Looking to buy best 3 stage snow blowers?
In many places in the world, the arrival of winter is synonymous with problems. Cleaning a yard becomes a difficult task, especially when everything is under layers of compact snow.
If removing the snow with a shovel takes hours of your valuable time, you may need the help of a more powerful tool. Snow blowers are ideal for these tasks, turning what could be a real torture into a pleasant work.
All you need is to press a button to start and manipulate some levers to control the direction. In a few minutes you can get rid of the hardest and thickest snow with minimal effort.
If you’re thinking of buying a new snow blower, you can’t stop reading this article. Today you’ll know the 5 best 3 stage snow blowers that will blow your mind this 2020.
What is 3 Stage Snow Blowers?
A 3 stage snow blower is a machine used to remove snow from the surface. It combines the action of an accelerator, two augers and an impeller to blow snow thru a chute.
While the machine moves through the surface, the snow enters through a bucket and then crushed by the augers.
How to Use 3 Stage Snow Blowers?
Using a 3 Stage Snow Blower is very easy. First, you must press a button to start. You can control all the functions of the machine from a single joystick. You can move forward or reverse, control the action of the augers and adjust the direction of the chute.
Most snow blowers are self-impelled, which means you don’t need to push them to move them.
What is the importance to use these snow blowers?
3 Stage snow blowers are the best alternative to escape the hard work of removing snow with a shovel. At a very low temperature, when snow is very hard, removing a thin layer becomes an almost impossible task.
Snow blowers don’t require any kind of effort to operate. They’re more efficient than a snow shovel, helping to finish the job in less time. In addition, they’re easy to handle and don’t require too much maintenance.
Top 5 Best 3 Stage Snow Blowers
In the market there are hundreds of snow blowers. However, only few guarantee optimum performance regardless of weather conditions or snow hardness. If you want to make the best investment, there are only 5 options you can trust.
Next, you’ll know the 5 best-selling models with the best reviews from satisfied customers.
1. Troy-Bilt Vortex 2490 3-Stage Snow Thrower
The most popular model and one of the cheapest in the market. Troy-Bilt Vortex 2490 is a 3 stage snow blower with only the necessary features to remove the most compact snow. No useless gadgets to make you spend more money for nothing.
If your budget is small and you don’t have enough money to buy one of those huge models from well-known brands, this is the ideal option for you.
Although compact, this Troy Bilt 3 stage snow blower is a true monster devouring snow. Its huge bucket with an intake of 24X21 inches is ideal for removing the thickest layers of snow in record time.
It starts by pressinga button. It has 6 different speeds to go forward and 2 for reverse. Its powerful 277 cc engine guarantees continuous operation in the most difficult conditions. No matter how compact the snow is, it will slide like a knife through butter.
Through its 4-way joystick, you can control the movement of the wheels, the action of the augers and the direction of the chute. Its X-Trac wheels of 15X5 inches guarantee maximum friction for better control.
If snow impedes your vision, in-dash headlights help you to keep away from obstacles around you. If it’s very cold outside, their heated grips will help you keep your hands warm all the time.
The combined action of its serrated augers of 12 inches and the accelerator, crushes more snow in less time, compared to single and dual stage devices.
2.Cub Cadet 3X 24-Inch 3-Stage Snow Blower
Cub Cadet 3X 24-Inch 3-Stage Snow Blower is compact, easy to store and lightweight. Its powerful engine can turn the hardest and most compact snow into a fine powder. With this machine, you’ll forever forget your old snow shovel.
Unlike other models, the Cub Cadet 3X 24-Inch 3-Stage Snow Blower doesn’t leave ugly scratches on your yard’s surface, thanks to its innovative skid shoes.The best snow blower for large driveway.
One of the most beloved features of this machine is its warmed handles. They provide enough heat to prevent your hands from freezing in the coldest winter. In addition, its dual joystick control system is easier to handle, compared to other models.
Cub Cadet 3X 24-Inch 3-Stage Snow Blower features two powerful LED headlights that help you get a clear view all the time. You can use one of these in the middle of a snowstorm without problems.
Its bucket intake of 24X21 inches helps remove more snow in less time. A 277 cc 4-cycle engine drives its 12-inch serrated augers and accelerator. The accelerator rotates 10 times faster than the augers to collect a larger snow volume.
