As an Amazon Associate and affiliate of other programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Snow Blower Vs Snow Thrower: Is There A Difference? Let’s See

The main difference between a snow blower and snow thrower is that a snow blower has more power and clears more snow at a time. A snow blower can remove more than 18 inches of wet and heavy snow versus a snow thrower, which is best for clearing dry and powdery buildup that is 8 to 12 inches thick.

Snow Blower Vs Snow Thrower

I think it’s time you buy yourself a snow blower. Your back has suffered enough. Or, should you get a snow thrower? Is there even a difference between the two? 

There is much confusion between snow blowers and snow throwers. Lots of people think they are one and the same, but it’s quite the opposite! 

So, which is better for snow removal? A snow blower vs snow thrower?

A snow blower is more powerful and has better clearance. It is the overall best solution for removing heavy snowfall. But that’s not all.

Keep on reading! I’ll explain in detail which machine will serve you best in the winters to come. 

Versus Battle: Snowblower Vs Snow Thrower 

Snow Throwers: An Overview

A snow thrower is also a single-stage snow blower.

A snow thrower is just another less used name for a single-stage snow blower. 

The reason why some people call this machine a snow thrower is because it throws the snow and doesn’t actually blow it like the two and three-stage blowers. 

A snow thrower removes snow in a single-stage process. Its low-rise auger scoops up the snow and throws it out to the side without the impeller. 

Since the auger is positioned closer to the ground, it doesn’t leave much snow behind. The auger is protected by rubber and can only be used on paved surfaces, and not gravel. 


A snow thrower shines best when removing light and fluffy snow that is no more than 12 inches thick. It is ideal for areas that get light to moderate snowfall each year. 

Snow throwers have a decent clearance. They can typically remove an 11 to 22-inch wide section in one sweep, depending on the unit you buy. Their throwing capacity is less impressive. They shoot snow 15 to 25 feet away

You don’t need to spend the extra hundreds of dollars on a snow blower if you only get light winters where you live.

You will also save on repairs. Snow throwers require little to no maintenance, unlike snow blowers. Most units are powered by electricity/battery and don’t need gas or oil changes.


  • Ideal for light jobs 
  • Removes snow closer to the pavement
  • Lightweight and compact in size (ideal for people with limited strength; read more about it in this article and in this one)
  • Affordable
  • Maintenance-free
  • Easy to store 


  • Less powerful
  • Corded units have limited reach 
  • Not good for clearing heavy compacted snow
  • Doesn’t project snow as far as a blower

Snow Blowers: An Overview

A red and black snow blower

A snow blower is a heavy-duty machine that removes snow in two or three stages, depending on the design. 

Two-stage units break and scoop up the snow with an auger (first step). Snow is then passed to the impeller, which blows it through the chute (second step).

Three-stage models work similarly. The snow goes through two additional augers at the end, before discarding it to the side (third step).

If you are wondering why I’ve not included single-stage snow blowers here, it’s because they are actually snow throwers. 

If you are curious to know how 2-stage snowblowers differ from 3-stage ones, check out this article.


What makes a snowblower stand out from the competition is its power. It can handle up to 18 inches of snow and more. It is powerful enough to clear heavy, wet, and icy snow, unlike a snow thrower.

If you want to read more about clearing wet snow, check out our post about the best snowblowers that do it well.

A snow blower also has high clearance capability. Two-stage units typically clear 20 to 40 inches in width and the three-stage, about 20 to 30 inches. This means you can clean your sidewalk in just a pass or two.

It’s impressive how far snow blowers can throw snow. Two-stage units throw snow up to 60 feet away, while the three-stage models reach a maximum of 50 feet. 

Since snow blowers are taller at the front than snow throwers, they can tackle higher banks of snow. So, you won’t have to knock down a pile of snow before tackling it. 

Snowblowers are also heavier and bulkier in size. They are all self-propelling just like certain lawnmowers. They have 4 to 6 forward and 2 reverse speeds, otherwise, they would be really hard to push.  


  • Two-stage and three-stage options available
  • Ideal for clearing heavy, wet, compacted snow
  • Shreds icy snow
  • Wide and tall clearance
  • Better discharge distance
  • Self-propelling
  • Has multiple forward and reverse speeds


  • Requires technical maintenance 
  • Not storage-friendly
  • Pricier than snow thrower

Snow Blower Vs Snow Thrower: Face To Face

These two snowblowers are very functional
Image credit:


Most two and three-stage snow blowers are powered by gasoline or diesel and have an electric start.  They generate more power than gas snow throwers since they accommodate bigger engines with more cc (cubic centimeters). 

For example, the two-stage Husqvarna ST224P blower has a 208cc engine, while the stage thrower Ariens Path-Pro has a 136cc engine. Here are some other top snow blowers you can check out. 

Gas snow blowers also beat electric snow throwers. Corded electric units are limited to the length of the extension cord and require easy access to an electrical outlet. 

Cordless throwers that are powered by rechargeable lithium-ion batteries are not “tied to the house,” but they only last 20 to 45 minutes on a single charge. The same goes for cordless electric blowers. They may be harder to find, but they do exist.

The gas-powered snow blower has more power and is a clear winner of this round. 

Clearance Capacity 

Clearance heightUp to 12 inches18 inches and more18 inches and more
Clearance width11 to 22 inches20 to 40 inches20 to 30 inches
Throw distance15 to 25 feetUp to 60 feetUp to 50 feet

The two-stage snow blower wins this round. It has a wider and taller clearance capacity with better throw distance. 

Snowblower clearance capacity


Snow blowers are two to three times more expensive than snow throwers. 

They accommodate bigger engines, have an impeller, are bigger, and can remove more snow in a single pass. All these things add to the final cost of the product.

If you are looking for the cheapest snow removal machine, then you should look into the corded electric throwers. They cost less than cordless units that are powered by a battery. The more voltage the battery has, the more expensive it will be. 

A snow thrower is more affordable and is the clear winner in this versus battle. 

FAQ: Answered

Which Is Better: A Snow Blower Or Snow Thrower?

A snow blower is more powerful and has a better clearance capacity. A snow blower is also better at clearing wet and heavy snow compared to a snow thrower. A blower can remove more than 18 inches of snow, whereas a snow thrower can only tackle up to 12 inches.

What Is The Difference Between A Snow Blower And Snow Thrower?

A snow blower removes snow in two or three stages, whereas a snow thrower does it in one stage. A snow blower is bigger than a snow thrower and can remove more snow in width and height. A snow blower is also better at clearing heavy snowfall, while a snow thrower is best for light jobs.

Now, Who’s The Winner In Our Battle?

Either a snow blower or a snow thrower will significantly improve your life. There is only one winner in the “snow blower vs snow thrower” battle, and that is YOU

Which machine you buy depends on your personal needs and how much snow you get in your area. Take a look at these guidelines. They will help you determine which snow removal device is best for you. 

Buy a snow blower if:

  • You get more than 12 inches of snow in one day. 
  • You plan on removing heavy, wet, and icy snow
  • You would like to quickly clear the snow in just a few passes
  • You have plenty of storage space
  • You don’t mind changing gas and oil

Buy snow thrower if:

  • You get less than 12 inches of snow per day. 
  • You mostly get light and powdery snow in your area. 
  • You don’t have lots of storage space
  • You don’t like dealing with smelly gasoline.
  • You are on a budget.

Hope you liked my post. Let me know in the comments!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.