It’s that time of year again. Thanksgiving is coming in hot, and with it means Black Friday sales and snow. Between the last two, you might be thinking it’s time to replace your snow blower. Well, thanks to Consumer Reports, we have found the best snow blower around, and surprisingly the Ariens, Cub Cadet, and Honda snow blowers got beat by another two-stage snow blower maker.
What is the difference between a two-stage snow blower and a three-stage snow blower?
Before we get into which company makes the best snow blower, we should establish what machines we are looking at. As one might expect, the one-stage snow blowers are for lighter, intermittent snowfall. These blowers only have one auger to break up and scatter the snow and ice.
According to A Green Hand, 2-stage snow blowers use one auger to crush the snow and ice and an impeller to throw the precipitation up to 50 ft. These snow blowers are capable of handling up to 24 inches of snow. Many 2 stage snow blowers usually have a self-propelling feature that allows them to automatically move around steep pathways with the help of tracks or tires.
Lastly, the 3-stage snow blowers are the most complex and can handle more serious snowfall. These blowers have been around since the ‘60s. To put all three types into perspective, a 1-stage type has one auger while a 2-stage blower has two collection augers working together with an impeller. In contrast, the 3-stage snow blower has a third high-speed auger, which is 10 times faster than the impeller.
Consumer Reports has picked the best snow blower and it’s not a Honda snow blower
Along with Cub Cadet and Ariens, Honda snow blowers are among some of the most popular blowers on the market. However, the number one and two spots go to Toro snow blowers. The Toro Power Max HD 928 OAE 38840 and the Toro 38842 came in with a 1-2 finish on Consumer Reports best 2-stage snow blower list with matching scores of 91/100.
While these two blowers got the same score, we will focus on the Toro Power Max, which Consumer Reports put in the number one spot.
The Toro Power Max HD is the best snow blower according to Consumer Reports
The Toro scored green marks nearly across the board on Consumer Reports’ testing. The amount of snow it can clear and the speed at which it can do it landed in 5/5 in each category. CR also found that the handling and useability are also outstanding.
Consumer Reports found its predicted reliability to be pretty stellar, earning it a four out of five. CR’s predicted brand reliability ratings are based on a statistical model that estimates problem rates within the first five years of ownership for two-stage gas snow blowers that are not covered by an extended warranty or service contract. These ratings were given based on a study of 19,824 two-stage gas snow blowers owned by CR members, who purchased a new machine between 2011 and 2021.
While Cub Cadet snow blowers were the most reliable, the Toro still won out overall. Between its strong performing 265-cc engine and its $1,400 price tag, the Toro Power Max is the best snow blower. Find more technical specs here to make the best snow blower decision for your needs.