Its Cool Blue Skid Shoes prevents bucket wear due to pavementfriction. The auger gear box is made of aluminum, resistant to rust and corrosion. Compared to other 3 stage snow blowers, Cub Cadet 3X 24-Inch is one of the lightest models.
3.Cub Cadet 3X 26-Inch 3-Stage Snow Blower
Wider than its 24-inch intake counterpart. Cub Cadet 3X 26-Inch 3-Stage Snow Blower gives you more power and more efficiency for a small price difference. It maintains the same control and lighting system of similar models, but with slight modifications.
Its wheels are bigger for better control. It will take more than a wall of solid snow to make this machine slip. One of the best snow blowers for steep driveways.
When a 24-inch intake isn’t enough, you can opt for this model. You can control the augers and accelerator with a trigger. The 12-inch accelerator reduces large volumes of snow to dust in no time.
Most models have aluminum chutes. Instead, this model uses a steel chute for maximum strength and durability. Its X-Trac tires of 16X5 inches allow better control on irregular surfaces.
Its LED headlights illuminate much more, for a clear view during the harshest weather. You can vary the turn of the chute in a range of 200 degrees. In addition, you can move at your own pace by varying between its 6 forward and 2 reverse speeds.
Its 4-cycle 357 cc engine gives you more power for better performance. Cub Cadet 3X 26-Inch 3-Stage Snow Blower removes a larger snow volume compared to models with a smaller intake.
To start, you must plug the machine into an 110V outlet. Then, you press a button to start working. Like other Club Cadet models, this one also includes heated grips.
4.Cub Cadet 3X 28-Inch 3-Stage Snow Blower
Superior than its 26-inch intake counterpart. Cub Cadet 3X 28-Inch 3-Stage Snow Blower removes more snow, but retaining the same power and same engine. That means you’ll have better performance without increasing fuel consumption.
It retains the same features that its predecessors, including heated grips, LED headlights and a single button start. For less money than you think, you can go from a 26-inch intake to a 28-inch intake.
Its wheels and snow bucket are bigger. In general, those are the two main differences in contrast to its predecessor with 26-inch intake. Its two X-Trac tires of 16X6.5 inches give you better control and avoid slipping on difficult surfaces.
It retains the same 357 cc 4-cycle engine with a larger bucket with an intake of 28X21 inches. Its two augers and accelerator collect and reduce large volumes of snow to dust in no time.
You can use this model in areas with snow heights greater than 10 inches. You can blow the snow in the direction you want, varying the 200-degree turn range of the chute. To start, you must plug your snow blower into an 110V outlet.
You just have to press a button to start working. Not even the strongest storm can interfere with your vision, thanks to its powerful LED headlights. Its Cool Blue Skid Shoes prevent the bucket from scratching against the pavement. It also includes heated grips.
5.Cub Cadet 3X 30-Inch 3-Stage Snow Blower
More powerful, more efficient and more expensive than all models of this brand. Cub Cadet 3X 30-Inch 3-Stage Snow Blower is the perfect machine for heavy duties. When the snow is so hard to break for most models, nothing will stop this little monster.
Although you’ll have to pay more money to have one, you won’t regret doing it. It doesn’t need too much maintenance and can work without interruptions in the most adverse conditions.
If you need a large heavy duty machine, you won’t find a larger one than this. This 352 lbs total weight machine requires 16X6.5 inches X-Trac tires to move. However, its great weight is no problem for its 420 cc 4-cycle engine.
Its bucket of 23×30 inches can collect more snow than any other model on the market. Its 14-inch accelerator is larger to ensure uninterrupted work and prevent jams in the impeller.
Like all other similar models, Cub Cadet 3X 30-Inch 3-Stage Snow Blower retains the same 6 forward and 2 reverse speeds.
In addition to the usual LED lights on both sides of the dashboard, it also includes a LED light bar on the bucket. So you can forget about visibility problems if you choose to buy this model.
The mechanical system that moves the chute is more powerful compared to previous models. The rotation range of the chute is 200 degrees. Like all snow blowers of Cub Cadet,this one also includes heated grips.
3 Stage Snow Blowers Buying Guide
If you’re looking for snow blowers on the Internet, you’ll surely find an almost endless list of different products. You can find single, double and 3-stage snow blowers. Each more convenient than another, depending on the circumstances.
Before buying any model, you should know the height of snow that forms after a snowfall. If most of the time, the snow height doesn’t exceed a 13-inch height, you don’t need to buy too large equipment.
