How Does a Snowblower Work? {Fully Explained}

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A gas or electric engine inside the snowblower powers the snow and flings it to the side.

The auger size and the number of stages at which the snow gets lifted and expelled, separate single-stage, two-stage, and three-stage blowers.

The effectiveness of your snowblower is critical, but so is your understanding of how it works.

It’s probably fair to say that many people don’t give much thought to the inner workings of snow blowers; all that counts is that they get the job done.

You can learn how a snow blower works by reading this article.

Understanding the inner workings of several snowblowers will help you choose the best model for your needs.

What is the Process of Using a Snow Blower?

What is the Process of Using a Snow Blower
Image Source: thespruce

A snow blower is a machine with a revolving auger that consumes snow and propels it down a discharge chute. It gets tossed to one side and out of the way—snowblowers clear snow and ice off roads, driveways, and sidewalks.

There’s a drill made up of spinning blades in the snowblower’s intake. It may contain various materials, including steel, aluminum, and plastic. Plastic augers are often used in smaller, lighter snow blowers designed to remove light to medium snow.

Snow blowers designed primarily for clearing significant volumes of snow and ice, on the other hand, often contain a metal drill.

The auger blades of various snow blowers stand designed differently. The corkscrew design is one option, and there are additional types with distinct edges that can eat through compacted snow and ice.

The most common form, however, is a helix. Vertical blades that span the length of the drill get replaced by horizontal blades that twist in a helix pattern.

With the drill, there are two extra considerations. The first consideration is the total length of the training, which determines the maximum breadth of the clearing path.

A more prolonged exercise, characteristic of larger machines, makes clearing a broader route straightforward. The drill’s diameter also affected the depth of the cut.

A drill typically has a shaft connected to the hub of a spinning disc that provides forward propulsion. Because only the bottom half of the drill reaches the snow, the resulting cutting depth is only around half the auger’s diameter.

As a result, a 12″ diameter auger will effectively penetrate 6,” of snow.

What are Snow Throwers?

What are Snow Throwers
Image Source: insider

Most snow augers work by scooping snow from the ground, slicing it into smaller pieces, and then shooting those bits into the air. After entering a chute, the snow gets hurled up to fifty feet away from the apparatus.

There are three types of snow blowers, each with its distinct way of extracting snow from the ground using a drill and dropping it elsewhere. Consequently, snow throwers might have one, two, or three stages.

When you consider that single-stage snow blowers do not actually “blow” the snow down the chute, they are more correctly termed “snow throwers.”

The two- and three-stage systems are more aptly referred to as snow blowers since they blast the snow out of the chute. As a result, snow gets deposited far from the source.

Also Read:- 7 Best Electric Snow Blower 2022 (Reviews & Buying Guide)

Step-By-Step Process to Use a Snow Blower

Before you can switch on your snowblower and begin working, you must confirm that it is in working condition. 

The engine must then get primed before it can start. Finally, pull the starting rope or activate the electric starter to start the snowblower.

Step 1: Snowblower Maintenance

Snowblower Maintenance
Image Source: coastalenginuity

Examine the amount of oil. Before using your snowblower, ensure the oil level is at the “full” mark. If it doesn’t, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to refill it.

Assure you have enough fuel before you start. Simply put, fill up your tank. The manufacturer specifies the gasoline type and grade that your snow thrower needs.

You should use fresh snow, mainly if you haven’t used your snowblower in a long time. If your snowblower has been inactive with ethanol fuel for more than a month, you should empty the gas.

Engine problems might be because of ethanol gasoline that has degraded over time.

Before turning on the snowblower for the first time, ensure the drive controls are in the “off” position. Turn off the engine and put the gearbox in the park. If you start your snow thrower in neutral, nothing will happen by chance.

Step 2: Ignition Preparation

Ignition Preparation
Image Source: snowblowersdirect

Turn on the choke. A precise fuel-air combination is necessary for a cold start. To combat this, set the choke to the warm start setting (about halfway) if you’ve recently used the snowblower within the last five minutes.

