What’s The Difference Between A Snowblower and A Snow Thrower

When winter arrives, keeping your driveway and walkways clear of snow becomes a priority. Snow removal equipment such as snowblowers and snow throwers can make this task much easier. While these terms are often used interchangeably, there are distinct differences between the two types of machines.

Definition and Purpose

A snowblower is a motorized machine used to remove snow from outdoor surfaces such as driveways, sidewalks, and pathways. It is designed to pick up snow using an auger or impeller mechanism and then discharge it through a chute, effectively clearing the area.

A snow thrower is a smaller and more compact version of a snowblower. It is typically lighter and less powerful, making it suitable for clearing smaller areas such as decks, patios, and stairs. Snow throwers are often electrically powered and may not have the same capabilities as larger snowblowers.

Mechanism and Operation

Snowblowers are equipped with a rotating auger or impeller mechanism that scoops up snow from the ground and propels it through a discharge chute. Some models may also have additional features such as adjustable chute direction and speed control for efficient snow removal.

Snow throwers operate on a similar principle but are usually smaller in size and may have a single-stage mechanism for picking up and throwing snow. They are often designed for lighter snowfall and may not be suitable for heavy-duty snow removal tasks.

Types and Varieties

Snowblowers come in various types, including single-stage, two-stage, and three-stage models. Single-stage snowblowers are ideal for light to moderate snowfall, while two-stage and three-stage models are more powerful and can handle larger volumes of snow.

Snow throwers are typically available in electric and gas-powered varieties. Electric snow throwers are lightweight and easy to maneuver, making them suitable for smaller areas. Gas-powered snow throwers offer more power and are better suited for larger snow removal tasks.

Size and Power

Snowblowers vary in size and power, with larger models equipped with more powerful engines capable of clearing larger areas and heavier snowfall. The size of the clearing path and the throwing distance are important factors to consider when choosing a snowblower.

Snow throwers are generally smaller and less powerful than snowblowers, making them suitable for light to moderate snowfall. They are often electrically powered and may have limited clearing capacity compared to larger snowblowers.

Clearing Capacity

Snowblowers are designed to clear large volumes of snow efficiently, making them ideal for heavy-duty snow removal tasks. They can handle deep snow and icy conditions with ease, making them a popular choice for homeowners in regions with harsh winters.

Snow throwers are better suited for smaller snow removal tasks, such as clearing walkways, decks, and patios. While they may not have the same clearing capacity as snowblowers, they are still effective for light to moderate snowfall and can make snow removal easier and more manageable.

Efficiency and Versatility

Snowblowers are highly efficient machines that can clear large areas quickly and effectively. They are equipped with features such as adjustable speed control and chute direction, allowing users to customize the snow removal process for optimal efficiency.

Snow throwers are versatile machines that can be used for various snow removal tasks around the home. They are lightweight and easy to maneuver, making them suitable for clearing tight spaces and hard-to-reach areas such as stairs and narrow pathways.

Cost and Maintenance

Snowblowers can range in price depending on factors such as size, power, and features. Larger and more powerful models may be more expensive upfront but can offer greater clearing capacity and durability in the long run.

Snow throwers generally require less maintenance than snowblowers due to their smaller size and simpler design. Electric snow throwers, in particular, may have lower maintenance requirements and operating costs compared to gas-powered models.


While both snowblowers and snow throwers serve the purpose of snow removal, they differ in terms of size, power, clearing capacity, and versatility. Snowblowers are ideal for heavy-duty snow removal tasks, while snow throwers are better suited for lighter snowfall and smaller areas. Choosing the right machine depends on your specific snow removal needs and preferences.


Can I use a snow thrower on a gravel driveway?

Yes, snow throwers are generally safe to use on gravel driveways, but it’s important to adjust the skid shoes to avoid picking up rocks and debris.

Do I need to use gasoline with a snow thrower?

It depends on the type of snow thrower. Gas-powered snow throwers require gasoline, while electric models can be powered by electricity and do not require gasoline.

Can I use a snowblower on wet snow?

Yes, snowblowers are designed to handle various types of snow, including wet and heavy snow. However, it’s important to use caution and adjust the speed and chute direction as needed.

How often should I perform maintenance on a snowblower?

Regular maintenance, such as oil changes and spark plug replacement, should be performed according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, typically before and after each snow season.

Are there any safety precautions I should take when using snow removal equipment?

Yes, it’s important to read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully, wear appropriate safety gear, and keep hands and feet away from moving parts to prevent accidents and injuries.

Leave a Comment