However, if the snow height exceeds 13 inches,it’s essential that you choose a powerful machine. Knowing the total area you need to clean will also help you get a clear idea of the equipment you really need.
The larger the area, the greater the snow volume you need to remove. If usually, removing the snow with a shovel takes too much time, you better save some money to buy a new snow blower.
If you don’t consider yourself an expert in snow blowers or have never used one, don’t worry. Today you’ll get the help you need to buy the best three stage snow blowers that suit your requirements and budget.
Following some practical advice, you’ll make the best decision. This is the best guide to buy 3 stage blowers and not fail in the process.
2 Stage Snow Blower vs 3 Stage
First of all, you must know the difference between each type of snow blower to know what to choose. Currently, there are three main types of snow blowers in the market:
- Single stage blowers
- Dual, double or 2-stage blowers
- 3-Stage blowers
Single Stage Blowers
Single stage snow blowers use a single auger to crush and remove snow. Usually they’re more lightweight than their double and three-stage counterparts. During work, the operator must push the machine through the snow layers.
The clearing width is also smaller and usually not larger than 22 inches. Single stage snow blowers are the best for small areas with snowfall heights not greater than 13 inches.
Dual, Double or 2-Stage Blowers
2-Stage snow blowers are larger than their single stage counterparts. They use 2 serrated steel augers to shred and an impeller to move snow through the chute. In addition, they’re larger and heavier. For this reason, they need a powerful engine to work and move.
Using a joystick or trigger, the operator can control all the basic functions of the machine. For better control and grip,the best 2 stage snow blower uses larger and wider wheels.
They’re the most recommended for removing snowfall heights between 13-23.5 inches.
3 Stage snow blowers combine the action of 2 augers, an impeller and an accelerator. The accelerator rotates 10 times faster than the rest of the augers. This allows collecting a greater snow volume in less time.
Also, it prevents augers from working too much, breaking large portions of snow into smaller pieces. 3 Stage snow blowers are the biggest and heaviest models and need huge wheels and a powerful engine to work and move.
The operator can control all machine functions by using a joystick or trigger.They’re the most recommended to remove snow heights up to 21 inches.They’re also more efficient than their 2-stage counterparts.
Now that you know the difference between one type of snow blower and another, you can make a better decision knowing the characteristics of the area you need to clear.
Know the Snow Height
Winter isn’t the same everywhere. Therefore, the height of each snowfall can vary. Buying your snow blower always waiting for the least favorable circumstances isn’t always the best idea.
For example, if during the worst winter you’ve ever experienced, you recorded a 16-inch snowfall, you should not buy a snow blower to remove such snow.
Why? Because it was an isolated event. You won’t necessarily have the same 16 inches of snowfall height every winter. The best thing you can do is calculate the average snow height of recent years.
That way you’ll avoid spending too much money on equipment that offers more than you need.
Know the Area
It’s possible that the snowfall height doesn’t exceed 13 inches in the place where you live. However, sometimes buying a small machine isn’t the best choice.
For example, if you need to remove snow from an area that is too large (greater than 200 m2), you may need larger equipment. In that case, doing the job with a single stage snow blower would take you too long. A clearing width of 22 inches isn’t enough.
Although when the snowfall height isn’t too much, the total area greatly increases the snow volume to remove. If you want to finish the job in less time, you should consider double or 3 stage snow blowers for sale.
With the area and the snowfall height you can determine an approximate snow volume to remove. Then, knowing the performance of different machines and the snow volume, you can determine the time it would take you to finish the job in each case.
Choose the machine that offers the best performance at the lowest price.
Usually, clearing width is a standard value in most models. Single stage snow blowers, for example, have clearing width between 18-22 inches. Clearing width in 2-stage models varies between 20-45 inches. In 3-Stage models it varies between 24-28 inches.
However, the height of the bucket isn’t the same in all models. Always opt for the models with the highest bucket height. This guarantees greater snow collection in a single pass.
When the height isn’t enough, it’s likely that part of the snow spreads along the road, forcing you to go through the same place again. If you want higher performance, you should choose models with bigger bucket dimensions.
Diameter, Width and Tire Pattern
The bigger a snow blower is, the wheels should be bigger. Usually, single stage blowers use very small wheels. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the machineisn’t good.
If it’s light enough to move with minimal effort, small wheels should not be a problem. Especially if most of the time you’ll use your snow blower on flat surfaces.
However, when it comes to rough and muddy terrain, small wheels are your worst nightmare.
