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So, you’re a gardener, and you don’t think you need to know how to use a single-stage snow blower? It may be time to think again.

Sometimes our landscaping and gardening duties go far beyond the norm (like tilling, planting, weeding, harvesting, and watering), including clearing snow from our sidewalks, driveways, and around our greenhouses.

In these cases, throwing the snow with a single-stage snow blower is a much quicker, easier, and more effective option than breaking your back while shoveling the snow.

But, how to use a single-stage snow blower? Read on below and learn everything you need to know about using a standard snow thrower, and our top picks for the best ones to consider investing in!

How to Use a Single-Stage Snow Blower

a man using a single-stange snow blower from ariens

First things first: if you don’t live someone that receives several inches of snow during the winter time, or experiences severe winter storms, learning how to use a snow blower probably isn’t for you.

You can exit the page now, and search for a pair of decent winter gloves and a snow shovel.

If you are young, healthy, and have a strong back, an automatic snow shovel is more than likely all you’ll need to combat the elements this year. But, we’re not all so young as we used to be, or otherwise live somewhere that receives a foot or more snow each year.

So, now that we’ve got that out of the way… for the rest of us, who do live somewhere it snows for several months every year; learning how to use a snow blower is one of the best steps you can take to ensure a clear path around your home and garden during the winter.

Steps to Using a Single-Stage Snow Blower

Anyone can learn to use a single-stage snow blower effectively with a bit of preparation and practice.

The steps to using a snow blower, safely, and efficiently, are straightforward:

1. Start the Snow Blower (After Preparing the Machine)

The first step is a simple one, fuel the machine (or otherwise power it up) and start it up. Before starting it, make sure there is no debris clogging the chute or auger blades.

2. Position for a First Pass (Line Up Your First Path to Clear)

Once you start the machine, move it towards the starting line and position it for clearing the first pass. Make sure the chute is pointing away in the correct direction, so you don’t throw snow in the wrong place (like your neighbors yard, or your face).

3. Engage Drive Gear (Strart Moving Forward Slowly)

When you have your machine positioned, and running, engage the drive gear and start moving forward. The machine should be moving at a slow walking pace.

4. Engage Auger (To Strart Throwing Snow)

As you move forward with the machine, engage the auger so that it starts spinning and sucking up the snow. Once the auger is engaged, and the machine is gobbling snow, it won’t take long until the chute is flinging snow up into the air and away from the path you’re clearing.

5. Make a Pass (Clearing the Snow as You Go)

Continue walking along with your machine in drive with the auger engaged. Stay aware of where you are, and how long you want to make your passes. Pay attention as you come to the end of your current pass.

6. Disengage Auger (To Stop Throwing Snow)

As you near the end of the current pass you are on, first disengage the auger so the machine stops throwing snow into the air. The machine will keep moving until you stop the drive gear as well.

7. Disengage Drive Gear (To Stop Moving Forward)

After you cut the auger off at the end of your pass, quickly cut the drive gear off so the machine stops moving forward. Now you can have a quick look around to see how you and your snow blower did.

8. Turn the Snow Blower Around (and Repostion for Another Pass)

If you are doing more than one pass, turn the snow blower around and reposition the front end for another pass. Try to leave a couple of inches of overlap so you don’t end up with leftover snow in between the paths you clear.

9. Repeat the Steps as Many Times as Necessary

Carry out steps 2 through 8 as many times as needed, repositioning, engaging the drive and then auger, blowing the path clear of snow, disengaging the drive and auger, and repeating as needed.

10. Park the Snow Blower and Clean it Off

When you are done blowing snow, simply move your machine somewhere to park it, clean it off, and store it or cover it until next time.

That’s it! You’re done.

Our Top 3 Single-Stage Snow Blower Picks

We’ve chosen three of the very best single-stage snow blowers currently available on the market this year:

  1. Ariens 21-Inch Path Pro with 208cc Gas Engine
  2. EGO Power+ 21-Inch With 56-Volt Electric Batteries
  3. Goplus 18-inch “Budget” Electric Snow Thrower

Each unit was selected based on several significant points, including overall design functionality, power, ease of use, cost, warranty options, extra features, and more.

In the following subsections, we discuss each of these units including specs, what and who they are best for, as well as warranty information, and more:

Best Gas Snow Thrower: Ariens 938032 208cc Path Pro 21-inch

The fist snow blower on the list is the Ariens 938032. It is a beastly snow thrower for being a single-stage machine.

Further, the 938032 is made by one of the oldest and most prestigious names in the snow blowing machine making game: Ariens.

This trusty snow flinging machine by Ariens has a 208cc gasoline engine for superb torque and snow-throwing power.

