Snow Blower Recommendations for Iowa Winters

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Jacktronic

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SuperFanatic
SuperFanatic T2
Dec 16, 2013
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Kansas City, MO
Planning on purchasing a snow blower for my parents this Christmas. For those with experience using them during Iowa winters, would a single-stage blower be adequate or should I just go ahead with a two-stage? Residential neighborhood in Des Moines, fairly standard single car driveway (maybe 60 feet long) and sidewalk to clear. Open to any recommendations or brands to avoid, I was thinking of getting a gasoline powered blower with an electric start. Thanks in advance.
 

nfrine

Well-Known Member
Mar 31, 2006
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Nearby
Two-stage is the way to go. The single stage units won't touch the bigger snowfall or heavy (wet) snow. Electric start is good. I like Honda engines but that is overkill for the amount of use it will probably see.
 
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BCClone

Well-Known Member
SuperFanatic
Sep 4, 2011
34,079
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North Iowa
Two stage. That way you can throw it in the neighbors drive. I have an Ariens and a Swiess. First is 11 hp the second is 140 hp.
 

Clonehomer

Well-Known Member
Apr 11, 2006
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Depends on their health and ability. A single stage would probably work, but there's typically a lot more effort to get through drifts. A two stage will typically just let you walk behind it, but are really heavy to maneuver if they aren't running.

I really compare it to a walk behind mower and a self propelled. The standard walk behind is much lighter weight and will do the job. The self propelled does the same job, but with less effort by the operator.
 

NWICY

Well-Known Member
Sep 2, 2012
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Ariens makes a good one, gas w/electric start is excellent. I'm partial to a two stage but lots of people like a single stage because they are a lot lighter.
 

BoxsterCy

Well-Known Member
SuperFanatic
Sep 14, 2009
32,117
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Minnesota
I have a couple of old Toros. A two-stage and a single stage. I start the two-stage each fall to make sure it starts/runs but have not bothered to use it in at least three years because the single was more than adequate for the snow. But then again I am not the kinda guy that thinks he needs a million cubic liter hemi four wheel drive Grand Titanic to drive to the corner market for a gallon of milk.
 
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JP4CY

Plaque + alternates = down in the ladies room
SuperFanatic
Dec 19, 2008
31,387
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Testifying
Ariens makes a good one, gas w/electric start is excellent. I'm partial to a two stage but lots of people like a single stage because they are a lot lighter.
Another Ariens owner. I have a deluxe 28. Dip **** free paper delivery creepy dude must have thrown one at the end of the driveway before a huge snowstorm. That thing went thru the Ariens and it sounded like a cannon ball getting shot and then there way more confetti floating down than the Super Bowl. Scared the **** out of me.

Got mine at Van Wall
 

iowa_wildcat

Well-Known Member
Jan 25, 2008
2,150
640
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Ames

HS720AS
(7 reviews)
  • Single stage
  • 4 cycle, 190cc Honda OHC engine
  • Clears 20" wide, up to 1800 lb./min
  • Throws snow up to 33 feet
  • Semi-self propelled auger drive
  • Snow Director chute control - easy control of distance and direction
  • Electric Start
MSRP $799*
 

JP4CY

Plaque + alternates = down in the ladies room
SuperFanatic
Dec 19, 2008
31,387
25,693
113
Testifying

HS720AS
(7 reviews)
  • Single stage
  • 4 cycle, 190cc Honda OHC engine
  • Clears 20" wide, up to 1800 lb./min
  • Throws snow up to 33 feet
  • Semi-self propelled auger drive
  • Snow Director chute control - easy control of distance and direction
  • Electric Start
MSRP $799*
Honda stuff is nice but $800 for a single stage?
 

iowa_wildcat

Well-Known Member
Jan 25, 2008
2,150
640
113
71
Ames
That is the official suggested retail. It does not mean that I would pay that for that unit. I only sold cars for 23 years. You have to start somewhere!







1
 

dmclone

Well-Known Member
Oct 20, 2006
18,322
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50131
Do you think anyone with a 2 stage has ever said to themselves "I wish I would have gotten a less powerful single stage"? It's like buying a 4cyl Mustang, you'll always be wishing that you had paid just a little more for the V8.
 

Clonehomer

Well-Known Member
Apr 11, 2006
13,891
6,611
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Do you think anyone with a 2 stage has ever said to themselves "I wish I would have gotten a less powerful single stage"? It's like buying a 4cyl Mustang, you'll always be wishing that you had paid just a little more for the V8.
Only when trying to get it into the car to get it serviced. Found out when I got there that they would have picked it up for me.
 

runbikeswim

Well-Known Member
Oct 23, 2014
2,079
1,469
83
Love my 2 stage ariens. the $1000 one at one depot is'a'sure bet. Big enough for the big ones, not too heavy my wife can't use it in a pinch. Blows a good'distance too which is helpful for wide/ tough drives
 

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