Diameters between 15-16.5 inches and widths between 5-6.5 inches in each tire are ideal for better grip and control. Don’t buy too heavy models that don’t meet these characteristics. Otherwise, you’ll have serious problems when you try to move through difficult terrain.
The tire pattern is also very important. Irregular patterns and deeper grooves provide a better grip.Don’t choose tires with too superficial patterns. Over time, they could become smooth and unstable.
Headlights are important, especially when weather conditions impede your vision. In some emergency cases, you’ll need to use your snow blower in the middle of a snowfall. Having good headlights will help you avoid accidents and obstacles.
Some cheap models don’t include headlights, which could be a major inconvenience. Before buying any model, make sure it includes headlights. Most of the time, headlights are in the center or on both sides of the dashboard.
More advanced models include LED headlights on the bucket. These ones are safer, because in addition to lighting your way, they allow you to see the objects in front of the bucket.
This feature could help you stop just before making contact with a rock or some other hard object that could ruin the accelerator and augers.
Battery, Electric or Gas Powered?
According to the power source, snow blowers can be:
- Battery snow blowers
- Electric snow blowers
- Gas powered snow blowers
Battery Snow Blowers
Battery snow blowers use a lithium battery and a brushless motor to operate. Brushless motors eliminate noise and friction between the rotor and the stator. This feature makes them more durable than electric motors. In addition, they require very little maintenance.
Although these models are friendly to the environment, they have poor performance in extreme conditions. For example, when the snow layer is too high and hard, the accelerator and the augers get stuck. The same happens in contact with a rock or other obstacle.
Most of the time, the battery charge doesn’t exceed two hours of continuous operation. Also, it takes many more hours to charge.
Electric Snow Blowers
Electric snow blowers use an electric motor to run. Over time, the friction between the stator and the rotor generates waste that decreases the life of the motor. Therefore, they need constant maintenance to stay operational.
Unlike battery or gas powered models, electric snow blowers need an outlet and an electrical extension to work. Therefore, they aren’t recommended in areas away from electrical powersources.
Electric motors don’t generate much power either. In addition, with variations in voltage, they also generate variations in RPM. This significantly decreases performance.
Most 2-satge and 3-stage snow blowers are gas powered. These machines usually use high displacement engines to generate enough power to crush solid snow blocks.
For that reason you won’t find many 2-satge and 3-stage blowers that use batteries or alternating current as a power source.
Gas powered Snow Blowers
Gas powered snow blowers generate a lot of noise and toxic emissions to the environment. However, the latest models implement an advanced system that reduces fuel consumption and emissions.
If you’ve always used a gas powered snow blower, you should buy a newer equipment to prevent contamination. In addition, being exposed to these emissions is harmful to health.
In conclusion, if you want a high performance machine that never stops in the middle of a work day, gas powered snow blowers are the best among all.
The quality of the materials is another aspect that you can’t overlook. First of all, make sure that the moving parts, like augers and accelerator, are made of high thickness steel.
The most popular models use 12-gauge steel. This guarantees high durability and resistance. Not even the most solid rocks are a problem for such quality steel. 14-Gauge steel, although less resistant, also withstands high impacts and is very durable.
Gauge represents the thickness of the steel. The higher the gauge, the lower the thickness and strength of the piece. For example, 12-gauge represents a thickness of 1/12-inch.
You should also consider the material of the bucket and the chute. Usually, the buckets are made of aluminum to reduce the weight of the machine. Although using aluminum in these cases is convenient, it’s also true that it wears too quickly with friction.
Abrasive elements mixed with snow can wear buckets faster than you think. Therefore, it’s convenient to opt for models with steel reinforced side walls. This will extend the life of your machine and prevent you from buying spare parts for a long time.
The chute is one of the critical areas of all snow blower.There, the compacted snow driven by the impeller goes out at high speed outwards. With so much pressure and friction generated, it’s obvious that the chute must be strong enough to not explode.
14-Gauge steel is the best material for chute. Some models use 16-gauge steel. However, if it’s a 3-stage snow blower, you should not accept a steel thickness that is too low. Also don’t accept iron or other materials prone to rust.
In below zero temperatures, having heated grips is mandatory. Heated grips not only serve to provide comfort to the operator. They also prevent the gloves from sticking to the grip.
The natural humidity of the environment forms a thin film of water between the glove and the grip. With the low temperatures, that water freezes and works almost like glue.
