Snowblower Prices: Knowing What's Fair

Snowblower prices can vary quite a bit as can their features and capabilities. To determine a fair price you will need to consider the uses to which you plan to put the snowblower. For the occasional snow removal use, a small powered, shovel-like machine might do the job for under $200. If you are a professional snow remover, however, you probably require much more powerful machines that can cost you in the thousands. Features and size dictate pricing. Here are some things to consider when pricing a snowblower.

Snow Throwers

This type of a snowblower is ideal for homeowners with flat, mid-sized driveways and walks. These machines are typically used in geographic areas that receive less than 8 inches of snowfall per year. These single-stage machines are light, easy to handle and take up less storage space. Many models also offer an electric start. However, do not use these on gravel driveways. The auger makes contact with ground surface and will throw off stones. Furthermore, they have limited use in steep areas and cannot be pulled from one side to the other. Models are designed to clear 20 to 22-inch paths. These machines operate with a two-cycle engine that requires an appropriate mix of gas and oil. They range in price from $300 to $750.

Single Stage Electric

If you have a short and flat driveway and walk, a single stage electric snowblower may be your best choice. This machine is typically used in a geographic area that has less than 4 inches of snowfall per year. These are the lightest and easiest to handle snowblowers on the market. They operate almost noiselessly and the electric engine requires no fuel and little maintenance compared to a gas-powered unit. Just like a single-stage gas model, these are also unsuited to use on gravel driveways. Plus, they offer a small clearing path between 11 to 18 inches. You also need to use a long heavy-duty extension cord that needs to be considered during operating safely. These units can cost between $100 and $300.

Two-stage Gas Models

A two-stage gas powered snowblower is the best choice for long and wide driveways as well as sloped designs. It is typically used in geographic areas where the snowfall exceeds 8 inches. If your home has a gravel driveway, a two-stage blower is your choice. The auger does not touch the ground. Every two-stage blower has drive wheels and an electric start as well as an auger to gather snow and an impeller to throw it off. Some two-stage snowblowers can cut a wide path from 24 to 32 inches. The drawbacks include a much heavier machine plus the physical dimensions can be quite large—as much as a lawn tractor. Look for models with a trigger drive release and a single joystick for maneuvering. These models range in price from $600 to $2,000.

Try the Controls

Many dealers have floor models ready for you to try. Look for a model that has an electric start and one where you are comfortable adjusting the handle height and chute angle because you will use these controls frequently.

A feature that might add to the price is headlights for early morning or evening use.