It’s 21-inch wide mouth is even bigger than standard 18-inch single-stage snow blowers come equipped with, and it gobbles up snow almost 8 inches deep as well.

The machine is easy to operate, with only one forward gear and auger engagement lever to worry about, and its 2.9 quart gas tank gives you plenty of fuel for several snow jobs per refill.


  • Single-stage
  • 208cc gasoline engine
  • 7.5-inch wheelbase
  • 1.75-inch wheel width
  • 8.13-inch augur width
  • 9.5 ft per pound torque diameter
  • 1 forward gear
  • 2.9qt gas tank

Best for people who:

This snow blower is best for those who have garden paths, sidewalks, and driveways to clear (and don’t want to wait for a battery to charge in the middle of the job).


This particular model from Ariens comes with a 3 year limited warranty that you can read more about on their website.

Ease of use:

This gas snow thrower from Ariens is one of the easier gasoline powered single-stage machines on the market. It also cost more than most, thanks to it’s power and conveince.

Best Electric Snow Thrower: EGO Power+ SNT2103 56-Volt 21-Inch

EGO Power+ makes some of the the most advanced electric power tools on the current market, including cordless snow blowers like the SNT2103.

This futuristic snow thrower is lighter than other machines, comes with bright LED headlights like the expensive units, and even has larger wheels than some name brand snow blowers.

The EGO Power+ machine is the nicest cordless electric snow blower we’ve ever come across (yet). It has a big 21-inch mouth like the Ariens on top of our list, and even clears half an inch more depth of snow per pass in comparison.

Even more impressive, this machine has variable speed controls for the auger, which the Ariens doesn’t have until you get to their second and third stage snow throwers.


  • High-end powerful brushless motor (x1)
  • 56V 7.5 Ah ARC Lithium batteries (x2)
  • 21-inch clearing width
  • Throws snow up to 35 feet away
  • Variable speed controls
  • LED headlight (x2)
  • Push-button start function
  • Sleek-design neighbors tend to envy

Best for people who:

This snow thrower is for people who have more than a stripe or two of snow to clear from their yards and gardens, particular along paths and around greenhouses (as well as sidewalks and driveways).


Warranty information various from model to model, please visit the producer’s website for more information about warranties and warranty options that may come with this snow thrower.

Ease of use:

This machine is one of the easiest electric snow blowers to use, on the market. It even has features like the two and three stage snow blowers like bright LEDs and variable speed control.

Best Snow Thrower Under $200: Goplus 18-Inch Electric Snow Blower

The Goplus 18-inch electric snow blower blows our minds (POOF!, just like that), for all that it offers for such a small price.

When it comes to snow blowers under $200, you will be hard pressed to find one that even remotely compares to this one.

The machine has an 18-inch mouth, which is standard for single stage machines, and it clears snow up to two inches deeper than the Ariens of EGO Power+ units mentioned on our list

This snow blower is corded, electric, and comes equipped with a powerful brushless motor that slings snow between 25 to 30 feet away.

Interestingly, it has an 180-degree adjustable chute, and chute deflector, which some more expensive models lack.


  • Robust 15 amp electric motor
  • Throws snow up to 27 feet
  • Moves up to 720 pounds of snow per minute
  • Clears snow up to 18 inches wide and 10 inches deep
  • 180-degree adjustable chute
  • Adjustable chute deflector to protect you from flying snow
  • Heavy-duty frame and steel auger
  • Easy to clean and store

Best for people who:

This machine is great for moving snow from around greenhouses and winter raised beds, as well as driveways, sidewalks, and garden paths.


Whether or not this snow thrower has a warranty or not is unclear. Please visit the product page or manufacture’s website for more information on warranty options for this machine!

Ease of use:

This snow blower is lightweight and easy to maneuver, even for eldery folks and small skinny people. It also has basic but great features, like the adjustable chute and chute deflector.

A Final Word About Using Single-Stage Snow Blowers

a man bundled up and blowing snow with a single-stage snow blower

With all of the great picks for single stage snow blowers shared with you above, as well as our in-depth how to use a single-stage snow blower guide, you should have no problem picking a machine for throwing your snow or figuring out how to use it!

Our favorite is by far the Ariens, though it is a bit above our current budget. That said, we’ll be ordering a Goplus soon(hopefully) and comparing it to the EGO!

What about you? What do you think? Do you need a snow blower for your landscaping and winter gardening needs?

If so, which one do you like? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below! Thanks for reading.

Also, we’d like to hear from readers who have a single-stage snow blower, so don’t be shy!

Suggested Reading: How to Till a Garden (and Best Tillers to Use)

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