowly and steadily.
  8. Practice safety.

I hope I’ve answered all your questions. If not, feel free to comment below and share your snow blowing ideas with me and the other readers. 

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About The Author

Brett Jones

Brett is a private yet hardworking office assistant, who resides in Raleigh with his wife Nadya. He has a passion for backyard projects and spends much of his free time working on landscaping, gardening, and building outdoor furniture. Though he shies away from being in the spotlight, he plays an important role in Nadya's blog by providing her with "raw" content. Brett's knowledge and creativity of backyard design and DIY projects give Nadya material to come up with unique and interesting posts for her blog. On occasion, Brett also contributes to the site showing his tech expertise, particularly when talking about snowblowers and other tools. Follow him on Twitter.

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