Heated grips must be hot enough to keep your hands warm. Some models with heated grips don’t heat enough, being almost impossible to use in freezing temperatures.
Before buying any model, ask the seller for a quality test. Turn on the machine for a few minutes and see if the heat it generates is enough for you. If it isn’t, you better not buy it.
Single stage snow blowers are light and easy to use. However, that isn’t the case with 2-stage and 3-stage snow blowers. The bigger the machine, the heavier it is. In some cases, they’re so heavy that you need to turn them on in order to move them.
The weight shouldn’t be a problem if the engine works perfectly. However, when it starts to fail, the problems begin. Your snow blower will get stuck everywhere.
If your machine is so heavy that it’s impossible to move it only with your forces, it’s convenient that you constantly maintain the engine. If you don’t have enough money to keep a maintenance routine, it’s wise to choose less heavy equipment.
The weight also affects the ease of storage of the device. If it’s too heavy, storing it will always be a long and tedious process. Therefore, not always the biggest machine is the best for you.
The last variable in this equation and perhaps the most important is the price. It’s an almost verifiable fact that not always the most expensive machine is the best. Beware of deceptive offers or additional gadgets that are just a waste of money.
To save some extra money, analyze the features of several models. Sometimes, some models are more expensive just because they belong to a well-known brand. However, there are many models much cheaper and more efficient than the most famous.
You just have to spend time researching on the Internet. Also check the best snow blower reviewsfrom other buyers. If a product meets what it promises, you can buy it. If the score exceeds four stars, you have another valid reason to do so.
Once you’re sure of the model you’re going to buy, evaluate the offers in several online stores. It’s also convenient to visit several hardware stores and department stores. Maybe you can find lower prices.
Although shopping online is a good way to save money, visiting a physical store gives you the advantage of trying the product before buying it. Sometimes it isn’t convenient to believe in everything you read on the Internet. You should check it out for yourself.
Tips About Price
The basic functions of a snow blower are collecting, crushing and expelling snow. Other functions than these may be useless. Before buying, make sure you know the purpose you’ll give the machine and the frequency of use.
If you live in an area with snow most of the time, you’ll surely need one of those huge 3 stage snow blowers. However, if you’re only going to use the machine a couple of times a year, it isn’t convenient to spend too much money.
If you don’t want to regret after buying a snow blower, you should carefully follow these tips. The more details you know about the product, the better. Investigating well is the best way to prevent future mistakes.
3 Stage Snow Blowers FAQs
If after reading all this information, you still have doubts in your mind, don’t worry. Maybe the answers to these FAQs can help you.
Q. Single, double or 3-stage blowers? Which are the best?
Each snow blower type is more convenient in different circumstances. However, it’s proven that the 3 stage snow blowers are the most efficient of all.
Q. What’s the best steel gauge for augers and accelerators?
12-Gauge steel is the most appropriate in these cases.
Q. Does clearing width affect machine performance?
Yes. The greater the clearing width, the higher the machine performance. Obviously, the engine must be in perfect condition.
Q. Can I use a bigger bucket in my snow blower?
Each snow blower works optimally with a specific bucket size. If you change that, it could cause engine failures and jams in moving parts.
Q. What do I need to know to choose the best snow blower for me?
Before buying, you need to know:
- Snowfall height.
- Total area to clear.
- Machine performance.
Q. The snow blower turns on but the augers and the accelerator don’t move. What happens?
Verify that the drive belts are fine. If they’re damaged, you should change them immediately.
Q. Is it convenient to buy a model without heated grips?
It all depends on the winter temperature on the place where you live. If it’s so low that it can freeze your hands, don’t buy it.
Q. How often does a snow blower need maintenance?
Usually, you can find the maintenance frequency in the user manual. However, it may vary depending on the frequency of use.
Q. Is it possible to start a snow blower without electric power?
It all depends on the start system. Most modern models need to plug into an outlet to start working.
Q. Is it convenient to use a snow blower on gravel?
It all depends on the characteristics of the equipment. Battery and electric snow blowers aren’t the most suitable for this kind of use. You need a powerful and resistant machine to work on gravel without problems.
Snow can cause considerable wear on your snow blower. If the snow volume you need to remove is too large, 3 stage blowers are the best option. Always be sure to check the quality of the product before buying it. Make sure you also know the environmental conditions and the area to clear. Don’t opt for models that are too cheap or too expensive. Choose the only one that offers more benefits at a lower price.