Increase the volume. Turn the dial to the fast position. This is the position where your snow thrower should always start. A rabbit is a commonly known symbol for this for many scouts.

Start the engine. A fuel shut-off valve would be ideal for your snow thrower. Before using the snow thrower, this switch must get turned “on.” If you can’t locate the valve, look in the handbook.

After using the snow thrower, always restore the fuel shutdown valve to the “off” position. As a consequence, the possibility of fuel spilling will get reduced.

Turn the key to start the automobile. It is often a basic on/off toggle, similar to a light dimmer. Please turn it on and position it so that it runs.

Insert the key if required. Sure, snow throwers need a key to prevent illegal usage. These models cannot activate without the key. If you’re running a snow blower and need to stop quickly, you may do so by simply withdrawing the key.

This bubble-shaped switch facilitates fuel distribution. The bulb must get primed by pushing it. It just has to be there a couple of times.

If the temperature is more than -9 degrees, repeat twice; if it is lower than 15 degrees, repeat four times. You should not use the warm start primer if it has been less than five minutes since you last used the snow blower.

Step 3: Launching the Engine

Launching the Engine
Image Source: youtube

If the model has a rope to pull to get it started, remove it immediately. The beginning rope’s handle should get gripped. Then, tug gently until you feel any “grabbing” or resistance. Start the engine by pulling up smoothly and quickly.

Plug in the snowblower if it needs an electrical connection. Connect the other end of the three-pronged cable to a power source if this model has an electric starter. The outlet voltage must be suitable for the snow thrower.

If you use an electric starter model, push the start button. Hold the button for five seconds until the engine begins and continues running. Overuse may cause the starter to fail.

Also Read: 2 Stage vs 3 Stage Snow Blowers: What’s the Difference?


  • The auger of a single-stage blower operates directly on the snow, pushing it up the chute.
  • · A dual-stage snow blower features a primary tool, a drill that pushes snow back to a secondary device, an impeller, and a metal fan that shreds the snow and drives it up and down the chute.
  • · The slow-turning auger collects snow and transports it to the center of the housing, where it gets pushed into the impeller by the faster-moving second-stage auger of a three-stage snow blower.
  • Never attempt to free up the snow blower’s impeller with your hands, even if you’re wearing gloves. To clear a chute, only use a specialized tool, such as a long wooden broom handle.
  • Snow blower care and maintenance are essential for increasing the machine’s life. It may last up to 20 years if it is of excellent quality and carefully cared for.


What causes a snowblower to throw snow?

The snow gets blasted away in two phases using a two-stage snowblower. A drill at the device’s front grinds and pulverizes ice and snow, while an impeller at the device’s back drives the snow upward and down the discharge chute.

How should you use a snowblower?

Two-stage machines feature a corkscrew-shaped augur that revolves slowly to capture snow and carry it to the machine’s core. The snow is then pushed through a high-velocity impeller, hurling it down the chute. They can plough snow up to 12 inches deep on driveways two cars wide and three cars long.

Is there a snowfall threshold at which a snowblower is necessary?

A snowblower is only functional if at least 2 inches of snow is on the ground. As a result, a snow shovel or snow blower with just one step. The smaller machines are ideal for operations ranging from 2 to 6 inches in depth.

Can wet snow cause a snowblower to overheat?

If the snow thrower comes into contact with moist, heavy snow, it may clog or break down. If you often deal with dense, wet snowfall, a lightweight snowblower will not suffice.

Is buying a snowblower worthy?

A snow blower is an excellent investment if you get a lot of snow each year or have a large area that needs to get cleared. Purchasing a snow blower is a wise investment since it eliminates the need for hazardous and time-consuming manual labor. But, of course, that’s only the first reaction.


With the help of a snow blower, you can remove large amounts of snow and ice. They disrupt the snow and ice by biting on it and then releasing it via a funnel when pushed via snow and ice. This technology’s primary function is to clear snow from the path it will take.

We hope you found this post both fascinating and instructive if you were interested in how snowblowers work. Don’t automatically assume that the most pricey snow blower is your best choice.

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